I'm a blogger. 

I'm an influencer. 

I'm a social media manager. 

I'm a blogging coach.

I'm a freelance writer.

I'm all of the above!

There are so many buzzwords these days - blogger, influencer, influencer marketing, engagement - but what does it all mean? Well, some have different meanings, some are similar, & some are industry words much like you'd view on a resume. I don't go around introducing myself as a San Diego influencer in all instances. 

I've written over 500 blog posts & hundreds of posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, over the years. I've had a blog since 2011, long before I ever had an Instagram page. I majored in journalism & decided I didn't want to spend my life at a newspaper, the next best thing was a lifestyle blog. In 2011, it wasn't about followers, it was about finding a place on the internet where you felt at home.  What a different time! In 2017, I quit my corporate job to find the next step for me: freelancing, remote work, writing, social media management. 

Read my yearly freelancing anniversary updates from Years 1, 2, & 3!

San Diego Influencer: What Do Social Media Influencers Do? What Are Influencers vs. Bloggers?
Hanging out & hiking in Julian, California.

When I do social media management for small local businesses & other clients, I'm a social media manager. What does a social media manager do in a day? Read here. When I'm completing contracted writing for magazines, I'm a freelance writer. If I'm invited to a restaurant opening in San Diego, it's probably because of my blog or social media accounts, so in that case, I'd call myself a San Diego influencer. 

I remember attending a press trip for Visit El Paso in 2018 & talking to a man in his 50s. He was on the press trip too, but more on the event planning side, I was on the blogger side. He asked me about the term "influencer" & asked if that's what young people refer to themselves as these days. It was a good question. 

Click here to contact me. I'd love to learn more about you & your top business needs. 

Related reading: Life in Quarantine as a San Diego Blogger + Social Media Manager from April 2020

What Are Influencers vs. Bloggers? 

Influencer marketing isn't just in San Diego or the United States, it's all across the world. There are influencers everywhere, from San Francisco & Los Angeles to New York & Paris & Warsaw, Poland. Overall, being a top blogger, influencer, etc. really depends on the person & what they want to be called. Generally, a blogger has a literal blog. Whether on WordPress, Wix, BlogSpot, SquareSpace, what have you, a blogger is a blogger because of a blog. 

Someone who blogs is a blogger; someone who knits is a knitter; someone who plays basketball is a basketball player. It's more about the action, not about semantics.

Read this post for a whole exercise on how to find blogging inspiration & blog ideas.

An influencer might not have a blog but instead has a social media presence, such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, the list goes on. PS, read this blog post for tips to increase your Facebook reach. So because an influencer could be on any/all social channels, the term influencer is a general description of what we do. Social media influencers have influence because of the followers & online presence they've created, similar to a blog, but in a different capacity. 

For example, at one point in May 2020, I had up to 2.2 million monthly viewers on my Pinterest profile. Is Pinterest social media? 

A blogger might also have an active social media presence, & an influencer could have a blog. Because there isn't a magical exact preciseness to it all, each person might refer to themselves as something different! You can view examples of what a person calls themselves on their blog or social media channels, sometimes in their email signature.

Have questions about influencer marketing in the city of San Diego? Click here to contact me.

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Social Anxiety // As I entered the influencer event I looked around, felt overwhelmed & walked out to compose myself. I did that 2 more times before I finally found the guts to approach someone. 😬 ⁣ ⁣ Once I did, we joked about working remotely, how proud of ourselves we felt for putting pants on (when your work from home you don’t really need pants 🀷🏻‍♀️). ⁣ ⁣ I’m happy I went! I tried a shrimp taco for the first time in 15 years. 🦐 I shared ceviche & made new friends at @101homeandaway. I sipped @thornbeer & talked about social anxiety with the very influencers at the event - how we must encourage ourselves to go out, mingle, & stay outside of our comfort zones even though it’s part of our careers. ⁣ ⁣ So am I the only one with social anxiety? How does it impact you? How do you get social in times of high anxiety? Let me know your tips & what works for you. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ˜‡

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What is Influencer Marketing?

Both the top influencers & bloggers create content, write (whether it's captions or blog posts), take photos, negotiate, & so much more. Whether you are a therapist, beauty brand, or a beach towel company, there are ways to improve engagement, get a follow or two, increase visits, increase page views to your contact page, & more.

Influencer marketing is basically like user-generated marketing for the brand; they essentially hire the influencer to do work, ie. content or photos & then share it with their family, friends, audience that they personally developed.

Sometimes I'm a lifestyle blogger, travel influencer, travel writer, social media consultant, the names change because I'm all of them. It depends on who I'm speaking to or what I'm doing! When I went on that press trip in Texas, it makes sense that I'm a California blogger/San Diego influencer since I'm coming in with a California perspective & California viewers make up one of my biggest percentage of followers. 

Want to contact me? Click here.

What Do Social Media Influencers Do?

Lifestyle influencer marketing revolves around things people use, eat, or experience on a regular basis, such as tea or a toothbrush or a short trip with family. After the Texas press trip, I created content on my blog. I found a particular aspect about El Paso that I loved & felt my followers & Google searchers would be interested in or would search for later. I wrote a blog post about Franklin Mountains State Park & then shared that content on my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor). 

Going on the press trip gave me content to write about; it gave me experiences, memories, & furthered my own blogging/influencing career by being part of a full-on fly me out, pay for my hotel room type of press trip! In return, the influencers/bloggers create content, take photos, or tag the brand, link to the website, generate interest, views, website clicks, or bookings, etc.

A lot of times a top influencer becomes an influencer by being themselves. For example, I wrote a post about rainbow eucalyptus trees in Balboa Park, San Diego (which you can read here) & it started getting organic search traffic from people Googling fun things in San Diego or where to see rainbow eucalyptus in San Diego.

As an influencer or blogger, you don't work for someone else, it's your platform to use as you wish. As an influencer, it becomes a business that the person chooses what's best. They can choose if they want to work with fashion & style, news, beauty, travel, food. 

And remember: it's not always about the number of followers, how much reach do they get? How much engagement? 

For example, I had a campaign with Del Taco to promote the Beyond Meat range of burritos & tacos. As someone who has been meat-free for 15 years, I was already buying this product. It made sense to me when the email popped in my inbox about doing a sponsored post on Instagram to talk about it. Make money talking about something I already used, ate, tried? Yes, please. Take a look at my Instagram post!

If you'd like to contact me, click here.

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It's official: I've been self-employed for 2 years! June, although midway through the year, signifies a fresh start to me! πŸŽ‰ __________________________________ I work as a manager & consultant for small businesses to improve their content, brand awareness, website traffic, SEO value, & potential sales. It’s difficult but rewarding. __________________________________ @juneshineco , however, doesn’t need me for that, so I took an evening off to celebrate their new Juneshine Scripps Ranch media opening & their 1-year anniversary. πŸ₯° I chatted with their extremely friendly team (normally I’m an introvert but I tried my damnest to talk to people & speak up & ask questions. A++++ for effort!! ☺️) Anyway, I discovered that we’re both June business babies!!! Mine is 2; Juneshine is 1. Awwww. πŸ’» So they officially open Saturday June 15, so check them out. __________________________________ I learned a lot this year as far as SEO (search engine optimization), going outside of my comfort zone, understanding the true meaning of networking/connections (building genuine & authentic relationships with people in which you can mutually help each other but in different ways). πŸ’»✅ __________________________________ So have you tried Juneshine or hard kombucha? How long have you followed me? Is there any content/information you want learn about? What would you like to see from me? Feel free to ask a question!! Or just say HI πŸ‘‹πŸΌ & tell me your favourite childhood movie! 🍿 πŸŽ₯

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Examples of San Diego Influencer Marketing Events I've Attended

- I went to an event at Home & Away Encinitas for Thorn Beer. They invited foodie influencers to attend. These are regular people. Most of them have a day job, a life other than influencing. These are people who love food & probably post about it frequently, perhaps they use certain hashtags to find new followers. Take a look at my Instagram post about the event & experience here. 

Related reading: Encinitas Coffee Shops: Searching for the Best Coffee in Town

- I was invited to the opening of the Scripps Ranch location of Juneshine. View my Instagram post from that event. This event was a bit younger, more modern, & fresh. Most influencers were young, under 40. It's all about the brand, Juneshine is a hard kombucha, which might have a fun, fresh young audience compared to a craft beer brand. The influencers you invite to your event should reflect your brand!

- I attended a mindfulness app launch party in San Diego a few years back at the start of influencer marketing. There was a range of professionals - not just bloggers. Each professional might have a different niche & audience, whether influencer or other local business representatives. 

Is Influencer Marketing Free? What Does it Cost?

I've been invited to events across San Diego County. Sometimes a public relations company contacts me via email or sometimes you get a quick Instagram message about something from a brand itself. Each company or event is different. Sometimes there are no requirements for a particular event, they just invite you to feel free to post or not post. Sometimes they want you to post a couple Instagram Stories & other times it's more involved. This is where certain influencers have the leverage to have sponsored posts, posting fees, or other requirements, especially if a lifestyle influencer has a large following/reach. And yes, sometimes there is payment, depending on the campaign or type of sponsored collaboration.

Contact me or see about Coaching, Consulting, & Management for your small business.

San Diego Influencer: What Do Social Media Influencers Do? What Are Influencers vs. Bloggers? Lompoc California Press trip
On a press trip in Lompoc, California with Explore Lompoc. I wrote Fun Things to Do in the City of Lompoc, California on my blog.

Finding an Influencer for Your Business

From La Jolla, Balboa Park, Del Mar, all the way up to Julian, there are events, restaurant openings, local businesses all around San Diego that could use lifestyle influencer marketing. It's all about finding the correct person for your brand. One influencer might offer daily posting on Instagram about local eateries to try in San Diego County while another might share home decor tips. Follow a few to get a feel for who's out there.

Related reading: How to Set Effective Personal & Business Goals So You Actually Get Things Done

You made it all the way to the bottom so what's the next step? Sometimes you have to take a leap & see what happens. If you need some help, I work with businesses on their engagement, blog writing, social media content, & more.

Whether you live in the city of San Diego or somewhere else, your business might benefit from influencer marketing. Have a question about social media influencers or small business influencer marketing? Contact me. Interested in social media management, help, or consulting? Fill out my Discovery Questionnaire & I'll get in touch with you within 48 hours.


Very good job going above and beyond my request for stats. Appreciate you putting your critical thinking hat on when looking at the data and extrapolating actionable insights. This is excellent as we continue to test and tweak.” - R.W. 

"Carmen helped me prioritize my goals for my brand as a whole. She provided me with skills to improve my decision-making in everything from blog topics, gauging my audience, and making my personality really shine through in my work." -K.S.

"I have so much more clarity about the direction we are headed in--and we are already seeing results! I implemented her SEO strategy a few weeks ago and in the past week we have started to see more referrals through Google. Most importantly, these are quality referrals that have booked with us right away and been eager to pay our full fee. Carmen keeps me accountable to my goals and also provides feedback on my marketing. I send her 90% of our content before it goes out, and she always thinks of ways to make it better." - C.A.

Want to hire me for social media management, consulting, or something else? Fill out my Discovery Questionnaire & I'll get in touch with you within 48 hours.