In 2018, in a dive bar in Union Square, my dear friend Margo Aaron and I birthed the idea for a kooky little internet talk show.
Our vision wasn’t anything grand — we just wanted to fill a gap we saw in the space.
At the time, the bulk of online biz info in video and podcast form was mostly targeted to beginners. We wanted to create a show for folks who were fully in the swing of things, but had ‘run out of map’, and wanted to see the issues THEY were facing.
We also wanted to get better on camera, better off the cuff, and learn to give better form and shape to our ideas.
It started with website and ad critiques (which quickly became a lil’ boring for us), and dove into topics like boundaries, tradeoffs, perfectionism, the digital self vs. real self, and so much more.
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
It’s been a beautiful ride that’s taught us endless lessons on teamwork, debate, nuance, mic problems, lighting, and how to squeeze in a passion project in between two wildly full schedules.
And now three years later… it’s time for a change.
But there’s good news and bad. I’ll start with the bad:
The bad news: it’s bittersweet to announce that this will be our last #HAMYAW video on YouTube.
Don’t worry — all the episodes will remain up for your binging pleasure, and for future HAMfriends to find us.
The good news: this isn’t the end of the Hillary and Margo (aka the HAM’s)
There’s Still Further to Go…
Because… we’re moving the show to IG Live! And #HAMYAW’s getting a new name — #HAMJAMS.
(Which stands for uh… Hillary and Margo Jamming, basically. IT SOUNDED COOL OK AND IT RHYMES LET US HAVE THIS.)
Starting December 1st, we’ll be running the show on Wednesdays on my Instagram feed @hcweiss.
And, since I know folks can be curious about why we’d stop a show that just hit the 1,000 subs milestone, after 3 years of being two besties riffing on the topics that matter most to ‘em, and keeping our brain baby alive through a global pandemic?
All the details, our reasoning, and our gratitude for you are in the episode right here.
It’s short n’ sweet, and we talk all about our reasons for making the move, and why we made the call on our next steps.
But the long and short of it is this:
More Time to Jam With You!
Switching to IG live is gonna simplify the process of creating stuff for you all, AND give us a chance to be more “in the moment”, and jam with you in real time.
After all — that’s our favorite part about doing HAMYAW: the comments! The replies! The dialogue, dahling!
It’s extremely our speed, and IG Live will give us a chance to cultivate more of that side of things, without creating a pile of editing and graphics work on our end. ;)
We’re so excited for this new chapter, and we hope you are too.
Can We Still Be HAMfriends?
But for now, what I’ll say is this: thank you, thank you, thank you for being here for the ride with us.
For watching the show, for sharing it, for loving it with us, and for helping us make it what it is.
Without a super smart audience laughing and chatting right along with us, we’re just a blonde and a redhead with a pair of loud voices shouting into the void.
And so: thanks for helping keep the void at bay. We literally could not do this without you.
Here’s to the next chapter. And we’ll catch you on IG on December 1st!
Go ahead and follow my account here, and Margo’s here, to catch the notifications when we’re doin’ it live.
SO excited already.
All the love in the world, Hillary
(spiritually, forever the H in HAMYAW)
Do you know what’s funny?
Wait, I can’t hear you. Hold up, hold up, hold up. I’m plugged in my I know, I know. Hang on. Just hold it in. Hold it in. Plug this…(laughing)
(upbeat energetic music)
Welcome back, marketing nerds of the world. It’s time for an episode of HAMYAW. And today we wanna talk about the fact that we are gonna move the show to a new platform. (laughing) That’s right, folks. HAMYAW has been such a blast to do on YouTube, but Margo and I are thrilled to announce that we’re gonna be experimenting with a different platform for the show. We’re just gonna test it out. If it ends up we come back to YouTube, we come back to YouTube.
But we’re considering and are going to be moving the show to Instagram Live. The exact dates for everything will be forthcoming, but we wanted to talk to you a little bit about why we decided to make the move, where our heads are at, what the new vision is for HAMYAW.
‘Cause we have brought you guys along for the whole journey with us. We wanna make sure you don’t miss a thing with this one too. So, before I talk about my reasons for moving the show off YouTube, Margo, how do you feel about moving HAMYAW?
A new home for the HAMs.
Yeah. I mean, it’s bitter-sweet, you know. There’s the sunk-costs piece where I’m like, we’ve worked so hard. And we’ve done so much. You both were just getting there. Why would you stop? And so, I wanna to take y’all through sort of why we made this decision.
And what we’re thinking about. And hopefully, it can help inform y’all’s decision-making moving forward on products you are deciding whether to keep, evolve, move, abort. All the different things. So, I want to tell the personal reasons, but I think we should start with the numbers, Hill. Of like… (laughing)
So, we love doing the show, but there came a point where there was like a plateau in viewership. And that was really frustrating because it was a question of like, okay, do we need to up promotion? Is this an algorithm thing? What are we not doing? Do we need to throw money at the problem? Is this an ads or SEO problem? Like, what is going on?
And Hillary and I both had other projects in the… I was gonna say projects in the fire. Irons in the fire. That made it really difficult for us to put all of our momentum here. The organic growth was amazing, but it started to just trickle slowly enough, where we were like, (exhaling deeply) we’re not moving forward in the way that we wanted. And then we thought to ourselves, okay, what is the show for?
Like, what did we make it for? What are we trying to do? And I’ll answer for myself here. When we first started, the metrics we put forth were qualitative. Like, I wanted to be better on camera. I wanted to promote and be more visible online, which was so much more fun and easy to do with a friend. Who’s peer-pressuring you.
And truly y’all, half the time I show up online, it’s because I don’t want to disappoint Hillary.
Not because I want to promote the show. I’m just like, Hillary’s gonna be mad! And also, we were public speaking and we wanted to hone our skills a lot more. And give back to the audience. There were certain things that y’all were asking over and over again. We were like, we gotta do an episode on this.
I feel like we knocked it out of the park with those things. Like, I feel really, really satisfied with those success metrics. I think when it translated to business, or like money, it was specifically a little bit harder. In the beginning, there was some lead-gen, there was more conversion to programs and things like that. And it’s not what we created it for. And we were actually planning to create our own programs, then the pandemic happened and, you know.
There was an event y’all. It was a whole vision.
But things changed, things changed.
There was swag.
And there still might be because the show is staying alive. We’re just moving to IG live. But, to Margo’s point, I think that when we think about how much work goes into an episode. And it’s time and money. And what it would have taken. So, you may have seen our “1,000 Subscribers” episode, that we launched, I think, sometime in like late summer. Which was super fun.
Yeah, we’re at 1,300 now. Which is hilarious because we’re probably at our fastest growth right now. And we’re like, let’s hang on. Because it really came to a crossroads of, are we going to put money into ads?
Like if we really, sincerely wanted to grow the show, there would have been SEO experts we needed to hire. We would’ve needed to be running ads, which is confusing. Because we’re on Margo’s YouTube channel. And so, it would have to all go through her. And that’s additional funds.
And it’s just we were thinking about what brings us the most joy is talking to each other and having these conversations for you guys. But, the process of creating a YouTube-worthy show, it’s complicated. Like we had to be making the title cards, making sure that the edits are tight, getting the subtitles done, and paying our editor. It just became, with everything else going on in our lives.
‘Cause I know Margo, you’re teaching at such a high level now and my coaching business has taken off and we’re both very blessed. But, what was interesting is that we could not tie HAMYAW, as it stands now, directly to revenue. Like both of our clients watch HAMYAW. They love the show.
But, I think part of our decision was, growth is super slow, and we’re not ready to put, you know, tens of thousands of dollars over the next year into taking this to 10,000, a hundred thousand, subs. We love you guys, but it just doesn’t make sense for where we’re at right now.
I mean, real talk. We aren’t interested in building a YouTube audience. And I think those are inherently contradictory things. We love making the show, but our audiences live in our independent platforms. And it was becoming, where you and I have talked about this so many times over the years of like, do we make HAMYAW its own brand? Do we roll this out into something new? But just couldn’t take it on in terms of bandwidth.
And I think that wasn’t fair to the show. And it took us time to realize that with all the time that we were spending on editing, on title cards, on doing graphics, on… all these things that are happening behind the scenes to make it look like the, you know. Not look like, we actually are just talking, I’m just taking out the “um’s”. (laughing)
Yeah, exactly. All the asides. The personal stories. The too personal stories.
There came a point where we had to ask ourselves, what is it for? And how is it building into our greater vision? And the real tipping point, for me, was there were a couple of weeks where we had to punt episodes. And miss our two week cadence. And none of y’all noticed. (laughing) And that really
That is true.
If I missed the time slot when I email my list, I get emails from people that are like, did you take me off your list? Why am I not getting your emails? Like, duh duh.
And it’s super awesome. But, people didn’t seem to notice when we disappeared. And like, that was concerning to me. That’s qualitative more than anything, but it was odd. It was odd. And so, that was the first initial, huh. They don’t miss us. So, what now?
They might, they just didn’t say anything.
I feel like I’m attacking. That’s not what I mean. I just mean, looking at green light indicators of when something’s working and when it’s worth putting fertilizer on it to keep growing. I was like, oh, okay. Maybe, maybe,
Very Matthew McConaughey of us. Green lights.
I think a big part of it too was, again, it’s a lot of time and labor to make the show. Which we love doing. And the show will live on. We’re not taking it off YouTube. It’s going to hang out here, so you can keep catching up on episodes. Binge us to your heart’s content.
But, I think another big reason for the move to Instagram is because we felt like the strongest conversations that we had, were kind of the conversations that were in the moment. A little less tactical. A little more just riffing on topics. And I think that the move to Instagram Live is going to give us a little more freedom. Just to do that in a place where it’s easy to find. We may be posting recordings to this channel. TBD.
But, I think it just makes a lot more sense because, again, as we were talking about it, ‘cause it was either pour a bunch of money into the brand. Make HAMYAW its own brand. Make HAMYAW its own list. Like stop emailing our lists about HAMYAW. If we wanted to turn HAMYAW into something, it just would’ve been pushing another boulder up a hill. And with us missing two weeks at a time, it was just no hands for the boulder-pushing. (laughing)
Also, y’all are on Instagram.
Yes you are.
And I’ve tried. You’ve seen our social media episode. I’ve tried to be off, but y’all are on there. And so, we were talking about, Hillary and I, about going where you are. And something about that clicking out to YouTube, where we were losing y’all, I wanna make it easier. I don’t want there to be more steps. So, a part of us is just like, let’s go back to our roots. This started, actually, on Instagram. I mean, it started with…
Technically it did, yeah.
And us just talking. We thought, we’ll launch some HAMJAMS. Where we’ll jam.
Which is what we’re calling it. So, we’re losing our fun, funky intro music. That is a tragedy. Our intro is one of my favorite things, I think, we’ve ever made. The little intro song. (singing intro) But, it’s gonna be much more casual.
We may not be wearing makeup. I may be relying on Instagram filters to zhoosh this up. But it’s an opportunity, and I think, likely, we’re gonna be having them on Wednesdays. So, come have hump days with us. We’re calling them HAMJAM’s, ’cause it’s Hillary and Margo jam on various topics. And it’s a chance for also you to participate in the conversation as it’s happening. Which I think is a really cool feature of something like Instagram Live.
Where it’s just you guys can come, hang out. Post comments. Ask questions.
It gives us a chance to be in touch with you. And even if you’re not on Instagram, it’s still really easy to find the links. Find the show on, I think we’ll be doing it on my profile, at least to start. I think that there’s just a lot of reasons for moving it. And I think that, with you being like, “Well, you didn’t miss us.” A part of me is like, “You did this to yourself.” But, no. (laughing) Which is not true.
At all. (laughing)
It’s been such a joy. And I think that one of the most important aspects of creative work is knowing when it’s time to put something to bed or let it evolve. We had to have a hard conversation about it. But I think that on our current platform, to your point, Margo, it’s really difficult to bring an industry that’s not generally on YouTube to YouTube. And I think we’re sort of choosing the path of least resistance.
We want to keep creating for you guys.
This show doesn’t really live anywhere in our ecosystems, beyond brand awareness. But, honestly, we think that’s fine and awesome.
So that’s part of why we’re moving it over to Instagram Live. So it’s less for us to do. More participation for you. More opportunities for us to talk about current events and stuff in the moment. Which is always something we wanted to do on HAMYAW.
But because of our filming schedule, it was always like two weeks or a month later. But we learned this from the Tesla episode. Which was, at the time, one of my favorite episodes we ever made. And I thought it was so smart. And then nobody liked it
Nobody liked it. (laughing)
‘Cause it was old news. So we want that opportunity to kind of be in the mix with you all. And hang out. And really bring you into HAM-land with us. And have a chance to jam with your HAM’s, as they say.
Not much is going to change.
You’re going to see me and Margo blah-blah, this a lot. Because we’ve been able to edit it all out of YouTube. But, overall, I think it’s going to be just a fantastic evolution, because it solves for the additional things we just don’t have time for right now on our end. And also gives us a chance to kind of deepen our connection with our community.
Which is really why we created the show in the first place.
It is, it is. And I did feel like we lost a little touch ’cause YouTube has distance between y’all and us. Other than the comments sections, which is rich and beautiful.
Litty titty, as the kids would say.
We did get our first. Did you see we got our first like porn comment?
Oh, no, that was not our first porn comment.
We’ve had a few. Oh, yes, we’ve had a few.
We’ve had a few porn comments. It’s always the anime ass porn comment. Yeah, we’ve got a couple of those. I’m like, ah, the algorithm’s noticing us. (laughing) It wants to show us an anime butt. Amazing.
I really appreciated it. I felt like we made it. I was like, finally. You start with the porn trolls. Then you get the haters. You’ve not really made it ’till someone calls you fat online. Come on.
Oh, it’s so true. Don’t call us fat, ’cause I will come after you. But, just in the future, that’s how you guys will know that we’re officially famous.
You can call me whatever you want. Fat is beautiful.
Strange men commenting on my physical appearance. Like, I must be relevant. (laughing) Amazing. But, Margo, I guess I would ask you, how do you feel about the move to Instagram? What are you most excited about for it?
Well, I’m excited to be back on Instagram. I don’t think this would have been possible had I not done that. Spoiler alert, y’all, I have come back to one social outlet. I’m still not back on Twitter and I refuse LinkedIn. But I might have to do that soon, ’cause it’s just a tsunami of opportunity. I’m fighting it with all my might.
How do I feel? Like I said, it’s bitter-sweet. I’m sad. This feels like an ending. But it also feels like a beginning. I mean, it’s everything you already said. Like, deepen our connection. And I also think there’s something really important about us being live with y’all. Which I don’t feel.
I feel like there’s a little distance between us.
This will be nice. I’m trying to audit the feelings. I think I’m excited, a little. It was a lot of work. And I do feel like it was frustrating on some weeks. When certain things didn’t go. And now, I think I won’t be as tied to performance. Where I can just whip one out. Okay.
That’s so true. That’s so true. We did get a little obsessed with views for a second, guys. We’d be like, less than 100 views by noon? Where is everybody? What are we doing? And I think it’s gonna give us more freedom to just enjoy what we like doing most. Which is talking to each other. (laughing)
What are you feeling?
I’m excited for all the reasons I mentioned. I think that I’m also excited that we’re not going to necessarily have to worry about lighting and makeup so much in the middle of the day. Because, guys, the amount of time that Margo and I were just putting on our show face.
And discussing topics. And like trying to squeeze it all in. I love the idea of HAMJAMs. Being able to jam with you guys. And just really have a different format for it. Because I think Instagram live is such an interesting tool that we really underutilized.
And we’re going to experiment with it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. And we’ll decide what’s next. But I do really appreciate that we have so many options online now. To sort of solve for these problems. Because I see this a lot with my clients, where something’s really not working. The instinct, especially for entrepreneurs, is to push through kind of no matter the cost.
And just like, okay, let’s keep at it for another few months and see what happens. And the vision for HAMYAW was always, give it at least two years. Figure out what works. And we did that. And in a lot of ways, I feel like we’ve kind of come to the end of the line for the show anyway.
I think we don’t want to have a show where Margo and I are phoning it in because we’re just trying to make our production schedule. And we keep missing dates because things are so busy.
And I also like that it frees us up to kind of not worry about combining the brand. And Margo and I may still, we likely will still do offers together in the future. But, I think that what this does is it frees us up to bring our own brands into glorious union in this way.
But also give ourselves the opportunity to get in front of people. Have those conversations more often without being like, there’s this random other brand floating out there. And I think HAMJAM on IG Live is going to be very much more like two friends getting together to talk.
Like, oh, it’s HAMJAM time. Let me go. Let me grab my cup of coffee and join the girls. And, I think that that fills me with tremendous excitement.
I think it gives us a lot of freedom as creatives. I think it gives us a lot of opportunity to continue doing, again, what made us love creating the show. But, in a way where our hands are significantly less tied. We’re not trying to shepherd you all onto another platform on every other platform. And all of these things.
I love when things just make sense. And I think this does. And I’m really excited to see where it goes.
I completely agree with that assessment.
I want to make one last point on what you said about pushing through. Because I do think there is that trough of sorrow as you build something. And that’s not to say that we couldn’t continue. It’s to say that we made a decision about where our priorities are. And for both of us, it’s our customers. And our clients.
And free content is a part of that. Like I said, it comes at a cost, There’s so much work that goes into this. And so, I think we both…the places where you put your energy to push forward, ‘cause you guys should. Should be in the places that make sense for your business. So, for me, that’s email. and for Hillary, actually you are on Instagram and email as well.
I’m everywhere, baby. I’m omnipresent.
So, yeah. I think that it’s one of those hard, but right, decisions. ‘Cause we both were scared to talk about it with each other. And then we both got to a point where we were like, yeah, this is a lot of work.
It’s time. We did what we set out to do with the show. We became very good on camera, but we also set out to create a cult hit marketing talk show. And that’s exactly what we did. And thank you, cult, for being a part of this.
Can’t wait to move the cult to another platform. But we never intended, also, for HAMYAW to be a giant thing. Like we never had our eyes on 100,000 subscribers.
I don’t have time for that.
Yeah, who has time? All the porn comments alone, would just take hours. But I think that it was either put the time, money, energy into making HAMYAW huge, or realize that the sidewalk kind of ends here.
And we can evolve the show to keep it what we love, but simplify it for ourselves so we can keep showing up and hanging out with you guys. And I think that we made the right call. I’m really excited to experiment with the platform. And I think there’s so many more adventures to come.
Yes! All right, y’all. We are so, so grateful for having even gotten to this point where we can make an announcement like this. And truly, (laughing) one of the biggest decisions for this as well, was that the biggest driver to YouTube was Instagram. And so, we’re like,
Oh, that’s true!
Okay! If you’re already there, we will come to you.
Yeah, we’re such good friends. Okay? We’re coming to you guys now. We’ll bring snacks. (laughing)
We’re the worst. We will bring snacks. Thank you guys so much for being on this journey with us, it is not the end of the road. It is the evolution. So, please, I think you’re already, but for anyone who is not following Hillary on Instagram, @HCweiss?
Yes. You don’t know my Instagram handle? (laughing)
‘Cause I always write, “Hillary”, and then it shows up.
Yeah, it’s “HCweiss”. H. C. W-e-i-s-s. You can come follow me over there. That’s where the show will be living.
In terms of start date, we will email you guys as to when that is. And, from the bottom of our hearts, everybody watching, just thank you so much for being a part of this journey with us. It’s nothing without you all.
We hope you’re not too disappointed, and we hope you’re excited along with us. But, it’s just your encouragement, your support, your comments, your insights, your replies to emails. It’s kept us motivated and focused. It makes sure the show keeps evolving so we can keep hanging.
Thank you for being here.
It also is amazing, every time we get on to do something where we’re supposed to be taken seriously as professionals, and we get introduced at the creators of HAMYAW, and everyone gets the acronym wrong. And it is just the best icebreaker ever.
So, thank you for making that happen. Truly.
So, here’s what we want from you.
Follow Hillary on Instagram. Follow me @margoaaron on everything. And we will come back with an announcement in the comments on a date, of where we’re gonna start our HAMJAMs.
But, visit us on Wednesdays. We’re gonna be doing HAMJAMs. Keep your eyes out for them. And, thank you. Just thank you.
As always. I’m Margo Aaron.
And I’m Hillary Weiss.
This has been HAMYAW.
HAMJAMs to come. And we’ll drop links to everything in the comments. In the description. Thank you all for everything. And we’ll see you soon.
Now I’m sad! (laughing)
Photo by Juliet Clare Warren