I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Carol Dunlop, a social media strategist and web designer, on today’s podcast episode.
Who is Carol?
Carol Dunlop is a published author, web designer, graphic specialist, entrepreneur, expert blogger and social media strategist who mastered the tools of visual communication and design long before computers and the Internet became viable resources for small businesses. Drawing on over 20 years of experience working with nearly every web technology and design software, including good ‘ole pen and paper, she is able to take a simple thumbnail sketch or jumbled client notes and develop it into the creative project her client envisions. While taking a break from the web industry madness, she became her own best client for web design, development and marketing. She returned with a renewed sense of purpose and now shares her insider’s knowledge with small business owners who want to make their website a successful and profitable part of their business. Carol can frequently be seen, heard and read about in one of her numerous media appearances be it TV, radio, magazines or newspapers.
Our podcast conversation
One of her favorite quotes is by J.K. Rowling.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
How she got started in business:
- She began her journey of entrepreneurship as a Mary Kay consultant.
- As a graphics designer with her company CSI- Creative Services International, she realized her potential.
- Working with businesses with “champagne” ideas but with no budget, she decided to move on and feed her passions through a new venture which fed into CSI.
What exactly is a social media hub?
The social media hub is essentially your website. You need a centralized place to send prospects to your great content- which is home base.
What type of website is best for an entrepreneur (free, paid, static, or blog)?
Carol recommends self-hosted Wordpress. Free is not always the best because you can’t make money with your free WordPress blog. If you’re really serious, you should set up your company site using WordPress.
So be sure to figure out your goals and how you’re going to make money with your blog.
What are the best social media platforms for businesses to use?
Carol recommends that you have your business on Facebook. With over 1.2 billion people she believes you should not neglect this platform.
She also suggests that we use Twitter. She has met many of her prospects on this platform.
Thirdly, she highly suggests that as a business, you should be on Linkedin.
Pay attention to the culture of each, get used to certain platforms, then branch out into others.
Is email marketing dying out?
No, it’s not dead- and Carol says that if you build a loyal list it doesn’t matter if you have a smaller list. Engagement is key. Definitely email marketing is still alive and kicking!
What is the best kind of information to share?
You should share the information your audience wants to know about. Use surveys, ask them questions, and find out what they need.
As an information provider you become the source for your subscribers.
How do we find the time to post at our blogs?
You don’t find time- you make it. You’ll need time to research, write about, and post what your audience wants. Carve out time and use tools such as Hootesuite to help you schedule your social media postings.
Carol’s business challenges
One of her challenges is finding the time to work within her business while helping her clients plus balancing the time to keep up her own site content. It’s a juggling act but she is able to keep her vision going and help the visions of her clients’ businesses as well.
Favorite aspects of her business and what inspires her to move forward in business
She enjoys designing! She loves what she does, and she also loves getting paid! Helping her clients be their best also helps her to be the best she can be.
How she balances her business and her personal life
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 while her husband also suffered a stroke the same year, she developed a resolve that she would not make any more excuses. She and her husband spend time together in the morning at the gym, she works, and when he returns from work they hang out together after dinner. Carol has developed a simple approach to life while living it to the fullest.
**Carol is offering a free social media marketing analysis
If you enjoyed this episode, I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think about the show (or leave me a message in my Speakpipe!)