“Why is everyone yelling in there?” I thought to myself as I walked into the main conference hall. Nuseir’s voice filled the hall and the crowd was going wild. This wasn’t just another conference.
I’ve been a fan of Nuseir for a several years - since his 1000-day video challenge Nas Daily. Contrary to popular belief, Nas is not his name - it means “people” in Arabic. We met a few months ago through a mutual acquaintance at the WebSummit in Portugal. We realized we share the same outlook on the future of the creator economy and the opportunities that lie within. I was genuinely impressed with his passion, drive and outlook on life - especially coming from a unique Arab-Israeli background. He believed in our journey at AudioLabs and joined as an early investor. Since then we met several more times in Lisbon, Tel-Aviv and most recently Dubai, where he hosted an intimate, creator-focused tech conference dubbed NasSummit. The ratio of quality-content-to-fluff was extremely high. The presentations had his magic touch of entertaining, educating, story-led narratives which maximize the viewer experience. I met many interesting people, learned a lot and had fun.
Here are my personal 8 highlights from the three-day conference in Dubai (in no specific order):
1. Breaking into Podcasting w/Wil Dasovich, Ranveer Allahbdia, Alyne Tamir
Both speakers are no strangers to podcasting. They’re well-known creators who use audio as their main channel to reach over 20M listeners (combined). They shared many gems and best practices from their work as podcasters:
- It’s important to interview people who matter and leverage their network. This is about being persistent and creative in your approach (great Arnold Schwarzenegger story)
- To get an interesting session, it’s important to make your guest feel calm and open up. Achieving this is both an art & science, so practice empathy and define the ground rules.
- There was no consensus between the speakers on recommend podcast length. Both long-form (60-90 min) and shorter episodes (15-20 min) have their place.
- Creators worry a lot about all the various social media platforms available. As a podcaster you can chop the episode into many short-form pieces which generate many content pieces to publish everywhere.
- Add video to the the podcasting setup to add an additional dimension (video/audio combo) to make the short-form snippets relevant for platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
2. From Corp. Lawyer to TikTok’s Favorite Lawyer w/Erika Kullberg
This creator has a very unique story - she quit her job as a corporate lawyer and started creating videos. Today she’s TikTok’s most famous lawyer with over 8M followers. Her unique videos show consumers how they can leverage various life situations using hidden loopholes. What greatly interested me is the effective strategy she uses to produce successful videos again and again:
- Problem - “My AirPods have been stolen” with logos of the provider in the background
- Rejection - “There’s nothing we can do about that” projecting an us-vs-them situation
- Promise - “She has no idea I know this, watch this!” as Erica turns to the fans for the first time
- Solution - “I’ve actually read your terms of service, and it clearly states...”
- Outcome - “Ugh, fine. Here is your new pair. Who taught you this?”
- Memorable CTA - “Erica did! She’s a lawyer that reads the fine print so that I don’t have to.” Watch the full TikTok video here to see what I mean - TikTok Video
3. The Talent Agency to the Stars - Jellysmack w/Hugo Amsellem
Jellysmack is one of the most interesting companies in the creator economy. It’s hard to properly define them. They work with YouTubers that produce long-form videos yet don’t focus too much on short-form social media channels. Their value proposition is strong - They license your video archive, analyse, optimize, and publish your existing content on additional social media platforms such as TikTok, Reels and YouTube Shorts. They pay the creator a guaranteed monthly fee (e.g. $5,000) and then 50% of any amount above that. This places them in the intersection of talent agency and distribution. The company was recently funded by Softbank and is rumoured to be doing close to $100M in annual revenue from only working with 100-200 creators.
4. The Legendary Casey Neistat Talks About Maturing As a Creator
Casey Neistat rose to social fame as one of the first YouTubers starting over 12 years ago. From snowboarding across the streets of NYC in a snowstorm to vlogging about Emirates first class suites, he’s done it all. But today, Neistat is more grounded as he talks about being a parent. His creator tactics are quite different than most - he doesn’t read comments, as he’s not god at coping with negativity, but rather just clicks publish and moves on. He doesn’t follow analytics to optimize for engagement, but publishes on the whim. He does mention being authentic which helps listeners connect emotionally to him and his content.
5. From Poland to the Metaverse, Project Nightfall w/Agon Hare
I’ve been following Agon since first poping up on Nas Daily a few years ago. His authentic and unique voice stands out. His keynote talk was one of the best performances of the conference. He offered a unique story of working on philanthropy projects in third-world countries. He suggested the metaverse could be a solution, by allowing people from underprivileged geos to earn money through the use of different meta-games, resulting them achieving a higher quality of life.
6. The Flywheel of being a creator-led investor w/Ankur Nagpal
Ankur is an interesting guy. Founder, VC and Twitter creator. He explains the value of both investing in creator-led businesses and leveraging social media for dealflow. The slide that caught my attention the most was his “Business Model” as an investor & writer.
- He uses social media to push out content and gain exposure (Twitter, YouTube, Podcasts)
- All those channels lead to his email which is the center of his work
- From those select few, he has a funnel which leads to investments
- As an investor, he can use his platform to provide value for portfolio founders
7. Bring on the Debate: Crypto or Not w/Ben Yu + Paul Bakaus
This was an interesting one. I’ve never seen a debate at a tech conference before. As a big part of the conference was around Web3 trends such as metaverse, NFTs and crypto, why not have a crypto debate. On one side was crypto expert Ben Yu to argue for-crypto. Holding the opposite position of opposition was Paul Bakaus, Head of Creator Relations at Google.
- For-crypto side argued that creators need to be able to capture all the value the create which web3 enables and not only 45% (with “Googles” taking the 55% share)
- Anti-crypto focused on the security issues relating with decentralization and losing access to your account & assets - which are not insured
The debate was well performed and fierce with both sides getting great arguments in. In ended with a live audience voting, in which the anti-crypto crowd won by a small margin
8. How we Found 20M New Followers Without Creating Videos w/Nuseir
One of the most fascinating talks of the summit. Nuseir shares how he views production and distribution of videos. Rather than upload once, his algorithm at NasDaily allows each idea to be utilized fully on multiple platforms in multiple formats. Although this seems simple, it encompasses his aggregated experience. Here is his source code:
- Capture the idea into a video
- Find content idea that will likely be interesting - ”World’s youngest billionaire”
- Chase the person down and fly out to meet him
- Record the raw materials
- Create long-form content (4-min video)
- Publish video to YouTube. Yay, we got 9M views! Can we get more...?
- Let’s format it as a square and publish to Facebook. 42M views!
- What about Instagram...? Simple re-format. 2.5M more views
- What about short-form content (1 minute video)
- Re-shot video for vertical format using raw materials
- Publish to 4 destinations for short-form (TikTok, YTS, IG Reels, FB Reels) - 27M
- Localize for the rest of the world (80% of the world doesn’t speak English)
- Add subtitles to videos to localize to each country
- Upload to country-specific channels (”NasDaily Arabia”)
The NasSummit website states “like the Davos for International Content Creators”. I can now say they kept their promise. The large majority of talks I heard were inspiring and delivered well. The event was hosted at the beautiful Address Sky View in Dubai with lovely parties organized each evening. As tickets were very affordable, I assume Nuseir didn’t profit on this conference. The conference was a wonderful way to combine all the aspects of his life which encompass around his personality - having fun, creating content, connecting people and a bit of business :-)
Sign me up for next year!