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Daily Inspiration: Meet Carmen Varner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmen Varner.

Hi Carmen, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Today I’m a social media manager for small businesses and in my spare time, I’m a travel and lifestyle blogger. I’ve had my blog for 10 years now!

It all began in college when I started my blog as a creative outlet. I majored in journalism but after university, I started my career as a social media intern. I grew from there and went from an intern to an account manager to a social media manager. I’ve worked with therapists, financial advisors, e-commerce brands, and more.

When it comes to social media for clients, I like to focus on social media, strategy, SEO, and analytics. I like to tell clients that I’m the person to help with social media, content, blogs, and overall marketing strategy until they’re ready to hire someone full-time. I work at an hourly rate, guided by the client’s overall monthly budget. This gives us the flexibility to increase or decrease work easily and makes it more approachable to small business owners who are looking for some assistance but don’t really have the budget to hire someone full-time.

All the while, I was updating my blog, focusing on travel, food, and other lifestyle content. Thanks to the audience and organic views from my blog, I’ve been able to do a lot of fun things like going to events, working with brands, or even skydiving on a press trip in Lompoc, California. I’ve always been able to blend together everything I learned in journalism into social media and blogging. Everything goes together in its own way to create a variety of opportunities!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There are always challenges that come along the way, battles you have to fight and face to make it to the next chapter of the story. I’ve been working remotely since 2017, so there are always clients who move on or brands that just aren’t a good fit. It’s just a part of the business and part of working freelance. My clients are usually aren’t seeking long-term, full-time work, and that’s part of the adventure that keeps me on my toes.

Covid, however, was particularly hard-hitting since most of my clients are small businesses. Many of them had to deal with budget cuts to the business, which included social media services. It was the first time since going remote in 2017 that I was mostly out of work and out of clients.

I revamped my resume to focus one version on social media services and another one on copywriting and content. In mid-2020, it certainly felt like the never-ending unknown. I searched for new clients for a while and was able to find some work after few months. It really felt like a big question mark if work would ever pick up again. I can really see the light now that the world is opening up again; people are living and they’re starting to search for travel content again and businesses need marketing.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’ve had my blog since 2011. It started out with sporadic poems and random travel posts. Once I got into the social media field, I started to approach my creative work with a little bit more intentionality. It’s still a creative outlet but it isn’t random. My posts are usually researched, search engine optimized, and designed to be found organically. I base the posts on things that I’ve done or seen or traveled to or been interested in myself so there’s always a bit of me in every blog post. For example, one of my most viewed posts is my post about Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed? inspired by my journey to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Burbank. I’ve been featured in TLC, Parade Magazine, Chickpea Quarterly Magazine, and more!

Pricing:

  • Client budgets usually start at $500 per month.

Contact Info:

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