How One Digital Media Maven, Kiarash Behain, Stayed Creative During the Pandemic

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To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world would be a huge understatement. Over the past year, as the virus has continued its spread, it has disrupted many aspects of our day-to-day lives, including how we work, learn and interact with others.

Thanks to social distancing guidelines from the CDC and public health experts, more people are working from home than ever before, which has led us to a more virtual existence—something not everyone was prepared for. Fortunately for Kiarash Behain, however, he was well-prepared for these unusual times.

Kiarash Behain is an Iranian-American social media and creative director, based in Los Angeles, California. He is the founder and CEO of Rundown Media—a full-service creative agency. Rundown Media offers a number of services, including website/app development and design, social media management, digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and broadcast audio and video productions. Some of their previous clients have included top celebrities, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), the Fast & Furious movie franchise, and many more.

Mr. Behain has been working remotely for years, so when the pandemic first hit, it was business as usual for him. While most companies were struggling to keep up with the changing digital landscape, as statewide lockdowns forced everyone inside and made it impossible to host large meetings and gatherings, Behain and Rundown Media have been thriving during the pandemic.

God has allowed me to stay in my zone, for fifteen strong years. Running a social media agency out of a beautiful office location is amazing but I have been able to compete with some of the top companies in the world doing it remotely as well.

One of the biggest effects the pandemic has had on entrepreneurs is the need to pivot. This unprecedented time in modern history pushed many entrepreneurs and business owners into a world where they were forced to learn quickly and adapt to major changes. So, at a critical time like this, keeping your creativity flowing is almost as important as making sure you wear a mask or face-covering in public.

Behain’s unique expertise in managing a remote workforce provided him with the knowledge he needed to help others convert their companies to accommodate a virtual setting. Using Zoom video conferencing, Behain—who prior to the pandemic had already established a number of professional relationships—met with businesses and provided them with the required tools to make the necessary changes in order for them to successfully navigate this fast-changing world.

Mr. Behain has also been utilizing Clubhouse—the hot new invite-only audio social app—to foster new connections. Over the past few months, under his alias “The Rundown,” Behain built a large following on the platform and hosts rooms daily with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people talking about a range of topics, including business conferences, live interviews, finances, open discussions and game shows.

Clubhouse has allowed me to project my voice in various different ways. I have enjoyed hosting some great moments on the application for the betterment of the people and look forward to continuing this trend of empowering, informing and entertaining others.

One interesting way Behain keeps himself busy on Clubhouse is moonlighting as Jigsaw from the “Saw” horror movie franchise every Monday night at 8 pm PT/11 pm ET and hosts “Murder Trivia Game Show,” which is widely considered to be the best game show on Clubhouse.

During the game, which typically lasts about two hours, “Jigsaw” and his team of “killas” ask a wide range of questions (pop culture, general knowledge, film/tv/music trivia, etc.) to a large group of “victims.” Those who answer correctly remain on stage with Jigsaw and his killas and for the next round, while those who answer incorrectly are “put into the dirt” (i.e. sent back to the audience). The last victim standing, after correctly answering a final question from Jigsaw, is crowned the winner and is invited to come back as an honorary killa for the next game.

The game—which usually sees an audience of anywhere between 400 and 2,500 listeners—is so popular that on any given day, you could expect to see a number of celebrities playing along as one of Jigsaw’s killas, including Tyrese Gibson, Charlie Mack, Tiffany Haddish, Amber Rose, Quest Love, Boyz 2 Men, Quincy Brown, and many others.

Behain also hosted a Welcome Party on Clubhouse for hip-hop mogul Dame Dash to help him celebrate the launch of his new streaming service Dame Dash Studios. Despite beginning at 10 pm ET on a Thursday night, that room went viral online and quickly reached the Clubhouse capacity of concurrent listeners, who all tuned in to listen to Dash drop gem after gem. Also, Kiarash has hosted online events for entertainment mogul Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Tyrese Gibson, Tiffany Haddish and others.

There are numerous live social media platforms that Rundown Media is prominent on, helping to expand the reach of their overall audience, which currently exceeds 250 million people worldwide.

I’ve been blessed to have kicked and learned the game from some of the greatest legends that have walked this Earth — from Stevie Wonder to Jeff Bezos, and everyone in between. These live social media platforms are great avenues for me to utilize my speech skills and discuss topics with other like-minded people.

As we navigate this new normal we’re living through, our daily routines can, at times, feel a bit monotonous, which can definitely hinder one’s creativity. However, Kiarash Behain and Rundown Media are proof that it’s still possible to be creative even when the world around us feels like a dumpster fire, and there are many lessons we can take from his experience.

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