How do I get my business noticed online? How can I create an engaged social media audience? How do I convert website visitors and social media followers into customers? What hashtags should I be using? Are Google ads a good investment?

I'm Sydney Chakalos, a marketing nerd and small business owner with a passion for helping other small business owners grow their business using effective online marketing strategies on any budget.

Learn how to create and implement a marketing strategy that strengthens relationships with your audience and increases your bottom line. We'll cover topics around social media, email, Google ads, branding, and websites. Building your brand is a marathon and I'm here to help you win the race.


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Marketing Your Local Business Online Podcast

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Showing Up When You Don’t Feel Like It

Today’s episode of the Marketing Your Local Business Online Podcast is going to be a little different, because I want to take the time to have a raw and honest conversation about a topic that is extremely important to me: mental health and how it pertains to us as small business owners.

Local business owners have had it tough the past couple of years. In addition to business being negatively impacted by the pandemic, many of us have also lost loved ones or dealt with being sick ourselves. Amidst these challenges, it can be very difficult to continue to show up for your business, your marketing, and social media. In today’s episode, I’m going to provide some tips on how to cope with these challenges and how we can prioritize our mental health as small business owners. 

Is fear keeping you from taking action?

Fear is one of the main reasons small business owners struggle to show up for their business and marketing. Whether it’s fear of failure or even fear of success (“will I be able to handle it?”), fear has a way of getting into our heads. When I first started my business, I experienced a lot of this fear and uncertainty. It took some time, but I eventually realized I could overcome my fears by taking baby steps in the right direction. For example, my first baby step was simply creating my business account and announcing its existence. I didn’t start posting right away, because that first little step was enough for me. Once I calmed my nerves, I was able to start posting a bit more, eventually getting on a weekly posting schedule. I eventually worked up to doing a live video to share the story of my business!

So if fear or discomfort is holding you back from fully showing up for your business and marketing, just take it one baby step at a time. Do what you feel most comfortable with first, and slowly but surely work your way through the process. We don’t have to go viral or gain thousands of followers overnight – big growth comes from small steps taken overtime.

Mindset Matters

Take a moment to reflect on yourself and your mindset surrounding your business and marketing. What are you telling yourself? Do you find yourself telling yourself that your content isn’t good, won’t be seen by anyone, or that no one needs what you have to offer?

It’s completely normal for small business owners to start out with or develop these types of mindsets. However, it is essential that we acknowledge how these mindsets may negatively impact ourselves and our business. Once we acknowledge this, we can shift our mindset.

Instead of allowing fear to dominate your mindset, start putting your target customers at the center of your mindset. Instead of telling yourself that no one wants what you have to offer, remind yourself that there ARE people out there who need you and your business, but they will never receive it if you don’t show up to give it to them. Your mindset impacts how you show up – if it’s negative, you won’t have the energy or motivation to pour into your marketing. 

Sometimes Life Happens

Sometimes life knocks us down, and it can be really hard to get back up. From health problems to financial struggles to the loss of a loved one, I’m sure we can all think of a life circumstance that truly stopped us in our tracks. If this happens to you, as a small business owner myself, I am urging you to take a step back and give yourself grace. This advice may surprise you if you’ve been listening to or following me for a while, because I know I preach consistency when it comes to marketing and our businesses. But in this case, it is essential for you to prioritize yourself and give yourself so much grace. Because without YOU, there is no “your business.”

In January 2021, I experienced a miscarriage. I had just hit the 1-year mark of going full-time in my business, I had lots of momentum, steady clients, was leading an active Facebook group, and was loving every second of showing up. But when I experienced my miscarriage, I was absolutely devastated. I didn’t want to get out of bed, let alone maintain my marketing and social media. In order to protect my mental health, I withdrew from social media to take care of myself. I got online each day to do what I needed to do for clients (and no more) and checked my email once a day. This allowed me time to go through the grieving and healing process with my husband.

I’m not sure what would’ve happened if I didn’t take that step back. I can’t confidently say that my business would still be here today. Prioritizing yourself and giving yourself grace when you need it is SO important, especially when life throws you a curveball. If you struggle with this, PLEASE reach out to me. I am always here to tell you that it is okay to give yourself grace and that you are more than deserving of it.



If you want to chat more about the importance of mental health for small business owners or just need some encouragement, connect with me on Instagram or Facebook. Or, you can send me an email at As always, keep running your race, but don’t be afraid to take a break when your body and mind need it.

meet sydney

Strategist. coach. educator.

get to know me

Hi friends! My name is Sydney, founder of Marathon Marketing & Branding, and I’m so happy you’re here! As you might have guessed, I am an avid runner, which allows me to have more of that pinot and pasta in life. Running long-distance is all about training, endurance, and consistency. I realized that these same traits are directly applicable to social media marketing as well.