Category Archives: Networking

Why I Go to Conferences


A week ago I was still recovering from spending 5 magnificent days in Chicago at Podcast Movement 16 and I never even got to the magnificent mile.  I was on Michigan Avenue though for dinner several times with some of my tribe members as well as family.

I am a Cleveland hometown gal, and I married a Chicago hometown guy, and I have lived in Chicago 3 times in my life and miss it madly until it snows.

If I won the lottery tomorrow I would move back and live there from from July 1 – December 31.  I could take a little cold weather and a little snow before heading back to the sunshine state.

The last night we were there we spent 90 minutes on the lawn at Grant Park listening to the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra play Cole Porter.  It was a walk down memory lane to be back.  We stayed at the Hyatt Regency and our room overlooked the beauty of Michigan Ave and the river.


So many memories here.

So many memories here.

our room

Backing up to the real reason we were there was the conference.  Podcast Movement 16 was overflowing with podcasters and soon-to-be podcasters.  Over 1500 people had registered for the event and the event delivered.

I have to give myself a pat on the back now because I was fortunate and honored to be a presenter and I talked about some great hacks people can use to get more eyeballs on them and their shows on social media.  I heard I did great.

My Name

My presentation in a drawing.

My presentation in a drawing.

This conference was sold out.

I am constantly reminding people to get out there are get in other’s faces.  Meet people, shake hands, listen to them, connect them when they need a connection.  Have fun! This is me having fun:

I am the Muppet in the middle.

I am the Muppet in the middle.

However the real reason I go to conferences is to go on vacations and stay with friends.  JUST KIDDING. However we did get invited to Israel (we are going in May, 2017).  We got invited to come up to Franklin, TN., to stay with friends in Valencia, Spain, and just last week an invite came to visit another podcaster and see his set up in Mobile, AL. I am going.  I did get two possible trips out of this conference, and I am thrilled to have made great connections like these.

Now I have an invitation for you.

I have a Mon-Fri show segment called in called Less Than 5 where I share marketing tips in less than 5 minutes – perfect for drive time listening.

In this same site you can listen to our longer interviews with entrepreneurs.  Robyn Sayles just interviewed a gal who books heavy metal bands into concerts.  I just went live with Meg Le Vu and her best selling book on video marketing.  Check out our list of great interviews.

We also have the segment “Power Women Speak” and later today there will be a “noisy” fun interview with Edie Berg who lives in Israel (yes the very person I am going to go see) and I interviewed her in the hotel so there was some background noise.

Then if anyone is interested in WWII I have a podcast on Blog Talk Radio called The Nearness of You where I talk about the war, read my dad’s love letters home, and I will be bringing interviews on soon with people who served, memories of families and so much more.

The link to this show is:

The Nearness of You

The basis of this show is to keep my dad’s memory alive and share it with my family, it is growing though to others and I am so happy about this.

There you go I have shared my latest adventures and I hope when you have the chance to be out there more you will take that chance.  Opportunies are everywhere, you have to rise up at times to meet them.

Carole L. Sanek

Butterfly Boom Productions



You Have a Personal Brand, Right?


You have a personal brand, right?  That’s the topic for today.  If you don’t then you need to fire up your branding iron now because you need to leave a personal mark.  It’s not like you can lift your leg and mark your territory like a dog can.   You need to leave your mark, your personal  brand in the minds of those you want to do business with or receive referrals from on a regular basis.  This is different than your business brand.  Chances are most people know what you do – this is all about your personal brand.

You have to have a personal brand.  It represents what you stand for in a way that defines you and sets you apart.

You exist on two tracks today.  There is you in the real world and you in the digital world.  You have to manage both areas.  It’s critical.

A lot of people do Google you before they meet you.  This is why your online presense needs to match who you are when people meet you in person – this is why you need a personal brand.

Don’t think of personal branding as bragging.  I know some people do, but you can put yourself out there without looking like a narcissist.  Start by being genuine.  When your personal brand is a genuine expression of your core values, it focuses your attention on actions you should be taking – and it also makes it very clear on what you should avoid.

Let’s talk about what your personal brand is not about:

  • your job
  • your elevator pitch
  • your LinkedIn profile
  • your Google search results
  • how you look
  • your way of relating to others
  • how you decorate your office

What is your personal brand?

  • what you believe in
  • your reputation
  • what others say about you when you leave the room

Think about it this way – your personal brand tells people what you stand for – and stand up for, so make sure your behavior emulates this.

Why should you brand yourself?  It will give clarity on what your contributions can be in a situation.

How about knowing with a good personal brand you will get new opportunities?

Who are you?  Not what is your business but who are you?  What's your personal brand?

Who are you? Not what is your business but who are you? What’s your personal brand?

Then there is this – a brand increases your influence, your ability to persuade and make things happen for yourself and others.

Personal branding is not easy for everyone and I will be bringing you more information on personal branding soon.


In the LOO Moment



Yes, an in the LOO moment and it’s not that loo either.

I was given an assignment this past week to ask people I know to tell me what I do.  This is a great exercise and can yield some great responses. Some of my more clever friends got cute with their responses.  I got some “duhs” and then I went for a session with my healer/massage therapist/Reiki master/energy restorative friend, Jackie.

I asked her her what I do – she gave me a “duh” reply and kept working on my sore spots.  Then she said ” you seize opportunities”. I was puzzled at first but then she said “you don’t create opportunities as much as you seize them and act on them” .

I laid on her table and thought about this.  I have been thinking about this for 24 hours.  I traveled back in time and thought about it and realized that I am always on high alert for seizing the opportunity. It’s a skill.  It might also be a talent. It can be learned – you can do it too.

First of all you have to listen to people.  Just like SEO and keywords go together you have to have LOO (not that loo either or in that loo).  LOO stands for Listening Opportunities Optimization.  I can hone in on several conversations at the same time and I listen for keywords in those conversations.  Maybe it is a talent of sorts and maybe it’s because I have ADD and my senses bounce around a lot – whatever it is, my ears are almost always in LOO mode.

Next comes getting yourself into the LOO conversation because in order to be in control of seizing the opportunity you have to jump on it and ask for it. Remember being in school madly waving your hand in the air shouting ” me, me, me?” Well you need to be able in a very short period of time, to ask for the opportunity.

Some opportunities come with time periods.  If you have to fill out a form and mail or email it somewhere you have time (and competition).

Way back when big hair was in style (yes I know in some places it never went out of style) I saw on TV that The Wheel of Fortune was holding live auditions  where I lived.  I had to write in my reasons for wanting a spot at the auditions and wait to hear if I was accepted.  I was accepted for the audition but now I had to figure out what would make me stand out.  What did I do?  I watched every show I could and listened to what the chosen contestants said when they were introduced.

When it was my turn to introduce myself I clearly said I was the married, had 3 children and that I was a nurse in the ER of our county hospital.  Sure enough I heard other contestants mutter “she’ll get picked, they always pick nurses”.  I did get picked – they were right.  At that time they picked teachers, nurses and flight attendants.  I had used my LOO!

There many perfect LOO moments.  I was sitting at a table waiting for a class to start at a conference and this lovely woman was walking my way.  She is a red-head (like me) and she was wearing a bright sunshine yellow dress.  As she got closer I told her how stunning she looked in that dress.

She stopped to thank me, I did not know her from Adam.  We started talking and one thing lead to another thing and before long I was blowing off the class I intended to take and heading to her discussion on women in film.

We started to walk together and we were joined by two more women, one was her manager and the other her director and they started to talk about an award show that was happening the next evening.  She introduced us and told everyone I was a podcaster.  It seemed the issue at hand was that someone had backed out of doing interviews from the red carpet.  Big LOO moment and I seized the opportunity.

I just asked – I asked to be on the red carpet to do the interviews.  And they said yes.  I solved a problem for them.  LOO moments often are about a situation/issue/problem.

It helps to be bold but if you don’t ask, the answer is always no right?

Not my first red carpet rodeo, and I used LOO to get there - not talking about the bathroom either.

Not my first red carpet rodeo, and I used LOO to get there – not talking about the bathroom either.

When you are asked to work the red carpet you go shopping!

When you are asked to work the red carpet you go shopping!

Our IT Dude, Lawrence and the one and only top podcaster in the world, Daniel J. Lewis.

Our IT Dude, Lawrence and the one and only top podcaster in the world, Daniel J. Lewis.











Could The Way You Are Networking Be All Wrong?


Think about that, could the way you are networking be all wrong?  Let me write from my experience first then I will share the opinions of others – you know – those in the know.

If I were writing a book I would have one page devoted to “The Time I Wasted At IHOP”.  Not a chapter because there was never enough good networking there to have an entire chapter.  Yet, I went, every Friday morning and it was a waste of time.  I know that now.  I was starting a new business and I thought the best way to get business was to attend The Breakfast Club and network.

I tried different groups local to where I live and found that sadly these groups were started by people with great intentions about networking – only one problem, they did not know how to run a networking group.

Women have a tendency to join a networking group to make friends, not contacts.  Madeleine Albright was quoted as saying when asked why women were not in powerful positions that that “(it’s) because they make friends, they don’t network.  Men network and they don’t make friends.”

I already admitted I was in the wrong groups – many wrong groups – and many networking groups are a waste of time.  I won’t apologize for being blunt.  When you attend a networking group it is imperative that there be a person in that room that is smarter than you or can give you resources to solve a problem.  Or how about this idea – someone who could fund a project you need funding for – wouldn’t that be golden?

I asked one of my marketing partners from, Lynn Van Meter to share her thoughts on networking.  Lynn has a graduate degree in business.

Lynn made a list:

Why do you network? Have you ever asked yourself that? Maybe you are going for all the wrong reasons.
Lynn’s 10 tips on effective networking
1. Don’t sit by someone you know
2. If you know someone is there who you want to meet, get an introduction
3. Ask them how you can help, it’s not all about you
4. Get their business cards
5. You are not going to do business with everyone you know, but who you know is key
6. Connect online with those you met in person and vica versa
7. Volunteer – it’s a great way to get clients 😉
8. Don’t sell – educated
9. Don’t be smarmy
10. Communities are small – keep your negativity to yourself

Lynn Van Meter, MBA
CEO (chief of exceptional outcomes)
Fiddlehead Marketing Advertising Public Relations

OK these are good tips – make that great tips BUT I want to add one more.  If you do not get business or a referral by your 7th meeting (at the most) get out.  You aren’t going to, you are in the wrong group.

I do have a happy ending.  I actually realized that in order for my business to grow I needed to expand my boundaries.  I was living in a smaller area and even though there wasn’t anyone in my first groups doing what I do, I was also dealing with people who did not see the importance of what I do.

Then I attended an event that was filled to the brim with a variety of networking groups.  I talked to people there whose opinions I valued.  3 of them recommended a club – a social activity club which lead to a great Chamber of Commerce.  I already belonged to a large woman’s networking group and I expanded my attendance at their events.  Then I joined one more large networking group of business owners and stick a fork in me because I am done.

I also attend several large conferences each year and I know no strangers so I have connected with great thought leaders in social media, marketing, PR, podcasting and more.

My only disappointment personally is that I feel I have over-joined.

My advice to you is that when you are paying to join anything that has a monthly or annual cost, do your homework.  Ask questions.  Vet the group.  Someone in a group asked me why I attend out of state conferences when (as they put it)  the local group provides the same educational/connection/learning experiences.  I did not answer because my answer would have been “No it doesn’t.”  However this group meets the needs of others, so that’s all good, it just doesn’t meet mine.

Choose wisely.  Know when to hold em, know when to fold em.

Choose wisely. Know when to hold em, know when to fold em.

Just be careful and join wisely.  Look for that smarter person, be a good listener and send a “nice meeting you” note or email.  You will get business when you join the right group.