Featured Local: Abel Ozuna (The Local Influencers)

Samantha Chamberlain

Abel Ozuna is an author and contributor at Dine 361, an online blog and podcast that highlights local restaurants, cafes, and bars. In November, he launched The Local Influencers podcast, which highlights influencers and entrepreneurs in the Coastal Bend.


Here he is, alongside cohost Jeneva:


What led to the creation of The Local Influencers?

I was working with Dine 361 and as I was interviewing local restaurant owners. I was like, “Man, there has to be other cool people doing things in the area”. So I decided to start TLI in order to help promote any and all entrepreneurs in our area.


What are your roles?

I am the creator and main host, while Jeneva is a cohost.


What is your experience in podcasting?

I have been doing this for almost ten years now. I used to run a podcast network that had over 8 shows all either produced by or hosted by me. Most of my shows were based on TV shows and we recapped weekly episodes like: Shadowhunters, Siren, Cloak and Dagger, and many others.


Where did you come up with the name?

I was messing around with names and years ago I had a blog called the local celebrity -this was when Perez Hilton was a big deal. I wanted to be like him, haha. That went away after a couple of years, so here is The Local Influencers.


Who all has supported you?

So many local businesses have already scheduled interviews with me, it’s insane! I can’t name them all yet as their episodes are still not released but it’s been overwhelmingly positive.


Have you ever wanted to give up?

Oh yeah. I work in retail, so after working 8-10 hours a day and then having to come home to record is sometimes not always fun.


What's been the most challenging part?

I would say scheduling. Especially with COVID-19. I am not really doing in person interviews right now so scheduling zoom calls has been tough.


What has been your favorite part?

By far, getting to know all of the amazing and creative people we have in the area.


What keeps you doing it?

The support I get from locals. And the excitement I hear when I interview someone for the first time.


What's something you've learned that you wish you would have known in the beginning?

I’ve learned to be more patient when corresponding with people. With my old podcast network I had little to no patience and would write people off after no response in a day or two. I was brutal, now thinking about it.


What would you tell someone who's thinking about starting a podcast?

I’d say to just do it. No one ever likes to hear the sound of their own voice at first but after a while you get over it.


What are you looking to achieve with The Local Influencers?

I want to connect the creatives and entrepreneurs we have in town and eventually host in-person networking sessions.


What is success to you?

I think success means happiness. Once I’m successful at something, I’m hoping it’ll make me feel full and happy. Although I am a creative, so I’ve always got a bright and shiny new idea under my sleeve.


What is your dream in life?

My dream is life is to work for myself full time. I’d love to be able to quit the 9-5 hustle and support myself off of my creativeness. Whether that’s through my podcasting or book writing.


You can support Abel by listening to his podcast here.




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