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UAE: How passion can become profession using social media – News

todaySeptember 17, 2022

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These 20-somethings have managed to carve a brand new profession path that charts its trajectory on platforms reminiscent of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube



Revealed: Sat 17 Sep 2022, 12:30 PM

Final up to date: Sat 17 Sep 2022, 12:50 PM

We converse to UAE-based 20-somethings who’ve carved out niches with social media because the bulwark — in very alternative ways. However the frequent thread of their various narratives is how their skilled lives and private likes have intertwined subliminally within the course of. And since nothing succeeds like success, let’s get on board with a brand new profession path that charts its trajectory on platforms reminiscent of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.

Noor Ul Ain, 23

Noor is the founder and CEO of Spade Digital, an company that focuses on social media advertising and marketing utilizing TikTok and Instagram Reels. She’s additionally a meals and way of life influencer, content material creator and blogger/vlogger.

In 2020, proper after I graduated, my accomplice and I began Spade Digital. We determined to specialize in creating TikTok and Reels advertising and marketing movies as a result of we realised social media video advertising and marketing was going to be the longer term. As a enterprise, we have now efficiently labored with over 30-plus shoppers… not too long ago, my accomplice and I had been invited by Dubai Media Metropolis to host a workshop on creating viral content material as enterprise house owners and content material creators.

Aside from that, I’ve my very own social media pages and my weblog the place I create content material round meals… meals, as a result of that’s the place my ardour lies.

I used to be planning to review engineering as a result of my household anticipated me to do one thing ‘typical’… however after I joined college, there was a lot publicity on the completely different sorts of programs on supply that I made a decision to pursue social media advertising and marketing as a profession… and that’s how my profession path was fashioned.

In the course of the pandemic, we observed that these companies that stored selling themselves on their social media pages survived — and thrived… whereas those that didn’t had been affected adversely. Covid — which actually made social media a part of our lives throughout the time we had been staying at residence and following its numerous platforms — has been a giant wakeup name in the way in which we conduct our lives lately. Take the straightforward case of how we zero in on a restaurant if we contemplate eating out. Nowadays, folks (typically) don’t Google eating out choices; they go to Instagram and examine them out… they see how eating places’ social media pages appear like, what sort of postings they’ve… If I, as a shopper, really feel a specific restaurant’s social media is engaging and on level, if their pages look good, there’s a probability I’m going to go and take a look at their meals.

At a broader degree, even newspaper corporations are posting dwell updates on their social channels as a result of they know these are getting observed first.

We all know general consideration span is waning, so how will we talk no matter it’s that we wish to talk inside these first 7 to 10 seconds? Easy: keep on with good storytelling… Robust headlining is de facto vital. And preserve at it… when corporations come out with content material, one video is just not enough to advertise the model. They should have a quantity of brief, instructional content material. Content material must be concise and simple, and utilizing a social media influencer — a well-recognized face — will assist… that’s how one can actively have interaction with the goal market. Placing up flyers and phrase of mouth are usually not going to be sufficient.

Social media additionally instils confidence to customers when probably buying a product. As a buyer, you’d go surfing to examine evaluations on YouTube or Instagram to see what persons are speaking about.

Professional ideas:

  • Be direct
  • Publish good content material persistently
  • Publish relatable content material that your viewers can resonate with
  • Don’t give attention to solely going viral, you might be constructing your story, which is extra vital in the long term

You’ll find Noor on Instagram at @noorulaiin and on TikTok at @noor.ul.aiin.


Nehsan Selvaraj, 24

Nehsan is founder and GCEO of the Nehsan Group, a life coach and worldwide speaker, a singer, an writer, and a former tv presenter. Whereas he’s based mostly in Dubai, he works with the Malaysian authorities on youth entrepreneurship.

At 19, I turned a tv presenter in Malaysia. This was 5 years in the past, and it was a turning level in my life: I immediately turned well-known. Individuals would strategy me and inform me how a lot they admired and appreciated me. That actually related to one thing in my coronary heart, it was emotional… I realised I’ve the ability to attach with folks.

Round that point, my accomplice and I began the Nehsan Group with our personal financial savings… I relocated to Dubai, and, at present, my enterprise is predicated out of Kuwait, the UAE and, in fact, Malaysia. We’re consistently rising our portfolio… presently we deal in style retail, healthcare and sweetness, F&B and many others.

Each time I discuss my enterprise, the very first thing folks say is ‘You’re so younger and you might be doing all these items’, and I actually wish to break this stereotype, this age barrier. It’s one of many causes I exploit social media to speak about myself. It’s boring to speak about my enterprise model — although we use social media influencers for our advertising and marketing campaigns — so I’d relatively encourage folks with my very own life story…

On the enterprise aspect, we use social media for our branding and communications, it’s essentially the most potent medium… Instance: After we began a bottled water model, we tried to promote in publications and do promotions, however the influencer advertising and marketing route labored the very best. In case you are a social media influencer, your followers join with you emotionally, they belief you… they mechanically hook up with the model. However there needs to be honesty.

On the Nehsan Group, once we use influencers, we permit them to attempt the product, and inform them to present an trustworthy opinion… to not lie, to not make a gross sales pitch. If there’s a drawback, then you need to discuss it. That’s the way you construct belief…

Social media additionally provides good enterprise potential within the private:work intersection… let me give an instance: if my publish goes viral, there are corporations that strategy me… ask me to come back on board with them, seek the advice of with them, ideate for them… (I plan to begin my very own social media advertising and marketing firm, the place I’ll share our success formulation with shoppers). A whole lot of my very own success is mirrored within the success of my firm, and a number of my firm’s success is mirrored in me — so when others see the success degree of my firm, I’m invited to share our method for achievement, our methods. So, regardless that I exploit my private social media handles to advertise myself, typically that interprets into firm positive factors as nicely.

The Malaysian authorities has invited me to do an acceleration programme for kids, for upcoming startup founders, the place I can be contributing with my concepts…

The way in which I see it, social media isn’t just about getting cash, it’s about how we will contribute, encourage others to do higher, to be higher human beings…

You’ll be able to catch Nehsan on his Instagram @nehsanselvaraj, or keep up to date along with his Tiktok @nehsanselvaraj. Else, you possibly can even view his content material on YouTube @Nehsan Selvaraj.


Nidhi Kumar, 26

Nidhi is a dancing sensation within the UAE who’s carried out at Expo 2020, and founding father of the favored NKD Studios in Dubai. Her hugely-successful YouTube channel and different social platforms paved the way in which for her to take the ‘massive’ leap from ‘digital’ to brick-and-mortar

Six years in the past, I turned a YouTuber at 20, after I uploaded my first Bollywood-style dance video — that went viral with over 2.9 million views. So, I turned a full-time content material creator, turning into the primary to begin dance content material on YouTube within the UAE. After I began out, social media was not as advanced within the UAE as it’s at present, so it was a giant problem, I needed to mainly analysis every little thing alone, and begin from scratch…

Social media gave me the company to get right into a brick-and-mortar enterprise: after 5 years, I realised I had such a robust following that it was the appropriate time to open a Bollywood dance studio, NKD Studios… I already had so many college students due to social media… at 25, it was the right subsequent step to take. And sure, I don’t just like the phrase influencer… I’m an artist…

As a child, I needed to be an actor; then I needed to be a dancer — regardless that I’m self-taught… I used to be in tenth grade after I choreographed a sangeet ceremony within the UAE… I cherished performing arts, cherished being in entrance of the digicam, and I by no means had typical doctor-engineer sorts of life decisions in thoughts, regardless that I used to be a topper in class. My household has all the time been tremendous supportive!

Instantly after commencement, I’d received a tremendous job with an MNC within the UAE — however I stop in six months after finishing a mission I used to be dealing with… I had been choreographing in my head after I sat in entrance of my pc at work… I knew I needed to give100 per cent to my dancing and social media profession.

Social media appears to be like nice, however you might want to be very sturdy to work with it, it’s not for the weak-hearted… One destructive remark can set you again… And it’s very arduous work — balancing that with operating a studio will be worrying, however how a lot I find it irresistible… regardless that I’ve not taken a break within the final 5 years! (Laughs)

From 2pm to 6pm is my social media time: I work on my campaigns, do my shoots, publish my stuff… I’ve seven social media platforms the place I publish each single day… I collaborate on completely different tasks with shoppers, and I work out of each Dubai and Mumbai.

From 6pm to 11pm, I conduct my lessons at NKD Studios… After which I come again residence and plan your entire stretch of content material for the subsequent day, and fall asleep solely round 3am…

Go searching and see how social media has grown, the expansion has been exponential: each single enterprise, small or massive, makes use of influencers to advertise their manufacturers… The tasks I get are largely all due to inquiries that come on our studio’s social media pages… we carried out at Expo due to social media.

Besides, in only one second every little thing can crash, as a result of on the finish of the day, it’s know-how. In the future, Instagram was down, your entire world got here to a halt, folks had been in shock… so that you additionally have to have a backup plan… like I’ve with my studio.

Channels like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram will explode, so use them to your benefit, however, like I mentioned, all the time, all the time have a backup plan.

The brand new era of content material creators, I really feel, are following the very same path that we, the previous creators, adopted… they don’t analysis like we did, and subsequently I believe they lack originality. I managed to stay related all these years as a result of the work we showcase is unique and we handle to face out from the group each single time. That’s our differentiator.

Professional tip:

You might be getting a number of Likes but when there isn’t any engagement, there’s no level: you might be solely getting the scroll-through viewers. They should follow you and have interaction, and for that you might want to be unique.

Those that wish to watch Nidhi carry out, can see her great choreographies on YouTube @Nidhi Kumar. In any other case, she additionally places out shorter dance movies on Instagram at @nidhikumardance and TikTok at @nidhikumardance.


Alii Muhammed, 28

Alii is a social media influencer, style/way of life content material creator and TikTok gamer.

In 2012, after I graduated from college, I used to be actually unwell for nearly two years… I was in mattress more often than not, and gained an terrible lot of weight. In 2014, I gave myself a actuality examine. I joined a gymnasium, went on a food regimen and misplaced 20 kilos in 4 months.

I showcased my journey on social media… on Instagram… , to encourage others with updates on my every day exercises, my food regimen, my cheat meals. However I didn’t get a lot consideration…

As my physique began bettering, a number of my pals began saying I ought to get into modelling. I spent Dh2,500 getting an expert portfolio shot so I may ship my photographs throughout to expertise companies… After I posted these photographs on social media, there was a large uptick in Likes and engagement.

Individuals clearly appreciated my avatar within the style house. I joined college in 2014, and I might make pals take photographs of me on campus, sporting one thing new day by day — which I might publish on Instagram. These clicked, and there was a snowball impact.

I stored up the hassle for the subsequent two years. With the engagement rising, it was like I had discovered a brand new ardour for myself.

In 2016, I began getting DMs from small companies with provides to collaborate. It turned a chance to create content material to indicate greater shoppers what I may do. I ended up working with manufacturers like Daniel Wellington and Louis Vuitton… then I received invited to Arab Trend Week — which was after I realised that there was a whole trade on the market the place a freelancer like me may get work, and will receives a commission to collaborate. It was an eye-opener for me.

I began specializing in my area of interest, which was menswear, alongside way of life verticals like meals, health, hospitality. There was no cash coming my means again then, however I used to be pleased with the barter system… I used to be getting a number of endorsements.

I accomplished uni in 2018, being very conscious that there was enormous potential in social media and I needed to give attention to it 100 per cent as a profession selection, and that it was a matter of time earlier than I’d make cash. If I had finished an everyday 9-to-5 company job, that might have sapped all my vitality. Fortunately, my household had been on board with my choice, so I labored on rising my web page, rising my attain, bettering my content material…

In 2020, cash began coming, I used to be doing two or three campaigns a month. Then, Covid hit, and whereas the primary three months had been okay, at

the height of Covid every little thing stopped. No endorsements, no funds… gigs had stopped as a result of I had began charging…

After which I realised that the dynamics of social media don’t revolve round one platform. My focus moved from Instagram to TikTok. With TikTok, you possibly can monetise by going dwell. I play this recreation — PK Match — the place on a break up display you co-host five-minute video games, and make cash via your supporters (they ship items which have valuations in cash, and 1,000 cash equals 5 {dollars}, in order many cash you earn as items are transformed to {dollars} and despatched to your account). And I can rematch as many instances as I need. All you want is a minimal of 1,000 followers. In June 2020, I began going dwell on TikTok; earlier than that, I created movies to get followers.

In the meantime, enterprise is again on observe and so, at present, I’ve two main platforms: Instagram and TikTok. On one, I create content material and collaborate with manufacturers and corporations… on the opposite, I recreation. On Insta, I’m polished. I’m sharp. On TikTok, I’m goofy.

Earlier, I might focus predominantly on Instagram, however at present TikTok is my precedence as a result of its development and (exponential) attain are phenomenal. I play for 4 to five hours… some days I make good cash — the utmost I’ve gained is $777 in a premeditated 5-minute problem match… some days I make nothing, however that’s alright.

I see myself doing this for so long as social media exists… 110 per cent…

One may argue this isn’t typical ‘ambition’. However I set my very own targets. I’ve 200,000 followers on TikTok, so my aim could possibly be that by the top of 2022, my followers ought to cross the 300,000 mark.

That’s my model of a aim.

You’ll be able to keep in contact with present traits by following Alii throughout platforms which embody: Instagram – @aliimuhd, TikTok – @aliimuhd, YouTube – Alii Muhammed.


Stephen King

Senior lecturer at Middlesex College Dubai

Up to now, we needed to be film stars, as a result of that was the medium we engaged with — however at present, youth wish to be social media stars for a similar cause. I see there are three manifestations of this social media pattern. The primary as a work-hobby: college students produce and distribute content material taking part in or roleplaying working as a content material creator.

You’ll be able to see this on TikTok or in Instagram Reels the place college students will try to comply with the present traits however don’t try to go a lot additional. This permits them to construct a social community, begin to construct a public profile, and consequently study extra in regards to the world of labor.

The second is as a full-time career. Right here, college students will start modelling and enterprise tasks for manufacturers, particularly style and make-up, to generate a main earnings.

The third is the aspect hustle. That is an fascinating rising pattern and is probably on account of the work-hobby creators maturing and realising that they will make further earnings on prime of their conventional work. This doesn’t require the hassle of the skilled creators and gained’t generate the identical monetary returns, however can present assist to kids who’re rising from college and looking for their independence.

Am I shocked? No, in no way. Firstly, there’s a important effort to construct capability in youth to be entrepreneurial and this is only one means that this training and coaching turns into seen. Secondly, younger persons are swamped in media content material and far of this presents examples of how social media can be utilized as work, or in assist of employment.

Like in any trade, social media will solely have a finite variety of ‘positions’. Additional, given the potential of social media channels to fade out of existence comparatively rapidly, I don’t see this as a chance to be a main earnings supply for greater than a small variety of content material creators.

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