“Bonjour, je m’appelle Rosie !”
Rosie McCarthy was born in New Zealand but decided to follow her French boyfriend a few years ago and settle in Paris. That sentence you can see above is the only French sentence she knew upon arrival – it means “hi, I’m Rosie” – and it is NOT enough to survive in Paris… French people aren’t really good at English and for some reason, Parisians are even worse. What’s interesting in her story is that even though she started to feel homesick – as you do when you can’t even talk to anybody on the street and have no friends – she decided to create a YouTube channel called Not Even French to share her experience with other expats. She talked about French people, stuff that surprised her in France, and what she calls “cultural shocks”… And in a matter of months, she had already built an audience. Now, a year after, she has reached 55000 subscribers on YouTube, half of what she thinks is necessary to become a full-time youtuber.
Ironically, her audience is not the one she expected: most of her subscribers are French people who, just like me, are curious to see how they are perceived by foreigners. Moreover, Rosie’s deep analysis of French culture even helps us – French people – learn about ourselves and understand the history behind our behaviours, or our deep attachment to labour laws for example. In fact, you should probably check for yourself here.
Experiencing a new culture
That’s how I would sum up Rosie’s channel, she tells us all about France and French people, but it also works the other way around. We, the audience, experience a different culture too, hers. Her good mood and exterior point of views are two typical aspects of New Zealand’s culture, as she pointed out during the interview. People are more positive there – more than Frenchmen, which isn’t that hard – and try to focus on solutions rather than debating problems, as French and all Europeans tend to do. And… I cannot tell you how French I am on this point. I almost didn’t start this podcast because “obviously a YouTuber with 50k subscribers is never going to want to talk to me”. Well… She did. Cause yes, Rosie is the first person I ever contacted for this podcast and the first positive answer I got too. Without her, there would be no Waves Podcast. Her natural good mood cured my pessimism a little.
What about the interview though?
Well, I think it’s better you just listen to it. I mean I say this every week but it’s particularly true this time: We talked about SO MANY different stuff. YouTube keywords, getting collabs, french stereotypes, her marriage, realizing her success on YouTube, her job at L’Oréal, her creative process, learning, positivity, what shocked her the most about France, marketing VS creativity and of course, what advice she would give to her younger self… And everything I told you about just above.
So yeah, That’s a lot. And if you create content of any kind you definitely want to listen to this episode, cause it was a very good lesson/reminder for me too. She also explained how to find efficient keywords and titles to make your videos stand out on YouTube and coming from someone who’s obviously very good at it… That’s a very precious gift.
YouTube collabs and attention-seeking
Something I found particularly really interesting and that I want EVERYBODY to know, is what she said about collaborations on YouTube. She has done a few, including one of my favorite videos: her collab with comedian Paul Taylor on French insults. Paul is one of my favorite comedians in France. I mean he’s British and his act is in English… But he is just more famous in France thanks to his TV series “What The Fuck France” – which you can find here. In fact, I would love to have him on the podcast but as Rosie said, “he’s a busy guy”… Which makes it even more surprising that he accepted to appear in a “small” youtuber’s video (Rosie had less subscriber then).
See, Rosie did not plan on making a collab with him. She met him through another comedian she made a video with… And funnily enough: She didn’t plan on making a collab with her either ! She simply went to an even where Sarah Donelly was performing, had no idea who she was – a quite established comedian – and went to talk to her and compliment her on her performance. Next thing you know: Rosie has a drink with Sarah, Paul is there, they drink together, they go home… And a while after she sees in Paul Taylor’s Instagram story that he’s with Sarah, sends a heart emoji, and Paul follows her. She asks for the collab, he says yes. The end.
Luck + Professionalism + ??? = Good collab
What’s so impressive with this story is how Rosie was both “professional” and SOOO lucky – read “sooo lucky” with a bit of jealousy in the tone. Of course she was lucky ! She met Paul by chance and had drinks with him ! That’s luck ! But she also presented her video idea very clearly, offered to do all the work, record it in less than 20 minutes, said she understood how busy he was… All of the things. And it worked ! Why? Well both of these ingredients did play a huge part, obviously, but what Rosie highlighted in our convo is that she didn’t do a video with Paul Taylor to make a video with Paul Taylor. She proposed an idea that suits him and his humour perfectly : a video about insults with the comedian that stars in “What the FUCK France” – emphasis on FUCK, which is pretty rude.
See, I’ve been making videos for a while now. I started in 2013 with gaming videos recorded in my room with my best friend. We were playing FIFA, if you must know. And the first video was only the first half cause the song used in the game was copyrighted, if you must know. The point is: I started completely unprepared, as opposed to Rosie, who did study video-making a LOT before uploading anything. Then my best friend stopped making videos, and I kept doing it. I’ve felt very alone on that road and tried to reach out to my favourite YouTube to ask to make videos together. Obviously they were famous ones, obviously they said no. But it makes sense now.
I mean I’ve never been an attention-seeking kid who just wants to get likes and fame – although I would appreciate if you subscribed to my YouTube channel – but I still did not understand how collabs work. Like sure, I wasn’t trying to get some subscribers from collaborating with a famous dude. But I was really trying too hard. Here’s how it should work: you should have an idea, see it requires something else, find someone and offer them to do it. Here’s what I did: I wanted to collab with someone and tried to find ideas of stuff we could do together. It’s not as bad as just saying “make a video with me” but it’s not coming from the right creative place either, which they may have sensed through my emails.
It’s a huge lesson. Cause I still want to do collabs, and I’m really planning to make some in the future. In fact I have ideas that require other people and have kept them on hold for months because I felt like it was useless to even ask. Now I know its coming from the right place, and I’m going to try. And not only with famous people, just with people who could do the job and have fun doing it.
Yeap, huge YouTubing lesson here. And it’s like 5mns of that one-hour long podcast.