The social web has opened up a lot of opportunities for both businesses and individuals. One opportunity that has received a lot of attention recently is for brands to partner with individuals who have developed a high level of influence online as a way to bring more attention and reach to their offerings.
Being an influencer is not something that just happens to a person who is participating in social media. It is a conscious decision that people who have a talent for writing, photography, videography, and story-telling along with a passion for a topic have made to become an individual media brand and to work toward building a community.
Over the years we have been fortunate enough to work with several passionate and talented influencers and their stories of how and why they made a decision and have worked so hard to create their personal brand is always inspiring. Through our new Influencer Insights series we would like to introduce you to some of the amazing people we know.
Introducing Arthur Wooten
A novelist, screenwriter, and playwright.
me: How did you come up with the title of your blog/brand, The Dizzy Traveler?
Arthur: In 2005 a virus went to my brain and fried my inner ears. I now have, as do thousands of others, bilateral vestibular disease with oscillopsia. Unfortunately, this has severely compromised my sense of balance and vision and often creates vertigo. I may walk a bit more carefully now but I’m determined to enjoy my passion for travel, food, and entertainment and want to encourage and inspire those who are challenged by these same symptoms (and all other readers of my blog, too) to either get up, go out there and travel the world, or at the very least, live vicariously through my journeys.
me: What inspired you to start participating in social media?
Arthur: Honestly? The perks…at first. A friend of mine was staying in New York City at a very prestigious (expensive) hotel and I asked him how he could afford it and his answer was… “It’s free!” He had established himself as a very strong presence within social media and upon contacting the hotel about a quick stay, they promptly offered to comp his visit in return for a review on his blog and all the other platforms he works with. So I thought to myself, heck I love to travel and dine-out and go to theatre, plus I was a seasoned and pretty well known writer, I could share with my thousands of followers my journeys, experiences and suggestions. Hence I created The Dizzy Traveler. Instantly I forgot about my first motive, the perks, and realized that I truly loved this style of writing and where it was taking me, literally.
me: What is the best opportunity that you have received since you started participating in social
Arthur: I think the most rewarding, educational and enjoyable opportunity I’ve received in my rather new career was the invitation to *SITSumATL- the inaugural Social Influencers Travel Summit held in Atlanta, Georgia. In just 2 and a half days I met so many new and extremely talented colleagues, laughed my tail off, and learned a hell of a lot! I also signed up for TBEX 2015 (Travel Blog Exchange) held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and although, at the last moment I had to cancel, I had signed up for their “speed dating with sponsors”. I was a bit intimidated at first, but just by signing up, companies started approaching me – big industry leaders here in the US and in Europe – expressing a desire to work with me. I have friends who did attend and said it was awesome to see all these like-minded professionals come together from all over the world to discuss the state of travel and what the future looks like.
me: What is the biggest challenge of having a voice on social media and how do you handle it?
Arthur: Something I’m being very conscious of . . . burnout! Within a few weeks I had done a FAM trip throughout Florida, a week in Venice, the Travel Summit in Atlanta, not to a mention trip to Minnesota. It’s not only the travel but then the follow-up – writing, posting, staying ahead of the game with what platforms you work with. It can be exhausting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My advice – pace yourself, eat well, get plenty of rest and enjoy!
me: What was your biggest concern when you started?
Arthur: I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about my chronological age. I’m a young 60-year-old but feared this might work against me in this burgeoning industry. The majority of social influencers I had met were quite a bit younger. But my fears have already been squelched. In fact, it’s working in my favor. The sponsors recognize that my brand plus the 60 and older demographic is a vital, wealthy and active group of people. I’ve become a connection to those travelers for them and they are demonstrating that they trust my voice. I’m humble and grateful for this new journey and very exciting time in my life.
me: Thank you Arthur. You are truly a pleasure to work with and a joy to know.
You can follow Arthur’s journeys at:
*SITSum was an event that Sensei Project put together along with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. To learn more about the event, click here to download our report.