What’s a Social Media Influencer?

Just ask this connected Clarendon mom, Angelica Talan.

Angelica Talan with her kids. Photo by Anna Darlak.

 

Name: Angelica Talan

Age: 46

Lives in: Courthouse-Clarendon with her husband, David, and their two children, Ella, 10, and Logan, 8

Current job: Social media influencer, which Talan describes as “someone who is relatable and aspirational and has made a career out of building a loyal following on social media.” She blogs at Clarendon Moms (clarendonmoms.com) and Angelica in the City (angelicainthecity.com). She also does commercial print modeling.

How it works: I am paid directly by brands for creating and posting quality sponsored content (text, photos, video clips) on my blog and on Instagram. Through these paid partnerships I also serve as a spokesmodel and ambassador for their brands. I’ve been blogging for over seven years. At this point in my career, I do not accept jobs solely in exchange for “freebies.” I charge a fee.

Must-have: Authenticity.

Past gigs: I have a degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I came here to find a job and started as a paralegal in a law firm. Then I was a legal recruiter. After that, I became an actor. [At the time, her last name was Huesca.] I did commercials and was on billboards. I’m most known for a small role in a movie called Step Up [with Channing Tatum] and a nonspeaking role in The Replacements with Keanu Reeves. I interviewed celebrities on the red carpet for BET and I had a one-liner in a movie called Talk to Me [with Don Cheadle].

What was the line?: “That’s right.”

Fun fact: I was the body double for Viola Davis in Syriana. I had to run lines with George Clooney. He was everything everyone says he is—friendly, a jokester and so down to earth.

On aging: I used to have to lie about my age to casting directors. For so long, my talent agent would say, “You can’t be 30 years old. You have to be 25.” I’m happy that I no longer have to do that. Around the time I turned 40, I decided I really wanted to empower other people to just be real about their age.

How I got that blog: Once I had my kids, I put my professional life on hold. One day, I got invited to a birthday party in D.C. with a few other reality-television stars from The Amazing Race, The Apprentice, etc. (I’d been on a Food Network show called Date Plate.) I started getting invited to more events and openings, and I realized a lot of them were free and open to the public. The PR and marketing people were just inviting us to have familiar faces at the events. They wanted us to bring our friends to help promote their companies. And I thought: I want to start an events page to try to bring the moms of Clarendon into D.C., so they can be part of this, too. I was feeling lonely. I wanted to see myself represented as a mom among the young, fabulous, cool people. Moms want to have fun, too. I created an events page called
clarendonmoms.com and from there, my blog was born.

All things glamorous: When I first began collaborating with brands, I was sent baby formula, diapers and butt paste. I basically said “yes” and agreed to write about everything. But my goal was to blog from a very real and honest place, and to work with companies whose values I agree with. I now partner with local companies like Body by Ginny [BbG Fitness] and Arielle Shoshana Scented Luxuries, and national companies like Hilton Hotels. I represent things I really believe in.

Keeping up in Arlington: I’m always surprised by the number of restaurants that are coming and going. I always want to be the first to take you there when there’s something new.

Parties and events: I get invited to 10 to 12 events a week, most of them in D.C. I find a way to have fun at all of them.

Fashion finds: People want to know what I’m wearing. If I’m sponsored, if an outfit was given to me for free, I let my audience know. If not, I say I picked it out from my closet. A lot of influencers, we get outfitted from head to toe so we can be seen around town or at an event or a party.

No desk job: Never in a million years did I think you could have a career and your office could be anywhere you are—and all you need is a phone.

Favorite thing to write about: If I had to choose a category, it’s travel—and showing that your kids don’t have to complicate your travel style. There’s never a time I want to leave them at home.

Pro tip: Travel light. People think they need to bring their entire house with them. You don’t. Another tip: Pack clothes that are on their way out the door and then donate them, so you’re even lighter on the way back.

Rookie mistake: We took a double stroller to Paris, which meant paying extra luggage fees when we could have rented one there. And honestly? The kids were at an age where they both could have walked. Now I know. Everything can be faster and lighter.

The power of influence: I realized I had real influence in our community after a dozen moms, at different points, asked me the best place for this or that. Each one said, “You’re better than the Yellow Pages; you are the Yellow Pages.” I feel like my purpose is sharing information and connecting people to each other and to the right brands and experiences.

Gratitude: I don’t take my position for granted. I am really happy to be able to marry all of my passions. Helping others—that has to go first. I can say: This is tested and true and it saves people time. I want to guide them to where it’s worth spending their time and money.

Categories: People
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