Natalie and Tara are the comedic
Natalie and Tara
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From colonial cooking to changing their own oil to going on Atlas Obscura adventures, Natalie and Tara have no shortage of experiences they are willing to share with their audience. We had the chance to talk with them about how they have found their audience by doing what they do best, trying things.
How did you two meet?
Natalie: What happens in LA is improv people get together and have improv parties in their living room, and we were at one of these said parties. Tara and I were the only girls there and somehow we got relegated to the kitchen hanging out by ourselves.
Tara: Because they were not good improv people. We would get tagged out after being up there for like 5 seconds.
Natalie: Yeah, they were not great; they kept tagging us out because they thought they were funnier than we were.
Tara: Which is incorrect, I mean look who’s still making comedy. Yeah, WE ARE!
Natalie: So we ended up in the kitchen and talking about our love for Monty Python. And then I happened to be in a show a couple of weeks later that was an all-female cast doing Monty Python sketches, and I cold-called Tara, I didn’t even know her name at the time — [laughs] like “that girl who I was talking to in the kitchen, can I get her number?” I called her up and we ended up doing the show. Thick as thieves ever since.
What made you want to start making videos?
Natalie: So we made “Imaginary Friends,” our short film. We got back from a festival and we’re sitting around thinking, “What are we doing next?”
Tara: We wanted to keep making stuff; we wanted to keep making and editing and putting out content. But making a true traditional media project, it takes a lot of time and a lot of money. Like it takes a year to get a short film done sometimes, just because you can’t afford to pay the editor enough to get your project done first.
Natalie: A big part of it is, we knew that when we would release “Imaginary Friends” on Youtube that no one would watch it. No one would see it. So we went from knowing that maybe 12 friends would watch it over time then [it woud] waste away on YouTube. On the first day that we released it, we had over 100 views in its first day. That was our goal: build our little fanbase so that when we do stuff, it would get seen.
Tara: Yeah, to find the people that would like the kind of stuff we like making. I still often see really great web shows kinda waste away on YouTube because no one is following their account because there is so much content on YouTube, and I didn’t want that to happen to our stuff.
For the first three months, we didn’t tell anyone we were doing the show.
How did you go about actually FINDING your audience?
Natalie: For the first three months, we didn’t tell anyone we were doing the show. We just put it up there and Tara learned how to edit while doing it. We didn’t know, we still don’t know, what we’re doing. We didn’t understand lighting; we were filming all of it on Tara’s iPhone at the time, so those first three months, we didn’t tell anyone because we didn’t want to start pimping it out to our friends yet.
Tara: Yeah, this kinda gave a chance to figure out what we were going to be all about and kinda get a system down before we had any set expectations.
How did your audience find you since you weren’t really promoting the channel yet?
Natalie: We found a channel that we loved, Townsends. They do 18th-century cooking, and we decided to try one of their recipes and then we sent it to them. They saw it and they loved it, and they mentioned us in their live stream and we had SO many people watch that episode and they thought we were really funny, so they watched a bunch of our other videos.
Natalie: It’s impossible to get in front of just the food lovers, or just the travel lovers … we do all of it.
Tara: I think we have made a point to find other channels and find other things that we are genuinely enthusiastic about, and because we love them so much, they want to promote it.
Like, “look at these girls who love my car video so much; look they did it, too. Like, they’re bad at it but you can use my video, too, and do better than they did to change your oil.”
Once you found your audience, how did you get that audience to grow?
Natalie: Our current process of building our audience is talking to EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. Who comments on a video. We are amazingly engaged with them, and they are amazingly engaged with us. And we find that every person that we do talk to ends up coming back. We have these die-hard fans that are there.
Our current process of building our audience is talking to every single person who comments.
Tara: It kind of makes it more fun, too. After commenting back on every single comment, after a while you start to build a rapport with people, and then it starts to become really fun when they pop into the live stream and you have inside jokes with them.
I also try to get on YouTube and go watch other people’s content and start talking to other people as well. What I’m noticing is that some people will end up coming over to our channel and subscribe.
Natalie: Our live stream, Shh Shh Secret Time, is just for those kids who are watching it.
And we’re probably hurting our channel by doing this, you know; we get 120 views for a short while then hide it when the stream is over, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s become successful within our own community.
Tara: Yeah, I love Shh Shh Secret Time.
What’s the most rewarding part of finding your audience?
Natalie: I’d have to say Shh Shh Secret Time. Every time that we flip that stream on and you see there’s X amount of people waiting. You know, having spent an hour and a half talking to people and their so nice, I mean, they love us and we love them.
Tara: It’s so rewarding knowing people’s handle and having that rapport; it’s super fun.
Natalie: We have people who will give us, like, specific comments on every video. To the point where when we’re filming we’re like “Oh Elizabeth is going to get a KICK out of this one.” There are times where we’ll address the audience while we’re recording.
Tara: Yeah, right now, we’re in this small little sweet spot where we’re still small so we can keep up with our subscribers. Like as much as you want to be a big YouTuber and have this massive following of people, right now, because it’s so small, we actually know everybody and can have that relationship with our audience. And that relationship is going to beget more followers because we’ll keep trying to maintain it.
Natalie: Another really rewarding moment was when we got a postcard from one of our subscribers.
Tara: I don’t think she ever commented before.
Natalie: But, because of our Atlas Obscura videos, she went out and started to search Atlas Obscura sites in her town and sent us a postcard from one of the sites. It was our FIRST PIECE OF FAN MAIL. Like someone was inspired by something we did.
Tara: To me, that’s what it’s all about. I mean activating people to buy a product is fine, but activating people to do something in their lives that betters their life is so rewarding. That’s kinda what the show is for me; like, I’m using it to have a really fun life. [laughs]
Natalie: [laughs] Yeah, it’s an excuse to do stuff.
Tara: Like I make the excuse of “we’ll make an episode of it” because I wanna do a thing. And that’s been so fun.
For YouTubers trying to find their audience, what would you recommend they do?
Natalie: It’d say the first step is to find your voice. Like know who you are on YouTube and then [don’t change] that. I mean if you grow, you grow, but I think people fall into the trap of getting advice that works for other people but doesn’t work for them. So if it doesn’t go along with your voice, don’t change it. Like, if you aren’t unique, no one is going to watch your channel anyways.
Tara: Like, we’re very similar to Good Mythical Morning and the Try Guys, but we’re never going to be those guys or do what they do — we’re doing what we do in our own way.
Natalie: When it comes to getting in front of people, you have to play the game and keep putting stuff out there. Build your subscribers one subscriber at a time.Natalie: Yeah, and like, one thing should create the other. People who find you should find you unique and entertaining and then want to follow, and you keep them by interacting. And then when people go to your videos and see that you’re interactive, they’re much more likely to come back and engage. Like, they’re not watching a television show; they are participating in it.
Tara: Yeah, they chose YouTube because YouTube is a participation space. So participate. I feel like getting subscribers follows the same rules of good networking. Good networking is making friends. If you’re going to a party to network, find people you genuinely like and make friends with those people and you’ll be friends for years. I have people I’ve met at networking parties and we’re friends now, because the purpose wasn’t to network and get something out of them, the goal was to make friends with them. And the rest of the people who I don’t jive with — whatever, see you around.
Natalie: Also, for subscriber count, don’t do any of that false stuff to get subscribers (aka buying subscribers), because if they’re not watching, then who cares? Like, we have some viewers who fall off and we’re happy because if we’re not their cup of tea, we’re not their cup of tea. We don’t need to just be filling people’s subscription box; that’s not doing us any good.
We’re doing what we do in our own way.
Tara: Based on what YouTube values now, subscriber count is less important and what is more important is that people are watching you in their watch time. Having a huge subscriber count isn’t the goal anymore, so don’t let that small number bother you.
Natalie: Remember to hydrate. [laughs]
Tara: [laughs] Yeah, drink lots of water!