Welcome to Social Hour, our new blog series where we will introduce you to members of the Socialix community. Writers, photographers, artists, videographers and social media enthusiasts will share their social media and blogging journeys.
For our next Social Hour installment, we connected with Evo Terra, one half of The Opportunistic Travelers duo. Evo and his wife Sheila are digital content creators living out the ultimate dream they travel the globe and share inspiring travel insights and snapshots from their journey.
Which social software platforms do you rely on to keep your content production schedule on track while you’re on the road?
Throughout your travels, have you encountered any new cultural approaches to social media and/or digital content creation? Have you applied any to your own practice?
The digital world keeps changing, faster than ever. I’ve pivoted more times than I can count in the last year, from how our podcast works to the platforms where I spend most of my time. I’ve even completely re-worked my business model in response to the changing market conditions. That’s the way things work today: Adapt, or go broke.
If you could only have one app on your phone, what would it be?
That’s an unfair question. As is calling the communication device in my pocket a “phone”. 🙂
As a travel content creator, do you have content ideas in mind when you arrive in a new destination, or do you let your environment naturally dictate your content?
We take the world “Opportunistic” in our name quite literally. Beyond the general knowledge we have about a place, or when a client has specifically sent me on an assignment, we let serendipity and Sheila’s camera run its course. That leads to some fun and unexpected real-time content generation, plus gives us a healthy amount of material to package and repackage when we return. Even better: Not being focused on a goal lets us actually enjoy the travel as we’re experiencing it.
If you could give advice to a brand looking to work with digital influencers for the first time, what would it be?
At the risk of sounding hypocritical from my previous answer: Don’t leave things to chance! Sure, you might get lucky with KOLs like us who are good at sharing your brand’s story on our own, but that’s not always the case. There’s often a real disconnect between a brand’s desired source market and a digital influencers audience demographics. Digital influencers have very different goals (“increase passive income,” “keep traveling” from brands (“butts in chairs”). And then there’s the whole longevity issue. These problems are legion, but they’re also solvable. But they probably won’t get solved by chance. Don’t hope for that.
What has surprised you most about producing The Opportunistic Travelers?
It’s hard (if not impossible) what people are going to key on. Some of the strangest stories have resonated the most loudly. Small, one-off things that have, for the audience, really struck a nerve. Of course, we keep running with those stories and work to give the audience more of what we want.
On the brand side, I’ve been surprised to find some key people with thoughts beyond “bigger better faster”, who have a real sense for finding success working with digital influencers. We’re happy to have met them!
Can you predict which trends or platforms will have the biggest impact on your content throughout this year?
Predictions are notoriously hard, but I’ll try. Live video — specifically Periscope — is becoming a larger part of our media mix. It’s a great way to share our new lives in Southeast Asia with the world. There are some rumblings about some other real-time platforms that share location data in interesting and non-threatening ways that could make their way to market by the end of the year.
Many digital influencers lead “always-on” lifestyles. Do you have any advice on disconnecting without guilt?
Only that you should stop caring what other people think. Personally, disconnecting or unplugging or digital detoxing mean nothing to me. My media is an extension of who I am, so why not share? Then again, I don’t sweat it if my cell service connection stinks and I miss a day or two. As narcissistic as it may sound, I make the show/media/whatever that *I* want to consume. I’m fortunate others find my work enjoyable as well. But I’m not beholden to them.
(I am, however, beholden to my clients, and work my butt off to never miss a deadline!)
Which destinations are still on your bucket list?