Podcast Fails (For Beginners)

Did you start a podcast and immediately fail? Oh, I did.

I just started a podcast with my good friend. It feels like it’s the biggest learning curve of my life. Even though I’ve been listening to “how to start a podcast” podcasts.

So, today I share with you my podcast fails.

Let’s find out how what not to do when you start a podcast.

So, You Started a Podcast

Yes, you guessed it. My good friend and I started a podcast.

We had been talking about it for years and then one day, we just scheduled it. Apparently, that’s how you start a podcast, you just put it on your calendar.

Dr. Sarah Porray, of Soul Blessed Healing and I created the Deep Feels and Comedy Reels podcast in 2020 and have been putting it on the calendar ever since.

Here’s what I learned. It’s easier than I thought. But also hard.

Podcast Fail #1: Audio

This may be a common failure among new podcasters, but the audio was a tricky one to get down.

To preface, we have minimal tools that we work with on Deep Feels and Comedy Reels (DFCR). We use Mac computer audio and Zoom…so, that needs some work.

Here’s the audio fail.

I was recording from my computer and my voice is loud (we call it passionate in my house). Dr. Sarah was miles away in my Zoom window and the contrast between the two voices was not enough, even with headphones.

Dr. Sarah sounds miles away too!

So, we fixed this by getting some tools. Dr. Sarah got a microphone and headphones (from her lovely hubs) and she sounds like a rockstar now, thank goodness! But….alas, we had audio issues the first few episodes.

Podcast Fail #2: Music

Before we get to the fail, the awesome thing about our podcast is the jingle.

I got lucky and Dr. Sarah’s husband is a musical genius. He created this amazing podcast jingle (tune in to the episodes to hear it, you’ll like it) and it really makes us happy.

In fact, every episode, we are boppin’ in our seat.

Here’s the fail.

I messed up the the first episode‘s audio because I forgot some key things.

You need two windows open to operate the recording of the podcast and the podcast jingle. So, I would click over to the window to hit record, then click over to the window with the podcast jingle to play the music. Then back…you see how it’s already a fail…

The podcast jingle plays and I fade the music down till it’s off, then go back to the recording window and start the podcast.

I returned to the regularly scheduled program and forgot the sound was down. So, at the end of the episode, we wanted the music to play again and the jingle was delayed because I was fumbling for the music to be turned up.

The moral of the podcast story is this, just let the jingle play out at the right time you want and don’t turn the sound down.

Fail #3: Recording

Have you ever had the best event in the world and forgot to record it?

That has happened to me once (not on this podcast) and it was a nightmare. A variation of this happened to me while transferring the recording to the episode.

If you’ve ever used Anchor before, it’s pretty easy and I really enjoy the interface. But the linking of the recording to the episode is a little confusing at first.

As you can see, it’s not complicated. And I am a fairly technical person.

So, here’s the fail.

We record our first episode and it says recording the whole time. The red light is on and the timer is going. I know I recorded.

When the episode is finished, it doesn’t automatically attach the recording to the episode, it waits until you’ve filled out the information. You then have to manually upload the recording.

I entered all the details of the podcast but the publish button was grayed out. The recording minutes said 0.

My heart fell out, ya’ll.

I had to go back to the dashboard and select the recording to attach to the episode, and that took me a minute to figure out. I thought the recording did not record. But it did!

Anchor, you may want to add a little assistance there for newbies.

At least, we didn’t lose the episode!

CBCInked Wrap Up: Podcast Fails

Let’s face it, podcasts really aren’t podcasts unless you fail first.

The real glory is learning from each of these failures and not doing them again.

The good news is that we’re getting some listeners (and some compliments!). One of our cute listeners said that our voices are nice to listen to and that we are actually funny. 🙂

So, don’t let these podcast fails stop you from making your dream pod. That’s what all the cool kids say now, pod.

As always, I’m here if you want to share your podcast fails, or better yet – if you want to be on the podcast! Reach out any time.

And, give our pod a listen at any of your favorite podcast spots.

Cheers to failing and learning!



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Open a Business During a Pandemic: How to Make It Happen (2021)

If you are one of the brave souls who would like to open a business during a pandemic, you may be looking for advice on how to do so in uncertain times ahead.

Although no one has a crystal ball to tell you what the future holds, there are some things you can do now to help you get up and running on solid ground.

Here are 10 simple tips that can help you open a business during a pandemic.

Open a business during a pandemic (with confidence)

If you’re struggling to open a business during a pandemic, you’re not alone. We don’t want you to have any fear that it will fail with these helpful tips and techniques. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Write your business plan
  2. Understand the different types of marketing
  3. Assemble a team
  4. Size up the competition
  5. Structure the tax advantages
  6. Know where the money will come from
  7. Choose a catchy name
  8. Budget for marketing
  9. Keep customers happy
  10. Always be ready to adapt

Bonus: Open with confidence. Let’s dig in!

marketing office

1 Write your business plan

Even if you’ve been in business for years, writing a business plan can help you get back on track if you are experiencing slow growth. A business plan includes information on your company, a mission statement, and bullet points on market research and potential growth factors.

If you’re planning on opening a business during a pandemic, your business plan should also detail your products and services as well as your financials and plans for the future.

2 Understand the different types of marketing 

Marketing is how you get your business in front of your customers’ eyes. A well-executed marketing plan will ensure you stay in their minds also.

While there are many different types of marketing, including offline platforms, such as radio and mail, digital and content marketing are the most powerful tools of today.

CBCInked’s Marketing in a Box training course can help you get started and learn everything from blogging and software tools to how to create a call to action and generate leads.

assemble a team

3 Assemble a team

Even if you are a solopreneur (that’s an entrepreneur who likes to work alone), there may come a time when you need a helping hand. Assemble a team of employees or freelancers who have expertise in areas where you fall short.

If your town remains under tight lockdown, you’ll want to choose people who have experience working remotely. A word of caution here: insist on online safety practices, and require your employees to encrypt their home’s WiFi, keep their antivirus software up to date, and avoid sharing their work device with their spouse or children.

4 Size up the competition 

As a business owner, something you have to get really used to doing is spying on the competition.

Perform a competitive analysis, which helps you get a feel for the market. You will be able to better identify what value you bring and where others in your arena fall short. Without performing this step, you won’t be able to identify gaps or discover market trends that would give you the edge.

5 Structure for tax advantages 

All businesses are structured as an entity. When you are a freelancer or solo business owner, you are considered by all governing bodies a sole proprietorship. But this is not the only structure, and forming an LLC when you open a business or reopen a business can help you save money, especially if you do it yourself instead of hiring an attorney.

Do your research, and find a formation service that can help you establish your LLC entity according to local guidelines.

structure for taxes

6 Know where the money will come from 

Money makes the world go round; the same is true for your business. You have to have money to make money, and you have to know where that money is coming from to make it work for you.

Small businesses can be funded by savings, angel investors, other interested parties, or loans.

7 Choose a catchy name

Choosing a name for your business may not be as simple as it sounds. If you plan to launch under your personal name, you still have to make sure that that is not already taken. You can search for business name availability by state.

Your company must have a unique moniker for licensing and registration. Something else to consider here is whether or not you can get a domain name for your business. You’re always better off maintaining consistency, so check for domain availability as well.


8 Budget for marketing

7% this is the minimum percentage of your annual revenue recommended that you should devote to marketing. As you are writing your business plan and planning your budget, don’t neglect to set aside money to help your business grow.

If you’re going to open a business in a pandemic, partner with like-minded individuals who can help you get the tools you need to grow. Become affiliates with your favorite brands to build trust and loyalty with your market. And above all else, use free marketing tools!

9 Keep customers happy 

Keeping your customers happy is, in itself, a full-time job. This process looks different for all businesses. Regardless of whether you are a product or service provider, your customers are the ones that ultimately pay the bills.

If you are unsure about how to keep them coming back for more, ask. Send out a survey or engage in casual conversations as opportunities arise.

You might, for example, offer faster turnaround, a greater color selection, or do away with shipping fees. Keep in mind that, although you must be competitively priced, money is not everyone’s primary concern. Cater to what your customers ask for, but do not undersell your services.

10 Always be ready to adapt

Being flexible is crucial to your success.

This has never been more true than in today’s climate when the world can change in an instant. No matter how you operated before the pandemic, make every effort to put yourself in a position to change as needed.

An example of this can be seen in how restaurants have suddenly gone from being bustling Friday night social spots to masters of delivery and take-out. Disney is another great example, and the media giant now offers theater-release movies at home on their original release date.

open a business during a pandemic

CBCInked Wrap Up: Open a business with confidence 

Whether you’re just opening a business during a pandemic or getting ready to reemerge after a long lockdown, everything you do today will influence your success tomorrow.

From planning your budget and establishing an LLC to knowing how to adapt, the above tips can help you be a better business owner. In doing so, you can maintain a forward trajectory no matter what obstacles stop the competition.

CBCInked was founded by marketing master Caylin, who slays the internet from her home base in Atlanta. If you’re looking to launch a new business or reopen after lockdown, Caylin’s marketing series can help you make it happen. Contact CBCInked today for more information.

This article was a guest post contributed by Naomi Johnson of Life Based Business – a place to share both practical advice and inspiration to help you adopt the life-based business mentality and change your life. Check it out!

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How to Create a Solid Business Plan (2021)

Are you ready to create a solid business plan to crush your sales goal for 2021?

Having a clearly defined sales process has been shown to help improve the success of an organization in sales and marketing. Without one, organizations run the risk of hitting all the wrong targets, missing out on opportunities, and forgetting about the impact on the brand as a whole. 

If you follow the outline below, you’ll be on the right track for a solid business plan. Because I love it when a plan comes together.

Cue the A Team music.

The A Team

Create your purpose and set goals

A vital first step is to identify the ultimate goal of your business plan. What do you want to achieve in the long term?

For the purpose of sales, you want to sell your products and services to a wide audience. The long term vision will help you to craft a clear and unique sales process. If your sales are driven to a single account, you’ll also need to work on identifying your ideal customer. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard.

When you set goals, be gentle on yourself! Set small goals that you can accomplish in a day, week or a month. Then move on to the quarterly and annual goals. Here’s an example:

  • Share on social media daily
  • Post a blog every week
  • Host an event every month

Your business plan is already taking shape!

creating a business plan 2021

Define your target audience

As well as defining the goal of your business plan, it’s also important to take time to establish the market you’re speaking to.

Not only are you going to learn how to speak their language, but you’ll also learn what they consume as far as content, products, and services. Niche down if you can and truly define who you want to target!

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Who would use your product or service the most?
  • How can you reach them?
  • Where do they spend their time online?
tools for a business plan

Get your tools together 

Once you’ve defined the goals, it’s time to focus on the materials and systems you’ll need to help you reach your goals. This includes:

These are all tools you can use to help create your business plan, and ensure you can stick to it. Notice that self-care tools are on that list!

business plan

5 steps for a solid business plan

Using the outline below you can break your business plan into the steps that you’ll need to follow.

Once you’ve completed each step, it’s time to look at your audience, the plan you’ve set up, and the tools you’ll need to contact them to see how you can maximize those interactions.

Step 1: Generate leads with your blog

Start writing, my friends! Blogging is the #1 lead generation tactic you can do to grow your brand.

It is SO important that I have built an entire series about blogging to build your brand. Take it from me – CBCInked – I started blogging before it was cool. It was lead to priceless partnerships, lucrative opportunities and everlasting friendships.

So what are the quick and dirty things you need to know to blog? I’ve put them together for you in the Marketing in a Box course.

Step 2: Offer downloadable content

Offering your audience something that they can have (for free) is important to build authority and trust.

If you position yourself as the expert (which you are), you can offer valuable resources for your audience to keep. This includes and is not limited to, anything they can download from your website. Here’s a quick list:

  • eBook – Don’t be scared by this one. It’s not THAT hard. You just have to niche down to a skill that you think people will need. You can create an eBook in Canva or Google Slides for free. I created one for Bramework about SEO and the importance of keyword analysis. It took me about 3 days.
  • White paper – These are just really long blogs. If you have an expert opinion on how things can be done better for a certain skill, write it out! A good white paper is about 2,500 – 5,000 words. So get ready to write a lot.
  • Workshop – Yes, these can be pre-recorded downloadable workshops that you offer. You can work up a how-to or a step by step guide on your skillset and VOILA! You have a downloadable workshop. These are much like my Webcasts – take a peek.
  • Complete guide – Often you will see these complete guides for download that can be great resources. Be a great resource! Coming up with a complete guide will take time, but you can chip away at it. Here are a few examples of really good guides.
  • Case study – If someone is serious about employing you or buying your product, they may want to download a case study. These can also be made for free or you can outsource them to a content writer.

Step 3: Get social and engage with others

Social media is a must when you’re creating a solid business plan.

Once you’ve discovered your target audience, it’s time to get social. If you’re looking to sell services, it’s important to connect with them online. If you can connect with them in the real world, even better! But for now, let’s stick to the social media that you should have your brand registered on:

  • Facebook – Yes, you have to have a Facebook business page or group that will help you engage with others. Here are some tips to start a Facebook group that can really grow your brand.
  • LinkedInLinkedIn is great for networking! So do just that. Connect, support and share. And be professional about it.
  • Twitter – Having a Twitter account can be a blessing and a curse. Participate in Twitter Chats, grow Twitter Lists, and have a Twitter plan.
  • Instagram – What a great visual platform! Instagram is a great social site for sharing photos, videos and inspirational content. You can create a personal or business page and link it right to your site or store. Be careful, Instagram can get addicting!
  • Optional: YouTube, Tik Tok and Pinterest (but who has the TIME)

Step 4: Host events (virtually) and get featured on others

It’s time to host a fun event! This could mean hosting a webinar, workshop or podcast. If you can build your brand through these events, you will also be building your content library.

Hosting a webinar is NO joke, though! You need to be organized, have the right tools and connections for good hosts. I put together a Webinar in a Box webcast that has everything you need to host a successful webinar.

Don’t forget – the easiest webinar is the one you don’t throw!

Be a featured guest on a webinar, workshop or tutorial by buddying up with your support system. If you see someone crushing it with their webinar game, hop in and offer your expertise!

You better have a killer slide deck ready – you are the star of the show.

Step 5: Ask for testimonials and case studies

Once you’ve begun to build relationships, don’t be afraid to ask them for feedback.

There is no shame in asking them if they would be willing to refer your business to a colleague. Bonus: offer a sample of your product or service in return.

Take note of your response to each question, and develop the right strategy to keep the conversation going to make sure you’re on the right track.

Here is the best way to create a case study from scratch.

start a business plan

CBCInked Wrap Up: Your Business Plan for 2021 

Having a solid business plan is key to growing your brand! It’s not going to come together overnight, but if you get the fundamental pieces in place – it will start to take shape.

If you are struggling with putting together your business plan, reach out to me! I am always here to chat or consult you on how I can help. I’ve been bootstrapping my art career for over 10 years, I know a thing or two about struggling.

Marketing does not have to be hard! It takes time and personalization, yes. At the end of the day, if you have the right tools and a mission – you are unstoppable.

You got this.



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2020 Year in Review: CBCInked

It’s safe to say that it’s been a year. Like, it’s been a year.

When the thought came to me to put together a 2020 year in review for CBCInked, it felt overwhelming. But it also felt so great to look back at all that I’ve accomplished.

When you’re caught up in the moment, you may not realize all the good you’ve done. You can stumble, give up hope, get knocked down and get back up time and time again. It’s important to address your challenges, recognize your growth and celebrate your wins.

2020 was the year of ultimate rebirth.

I’m going to review all that has happened in my little CBCInked world, and beyond.

I rebranded myself

You ever wake up and hate EVERYTHING? Yep, that happened with my CBCInked brand.

For years I had been creating a brand without really creating it. I didn’t have a logo, I didn’t have an LLC, I didn’t have a “real” website. Then I had the brilliant idea to use my art AS my brand and just went with it.

I created all of my branding from actual scratch – watercolors, alcohol inks, paper, and ink. The real deal. And the new branding came alive and I am happy to add it to my 2020 year in review!

CBCInked is a reminder that you can wake up one day and become something completely different. It’s never too late to become someone new.

I wrote my first eBook

I took the plunge as a digital marketer and decided to write my very own eBook. I had written a few for client’s in the past and it seemed like the logical next step if I wanted to launch a service ( more on that soon).

So, the Marketing in a Box eBook was born! I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that it was SO much fun. I loved every minute of the creative side! With tools like Canva and Google Presentation, it was all just customizing templates. But in a super CBCInked way.

My goal for the Marketing in a Box eBook was to help other people that have been in my position. A struggling “artist” that wants to get their name out there and be recognized as talent. You need to market yourself to do that!

Marketing in a Box by CBCInked

I launched my first service

Since I had made the eBook and people were actually downloading it, I thought – welp, I better actually make the Marketing in a Box course!

I’ve always wanted a digestible marketing course that didn’t confuse me or make me purchase things. YouTube was a nightmare for digital marketers because everyone was trying to sell themselves there…so I sat down and created a downloadable file with all the things you need to know to market yourself in an easy way.

It was a lot of fun! And then I realized, I would have to market that….


I partnered with new clients

Since this year was the year of virtual connection, the partnerships I made will be lasting. We bonded during a pandemic and nothing can touch that.

I made three new partners this year and I am so honored to be a part of their tribe! Here are my new partners that I am proud to be supporting:

What an honor to support these artists on their journey – whether it be in the art form or the wellness form. Good people are my favorite.

Not only that but I was able to meet new people to star on THEIR podcasts! How fun. I was featured on the following podcasts:

Speaking of podcasts…

I launched a podcast

This may be my favorite thing that came out of 2020.

I literally launched a podcast with my best friend. It’s the ultimate dream come true. I get to schedule a time with one of my favorite people and talk about deep feels and comedy reels? C’MON!

Here it is! The Deep Feels and Comedy Reels podcast – enjoy!

We have been talking about this for a while now, but Sarah and I have a lot to say when it comes to emotions. We figured we would put our laughable way of dealing with it out into the world in the hopes it may actually help someone.

So far we have one episode (yes, we are working on the audio) and we have the next one coming soon!

K Squared Boutique with CBCInked

I created recurring revenue with my art

One of my favorite partners is K Squared Artisan Boutique right here in Georgia.

I met Kesha Darji as an art teacher and supervisor at a private school in Alpharetta. She radiates joy and good energy, so I’m not surprised she started K Squared where local artists showcase one of a kind art (with her best friend, Katie – none the less!).

We connected on Instagram and I’ve been selling my Artfirmations at K Squared in Northpoint and Marietta for over a year now! Every month I will get a notification that my art sold and it makes my heart very, very happy.

I redesigned my website

My husband (the amazing Bear) offered me a seat on his WordPress hosting plan and I migrated my website all by myself. Props to GoDaddy for the smooth transition and ultimate customer support there.

This prompted me to ask myself, do I really even like my website? Turns out, I didn’t. So, I took the plunge and redesigned it with a whole new theme! Web designers know, that’s a leap. Every blog, landing page, CTA and form was redesigned from scratch by your girl.

I redesigned my website ON MY OWN.

It’s not the best website, but it’s sweet and to the point. In a year I will probably hate it and start over but that’s the life, baby. I am happy to add it to my 2020 year in review as a part of my rebirth as an artist.

I got through a pandemic

Yeah, that happened.

I am not going to focus my entire energy in this article on the fact that I made it through a global pandemic, but I did. I DID IT. Those of you that are with me understand that is a tiny but mighty feat. I could have named this – 2020 Year in Review: dumpster fire.

As we grow in the new year, I want to say that I’ve learned quite a lot about myself (some that I still need to work on. I also learned that I am a survivor! I truly have a passion to help people and that will always win.

Don’t get me wrong, I had to leave my life for three weeks to get myself back…but I did it. We all did. Clap yourself on the back! I bet I know what got you through it. Love.

As you know…love wins, every time.

Artfirmation: Love Wins

CBCInked Wrap Up: 2020 a year in review

Thanks for taking the time to read my 2020 year in review of adventures! There were a lot of losses, a lot of wins and a lot to learn from.

Take a moment and reflect back on the year, but only look at the accomplishments! Give yourself credit that you are strong and can get through what life throughs at you.

Next year, my goal is to forge new paths with digital art, create new lasting partnerships and become the best, healthiest me yet. I can do it.

If you’d like to share your story on my blog, guest posts are now open! Reach out to me about fun partnerships in 2021.

You got this!



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Link Swaps: Blogging to Build Partnerships

Hey! New to SEO and looking to build some links to your website the good old fashioned way?

Even if you’re not familiar with the good old fashioned way, I am going to teach you how to build links through the power of content.

Yep! Blogging again. 🙂

Start creating your blog topic ideas now because you are going to need a solid article to make this happen.

Build a Blog with Quality Links

As you create blogs, keep in mind that you want to include 5-10 external links. These are considered shout-outs to trusted brands, companies you want to partner with and people you would like to support.

Your first step is to start writing. Write an awesome blog post and get these links included! If you don’t have time for blogging, I know a few content tools that could you help or you could outsource your content writing.

CBCInked does it again with these awesome link swap tips. It’s time to build partnerships with your #blog. 😉 #linkswaps

Reach out to Offer Link Swaps

If you have a trusted community, great friends and an awesome support system – you are doing it right.

Reach out to these people and offer a feature in your blogs (or vice versa!) Include them in your content and let them know how much you appreciate their expertise. This opens the door to quality link swaps – meaning that you can include yourself on their blog to drive organic traffic back to your website.

It’s a win-win for both parties because sharing is caring.

Here is a quick example! This is Dr. Sarah Porray, she is a Chiropractor (amongst many other amazing things) at Soul Blessed Healing in Marietta, GA. Not only and I going to give her a shout out in this blog, I’m going to link to her website (in this article and also linking from the image below). Then I’m going to reach out to her and let her know I feature here in my latest post! Knowing her, she will happily share it to her community and the web of link swaps have begun.

Soul Blessed Healing

Manage Link Swaps

Create a document with your blog log, publish date and the links included. Keep this updated, as this are going to be your “Link Building Partner” funnel.

Give first. Offer a link to their content first!

Make time. Schedule a block of time in your calendar to check this at least once a week, it can slip away from you easily!

Be sure to limit yourself to 2-3 requests at a time. And when you reach out, be kind, courteous and offer value (ALWAYS).

Be patient. Growing organic website traffic and relationship building both take time.

And…if you’re going to keep track of something, you mind as well make it pretty. I created a link building partners checklist that makes sure you keep track. This is just one example of what is available to you in the Marketing in a Box course.

Link building partnerships checklist

How to Run a Successful Link Swap

There are rules in the link swap game! First things, first – link to others. Here are the rest of the rules for linking out:

  • Use trusted brands, people you’d recommend and trust.
  • Find an article they have written that is relevant to you.
  • Link to them from your blog.
  • Reach out and let them know you featured them.
  • Keep track of it in your Link Building Partner funnel.

Now you’ve established respect and trust for the brands you are recommending. And you are offering them the ultimate win – a feature! Everyone loves to be mentioned.

Now it’s time to get some skin in the link swap game. Here is how to properly request links:

  • Send them your featured article with the link included.
  • Politely ask if they would like to collaborate on a link swap.
  • Offer a few anchor text options or blogs you found where you could include mentions.
  • Mark it in the Link Building Partner funnel.
  • Schedule a time in your calendar to follow up if you’ve got a yes (or a no).

Remember, link building partners are not a one and done scenario. If both of you are producing consistent content, you can throw links their way quite a bit! Keep those calendar reminders updated.

Interested in learning more about marketing? Download the free eBook Marketing in a Box with marketing training, templates and resources to grow your brand.

CBCInked Wrap Up: Link Building Ideas

I love link building through my blog!

It’s one of my favorite things to do because I’m lifting up others. I am offering a solid recommendation and passing along the goodness of people. Also, I often support local!

Keep blogging and keep linking out – it will all come back to you. Here are a few ways you can spread the link love:

  • Create a listicle article of all your top favorite brands
  • Add a testimonial or quote from the person you’re linking to 
  • Add a Click to Tweet to any article for a cool way to feature someone
  • Add a “Related Tools” section in the post featuring your favorite brands
  • Add your new Partners to your website

Good luck building partnerships through link swaps! You got this!

And, as always, I am here for you. The Marketing in a Box course is now available to you and you can learn all about building lasting partnerships with your marketing efforts. It’s an easy to swallow marketing course that you can learn at your own pace.



Slack Groups: A Guideline for Growth

How many Slack groups are you a part of? 3? 17? It can add up quick!

The power of Slack groups can be huge – if you work it the right way. If you’re not sure what Slack is or does – check it out! It started as a great way to communicate for remote work and ended up being a dual tool for marketing. I really enjoy Slack and find it as a great tool for communication.

Here’s what we will cover:

  • How to join Slack groups
  • Learn Slack etiquette
  • Engage for growth
  • To pay or not to pay
  • Your Slack Action Plan
  • Bonus: Start your own Slack group!

How to Join Slack Groups with Purpose

Before you get invited, request to join or start your own Slack group…share other content before your own to see the result!

Partnerships are made by lifting up others, supporting their goals and bonding over common challenges. So be sure to partner up on social before hitting Slack.

I work a lot in the partnerships world as a digital marketer. I have learned quite a bit about building quality relationships! I even wrote an article to help other marketers. 10 Partnership Building Tips for Marketing and this applies to Slack!

Let’s talk about etiquette…

Slack Etiquette

The first rule of Slack is to be nice. That is pretty much man law everywhere, but it’s an important reminder as you are joining a new community.

No matter what you have going on in your life, be sure to act professional, respectful and kind. It’s a time to bond together over common challenges, not cut other people down because they may not understand.

Slack Engagement Tips

When you join a new Slack group, take a moment to observe how the group works. Read the community rules and follow them, respectfully.

Start by adding yourself to different channels. If there is a welcome channel, be sure to introduce yourself and your brand. If there is an option, invite the group to view your website.

When you’re added to channels, observe behavior first and follow suit. It’s important to remember you are in another person’s community and that different Slack groups handle communication differently.

Ask pertinent questions. Involve yourself if you have something of value to share. Don’t push sales, help them with knowledge. Be open to various conversations and take your time to respond.

Marketing in a Box EBook
Download the Marketing in a Box ebook for free training templates and resources to grow your brand.

Slack Memberships: To Pay or Not to Pay

As Slack gets bigger and bigger, there is going to be more demand for powerful groups. If you are offered entry into a Slack group and there is a monthly fee, you do need to assess what value you will get out of it.

The bottom line is to make sure you have the budget to afford a monthly cost. After that, you would want to ask how you can use this Slack group to leverage lasting partnerships, increase lead generation and boost brand awareness. If it doesn’t affect your ROI, it may not be worth it!

The number of people in the Slack group doesn’t matter as much as the quality of engagement.

Slack Groups Action Plan

Create a list of Slack groups that you would like to be a part of. Remember, they can add up! It can be a full-time job managing a bunch of different groups, so be choosy about which ones you want to join.

Here is a quick Slack action plan to start today:

  • Make a list of quality Slack groups to join
  • Create a list of goals you’d like to get out of each group
  • Connect with members on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
  • Once invited, engage with the Slack group by introducing yourself and what you do
  • Block a weekly time on your calendar to check each Slack group and engage
  • Offer value, respectful commentary and support
  • Participate in events you get invited to
  • Be patient, consistent and positive – the partnerships will grow

ProductHunt has a great round up the top 50 Slack communities to join – good luck! I created a free webcast that you can tune in all about Slack Groups. Hope it helps!

CBCInked Wrap Up: Start your Own Slack Group

Don’t be shy! Building your own Slack group can be a great marketing tactic for growth.

As the digital age becomes more and more prevalant, it’s time to make sure we stay conneted in different ways. There is something a bit different abotu Slack groups, they are more intimate and require care, just like relationships in real life.

Make time for Slack groups and make them count!

Good luck and let me know how it goes. I am a part of a few Slack groups that you may want to check out. Marketing Professionals, HubSpot, PressTribe and Ladies of WordPress are all wonderful communities that have helped me grow.

Now get going, slackers! 😉

You got this.


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Mental Health Tip: A New Pet May Be What You Need

It’s time for a mental health tip! A new pet may be exactly what you need as we move into a new chapter of 2020. But are you up for the responsibility?

In just a few weeks since widespread lockdowns were enforced because of COVID-19, more and more people have welcomed pets into their homes. And for good reason, too.

In a time of so much fear and uncertainty, pets can offer comfort and companionship, which can be truly vital in maintaining one’s mental health. However, this also entails taking responsibility for another living thing, as well as a commitment that goes well beyond the pandemic.

So if adopting a pet is something that feels compelling to you right now, refer to the links below in order to make an informed decision.

Mental health and pets

Research Your Options

If you find yourself gravitating toward an animal based on its cuteness alone, stop yourself and take an assessment of your lifestyle and living situation. If you live in a small space, for example, a big dog may not be the best choice for you!

You want to make sure that the pet you choose is a good fit; that they can live a healthy lifestyle! Here are a few resources to help you learn about pet ownership:

What You and Your Pet Need

Before bringing your new pet home, you’ll need some supplies around the house.

Having several cool toys around the house and a pantry full of healthy pet food will allow you to focus on bonding with your new friend. By being prepared, you can focus on the positive aspects of new pet ownership — as opposed to scrambling around for what you need!

Pet Care Tips

Of course, pet ownership isn’t all fun and games — you need to make sure you take good care of your animals. This includes discovering ways to show your pet that you truly love them and finding a vet that you can trust and rely on in the case of an emergency.

By taking care of your pet, they will, in turn, take extremely good care of you!

Dog Etiquette

Wrap Up: Mental Health and Pets

Welcoming a pet into your home—not just in the pandemic, but also beyond—could very well be one of the best decisions you will ever make. However, you do have to do the due diligence and learn everything there is to know about keeping a pet—the good and the bad—in order to truly make it so. That, alone, will truly speak of how ready you are for the responsibility.

This has been a guest post shared by Aurora James at Dog Etiquette! Their mission is to help dogs everywhere because there is no such thing as a bad dog. Check them out! If you are interested in creating a guest post for the CBCInked blog, reach out. I am always open to fun collaborations (especially when they involve cute dogs).

Sticky Notes to Success System

Is there anything better than checking something off your to-do list? 

With all the technology that can help you be more productive, I wanted to share my old school – nontech – system for success. Yes, it actually involves real paper and a pen. Remember those? 

When it comes down to getting things done, it can get lost in the digital mix. When you are assigned actions that need to be done, you are in charge of your own time. You are in charge of when that gets done. 

What work processes or flows do you use that help you stay productive? There are loads of programs, software tools and calendars that will help you achieve more. But what habits have you formed that really get the job done? 

Mine are all on sticky notes (or Post-it Notes, if you want to be fancy about it)! 

Who else loves sticky notes? #CBCInked breaks it down with the “Sticky Note System for Success” – I’m diggin’ it! #productivity

Why Sticky Notes?

I wish I would have taken stock in Post-it notes because I’m sure have paid my fair share in purchases. 

So you may be asking, why sticky notes, Caylin? Why are you physically writing things down when we have one-touch tech at your fingertips? Here’s why… 

When something is filed away in a folder, do you remember to use it as much? Not me. 

When I close out my tabs, there is no guarantee that I will remember to get things done. But when a bright hand-written note is on my desk the next morning, I know exactly what to do. 

When something needs to be done, are you going to guarantee that your mind will remember to do it without writing it down? Definitely not me. 

So I rely on both my technology and my penmanship. I set all the calendar reminders, add all the events with notifications so as not to skip any of my daily activities. So I DO use technology for recurring tasks on my daily agenda. 

Where the sticky note system comes into place is when I have larger goals, whether on a daily weekly or monthly timeline. These goals have actionable tasks related and have to be done outside of my everyday activities.

Hence, the sticky note system was formed and has worked for me since day one. (And I have now passed down to my stepdaughter. The husband didn’t adopt it as much.) 

The CBCInked Sticky Note System 

Are you ready to learn this wizardry? It’s really not that complicated…and maybe people are doing it everywhere! Here is the CBCInked Sticky Note System for Success (that’s the official title apparently): 


  • 3 long multicolor note packs
  • 3 short multicolor note packs
  • 2 different color pens 
Sticky Notes by CBCInked

Break out your action steps on the notes. There may be 3-5 different notes that are going at one time because each one has a different time in which it is due. Some of the tasks that you write on one may lead to another! 

  • The first note is for large to-dos that may take months. 
  • The second is for the medium-sized tasks that can be handled in weeks. 
  • The third is for the small daily tasks you need to get the large to-dos done, daily. 

Create checkboxes for the action items on each list, I know it sounds silly, but try it. Or get a fancy notepad that has checkboxes on it! 

Sticky note system

As you work through each task, you can check them off individually. There is something that happens mentally to your brain when you manually check something off your list. It helps you feel worth and achievement for your day – no matter how small the task. 

When the note is almost full, transfer the remaining checkboxes to a new note. I call this the waterfall technique, it allows you to see what you accomplished that day and what the overflow is. It is a scoring technique for how productive you were for the day and how much you have left to do. 

There is a reason I don’t cross things out, and rather use a checkbox style and that’s simply because it looks prettier.

To recap, I create checkboxes with large, medium and small tasks. Check them off as they are being completed and consolidate lists accordingly. Evaluate what was completed and what is left to do. 

PRO TIP: Don’t let your older sticky notes get piled up on your desk! Consolidate and throw away those old ones – that also feels good! 

Personal Sticky Notes for Success

The beautiful thing about the Sticky Notes for Success System is that it doesn’t have to be JUST for work. You can incorporate this system into your personal life too – because you may need a little organization in that area. 

Here are a few other ways you can use the sticky note system for your personal gain: 

  • Ideas – jot down your amazing ideas on a sticky note, even if you can’t achieve them right then. You can even create an entire board of these “idea” notes and challenge yourself to complete them.
  • Quotes – these are fun as you come across things that mean something to you – write them down! Share these quotes in places you will see them to help you remember how it made you feel.  
  • Communication – it doesn’t have to stop with just YOU! Share other sticky notes with your friends and family. There is nothing like a little note to make someone’s day.  
  • Personal self-talk – as you know I am a fan of affirmations (hence creating Artfirmations) and that sometimes you need a little pep talk – with yourself!
Sticky notes for personal help

CBCInked Wrap Up: Sticky Notes for Success System 

The important thing to learn is that you are learning ways to be more productive. You are also learning ways to get things off of your mind.

Don’t get mad at yourself if you haven’t checked everything off your list. I’ve been working hard at being more productive in my life. I launched the Marketing in a Box course and had to stay on top of my game!

I hope this system has helped you to do more, be better and stay happier! What types of things do you do to stay productive? I’d love to know!




Marketing in a Box Ebook by CBCInked
Download the Marketing in a Box ebook for free training, templates and resources to grow your brand.

Marketing in a Box to Grow Your Brand

Introducing Marketing in a Box! I’m so excited for this.

I’ve been an artist for many years of my life. I’ve also been a marketer for many, many years.

Personally, I went through the struggle of marketing my art. I created it and just waited for it to be famous.

That’s why I created Marketing in a Box.

It’s a downloadable course that teaches you how to market yourself, your product or your service. The course is broken down into easy to consume articles, tutorials, videos and walk-throughs. It’s affordable and can be used as a marketing guide to train other members of your team.

I wanted to share my marketing magic with the world in the hopes that we can promote positively.

Your brand deserves to be shared. That’s why Marketing in a Box was created. Easy marketing training on your own time. Check out this #MarketinginaBox course by CBCInked!

Marketing in a Box CBCInked

How this whole Marketing in a Box thing works

It really is that simple. Marketing in a box. Your inbox. Marketing training sent right to your inbox. You’ll want this course if you are:

  • struggling with brand awareness
  • struggling with social media management
  • struggling with your blog
  • struggling with hosting a webinar
  • struggling with website optimization
  • struggling with SEO
  • struggling with partnerships

If that sounds like you, head over to Marketing on CBCInked and take a look at the Marketing in a Box courses available. Currently, there are two available for download:

Digital Marketing in a Box. Digital marketing training techniques, templates and resources to grow your agency.

Content Marketing in a Box. Content marketing training, tips, guides and strategies to build your brand.

How does it all work?

It’s easy. After confirmed purchase, you will be emailed a link with the option to open in Google docs, or be emailed a download for desktop. It’s that simple!

There is a step by step instructional guide inside, explaining what each piece of course content means. Learn on your own time, on your own terms. No subscriptions, no hidden feeds. One purchase, one course – with a lot of training!

Read, listen or watch! Choose your own training adventure.

Content Marketing in a Box by CBCinked

Content Marketing in a Box

Ready to start blogging with purpose?

Content marketing is a proven strategy will help build brand awareness and increase lead generation. If you need a strategy, a calendar and tips on partnerships, this course is for you.

Content marketing training, templates and resources to grow your agency. This course includes the following:

  • Complete Guide to Blogging
  • Free Blog Software Tools
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Influencer Link Building 101
  • Complete Content Calendar
  • Blogging Guidelines Template
  • Call To Action Creations
  • Guest Post Guidelines Template

This Content Marketing in a Box course is a culmination of over 12 years of digital marketing experience. These templates, guides and tips are proven marketing strategies that will grow you or your agency.

Using this method, I have gone from sketchbook doodling to selling my art in high-volume boutiques in Atlanta. Creating content on my blog, I have formed partnerships with agencies using my artwork on Amazon. Through this content strategy, I have scheduled hundreds of commissioned art pieces.

This content training works.

Digital marketing in a box course by cbcinked

Digital Marketing in a Box

Marketing is the heart of any business strategy.

Doing it correctly, is what matters most. Marketing has evolved and changed over the last 12 years and I have compiled all of my knowledge into this training course for you. The tips, tools and techniques you will learn are proven strategies for growth online.

The Digital Marketing in a Box course contains marketing training, templates and resources to grow your agency.

Digital Marketing in a Box includes the following courses:

  • Website Lead Generation Guide 
  • Social Media Marketing 
  • Social Media Calendar 
  • Content Creation & Marketing 
  • Content Marketing Calendar
  • Email Marketing 
  • SEO Link Building Steps
  • Virtual Event Planning & Promotion
  • Build a Webinar in a Box
  • Affiliate Marketing & Monetization
  • Marketing Plan Printable
Marketing in a Box freebies

Bonus: You get access to CBCInked discounts included in each course! Save on website hosting, design tools, marketing help and more.

Understanding how to market yourself should be easy. This Marketing in a Box course is easy to digest where you learn on your own terms. #MarketinginaBox

CBCInked Wrap Up: Get Marketing in a Box

I’ve been working hard on this course and it brings me great joy to officially launch it to the world.

I hope this course helps many people across the globe feel empowered to market their brand with hope. We could all use a little hope.

Since you are following along on my journey, I thought I would offer you a friends and family discount. Use BLOGFRIENDS10 for 10% off the course at check out!

Get the Marketing in a Box course now!

Know someone that could use Marketing in a Box? Sharing is caring! Pass it along my friend and good things will come back to you. 🙂




Marketing in a Box Ebook by CBCInked
Download the Marketing in a Box ebook for free training, templates and resources to grow your brand.

How to Overcome Virtual Fatigue (2020)

It’s funny. If you would have said to me ten years ago that in 2020 I would be saying the words “virtual fatigue” I would have laughed right out loud.

I mean come on, are we really tired because we can’t go anywhere or do anything? Do you know how silly that really is?

Here’s the cold, hard truth, folks. We can’t get mad because things are CHANGING. We are always mad about something – whether it be viruses, injustice or Jar Jar Binks, we have to start letting some things go.

If you are experiencing #virtualfatigue, you may be doing the whole virtual thing wrong! Here’s my it-sort-of-works attempt at overcoming virtual fatigue in a social distanced world – @CBCInked

Caylin Zoom

Transitioning Social to Virtual

A lot of us fight change. I get it. I do too, at first.

If we learn to pivot alongside change instead of going against the grain, it may help us to accept the changes that are happening. If you are a Bruce Lee fan, you know you are supposed to “be water, my friend” – but what does that mean?

Being like water means you literally take shape to your environment. If you have pivoted from online conferences to virtual meetings, so be it. Let it in! Try and make it the best because without this option, you would really be alone.

I know it’s not like the real thing – meeting someone in real life is irreplaceable. I get that. I miss my peeps and want to hug all of them tightly. However, if you had to choose to never see them again or at least see them virtually to laugh with – what would you choose?

Give the social side of virtual a chance! Don’t just book a meeting with work – book a happy hour with friends! The team at GoWP put together a “Virtual Happiness Hour” on Fridays at 3 PM ET in the Niche Agency Owners Facebook Group and I look forward to it every week! Some Fridays, its the reason I get up and get ready…

My advice? Act like it’s a party! Get dressed up, set up your camera, get your light going, get some good vibes in and chill with your peeps. Hey, it’s better than nothin’! And I bet that you will be happy to “see” them regardless if it’s in person after it’s all over. You’ll say, well that was fun.

Mix in social with professional!

overcome virtual fatigue

Association Mindset: Virtual vs Meetings

The mindset behind virtual is that those of us who have been working remotely for years have had the “dread” of having to go on meetings. Since we associate virtual with work meetings, it automatically shines a negative light on it. We have to change our mindset so that the virtual events become a positive thing too.

I’m lucky because I actually enjoy my meetings at my job! I’m also “anti” virtual fatigue because I worked remotely for 6 years before the pandemic. I was used to virtual everything.

I’ve learned that the mindset should shift from dread to excitement.

You should take a break from the constant workflow (close those tabs!) to see the people that bring you joy everyday, if even for a moment. Your meetings should be filled with positive wins, challenges to overcome together and laughter to get you through. If your “meetings” don’t have these qualities, it’s time to look for a new job.

Are you registering for events you are ACTUALLY excited to go to? I sign myself up for events outside of work just so that I can have some fun!

Change the mindset from negative to positive and put your ALL into your meetings or virtual events. Always come with your A-Game, looking sharp and contribute something positive to the conversation. Be the light that shines in the Zoom room!

And then book your happy hour after.


Change your Schedule: Social and Professional

Another way to overcome virtual fatigue is to mix up your calendar a bit. If you truly are tired of meeting online, you may be doing it wrong!

Calendar checks are important for downtime and unplugging. If you are going from one event to the next, you don’t even have time to NOT be virtual! Give yourself days in between events where you can be yourself and get your work done.

Make yourself some goals to NOT have too many events in one day, week or month. Each event does need to be something that is meaningful, can help you grow or help you with your own relationships (self care 101!).

Change up the calendar and stop blaming the virtual event.

CBCInked Wrap Up: Beat the Virtual Fatigue

Anything can happen. I am learning to roll with the punches. I hate to tell you this but we may be in for a long haul of virtual events, meetings, doctor appointments, happy hours and maybe even funerals.

Who knows! You most likely will have to get on the virtual bandwagon and hang on tight! My advice is to take it slow, sign up for what you want, change your mindset and make some time for Zoom fun.

Here’s a recap:

  • Mix in social and professional to the virtual flow.
  • Change your mindset from dread to excitement by being present on your virtual events.
  • Let your virtual meeting or event BE the reason you get up and get ready that day.
  • Change up your calendar and take breaks from the virtual world.

What things do you do to overcome virtual fatigue? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Shoot me a message or reach out to me!

You got this!



Marketing in a Box Ebook by CBCInked
Download the Marketing in a Box ebook for free marketing training, templates and resources for your agency.