At only age 17, young YouTube entrepreneur Max Reisinger has already achieved a lot. In only a year on YouTube he managed to hit 100,000 subscribers and six months later he surpassed 200,0000. Not just content with growing his subscriber count he realised that his growth presented an opportunity to build something truly special and so launched his own clothing brand – Perspectopia. I caught up with Max on Skype recently to get an insight into how he managed to grow so quickly and also how he copes with so much attention and responsibility at such a young age.
Currently living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Max is not your typical 17 year-old. You’ll rarely find Max without camera, including when he’s at school vlogging – something which has gained him a lot of views on YouTube. Max says part of the reason why he enjoys vlogging so much is that Casey Neistat is a big inspiration for his YouTube channel. The King of Vlogging, Neistat was one of the first creators to introduce daily vlogs to YouTube. Neistat mixed up the game when it came to creating YouTube content as he mixed interesting and insightful daily interactions and thoughts with beautiful cinematic shots and beautiful editing. His videos took the viewer on a journey and it’s something Max tries to do with his vlogs too.
Max of course hasn’t been on YouTube that long but has already racked up a considerable following. His impressive success in his first year on YouTube was partly down to a handful of viral videos that did especially well on the platform. His most viewed video is titled “My FIRST DAY of AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL”, uploaded on 1st September 2019, and currently sits at just over 2.3 million views. His second most video is titled “A Day In The Life at FRENCH PUBLIC SCHOOL” and is on 2 million views. Starting to see a pattern? In fact, his four most viewed videos are vlogs from school and collectively have 7,733,179 views.
To this day Max is not sure exactly why the YouTube algorithm decided to pick up his videos. YouTube’s algorithm often has a massive part to play in making videos go viral. It decides what content is featured on the ‘trending’ page as well as in people’s ‘recommended videos’ section and their ‘up next’. According to Max the videos didn’t go viral straight away, “The ‘Day in the life at French public school’ was only my third video on YouTube and for a couple of months it only had about 5K to 10K views” says Max. “And then, when I started to go back to school along with all the other kids in France the YouTube algorithm picked them up and the views started to pile in.”
Now many people with new found viral videos would have been tempted to simply milk the content for as much as it’s worth. Putting out video after video trying to copy what they did that made their video famous – but not Max. Instead, Max recognised that going viral presented an much bigger and better opportunity – the opportunity to build a brand. Rather than simply look for another quick viral video buzz he instead started to think more long term about what he wanted to build. After giving it a good amount of thought he eventually decided on creating his own clothing brand – Perspectopia.
Perspectopia is a mix of two words – ‘perspective’ and ‘utopia’. For Max, these two words sum up well what he aims for with his channel. “I always wanted to share experiences and perspectives with my channel. Through my YouTube audience I started to realise the power that brings. I wanted a way to bring my subscribers together. I was seeing the numbers getting higher but I didn’t really feel like I was building a community.
Perspectopia is a mix of perspective and utopia and the brand aims to symbolise a positive outlook and people coming together and aiming for something more. It mirrors what I try to do with my YouTube channel and I’m really proud of how it’s turned out”.
It got off to a great start, his first drop of 100 hoodies sold out in 9 minutes. Subsequent drops have been equally successful and Max is excited for where it’s going.
I asked him to describe how he felt when he first went viral, “it was pretty surreal” he admits, “I think the feeling carried with me for the next couple of weeks. It’s something that every Youtuber dreams about but when it actually does happen it’s so surreal. It felt pretty incredible but at the same time it was hard to understand what was happening because all I could see was numbers.”
“But then, over time, I started to get a lot of messages from people who watched my videos. I got to see the personal connections people had with my videos and that’s when things felt super real. At first going viral is a such a shock but then later on you start to see the real impact and that’s what really hit me.”
There’s no doubt that Max has already achieved a lot on and off of YouTube and he’s only 17. If you look at Max’s videos you will often find comments from people stating how they look up to him and are inspired by him, especially since he has started Perspectopia and his content has shifted more to entrepreneurship and self-development.
At such a young age, I asked Max how he felt when reading those comments and whether he felt a lot of pressure because of it.
“I am usually caught by surprise when I read those questions” admits Max. “At times I forget that people are actually watching my videos and that I’m able to have an effect on them. From my perspective, I am just making videos and uploading them, so to read comments like that is really special and makes the work feel all the more important. I have never felt nervous or pressured by those comments, just motivated to make even more content. I know that I won’t be able to witness 99% of the effect that I’m having on people all over the world, but I think that’s the beauty of it. Somewhere in the world one of my videos just made someone smile. The thought of that is exponentially positive in my mind and also puts a huge smile on my face.
Having had such viral success, in part thanks to YouTube’s algorithm, I asked him whether he recommended trying to play ‘the algorithm game’. By that, I mean where you try and make videos that appeal to YouTube’s powerful algorithm but he didn’t recommend it. “First and foremost you have to make content you like” says Max. “Whenever I’ve tried to have a more clickbait title or appeal to the algorithm it hasn’t exactly worked. I’ve found that just sticking true to myself eventually works out in the end.”
“I’ve always come at my YouTube channel from a perspective of documenting my life growing up and hoping that people will come along for that. Whatever I decide to delve into and am passionate about I will film about.”
Of course I couldn’t let Max leave without asking him for some parting wisdom for other YouTubers and influencers who are looking to grow fast. Max said there wasn’t “a secret recipe” but he did have this advice:
“One thing I’ve noticed with my channels and other channels is that the more you stick to your genuine self the more people will like you and they’ll want to stick around and subscribe to you. It’s becoming more and more obvious when people are pretending to be something that they’re not. So I think staying true to who you are and making videos about things that are important and interesting to you is the way to go.”
“The quickest way to growth on YouTube that I’ve found is to share new experiences, perspectives, or anything that hasn’t been seen or done before. There is a lot of value there and bringing value to other people will always get rewarded. In my case, filming in a public French school hadn’t been done before in the way that I filmed and edited it. Bringing that new experience to people as well as sharing my perspective on it caught the interest of a large group of people. It provided value and was rewarded by the algorithm. Overall, it’s important to try not to get caught up with the numbers and to remember it’s all about the story you tell at the end of the day.”
If you’d like to find out more about Max Reisinger then go check out his YouTube Channel and Instagram (@maxbrsee). His next Perspectopia drop is this autumn so keep your eyes peeled for that. The best way to keep on top of Perspectopia drops is by following them on Instagram (@perspectopia).
I would like to say a huge thank you to Max for giving me his time. If you’re an online influencer and think you also have a story to tell then please get in touch by heading to our Contact Us page. Please also make sure to like The Modern Influencer on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@TMInfluencer) and Instagram (@the_modern_influencer).