Beast mode just took on a whole new meaning. Last week, video creator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, made history as the second individual creator to hit 100 million YouTube subscribers on a single channel.
Often referred to as “YouTube’s biggest philanthropist,” MrBeast has pioneered a video genre that’s rooted in extreme stunts with a philanthropic twist. Two of his most popular videos include being buried alive and giving away a million dollars to people who had just one chaotic minute to spend it. Many of his videos include cash giveaways to local homeless shelters, The Salvation Army, and St. Jude’s Research Hospital.
Between his jokes and generosity, it’s hard not to watch him. So it should come as no surprise that on July 28, Jellysmack creator partner MrBeast reached that beyond impressive 100 million mark. Up until now, OG creator PewDiePie had been the only individual to cross that threshold.
In true MrBeast fashion, Jimmy live-streamed the historic event. But instead of elaborate television-quality sets or over-the-top stunts, this video aired on one of his sub-channels, MrBeast 2, and was stripped down to bare the true heart behind the globally recognized MrBeast brand—Jimmy himself. It was just him on the screen, casually leaning back in a chair in front of a ticker as the numbers flashed behind him. When the numbers suddenly jump past 100M, it almost catches him off guard.
“Oh my god! We hit it!” he says with a massive smile. Cue a small sprinkle of confetti thrown from off screen. “It’s such a pretty number.”MrBeast
But the story of MrBeast and his seemingly rapid rise to the 100 million club is about more than simply creating must-watch content. He’s a highly likable, authentic, audience-first creator, who cares deeply about community and giving back. He’s been taking the creator business mainstream and his membership in this elite club of creators is certainly well-deserved.
Let’s dive into how he reached this milestone, because, as a world-class brand, there’s a lot all creators can learn from him.
1. He Invests in Himself… Literally
Arguably one of the most interesting things about MrBeast’s business model is that he cares deeply about becoming better. He reinvests all the money he makes from his content into making more content, which he says has contributed to his success and growth.
At VidCon in June he spoke about his approach. “I’ve reinvested all the money I’ve made through my content, spending it to create more content. That’s what keeps it growing.”
It took MrBeast four years to hit his first big milestone (he hit 100,000 subscribers in 2016), but he never gave up on voice or his fans. He never gave up on himself.
We all want big wins and instant success, but it’s the hours spent behind-the-scenes grinding it out that truly matter.
2. MrBeast Has an Authentic, Audience-First Mindset
For anyone looking to grow and better understand their audience, dashboards and metrics play a pivotal role in recognizing the type of content people want. And though MrBeast appreciates the value of data, he’s said many times that he has an audience-first mindset.
During last month’s VidCon, MrBeast chatted with YouTube about this specifically. His advice? “Replace the word algorithm with audience.”
And we see him do this time and again. He leans into pop culture trends to drive his content roadmap. In September 2021, when “Squid Game” landed on Netflix and quickly took over the digital world, it didn’t take long for the popularity of the show to inspire MrBeast to put his own spin on it.
His single-episode version on YouTube, entitled “$456,000 Squid Game In Real Life!” was a 25-minute video featuring 456 players who participated in multi-level challenges. In five days, he amassed more than 120 million views. It felt like everyone was talking about it. And that happened because he prioritized his audience rather than just chasing metrics.
“Focus more on how to become a better storyteller and less about how to game the algorithm,” he told us at VidCon.
3. Purpose and Community Drive Him
MrBeast is generous at his core. Not only does he give back to the community in his videos— he’s offered cash giveaways to individuals, small businesses, and worthy organizations—but he uses his brand and audience to make a difference.
In 2020, he started Beast Philanthropy, a food pantry for people in underserved areas. The organization has fed over 111,000 people to date.
A year later he co-founded the collaborative fundraiser Team Trees, which not only planted over 23 million trees worldwide, but removed 32 million pounds of trash from the ocean.
It seems like he’s never not giving.
4. He Refuses to Get Stale
Even though certain topics may perform well, MrBeast tries not to do a single series for too long.
Take his Twitch donate reaction videos, for example. People were devouring them, but he knew when it was time to move on. His motto: “Try to predict the future, and pivot before you run an idea into the ground.”
As one of the many creators that we at Jellysmack signed to our fast-growing Creator Program, he’s a true force with an enormous reach to do and spread good. The best part of it all, is that he’s been able to remain focused on what matters. After hitting this 100M milestone, he Tweeted out a promise to his fans.
“I just want to say that no matter how big I get I’ll never own a mansion, yacht, Lamborghini, etc. All I want is to make the best videos possible and help as many people as I can while doing it.”@MrBeast via Twitter