If you needed to find a prime example of how a content creator should evolve, you needn’t look further than YouTuber turned TikTok star PJ “Overtflow” Brittain.
Overtflow started out in 2010 by making Call of Duty videos on YouTube. Since then, he’s grown into one of the top gaming content creators, pulling in half a million subscribers on the platform.
A major boost in his fanbase came in 2019 when he was asked to start making videos on TikTok; he has since garnered almost two million followers. He has also branched outside of video games to incorporate more of his personal life and outside interests into his content.
We were fortunate enough to get to ask Overtflow a few questions about how he started out, the importance and appeal of TikTok, and various insights into how he approaches his content and personal brand. Check it out!
Let’s go all the way back to the beginning: what initially got you into video games, and more specifically, creating content for games?
Overtflow: As a little kid, my grandpa would play Super Mario 64 with me for hours, and that initially got me into gaming. As far as creating content, it started in 2010 when I was injured in a wrestling match. I blew out my shoulder and during that time, I started making Call of Duty “sniping” content on YouTube.
Making content on YouTube in 2010 is vastly different from making content for YouTube, Twitch, TikTok etc. in 2020. How much has the game changed in the past decade, and what major shifts did you have to make to stay at the top?
Overtflow: It is definitely extremely different, as nowadays, a lot more people are involved in it. Back when I started, everyone knew each other and it was a much smaller, tight-knit community. Nowadays, there’s millions of people creating content. To stay on top and to stay relevant, I had to continue to evolve and adapt, including working on improved editing for my content, staying with trends, and keeping in touch with and growing my community.
You notably co-founded an influencer house in Las Vegas. Just how much of a difference has that made in the world of content creation? Tell us about what you think needs to be the recipe for success when putting together an influencer house.
Overtflow: It’s huge. It is amazing when you’re able to have a group of people all focused on the same goal. In those cases, you can do more in one month than you could in a year being solo. It’s important to have everyone on the same page and with the same mentality so that everyone is pulling their own weight with eyes on the same prize.
You’ve grown a large audience on TikTok, nearing 2 million followers: what is it about the platform that drew you to it? How important is it for other esports and gaming content creators to figure out TikTok’s appeal?
Overtflow: Based on my past work on YouTube, I was initially asked by TikTok to come over and start creating gaming content in 2019. After the first week of using it, I realized how fun and shareable the content on the platform is. It provides the perfect bite-sized content piece that is perfectly recommended depending on what the viewer is interested in.
It is without a doubt the best platform out right now and every creator should be on it, whether it’s full time or just to promote their other social platform.
Gaming content aside, you’ve competed in the 2018 NBA Summer League celebrity influencer game, and were also featured in the undercard of the KSI-Logan boxing match, among other things. How else would you like to incorporate your interests outside of gaming into your personal brand?
Overtflow: My video content that really pushed me to the next level was when I started introducing vlog/gaming mixed content. Sharing my personal life and interests boosted my content for sure. I would love to compete in another boxing event or even an MMA styled event. In addition to that, I’m including more and more of my personal life into my content.
As you continue to grow as an influencer, more brands and sponsorships will continue to reach out to you for marketing purposes. How do you go about deciding which of these to associate with it? Where would you like your personal brand to go, and how does this factor in when considering sponsorships to promote?
Overtflow: I basically pick and choose based off of the brand and whether I actually enjoy the product, and whether or not my audience would enjoy these brands. I’m a lifestyle brand focused around gaming and so the majority of my current brand deals also focus around that.
COVID-19 has had an immeasurable impact around the world, and the esports/content creation industries are no exception. How did you adapt to the sudden changes brought on by the pandemic, and what is your approach in the future as people adapt to the “new normal”?
Overtflow: The craziest thing is that everyone doing social media full time experienced a tremendous boost in followers during this time. I’m assuming it’s because everyone was stuck at home as I personally grew to over a million.
Finally, with the recent wave of sexual misconduct and harassment in streaming, content creation, and various competitive esports communities, what role do you think public figures and organizations have in setting a better example for the future? What do you think needs to be done to create as welcoming and safe a community as possible?
Overtflow: I believe that treating people with respect and being a standup role model in the community is the most important thing.
(Questions and answers have been edited for clarity)