Small Stage, Big Impact

Renia Carsillo

Are you tired of bro marketing, manipulative algorithms, and sales funnels that encourage you to ‘trip’ a prospect to make her buy more? Then you’re in the right place.

On Small Stage, Big Impact veteran digital strategist, Renia Carsillo, combines solo teaching episodes with interviews to help you learn how to build a sustainable, people-first digital strategy that works for your business. Along the way, she speaks to digital activists, upstart developers, badass content creators, brave community leaders, and other behind-the-scenes folx you probably haven’t heard on a podcast before. To help you answer one important question:

Small Stage, Big Impact Trailer
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Has running a business taken over your life? You’re making good money and have no shortage of clients. You’re feeling pretty successful with this business that you’ve built from the ground up. But you feel that if you blink too long it will start to crumble. Taking a day off is out of the question. You know you need to take your business to the next level, but you’re not sure how to get there. In today’s episode, we’ll discuss what’s keeping you from growing your lifestyle brand into a full-blown business that you can lead while still having a life. When you realize that making money was the easy part... When the thing you thought would give you freedom leaves you in chains... When you’ve bought all the courses and watched all the videos and still have no life outside of work... It’s time to assess your mess and figure out how to go from the Head Doer to the Leader of People. I’ve been working with my long-time friend and project managing guru Stephanie Veraghen to bring you the Assess Your Mess quiz.  The purpose of this quiz is to help you pinpoint your next steps:  Do you need to put a project management platform in place? Do you need to spend time developing personas and brand guidelines? Do you need to better understand how your marketing and sales decisions affect the rest of your company? What specific action can you take right now to turn your business mess into magic? Join me in today’s episode to learn more about what it takes to scale your business to 7-figures in a sustainable, values-driven way. You’ve done the work to lay a firm foundation for your business. Now it’s time to add the logistical framework that will allow you to scale into a company that finally gives you the personal freedom you’ve been searching for. Listen to episode 60 now! In episode 60 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [5:18] The key step all businesses must take to scale 7-figures [11:46] What business owners should NOT do when trying to grow their business beyond themselves [17:13] What the Assess Your Mess quiz assesses and how it can guide you toward your next steps [19:38] Why defining your purpose at this level is more essential than it was as a start-up [26:04] A common misunderstanding about the role of a CEO at different stages of a business [32:55] The importance of understanding how your marketing and sales decisions affect the rest of your company [39:05] What referrals can tell you about the sustainability of your business [42:35] How the Assess Your Mess quiz results can help you figure out your next steps in sustainably scaling your business   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Take the Assess Your Mess Quiz and figure out your next steps: Learn more about Stephanie Veraghen.: Sign up for 2-Minute Tuesdays to get weekly digital strategy tips in your inbox: Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

Jun 24

44 min 20 sec

Are you ready to revitalize your business and take it to the next level? This week I’m teaming up with project manager and business systems extraordinaire Stephanie Veraghen. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring you a business development program you won’t find anywhere else. Have you been there, done that with marketing courses and project management systems - and still not gotten the results you need?  Are you ready to get some systems in place and learn to delegate so that you can be the leader your company needs?Are you ready to get your shit together so your business life doesn’t have to BE your life? Then this episode is for you. We are introducing the Get Your Shit Together Intensive for mature businesses who are ready to take things to the next level.  In today’s episode, Stephanie and I talk about what you can expect from the Get Your Shit Together program.  First, this is NOT a coaching course. We will work alongside you and your team to develop personalized systems and strategies to help you build a sustainable business. We want your business to keep growing and succeeding long after we’re no longer in the picture. Second, this intensive will provide you with a community of other business owners and CEOs. Like you, these leaders are working to build sustainable values-driven companies. It can be lonely at the top - but it doesn’t have to be. Third, we want to help you strengthen your team on a personal level. Being a values-driven leader is about putting people first, and that includes your team. We’ll work on ways to help you communicate, delegate, and self-regulate to be the leader your company needs.  We’re pretty excited about this program and can’t wait to see what we can create together with you.  Does the Get Your Shit Together Intensive sound like what you’ve been looking for? Join us in today’s episode to find out more details and how you can apply. Listen to episode 59 now! In episode 59 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [3:46] How the GYST intensive came about and how Stephanie and Renia’s experiences and expertise overlap [6:48] The most common issue clients are struggling with when Stephanie and Renia begin to work with them [8:40] What you can expect in the GYST intensive and how it is NOT a coaching course [25:44] The general structure of the GYST program and the importance of being real about the state of your business [29:05] How business management and digital strategy work together to get your business to the next stage [33:09] Why there is an application process for the GYST program and who should apply [36:52] Final details about the GYST initiative  Resources mentioned by Stephanie and Renia in the episode: Apply to be a part of the Get Your Shit Together Intensive. Learn more about Stephanie Veraghen - business coach, brand consultant, and project manager Discover how HeartMath can help you in your personal and professional lives. Sign up for 2-Minute Tuesdays to get weekly digital strategy tips in your inbox. Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

Jun 17

41 min 47 sec

Are you unsure where to start to #DoBetterDigital with your marketing strategy? This Tuesday, your next step will be delivered right to your inbox. The Genevieve Digital team has been working hard to create actionable resources for business leaders like you: Leaders who want to get better results with digital marketing without compromising their values. To make those #DoBetterDigital resources readily available, we’re starting 2-Minute Tuesdays.  These weekly emails will take two minutes out of your day, but the impact on your business will be boundless.  With 2-Minute Tuesdays, you will learn things like: How to write click-worthy metadata, How to optimize internal links in a blog post, and How to apply your values to sales funnels. Our goal is to provide you with actionable tips that you can put into place immediately.  These emails will also give you exclusive access to the Genevieve Digital Team for questions and feedback. We’ve been receiving an incredible number of emails from our listeners. To streamline the process, we are now encouraging you to submit your questions by responding to the 2-Minute Tuesdays emails. This ensures our team has the capacity to answer your questions. As an added bonus, every few episodes, Renia will choose audience questions to address directly on the show. How do you sign up?  Go to to get your name on the list. But wait! That’s not the only thing our team has been working on. We’re about to launch a new program designed especially for mature businesses. The rollout will begin next week with a special episode. Be sure to tune in! In today’s episode, be sure to listen for More details about 2-Minute Tuesdays What our new program is all about What you can expect in next week’s “Get Your Shit Together” episode (with a special guest!) A mini-lesson in how an ounce of courage can create your most effective CTAs Listen to episode 58 now!   In episode 58 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:20] What our team has been creating behind the scenes just for you [6:04] What the 2-Minute Tuesdays emails are all about and how to sign up [9:00] The #1 tip for creating an effective CTA, especially with an audience that supports you [11:35] The new program designed specifically for mature businesses that will be rolling out soon [14:40] Why Renia is especially passionate about #DoBetterDigital and offering resources to businesses right now   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Sign up for 2-Minute Tuesdays. Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

Jun 10

19 min 53 sec

Search Engine Marketing is essential to a sustainable marketing strategy. But how do you ensure that your SEM is values-driven? In the last episode, we talked about the advantages of a search-based marketing strategy over one driven by social media.  This week we are taking a deeper dive into Search Engine Marketing (SEM). We will explore how to optimize this platform and #DoBetterDigital. In 2021, the search engine is its own platform. It requires a specific engagement strategy to be effective.  And when it comes to the Trinity Principle, I highly advocate that search be your primary marketing platform.  Search Engine Marketing doesn't come without flaws. But it also has some major benefits when compared with social media: Search is generally a more level playing field, especially for small and micro-businesses. The intentionality you put into search produces higher, longer-lasting dividends. Over time, search requires less hustle for bigger, more sustainable results.   In a 2021 world, you can’t afford NOT to focus on Search Engine Marketing. In today’s episode, we’ll discuss exactly where to put your focus to get the most out of SEM. I’m giving you a list of nine best practices for effective SEM. As always, these practices will help you grow your business while staying true to your values.  I’m covering a lot of information in today’s episode, including some technical jargon. To help you keep track of the details, my team is sharing the cheat sheet that we use with each of our clients. Download your SEM cheat sheet here. Are you ready to increase your visibility on the internet and build a more sustainable business? Listen to episode 57 now!   In episode 57 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [6:04] The good and the ugly of SEM when compared to other platforms. [12:07] How to use a small ad budget strategically and carefully for greatest effect [15:02] How Youtube videos can help your search rankings, especially when they are optimized [17:11] The vital role of local search, even for online businesses [20:45] Why you shouldn’t overlook Google Shopping if you have product [22:00] The importance of moving beyond keywords and connecting with intent [25:05] How intentionally used rich snippets can bring you better traffic [27:15] Why you should check your Core Web Vitals on a regular basis, especially if traffic has decreased [30:06] How to increase your ranking on Google by using the acronym E.A.T. [34:25] When you should consider if a non-Google SEM strategy is worth a look   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Download your Search Engine Marketing cheat sheet for today’s episode: Revisit past SEO/SEM episodes. Learn why three platforms are all you need with the Trinity Principle. Learn how to optimize your YouTube channel with these past episodes: How to Kick Ass at Metadata Thinking Beyond Transcripts Review the importance of a #DoBetterDigital copy-first marketing strategy: Choosing a Copy-First Digital Strategy in a Video World CTAs That Work Blogging in 2021 (And Beyond) Read more about E.A.T. and Google’s search engine ranking factors. Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn. Email Renia with questions or feedback. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

Jun 3

38 min 12 sec

If you’re tired of the hamster wheel of social media content creation, it’s time to focus on a more sustainable business model. It’s a fact that our world is largely influenced by social media. It’s also true that social media can be a useful tool in your digital marketing strategy - especially with a #DoBetterDigital mindset. But the idea that we can constantly be “on” and responsive is not a business model. When you focus much of your marketing dollars and effort on social media, you can guarantee one thing: you’re headed for burnout. The issue with relying on social media to drive the majority of your sales is that social media requires constant engagement. If you take a week off, your bottom line suffers. What you created for last month’s campaign isn’t going to continue generating leads or sales after the campaign is over. In today’s episode, I am proposing a more sustainable focus for your marketing: a search-first digital strategy. This means optimizing your website for search. It means  Developing in-depth, evergreen content,  Focusing on keywords, alt-tags, and metadata, Considering site speeds and mobile compatibility, Creating backlinks and internal links, and Focusing on user experience.   An SEO-first marketing strategy does require a bit of work upfront. That’s why I’ve spent several episodes talking about SEO and how to do it effectively.  But dollar for dollar, a search-based strategy provides you with more value than a social media-based one.   Check out these statistics: 53%: The percentage of all trackable website traffic that comes from organic search. (BrightEdge) 5%: The percentage of all trackable traffic that comes from paid social. (BrightEdge)   This is partly because content driven by SEO can continue to get traffic for years. Meanwhile, that video you spent hours on for your social media platform last month has probably already run its course. But how do you make that transition to a search-first strategy? And what about all those influencers who’ve amassed a huge audience? Can’t you simply add keywords to your social media posts and call it a day? I answer these questions and more in today’s episode. If you’re looking to create a business model that does the work for you - even when you take a break - you need to shift your focus to SEO.  Listen to episode 56 now! In episode 56 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:48] Why it’s important to consider what you’re building when choosing a business model [10:27] Why you should consider what’s happening in your business when making the shift to search-based marketing [13:06] Why an SEO-based business model just makes sense based on human behavior [14:59] What the long-term implications are of focusing more on search than social media [21:00] Why it used to be easier to depend on a social media marketing strategy [26:16] The difference between SEO and SEM, and why both matter [28:38] How to SEO has changed in the last ten years [29:55] What to expect when transitioning from a social media based strategy to a search-first business model   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Get up-to-date on Renia’s SEO/SEM episodes. (You’ll want to bookmark this one!) Review what a copy-first digital strategy is and why it works. Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn. Email Renia with questions or feedback. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

May 27

36 min 3 sec

The Call to Action (CTA) is often seen as a necessary evil in marketing. But while it is necessary, it doesn’t have to be evil. The reality of marketing is that, ultimately, you are asking people to give you money. (Sometimes their time, or a positive review, but usually it’s money.) The reality of running a business is that you need money to operate. As I’ve talked about before, sales cures everything when it comes to accomplishing the goals you’ve set for yourself and your business. But it’s not uncommon for marketers to balk when it comes time to ask potential clients to take action. It seems easier to allude to what we want rather than risk seeming scammy and underhanded. In values-driven marketing, crafting compelling CTAs doesn’t have to be difficult. In today’s episode, we talk about how to change your perspective when it comes to making that call to action.  How can you avoid the manipulative tactics that go against your values? View CTAs as empowering your audience to take action to improve their lives - because that’s exactly what you’re doing. As a values-driven marketer, you’ve already created goods, services, or content that will help your audience in some way. Now it’s your job to encourage them to do what they need to do to access those things.Maybe it’s giving you money.Maybe it’s downloading an ebook.Maybe it’s listening to your podcast.But here’s the thing: They won’t know what to do until you ask. It’s a general rule that objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Potential clients, especially those who are new to us, can seem incredibly hard to reach without resorting to underhanded tactics. Even persuading them to share their email can seem like a Herculean task. In this episode, I will give you specific steps for creating effective, values-driven CTAs that move your audience to action. And of course, we have a checklist to help you remember all the little details and stay consistent in your practices. You can download your Landing Page Scorecard here. Are you ready to revolutionize your marketing strategy with CTAs that inspire without manipulation? Listen to episode 55 now!   In episode 55 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:40] What a CTA is and why it doesn’t have to be manipulative to be effective [7:34] The two types of CTAs and where CTAs show up in the digital world [10:37] Why clarity is the most important part of writing an effective CTA [14:15] How to avoid a disconnect between the CTA and the landing page so you don’t  lose clients [16:38] The importance of making “small asks” with your CTAs that build trust over time [22:09] How “Content Bingo” can help you create and manage more effective CTAs   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Download the Landing Page Scorecard to improve your CTAs and landing pages.: Explore the Dear Grown Ass Women community. Check out Grab the Copy and Formatting Checklist from episode 53 here: Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn. Email Renia with questions or feedback. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

May 20

28 min 43 sec

When it comes to building a blog, creating content is only the first step. You also have to make that content accessible.   Values-driven marketing is about putting people first. You’ve worked hard to create blog posts that provide value for your audience. But your job isn’t done. Your digital strategy must consider two questions:  How will your audience find your blog?  How will your audience consume your content? Blogs that keep these two concerns in mind can be greatly beneficial to a marketing strategy. Done right, blogs can  Improve your search rankings, Drive traffic to your site, and  Grow your email list.  There is a lot of noise out there in the digital space. In the last episode, I explained why the most effective marketing strategy puts copy first. But that doesn’t mean mindlessly adding to the noise. A values-driven, copy-first digital strategy means being intentional with every word your brand puts out. In today’s episode, I give you 5 steps that will make your blog stand out above the rest and keep your audience coming back for more.  These 5 steps are the exact steps our copywriters and formatters use for every piece of content we create. Generally speaking, we Employ keywords in strategic places so that the intended audience can find what they’re looking for, Use carefully chosen “power words” to get our audience’s attention without being manipulative, and Structure our content a particular way so that even when people are in a hurry, they can still get value from what we’ve created. We’ll go over the “why’s” and “how’s” of exactly what to do in today’s episode. Be sure to download our free Copy and Formatting Checklist, because there’s a lot to remember. We refer to this checklist with every piece we create to ensure we remain consistent and use best practices.  Are you ready to transform your blog posts to make them work for you? Listen to episode 54 now! In episode 54 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [3:03] Why blogs still matter in the video world of 2021 [6:06] Why being intentional with your headline is a vital step to creating a blog that works for you [11:54] What Power Words are and how to use them to increase traffic to your site [23:53] How to write a meta description that will  increase your click-through rate [25:18] Tips for creating people-friendly content that your audience will engage with [30:44] Tips for creating SEO-friendly content that will improve your site’s rankings on search engines   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Download our checklist for copy and formatting: Checkout episode 53 to learn more about a copy-first digital strategy Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn Email Renia with questions or feedback. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

May 13

36 min 45 sec

Are you underinvesting in the most critical piece of your digital strategy? In today’s episode, we discuss why a copy-first digital marketing strategy makes the most sense, even in a video world. Copy is the words you use to market your brand and sell your product. It’s the number one thing that connects you to your audience and convinces them to take the action you want them to take. Without good copy, your digital strategy has no foundation to stand on. You're probably thinking, “What about design? And a good-looking website? And all the technical stuff?” While those things are important, without good copy, none of that matters. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes on the internet to see that even ugly things sell. But bad copy undermines even the best-laid designs. Today we talk about how to create good copy and where to pay attention to it in your strategy. Copywriting is not the same as creative writing. Copy is a conversation between you and your clients, and it must follow some general formulas to be effective.  I’ve said before that I only have a few hard rules when it comes to digital marketing. One of them is this:  Marketers need to either learn how to write good copy or hire someone who does.  Many of our clients do a mix of both.  A great copywriter is an investment, and you often get what you pay for. If you’re not at a place where you can hire a full-time copywriter, you’ll need to learn a few things about writing at least some of it yourself. Today I’ll be giving you tips on how to get the most out of either route. And for those who’ve got this copy thing down, you’ll still want to check out today’s episode for all the unexpected places where the words you choose matter. Have you considered: Voice search? Video tags? The FAQ page? SRT files?   In values-driven marketing, we put people first. That means thinking through every connection point between you and your audience.  Are you offering value every step of the way?  Is your message clear and accessible? I’ve packed a lot into today’s episode, so we’re sharing a free checklist to help you keep things straight. We use this checklist with our own projects to make sure the copy aligns with our values and standards. Get your Free Copy and Formatting Checklist here: Are you ready to #DoBetterDigital with accessible, compelling copy? Listen to episode 53 now! In episode 53 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [7:31] Tips for choosing a great copywriter who will get results [12:56] Tips for writing effective copy that will move people to act [18:19] Why video content still needs effective copy [22:30] How to make the most out of voice search with a copy-first strategy [26:10] Why FAQs and question-based headlines are essential for optimal search rankings [28:04] Why you should get comfortable with Schema to mark up your content [30:50] How mobile-first, local-centric copy can increase visibility and traffic [32:08] How formatting for styling can hurt your digital strategy and how to fix it Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Download our Copy and Formatting Checklist: Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn Email Renia with questions or feedback. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

Apr 22

40 min 36 sec

What if I told you it was possible to have fun with your digital strategy and not feel overwhelmed by it? In today’s episode of Small Stage, Big Impact, we’ll discuss the Trinity Principle. This strategy  takes the overwhelm out of digital marketing, gives you back control over where and how you engage your audience, and leads to better marketing outcomes.   For those who’ve been following along for a while, you’ve heard me speak about the Trinity Principle before. But it can be a difficult perspective shift, especially for those of us who’ve listened to all the gurus telling us to be everywhere and everything for everybody on social media. Or we’ve taken some coaches’ advice and sunk everything we have into a single platform, taking a big risk in hopes of a big payoff.The Trinity Principle is an approach to digital marketing that doesn’t leave you exhausted or require you to take unnecessary risks with your business. You get to do less but do it better. You get to have more control, more time, and more connection with your audience. And you get a higher return on your investment. So what is the Trinity Principle? It is simply this: You only need three platforms - executed well- to get all of the leads and sales your business needs to prosper. Yes, you read that right. Three. I can almost hear the “But what about…” on the tip of your tongue. That’s why I decided to dive deeper into the Trinity Principle in today’s episode.First, I’ll explain why the Trinity Principle is so important for values-driven marketers. We do a disservice to our audience and ourselves when we spread ourselves too thin. The Trinity Principle lets us engage our audiences with integrity.  Then I’ll give you some pointers on choosing those three platforms. As an SEO nerd, I’ve got a pretty strong opinion about what your first two should be. (I’ve also got the data to back it up!). But the third platform is where you have room to play, and we can help you figure out what’s best for you. I’ll also talk about why focusing on only one platform is not a wise risk to take. The Trinity Principle helps you to mitigate risk while also giving space for courage and creativity to grow your business. If you haven’t done so yet, please download our Evaluate Your Business Worksheet. It can help you decide the best place for you to be in the digital space. Are you ready to take a step back, take a deep breath, and then achieve more than you ever thought possible?   Listen to episode 52 now! In episode 52 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [2:58] What the Trinity Principle is and why some marketers find it difficult to use [5:43] How values-driven marketing relates to the Trinity Principle [11:08] What trips up traditional marketers when they try to use social media [14:23] Why you should consider an email list as one of your three platforms [16:23] The problem with focusing on one single platform for all of your marketing needs [20:24] Why you should consider Search Engine Marketing as one of your three platforms [25:44] The different options available for your third platform [30:06] How to know which platform to choose for your third platform [38:02] The three platforms Genevieve Digital uses and why we chose them [43:49] One last thing to consider that might be blocking you from breaking up with social media platforms   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Download this checklist to evaluate your business: Leave a review on iTunes Connect with Renia on LinkedIn Email Renia with questions or feedback. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

Apr 15

47 min 54 sec

Learn how to toss manipulative Bro Marketing tactics to the curb in this episode of SSBI. Grow your business with equity and kindness at its core. Listen now. When it comes to breaking up with Bro Marketing, identifying it is the first step. How do you know if you’ve been using Bro Marketing tactics? It’s simple: if you’ve ever felt manipulative when trying to make a sale, you’ve participated in Bro Marketing. Bro Marketing is like a bad relationship. It makes a lot of promises and even seems to deliver on them - for a while. But its tactics leave us feeling like dirt, shamed into thinking we aren’t trying hard enough.  Ultimately, Bro Marketing is not sustainable. But how do we escape? In Season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact, we are going to give you the tools you need to break up with Bro Marketing for good.  Last season, we talked a lot about #DoBetterDigital. Digital marketers have shaped the world, and we have a responsibility to fix the damage we’ve done. If we can make the mess, we can clean it up. How? With Bro Marketing’s better looking, harder working, more empathetic alternative: values-driven marketing. Unlike Bro Marketing, values-driven marketing leads to sustainable success. Also unlike Bro Marketing, values-driven marketing requires hard work and sacrifice. Is it worth it? With over a decade of experience backing me up, I can answer confidently: Yes! I’m not offering a quick-fix solution. Values-driven marketing is not a prescription - it’s a practice. But with each episode, I’ll share with you proven practices that will lead to the type of success you can be proud of.  You may find that you’ve already been incorporating the values-driven mentality in your marketing practices. To help you determine where you are on your values-driven marketing journey, we’ve created a downloadable quiz. Use it to take notes, do some journaling, or help you focus on where you want to go.Download the Checklist for Evaluating Your Business here: And if it turns out you’re more entrenched in Bro Marketing than you thought you were, don’t worry. As Dr. Maya Angelou so famously said,           “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when           you know better, do better.”Are you ready to know how to #DoBetterDigital and make an impact you can be proud of? Listen to episode 51 now! In episode 51 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [5:15] How marketers really do have the power (and responsibility) to shape the world [13:26] The lesson we can learn from Facebook about the impact we have as marketers {16:00] One of Renia’s few hard rules for values-driven marketing and why it’s so important [17:47] The difference between sales and marketing and why it matters [19:22] What you can expect to learn during Season 5 of SSBI [21:58] Renia’s personal story and how she knows values-driven marketing is worth the work [31:12] How to get the most from this journey to learn how to #DoBetterDigital [35:30] How to know where you are on your values-driven marketing journey [43:26] What is Bro Marketing? Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Download this checklist to evaluate your business. Learn more about Dear Grown Ass Women. Leave a review on iTunes. Connect with Renia on LinkedIn Email Renia with questions or feedback. Don’t miss an episode of season 5 of Small Stage, Big Impact.

Apr 8

49 min 29 sec

It’s our 50th episode y’all! And we can’t wait to share what we’ve learned with you. We’ve been in business for 12 years, and we’ve never had a year like 2020. (Has anyone?)  This year has been a watershed moment for many businesses, ours included. The events of the past twelve months have stretched us in ways we never could have imagined. But as I’ve mentioned a few times before, this year has taught us to focus on what truly matters. We work with many individual clients and businesses to realign their digital strategy. But this podcast is our voice and connection to our wider audience. We’ve strived to become leaders in the digital space, to be a platform that champions empathy, equity, and accessibility in marketing. Along the way, we’ve stumbled. But we’re committed to this work, so we’re committed to continuous improvement. In today’s episode, I share what we’ve learned in our first year of podcasting.  We’ve grown as a business and as people through this work. I hope we’ve made an impact on your lives and businesses as well. I’m pretty excited about where Genevieve Digital is headed in 2021. We’re recommitting ourselves to breaking up with manipulative sales hacks that compromise our values. Join me in today’s episode to find out why that means more free content for you. From all of us here at Genevieve Digital, may you find time to rest and rejuvenate this holiday season. Here’s to another year to #DoBetterDigital! In episode 50 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [3:00] How the trajectory of a project can change for the better from the impact of  a single person or experience [5:01] How not doing enough research to prepare for a podcast can come back and bite you.  [7:07] How we learned to put our money where our mouth is in terms on online accessibility [8:54] The importance of respecting your audience’s intelligence in your content offerings [9:42] The value of intentional slow growth and production in taking care of your team [10:53] Intention vs impact and how to really be the change we want to see [13:33] Why we are so grateful for our clients and listeners who’ve been with us on this journey [14:48] What you can expect to see from Genevieve Digital in 2021   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Apply for a 2021 digital partnership with Genevieve Digital Watch this episode on Youtube Leave a review on iTunes to help us make a bigger impact Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of Small Stage, Big Impact

Dec 2020

19 min 1 sec

Have you thought about the types of people who make up your team?   Our team at Genevieve Digital is made up of women from diverse backgrounds, talents, and experiences. They each bring a unique perspective that enriches the work we’re doing. Recently, we went through an exercise that opened my eyes to the valuable assets I have on my team. Each of these women shows up in special ways that broaden my view of the world and how we’re impacting it. In today’s episode, I’m sharing with you the results of that exercise. Each team member, myself included, shared the podcast episode that most influenced them this year. They could choose from any podcast, and their answers were as individual as they are.  If you’re looking for unconventional perspectives that challenge the norm, we’ve got what you need.  The podcasts that made the list cover a wide range of topics. What if our view of what it means to be creative is too narrow? What if the effectiveness of popular gurus is actually an illusion? What if we saw our struggles not as personal flaws but as signs that something needs to change? These episodes challenged us to forge new paths as we continue to work for a more equitable world. After the year we’ve had, our world will never be the same. It can’t be.  I hope today’s episode inspires you to approach this coming year with a mind open to possibility. Listen now. In episode 49 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:01] How Christina S’s favorite podcast helped her to not feel so jaded about some big issues she’s been grappling with [7:56] How Christina G’s favorite podcast reinforced a view on marketing that is unconventional and controversial [11:11] How Liz’s favorite podcast helped her see what creativity really looks like even for those not in “creative” fields [15:27] How Renia’s favorite podcast helped her to see areas she personally needed to work on to have a more effective impact on the world [20:31] How Renia has found freedom operate differently in the world of marketing and to allow her clients and employees to do the same   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Listen to the podcast episode mentioned by Christina S, The Authenticity Delusion from Lawrence Lanoff’s podcast, The Optimized Mind Revisit the episode mentioned by Christina G, Neutrality is Bad for Business, episode 41 of Small Stage, Big Impact Listen to the podcast episode mentioned by Liz, How to Become More Creative - Even If You Think You Aren’t from Building a StoryBrand with Donald Miller Listen to the podcast episodes mentioned by Renia: Brene Brown with Sonya Renee Taylor, Search Off the Record, and Decolonizing Professionalism Watch this episode on Youtube Apply for a 2021 digital partnership with Genevieve Digital Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Dec 2020

23 min 16 sec

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what are your images saying about your brand? My struggle to find images and photography that accurately portrays me and my brand started several years ago. I don’t like the way I appear on camera, and I’ve been told several times that I’m just not photogenic. Plus, each stock image I found seemed sterile, and I couldn’t find a photographer who could capture the energy I wanted for my brand. As an able-bodied, cis-gendered white woman, I realize that I am more privileged than many. But I’ve worked as a coach and a strategist with many different types of people. What I’ve learned from their struggles, as well as my own, is the power images have to send messages without our need to say a word.  Sometimes they send messages we never intended. But images also have the power to tell the world exactly what - and who - we stand for. It’s easy to grab stock photos to fill out our ads and webpages. They’re free or at least inexpensive, and they’re easy to get.. But do they speak to who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish? In today’s episode, I talk about the importance of evaluating the message we are sending with the visuals of our brand.  Are our photos a little sterile? Are our pictures a little safe? In our campaign to #DoBetterDigital, we’ve talked about the importance of having the courage to step outside the norm. We’ve discussed the need to offer the unexpected to honor our audience and ourselves. If we want our brands to be inclusive, diverse, and accessible, we can’t ignore the imagery we choose to represent them. Are your images inclusive, diverse, and accessible?  Do your visuals make you the hero of the story, or does it focus on your audience?  Does your imagery show you as a service provider, or as a celebrity? If we want our audience to see themselves in our brand, we need to show them that they already have a place. Join me in today’s episode as we discuss how to line up our imagery with our intentions to #DoBetterDigital. Listen now. In episode 48 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [6:46] Where Renia’s journey into inclusive imagery started for herself and for her business [11:50] How the type of brand you are informs the types of images you need to convey your brand message [15:39] How diverse imagery improves your marketing because it focuses on your audience [17:00] Tips for how to build your image library to best reflect your brand [19:45] The benefits of creating a custom image library instead of relying only on stock images [21:46] How and why to choose a great photographer who can support your goals of inclusivity and diversity Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Watch the Diversity in Photography TEDtalk  Read The Photographer’s Guide to Inclusive Photography Discover how inclusivity is changing the world of photography Check out this inclusive list of photographers Subscribe to a more diverse collection of stock photos  Watch this episode on Youtube Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Dec 2020

25 min 31 sec

Does talking about conversion funnels make you feel a little sleazy? Many of us flinch at the idea of asking someone for money. But we know that without sales our businesses cannot survive. Traditional marketing tactics leave us feeling like we need a shower. But we aren’t sure of any other way to get the word out about what we have to offer. What if I told you there was a different way to view funnels that honors both you and your customer?  What would happen if you stopped viewing the buyer’s journey as a funnel that squeezes customers for cash? What if you viewed it as a leisurely walk with a friend whose life you want to make better? How would that perspective impact your marketing approach? In today’s episode, I walk you through how it’s possible to #DoBetterDigital with each step of the buyer’s journey. Being great at marketing and sales doesn’t have to involve questionable sales tactics.  Being great at marketing and sales means being great at solving problems. What problem does your audience have that you are uniquely situated to solve? How can you ethically guide your potential client to discovering the solution you have to offer? Join me in today’s episode to find out how to create a journey that benefits both you and your customer. Listen now!   In episode 47 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [7:13] The first essential step of the buyer’s journey that you can’t afford to ignore [10:55] Why manipulative ads are a bad idea if you want long-term audience buy-in [13:26] What must be included in your content to establish a relationship with your audience [15:16] How a clear, value-driven opt-in builds trust between you and your customers [19:39] Why the follow-up needs to be carefully thought out before asking your audience to take a risk [21:50] A special message for healers and coaches when creating your follow-up system [25:49] How the delivery method of your main offer is another chance to strengthen the relationship with your clients [27:41] The crappy things digital marketers do that are not necessary for effective sales funnels   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Revisit episode 38 “How to Kick Ass at Metadata” Apply for a 2021 digital partnership with Genevieve Digital Watch this episode on Youtube Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Dec 2020

32 min 10 sec

Have you thought about what the new normal will look like in a post-pandemic world? Have you thought about how you can influence what that new world will look like?  In today’s episode, I talk about what my team and I have learned in 2020, and how we’re planning to use those lessons to transform the digital world in 2021. When this podcast was launched a year ago in December 2019, I had an idea of what I wanted 2020 to look like.  And then we all got a year that no one could have predicted. Out of the chaos and upheaval of this past year, we have a chance to create something better. To form a world that amplifies the voices of the marginalized. To shape a marketplace with empathy, equity, accessibility at its center. We’ve had to realign our business strategies in 2020 to meet the moment. And we’ll be taking some of those strategies into the new year because they line up with our goal to impact the world for the better. The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is this: When you take away what is easy, sometimes you’re left with what is right. 2020 has pushed us all outside of our comfort zones, personally and professionally. Hopefully, that push has helped us to see what truly matters. What’s worth holding on to. What’s worth pursuing. What’s worth giving up. In 2021, Genevieve Digital is going to give up a few things to jump wholeheartedly into the #DoBetterDigital campaign. We’re going to focus on our people, our passions, and our promise. Did you know that as entrepreneurs, we have made a sacred promise?  What it is might surprise you, but I have a feeling it will inspire you to adjust your focus for the coming year. What is this promise, and what can you expect from us in 2021? Join me in today’s episode to find out - and then let me know what impact YOU will be making this year. In episode 46 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [5:30] How and why we made the shift away from focusing only on local businesses [10:44] How we have learned to go deep, not wide to better spread the message of #DoBetterDigital [18:00] Why we are making the shift away from coaching toward digital strategy [21:12] How and why we are focusing less on doing it all and more on doing what we love [26:26] The sacred duty of entrepreneurs, and how that’s affected the direction of Genevieve Digital [30:42] Why we are stepping away from social media for now in order to cultivate relationships in other areas [34:27] What you can expect from us in 2021    Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Purchase Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown Apply for a 2021 digital partnership with Genevieve Digital Watch this episode on YouTube Learn more about business author and speaker Mike Michalowicz Check out the Dear Grown Ass Women community Revisit Naomi Hattaway’s episode where she discusses a “slow campaign”  Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Dec 2020

38 min 54 sec

Is there anything worth salvaging from 2020? If you’ve been following along for the past few episodes, you know that I’ve been able to find some nuggets of gold in all the junk 2020 has been throwing at us this year. My business has grown. I’ve grown. As a business leader and as a person. In today’s episode, you’ll hear from some of our past guests about what they’re thankful for, and how they’re moving into 2021 with hope. A common thread in each of their statements is that intentionality is essential to gratitude. Each of these women has chosen to use the chaos of 2020 to focus on what truly matters. And often what matters to us personally has a profound effect on what we’re doing with our businesses.  Many of you have committed to #DoBetterDigital so you can be better business leaders and better people. You’ve committed to creating a better world.  When we find reasons to be thankful, we remind ourselves what we’re fighting for. Are you struggling to find a spark of gratitude after the hot mess of 2020? I hope today’s episode will inspire you to not only find a reason to be thankful, but also find a reason to hope for a better 2021. Listen now. In episode 45 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:10] The need to intentionally reassess how you have been using your time [7:51] The importance of creating the right kind of support network in you business and personal life [8:43] How learning to notice your wins leads helps you to continue to move forward and find success [11:24] Why embracing who we are is vital to creating healthy relationships and empowering others to do the same [15:14] What Renia is most grateful for this year   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Revisit Danielle’s episode about why it’s important to your business to make room for creativity Revisit Elizabeth’s episode about how the power you need to succeed is already inside of you  Revisit Kronda’s episode about making your website work for you Revisit Lori’s episode about the impact on our business when we lead from our values Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Nov 2020

18 min 56 sec

What are you doing to actively build up your community? If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we really do need each other. In our personal and professional lives, we depend on our community not just to survive, but to thrive.  Today’s guest is Naomi Hattaway, an experienced world traveler and current City Council candidate. Naomi is passionate about community building, diversity, and accessibility in online and personal spaces.  That community-building includes people who don’t always agree with what she stands for. Naomi is a biracial woman in the Midwest who doesn’t even try to conform to societal norms. She has met her fair share of resistance and rejection. But her unconventional education and experience in the international community have taught her to view the world through a unique lens. Referencing Nilofer Merchant, author of The Power of Onlyness, Naomi states, “There’s a spot in this world only you can stand in.” Naomi strives to show up every day and interact with her community with intention and compassion. She’s learned not to be restrained by others’ ideas of how the world works and how she should exist within it. And she’s here today to share some of that hard-earned wisdom with us. How do we bring together people of diverse experiences, beliefs, and political leanings to achieve a common goal? Is it possible to build up our community even in times of social distancing? What does it look like to be true to ourselves while fulfilling the roles and responsibilities demanded by our professional lives? Join me in today’s episode, where we explore the power we have to transform our communities and build a kinder, more accessible, and more equitable world. Listen now. In episode 44 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [7:15] A simple step you can do today to support the community where you live [8:10] What is means to “leave well” when you experience changes in your life [9:28] How the practice of “leaving well” applies in a professional setting [16:10] Strategies Naomi has used to reach across party lines to bring her community together [20:27] How Naomi has struggled to balance heart and empathy with politics [25:12] Naomi’s method for being authentic while still operating within the boundaries of her professional roles [29:19] How to choose who makes up your inner circle so you are supported in achieving your goals [35:34] Why Naomi is running a “slow campaign” to best honor herself, her team, and her community [40:24] What Naomi would do if she had a magic wand   Resources mentioned by Naomi and Renia in the episode: Learn more about Naomi Hattaway Follow Naomi’s campaign on the campaign’s website, Facebook page, and Instagram Follow Naomi on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn Purchase The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Nov 2020

43 min 2 sec

What would change for you if you viewed your SEO strategy as a transformational change instead of just data-driven analytics? In today’s episode, I’m sharing my thoughts on how SEO fits into our #DoBetterDigital strategy. Search engine optimization is about more than traffic, keywords, and backlinks - though those things are important. Great SEO is part of a holistic marketing practice.  It's not enough to tell great stories, or develop a great product, or really care about your customers. We need all of those elements to create a sustainable marketing strategy.  We even need SEO. Because like each of those elements, SEO done right puts people first. We must stop viewing SEO as tweaks and hacks that generate short-term traffic and sales. Instead, let’s see it as a dedicated practice that requires long-term strategy.  Our relationship with our customers ebbs and flows as we experience growth and change on both sides. A great SEO strategy helps us get a clearer picture of that relationship. And that picture helps us to become better business leaders, better digital influencers, and better people. Great SEO helps us #DoBetterDigital. So how exactly do we go from analyzing data to putting people first with SEO? Join me in today’s episode to find out. Listen now. In episode 43 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [5:22] Why the transactional part of marketing seems taboo to many of us, but is actually essential [8:21] What your SEO cycles can teach you about your place as a digital influencer [9:03] How SEO is an important part of a holistic marketing plan with several important benefits [11:38] How great SEO requires you to put people first, the cornerstone of #DoBetterDigital [13:09] Why SEO has shifted too far toward the transactional, and what we can do about it Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Nov 2020

14 min 44 sec

2020 is the year the world turned upside down. Has your marketing kept up? In today’s episode, we talk with Jedi Marketing Master, cohost of Digital Dykes, and my longtime friend, Crystal Smith.  We’re looking back at the biggest marketing fails of 2020, as well as what it takes to stay relevant in a changing world. The biggest fail I’ve seen from Businesses Who Must Not Be Named is the attempt to cling to “business as usual.”  They may throw up a black box for Black Lives Matter on their website or post a “masks required” sign on their door. But the marketing strategies they mapped out in December of 2019 move ahead as scheduled. There is no awareness that their target audience may have shifted priorities. The purpose of marketing is to persuade your audience to make a purchase.  If your audience is focused on meeting their basic needs for food, shelter, and safety, no amount of fancy copy or pretty pictures is going to persuade them to open their wallets to you. We must always remember the humanity of our audience. As Crystal points out, the only way to be ethical AND successful in business is to be transparent.  Transparent in our expectations.  Transparent in our struggles.  And transparent in what we can deliver.  The marketing failures of 2020 happened because marketers forgot the cornerstone of effective marketing:  People buy from people they know, like, and trust. How exactly do we adapt our marketing strategy to an audience with different needs and expectations than a year ago? We adjust our perspective, and we forge a new path.  To #DoBetterDigital, we must choose to do, or do not. There is no try. But we CAN do it together. Learn more about how to be a marketing success in a post-2020 world in today’s episode. Listen now. ***Please note: Today’s episode is very NSFW or suitable for small ears.*** In episode 42 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [11:18] The number one mistake some marketers are making in 2020 [22:26] The number one rule to being an ethical digital influencer and a successful marketer [38:45] The definition of “bro-marketers” and why their marketing tactics just don’t cut it [41:46] How marketing can be a positive influence in the lives of consumers [45:06] The kind of manipulation you should avoid in marketing if you want to #DoBetterDigital [50:24] Renia’s “cheat code” for digital marketing newbies who are struggling to find clients [52:47] Renia and Crystal’s advice for sustainable success in business and in life   Resources mentioned by Crystal and Renia in the episode: Learn more about Crystal on her website Watch this episode on YouTube Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Nov 2020

59 min 12 sec

Have you ever been told that when doing business you need to check your opinions on politics and religion at the door? I received this advice from a former mentor, and I’ve spent the past eight years proving him wrong. In today’s social media world, neutrality is not an option. Not only is neutrality morally bankrupt, but it’s also bad for your business. Effective marketing is customer-focused. Right now, our customers are living in a world where people are scared and dying. Institutions and traditions we’ve relied on for generations are being turned on their heads. Belief systems are being turned inside out. What your customers need from you now is surety about where you stand. Trust is hard to come by right now. Your audience needs to be able to trust that your values are in line with theirs before they will trust you with their money. And if you truly want to #DoBetterDigital, you cannot sit on the fence about issues that so deeply impact the lives of your audience. Please understand that I am not advocating arguing on social media or even backing a particular political candidate. I am advising that you gather your courage, step out in confidence, and clearly communicate your values as a company. What does taking a stand look like, and why is it vital to the success of your business, now more than ever? Join me in today’s episode to find out. Listen now. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” - Desmond Tutu In episode 41 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:10] The worst advice I ever received about how to run a business [8:44] Why neutrality is bad for business if you want to connect with today’s audience [12:10] What taking a stand looks like in your marketing strategy [14:23] What taking a stand shouldn’t look like if you want your messaging to be clear [20:01] An action to consider for your company on the day after the election   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Oct 2020

24 min 15 sec

What if you tossed the self-help books and focused on a single topic for an entire year? That’s exactly what I did for this past year, and the impact on both my personal and professional lives has been phenomenal.  Several years ago, I was introduced to Elizabeth DiAlto and the Wild Soul Movement. I have found a lot of value in her work. So last year, on my 36th birthday, I made what would turn out to be a life-altering decision. Last year, before any of us knew what 2020 had in store for us. I decided to take the plunge and focus on just one thing for the entire year. There is a mantra I learned in the Wild Soul Movement, and I decided to take it to heart and see where it led me: Less Control, More Magic. And what a wild, magical ride it has been.  I have spent this chaotic, frustrating, and sometimes scary year focusing on surrendering and letting go.  I have let go of desires for myself,  I have let go of expectations for my children, and  I have let go of goals for my business. In the process, I have learned so much about myself, about my loved ones, and about the direction we should take as a company. I learned that true surrender allows us to look at our choices and what happens to us with a fresh perspective. A perspective filled with wisdom, discernment, compassion, and love. I realize what you’re probably thinking: Why are we talking about surrender in a business podcast? Like I said, it’s been a magical ride. And much of that magic has been in my business. I surrendered my ideas of what my business needed to do and be in order to grow. I followed my heart instead of my head, and surprise! We grew. We’ve grown enough to be able to hire several new people. And we’ve matured enough to better pinpoint our place in this industry. 2021 is going to bring some big changes to Genevieve Digital. Our focus is changing. My role is changing And each change is being made to better help YOU change the world.  What can you expect from us this year as we continue to better serve you? Join me in today’s episode to find out.   In episode 40 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [5:28] Why we’re talking about surrender and release in a business podcast [14:27] How Renia’s responsibilities are changing this coming year as a result of what she’s learned [17:04] How Renia has released the idea that she must achieve “expert” status in order to grow the business [18:50] How Renia has let go of creating a training company and found her true direction [20:02] How Renia has found connection with other women without having met them in person [21:47] How Renia has stopped comparing herself to her male colleagues and learned to #DoBetterDigital in the process [ 25:20] What Renia wants to challenge and encourage you to do as we head into 2021 [26:28] What Renia’s new focus will be for this new year Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Learn more about Elizabeth DiAlto and the Wild Soul Movement Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Watch this episode on YouTube  Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Oct 2020

29 min 35 sec

Is your website holding you back? In this week’s episode, we talk with web developer and digital marketer Kronda Adair about what many websites are missing when it comes to effective marketing. It’s more than just the wrong fonts or bad pop-ups. You must approach website design and content with a full understanding of your audience. Otherwise, your website is going to come up short. “Me-centered” marketing isn’t sustainable. As Kronda reminds us, “Business is really about building relationships.” People buy products and services from businesses they like, know, and trust. How do you build that relationship? Kronda gives us some concrete tips, like: Avoid tiny, hard-to-read fonts, Don’t put testimonials in sliders, and Consider turning off pop-ups for mobile.   But we also discuss the mindset we need to #DoBetterDigital. What value are we offering our audience? Would we use these tactics if we were speaking in person? Kronda reminds us, “Just because you’ve received bad marketing doesn’t mean can’t give good marketing.” When you lead with a service mentality, your audience responds - with their wallets as well as their loyalty. Listen now. In episode 39 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [8:58] How to determine if your website is working for you (or if it’s just pretty) [13:06] The secret to good marketing with a compelling lead magnet [19:30] How to be effective with your lead capture without being annoying [26:00] Why you should avoid “me-centered” language and how to fix it [33:08] Why you should be wary of “web guys” when choosing a web developer [38:51] The importance of understanding who you’re selling to [40:27] How to co-create with your audience with transparency and integrity [49:50] The key to effective marketing that many business owners are missing [56:28] What it REALLY takes to make six figures in 30 days   Resources mentioned by Kronda and Renia in the episode: Check out Kronda’s free and paid resources at Sign up for Kronda’s podcast waitlist at  Follow Kronda on Facebook and Instagram Join the Service CEOs Facebook group Chris Davis on Contextual Calls-to-Action Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Watch this episode on YouTube Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Oct 2020

1 hr 1 min

What if you could improve your SEO and #DoBetterDigital at the same time? Between the useful, quality content on your website and a potential customer lies a few pieces of text. This text can mean the difference between converting a new lead or losing another one to the competitors. What could make such a big difference to your bottom line?  Metadata.  You may be ignoring it. You may be confused by it. You may have never even heard of it. But these small pieces of text tell search engines what your website’s about. That data then affects your search ranking, which affects your online visibility.  In this episode, we discuss the three types of metadata. Meta titles Meta descriptions Alt text Take a minute to think about your own web searches. When you’re looking at a page full of search results, how do you determine which links to click? You read the blue links, as well as the information underneath them. These are your meta titles and descriptions. And if you’re using them to decide which sites to visit, don’t you think your audience is doing the same? Meta titles and descriptions impact your click-through-rate. Your click-through-rate affects your search ranking. Both of these impact brand awareness and website traffic. Do you see how this all works together? Alt text is alternative text for images. Have you ever visited a page and an image failed to load? Sometimes you’ll see text in its place that describes the image. That’s alt text. You’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with accessibility. Metadata was originally intended as information for screen readers. The text helps the screen reader understand the content and navigation of websites. Alt text also helps those who are visually impaired but don’t use screen readers. And then marketers ruined metadata. Visually impaired people are still using screen readers. But often the metadata they encounter is unhelpful. It is nonsensical or even missing. Poorly written metadata hurts both marketers and consumers. Let’s talk about how we can tackle metadata and make the digital world more accessible at the same time.  Listen now. In episode 38 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [3:14] How metadata impacts your bottom line and why it shouldn’t be ignored [4:12] What alt text was originally intended for and how it can increase traffic when used correctly [7:01] Tips for optimizing your current metadata in order to bring your website up-to-date [8:10] What meta titles are and how they impact your search ranking [9:32] What meta descriptions are and how they impact your search rankings [11:58] Tips for writing meta titles and descriptions that will drive traffic to your site [22:02] Tips for writing alt text so you can #DoBetterDigital for others and for your business [28:13] When and why to use image captions and how to write them effectively [30:20] Some great resources for optimizing the metadata on your website   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Download Renia’s metadata cheatsheet Check out the SEO Yoast plug-in to optimize the metadata on your WordPress site Check out Moz Meta Title Checker if you’re not using WordPress Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram Watch this episode on YouTube Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Oct 2020

33 min 15 sec

What would you do if you knew your content wasn’t reaching 20% of your audience? In today’s episode, we talk with Deaf writer and disability rights activist Jennifer Brown. As Jennifer explains, most disabled people come into activism through necessity, not desire. She and many others have spent their lives fighting for accessibility to things that many of us take for granted. Things like education. Healthcare. Entertainment.  And digital content. The adult disabled community accounts for over 20% of the population. That is over 1 in 5 people who rely on things like captions and screen readers just to live their lives. Is your content accessible? Or are you missing out on touchpoints with a large part of your audience? If we want to #DoBetterDigital, then we have to create content that our ENTIRE audience can access. That could be the blind woman. The deaf man. The mom watching your live video while her baby sleeps. The student learning English by reading captions.  Accessibility isn’t about being “PC.” Accessibility is about being better.  Being a better digital marketer. Being a better business owner. Being a better human.  In today’s episode, Jennifer tells us exactly what we need to do to #DoBetterDigital. And if you think you just can’t afford to create accessible content? Jennifer has an answer for that too.  Listen now. In episode 37 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [6:37] Jennifer’s biggest wish in terms of accessibility and activism [8:43] The number one thing people can do to help create a more accessible society [11:19] How businesses are hurting their bottom line by not being more accessible [13:17] Some simple first steps every business can take to become more accessible to their audience [14:48] Why you should pay special attention to alt text for images to make it truly useful [18:35] How hashtags are a stumbling block for accessibility - and a simple fix! [21:20] How the cost of ADA-compliance is the cost of doing business, just like compliance with any other law. [26:10] The best way to make podcasts accessible for the deaf community [39:27] How accessibility and equity are intersectional and cover multiple types of experience  Resources mentioned by Jennifer and Renia in the episode: Follow Jennifer on Twitter and Instagram Find out more about Jennifer and her work in Disability Justice View the “WAP” ASL cover signed by a Black Deaf woman on Twitter Read more about the controversy surrounding the viral music interpreter issue Learn more about the Dear Grown Ass Women community Don’t miss an episode of season 4 of Small Stage, Big Impact

Oct 2020

42 min 35 sec

How can you make a kinder, more just world as a digital influencer? You may have heard this phrase by Gary Vaynerchuck: “Marketers ruin everything.” If that statement is true, then it makes me wonder:  If marketers are powerful enough to “ruin everything,” aren’t we also powerful enough to change things for the better?Season Four of Small Stage, Big Impact is about sustainable courage for leaders who want to do better digital. Right now, we can tend to be active participants in the manipulation and toxic capitalism that defines the world of marketing. Even if we don’t mean to be. What if we decided to change the habits that are ruining everything? What if we took ownership of our words and actions and created the world we want to live in? A world of equity and liberation for all people? This season we are going to explore what work needs to be done AND the courage needed to do it.  Why courage? I don’t think it’s news to anyone when I say that the current digital marketing world is  Hyper-masculine Steeped in white supremacy, and  Wholly unconcerned with accessibility.    By continuing to unquestioningly take part in this world, we are, at best, leaving out many people. At worst, we are actively suppressing them. But this is the way it’s always been done and old habits die hard. Breaking the mold is not only difficult but also scary.That’s why we need courage. And that’s why we are doing this together. Why now? I’ve put off this conversation because I like being the expert in topics I am going to speak about. On this topic, I am just another student. But 2020 has taught us that we must change to survive. If I am going to be an agent of change, I cannot continue sitting on my hands. So this season I will play the role of facilitator while our many guests share their knowledge and experience of doing better digital. Rest assured that each speaker has been fully vetted by my team. They are in the work, doing the work, and are trained for the work. Most importantly, they’ve found success with the work.   In today's episode, expect to: Learn more about what to expect this season Hear about what I learned this month during Inbound Week, and Get details about our high standards for this season's guests Listen now!    In episode 36 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [6:02] How digital marketers can have an impact on the world around us, for better or for worse [11:34] What the current digital world looks like and how it is harmful [12:59] How this season is different from previous ones (hint: I am also a student) [17:16] The examples that can be found at Inbound Week of how we can do better digital [24:52] The kind of help you can expect from me this season as we learn to do better digital [27:32] The types of guests we will be talking with this season and why you’ll want to hear what they have to say   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Sign up to get updates so you don’t miss a thing this season. Leave a review on iTunes Follow LoreniaC on Instagram

Sep 2020

30 min 48 sec

Have you realigned your business strategy yet? When I set out to do the Summer Strategy Sessions in May, I never would have guessed where this summer would take us. Fortunately, what I like to call the Three C’s of Sustainable Stewardship are designed to help us navigate rough waters. As we’ve discussed Care, Courage, and Creativity over these past few months, I hope you've been able to find some calmer seas for yourself and your business.  We’ll be taking a short break as we prepare for our fall season. Why not catch up on any episodes you missed - or go back and listen to your favorite? Here are some of the highlights: In episode 22 we kicked off the series by talking about the three types of caring. Taking care of ourselves, our team, and our customers is especially vital in times like these.  In episode 23 we talked with Dave White about practical ways to keep our employees safe so they can feel more confident on the job.  In episode 24 we spoke with Lorraine Lane about how to keep our team safe emotionally and mentally so they are equipped to handle whatever the world decides to throw our way next. In episode 25 we learned about the transformative practice of actionable gratitude with Elena Anguita. In episode 28 we discussed with Lori Bainum how getting to know ourselves can be the most courageous step we take for our business.  In episode 29 I introduced you to the Bouncy Floor Principle and the not-super-fun but incredibly important world of risk mitigation.  In episode 30 we kicked off our section on creativity by talking about how to purposefully create space in your life for the creativity your business needs to grow and flourish.    If you’re still struggling to find direction, let me leave you with a challenge: What are you meant to be giving the world right now? I’m not asking you to figure out the meaning of life. I’m asking you what you have to offer, right now, where you are. I’ve recently answered this question for myself, and the answer has both realigned and refreshed my business strategy. I can’t wait to share some changes with you over the next few months. I’d love to hear from you! I hope you’ve learned as much from these strategy sessions as I have. If you have a story or insight to share, please don’t hesitate to let me know! You can leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can send me an email or DM. Hearing from my listeners is part of what keeps me going.  Enjoy today’s episode, and I look forward to returning September 24th! In episode 35 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:30] The three types of Caring to focus on during this time of physical and social pandemics [6:25] How you can provide safety for your team, both in the physical and the emotional sense [10:28] How active gratitude can carry you through rough times [12:15] What you need to sustain courage and how the biggest act of courage is really knowing ourselves [13:30] How risk mitigation strategies sustain our courage and give us space for creativity [16:00] How to create space for creativity in our lives and businesses [19:10] What I’ve learned about realignment and how it’s affected my business [20:50] The one question I believe is vital to realigning your business strategy [23:52] What realignment really means [25:13] What to expect in the fall with the podcast and the new website Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Don’t miss any of our Summer Strategy Sessions

Sep 2020

27 min 44 sec

Are you ready to be more creative in your marketing? I imagine that for many of you, one of these two thoughts is holding you back: “When would I have time for that? By the time I come up with a post and copy-and-paste it to all of my platforms AND interact with the users, it’s time to come up with another post.” “Being creative is too risky. I’m putting everything into one specific platform. If I take a chance on a new idea and it fails, I’ve sunk my entire marketing strategy.” These are very real concerns that I’ve encountered with my own business ventures and with businesses I have worked with. That’s why I know the solution I present in this episode works. I have used it myself and seen its incredible impact on many other businesses over the years. Let me introduce you to the Trinity Principle. The Trinity Principle states that any business only needs three marketing platforms - chosen properly and executed well - to get all the business they need for sustainable growth. In today’s episode, we talk about WHY this principle works. Among other benefits, the Trinity Principle: Frees you to be creative in your marketing without sabotaging yourself Enables you to do less while still growing your business Protects you from an algorithm apocalypse completely destroying your marketing strategy We also begin to discuss HOW to put this principle into action. For example, I can already tell you exactly what one of your platforms should be, no matter your product or service. You only need to decide on the other two! Ultimately, the Trinity Principle is about giving yourself the space to find creative solutions for your business. (If you missed that discussion, be sure to listen to episode 33.)  Listen to today’s episode to find out how the Trinity Principle is the business solution you’ve been missing. In episode 34 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [2:55] What the Trinity Principle is, and how it works to sustain your business [5:30] Which platform is essential for your business, no matter your product or service [7:12] How to avoid the algorithm apocalypse with your marketing strategy still mostly intact [11:58] What you need to consider when choosing your other two platforms [13:22] Why it’s a bad idea to focus on only one marketing platform if you want to build sustainability Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Don’t miss a single episode of the Small Stage, Big Impact podcast

Aug 2020

16 min 41 sec

Are you struggling with the concept of creativity in your business pursuits? There’s a reason that Creativity is our final section of the Summer Strategy Sessions: You need to understand how to care for yourself and cultivate courage if you want to make room for creativity in your life. In today’s episode, we talk with my longtime friend, yoga teacher, and sometimes lifeline, Danielle Rush. Danielle is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and Life & Accountability Coach, to name a few more areas of expertise.  How does she do it? Danielle identifies as a “multi-potentialite.” She has learned that being a generalist instead of a specialist doesn’t have to be the stumbling block that our society wants to make it. Like Danielle, I have several talents and interests that I could pull from to create a business. I have struggled over the years with how to bring all of my Big Ideas together into a cohesive whole. Can you relate? Danielle has a bit of advice for us: “It’s not always about the outcome. It’s about the creative process.” When we create space for creativity in our lives, we find the solutions we need to find meaning and success.  How do we create that space? By taking care of ourselves. By slowing down that hustle. By allowing ourselves time to just play and enjoy life.  But doing all of that takes a little bit of courage, too. We have to learn to trust ourselves and trust in the process, even when we can’t see the outcome. When Danielle created space for her creativity to flow, she found direction for her varied interests. Her creative vision can be summed up into one objective: “Supporting happy, healthy humans.” From there, all of her ideas find focus. Learn how she got to this point and what you can learn from her journey in today’s episode. In episode 33 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [9:49] What a multi-potentialite is, and what that looks like from a business standpoint. [15:40] What Danielle’s 6 M’s are for living a happy, healthy life. [20:45] Why it is important to make space for play and self-care to sustain a creative life. [22:45] How to see your children as motivation to be courageous in your creativity. [23:46] How to use block scheduling to make time for everything you want to accomplish. [29:43] Why it is important to avoid killing the things you love to do by forcing them to feed your family. [34:44] The logistics behind Danielle’s creative vision and how she branded herself. [40:30] Why it is important to create space for the creativity you need to find solutions in your business. Resources mentioned by Danielle and Renia in the episode: Check out Danielle’s websites for services and online classes, and Learn more about what it is to be a “multi-potentialite” from Emilie Wapnick’s TEDtalk, “Why some of us don’t have one true calling.” Purchase David Epstein’s book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Aug 2020

51 min 29 sec

Do your potential customers know exactly what it takes to do business with you?   Before you answer, take a minute to ask yourself these three questions:   Does my website clearly display the first step for purchasing from me within the first three seconds with the clarity of a toddler asking for Teddy Grahams?   Can every person who answers our phones clearly articulate the sales process and our price range to a potential customer? Do we have WRITTEN and EASILY AVAILABLE packages, rate sheets, or an estimating tool?     If you answered a sheepish, “Not really”, to any of these three questions then you’re missing the one thing every company needs in place for sales to be consistently strong:    A Clearly Defined Ask ™    Your ask might be simple. For example, a yoga studio could offer a class pack or a sample week.   Or, your CDA could be complex like mine. Those who sell high-ticket or long commitment products and services typically have more complex asks. For example, real estate agents and financial advisors might make five to fifty small asks before gaining the business.   Whether your CDA (Clearly Defined Ask ™ ) is a one-time simple ask or more complex, it must be well-defined and clear to everyone around you in order for your sales to be consistent and repeatable.   You might be able to sell someone with an unclear ask, but no one around you will be able to do it successfully. And, your time is limited. If you’re relying on your ability to speak to someone to make a sale, you’re in for trouble.   Next week, I’m going to share the steps to figuring out your potential customers’ buyer’s journey with you. The first step on this journey is figuring out your company’s most critical Clearly Defined Ask ™ .   The other day I was talking to a friend about how much the Harry Potter books matter to me. I literally grew up with those books. The first one came out when I was in 6th grade. At 21, I stood in line at midnight, hugely pregnant with my first child, to buy the final book. For right around a decade, through all my pre-teen and teenage development, Harry, Hermoine, and Ron were growing up right alongside me.   J.K. Rowling took me (and most of my generation) on a journey like no other. Every adventure, obstacle, and milestone meant something to us on a level far deeper than any other of the 1500+ of books I’ve read in my life.   Novelists know the power of taking your reader on an emotionally-charged journey.   Great marketers know it too.    In fact, I bet you’re in the middle of a buyer’s journey with one of your favorite brands right now and don’t even know it.  When we’re on a grand adventure with a brand, we don’t know we’re being sold anything. If you’ve ever been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, you’ve seen this in action. This elaborate and magical place is perhaps the greatest immersive sales experience ever created. When you spend time in Diagon Alley, every step is brimming with both magic and places to swipe your credit card. The magic of a journey through Harry Potter’s world is only possible with intense planning. Every step of your walk through that corner of the park is carefully planned out, curated, and continuously polished for your pleasure. An experience that feels like memorable magic to the customer may happen once by accident. But, repeating it thousands of times over only happens with careful planning.  Last week we talked about figuring out your CDA, the Clearly Defined Ask ™, that makes it clear what you are selling. The next step is to sit down and document how you walk beside your potential buyer as they move towards that ask. Documenting your primary persona’s buyer’s journey is critical to making good marketing decisions. You will never have consistency in your lead generation until the stops, obstacles, and adventures on this path are clearly understood. The buyer’s journey is the foundational piece of every company’s marketing system. What does your magical adventure look like to a potential customer?  In episode 32 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [1:58] What a CDA is, and why it is essential for an effective marketing strategy [2:58] The requirements for an effective CDA that can be duplicated by your sales team and let you focus on being the business owner [5:19] The first step to figuring out the buyer’s journey so that your marketing is consistent and effective [7:23] That the best buyer's journeys are a bit magical, as you don’t even realize you’re being sold anything [9:04] The second step to figuring out the buyer’s journey for a more compelling marketing strategy Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Don’t miss any of our Summer Strategy Sessions

Aug 2020

11 min 43 sec

Sales cure everything, but not for the reason you think. There’s a faded sticky note that hangs on my writing desk with these words scrawled across it: “Be the one who changes everyone else’s luck when you walk in the room.”  It’s a quote attributed to Hafiz. I hung it there to remind me of how I want to show up in the world. These words remind me that it is my role to support the work of others. We like to think of ourselves as the heroes of our stories, but when you are called to lead other leaders this is what I know to be true: Shining brightly means you are the spotlight, not the star of the show. When I shine, it creates a bright space for your genius to step into the light. When you do the same, who are you creating space for? (Reply to this email and let me know). Reading Donald Miller’s book, Story Brand, helped me articulate this. But it didn’t answer the most important question for me and almost every business owner I know: How do I find ease while serving my vision? For me, ease meant finally getting my finances in order. For you, it might mean finding the time to go fishing once per week or detaching from your phone for a few hours. Whatever it is, most of us have fallen into the trap of believing that the only way growth happens is through constant hustle. So, we sacrifice ease for the painful pace that we think will buy us greatness. What did answer this question for me, was combining Miller’s wisdom about my role as a leader with a firm grip on what has become my number one business rule: Sales cure everything. If that sentence reads cold to you, hang with me. Too many of us are uncomfortable with money, for a multitude of reasons. For me, it was a verse from the Christian Bible repeated like a mantra by my family throughout my childhood:  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The message was communicated to us like this: Money makes you sinful. The more of it you have, the less pure you are. But this is dead wrong. That belief held my personal kindness revolution back for years until I finally realized that money only amplifies what we already are.  The reason that sales cure everything has nothing to do with how many vacations you go on, what kind of car you drive or the size of your company. Sales cures everything because of what it buys you: Sales buy you the freedom to shine big enough for everyone you want to serve to stand in the light. Sales make hiring that brilliant Mom at a respectable salary possible. Sales make providing benefits to your employees possible. Sales make sponsoring your favorite non profit possible. Sales make the vacation that renews you for another round of work possible. Sales make buying the building that revitalizes a downtrodden neighborhood possible. Sales are the tool you use to change everyone else’s luck when you walk in the room. The reason the first pillar, the Sales/Marketing arm,  of your business must be strong before we move on to anything else is that it makes everything else possible. To change anyone else’s luck, we must first fall in love with sales.  In episode 31 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [2:35] What it really means to shine brightly as a leader [3:48] Why “hustle” is not the answer to achieving our dreams and goals (and what is) [5:43] How our view of money could be holding us back from living our best lives [7:21] How sales are a tool for transforming the world around us and leaving a legacy of kindness Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Purchase Story Brand by Donald Miller Don’t miss any of our Summer Strategy Sessions.

Aug 2020

9 min 32 sec

Which creative idea would you pursue if you knew you couldn’t fail? Today we kick off the third and final section of our Summer Strategy Sessions: Creativity. And what does every creative need to achieve their goals?  A strategic plan. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. Done correctly, a strategic plan isn’t the restrictive dream-killer you’re probably imagining. Done right, a strategic plan is a flexible, evolving companion on your journey to the life you want. This episode is a fast and furious overview of flexible strategic planning. I’ll introduce you to four essential elements you need to implement to set yourself up for success: Rethink the way you set up your SMART goals by focusing on process, not outcome. Use the Trinity Principle to mitigate risks in marketing. Be willing to realign your goals when things change. Remember the Bouncy Floor rule and its five keys we discussed in Episode 29.   And one more thing: I want to hear from you. Now  that we’re in the last few weeks of the Summer Strategy Sessions, let me know how it’s going for you. Has anything really stuck with you or helped to realign your business in this strange new world we find ourselves in?  Send me an email, or leave a review on whichever platform you’re using to listen to this podcast. I’m looking forward to hearing from you! In episode 30 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:05] The major challenge every strategic plan faces and how to overcome it [5:57] The importance of rethinking your SMART goals by focusing on process, not outcome [12:00] How the Trinity Principle helps to mitigate risks in marketing while allowing for creativity [16:28] Why you should follow what lights you up and realign your goals as needed [20:13] The importance of remembering the bouncy floor rule and its five keys from Episode 29 Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Discover what SCRUM is and if it might be helpful for your business Read about The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte Sign up for our Summer Strategy Workshop to download your worksheet Listen to Episode 29 to review The Bouncy Floor Rule and the 5 Keys

Aug 2020

23 min 33 sec

Nothing opens the door for spectacular success like taking a risk.  But taking a risk also opens the door for spectacular failure. So how do we ensure we go through the right door? In our final Summer Strategy Session on courage, we take on the common adage credited to John Burroughs: “Jump, and a net will appear.”  How many of us have learned the hard way that if we don’t build the net first, we will only fall flat on our faces? What if I told you that there was a way to mitigate the risks that are necessary to grow your business? Failure happens to the best of us. But failure doesn’t have to capsize us, taking our business and personal finances relationships down with it. The 5 Keys to Effective Risk-Taking can help you mitigate risks and the potential for failure. Did you know many of the entrepreneurs who are known for taking risks - and having them pay off - were really just skilled at risk mitigation?  Today I break down the key components to effective risk-mitigation so that you can give yourself the best chance at achieving your dreams.  Are you ready to change your mindset, budget your time and money, and walk through that door to success? If so, this episode is for you. Listen now. In episode 29 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [8:54] How and why to build your own net, because no one else will do it for you. [13:25] What the sunk-cost fallacy is and how to avoid it in your business. [21:33] The importance of betting smart so you don’t over-leverage yourself. [24:17] Going second so you don’t have to seed a new audience. [26:57] Learning how to break down your timelines to better budget your time [31:17] The importance of noticing the gaps where new ideas and businesses are most needed. Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Don’t miss a single episode of our Summer Strategy Sessions

Jul 2020

34 min 42 sec

Sometimes our biggest act of courage is getting to know ourselves. Are you scared to be still and just sit with yourself?  Have you ever thought about why that is?  Have you considered that knowing yourself is essential to growing your business?   In today’s episode, I talk once again with my longtime friend and coach, Lori Bainum. Lori’s extensive career in the media industry has taught her that understanding our personal values is key to a leading successful organization. In the Courage section of our Summer Strategy Sessions, we’re exploring how you can’t grow your business without taking risks.  But how do we know when to be courageous - when to take risks - when we don’t know what’s important to us? Lori shares with us that:  “Leadership begins with being centered in ourselves.”  If we want to succeed in business, we must take the time to figure out our values. This exercise has the added benefit of strengthening your messaging to your target audience. As Lori states, “People won’t understand what you’re about if you don’t understand what you’re about.” Empathy is essential to effective leadership. People naturally follow leaders who understand them, their fears, their desires, and their values. Empathy is understanding what it is like to be in another’s shoes. Lori challenges us to consider, "How are you going to be able to put yourself in somebody else's shoes if you're not willing to be in your own shoes?" In today’s episode, we discuss what courage looks like when we choose to lead from our values. Listen now! In episode 28 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [4:15] Lori’s definition of courage and how it may be counter to what we’ve been taught [8:53] How we can figure out who we are during chaotic times [15:30] The connection between being rooted in your values and being rooted in your sense of self [19:04] The two types of procrastination, and how one type can help you make the right decisions [22:40] How leaders need to be empathetic in order to connect with the people they are leading  [28:00] How we can keep our workplaces from being toxic by remembering each other’s humanity [44:30] Why embracing positive conflict is essential to becoming a high-functioning team [54:28] How the focus on productivity can be like dieting (and true productivity requires self-awareness) [1:00:10] The type of courage that is required of leaders who want to have truly productive meetings [1:08:00] Tips for handling anxiety over feeling like you don’t have enough time left to live the life you want [1:18:00] What you can do now to courageously transform how you lead your team and your business   Resources mentioned by Lori and Renia in the episode: Patrick Lencioni’s book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Don’t miss a single episode on courage during our Summer Strategy Sessions

Jul 2020

1 hr 26 min

What does it mean to have courage?    Even thinking about taking a risk, especially a business risk, can leave us feeling apprehensive. And while a single act of bravery can be difficult, repeatedly taking risks can be downright scary.    But what if I told you that sustaining courageous action is exactly what your business needs?   Sustainable courage is essential for maintaining forward progress. Businesses must change and adapt to remain relevant to their target market. Change requires risks. In this kick-off episode for the Courage section of our Summer Strategy Sessions, we discuss how to develop intentional, sustainable courage.    What exactly does this kind of courage look like? No matter the times we live in, taking appropriate risks with our companies requires three things: Leading from our values Understanding risks Asking for help when necessary   In Episode 27, we’re looking ahead at the second leg of our strategy framework. In today’s climate, we are being asked to be more courageous than ever. How do we do that? Listen now to learn what you can expect over the next few weeks as we explore courage in the world of business. In episode 27 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [3:35] How understanding your values as a business is central to developing courage [4:42] Why we must revisit what our top values are as we learn and grow as individuals and with our businesses [6:12] What our business values are and how they help guide our company [9:25] How mitigating risk helps make risks less risky [12:19] Why timing is critical to your courageous action being successful and accepted [14:24] Why we have a responsibility to make sure our risks are sustainable [18:15] The importance of asking for help when you need it Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Sign up for the Courage kick-off call

Jul 2020

21 min 24 sec

How do we show up to serve others, when showing up is dangerous?   In our final episode on care, we discuss the unique challenges businesses are facing right now with customer care. Health, safety, and social issues dominate our news feeds. Our daily routines have been restructured. Anxiety is spiking for everyone and impacting our relationships.   In today’s tense environment, customer service is more vital than ever. We could unintentionally erode customer trust and loyalty without ever speaking to a customer in person. How do we avoid losing customers when our usual methods of communication have changed?   The way you serve your customers must evolve to fit this moment.   Consider the way that you are currently interacting with your customers. If you are still able to engage with them in person, are you:   Being purposeful with your body language Finding ways to greet them while maintaining social distance Learning to accommodate customers who are hard of hearing   If you speak with customers on the phone, are you:   Giving them your full, enthusiastic attention Being clear in your speech to reduce misunderstandings   If you interact with customers online, are you:   Using available resources to ensure quick responses Making it clear how you want customers to contact you   We address each of these issues with action items you can put in place today to improve customer retention and loyalty. In episode 26 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss: [5:28] Why your customer care needs to evolve to retain clients in 2020 [9:15] How mask-wearing impacts in-person customer care and solutions for building rapport [13:11] How 30 seconds can change your demeanor and positively affect customer interactions [16:23] Training on ways to communicate with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community when mask-wearing provides an obstacle [19:35] The need to develop new habits in our body language when greeting or welcoming customers [22:11] The vital importance of empathy right now when everyone is stressed [25:00] The transformative power of the “mirror trick” to help your team be enthusiastic and engaged on the phone [27:20] Training your team to speak slowly and clearly to avoid misunderstandings on the phone [30:04] How a quick response is the most important part of online service [33:20] The importance of cultivating trust with your customers by making it clear how they can get service from you   Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Sign up for the live sessions and get the worksheet.

Jul 2020

41 min 2 sec

Does writing thank-you notes seem like a waste of time in today's rapidly changing world?   What if doing so could help you become more resilient and successful?   In today’s episode, we’ll hear from author and speaker, Elena Anguita, about her movement, Spread Thanks. This simple practice encourages people to spread gratitude by writing and sending daily thank-you notes. With just 10 minutes a day, you can transform your life.   Elena has personally sent a thank-you note every day for the past five years. It has taken some creativity, but Elena found that:    "Being in a state of gratitude then attracted a reason to be grateful."    It's a self-perpetuating cycle.   Elena always struggled with practicing mindfulness despite knowing how beneficial it could be. By writing a thank-you note a day, she accidentally started using it! She also experiences benefits and "daily miracles" she never anticipated.   It’s no secret that we are all trying to maintain balance in unprecedented times. Often, we’re trying to care for ourselves and others while having to be physically distant from our support network.   The Spread Thanks movement provides a surprising solution.    We may have to be socially distant, but we can still focus on building connections.    We do that by intentionally changing our perspectives.   In Episode 25, Elena states, "People are there to make your life easier." What a life-altering perspective! Now more than ever, we should focus on what and who we have to be grateful for.    Learn how to transform your life by spreading thanks in today's episode. In episode 25 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [3:47] What the Spread Thanks movement is all about [5:39] How this practice impacts your life in unexpected ways [9:10] How intentional gratitude changes your perspective about life and other people [16:17] How this gratitude practice is different than others and makes a bigger impact [21:38] How to “inoculate” yourself against the hard things in life [23:34] How to implement this practice in your daily life in just 10 minutes a day [26:13] Tips on coming up with thank you note recipients and why it’s important to get creative [29:26] How journaling helps you maximize the benefits of spreading thanks [31:13] How intentional gratitude can help anyone practice mindfulness even when they’ve struggled to before Resources mentioned by Elena and Renia in the episode:   Learn more about the Spread Thanks movement. Look for Elena’s book, Spread Thanks: Create Miracles Through the Power of Ink. Follow Elena on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Jul 2020

37 min 14 sec

Prioritizing employee emotional safety should be at the forefront for all business leaders. Employees need to feel cared for and safe.   In this episode, I spoke with Lorraine Lane. Lorraine is the founder of Lane Business Consulting. She discussed how leaders can care for employees during “the new normal” that we’re facing.   She explores how she became an expert in teaching others to lead. Lorraine goes over how remote working changes the way you lead and teach others to lead.  She shares red flags to watch for to ensure employees aren’t overworked. Many employers haven’t asked their staff what they need to do their work effectively.  She talks about how leadership needs to put parameters in place to protect employees... Things like being aware that they aren't required to respond to emails within 5 minutes.    In most lines of work, everything isn't an emergency. Employees must be fully aware of that.    We talk about paying close attention to the words you use when communicating. She gives insight into leading remotely when employees still have to go into work.     Lorraine divulges so much wisdom from her career as a business consultant. If you’ve been struggling to lead your team during this time, this is the episode for you. In episode 24 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [4:13] How Lorraine became an expert in teaching people how to lead [8:32] How she and her team fixed the career trajectory options for individuals at her organization (and the retention rate) [10:22] Why moving technical employees into management isn’t always the right decision [12:57] Why backing off of leadership training and mentorship during the pandemic is a bad idea [14:31] How working remotely changes the way you have to teach people to lead [17:34] Red flags to be on the lookout for as a leader to safeguard your employees [21:21] How we’re behind the curve in asking employees what they need to be productive [23:19] Why you need to pay attention to the words you use in your communication [26:47] Ground rules to have in place and the importance of giving people space to respond [30:04] Why you have to identify what’s critical and what can wait  [32:46] How you lead differently while employees aren’t able to work remotely and face a certain level of hazard [35:04] Her thoughts on how companies can preserve company culture while working from home [36:48] What leaders can do if they’re struggling under the current circumstances [39:56] How you should take the time to enjoy the benefits of working from home   Resources mentioned by Lorraine and Renia in the episode: Business-Building Referrals: Play Your A-Game and Become a Networking SSuper Staruper Star Join us for our live Q & A call on July 2 Connect with Lorraine: Learn more about her company Lane Business Consulting: Email Lorraine:

Jun 2020

44 min 12 sec

What is “the new normal” when it comes to your business strategy? As millions of people are heading back to work every day, keeping them safe is an essential consideration.   Now more than ever, you need to consider how you’re protecting employees. What are you doing to cultivate a culture of safety in the workplace? If you haven’t thought about it yet, now is the time.    To help you better understand workplace safety, I brought on Dave White. Dave is the co-owner and CFO of Quad City Safety, a midwestern based distributor of PPE and other safety equipment.     Dave speaks candidly on empowering employees to be safe.    He talks about why your people and their safety should be a top priority.   He shares how you can hone in on being a thought leader for your customers. A big way to do this is by giving them direction. You want to offer them clear safety guidelines as they begin to re-enter retail spaces.   This episode has a wealth of impactful tips so be sure to take notes! In episode 23 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss   [4:47] What it’s been like to figure out how to manage safety during the Covid pandemic [8:43] The things you need to be aware of when providing protection for your employees [13:47] Why it’s crucial to be a thought leader for your customers and give them direction for safety guidelines [15:14] What it means to create a culture of safety and how to start the process of creating it [22:20] How focusing on people and profit can have the same end goal [24:27] The tension between existential and long-term protection strategies [28:25] How to empower your employees to be safe [34:01] The argument that people have for investing in safety and the ROI of protecting your employees [38:27] Where to get help if you’re unsure of what the right protection is for your employees [41:26] How your employees really want to know someone is looking out for their best interest [43:29] What Dave hopes you’ll take away from his advice [47:12] How to know if a supplier you’re looking at is apart of a safety network Resources mentioned by Dave and Renia in the episode: Safety Network Connect with Dave: Learn more about Dave’s company Quad City Safety: Get pandemic safety solutions for your workplace:

Jun 2020

48 min 22 sec

What might shift in your business if you think of this moment like a dance instead of a battle? It’s not a reaction to Covid, but instead a time to reflect on how you can get realigned with your goals.   In this episode, we’re kicking off our discussion of Care, the first of the 3 C’s for realigning your business strategy.    We’re going to chat about the 3 types of caring to consider when rearranging the rest of 2020:   Self-care Employee care Customer care.   Why does caring come first? I'll uncover that on this episode along with how it will help you to be fluid and move quickly in this different landscape. You'll see how caring will guide you to the place that you want to be and down the path you want to go.    Take notes and stick around to the end to hear a special bonus about community care!  In episode 22 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [4:11] The 3 types of fo care to consider for rearranging the rest of 2020 [4:38] Why you need to put self-care first, especially at this moment [5:52] What self-care means to me [6:36] The big 5 parts of self-care you can use to reset yourself [12:46] Sharing what you’re doing to take care of yourself  [13:20] What you can do to cultivate employee care  [15:36] Two upcoming guests who are going to get real about physical and emotionally safe [17:57] Why you want to over-communicate and demonstrate empathy with your customers [19:25] Using these 3 areas to think about what you’re doing, what you should be doing differently and what you want to do for the rest of 2020 to get where you want  [22:56] The bonus care area that you can think about if you have the first three implemented Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: E6: Managing Your Energy & Mojo with Lori Bainum - Part 1 E7: Managing Your Energy & Mojo with Lori Bainum - Part 2

Jun 2020

26 min 44 sec

If you’ve felt like 2020 has lasted for six years instead of six months, then this is the season for you. For our fifth year of summer strategy sessions, we’ve made the choice to bring them online. They will be on the podcast and free to our entire community. The world that we’re living in is unlike anything we’ve dealt with before. That’s why I chose to do this. I want to help you navigate the waters of doing business during and after this new sort of normal we’re living through.  Inside this episode, you’ll learn my 3 C’s of doing business right now. You could call this the summer of Covid, but I feel like it’s so much more than that. It’s an opportunity for us to reimagine how our businesses operate, communicate, lead, and thrive. In this episode, I chat about how you can structure your focus in three key areas:  Care, courage and creativity. This framework is helping me (and my clients) right now to make the best of 2020 and create the year you need.  In episode 21 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [3:06] How we’re doing summer strategy sessions differently this year [6:03] Why the halfway point of the year is a time to reflect and get real [9:13] How my 2020 has been up to this point [11:27] The biggest changes this year for a lot of businesses [13:47] Giving yourself time and space to grieve for the things you’ve lost this year [14:33] What things have remained the same for businesses over the course of the year [17:35] The beauty, generosity and values I’ve seen businesses uphold during this time [19:46] The 3 C’s of the summer of COVID and what they mean to me [19:54] What care means to me and what it looks like for your business [21:33] Why now is the time that we’re being called to courage [23:55] The magic that can be produced from creativity Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: Summer Sessions Rachel Cargle Trudi Lebron E19: Business Remixed with Trudi Lebron That’s Not How That Works Podcast Business Remixed w/ Trudi Lebron

Jun 2020

32 min

Small, local business owners can cultivate the biggest impacts within their own communities.  Even if you have a business that, like mine, that is 100% virtual. You can make an impact by rooting your business in a specific place. This gives your business the energy to thrive and make a lasting impression. In this episode, I am discussing why I hold this belief and how it holds true even in times of crisis.  I explore some of the messages from this season that left a lasting impression on my life. You’ll hear my moments of reflection on how proud I am of this season of the podcast. I express my gratitude for you and give you a sneak peek at what’s to come in season 3 which will be airing June 4, 2020.  In episode 20 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [2:19] How I’m holding up at this point in the pandemic [4:32] Why I’m ending the podcast earlier than intended this season for myself and my team [5:43] Expressing gratitude to listeners for being around [6:57] The importance of Elizabeth’s message this season about living embodied [7:51] How Christina is always there for Renia to help her with movement [8:41] Acknowledging that my guests and I are incredibly privileged especially during this time [11:20] Feeling proud about what I’ve put together this season with amazing guests [12:34] How important the deep roots within community is [12:49] What is coming in Season 3 of the podcast Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: E14: Embodiment in Difficult Times with Elizabeth DiAlto E18: Running A Yoga Studio Business During Social Distancing with Christina Muro (Community Business Spotlight) Truth Telling with Elizabeth DiAlto

May 2020

15 min 2 sec

Why do you do business the way that you do? Are you creating the impact that you want from your work? If you haven’t asked yourself these questions, today’s episode is for you. We will be diving into how you can get your values to align with your business and most importantly, how you show up. We will explore how you can create more diversity and inclusion for people of all races, sexual orientations, and genders.   I wanted to have someone on that is helping lead the way in this line of work. That’s why I had this conversation with Trudi Lebron. Trudi is helping companies through coaching and consulting to create social impact initiatives. Trudi recalls her own story of someone stereotyping her based on the color of her skin and being a young mom. She felt called to bring more inclusion and diversity into the world. She shares her own lived experiences in this episode. We dive deep into using your values as driving forces to guide you in business. Trudi and I talk about the power that comes from working with diverse teams. We talk about how her temperament led her to this business venture. She explains how business is a vehicle that can change people’s lives. This episode could be a catalyst for impactful change within your business. Make sure to pay close attention to all the wisdom shared by Trudi. In episode 19 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [3:23] Trudi’s backstory of how she got into this line of work [6:43] Why she decided to major in theatre in college  [9:47] What made Trudi decide to start a business  [12:32] Her experience of working in a non-profit and noticing all of the inefficient systems [15:54] Why you need to tell people the unglamorous side of the story [18:27] Getting rid of the mentality that everything has to be perfect [22:18] Why Trudi felt compelled to work within equity, inclusion, diversity through coaching and consulting [25:02] Her memory of seeing how people were treated based on how they looked  [25:41] Her experience of being stereotyped by a social worker [27:54] How her temperament played a role in her choosing her career path [30:45] Trudi’s goal for her work and the impact it will have on people [31:55]  How business is a vehicle to help change people’s life and work as an extension of your values [34:13] Taking the things that you believe in and linking them to behaviors, practices and policies in your business [39:22] Trudi’s thoughts on how diversity in communities has changed since the 80s and 90s [40:48] The benefits that come from diversity within communities [45:43] Trudi’s advice for someone who is ready to do this work  [48:32] Where you can start to learn more about diversity, inclusion, and equity [52:12] How your intentions and your impact might not align cohesively  Resources mentioned by Trudi and Renia in the episode: White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism How to Be an Antiracist Values-Driven Leadership w/ ConvertKit's COO Barrett Brooks Connect with Trudi: Listen to her podcast, That’s Not How That Works Listen to her podcast, Business Remixed Follow Trudi on Instagram Learn more about Trudi on her website

Apr 2020

54 min 10 sec

Running a business during these unprecedented times can be hard. You might even have to make decisions and pivot faster than you otherwise would. Christina Muro has discovered that sometimes it takes adversity to push you. She realized that now was the time to finally offer online classes.  This was a plan of hers that she had thought of for further along in her business. Until it was recently brought to the surface with the current circumstances of our world. In this episode, I had on Christina to talk about this process. She had to adapt abruptly. Christina needed to learn how to use new software. She even enlisted the help of her daughter to bring her classes online.  Christina gives us the details on what brought her to start a yoga studio. She discusses the mindset shifts she had to overcome when transitioning classes online. We talk about getting into entrepreneurship while still working in a corporate job. You’ll find her advice about this to be very refreshing. Make sure to pay close attention to her advice about diversifying your revenue. You'll enjoy the takeaways from this episode about looking at this time at home as an opportunity. In episode 18 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [4:11] How Christina transitioned from sales into running a yoga studio [8:32] Learning to shut off her mind and enjoy the restorative practice of yoga [9:44] Her experience of closing her shop due to the pandemic [11:30] What it was like moving her yoga practice online and what mindset shifts she overcame [13:58] How she's developing a sense of community for her online yoga classes [19:15] What she’s discovered after bringing her yoga classes online [19:47] What she used to start creating videos for her online yoga classes [25:11] How the current times pushed her to launch in a quick, timely manner to connect with her people [27:23] Why you shouldn’t launch online if that’s not apart of your long-term business plan [31:45] Remembering that you’re human and you can take breaks when needed [35:34] The mishaps that come with teaching yoga classes online [39:30] How Christina got into sales after working in finance  [42:03] What this situation has taught Christina about diversifying her revenue sources [43:50] Why Christina is thankful to still be at her corporate job while running her yoga studio [47:01] The sacrifices Christina made to be able to open her yoga studio [50:17] Creative ways to weather the storm and using this time as an opportunity to focus on what else you can do for your business Resources mentioned by Christina and Renia in the episode: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It Connect with Christina: Follow Yoga 4 Fitness on Facebook: Learn more about Christina and Yoga 4 Fitness:

Apr 2020

55 min 2 sec

How can you make remote work manageable and efficient for your company? Something that I’ve learned is the power of hiring an online business manager. Someone who can examine your business and be a second set of eyes on your projects. That’s why I brought on Stephanie Veraghen. In this episode, you’ll hear why a project manager could be exactly what you need to solve your frustrations. Overwhelmed with systems, production or even how team members interact with one another? She shares her advice for it all.  What she does is very different from a virtual assistant. This person can help you put systems in place for scaling your business. Stephanie brings knowledge from years of working with all types of businesses. She dives into what a standard operating procedure (SOP) is and why you need them!  We also talk about communication in remote teams. Stephanie shares a few of her favorite project management tools. Plus she explains why project management is an essential first step to take! As we had this conversation, it sparked new ideas of things I can work on in my own business. Listen closely because Stephanie shares plenty of valuable tips for you. In episode 17 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [4:34] How Stephanie became an expert in remote work [5:56] Her experience of creating structures and processes to help restaurants scale their businesses and how this shifted into digital projects [7:33] Systems you should have in place to ensure things run smoothly within your business [9:32] What project management is and why it’s an important first step [10:30] How Stephanie helps client’s figure out which project management tool to use [13:46] How Stephanie uses weekly calls to help clients rework their game plan and adjust their business [16:29] Why communication is critical for remote teams [19:08] What a SOP is and how to use them in your business to make things run more effectively [22:36] How she helps them implement SOPs after they’ve been created [23:41] What she’s seen different businesses struggle with within their project management [26:38] Why a second set of eyes on you business can be helpful [28:13] Stephanie’s process for working with new clients in their business [30:08] What a virtual assistant is and how they differ from what Stephanie does for her clients [34:40] Why you might want to consider hiring a contractor versus an employee [38:32] Small things that can become a big problem if employees leave and you don’t have SOPs in place [40:48] Thinking about the things in your business that can be made into templates as issues come up [42:41] What Stephanie does as a business coach to help clients beyond project management Resources mentioned by Stephanie and Renia in the episode: Teamwork Asana Basecamp Trello Connect with Stephanie: Follow Stephanie on LinkedIn: Learn more about Stephanie Veraghen:

Apr 2020

44 min 12 sec

There are no emergencies in marketing. It’s something I used to say often and am currently reevaluating. What I've discovered, as I deal with this moment, is that micro-business still matters. Even, and maybe especially, in a global emergency. With everything going on in our world, there’s so much noise. Honestly, many previously trusted sources are not doing a great job providing us with usable information. Mainstream media tends to be more for entertainment and profit rather than help. That’s why in this episode, I am sharing a few of the podcasters and experts I’ve been turning to during this time for a more thoughtful, measured level of care. In this episode, I touched on a lot of different topics. The most important is this: Micro-businesses are not receiving the attention they deserve during this time. It’s up to us to bridge the gap. I talk about the problem with the payroll loan programs and how they do little to nothing to help micro-business owners, high-risk businesses like restaurants, and gig workers. This week, we explore coping with stress and how we all need a  little breathing space in the midst of chaos and how we can take the time to pattern correct ourselves to make decisions from a calm, grounded place.   In episode 16 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [3:03] The paradigm shift in how we think about the world and how many of us do business [4:20] Her first experiences with social distancing and seeing that play out amongst others [5:37] The strategies that Lourenia’s family and business are using to cope with COVID-19 [7:41] The podcasts that Renia’s been relying on for accurate information [11:28] Who needs the most support right now (and is lacking the support that they need) [12:20] The problem with the payroll loans for micro-businesses [18:01] What you can do to help micro-businesses during this time [21:35] Why we should be demanding grant funding for micro-businesses and gig workers [22:07] Essential workers in trade industries that are still out working  [24:32] How moms need help right now while trying to do all of the things [28:41] Renia’s experience with over and under-functioning during this stressful time and how to know if you’re doing it  [34:02] How the death of an idea can bring on renewal and new life [35:37] How Renia’s had to eat her words and amend the idea that there are no emergencies in marketing [39:00] Why now is probably not the moment to start a new business [43:10] Stopping long enough to take a deep breath  Resources mentioned by Renia in the episode: The Peter Attia Drive Podcast Making Sense Podcast  Unlocking Us with Brené Brown Last week’s episode with Asia Brené on Anxiety, Calm + Over/Under-Functioning E14: Embodiment in Difficult Times with Elizabeth DiAlto

Apr 2020

43 min 55 sec

Are you struggling with framing your brand’s message right now? Maybe you’re asking yourself if it’s okay to promote your business, but you’re not sure how to do it. Me too. I was feeling pretty conflicted about branding during social distancing and Covid-19. So, I reached out to my new friend, Asia Rau for help.  Asia Rau is the founder and creative director of The Strategic Ampersand, a social media marketing, and digital strategy consulting firm based in Portland, OR. With lady-like moxie, a dash of humor, and coffee in hand, Asia works alongside clients, ranging from local shops to national brands, with their marketing strategies while helping them focus on what’s important to them, the brand, and their community. Asia reminded me of the power of knowing our personas, intimately. She drops some serious wisdom about how to handle your branding, marketing, and communication with customers during this time.   In episode 15 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss [4:29] The most important thing to do in this moment with your social media [5:59] Why blame is a bad idea always, but especially in moments where your community is experiencing a disaster [7:45] It’s not enough to say you’re helping the community. Do this too. [8:33] It’s not a moment to say, Look at me. Instead, spotlight your community and how they are helping each other. [10:09] The One Dirty Sock Theory and why it’s important in showing your vulnerability. [12:38] Too much negativity will cost you customers right now. This is why. [14:06] Pivoting from your set plan on social media right now. With thoughtfulness towards your persona. [16:11] Tips for stylists, estheticians, and other in-person services while in a virtual world. [17:26] Digital empathy for those still working out-of-the-home  [19:30] At 5:30 pm every day, do this. Seriously, set an alarm on your phone. [24:52] How certain types of posts lock people out and how to avoid that happening to you [30:46] Doing a knowledge inventory to help others and yourself [32:56] It’s really about your breathing. Yup, branding is about breathing. We’re sticking with that. [35:24] Reality and optimism are a good coupling for all of us. [38:00] Example of handling health and wellness businesses handling social distancing and why what they are doing works. [40:45] Business messaging priorities and how to create them [43:12] Asia and I climb on a soapbox about personas [45:20] How personas increase inclusion and save your sanity [51:33] Balancing between your digital and analog life in normal times and crisis times   Resources mentioned by Asia and Renia in the episode: Sprout Social, Asia’s preferred social scheduling platform Elizabeth DiAlto on Embodiment La La Land with Emma Stone  Episode 5 on Branding and Personas Connect with Asia: Follow Asia on Instagram: Follow The Strategic Ampersand on Facebook:

Apr 2020

58 min 14 sec

Are you feeling stressed out and overwhelmed during these difficult times?  In today’s episode, I am talking to my friend, teacher, and coach, Elizabeth DiAlto. She is the creator of an embodiment program called Wild Soul Movement that has been one of the most valuable practices of my adult life. Through working with Elizabeth I’ve learned how to embody the truths that are inside of me in a way that is deeper and more connected to who I am as a human being, as a soul, as a business person, and pretty much everywhere in my life.  Today, Elizabeth will be sharing about how to live an embodied life in difficult times. Plus, she’ll share how everything we’ve always needed has always been inside of us and what that means for you.  This could be one of the most special episodes I’ve recorded so far because of how much this practice has impacted my own life. I hope you love these practices as much as I do and start implementing them right away.    In this episode we discuss… [4:50] Why Wild Soul Movement is built for challenging times and why it’s crucial for dealing with difficulties  [8:22] How Elizabeth came to believe that everything you’ve ever needed has always been inside you [11:16] What we learn by falling down and failing [15:05] How you can use embodiment work to move through paralysis and figure out what you can do to help others [20:40] The value of being sensitive  [25:53] How to stop taking things personally [32:00] What to do to process your emotions [37:19] Practical tips for how to stop freaking out   Resources Mentioned in this Episode: Power Pay What You Can Program Untamed by Glennon Doyle Cord Cutting and Grounding Practices Truth Telling Podcast Episode 336: Divesting from Perfectionism with Jess Fish    About Elizabeth DiAlto: Known for her raw, honest, and grounded approach to leadership, growth and connection, Elizabeth DiAlto is the creator of Wild Soul Movement, an author, and the host of the popular Truth Telling with Elizabeth DiAlto podcast. She’s been a teacher, leader, speaker, coach and trainer to groups and individuals for 17 years in three different industries. Elizabeth works with women internationally through her digital programs and speaking engagements and more intimately through in-person intensives, retreats, workshops, Wild Soul Movement™ teacher training, and occasional one-on-one engagements. Her greatest mission in this life is to help those who identify as women worldwide to reclaim and redefine their own womanhood, and contribute to a new paradigm of culture where it is both safe and natural for women to love, trust, and accept themselves fully. In 2013, Shape Magazine listed her alongside Dr Oz, Ellen, Jillian Michaels, Tim Ferriss and more as a Top 30 Motivator. She has written for and been featured in Marie Claire, New York Magazine, SELF, Shape, The Huffington Post, US News and Health Report, Yahoo! News and many more. Before developing the current work she does with women, Elizabeth was a nationally-ranked Sales Rep and District Manager for Vector Marketing (with over $1 million in sales to her credit), a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and nutrition coach. She’s a Reiki Master, has completed Energy Mastery trainings with Energetic Solutions, and is an avid student of many spiritual traditions and sacred lineages. Aside from being a prolific creator and community builder, she’s an insatiable learner and a sensualist who loves spas, bathtubs, dancing (especially salsa!), reading, traveling, spending time in nature, and she has a laugh that has been described as, “a sound bath of sunshine and JOY.”

Mar 2020

52 min 59 sec

Covid-19 has us doing things we never planned this week that can leave us feeling overwhelmed.  We’re looking at what is happening over the next several weeks and what that means to us as individual Americans, humans, and local business owners, along with the impact we’ll have on our small or large audiences. We are also thinking about the right things to say at this time.   After much contemplation, I wanted to share what is in my heart and what matters most to me in these uncertain times to give you comfort and direction as a local business owner.  I’ve got lots of great resources for you in this show so you can sustain as much as possible, your kindness, impact and empathy on your community during uncertain times. Helping each other is so important.  In this episode we discuss…   [6:20] How to handle your upcoming scheduled events  [7:11] Variables to consider and questions to ask in regard to your scheduled events so you don’t waste time and money [10:08] How to migrate workers to remote work wherever possible [12:20] Reducing risk for employees that have to go out into the field [13:24] Supporting your team on how to work from home so they can be productive and manage distractions [14:30] Three things to implement if you’re working from home for the first time [18:54] What you can do to manage your kids being home from school while trying to get your work done [22:02] Ideas for how to pay your employees during this time [24:05] What you should know when considering taking your business online   Resource List Mentioned in This Episode… Resources for Micro Businesses

Mar 2020

28 min 27 sec

Is your business succeeding or failing? Somewhere in between? If you’re struggling to answer that question, Peter Christian’s debut book can help. In What About the Vermin Problem?, Christian shares the good, bad, and ugly business practices that he’s witnessed over his long career as a consultant and leader for companies like Crayola®️. We cover a lot of ground in this week’s episode, including: [00:21] The most important policies and procedures to have in place from the beginning of your company [00:50] The main difference, from Christian’s perspective, between a startup and an established company [02:50] The number one systems implementation issue companies face [04:30] What makes information systems difficult and how the right disciplines can protect you from pain. [06:30] How consultants help you understand readiness for new initiatives and projects [08:00] Understanding business tools versus personal needs and how the human element matters for good optimizations [09:23] Mitigating risk by knowing what we don’t want or need to do in our work [12:10] How Christian helped one foodservice company save 15 million dollars on a new facility by optimizing the existing resources [19:10] The danger of using people to solve systems problems and what to do instead [23:30] How thinking about sunsetting products or services is critical to your planning process [27:14] Communicating differences of opinion in a way that makes your business stronger [29:51] Where the title, What About the Vermin Problem?, came from and how it relates to good communication [32:20] What it means when you continually don’t get what you want at the end of a project (Perhaps the most important part of the whole conversation). [34:04] Peter and Renia go wayyy deep and nerdy on the importance and power of strategic planning. [37:50] Why consultants can be dangerous if you don’t know where you’re going [40:54] Anticipating industry changes and evolutions that require adaptation [43:28] What Peter learned from leading production at Crayola®️ about forecasting for future circumstances [48:00] The danger of growth and holding large amounts of inventory [50:40] Where to begin, when you don’t know what you don’t know [52:54] What the best consultants do, that isn’t so common [57:45] Peter’s hopes for what you will learn by reading this book   How to connect with Peter Christian  Read more on Peter’s Blog Connect with Peter on LinkedIn

Feb 2020

1 hr 4 min

Sustainability is sexy. It’s the key to long term local business success. Around here, we believe that small stages are more sustainable for most local businesses. When we think small, it’s often easier to think big impact too. Five raving fans are the basis of sustainability for most local businesses, but most of us are thinking of trying to reach hundreds (or even thousands) of people. This thinking big mentality actually causes us to miss deeper connections with the raving fans who could help us in a deeper and more sustainable way.  Over time, five fans turn into 50. But the reality is that this takes months (and even years) for many of us.  We get sustainability not by developing an audience of thousands, but by thinking small and developing a small audience that is raving fans that we know we can count on whenever we need them.  -Renia Carsillo   In this episode we discuss…   [2:23] How local businesses get themselves in trouble with Google My Business because of listening to so-called marketing experts. [4:33] How five raving fans changes your trajectory (hint: it’s often the bases of sustainable sales). [5:54] The basis of TRA-digital with your first five raving fans  [6:54] How to think differently about your marketing to overcome spotlight stage fright. Let’s talk about what you’re really afraid of.  [8:11] What you can do TODAY to overcome stage fright.      Resources Mentioned in This Episode… The Local Rock Star Intensive

Feb 2020

12 min 19 sec