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Offline James@PCPosh  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, May 3, 2016 1:41:15 AM(UTC)
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Okay, before I get into the question I wanted to provide some background for it...

First, as some may know, me and a few friends run a website and youtube channel focused on PC Gaming, PC Builds, Tech News, and such. We're currently focused on gaming right now but I'd really like to get back into PC Builds, but since the birth of the PC Posh name, I've been unable to fund such projects (although when I can afford to, I enjoy going a touch overboard: http://hothardware.com/f...584-My-primary-machine).

Now I recognize that if I can grow the channel, one day I'll be able to pursue sponsorships and maybe oneday AMD, Asus, MSI, etc, will be sending me freebies to unbox, benchmark, review, give away, etc.

And that gets to the meat of the question: If I don't start doing some builds and unboxings here soon, our channel will basically be condensed to just gaming, and it'll be hard in the future to approach potential sponsors and say "Yeah, okay, SURE, we've never done anything but gaming before now, but I really do know a lot about technology and would love for you to give me free stuff so I can play with it on camera" (that's my sales pitch, it's a real zinger - nice and polished). I somehow can't see that going well.

So my question is, without self-financing all of these builds, what is the best way to acquire hardware? Currently our channel is very, very, very small; so while "the worst they can do is say no" I'm remiss to try and reach out to potential sponsors.

Offline Sim_8_3  
#2 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 12:16:34 AM(UTC)
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I get where your coming from, as for reviews like Nike says Just Do It, it hasn't stopped me from doing it albeit it's all kinds of stuff not just hardware, as for hardware, are you talking about to sustain your channel or to review or both? I think Blackhawk may have some good suggestions as to where you might be able to obtain hardware at an insignificant cost or in some cases no cost, have you already signed up to be a Youtube partner?

Edited by user Friday, May 6, 2016 12:19:17 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Blackhawk8100  
#3 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 12:41:16 AM(UTC)
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At the beginning, you'll have to go out of pocket. It won't be easy, but if you do good reviews that are honest, you'll have good luck. Once you build up a bit, then you can reach out to sponsors.
Offline James@PCPosh  
#4 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 1:42:28 AM(UTC)
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Well, that's about the answer I expected, but I guess I was hoping there might have been some sort of magic to it that I hadn't found yet. Oh well. Thank you both.
Offline fortunz  
#5 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 2:39:07 AM(UTC)
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The chicken and the egg problem is a tough nut to crack, no doubt.

How much do you socialize with people already doing what you're trying to get into (specifically I mean receiving hardware for review and contests)? I've seen a number of contests pop up on twitter, some of them appear to be by people doing their first contest who have made connections with others who have done a number of them. Beyond just giving you some helpful tips, if you network smart and consistently, you may find partners who eventually help give you a more substantial boost by introducing you to the right manufacturer/marketing contacts, maybe partly because partnering with you can help them and maybe also because they remember someone helping them get a break too.

It's not a magic shortcut and I definitely see networking as a tedious kind of work, but there are resources there to be... shall we say mined and crafted, that aren't readily available by other means. Good luck. smile

Offline Sim_8_3  
#6 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 3:19:48 AM(UTC)
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I might add, ask yourself who or why would want you to review their hardware? I"m finding like on Amazon reviews that not everyone is a big fish some of the smaller sellers and companies want honest unbiased reviews on their products some being PC based and they are willing to offer significant discounts to reviewers for them, but like it was said it is a chicken/egg conundrum and you have to start somewhere, good luck with your endeavors.

Edited by user Friday, May 6, 2016 3:22:05 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline James@PCPosh  
#7 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 4:08:57 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: fortunz Go to Quoted Post
How much do you socialize with people already doing what you're trying to get into (specifically I mean receiving hardware for review and contests)?

Regrettably, I've made no contacts outside of HHW, and even then, I honestly have no clue who runs the site, so I can't exactly claim to be very social with them.

Originally Posted by: fortunz Go to Quoted Post
...if you network smart and consistently, you may find partners who eventually help give you a more substantial boost by introducing you to the right manufacturer/marketing contacts, maybe partly because partnering with you can help them and maybe also because they remember someone helping them get a break too.

It's not a magic shortcut and I definitely see networking as a tedious kind of work, but there are resources there to be... shall we say mined and crafted, that aren't readily available by other means. Good luck. smile

I appreciate the advice, and agree with you that it possible given consistent networking, but that's one area with which I somewhat struggle. Social Grace has never really appeared on my resume, and while I don't consider myself socially inept, I recognize that I am extremely introverted.

But that's me, James, as a person. PC Posh, as a brand, can't afford introversion, so I have to somehow overcome that barrier in order to try and make any useful social connections. It's just, really, really hard. I have always had the mentality that unless you have something worth contributing to the conversation, don't say anything; just listen. Unfortunately, online socialization these days appears to be largely small talk (which I am not good at), inanity (which I simply cannot grasp), or repeating each other for lack of original thoughts (which Twitter is really, really good at).

I can fake it, so to speak. When I was working with the DoD I would have to attend regular meetings, present plans and ideas, consult, etc. I can handle that. I can discuss things I am passionate about all day long -- which is why I continue to post on these forums, because finding other tech enthusiasts in my local area is about as rare as finding a unicorn with a bachelor's degree. It's the small talk that I struggle with. The every day social norm that gets people through the their muttled interactions with each other. Weather, sports, traffic, politics. Yes, it is supposed to rain; I don't know anything about sports except that back on Dreamcast I had a hockey game that could successfully pronounce my last name; No, I wasn't stuck in traffic - I was part of traffic, I assume we all had somewhere to go and that the universe doesn't revolve around me; I'd really rather not discuss politics given that it, like religion, seems to be something no two people can completely agree on.

Originally Posted by: Sim_8_3 Go to Quoted Post
I might add, ask yourself who or why would want you to review their hardware?

Well, for one, unlike LinusTechTips, I don't destroy almost everything I touch, lol. Jests aside, I have a background in Information Technology with a client base ranging from home users to the department of defense, and all points in between. I have worked with IT my entire life, I built my first computer at the age of 7 and my earliest memory in life is reassembling a VCR. I can not only assemble a parts list and build a computer, but 3D model and fabricate cases, fittings, and other customizations. I don't claim to be the world's best programmer or electrical engineer, but I am sufficient in multiple languages and have designed several custom circuits for unique applications (including things as strange as animating a taxidermized turkey, lol). ...Basically, in short, I've been building, modding, coding, 'hacking', and repurposing technology my whole life - and now that all of the contracts I was bound to have been terminated (excluding NDAs), I'm free to do what I would like to do. And while, ideally, that would be hanging out with Adam Savage and building miscellaneous awesomeness; the next best thing would be to let the interests I've pursued my whole life create something I can be proud of.

Offline Blackhawk8100  
#8 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 4:55:51 PM(UTC)
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Do get into the job going for money or fame, as you may not get those things. On top of that, if those are your reasons, you're doing it wrong. Do it because you love Tech, because your fans will see straight through whatever you are doing.
Offline James@PCPosh  
#9 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 5:12:12 PM(UTC)
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I really couldn't care less about fame, and the only thing I'd do with money (if I were ever lucky enough to get it) would be to spend it on tech, ie, put it back into PC Posh. The only reason I'm looking for hardware leads is because times are really tight right now and it's taking everything I've got to keep food on the table and gas in the tank, so I don't really have any tech coming into the house right now to do any reviews or unboxings of. I hope to get income stabled out enough to start buying more stuff, as I'd like to upgrade my primary machine, my NAS, all three laptops, and the network itself. I'd also like to mod my workspace a bit. All of which are planned videos and build logs, but just can't take a higher priority than food, lol.
Offline Blackhawk8100  
#10 Posted : Friday, May 6, 2016 8:31:37 PM(UTC)
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I understand that lol
Offline Lazyguy22  
#11 Posted : Monday, May 9, 2016 1:44:38 AM(UTC)
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I'd say based on your current situation right may not be the oppurtune time for you but to build a brand which is exactly what your doing you need some recognition first. Easy to start with is to review and post based on otems not in hand. Share your videos with various social channels to start networking your brand. Share videos to twitter, facebook, youtube, and the like. Focus on the manufacturers of the hardware you'd like to get your hands on. Start small and keep it cheap but as best of quality as you can. If your reviewing MSI or ASUS ppst it to their sites as a fan to start getting people seeing your name and frequently. If people like your reviews you may not even need toshow the actual tech.
thanks 1 user thanked Lazyguy22 for this useful post.
James@PCPosh on 5/9/2016(UTC)
Offline James@PCPosh  
#12 Posted : Monday, May 9, 2016 2:28:34 AM(UTC)
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All good advise, thank you very much.
Offline tmanvest  
#13 Posted : Monday, May 9, 2016 8:21:00 PM(UTC)
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do game reviews to start out with. its cheaper and can build up your brand that way. you could also just do gaming and continue building
Offline digitaldd  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, May 10, 2016 3:25:00 PM(UTC)
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Any thoughts on crowd sourcing via kickstarter, patreon or some other system? As a sweetner for folks who donate you could offer to giveaway some or all of the builds/products you review to random backers.
Offline Lazyguy22  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, May 10, 2016 3:42:15 PM(UTC)
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That's a great idea. Im sure someone would help just to get things started.
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