In 2008, Brian Barczyk was comfortable with his beloved snakes, geckos, and alligators. But he wasn’t comfortable in front of the camera. He got over that, and today the Michigander makes countless vlogs with his favorite cold-blooded animals living in his reptile zoo, The Reptarium. He builds his content business by joining forces with other creators and brand collaborations.

Snakes, geckos, and alligators were no problem. Getting in front of the camera was. But @SnakeBytesTV faced his fear and built a @YouTube channel attracting millions. #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

This year, his 3.2+M YouTube fans flock to his channel to watch snake unboxing videos, his 100 Animal Tour at His Reptile Zoo, extremely large pythons, and more. 

Alongside creating his solo content, Brian collaborates with mega-popular YouTubers, including David Dobrik and Tyler Nolan. Creators like these help Brian reach more people who may not have heard of his channel or content. 

Earning more followers allows the 51-year-old to charge brands as high as $30K for a sponsorship deal. This price often goes along with year-long brand collaborations. He charges $5K for a single brand interlude and has worked with brands like delivery meal service Hello Fresh

The creator says, “YouTube and social media, in general, have the highest net profit because your expenses aren’t that high.” He continues, “You might have some camera gear, but you don’t have that huge overhead that you would have with the brick-and-mortar business.”

Today, Brian can support himself and his family members solely from the money he earns through his YouTube channel and merchandise sales. 

We're a #Stan of @SnakeBytesTV b/c the content creator grew his audience by featuring big-name video creators who shared that content with their audiences. #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Why we’re a Stan: Brian recognizes the power of collaboration to grow his audience. He takes his unique tilt (reptiles) to YouTubers whose audiences aren’t familiar with Brian’s channel but might be interested in the reptilian content. 

About the author

Shameyka McCalman is a wordsmith whose work often centers around fashion, art, and other creatives of color. She earned her communications degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and enjoys sifting through clothes in local vintage shops, frequenting nearby plays, and gazing at exhibitions on view in museums.