A long time ago, in a Manhattan dive bar far far away…
(Well, like 20 minutes by train from my neighborhood.)
… Two friends developed a little idea for a little show that would represent what they felt they wanted to see in “marketers making content for marketers” land.
Because, you see, we had an audience challenge in common:
The majority of our readers were already experienced pros.
Give ‘Em What They Need
They didn’t need more mass appeal, beginner how-to content (i.e. X steps to optimize your Y), and they’d already taken the courses, and developed the high-level experience, that made most standard shows and blog posts a little too basic for ‘em.
The way we described them was the way we described ourselves: business owners who’d run out of map.
We’d climbed the initial ladders and mastered the foundational stuff.
Now we were on open water, figuring out which way to sail.
Conversations That Slay
And we knew at this stage, we got the most value from sitting down and being in conversation with awesome people on our level and beyond.
To us, there was nothing better than sitting at a bar, post-conference, chatting with colleagues about what we were seeing and hearing.
And so… we decided to try our hand making a show in that vein.
And so… an odd little YouTube channel called Hillary and Margo Yell at Websites, a.k.a. #HAMYAW, was born.
1,000 And Climbing – Say What?
And today: we’re celebrating crossing a pretty big milestone.
That’s right folks: HAMYAW, our little show that could, recently passed a pleasing-as-punch milestone of 1,000 subscribers.
And it’s truly all thanks to you.
See, we’ve never run ads to the show, and while we had the best growth intentions for 2020, well… gestures vaguely at everything that happened that year.
Organic Reach Baby
So that means any growth we’ve experienced is because of our organic reach — a.k.a. our subscribers (who we call our Hams) like you who watched and told their friends, who told their friends, who opened our emails and liked and shared and commented, and so much more.
If you’re wondering just how grateful and proud of that we are, the answer is: absurdly.
Which is why today, we’re celebrating YOU, and the delightful, odd ride that has been #HAMYAW, and keeping this show alive through perhaps one of the most universally challenging years in recent memory.
Because without you? This show wouldn’t be what it is.
Gratitude For Each And Every One Of Y’all
So click here (or below) to catch our latest “Celebrating 1,000 Subscribers” episode so we get a chance to thank YOU for being with us on this ride.
And share with you a bit more about what this past year has been like, how you helped us keep our spirits up, and our minds focused on the future.
You rock. And the fact there are over 1,000 of you subscribed blows both of us away.
From the bottom of my heart: Thank you, thank you, thank you for being here.
We couldn’t do it without you.
HAMYAW is also moving into our summer break after this episode!
But don’t worry, we’ll be back before you know it in just a few weeks. <3
Wait, is- is that the new shirt?
I love it so much.
It feels like joy. I’m like ugh.
It was a little, oh no.
Are you hot though?
No. Well, yes.
Marketing myriads of the world.
It’s time for an episode and today we’re celebrating y’all. We hit a really fantastic milestone recently.
While it is a humble milestone in the broader YouTube community, it is something we are so proud of.
That’s right. Thanks to you all.
We were able to reach at last, the storied milestone of one thousand subscribers.
So first of all, we wanted to send a little love to you all today.
Thank you so much.
This show simply would not exist without you.
And we wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about the last year, because
it was definitely a year of trials and tribulations for everyone and the show was something
we managed to keep alive along the journey.
So we’re going to share a little bit of that with you today.
Send some gratitude and love your way.
But before we get into that, Margo what do you have to say to our one thousand plus subscribers?
I know, this is a little show that could, and y’all, it gives us so much joy.Like when you guys show up
in the comments section, when you share it with each other when you show up in our inboxes,
like it is just awesome.
And it’s growing.
I feel like it was harder for us to hit one thousand than it was for it to hit.
Like we’re at like eleven hundred now.
Yeah, exactly. Where are you all coming from?
It’s like what?
Where have you been.
No, but like really it means the world and we get show ideas from you.
So the more you share, the more we can share.
And we really started this wanting it to feel like the show we were missing.
Like we wanted to eavesdrop on conversations that were happening with other people.
And so we hope that we have been able to cultivate that for y’all in, in a way, but like, yeah, it’s cool.
It’s cool. It’s cool.
It’s so cool.
It’s like 1.1.
Yes Exactly. We feel very official.
It really is that like credibility milestone on YouTube I think to have at least thousands of subscribers, I don’t know.
No one told me that was a thing, but I feel like it is on Instagram, it’s like it takes forever to get to 3,000 followers.
And then the big milestone after that s ten thousand apparently for reasons I don’t fully understand, but what can you do?
I want to remind you all, if you’re newer to the show if you know I’ve been here, joined us even in the last year you may not know that handout was born after Hillary and Margo killed a bottle of wine.
And then it had some beers and shots and a dive bar in union square, New York City.
We started it in 2018, by the way.
So if you’re wanting to hit those 1,000 subscribers, can we join our mastermind for how to hit a thousand
subs in three years?
And I think also, we want to spend a little time because of course COVID.
I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but it it did take over most of 2020 for most of us.
What’s interesting about this show is, you know it’s not necessarily a revenue
driver for either of us.
It’s definitely a credibility builder.
But it was interesting to figure out when things were so-
And when things kind of had to be essentialized in like the spring and summer of 2020, when, Margo, you didn’t have childcare.
And the bottom was kind of falling out of the industry and everyone was just trying to make sure they were safe and,
and ends weren’t being met.
There were definitely some hard moments on the show where we had to start a sit down and to check in with each other whether or not we had the bandwidth to continue and sort of if we were continuing why and I know for me, the biggest impetus for continuing was just that I love you, Margo.
I love our beautiful, gorgeous, glorious baby thousand subscribers.
And I love doing the show and I think it’s so important, but it’s really easy to let even the important stuff go when there’s a global pandemic.
So that was part of my, I think, philosophy keeping it going.
We definitely took a break, I think for a month or two last year where we just kind of needed to let things go.
Just a month.
Yeah, just a month. Damn. God.
Yeah. Oh my God.
Where’s the time is a flat circle.
But it was such a great learning experience to figure out how we could kind of continue on.
So when, Margo, we were at that juncture where we were like should we continue the show?
Should we pause it indefinitely?
What is the point of this and where does this kind of fit into the larger strategy and into our worlds?
What was the deciding factor for you?
Because I think you were in a significantly more challenging situation than I was because you have that sweet,
beautiful, wonderful daughter of yours, and you had no childcare all of a sudden.
Yeah, it’s funny.
I actually feel like we revisit this question.
Like, what is the show for so routinely?
And I think that’s part of what makes the partnership healthy.
Yeah, it’s that we’re constantly going like, is this meeting what our business is doing?
Cause like your business has pivoted.
My business has pivoted and we go, okay is this still meeting our needs?
This is still do, like, what is it for what is it doing?
For me, I feel like I had those questions as I was shifting directions and then COVID hit.
And I actually became more clear that I needed the show as much as like, y’all like to watch it.
I needed a touchstone of being like, a human being who had thoughts and like, it was a touchstone back to the industry
and feeling like an adult who knows business.
I’m not even kidding. So many moments where I was like what are, what are words when it’s time?
Like, and I’m like trying to pretend that there’s not a sleeping baby right next to me.
And like, you know, it was it was nice to have that, that touchstone back to reality.
And also it allowed us to connect deeper, I think with what we were going through and what y’all were going
through and get to know you guys a little bit better and who you were and who stayed.
And I think I was most blown away at like people just kept watching.
If we couldn’t get promotion out that week the amount of plans we had for 2020 that died in terms of growing
this little engine that could we had CO plans, we had ad plans, we had programs.
We had live ham jams.
We have, we had so many things and we still- it’s been a minute and we still have keeping like, okay let’s
schedule that strategy.
And like, we have not scheduled it yet ’cause here we are.
Not yet. Yeah. Yeah.
It’s in a lot of text messages
But like, I think it just goes to show that, I mean you hear people talk about the long game and like being
the tortoise and the hare.
And I think learning what actually matters, and for us, it was that substance of are we hitting the root of
what y’all want to hear about?
Are we being authentic and true to like what kind of conversations would you like to be having?
What kind of things we want to share but also it helped us turn pro like for me, for sure I feel like I’m
better on podcasts
I’m better live.
I’m better off the cuff.
And thank you so much to everyone who was watching when we weren’t and has endured and hopefully sees the
And if not, awesome too. But you learn to show up you learn to grow, you learn how to turn it on but also
when you can’t like having that grace for yourself and what that even looks like and got the power of
a partnership, like Hillary has been a gift.
I’m talking as if you’re not here. We’ve talked about this before about how partnerships…
Are really hard to have. Right.
And you and I have worked through communication kinks but we also have really respected
the other person’s hustle and never commingled interests…
in a way that we’re competitive or catty or where you drop the ball.
And I know we both will feel like we dropped the ball but we overcompensate in other ways or over
communicate where it can be helpful.
And so I don’t think Hillary has ever shamed me.
She’s never been passive aggressive.
She’s never been catty.
We just make decisions.
Hey, this editing didn’t get done.
Can you do it tomorrow?
I can’t do it tomorrow.
Can I do it this day?
What do you think about pushing it two weeks?
What do you think about skipping the schedule?
What do you think about…
We have opt-in and we have open communication and we don’t get offended when something doesn’t work.
And if something is weird, you’ll, you know, you have said to me before, like Margo, like, I feel
like I’m doing the heavy lifting on this and I’m like, oh shit.
And like, we have had to have those like rumbles.
Yeah. But did it.
And I feel like we’re better for it.
And the part I love the most though, I will say is getting on here and like feeding off each other’s
I love when you have a low day and I can like bring it back.
And I love when I have low day and you carry and then, like, I don’t think the viewing experience is any
different, but y’all need to know…
It’s so strange. Like, it is so strange. Like, we filmed episodes where I’ve been like crying to Margo
and like needing to redo my like fucking concealer and mascara and eye shadow.
it’s like illuminating as to the power of showbiz, baby. Like, the camera magic, you know, it’s, it really
Like it’s the balancing out of each other on both sides.
And I’m so sorry to have cut you off…
but I did want to add one thing, that we believe each other. That is in partnership.
Like we do have to trust each other.
Yes. And then you also have to believe each other because I think that that’s one of the best things is
when we have these moments where it’s like, Hey, I’m so sorry, such a crazy week.
Didn’t catch the editing, the graphic hasn’t been done.
Like the ABC.
Like I didn’t get a chance to look at this.
And then it’s like, Hey, I’m so sorry.
I’m not going to have time.
Are you going to have time?
Let’s push it.
And neither of us is like, well you said last time, the relationship has always our
friendship has always been symbiotic.
That to me is the biggest thing where it’s not like I can’t do this today.
Oh, why not?
You know, it’s just like, okay, cool.
We’ve talked about this previously.
We did like a one-year of HAMYAW in like 2019, I think or something end of 2019.
And we talked about how we can grab the ball for each other.
Yeah. You can click wherever to find that one not our most popular episode, but a
I remember we were talking about like, when one of us drops the ball, the other can
grab it and run.
And in the past year, both of us fucking dropped the ball.
You know, and just letting that be okay.
And being patient with each other and understanding limitations because there really
wasn’t anything that we could do.
And a lot of these scenarios.
And so we were like, well if we want to keep the show alive?
We have to be able to roll with it.
And I think there’s a lot of guilt too where it’s like, well, if we don’t launch this week…
Are people going to be mad?
No one fucking notices.
Like a part of me is like, why didn’t anyone ask?
But thank you too, that’s a credit to, I think our community and our subscribers that
y’all let us be humans.
And we hope we kind of give you the space to to be the same.
I really like this frame of belief that you just used.
Because I would not have used that language, but it’s true.
Like, I come and I feel this from you, from a posture of support.
So when you say like, I’m swamped, I don’t immediately go oh fuck her for dropping me.
Like, I go,
Oh my God, she’s swamped.
How can I help her?
Everything is valuable.
And I think just knowing that everything is malleable and this sense, it’s not a giant
It is really easy.
Easy to say that.
But we also…
take our work seriously, which I think is important.
Like malleable within a framework.
Yeah. Balls are dropped occasionally, but yeah. Yeah.
…It’s so true.
But I want to piggyback off of what Hillary said to say thank you to y’all because
I think that it’s really easy to get pulled into.
Well, somebody said like, oh, where was I?
Or someone was like, you’re a YouTube channel host.
I was like, no, I am not that this is not highly produced.
It is not scripted.
It is not what I would consider…
Like we haven’t hacked YouTube and y’all, we’ve been extraordinarily lazy on that front.
So, so bad.
Yeah, every time we get our SEO shit together for like a year… Anyway, continue.
I don’t know.
I’m so proud out of us for still being on this journey and not trying to hack the system.
And when we do-
Turn, you know, the flywheel on…
we actually built because the people, y’all, who subscribe are like, you really watch.
And you really want to be here.
And you weren’t persuaded to be here.
And so that is awesome.
It just feels really cool.
It really does.
And it’s such a treat, you know I love writing my HAMYAW emails.
I love doing promo.
I love sharing about it.
I love talking about the experience of filming it.
I love talking about episodes.
I love when my clients watch it and like, members of my communities.
It’s so much fun to have.
And it was such a, I think, also, in the last year like a creative outlet where we
were able to just like talk business things and have cool conversations with people and
like, share what was on our mind and what we’re going through.
It’s really such a gift.
And it takes so much less time than writing a blog post.
And that’s another part of this, but no.
I think in terms of what the show ultimately will be we sat y’all in a restaurant in Soho
and we talked about like what the show was supposed to be.
And we were like, well, we have our like one year of proof of concept.
And then 2020 was supposed to be the year when we pulled levers and experimented and like
did a bunch of stuff.
So turns out 2020 was also a proof of concept here, not during the show itself and for its
durability and our ability to kind of keep it going and weather the storms and what was
going to happen like would growth continue and you guys kept showing up.
So we kept showing up for you.
And I can’t thank you all enough for being here…
and to Margo for being the best.
I love you.
I want to share a moment of transparency with folks that like, we’re both in marketing and
I still cannot tell you what is working about this growth.
We talk about all the time we sit down with the numbers and we’re just like, where, where
are they coming from?
Some weeks we’ll, we’ll do like double duty on one engine and one channel.
…Sometimes we’ll do it another,
Sometimes we’ll skip a day and change the day.
It’s still seems fairly consistent.
And I think it speaks to content and quality content and framing.
Like, that’s the only thing that I can see as the difference which I really makes me some sort
of content purest, which I was like, am I going to really go on and make that claim?
I don’t know.
But there are, there are natural episodes that gain traction and ones that don’t, and it still
Yeah. Fully and completely.
Do you feel anymore clarity on that?
I’m the one who likes to hang out in YouTube studio and look at the stats.
And I’m like Margo, you’ll never guess where, what was the number one traffic driver this month?
So I don’t like looking at it even though I’m not a huge data person.
I hire people for that.
But for me, I think that I always feel like the show is like a Bob Ross happy accident in
so many ways.
And I just feel like a lot of people find us this way, but they also tell each other.
And that’s what we set out to do which I think is actually really cool because when we first sat
down and talked about doing something like this, we were like we don’t necessarily want a hundred
million billion zillion followers or subscribers.
Like we, cause we want to do what we want to do.
And that’s just a lot of pressure and the amount of money and time, and just sheer fortitude…
…and testicular fortitude it takes. No thanks.
But we set out to kind of create this cult hit show cause we wanted to do it our way and see what
worked and that’s exactly what we got.
And I think that it speaks to the reality that Margo this is kind of to your point, that like,
good content does tend to win.
You know, not to say our content is like champion level but I think that there’s so much that
you can optimize and create.
And like, I think we’re definitely falling down on you know, pumping more gas into the jet engine
through stuff like ads and SEO.
But what I’m most proud of is that the content, the way we do it and our style seems to be working
and as somebody who in the copywriting world to got on many a soapbox, that style does actually
In some ways, you know, the connection people feel with you.
It’s a tool, not for fast growth, but I feel like it’s for deep growth because we have so many
subscribers who’ve been following since day one, which is just a blessing then in terms of what works
best we found that it works best.
The more revealing we are about our frustrations with like specific industry topics, the more y’all
So, we’ll continue having those open conversations and see where the line goes.
But can we talk about how surprising this was?
In retrospect, it’s not surprising…
…That I really thought people were gonna hound us for not being more tactical.
Our tactical ones. Videos, like you guys did not like them.
Y’all don’t care. What?
You don’t want three easy ways to hack your headline
And lose twenty-five pounds by tomorrow.
Thank you for not wanting that.
God bless. Seriously. Yeah.
I think we would’ve quite the show if that stuff was working.
Very much so.
But it’s been fun to kind of sit in that nuance and gray area of like…
We don’t have an answer.
Here’s what’s happening.
Why is this happening?
Yeah. One hundred percent.
And I, I think the only person who was upset that we don’t yell at websites anymore, I think is
Louis. Louis Grenier, everyone hates marketers. That guy.
He’s like, yelled at me multiple times, being like, I wish you guys yelled at more websites.
And I was like, then pick a website and come yell at it Louis. You’re not our producer.
You don’t run the show.
It’s not a phase mom.
But I think that ’cause we, we thought we were gonna to be doing more website critiques, obviously,
for a long time but it turns out it’s kind of limiting only website critiques constantly.
And digging into the stuff that actually we cared about and talked about personally, ended up being
so much more effective, which will continue to blow my mind.
Like, it is, you don’t pull that out of a content strategy, how-to formula. You just don’t.
It’s definitely a Testament to letting things be what they are and following our joy and following the
thread of what felt good and fun to us.
Turned out folks wanting to be along for the ride.
And frankly, how cool is that?
Okay. I have to ask you the question that everyone is thinking right now.
Hillary, why is HAMYAW not a podcast?
I don’t know, Margot. Why is HAMYAW not a podcast?
Well now we can say ’cause of COVID.
Yeah ’cause of COVID. We tried.
We tried, I got, I had the transistor FM membership, y’all, like, we were trying to put the podcast together,
turns out it was too much of a hassle to just deal with YouTube.
Well, no, Margo was super busy and it kind of fell to me…
…and then things. And then things started to pick up in like, my business or whatever.
And I was like, this is too much. You know, like, just put it on YouTube and put it in your butt pocket.
And like, pretend it’s a podcast.
…that is my recommended strategy.
I love you guys asking this.
I love you guys asking this and one day when we have time.
Someday we’ll hire someone.
When you buy our programs, that we will eventually launch including our swag bags and clubbing.
We will hire someone to do this and translate it to podcasts and it will be great.
And everyone will complain that the editing is not for podcasts.
And we’ll be like…
I know I’m so sorry.
And it’ll be the greatest problem we’ve ever had. One audience at a time.
Amen. One audience at a time is absolutely correct.
So you’re stuck with us on YouTube for now, children.
I hope that’s okay.
I love it.
We are so grateful for you guys.
Thank you so much for helping us hit the 1K mark.
What’s our next milestone? ‘Cause you said with YouTube, it goes
3,000 to 10.
No no, that was Instagram.
Sorry with Instagram.
So what’s our next one?
Let’s just call it two thousand?
Should we have it every hundred?
We just have a party.
Every 10 subscribers.
Fuck it, we’ll do a thank you video.
Let’s make it happen. I’m gonna do it.
Awe, we love it.
Y’all thank you so much for being part of this journey.
Thank you for hanging on with us, and hopefully this is the first three years of many more years to come.
Oh my God.
I’m trying to think…There’s so many lessons.
And I think mostly our biggest one in addition to amazing partnership and persevering and finding touchstones
and holding onto what works and paying attention, we just want to give a big giant thank you.
Shout out to all of you.
Thank you for being here.
We love hearing from you.
We love your stories.
We love knowing how the show affected you.
We also would love to hear more content ideas from y’all.
So if there’s something you want us to yell about, we read all the comments.
One day, that won’t be true because (inaudible)
We screenshot them and send them to each other.
So, just so you know, we really read the comments, y’all,
When we hit ten thousand…
We will watch the show and be like, oh, I can’t believe we told them we read all the comments.
Help us get there.
Help us be too fancy. guys.
I like being small for now because I love having that intimate connection to y’all. Like, we’re Hillary
Margot ham but y’all are our hams.
We are each other’s hams.
That’s how this relationship works.
All right, y’all.
If you liked this episode, as always hit that like button, share it with your friends, bring them to subscribe.
Let’s get to two thousand.
Thank you so much.
Hopefully, hope, no. I’m not gonna say hope.
2021 to 2022, we are going to be able to implement some new things.
So our next update we’ll actually have some interesting factoids that might help.
But in the meantime, thank you for being patient with us.
Thank you for being with us on this journey.
I am Margo Aaron and I’m Hillary Weiss.
This has been HAMYAW one thousand subs!
We’ll see you in two weeks.
We love you all.
Photo by Juliet Clare Warren