Creating a collaboration video can be a great way of bringing a community together, no matter which video sharing platform you prefer to use. Personally, I like YouTube, but it’s certainly not the only choice available. Provided you have an established audience behind your content, I see no problem in trying to bring everyone together to make something fun and creative.

While collaborating with others may seem a little stressful at first, the process is actually quite straightforward and easy to understand — but only if you go about it carefully. When making last year’s collab, which you can view below, I picked up on a few pointers that other fellow creators can likely find useful. Let’s start from the beginning.

Is your audience willing to participate?

Starting with the obvious, you have to be sure that you have enough individuals in your audience who are willing to actually participate. Just because you may have a decent following, it’s important to not assume that everyone is onboard with the idea. For example, I have 100,000+ subscribers on YouTube, but my annual collab video doesn’t receive more than 50 entries on average. That’s quite the dramatic difference in numbers.

The best way to tell if your audience is interested in helping make a collab is to simply ask them. If you’re a YouTuber, try putting the idea out there in a video and see what kind of response you get in return. The same can be said for bloggers. Publish a brief post and poll your readers.

Make collaborating easy, not confusing.

The average person has likely never participated in an online collab, so it’s important that you make the instructions clear and easy to comprehend. This can be achieved by providing a step-by-step guide on how to submit the content that is required for the collab.

Using “A YouTube Holiday 2016” as an example, you’ll see that I have clearly listed any guidelines that should be considered when recording your video for submission. Below those guidelines is a form that makes it easy to sumit the final video, as well as the option to include a message with any questions that may come up. Send the completed form and they’re done!

Stay organized.

If there is one thing I think I’m good at, it has to be organization. I take a lot of pride in keeping all my files organized, and it’s no different when organizing a collab. If you want your collab to go smoothly, you must keep track of all the submissions that come your way. After all, it would be a shame if someone’s work didn’t make the cut due to your poor organization skills.

For my collab videos, I require that all video clips are submitted via Dropbox. Not only does this allow me to easily keep track of all the clips that are involved in the project, but it’s also safe and secure — making those who participate feel confident. Using Dropbox also allows me to download the files as they come in, that way there is no chance of my missing anything.

Manage your time.

Putting together a collab video can be a lot of work. Believe me, I know. It not only requires time from you, the creator, but the participants as well. And because not everybody has the same schedule, getting enough individuals to participate can sometimes be tough. This is especially true during the holiday season. However, there is one simple solution for this.

Give plenty of notice. That’s it. If the participants have enough time to do their part, then there’s no reason why things will not work out. It’s no different than planning a get-together with friends. As long as everyone knows what’s involved, then everything should go according to plan.

Remind, remind, remind!

With the holidays being as busy as they are, it’s easy to get caught up in life — which is why I make it a priority to remind my community about the annual collab video. With social media being just a click away, it’s never been easier to keep others in the loop. A simple Facebook post or YouTube video can go a long way.

It’s also a good idea to take advantage of your email list, if you have one. Set up an email campaign focused around your collab video and watch the responses build up. Because come on, who doesn’t have email? It’s free advertising!

So, let’s do a quick recap of the five steps that are involved when making a successful collaboration. Is your audience willing to participate? If so, make sure the process is easy to understand. It also doesn’t hurt to be organized and good at time management. And finally, remind everyone that you’re even doing a collab in the first place. Sometimes it’s easy to forget.

I wish you luck in making your first collab! If you have any questions that are not covered here, you are more than welcome to contact me. I’m always quick to respond.