Category Archives: Dear Carole Advice Column

Does Your Back-End Need Work?


The answer is your back-end needs work for sure.  I have been in marketing and branding for years now and I know first hand how easy it is to get caught up in new ideas, exciting new things, exciting older things, and fiercely embracing the entire idea.


What about your back end?

Hey there I am not talking about what you sit on, heck no.  I am talking about what happens behind the scenes of the new blog, the new podcast, the new video, the new story and how your back end can cause your house of cards to tumble down and fail.

I see failures, I hear about failures, and there is more to being successful than writing, talking, interviewing, shooting a video, posting stories and just moving on people.

If you are writing a blog (like this), it is important to have key words, to have a nice inviting template, to spell correctly, to use photos or videos, and to share it everywhere.  It takes work at the back end.

Are you podcasting?  After podcasting for 3 years and attending many conferences and meetups on podcasting I have picked up a whole bag of tricks and I use them.  I had a podcaster tell me the other day that her sound was bad and someone finally told her to try a certain software to fix her sound and she found herself on iHeart radio after that one improvement.  People bad sound will ruin your podcast.  People will not listen.  Yes, it is easy to podcast however the work begins after you record the show.  Editing is a good idea, I never edited a lot.  I was more into the coughing and clearing of the throat then some “ums”.  Music please, music gets people ready to listen, it helps set the mood.  Intros are a must – outros not so much in my humble opinion. There is a debate on the necessity of show notes.  I will be joining my husband soon on his real estate podcast and I will type show notes.  Then there is marketing, it is a must.

If you are going to podcast and you want to be successful don’t just throw a show up without working on your back end.

Videos – it seems like every social platform wants your videos.  First and foremost, you might want to try with the ones that work well for example live streaming over pre-recorded videos according to those in the know are best.  I learned what I could do better and I fixed things.  I bought a backdrop ($15) on Amazon.  I bought professional lighting ($65) from Amazon.  My Logitech camera has a microphone and my videos look so much better now.  Good lighting is a must.  The back end that I need to work on is tags, marketing it more, and live streaming on other platforms.

There is a lot more to your back end than I have written about here – the bottom line is that you do need to be all in – don’t be a half-ass or a half back-end.



Being Original


Being original is not always easy.  In fact in many cases it is much easier to seize someone else’s ideas, tweak the idea, change the wording around, add images, use a different font and call it your own.

I remember sitting at a conference in 2015 listening to Chris Ducker give a presentation on being original and he showed examples of people who look at a very successful person, copy their website right down to the color and graphic design, change some wording around and BAM they publish it.  Chris showed several great examples and while we laughed, it really isn’t funny at all.

There are always going to be people looking for the easy way out.   What happens when you borrow from a winner?  You look like a loser because you will get caught.

This is a small world.  How do you think Chris Ducker found the losers?  The Internet is public surprise, surprise.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking at websites similar to your website.  I do this all the time.  This is how I catch the losers too.  Today I wanted to design a post that will always have a familiar look to it, yet change a little every time I use it.  I admit I got the idea from someone else and I thought it was clever.  Did I totally copy from this person? No.  I found an image that reflects the fact that I am The Social Butterfly Media Marketing (a domain I will own forever) and I put my thoughts onto this image and fitted it on to a glittery background because I believe in sparkle.

My example of originality.

I caught a loser today.  I found a copycat to the influencer and to be totally honest, her copycat image looks awful.  My bad I know, but it does.

The beauty in choosing a good name for your business is so important.  When I first started and I called my business The Social Butterfly Media Marketing I knew I had chosen a winner because of all the butterfly images that exist in this world.  When I shortened my name to add producing to what I do I sure as heck kept the butterfly.  Boy do I have a collection of butterfly images.

I wrote this with 2 thoughts in mind today.

  1. Be original, don’t copy. You will get caught, so being original is vital.
  2. Choose a name for your business that you can gain traction from forever.

Thanks and I will be back in a couple of weeks.



Mobile Marketing


Mobile marketing, are you using it?  Obviously I wouldn’t be asking this question if it were non-existent.  It exists.   In fact it is alive and well and use is increasing every day.

Mobile is it!

How is this for a fact I found on Target Marketing, “Nearly 90 percent of users’ mobile app time is spent within a user’s top five apps,” reports Greg Sterling on Thursday for Marketing Land.

Facebook is clearly the winner among top apps people use and as aggravating as the ads are that are in my newsfeed, I admit I have clicked on some of interest.

Google comes in at 2nd place and Snapchat of course follows in 3rd.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, this isn’t a test, you can grade your responses.

  1. How much time do you spend using mobile media?
  2. Do you click to see more when something interests you?
  3. How important do you think mobile ads are?
  4. Have you made a purchase from your device?

In thinking about your answers can you see how exponentially this can grow into 100’s of 1000’s and more?

What if I told you that on average people spend 87+ hours per month on their smart phones looking at whatever?

In 2015 Google stated that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan,” according to from 2 years ago.  People that number has only gone up.

Maybe thinking about where you want to spend money on marketing is the next thing you think about, right?

As always thanks for reading.


Carole L Sanek



It’s Not What You Know, but Who You Know!


It’s not what you know, but who you know, that carries a lot of weight when it comes to launching a business, writing a book, starting a community, landing a speaking gig, and more.

What you know is important; who you know is even better.

Think back to every networking event, every conference, every meet up, etc that you have been a part of and collected 100,000 business cards from and stuffed away somewhere.  By this time, unless you were memorable in some respect, you have been forgotten.  Even if you reach out and talk about how you met, you have been forgotten.

All is not lost, you can start over, but this time you have to be memorable.  Collecting business cards and then trying to connect immediately with people by asking to do business, or asking them to buy something, or being some kind of jerk is not going to work.

You have to be memorable.  You have to make an impression and then you need to reach out while that impression is fresh in everyone’s mind.

I call it Memorable Magic and you have to have it.  If you think you don’t have it, think again, because you do.

Look around your house I guarantee you have some.

Here are some of my Memorable Magic things:

  • Butterflies, you don’t have to have a tattoo like I do but if there is a possibility that you can wear what you represent wear it loud and proud.  I wear Butterfly jewelry, shirts, scarves, hats, even my little Bichon Frise, Willie, has a pink social butterfly t-shirt.  When someone says something there is your segue into your business.
  • Stickers – I use them on mailings, on the back of a business card, on my eyeglass rim – hey whatever grabs attention, it is all fair game.
  • I make people laugh. I have done things in life that would embarrass most people, hell it embarrassed me too, but I laugh at myself and blow it all off.  People will remember you from the story you told.
  • When I was selling an antibiotic for sinus infections I actually wrote lyrics to the 12 Days of Christmas and would sing them to doctors. Let me tell you my sales numbers went through the roof that winter.
  • One of the things I do best is connect people. Not everyone you meet is going to do business with you because quite frankly what they may need is not what you offer, so connect them to the person you know who can help.  It will come back to you, I promise.
  • In reality I know when I can kid around as I have in this list, and when it is time to be serious. By serious I mean, sincere.  Be sincere.  People will remember you for that – you cannot bullshit your way through life, the pile will come down on you, so be sincere.  If you make a promise, keep it.  If you say that you will do something, do it.  Give, give, give and then give more and you will be memorable.  I am not saying that you should have one-sided relationships, and I am also not saying it is OK to be creepy.  Find that sweet spot right in the middle and be your true self.

This week I watched people put things up on social media that lacked sincerity and actually tipped over into the seas of #HumbleBragging.  We all brag, some just do it a helluva lot more than others and it becomes a nauseating ride of displeasure. Again it goes to being sincere.  Overdoing anything can come back and slap you upside the head.

Posting selfies over and over do not make you memorable in a positive manner; they make you look like the Greek God Narcissus was a relative of yours and his genetic matter has a direct line from your phone to your finger to your face.  If you want to be memorable try posting scenes from nature, from your daily life, the street corner, the ice cream parlor, children playing somewhere in the distance, animals, and butterflies too.

Now let’s take a different view at all those business cards you have collected for years.  You can go through them to see who you remember and then what?  Throw them away, if you haven’t done something with them the minute you got home they are a waste of printed card stock.

I interviewed a very smart young woman last year on my podcast show and we talked about following up to networking.  She has incredible advice and I highly recommend that you listen to the interview.  You can find it at The Crazy Marketing Ladies Show and it is titled “The Money is in the Follow-Up – TCMLS:  Episode 00076”.

Great advice in this show and what to do with those business cards and how to act on them because BAM that is the road to being more memorable.

This brings me back to my opening sentence.

“It’s not what you know but who you know that carries a lot of weight when it comes to launching a business, writing a book, starting a community, landing a speaking gig, and more.”

If you have created a memorable impression and if you are sincere in your communication over time, you have started building a relationship where you will feel comfortable asking for advice, asking for a favor, asking for an introduction, whatever it is you need, and you will receive.

Be sincere, be memorable, be real, be kind, be there —it does work.

See you all next week and I am always looking for new subscribers so I am asking you if you know someone who might enjoy/learn/laugh at my newsletters ask them to subscribe.






Screw It I am Taking a Risk


You read that right, screw it, I am taking a risk.  I bought a domain that I am going to use in podcasting.  It will be an interview segment with women and it will lean towards tough women, feminist women, women who are not afraid to speak their minds.

It’s a risk  Why?  The name I chose, the domain I purchased will conjure up creeps, and take people down a different path and yes I will be filtering a lot but I am willing to take the risk.  I am at an age where screw it, what difference does it make comes to mind often.

During the presidential campaign some publications had problems with the word “pussy”, others grabbed it (couldn’t resist writing that) and they ran with it.

I am going to take the risk of running with it, but I classed it up a tad.  These interviews will fall under the topic “If My Vagina Could Talk”.  No it will NOT be about sex, my podcast show is a show about marketing.  I differ because I take it from marketing your business to marketing everything including your life.  If it can be marketed, I help people market it, whatever “it” is.

I am taking the risk because marketing works well when we dare to be different.  I am taking that dare.

I also am including it as a segment in because quite frankly starting a new podcast is a lot of work and since I already have my segment called “Power Women Speak” adding a new segment of interviews with women works there.

Once upon a time I had more ladies on board with this show, now it is me, and Willie the one-eyed wonder dog, and she only barks and whines.

I dare you to try something different and I dare you to be brave enough to take a risk and do something totally outside your norm. If it scares you, start small.  If it doesn’t scare you go big.  I choose big because screw it I am taking a risk and it doesn’t scare me at all.

This is a great article about taking risks:

To take a risk you must open the door and push through.



Why I Don’t Do Everything in Social Media

Your nose will grow your reputation will suck, and your business will not grow.

Your nose will grow your reputation will suck, and your business will not grow.

There are many reasons why I don’t do everything in social media.  I could start by saying the #1 reason is I do not have the time to do it all.  Furthermore that leads me to say I do not have the time to learn it all.  Let me keep going, I am not interested in knowing it all.  Now how is that for being honest?

It’s true.  All of it.

This week I was working with a brand new client and she asked me if I could work on her Pinterest account.  My answer? No.  She looked at me and I explained my reasoning.  I feel Pinterest is a very personal social media platform (and a time suck) and I would be posting things I like not things she likes.  She told me that is the reason she hired me.  My admitting I don’t say I do it all.  She had been burned and sadly by two other social media people in my geographical area of Tampa.  People who belong to a big female networking group who should know better had taken money from her and not performed.  I know both of these people, I will leave it there.

Now that ticks me off, because it trickles down.  In fact I am going to start asking all potential new clients if they have had a bad experience because it appears there are some snake oil selling people out there.

What I do for people on social media I do brag about because I do it well.  I do Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ and I do work with people on hooking things up to Pinterest, and I consult on Instagram too.

I handle the basics but the basics are where the biggest action happens.  I learned it well, I use it well, and clients grow.

Lesson here – don’t tell people you can do it all. You can’t, or maybe you can, but you can’t do it well.

I am writing an eBook right now and it will include every thing I do every day for myself and my clients to get them to the top.  My plan is to have it done by the end of October so people can buy it ($4.99) and implement it for their 2017 marketing.  Yes, for $4.99 I will tell everyone who buys the book my step by step for getting you to the top.  Why not?  I am a kind and giving person.  I started in business to help people and I enjoy doing that.

Why isn’t it free?  Well people don’t perceive value in free things so my coach told me to charge for it.

You will all be the first to know when it launches.  I may even make it free for one day.

I have even been working on a tagline for it – something like “You can do what I do, just do what I do.”

Just never tell anyone that you can do it all, it will bite you in the butt if you do say that.






Why #GoVirtual is My New Theme Song

You might virtually surprise yourself.

You might virtually surprise yourself.

Go ahead, ask me why #GoVirtual is my new theme song.  My answer is that for me #GoVirtual works.  I even registered the hashtag on I felt that good about it, and believe me most hashtags with the word virtual in them are gone.  The word virtual is a popular word.

Why did I #GoVirtual?

It evolved.  I had been going to many different networking events for years.  I have been planting butterfly seeds everywhere.  I am well-branded.  Then there is that one “little” fact and it is one of my taglines.  “Where I live is just an address, where I work is the world.”

I travel to many conferences.  I have connections all over the world.  My friends/fans/connections/followers in many cases are people I could call up and have a conversation with, ask for help, interview for my podcast shows and more.  I am international and I wanted to grow bigger in this arena.

I made the decision to stop local networking.  It wasn’t a snap decision.  I talked it over with a coach.  In fact I talked it over with several coaches.  Once the decision was made to spend more time in my office or in my studio I actually felt relieved.  I do miss my friends, many of them are reading this post.  I miss you.  On the flip side I live an hour one-way from most events.  A trip into the city for a luncheon is about $50 a pop when I add in tolls and gas, and then it’s 1/2 of my business day.

Earlier this year when I re-designed my website and used my new Fascinate Advantage anthem my business doubled, then tripled.  I am thrilled about that and of course that means I do need to be in my office more to answer calls, texts and emails promptly.

I am not suggesting anyone should stop local networking at all.  I am saying that doing some virtual networking though can help and also save you time and money.  Maybe you are thinking to yourself that national or international contacts would not help your business.  Maybe you are right, and then again what is wrong with being mentioned nationally or internationally where local people who have never heard of you suddenly want to talk to you?

There are so many ways to handle virtual networking.  If you are interested in knowing more about how I did it and how it has worked for me, I am an email away at

I also talk about this and more on where I give daily #LessThan5 minute marketing moment tips.



Monday Morning Gratitude Post Focus Recess Time


It’s Monday morning gratitude moment for me. There is always something to be grateful for or so “they” say, whoever “they” are. We are just too busy to look for these things most of the time.

Focus Recess What’s That?

How I feel after a #FocusRecess break.

How I feel after a #FocusRecess break.

One of the segments of my podcast show is called Less Than 5.  The long name is actually Less Than 5 Minute Marketing Moments and it has been a very successful show.  It runs Monday through Friday an on Fridays I always talk about taking what I call a #FocusRecess.

I talk about the importance of unplugging from business/career thoughts and plugging into things that make you feel good, or help you relax, and when you do this it is no surprise that great new ideas happen.

We all have to step back and do this.  Our brains need that break.  Energy flows need to be rerouted now and then to allow the new and great to happen.  We all know when we think to hard it is exhausting and rarely brings us that light bulb moment.

Saturday a good friend of mine got the phone call she has been waiting for, the liver transplant team at Cleveland Clinic had a liver that looked like a good match.  She was picked up by private jet and brought from Denver to Cleveland in hopes that this would be the happy ending she has been waiting for all these years.  I know some of you are thinking of the prohibitive cost in all of this.  She was accepted into this program on Medicaid, there is no cost to her.

As I was taking my #FocusRecess day yesterday my thoughts and prayers were all about my friend.  I was constantly checking my phone.  I texted her hoping she would get the text, my heart soared when she responded and I could tell her that she has this and that I love her.

My grateful meter is very full today, and my #FocusRecess which was supposed to be a special day with my husband was still a success because I was reminded how fragile life really is.  I was reminded how good it is to have a grateful heart.  I was reminded that when I am grateful I do start to have wonderful thoughts about my business and I did have a light bulb moment of a new direction I want to take.

My friend is stable.  There is a long road ahead of her, but today I will take stable as the word of the day.

Try taking a #FocusRecess.  It doesn’t have to be on the weekends.  Just let it all go for a short time and see what happens to you.  Unplug and enjoy and you will have amazing things come down your energy pathways.  I guarantee it.

You can find Less Than 5 on my podcast website at



Know Your Value, Know Your Worth

Keep this image in your head.

Keep this image in your head.

I talk about this in my segment Less Than 5 on my podcast from time to time because too many times we do not know our value, and we do not know our worth.


Over the past 2 weeks I was challenged because I fell into the trap of low-balling a proposal which in return of course, lessens my worth.

A business professional and friend referred me to someone who really needs social media assistance especially on Facebook.  He turned his account over to a clever young man who doesn’t know or even begin to understand marketing.

I did my research and I knew that while this would be a big undertaking, I also knew I could do it and like doing it.

Phone conversations went back and forth, things were progressing nicely.  I emailed ideas of work I would concentrate on accomplishing, more phone calls of explanations happened and I was asked for a pricing proposal.

This is where I undervalued myself and dammit I do know my worth.  It is important to NOT fall into the trap of a potential client showering you with compliments and more so that you allow your guard to slip when it comes to pricing out a project.

I have two pricing plans, one is a packaged price that works well when I am acting as a consultant and assisting people in learning how to do social media.  The other is by the hour, and that is reserved for people/companies who want and need more actual management and hands-on work.

Things did not work out, and that’s not bad news either.  There is good news too.  I talked to my business coach and realized I am under-charging and I raised my hourly price.

If this person did come back and ask me to work with him the package pricing would be off the table and he would be an hourly client.

I learned a lot about my worth.

When people start to pull back on the reins of being excited after you give them a price that is a big red flag that they are going to be a pain in the ass client.  They need to be an hourly client.  They also need to give you a retainer up front (like an attorney does) and when that money is gone they need to replenish the amount to keep moving forward.

My business coach scolded me because I did doubt my own worth and that undermined my value.

Before I push this article out into my newsletter I have one more really great tip for you regarding what you should say when someone asks you for a discount.  One word, that is all you need to ask back.  Just ask why.  Why? Think about that, it is absolutely the perfect comeback.  Puts it ALL on them, and watch them fumble for answers.  If answers come, and they probably will, the fun is now all in your facial expressions.  You can have a lot of fun with this, so remember it, use it, and laugh afterwards, just do not discount your pricing, or your worth.

Know your value, know your Worth.


Trusting Your Inner Voice


Trusting your inner voice isn’t easy for many people because at times that pain-in-the-butt little voice comes up with ideas that just sound too bizarre.  I call these the voices from left field.  I listen to them, but then I have been called bizarre at times.

I usually jump in with both feet when my inner voice comes up with something, and fortunately, I must have a string of guardian angels that have my back because I land on my feet every time.

You see I trust my inner voice and that is why I land on my feet while others belly flop instead.

I have come to rely on my inner voice so much that even when it might throw me a curve ball instead of a home run idea, I still can crawl into bed and sleep soundly. I don’t ruminate over things because I learned to trust my inner voice.

By now isn’t it time to learn to trust your inner voice?  You already have everything you need inside yourself.  That same inner voice has guided you through things in the past, right?  So when it comes pouncing in like a kitten at play with an idea that is so far out of the way you normally think, what the heck are you telling it to shut up for, when it might be the best idea ever?

Next time try to listen, then think it through.  Put it on paper, have faith, learn to start to trust, because let me tell you this; landing on your feet beats a belly flop every time.

Cute kitten right?

Kitten Pounce