In a nutshell
- A good starting point in the YouTube industry is to offer your production services to channels you admire, reaching out to see if they need assistance.
- Utilize online platforms like Google job search, creator websites and local listings on Craigslist to find job opportunities in YouTube content creation.
- Ensure you have the necessary technical skills and professionalism, including arriving early for shoots and adhering to specific production requirements, to succeed in major YouTube productions.
There are many shows and podcasts exclusive to the YouTube platform that generate substantial revenue from streaming views and advertising on YouTube. Many content creators hope to own a successful YouTube channel that can generate passive income. Alternatively, landing a gig with a major YouTube creator, already generating revenue from views, offers a chance to learn from them.
A good way to get your foot in the door is to offer your production services to one of your favorite YouTube channels. The first step is to identify a channel or creator you are a fan of or have a successful following and ask if you can be of service to them.
Many popular YouTube creators are hiring for jobs on their channels and need remote production services.
If your chosen creator isn’t in need of your services, there are still plenty of opportunities out there for you. Let’s identify some avenues where you can find job postings for YouTube channels.
If you do a Google search and type in the keywords “YouTube channel jobs,” you will see a listing of YouTube video jobs available through the Google job search engine that anyone can apply for via job sites like Monster, Upwork, Zip Recruiter and LinkedIn.
After a quick search while writing this article, I found several positions looking to hire, some paying up to $20 to $40 an hour.
Another way to find a job on a YouTube show is to pay close attention to your favorite YouTube content creator’s page and website to see if they are hiring.
Lex Fridman is a popular podcaster on YouTube, and, at the time this article was being written, a quick search on his website showed that he was hiring for multiple video production positions.
Upon searching the Lex Fridman website for jobs while writing this article, he was looking for a translator and voice dubber, a video editor specializing in clips for TikTok, YouTube and Shorts, a video editor for all general podcasts and video tasks and even a local Austin camera operator. You can usually apply on creators’ websites.
Another way to land a YouTube channel gig is to simply search your local Craigslist jobs and gigs listings, specifically searching the TV, film and video job listings or the creative gigs listings.
Speaking from experience, I was to land a gig with VladTV after reaching out directly. VladTV is the creation of Vladimir Lyubovny, a popular YouTube personality who interviews celebrities, including rappers, singers, actors, professional athletes and even former criminals. He is the CEO of the video and news website VladTV. Vlad started as a mixtape DJ and became a cultural icon with his YouTube show VladTV, which has had many clips and interviews go viral.
I reached out to VladTV by contacting the email address found on his website while inquiring about producing a VladTV segment on UFC fighters I had worked with on past documentary films.
Vlad expressed interest in the idea, but I couldn’t quite land the right guest for his audience to get the job, but I didn’t give up. A few weeks later, I was randomly scrolling the Craigslist creative gigs ads and stumbled upon an ad for VladTV looking for a production crew to film an interview in Las Vegas. I responded to the Craigslist ad and also mentioned I had connected with VladTV before that and politely asked Vlad if he could give me a shot on the Vegas gig.
Vlad responded directly to me and said he would forward my information to his executive assistant, who then contacted me to let me know I got the gig.
My first gig for VladTV was to do the production for an interview with Bay Area legend and rapper Spice 1.
To land a production job for a major show like VladTV or any other major YouTube channel content producer, you must have the experience and technical know-how to execute the job properly.
Some basic videographer checklist requests you might receive for a major YouTube content producer gig can include requests for multiple cameras with 4K capability, three-point lighting with diffusers, multiple audio sources including lavalier mics and boom microphones with external recorders and a laptop or iPad for video conferencing capabilities.
It is also very important to make sure you are prepared to arrive at least two hours ahead of the scheduled shoot time to ensure a professional setup is prepped and ready to go for the guest.
Location and continuity
Ideally, the YouTube show producer will have rented a secure location for the show shoot, but it may be up to you to help provide the location, depending on the job you are hired for. You may also be asked to match the continuity of past shows for the shoot; in that case, it’s important to follow the videographer checklist or match the frame of prior episodes already online.
This is important for branding, especially in the case of VladTV, where the iconic VladTV logo sits in the background of the interview subject, and most interviews are shot in a studio-type setup to ensure the best sound quality.
Professional audio and video are top priorities on shows of this level, and if you want to be hired for future gigs, you need to deliver the production value the content producer is known for. Equally important is to follow certain guidelines, which may include no cell phones, food or drinks while on set.
Certain technical aspects may be required as well to ensure continuity. For example, some requests may include all interviews to be shot in 4K and 23.98 fps and audio recorded in 24-bit and 48 kHz. Also important are the framing techniques requested by the show checklist.
Lastly, always check the focus and eyeline. Make sure the audio is coming through clearly with no background noise on the main audio source and have a backup audio source capturing as well. Batteries, memory cards and other production items should be ready to go at all times before arriving on set for the shoot.
Preparation and delivery
It is also very important to clarify with the YouTube channel producer or host how long the interview or shoot will last so you can have the right media prepared.
If you are doing a one-hour interview shooting HD with two cameras, you may only need a couple of 64 GB SD cards. But if you are doing a three-hour interview shooting in 4K and want to film continuously, you might need a few 128 GB cards and a USB-C battery power source or battery pack to shoot uninterrupted.
Lastly, after wrapping up the shoot, it’s important to have all talent sign the proper release forms and get their contact info if you need to follow up.
Finally, check with the show producer on how the content needs to be delivered, get it to them in a timely fashion and send an invoice for your work to get paid.
Start your journey
Be professional, land the YouTube gig of your dreams and go from there. Remember, persistence is key. If it doesn’t work out right away — which is highly likely — keep at it.