5. Influencer Marketing, Fly Fishing and Simplifying Your Life with Angelica Talan
Have you ever considered tapping into your community influencers to spread the word about your school? In this episode, Aubrey & Tara chat with Angelica Talan, blogger and social media influencer, about the impact of social media on marketing and how to approach influencers for school marketing.
About Angelica Talan:
Angelica Talan is a Blogger, Social Media Influencer & Mompreneur based in Arlington, Virginia. She is also the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Liaison for United Women On The Fly, the largest online community of female fly anglers in the world.
Aubrey (00:01): Welcome to Mindful School Marketing, your go-to podcast for personal and professional growth.
Tara (00:07): We’re school marketers, business owners, and moms passionate about connecting other school professionals with tools and strategies for success.
Aubrey (00:15): We love solving problems, exploring new ideas and thinking outside the box, let’s transform your school in life, starting right now. Welcome to Mindful School Marketing. I’m Aubrey Bursch,
Tara (00:28): And I’m Tara Claeys. Today we’re joined by Angelica Talan. Angelica is a blogger social media influencer, and mompreneur based in Arlington, Virginia. She’s also the diversity, equity, and inclusion liaison for United Women on the Fly, the largest online community of female fly anglers in the world, which is so fascinating. Welcome Angelica, we’re so glad to have you here with us today. Thanks for joining us!
Angelica (00:53): Hi ladies, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here.
Aubrey (00:57): Yes, I can definitely say that we are excited to have you and I can’t wait to dive into this conversation, but before we get started, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Angelica (01:05): Well, I’m originally from Northwest Ohio, but I’ve been living in the DMV, the DC, Maryland, Virginia area for over 20 years. My home is in Arlington, Virginia. I live in the Clarendon neighborhood and I love it sharing resources and information with the rest of my community so that they can save time, they can save money, and they can save energy and do the things that they want to do. And that’s pretty much it.
Tara (01:33): So I know you and I have known each other for a few years through, because I’m also in Arlington through a local women entrepreneur group and I follow your blog. You have a great following there. So tell us a little bit about your Clarendon moms and what you do online.
Angelica (01:50): Well, I began Clarendon moms and 2011 because I wanted to connect with moms who want it to get out of the house. And I wasn’t finding the right women in my community that, you know, wanted to go out and eat and see movies and everything. So I decided to create an online platform where they could come and meet up with one another. And eventually that turned into things to talk about baby wipes and diapers and breastfeeding, etc. And then from there, it turned into where to take your kids where to travel with your family. And that’s where I am now. And yeah, you and I belong to Awesome Women Entrepreneurs. And it’s an amazing organization here in Arlington, Virginia.
Tara (02:42): When you, when you started this, did you know like how to be an influencer or did you research that or did it just sort of happen organically? Because I mean, you are definitely an influencer and you have a lot of followers, right? And so you, you influence people by having this online presence. Tell us a little bit more about that.
Angelica (02:59): So back in 2011, this term influencer wasn’t even out there yet. And so I began a blog and I wrote kind of from the heart and shared my experience. And within weeks it kind of took off like wildfire. I understood that a lot of other people meet at that connection and by reading other people’s stories, and help them kind of connect and feel like they were within a community. So blogging, just kind of transpired into posting more online. Then from my blog, Instagram was born. And then all of a sudden that’s when we started hearing the term influencer. I think being an influencer kind of connects with credibility and a trusted voice, and a lot of people are looking for someone who has experienced what they’re looking to do and kind of hearing an opinion about. So what happened when you experienced X? And they are basing their plans on someone that’s credible and trusted. And I slowly built my online presence and I think I’ve become a voice in the community and become a hyper-local micro-influencer.
Tara (04:16): What is hyper-local micro-influencer?
Aubrey (04:19): I love that term.
Angelica (04:21): Hyper-Local means that you try to create a niche within your community and your population. Sometimes people can just be someone that is on the local forum and then eventually they can grow outside of that region and to bigger and broader things. Micro-Influencer means that you have less than 50,000 followers on any platform. At one point I was Clarendon mom was pulling in around 115,000 views on a monthly basis. And then with Instagram, I probably get between 30 and 40,000. So that’s, that keeps me just under that 50,000 range to become a micro-influencer.
Aubrey (05:05): That’s fascinating. And I’ve heard that that’s the new trend, the micro-influencers are where people are going now instead of the mega ones in terms of marketing and stuff like that. So that’s fascinating. And I loved hearing your growth story. Like it just started out from this thing that you knew people you were looking for and you knew people where other people are looking for and it grew from there. I’m so curious, what content have you found to be the most popular with your audience of moms? And have you seen any trends changing, especially now we’re coming out of a COVID year or still in a COVID year?
Angelica (05:40): Yeah, well, up until the COVID year, a lot of times people were very fascinated by travel and where to take your kids and why does is it always seem like you’re out and about with them? And I’m literally here in Arlington or in DC and it just looks like I’m in Colorado, Wyoming or something. So that was, you know, the basis of a lot of my content that kind of captured an audience here locally, but recently since the pandemic, people are more interested in home organization time management skills, finding ways to escape so they want more comedic relief. And so I try to kind of incorporate that throughout my stories by, you know, I’ll do a Tik ToK dance every once in a while with my kids just to like, you know, have another mom say like, oh yeah, like we saw a daughter doing that too, my 13 year old did it. And I try to end, we busted our butts. So what we’re kind of seeing the trends kind of steer away from is anything that’s like cooking. I think we’re so exhausted from cooking that it’s like, oh no, I don’t want another meal delivery service kit. Can we just talk about like, something else, like maybe an outdoor picnic or something like that? I’m also seeing trends towards how to basically get your husband out of the house so that you have a little bit more free time and, you know, he’s always there. So how do you get together with your family, your parents and so grandparents and, and do it in a very safe way. So kind of creative gatherings.
Tara (07:24): Yeah. You really had to adjust your content to the situation and the circumstance. Because we are focused on schools and especially private and independent schools here. I’d love to hear a little bit about any experience that you’ve had in terms of that content on your site. Because of course, moms and parents are really looking for influencers when it comes to knowing what schools, preschools, what schools are best for their kids, what the options are out there. So I’d love to hear some, a little bit about your experience with that. Maybe what the concerns of parents are when they’re looking for schools. What have you heard online? What’s your experience there?
Angelica (08:03): Well, I would say most schools are trying to abide by the CDC guidelines and what I am getting reached out to a lot is, you know, people they need to return to work. So they’re looking for more full-time opportunities to put their children in school. And now we’re kind of on this hybrid level of learning and I’m doing my research and try to figure out like what schools are offering more days that the kids can go inside and what are they doing once they’re inside? Are they masking up, doing the six feet apart, are schools doing more outside learning? And that is something that I’m seeing a trend across the country that we’re taking our kids outside a lot more and kind of having the school and the education outdoors, as opposed to being indoors. And I really love that. I haven’t seen a lot of that locally, but I am very hopeful that we are going to be able to get outdoors and outside in nature for education soon.
Tara (09:10): Yeah, for sure. That’s a positive thing that’s come out of this for a lot of schools. I’m going to ask you a nitty-gritty question here. So if I’m a school and I want to, get on your radar and I want you to share my school information. How does that work with an influencer? Because obviously you lose your credibility if you get paid to go and promote something, a school or a camp or anything like that, but I’m sure you must get contacted by those organizations, or you have people who have asked you about that. So talk to our school audience about what it means to get on the radar of an influencer and how, how does it work?
Angelica (09:50): Sure. If there’s someone that you are looking at and she, or he is a very, you know, credible voice in your community, I would send them a DM. And that’s like a direct message for those who are don’t know, and just kind of share, you know, your website what your initiatives are for the upcoming school year, because a lot of us are looking at the 2021 and 2022 school year already. And just share what kind of, what your asks are. A lot of times people don’t know the first thing about working with an influencer. We are here to help you promote what you are offering to our community. And one of the best ways to work with me is just to send me a direct message over on Instagram, or email me at angelicaandthecity@gmail.Com and just share exactly what you’re looking to market to our audience, because a lot of us have built audiences it’s taken a long time to get there, but you probably have something that we could share and inspire at least one person to want to take what you have to offer.
Aubrey (11:07): I think that’s so interesting. And I’m thinking in terms of, you know, how schools are, I don’t think many schools have even really thought about influencer marketing at all, or even considered parents in their own community as potential influencers. Right. And I don’t think some of those parents in the community have any idea that they could potentially be an influencer. So I’m wondering like how would that conversation go and to a person who may be an influencer, but they don’t know they’re an influencer and how, how might one proceed with that?
Angelica (11:39): Well, I don’t know. That is an amazing question. I had this conversation with a mom yesterday who just opened up a store here in Arlington. I don’t think she realized as much about how much she influences all of us. So if I were a school like a principal or some sort of administrator and I saw a mom or a dad who’s out there sharing information and because of him or her they’re getting parents to come in and kind of be involved in the community. I would just reach out and share what I’ve seen and say, hey, I noticed that like you raised $10,000 for last school’s auction. I think you’re an influencer. I don’t know if you know that you’re an influencer, but will you help me? And just have a simple ask. Will you help? Anytime when anyone, I don’t care who they are asked me on the street, will you help me? My heart just fills up. And I’m like, what do you need me to do? I’m there for them. I mean, I don’t care what they ask. They might ask where my last piece of chewing gum that they saw me, like, put in my mouth. And I’m like, oh yeah, I definitely have one more, here you go. So I would say just, you know, go and don’t be afraid to connect and communicate. You have to build a relationship. That’s the most important thing to do is if you’re looking to connect with anyone on any level that’s going to help you or your brand a connection, a legitimate relationship is what’s the most important. And a lot of times people don’t want to be approached cold. They want to have a connection already established, and they want to feel like you guys took the time to build a rapport and build a relationship.
Tara (13:30): That’s so brilliant. It’s it almost seems too obvious, you know, as as a marketing tactic, because you don’t have to go out and hire somebody. You don’t, it’s a relationship like you said. So thanks for sharing that.
Aubrey (13:44): Yeah. I’m just seeing how this could play out for schools in so many ways. And some of it, I would say some of the larger schools are working in this direction, but I think the smaller schools are still working towards identifying influences or influencers in their community. I’d be interested to know, what do you think the future of influencers is? I mean it just started, I feel like the possibilities are endless, but I’d love your take as a professional influencer.
Angelica (14:16): Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. I am definitely seeing a trend and the direction of people like looking for more of a connection with someone they know and, and kind of steering away from that celebrity endorsement of it. People want real people. That’s what my finding is for 2021 and 2022 in terms of a forecast is that people really want to feel like that person is real and achievable and accessible, and not someone that’s on a pedestal so high that in comparison, they really don’t feel like there’s any way for them to go that far up, you know, or if “up” is how they really want to compare. So I think it’s important that we look at influencer marketing, kind of like what we did when we had newspaper ads or print campaigns. When you go into your dentist office and you would open up a brochure, or when you’re standing in line at a grocery store and you’re looking at a magazine, and then you see like an ad for something. Social media influencing is more local to your neighborhood and your community and your environment. And this is a way for you to kind of feel like you’re in a town hall saying I’m making an announcement through a spokesperson or a spokesmodel that says, hey, my school needs where you guys to bring those cereal boxes, box things. I forget what they’re called. You guys know.
Tara (15:51): Yes, my mother-in-law used to collect them for me.
Aubrey (15:53): The box tops for education.
Tara (15:56): That’s right!
Angelica (15:58): And that’s still a thing that we don’t hear about at local schools. And, you know, we eat a lot of cereal and my family, I love that for dessert. I would rather have a bowl of like frosted mini wheats over having some ice cream and that’s just as simple as, an example is I could give and like, Okay, let’s get Angelica to go to her school, make an announcement in front of the PTA. And social media influencing works just like that, but at a faster pace and a larger level, because people have their phones and it’s like, oh God, we need like a thousand box tops by Friday. And then boom, boom, rapid-fire.
Tara (16:43): Yeah. It’s the power of social media. So I’m going to actually take our conversation towards social media specifically, because we also on our podcast talk about mindfulness and how it applies to the roles and responsibilities of those who work in school admissions and school marketing. So with the abundance of time that we all spend on social media and as we’ve talked about the important role that it plays in marketing and in getting the word out for the, for our school audience, you know, how do you find a balance between the necessity of being on social media and also not letting it consume you?
Angelica (17:21): Well, I will start off by saying that social media consumption can burn you out. It can burn out anyone, but especially those who are involved in it and as a career, as a paid profession. So what I do is I really focus on time management because, you know, there’s always say there’s two types of people. There are the people who post and the people who scroll. And so I get paid to post and I will work and focus on that first. And then part of my job is also research. And that’s also like looking to see what’s out there so that I can also reshare that with my audience. So I think time management limiting yourself on social media is a very healthy way to balance pretty much everything you do. You don’t want to consume too much social media because it’s just like consuming too much of anything in moderation is key.
Tara (18:20): I love that. Being mindful about how much time you’re spending on online is can be hard to do because the time just flows right by, right?
Angelica (18:29): I use alarms and alerts sometimes I’m like, okay, 15 minutes to engage with my favorite people, you know, and that means to engage, so liking and make comments, and then 15 minutes to connect, because again, building a rapport and establishing a relationship online. I can’t tell you how many amazing friends I’ve met through social media. And I think that is a really amazing tool that we all have right now. And if you could just spend a few minutes a day building a rapport and establishing a relationship that you might end up having someone go offline and become an inline friend or in-person friend, I should say.
Aubrey (19:13): That’s so true. Such wise words. And I’m just thinking about our, our MarCom professionals, our marketing communication people who their job is to monitor the social media to be engaged and stuff like that. And those are such valuable words of wisdom. So thank you. As we transition to the last part of our show, I’d love to ask you a few questions. We ask all our guests, and I’d like to start off by saying, what are the most important things you do to grow personally and professionally?
Angelica (19:43): Oh my gosh. Well, I love to learn. You know, I look at everything with childlike wonderment. I mean, literally everything. Oh, how does this work? You know, when I touch something. And so I think spending time on a weekly basis dedicated to learning a new hobby or strengthening a skill is how I develop and kind of maintain my professional growth as well as personal growth.
Tara (20:14): Yeah. I’d love to take this opportunity to ask you to tell us a little bit about your fly fishing, because I think it’s so interesting too. I mean, I don’t know that I’ve met that many people who enjoy fishing, but to be a fly Fisher woman, you know, and how many women are there and how many women of color are there, who are doing fly fishing. So you’re the diversity liaison for your organization. I’d love just for you to give a shout out and tell us a little bit about that, even though it’s not related to our school marketing, because I think it’s cool.
Angelica (20:43): Well, I appreciate that question and I’ll tell you, you know, I am determined to try to bring it into some schools around here because I think it’s really great for the mind body wellness component. I got into fly fishing about two years ago, my daughter who will be 13 in a couple months, came to me and said, I want you to take me fishing. And I thought, I mean, why didn’t you ask your dad? Like, where are you asking me?
Tara (21:10): I love that.
Angelica (21:12): I was like so excited. I’m like, she asked me to take her fishing and that meant the world. So we went out, we went fishing, she caught like six fish in like a matter of an hour. Like she was a natural. But when we came home, we went down the rabbit hole of YouTube and I saw fly fishing and I had heard of it, but I didn’t really know what it was. And it was like a dance I noticed, like the way that they cast was very different. So I went down a rabbit hole, I got a sponsored trip to Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. And then within weeks of this interest in my daughter and they took me on a guided trip and I fell in love. You want to talk about being mindful? All of the stress in my life just went away while I was on the water, this primal connection to the earth and it’s earth day today. That primal connection just really put me back into a time when I wasn’t worried about anything when I wasn’t adulting and worried about my next thing. And I fell in love with it. And I’ll tell you what I feel like it has saved me through this quarantine and this COVID crisis that we have. Everything just went super fast. I was on another podcast and Heather Hudson, the Founder of United Women on the Fly heard me speak. And immediately she invited me to be part of the United Women on the Fly community. And then from there, she invited me to be on the leadership team. And I’m very proud to be the DEI diversity equity and inclusion chair person on United Women on the Fly, which is the largest online women’s organization in the entire world.
Tara (22:57): Oh my gosh. This gives me chills. Like, I feel like, I guess we’re doing this on video, so I’m like a little bit teary. I just love that. It’s so awesome. How cool. Thanks for sharing that. Thank you so much.
Aubrey (23:08): I mean, as, as a mom, I’ve got tears too, because I’m just thinking of my children and you know, when they don’t ask their dad for something and they come to me for something, you know, you have that moment of like, yeah, we got to do this. I’m going to learn how to fish. I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it. And I love that you took that. And then you went with it and whenever I’ve seen fly fishing or anything like that, it looks so meditative. Like, it’s like this beautiful, like you said, the dance. And so I think you may have inspired me a bit to go check it out.
Angelica (23:36): I’m determined to get a group of us moms in the fall. I’ll let you guys know, that I was planning to it last year and I made the announcement and then COVID struck, but we’re going to try it again. So you two will be on the guest list. And then once we get connected, hopefully we can bring our children and they can get connected. And then hopefully we can try to get some initiatives in some of these schools around here.
Tara (24:00): That’s awesome. And I guess with fly fishing, you don’t have to really touch worms, right?
Angelica (24:04): No, there’s so many elements to it. So no live bait. That’s really good.
Aubrey (24:11): That’s a bonus. Yeah, totally.
Tara (24:14): I know. All right. We’re going to go off on tangents. I suppose that the next question that we ask may, may have already sort of been wrapped up into what you just talked about, but we also ask all of our guests, what’s one important thing that we can do to be more mindful?
Angelica (24:28): There’s so many I have. Simplify your life, try to find a space where you have fewer commitments, where you are dedicating less time to things that don’t matter. Have less things in your life. My parents are, I come from a long line of hoarders, you know, that was the generation back then. And I live a very minimalistic life. So I’m able to just walk out my door in the morning, carefree.
Aubrey (25:01): That’s so beautiful. And I think, I think I’m starting to see that research like a, really a trend towards that right now with a lot of moms who are kind of overwhelmed with their schedules, with their houses, I think COVID put a hole to many of like our scheduled activities. So we got a glimpse into what even simplifying our lives could look like. So what great advice. Now we do ask some rapid fire questions, which we love to hear the answers of. So I’d like to kick us off with that. If you could put one book as mandatory reading in the high school curriculum, what would it be?
Angelica (25:39): Oh, wow. There’s a really great one. And that’s How to Become Anti-Racist. Yes.
Tara (25:48): Yep. I’ve read that. I think most of us probably have read it. It’s it’s amazing. So, yeah. Thanks for sharing that by Abraham Kendi, right?
Tara (25:57): What’s one app you couldn’t live without?
Angelica (26:02): Notes. I take notes like there’s no tomorrow, I look at it more than I do Instagram. I look at it more than I do the weather. I definitely look at it more than I look at my calendar.
Tara (26:14): So the notes app on your, on your iPhone?
Angelica (26:16): Yes.
Tara (26:17): Do you organize them into folders and stuff? How do you do that? Because there’s all kinds of, I’ve tried all different like note taking apps and I do use that one too. So have you looked at like the other kinds of note taking apps and you’ve just settled cause that one’s sort of built in?
Angelica (26:33): The second. Yeah. So I would say Moleskin has the best note-taking and task oriented app on the market. Right. Speaker 2 (26:41): Moleskin. Because I hear about Evernote all the time. Speaker 4 (26:44): I’ve tried that one and it’s just too much.
Angelica (26:47): Completely, I’ve I’ve tried it for years. Moleskin is new, I highly recommend it.
Tara (26:54): Cool.
Aubrey (26:55): I’m going to totally check that out because I too, everyone was talking about Evernote and I was like, I got to go do this. It’s going to get me so organized and I’m going have all my notes. But I was like, this is not for me. So I’m going to check out that, that one sounds great. I’d love to hear, what are you reading right now?
Angelica (27:12): Right now? There’s a book by Trevor Noah. I cannot think of, well, let me see. I have it right here. I can’t think of the name, but I just started it today. Like earlier this morning I was in bed and I’m looking around, but it’s, it’s, it’s either like his autobiography. It’s the latest book by Trevor Noah.
Tara (27:36): Cool. Thank you. Okay. Last question. Last rapid fire. What’s one great piece of advice that you’d like to leave us with?
Angelica (27:44): Oh wow. Well, we kind of covered it, but I would say basically simplify your life if there’s any way at all, but you could simplify it. Just try to do that because if you could free up most of your day for what you want to do, you will live longer. You’ll be less stressed and you’ll be happier.
Aubrey (28:07): I love that. And it’s so applicable. I mean, I think it’s a process, right? It’s not just a one-step or you kind of have to remember that every, every day and every season. Right? So thank you. This was so much fun. Thank you so much for coming today. And we so enjoyed hearing from you and you dropped some great words of wisdom in there too.
Angelica (28:28): Well, thank you so much and honored to be here on your show. I love learning. So to, to know that you two are so passionate about education and our school system means the world to me. Thank you for that.
Tara (28:43): Thanks for joining us. Maybe we’ll see you on a fly fishing trip.
Aubrey (28:46): Absolutely. I’m so excited.
Angelica (28:49): Alright, bye!
Tara (28:53): Thanks for joining us on the Mindful School Marketing podcast.
Aubrey (28:57): We’d love it if you pop into iTunes and leave a review, five star preferred! Let us know how you liked the show, it helps us improve what we’re doing and helps others find us too.