Nada Alic

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Nada Alic

Writer / Editorial Director / Content Strategist

Los Angeles, CA

www.nadaalic.com
instagram @nadaalic

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Iā€™m an LA-based writer, editor and content strategist.

I help brands establish a voice that aligns with their broader narrative, by collaborating with and elevating their most powerful allies: artists. I've created bespoke content strategies and launched digital publications for brands like Society6, Gap Inc. and Athleta. Before that, I established Etsy's first-ever Canadian HQ, representing over 100k independent artists. Throughout my roles, I've developed a robust network of content creators, influencers and artists to humanize a brand through content, event activations and marketing campaigns.

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I hustled. Early on, I decided that I was going to create opportunities for myself instead of wait around for something to happen. After university, I interned everywhere: VICE, Universal Music, NBC. I wrote for anyone who would let me write for them. I worked in non-profit for years, touring with bands, public speaking; sleeping on stranger's floors. I ran a music blog for six years back when that was a thing. If what I wanted didn't exist, I would just make it myself.

That thinking was instrumental in landing me my first big job at Etsy; I was 24 and through sheer will I convinced them to let me launch their Canadian entity without any real experience. For 3 years, I ran national arts programs, multi-city marketplaces and developed digital curriculums and Webby award-winning web series for creative entrepreneurs. I then honed my skills at Sew, a boutique advertising agency based in the DTLA Arts District. There, I managed Gap Inc properties from creating a social impact online magazine "Let's Do More" to developing and managing their fitness brand Athleta's "Chi Blog".

I recognized the potential and power of branded content early on and demonstrated the long-tail impact of cultivating an engaged online community. I approached Society6, a print-on-demand art platform, similarly. After establishing their brand voice, I launched their blog, leveraging my network of content creators and their existing artist network to create a new department focused on artist stories, brand collaborations and editorialized home decor content. There I worked with partners like Urban Outfitters, National Geographic, Planned Parenthood, PS Arts and others on collaborations and events.

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How do you stand out in your field?

I've always been relentless in championing artists and crafting compelling narratives for brands I believe in. I cut my teeth early on in non profit and I think that conviction is rooted in everything I do, for better or worse. I don't believe in boring, uninspired work for the sake of it. I think people respond best to content and messaging that is earnest and human, so I strive to extract that from the noise of digital marketing and advertising. I'm also actively involved in the artist community in LA. I care deeply about the lives and livelihoods of creatives because they're my friends and family.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

A collection of short fiction. I recently quit my job as an Editorial Director to finish a manuscript!

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

My personal style has no chill, in that I spend a lot of time mining the depths of my own psyche to write humorous, dark fiction (and listening to Buddhist lectures on Youtube). I love writers like Ottessa Moshfegh, Chelsea Hodson, Sheila Heti, Lydia Davis, Alexandra Kleeman, Miranda July, etc. I think good writing should be sharp, funny and unapologetic. When you read it, you should feel like you're alive and what a scary and hilarious thing to be!

Professionally, I've always championed women and marginalized groups; artists specifically. For example, I recently conceived of and executed a women artist leadership summit called Girls Art Now! to support Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood LA at Urban Outfitters and it was one of the most meaningful projects I've ever done. Hundreds of people attended and we raised over $10k for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

My favorite thing is proving the value of community-based initiatives to brands and then being right about it.

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

Right now I'm focused on fiction writing. The simple practice of writing everyday is harder than any corporate job I've ever had. It requires so much attention, and most people invent new and complicated ways to distract themselves from having a singular focus, so I'm trying to retrain my brain, in a sense. I'm also enrolled in a fiction writing course which is helping me delve into the nuances of how to write a sentence. 
 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

I just recently quit a senior level director role to sit in my kitchen and write fiction, so I think it's mostly justifying the value of solitude and creating art vs. the immediate gratification of leveraging a massive platform to execute Big Shiny Projects that potentially impact thousands of people. Reconciling my instinct to lead something big and important with wrestling with the smallness of a sentence is where I'm at right now. 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Look at my Instagram and just give me the highlights of what I missed so that I don't have to keep checking every 20 minutes. 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I wish I could have given myself permission to start writing for myself earlier. I spent a lot of time in my early twenties writing about and for other people and it took me years to gain the courage to start writing for myself. I didn't start writing creatively until I was 26.

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I want someone to tell me what the deal is with supplements, like do I need them or is it a marketing scam? Mostly, I would like to sit down with a writer like Ottessa Moshfegh and have her breakdown what it feels like to be a living literary genius, then I would ask her to be my friend.

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I love working with brands and organizations to help them launch their editorial presence online. By that I mean, if a brand wants to start a digital magazine or create an editorial calendar for serial content, features, and special projects, I can help them do that.

I can consult a brand on how to approach content from developing a brand book, creating a competitive analysis, and establishing the foundation for a content strategy + my recommendations on blog CMS and design. I also provide a framework for pitching guidelines, how to find and grow a freelancer network, market rates, invoicing, photoshoots, contracts, etc. I can also show brands how to leverage and repurpose content for social, UGC, email and paid ads, and how to effectively use content to support broader marketing campaigns.

If it's a right fit, I can also spearhead all of the above for a brand as an Editorial Director.

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

An ideal collaboration would be a partnership. Often the client/agency or client/freelancer relationship can be fraught with a power dynamic imbalance. Good professional relationships begin with a shared vision, but also empathy and room for different perspectives. I love learning from brands and bringing my expertise to the table.
 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

It depends on the scope of the project. 
 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Email!

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

By creating non-commercial art for myself!  


This member profile was originally published in November 2018.