A 50-year-old has gained 2 million YouTube subscribers making reptile videos. He told us how much money he makes from brand sponsorships.
- Brian Barczyk, 50, is a YouTube creator and reptile influencer who posts vlog-style content about his life and the animals he breeds.
- Barczyk began posting content to YouTube in 2008 and now runs a channel with 2.4 million subscribers.
- Barczyk earns money from his influencer career as a YouTube creator and he broke down for Business Insider how much money he earns from a brand sponsorships.
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Brian Barczyk isn’t your typical YouTube star pulling pranks or playing video games for the camera.
He’s a 50-year-old creator with 2.4 million subscribers who has built a career online by sharing content about the snakes and other reptiles he breeds.
Barczyk, who lives in Michigan, uploaded his first YouTube video in 2008. Now he supports himself and his family financially from the money he earns on YouTube and by selling merchandise.
“No one knew what YouTube was as far as what it would become,” Barczyk told Business Insider. “It was pretty uncomfortable to be in front of a camera, but eventually I fell in love with it.”
Barczyk breeds and owns multiple types of reptiles like snakes, geckos, and an alligator – all of which star in his YouTube videos. Alongside his YouTube channel, he also owns and operates a reptile zoo, “The Reptarium,” which he is able to fund from the income he earns though his influencer career.
He films vlog-style content for his YouTube channel and focuses on his life and passion for reptiles. He frequently collaborates with popular creators on YouTube, like David Dobrik (15 million subscribers) and his Vlog Squad.
“YouTube and social media in general have the highest net profit because your expenses aren’t that high,” he said. “You might have some camera gear, but you don’t have that huge overhead that you would have with the brick-and-mortar business.”
One of the main ways social-media influencers earn money online is by promoting products to their followers on YouTube and Instagram.
Barczyk broke down for Business Insider how much money he earns from a sponsorship on YouTube and what his brand collaborations look like as a creator with 2 million subscribers — with a unique subject area.
How much money he charges per sponsorship and how he determines the price
Many creators on YouTube earn the bulk of their income by promoting brands and products on their channels.
Sponsored content on YouTube can be in the form of a sponsorship package (like a 30- to 60-second mention in a YouTube video along with an Instagram post) or a single integration.
Barczyk’s YouTube channel is managed by Fullscreen Media, a digital-media company that has been involved in many businesses connected to the influencer space. To help grow and expand his digital business, he works with United Talent Agency, a top Hollywood talent agency that also works with digital creators. Agencies like UTA help their clients monetize their online brands, build lasting partnerships with companies through influencer marketing campaigns, and develop consumer products.
On average, Barczyk earns around $5,000 for a single brand integration on YouTube, which is when an influencer works for a company once, rather than having an extended contract that spans over a few months, he said.
In a recent report, Izea, a company that connects marketers with influencers, found that in 2019 the average price of a sponsored video on YouTube was around $6,700.
Joe Gagliese, the CEO of the influencer marketing agency Viral Nation, said depending on the content genre, a sponsorship on YouTube can range between 4 cents a view to 12 cents a view — though influencers charge based on a number of factors.
For something more long-term, like a year-long collaboration with multiple videos, Barczyk said he’ll charge between $20,000 and $30,000 on average.
“It’s hard to land brand deals and it’s hard to know what the value is because there are no real road maps,” Barczyk said, and added that when he was first starting out, he would look to other creators on YouTube for advice on what to charge.
Barczyk said that in his experience, he tends to focus more on a campaign rather than a one-off deal. He’s worked for brands like the the food subscription service Hello Fresh and other subscription-based services like Dollar Shave Club.
He’s completed multiple campaigns with these brands, he said, and typically a sponsorship will include him mentioning the products and services within his videos and prompting his followers to sign up with a code he links in the description of a video.
There are some companies that he’s promoted for a discounted price, depending on what they are asking and if they are covering other fees like the cost of travel or production, he said. He works with brands like Dollar Shave Club directly, he said, which cuts out any additional agency costs.
For more on how to become a successful influencer, according to YouTube and Instagram stars, check out these Business Insider Prime posts:
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