Welcome to Creators on the Rise, the place—in partnership with international creator firm Jellysmack—we discover and profile breakout creators who’re within the midst of extraordinary development.
Lisa Nguyen has at all times beloved meals–however she hasn’t at all times loved cooking it.
By her personal judgment, the Kansas-based creator was not precisely knowledgeable chef initially of the pandemic. Her expertise have been extra alongside the traces of microwave ramen than filet mignon. That doesn’t imply, nevertheless, that she’s inexperienced within the methods of the kitchen.
Over the previous few years, Nguyen has spent numerous hours behind the scenes at eating places–she simply wasn’t the one making ready meals. As the founding father of culinary videography firm Telehue Food, Nguyen made a full-time job of touring to small and family-owned eating places across the U.S. to doc their signature dishes and inform their origin tales. She shared these movies on Telehue Food’s varied social media accounts, and attracted modest followings of 75,000 folks on Facebook, 54,000 on Instagram, and 159,000 on YouTube.
Then, in early 2020, Nguyen discovered her Telehue Food journey schedule restricted by COVID-19. Stuck at dwelling and caught consuming immediate noodles meal after meal, she determined to take a crack at being a culinarian herself.
Nguyen started importing movies of her trial-and-error cooking assessments on TikTookay, the place thus far she’s amassed 1.6 million followers with movies about making all the pieces from hot pot to steak and potatoes to lobster to uber-fancy french toast. In December, after YouTube launched its TikTookay competitor Shorts, Nguyen launched a channel separate from her Telehue Food account and commenced bringing her shortform content material over to see whether or not YouTube viewers wished to dig in.
Turns out they did.
Nguyen’s channel took off in January with the introduction of her spice tolerance series, which noticed her consuming a wide range of scorching meals in an try to organize herself to endure the buzzy spicy noodle challenge. The sequence was initially imagined to comply with her for simply 4 days, however when the very first video racked up 24 million views, Nguyen determined to maintain it going.
Nguyen’s YouTube channel spiked in January, and now brings greater than 200 million views per thirty days. Data from Gospel Stats.
In the six months since, Nguyen’s channel has boiled from 18 million views and 53,000 new subscribers in January to 113 million views in February, 121 million views in March, 157 million views in April, and 212 million in May. She now drops every day cooking movies for greater than 1.5 million subscribers.
For Nguyen, the spike in engagement has “fueled my fireplace to proceed what I used to be already doing, however on a much bigger scale,” she says. She has plans for livestreamed content material, is growing merch, and–when the pandemic eases–hopes to journey internationally, searching for extra scrumptious dishes to share together with her viewers.
Check out our chat together with her beneath.
Tubefilter: Tell us just a little about you! Where are you from? How did you get into cooking?
Lisa Nguyen: My title is Lisa Nguyen, and I used to be born and raised in Kansas. I solely not too long ago acquired into cooking final yr, throughout the pandemic. I used to be cooking a bunch of immediate ramen initially of the pandemic since I didn’t know how one can cook dinner, and that’s what led me into making an attempt to cook dinner different issues. I’m nonetheless studying daily!
Tubefilter: You run a enterprise and web site referred to as Telehue Food. What is Telehue Food? When did you launch it? Why did you determine to give attention to journey content material, and why do you function small and family-owned companies?
LN: Telehue Food is an organization I based a number of years in the past. I movie and edit restaurant movies to spotlight the meals in addition to inform the story concerning the folks behind the scenes. I centered on journey content material as a result of that’s what I wished to do and nonetheless do. I need to journey to new cities, states, and international locations to attempt completely different cuisines and study extra about different cultures.
The cause I give attention to family-owned companies is as a result of they don’t at all times have the most important advertising and marketing budgets, and usually movies are the very last thing on their minds. If I can go in and shoot a video, edit it, after which submit it on my platforms to carry new clients to their restaurant, then I’ve accomplished my job. And it’s not fully selfless, as a result of I’m constructing my model together with them constructing their companies.
Tubefilter: When did you begin making movies on YouTube? Why did you select YouTube as your predominant platform? Did you recognize what sort of content material you wished to make once you launched your channel, or did you work that out alongside the way in which?
LN: I began making movies on my Telehue Food YouTube channel a number of years in the past. I posted behind-the-scenes footage of my restaurant visits together with random meals movies at dwelling. My largest platform was Facebook, then TikTookay, and now my YouTube channels are surpassing each of them.
I didn’t intend for YouTube to be my predominant platform, however I’m very comfortable that it’s. When I began my channel, I at all times knew I might create meals content material. I simply by no means knew I might get to get pleasure from cooking a lot. I believed I used to be simply going to proceed to do restaurant movies, so the cooking factor is unquestionably a shock.
Tubefilter: Your YouTube channel has not too long ago seen a noticeable enhance in subscribers and views. Do you recognize which video or occasion triggered this improve? If sure, what do you assume made that video significantly fashionable?
LN: My YouTube channel acquired an enormous enhance to start with from my spice tolerance sequence [embedded above]. In January, I made a decision to construct my spice tolerance with a view to attempt to beat a spicy noodle problem. It was solely imagined to final 4 days, however right here we’re arising on Day 19. I believe it’s so fashionable as a result of folks identical to to see different folks in ache. And I believe folks have been genuinely to see if it’s attainable to construct your spice tolerance.
After that, I’ve been dabbling in a bunch of random meals content material. In the start, it was a mixture of immediate ramen, steak, and spring rolls, however I’ve been actually making an attempt to increase my cooking expertise.
Tubefilter: You’ve been posting quite a lot of content material to YouTube Shorts, and Shorts has been a giant a part of your current improve in subs and views. Why did you begin posting to Shorts? Have you tried posting shortform movies earlier than?
LN: I created a second channel below my private title in November, after I heard about YouTube Shorts. I had grown to about 300,000 TikTookay followers at the moment, so I believed I might simply create a take a look at YouTube account the place I repurposed my TikTookay movies. I had about 200 quick movies at the moment, so there was an abundance of content material, however with the ability to submit them as Shorts on YouTube meant that I used to be capable of attain a brand new group. And fortunately, most individuals appreciated my movies. At the tip of January, my movies acquired picked up by the algorithm, and it’s been a wild journey since.
Tubefilter: How has YouTube Shorts modified issues on your channel? What is YouTube Shorts like when it comes to attracting views and subscribers versus YouTube predominant? Is it simpler? What different perks does Shorts provide?
LN: YouTube Shorts has allowed me to share my tales with folks from everywhere in the world. And I couldn’t be extra grateful. By beginning off with quick movies on this platform, it additionally paved the way in which for me to have the ability to create longer content material as properly–which I’ve had expertise with on my longer restaurant movies on different platforms.
Tubefilter: What do you hope folks take away out of your content material?
LN: The predominant factor that I hope folks take away from my content material is that hopefully folks understand cooking will not be as intimidating because it appears to be like. I imply, I went my total life barely cooking, and now I create cooking content material for probably hundreds of thousands of individuals to see. We all have to start out someplace, and I hope by way of my cooking errors, individuals are capable of study as properly.
Tubefilter: Has your current engagement uptick modified something for you? Do you will have any new plans or objectives on your content material profession? Is content material a full-time pursuit for you proper now?
LN: The current engagement uptick has simply fueled my fireplace to proceed what I used to be already doing, however on a much bigger scale. I need to journey internationally as a lot as attainable. I’ve made many digital friendships over the previous yr, and one in every of my objectives is to have the ability to meet all of them.
Tubefilter: What’s your favourite a part of making content material as a complete?
LN: My favourite half about creating content material as a complete is attending to share tales that different folks discover relatable. This sounds cliche, however we’re all not that completely different from one another.
Tubefilter: What’s subsequent within the speedy future for you and your channel? Where do you see your self in 5 years?
LN: I’m truly engaged on merch proper now! I’m finalizing the designs, however ought to have them out quickly.
I’ve acquired some large journeys deliberate for the upcoming months the place I’ll be assembly up with foodies to shoot a bunch of meals content material.
On prime of that, I’m making an attempt to do as many cooking livestream collabs as attainable. I’ve been doing about one per week with meals content material creators I’ve meant nearly.
Lastly, I’m excited to proceed to develop my gaming channel. I used to recreation loads again in highschool, and now I’m getting again into it and I’m getting the prospect to fulfill extra superb folks!
In 5 years, I hope my cooking has gotten significantly better. And I hope I’m nonetheless touring and filling my stomach with scrumptious meals!
Jellysmack is the worldwide creator firm that detects and develops the world’s most proficient video creators. The firm’s proprietary video optimization know-how and information drive social viewers development, unlocking new income streams and amplifying monetization.
Currently dwelling to over 150 influential Creators together with PewDiePie, MrBeast, Brad Mondo, and Bailey Sarian, Jellysmack optimizes, operates, and distributes creator-made video content material to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTookay, Twitter, and YouTube. Jellysmack-managed content material boasts 10 billion international month-to-month video views and a cross-platform attain of 125 million distinctive U.S. customers, making it the most important U.S. digital-first firm in month-to-month social media viewers.
Looking to develop your social presence? Let’s talk.