Carolyn Scott-Hamilton is the creator of the Healthy Voyager brand which includes a website as well as a show that began in 2005. Carolyn is a respected figure in the world of healthy lifestyle, special diet cooking and nutrition. Carolyn is the industry’s “go-to” source and has been featured on the Discovery Channel, CNN, USA Today and Martha Stewart Radio, just to name a few.
In addition to being a Food and Drink Influencer on Intellifluence, she is currently the travel correspondent on Hallmark Home & Family while her shows are syndicated on MSN Travel, The Food Channel, AOL and more. You can check out her vast collection of vegan recipes, travel and lifestyle guides and much more at her website, healthyvoyager.com.
The Healthy Voyager website is a fantastic resource with so many different topics ranging from recipes to travel and wellness. Additionally, you’re very active on social media and do many TV appearances and speaking engagements. How do you stay organized as a busy influencer?
Well I think I have a very innate ability. I’ve always been super kind of A type my whole life. So it really is – it can be difficult but I’m really cognizant about kind of changing the hat when I need to. So I get things done in [a] certain order it really depends but it is. When I’m traveling I got that hat on and then I’ll get back to my hotel room and then I have work that I have to do. I’m pretty good about segmenting and putting everything in it’s box. It can be difficult, it can be stressful but I think I got a good handle on it. I like that I can switch it up because if I was doing the same thing day in and day out I might be like ugh. So I think it’s kinda necessary for me to kind of always be juggling something so I can say ugh I’m so sick of that right now I’m glad I can change gears and do this.
How do you decide what category you are going to focus on?
Its kind of all in this noodle. I kind of like having my old school date book. I like making lists and crossing thins things off. There’s something for me that feels really good about crossing things off. I have friends who are like “why don’t you put everything on your phone” I’m like I already do everything on my phone.
I kind of like crossing something off and then throwing it away and being like “huh I’m done”. So lists, I have things I need to do everyday and I know what I’m doing pretty far ahead of time. So yeah I guess my old school date book kind of keeps me in check.
How has your life changed since becoming an influencer?
It all happened by mistake because when I started what I was doing there was no such thing as social media. So I was laughing about this with someone the other day, I was like this was a total accident. It just kind of became an organic path I went down. So I launched the show first on YouTube in ‘06, and there was no, well there was no, Facebook for non college kids at the time, no twitter, [and] no one was using MySpace the way we use social media now. So I started the show on YouTube and then I started a blog on the side just to have a little supplementary content and I kinda thought that I was just talking into a vacuum, But I was able to launch a pretty good newsletter size just because that was the only way to really speak to my audience at the time. And then I was always an early adopter of every platform when it came out so just kind of a way to build the brand and awareness and I never really would of thought it would have been what it is now. It’s really crazy to think this is a job but I’m very grateful. It’s pretty awesome.
How do you come up with recipes for the Healthy Voyager?
Well I’m a nutritionist and a chef by schooling but it really just depends. It’s kind of what I’m in the mood for, what I have on hand, if I’m working with a particular brand obviously I have to figure out a way to incorporate it. I always like finagling especially because nowadays people have so many different diets, right. So it ts always kind of fun playing chemist in the kitchen like oh how can I make this everything free. No sugar no this, no that and still have it taste pretty good so that’s kind of fun for me. When I’m traveling I’ll come home and I’ll be craving something from the country I just visited and see if I can make a version of that or something like that. So it really depends on my mood or who I’m working with.
With an unpredictable schedule, how do you manage to eat healthy and do you have any tips for other busy influencers?
I’m a planner so I don’t have a problem kind of planning ahead so even on a trip I don’t know there’s always going to be an option for me. I’m vegan, I’ve been vegan for twenty years this is like old hat for me. I always travel with a bag of snacks so you know, it’s bars, I even have this like funny quinoa mixed kind of thing. It’s my emergency food because I never know when I’m going to be stuck on a bus for hours and I don’t want to just eat a bag of chip or there’s not even a bag of chips For me it’s just that little bit of planning and preparation, maybe eating a snack before you go somewhere if you don’t know what’s going to be available for you, traveling with your emergency kit whether it’s in your purse or your car or your travel bag, and during the week when I am home I kind of meal plan. So on Sunday’s I’ll go to the store and then that night I’ll make a few things I’ll have throughout the week so if I am kind of busy and am like ”ugh, I don’t feel like cooking” I don’t just spoil – order food. I do that every now and again, I do like ordering in. But yeah it’s just a little bit of planning can go a long way. Like cooking a bunch of beans and rice for the week you can use in a salad and you can use in a burrito, and then you can use it in a taco so just doing a few little things can kind of help you out as far as convenience.
What is your favorite influencer marketing campaign you worked on and why?
That’s a good question because everything I do sis so varied it’s not just travel and it’s not just food. I’m going to have to lean towards travel stuff though just because I’ve gotten to do some really really cool stuff that I never would have had the opportunity to do unless I did what I did. I got to go to Kenya with Virgin Atlantic Airlines and Virgin Unite, which is their philanthropic arm, and I got to spend ten days in Kenya and hang out pretty much every day with Richard Branson which was pretty awesome.
They were building dorms for school and the Masai Mara, for the tribes that live out in Mara Reserve. And they did the dorms and pumped some water into the school because a lot of these kids were nomadic so in order for them to go to school they had to stay. It was partially them promoting their new route to Nairobi and then partially their humanitarian effort and it was the coolest thing ever. Coolest coolest thing ever just to see the kind of work that they do really hands on, That he is actually really hands on about it. I got some great content out of it but I also have the best memory so yeah I guess that’s one of my top picks.
What is the weirdest influencer request you have ever received?
I get some super weird requests. Especially the ones that make me laugh are the ones when clearly they have not looked at my website. They’re like “oh my god we love your website, can you try our bison burgers” I’m like “ I don’t think you’ve actually looked at my website”. So I’ll get pitched really weird stuff that’s complete non sequitur or – I think in this day age I think it’s kind of weird that people are like “oh can you just do this for free” and it’s like “mmm no” , you know. So there’s till some of that and yeah I guess that happens pretty frequently still but guess it comes with the territory.
Where do you see influencer marketing headed?
That’s also a good question because it’s changed so much since it started. It was really just kind of the wild wild west and then it I think it kind of reach critical mass I think for awhile because now like everyone’s a blogger or Instagrammer or whatever. I think that’s that where things started to change. Where people were influencers on a specific platform, which before it was like just bloggers and you did whatever on the side and now it’s like some people are just Instagrammers and they’re really really killing it in that field but then they don’t do anything else. I don’t know if it’s going – if the pendulum is going to swing the other way where everyone has to kind of be master of all trades again or if it’s going to stay, you know, this way where you can really just kill it on one platform. It’s interesting and I have seen a little bit of kickback from some brands, especially on the travel side of things because there was such an influx of like influencers that everyone was just doing all kinds of stuff and then not delivering on their promises. So I’ve seen in the travel world a lot of people are like “oh we don’t want to work with bloggers or this and that” and I get it. So I think there’s some backlash so yeah I think people have to really hone in on what they’re doing and do it well. I guess it’s survival of the fittest when it comes to this world and it kind of went way up and people really really were shining and now it’s – I don’t know maybe the herd will thin. But yeah it’s interesting, it’s a funny world and no one really knows how to grasp it because it’s always changing.
What is your favorite destination?
I don’t have one. I have I would say a top five. Kenya, obviously. I loved Iceland. I went to the North Pole last year to Svalbard, which is a little island off the coast of Norway. It’s one of the closest land masses near the North Pole [and] that was pretty rad. The Galapagos were great. Australia was pretty great. There’s just so much and it always changes. Thailand’s always up there for me and I’m sure that list will change as like I keep going places.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.