Welcome to TikTok Millionaires, where—in partnership with influencer marketing business Fanbytes—we profile creators who have crossed the one million subscriber mark on TikTok. Each week, we’ll chat with a newly minted Millionaire about their life, their content, and their creative goals for the days to come.
For Mr. Tov, TikTok took more than a year, but also just a couple of weeks, to turn from a temporary download into a full-time career.
Let us explain: When he first installed Musical.ly back in 2018, Mr. Tov (real name Ola Ojo) didn’t actually want to use it. He just wanted to download a surprisingly elusive copy of the app’s viral dancing alien meme to include in his Instagram content–and with that done, he shuffled Musical.ly off the main screen of his phone and forgot about it.
At the time, Ojo was 100% focused on Instagram. An IT specialist by trade, he’d walked away from his very first job in the industry after being inspired by his boss. “The owner of the company was a young man in his early 30s, and watching how much he had achieved made me realise that I could do much better for myself by having my own business and doing what I love the most,” Ojo says.
@mr_tovThe midwife just told us that our baby is almost here😍 I’m following random people who press share and copy link 👍🏽##ad @keithurban♬ Polaroid – Keith Urban
Instagram had seemed like a natural fit for his comedy and lifestyle content, but Ojo was finding it difficult to build an audience there. Still, he’s not easily deterred, so he kept at it…until summer 2019. By then, ByteDance had merged Musical.ly with TikTok, and the app was experiencing rapid growth across the globe. Ojo, who was entertaining himself while his wife shopped, found TikTok in his phone and started browsing.
Here’s where “just a couple of weeks” comes in: Ojo posted his first TikTok June 3. Nineteen videos later, on June 24, his content hit the app’s famed #foryou page, and he racked up 7 million views on this video. “That was when I decided it was time to make TikTok my main profile,” he says.
His decision has so far paid off. Over the past year, Ojo has amassed 1.7 million followers, and TikTok has become a business for him–and his family. His wife, Livia, has 182K followers, and the duo’s due-any-day-now kiddo, dubbed Baby Tov, already has their own account with 30K followers.
According to Ojo, the difference between struggling on Instagram and finding fame on TikTok comes down to one thing: “TikTok is the only platform where a normal person can be treated as a star.”
Check out our chat with him below.
@mr_tovSo @livia_tov ordered a baby doll from amazon to see if I’m ready to be a daddy 😂 The doll is arriving today, I’m excited 😁 ##isolationgames♬ original sound – mr_tov
Tubefilter: How does it feel to hit one million followers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Ola Ojo: I still cannot believe I have over one million fans on TikTok. It’s a dream come true. I never expected it to happen anytime in years to come, but my fans made it happen. I want to say a very massive thank you to all my fans for thinking I deserve 1.7 million followers. I could not have done it without you, and together we’ll keep growing.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? What did you do in the days before TikTok?
OO: I am Ola Ojo, popularly known as Mr. Tov. I am a British Nigerian. My family is from Lagos, Nigeria, which is where I was born as well. I moved to the U.K. when I was much younger, and I’ve been living here ever since.
I’ve always had a great sense of humour before I even knew what the word meant. I would always make jokes and get everyone around me laughing. It’s just who I am, I do it effortlessly. I love making people around me happy and taking life easy.
Before TikTok, I studied at Coventry University, where I got a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology with First Class Honours. Yes, I am a first class graduate and IT genius, so why am I not working in IT? After uni, I worked in a very nice company and everything was great. The owner of the company was a young man in his early 30s, and watching how much he had achieved made me realise that I could do much better for myself by having my own business and doing what I love the most. I love IT, but what I love more is making people laugh, so it was a no-brainer for me: I decided to go fully into social media content creation.
Tubefilter: How did you first find out about TikTok? What made you decide to join and start posting videos?
OO: There was a dancing green alien trend on Musical.ly (now TikTok) a while ago, and I wanted to do the trend for my Instagram fans. The only way I could get the audio was from Musical.ly, so I downloaded the app just to get it. I didn’t touch the app until over a year later, when I was out shopping with my wife and I got bored because she was busy checking out items to buy. So I opened the Musical.ly app and made a random video in the shop and posted it, and after that I posted a few more videos and one of them had over 7 million views, that was when I decided it was time to make TikTok my main profile.
Tubefilter: When did you start collecting followers? Was there one specific video that went viral or hit the For You page and brought people in, or has your audience been growing steadily over time?
OO: My growth on TikTok has been a combination of both steady and spikey. When I started making videos on TikTok, 10,000 views seemed like a viral video to me. Then I would get one with 100,000 views, and I would scream until I got one with over 7 million views, and then I knew what a viral video was. Some days I gained 100 followers, while other days I gained 100,000 followers. It’s been a very interesting journey.
Tubefilter: What do you think draws creators and viewers to TikTok? What makes it a unique and engaging platform?
OO: TikTok is the only platform where a normal person can be treated as a star. I was on Instagram for a long time and barely made it to 100,000 followers, but on TikTok, I would get over 100,000 new people following me in a day sometimes. You could literally download the TikTok app today and post a video of your dog wagging its tail and the video could get 50 million views. That’s insane! No other platform has been able to offer that. The For You page of TikTok is also so interesting to watch and keep you glued to your phone screen for hours.
@mr_tovThis made me cry 😩💔… Say YEET if you love your parents,if not say HELP 😊Share with all the people you love ❤️♬ original sound – mr_tov
Tubefilter: Have you worked on any collaborations with other creators or any sponsored content with brands?
OO: I’ve been able to meet up, work, and party with so many TikTok creators, including ones who were on the platform long before I even knew what TikTok was. It’s a really good feeling to meet the people you’ve been watching for a long time. Thanks to Fanbytes, I’ve also done a lot of sponsored content with several big brands that would have never looked at me if not for TikTok. I’ve met big celebrities like Anne-Marie, Raye, and also got invited to meet Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther).
Tubefilter: Where does TikTok fit into your average day? How much time do you spend brainstorming/creating content? What else do you get up to?
OO: A huge chunk of my time daily is spent on TikTok. My wife has got over 100,000 followers on TikTok, I have 1.7 million followers, and our unborn baby has almost 30K followers already. I plan to get the baby to 100,000 followers before it is born, so we are a TikTok family.
I wake up in the morning, say my prayers, brush my teeth, and go to my home office to brainstorm ideas for my TikTok videos for the day. Sometimes when I can’t come up with anything, my wife joins me in the brainstorming. It’s a serious business, hahaha.
After filming videos for the day, I edit them, post them, then I start livestreaming shortly after. It’s so intense that sometimes I have to eat on the livestream. I’ve done a 12-hour livestream on TikTok once, where I woke up around 9 a.m., started a livestream, and over a thousand people watched me brush my teeth, make breakfast, make videos, etc., until I ended the livestream at 9 p.m. in the night. On average, I do a three-hour livestream daily on TikTok. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
Tubefilter: Are there any TikTok creators who inspire you with their content?
OO: I am friends with a lot of big TikTok creators, both from the U.K. and abroad, and they inspire me with their hard work and dedication to continue putting out quality content. I’m not going to mention any names because the list will be too long, but I understand the hard work that goes into creating good content and I respect all my TikTok colleagues. You all are legends.
Tubefilter: A big part of your content is your focus on family. Why is this aspect of your content so important to you?
OO: My mum and dad have been married for 31 years now, and the unconditional love my siblings and I got from our parents while growing up has shaped us into the respectable members of society we are today. I plan to carry on that legacy, hence why I show unconditional love to my wife and my unborn child. Once this baby is born, I plan to dedicate my life to it and make my child a very successful member of society.
My wife and I are both very smart people (we both studied IT in uni and graduated with First Class Degrees). We are both book smart and street smart, and we usually say, “The world is not ready for all the big plans we have.” Stay tuned—we are coming with a big bang.
I try to spread love and positivity on all my platforms because there’s already a lot of hate in the world, and we don’t need anymore of that. It all begins in the family; a lot of people who spread hate or are bullies are like that because of the family they come from. Hence why I’m trying to do my part to help as many people as possible by putting out only positive content on my TikTok.
@mr_tov@livia_tov found out I’ve been secretly planning a 0 year old birthday party for @babytov 😂 The day he’s born will be his 0 year old birthday 🎉😂♬ original sound – mr_tov
Tubefilter: How did you get into comedy? Was it tough to structure content so it fits TikTok, or was TikTok a natural fit for your sense of humor?
OO: I’ve always had a comedic spirit, so it wasn’t difficult for me. TikTok comedy style is a little different from other platforms, so I watched what other people were doing and then came up with my own unique style, and it’s been working great for me.
Tubefilter: What’s next for you? Any plans looking to the future?
OO: I plan to get into YouTube seriously as a family account so I can make videos with my wife and child once it’s born. I love acting, and would really love to be in a movie at some point.
Thank you for taking your time to read this and get to know me. I am Ola Ojo AKA Mr Tov, and I want you to remember to always be the best version of yourself.