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

Social Media



Branding, Content Marketing, Marketing

Ep. 21: What My Baby’s Sleep Schedule and Marketing Have in Common

What do my six month old baby’s sleep schedule and your marketing strategy have in common? More than you think.

We have been struggling a lot recently when it comes to my son Luca’s sleeping schedule. We tried everything under the sun (or moon, more accurately), but nothing seemed to be working. Most experts say six month olds should be going to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 pm and that they should be sleeping through the night. My husband and I are night owls, so by the time we got into bed around 11:00 pm, we would barely get two hours of sleep before Luca would wake us up to eat. Then he’d wake up again every two hours… making us some very sleep deprived and (only slightly) grumpy parents. 

Clearly, the expert advice wasn’t working for us. The reality is, Luca was born prematurely so he’s a little bit behind where the average six month old is when it comes to sleeping through the night. So after many sleepless nights, we decided to try waiting until 10:00 pm to put Luca to bed, so that by the time he woke up for the first time, we were able to get about 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This was a game changer for us, as it allowed us to get the sleep we needed to feel energized throughout the day. 

You may be thinking, that’s all great, Sydney, but what does this have to do with my marketing? Let me explain. Like I said earlier, no matter how much expert advice we tried when it came to Luca’s sleep schedule, nothing really worked for us. You may be feeling the same about your marketing strategy – you’re following all the advice from the experts yet it’s not yielding results. 


What’s missing?

If you’re feeling this way, the missing ingredient in your marketing may be a little bit of you. While you should consider all of the expert advice and take notes from your competition, ultimately, you need to make sure your marketing strategy is the one that makes the most sense for you and your business

As my fellow marketing expert, Emily Hirsh, likes to say, it’s not a matter of if marketing works, it’s when. Your marketing starts working when you are authentic to yourself and your brand. Too often, business owners get caught up in trying to mimic the competition or fitting their marketing into a schedule that simply doesn’t work for them.

For example, many businesses are starting to incorporate Instagram Reels into their marketing strategies because they are extremely popular and tend to get more reach and engagement. The businesses that are having the most success with Reels are the ones that create Reels using original ideas and content that is unique to their brand. Yes, they are still using hashtags that are optimal for the Instagram SEO and using trending audios occasionally, but what’s making them go viral is their authenticity. People feel like they can connect with these businesses.


How can I be authentic in my marketing?

In order to figure out how to stay true to yourself and your brand in your marketing, try this exercise – think of three of your favorite brands, and write down all the things you love about them. All of these things are things that they are giving you that their competition isn’t. Now think about what you offer that your competition doesn’t. This is what makes you unique, and what you should be highlighting in your marketing. 

Another exercise you can do is the 7 Levels Deep exercise from Dean Graziosi. This exercise will help you get down to the core of your purpose by asking several “why” questions. After all, your purpose is something your audience wants to know about you. For example, my first question might be, “Why do you do social media marketing for local businesses?” To that I say, “I want local businesses to succeed.” The next question for me would be, “Why do you want local businesses to succeed?” Then I may say, “Because they are the backbone to communities and what makes each community unique.” The next question would be, “Why is it important that each community remains unique?” You should ask why seven times to get to your real answer. Each “why” will bring you closer to your unique purpose or identifying factor, which you can use to amplify your marketing. 

The biggest takeaway from this episode is that your marketing won’t work without you. Stay true to yourself and your brand by finding a strategy that works best for YOU (and no one else)!

If you found today’s episode helpful, I’d love it if you could give it a 5 star review. Or even better, share it with a friend who may also find it useful! Until next time, keep running your race.


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.