Posted 25 February 2021

Watch Ahmad Swaid’s Pep Talk on working in social media and digital content

As part of our recent Pep Talk on Instagram Live, Dazed Media’s head of content, Ahmad Swaid, joined our host Steph Fung to share his advice on all things digital content and storytelling through social media. Find the video of the event below, along with some key takeaways from the discussion.

What did I miss?
After sharing his mini-pep talk with us; “Experiment with everything,” Ahmad gave us insight on how this related to his own journey, and became central to getting a foot in the door at revered magazines like Garage and Dazed. He told us how he went from working in a soap factory in Sierra Leone, to his first internships in London; and the realities of his current role, overseeing content for the likes of Nowness, Dazed Beauty, Dazed and AnOther Magazine.

Ahmad also shared some incredible tips and thoughts for starting out in a career in social media, including how you can use experimentation to stand out as an interviewee and junior-level creative. Plus, he told us about how his fundraising project, Creatives for Lebanon, was set up in response to the devastating explosions in Beirut last year – and the impact it’s had so far.

Here’s a guide to some of the biggest talking points:

• The importance of experimenting in your work (4:20)
• Ahmad’s journey to working at Dazed (5:30)
• Ahmad’s role at Dazed (8:00)
• What it means to have a career in social media (14:00)
• Examples of exciting social media content (16:25)
• Skills needed for a career in digital content (21:25)
• How to avoid burnout (24:30)
• What impresses Ahmad when recruiting (27:00)
• Thoughts on building an impactful online community (34:35)
• Why an MA is helpful, not essential, in a creative career (43:00)
• What’s next in the world of digital storytelling (48:00)

What is Pep Talk?
Pep Talk is our monthly Instagram Live event to share relatable, easy-to-process tips in conversation with inspiring creatives.

Each sessions begins with a ‘pep talk’, where a chosen creative gets to share their ultimate advice for anyone who might be feeling a bit stuck, before answering questions submitted by you, our readers.

About Ahmad Swaid
A graduate of King’s College London’s MA in Cultural and Creative Industries, Ahmad has worked with some of the biggest names in publishing and fashion – from Garage and System Magazine to brands including Miu Miu. In 2017 he became Dazed’s Head of Social, and more recently he was made Head of Content, which also includes overseeing content on Nowness, AnOther Magazine and Dazed Beauty.

Working across all things digital and social media, Ahmad’s work has included creating an interactive ‘The End of the Decade’ timeline celebrating the 2010s to launching a week-long #LassoChallenge on TikTok to coincide with a print cover story featuring American rapper, Lil Nas X.

In 2020, alongside other Lebanese industry figures, Ahmad also co-founded non-profit organisation, Creatives for Lebanon, in response to the devastating August 4th explosion in Beirut. So far, the group has partnered with Sotheby’s, Art for Beirut and most recently Beirut Restore to help support Lebanon’s creative sector.

See more from Ahmad on Instagram here, and find our more about Creatives for Lebanon here and here.