Kokoro Inc.: Marketing in Less Time While Being Authentic and Creative

Back in March, I had a chanced to sit with Cindy Zuelsdorf, founder of Kokoro Inc to discuss marketing with authenticity and creativity. The chat was filled with some great tips and wonderful takeaways that you can apply today if you are struggling with your marketing content. The best part of Cindy’s philosophy in her marketing genius is that she shows folks how to market in less time with less effort yet reap bountiful results.

Cindy has been marketing since the days of packing up your own equipment and brochures, unpacking them, repacking them, and keeping up that cycle from show to show, day to day. Those early years helped her as she grew into the digital marketing guru (and I don’t use that word lightly) that she is today. Cindy has a marketing sense that comes naturally and has much success helping others achieve the results they want to see.

What I love most about her story is that she went from full time employment she liked to being her own business owner. She did that while her husband was ALSO an entrepreneur. She kept going with what felt right and knowing she HAD to make it work. Her dedication to getting up each day and doing what she needed to do that day led to Kokoro Inc.

We had this conversation in the beginning of the pandemic, so we talked about shifting from the live event world to the webinar world. If you’ve been struggling over the past six months, you’ll want to listen carefully at that point in the webinar to hear several minutes of what makes a great webinar. One of the tips she shares is about checking your inbox and thinking about the questions you answer most often. That’s what you can do the webinar on! Show up, be you, and do what you do best.

Cindy published a book recently that takes this discussion and it’s nuggets to ANOTHER LEVEL! In her book, she shares 7 marketing basics that can save you time and effort (you’ll hear her mention some of them in our conversation). I’ve started applying some and have already had results in just a few weeks. Specifically, I called some people personally about an upcoming webinar we’re doing that the nonprofit I work with part time. I thought would be really helpful for them and quadrupled the registration within 48 hours! That’s right, I went from 8 people to 33 registered in just 2 days. It took exactly 2 hours of my time to email and call folks personally to invite them and the reward is that my presenter has a great group of people ready for a webinar tomorrow! I can’t wait to see what else I can do by applying her tips.

Here’s the book if you’re interested in reading it. It’s free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers and a very inexpensive $17.95 for paperback, which is sturdy and ready for highlighting and sticky notes! Please leave a review for Cindy if you take the time to read the book. And reach out to let her know about results!

Be sure to listen to the chat and see what you take away. We share a LOT of resources and real talk, plus several marketing nuggets for you. Then get over to her blog and watch this video to hear what they learned by hosting live events and webinars this year.


What struggles are you having with marketing?

Feel free to leave a note and I will share some other resources with you or find some if I don’t have any on hand. I work part time in Marketing and keep my hands in it with clients by coaching them on how to get results, which is why Cindy and I get so excited when we talk. There’s nothing like talking with others who speak your career love language right down to loving psychology, marketing, and reading!


Cindy is a marketer who has years of experience in the high-tech space helping small businesses connect with their clients intimately engage with their audience. She in an authorized Infusionsoft provider who teachers clients how use marketing automation for their benefit and to ease the pain of running their businesses and connecting with their clients. You can learn more about Cindy and her team at http://www.kokoroinc.com. They are also on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/KokoroMarketing/. You can take the 7 Basics course is available at https://kokoroinc.com/course-7marketingbasics/.

Poetry: Wreckage

I was playing around with allusion this weekend based upon a photo I found… the photo and poem actually have NOTHING to do with one another other than the subject matter. I love how the mind works though! If you’re interested in joining in a challenge that will give you opportunities to write poetry and short stories sharing your story based upon pictures and prompts, join the Become What You Once Thought Impossible Writing Challenge 2020 that kicks of Thursday!

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When You Realize You Can Soar…

(I so thought I had published this on September 11th, then remembered I didn’t want to post that day because it felt tacky to me and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to break this into two posts since there is so much within it. I like to live in my integrity so I stepped away and spent time with my family, only to leave this in drafts totally forgetting I didn’t schedule it for later. As such, please know the references to “today” are actually September 11 not today. I’ve decided to share it as it is, as I am not big on editing myself unless it feels like it’s better for the writing and consumption of it.)

Last year a thought popped into my head while journaling:

I once believed I needed you to catch me. Then I realized that I too knew how to soar. ~Shell Vera

And in case you haven’t read my writing before, when I have a thought it can become just about anything from a journal prompt to a fulfilled dream. It all depends upon the day and my desire to explore it further.

This one sat for a while within the journal.

Then it made its way on my creative writing blog.

Then I started thinking about what it really meant.

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Strategy Sessions with Shell (aka “Rent Shell’s Brain”)

Sometimes you don’t need an entire program. You just need focused time to brainstorm with another human and hear something from outside your own voice. That’s where I come in! During our Strategy Sessions, we will hone in on the problem and identify a solution. How long and how many are up to your attention span and your budget. 

Stragtey sessions with Shell

One-hour calls include:

  • You present one high-level pain point (an area you are struggling with and can’t get past), such as:
    • Struggling with program development and need outside opinion on path forward
    • Which path to take with self-publishing or looking for an agent and need some outside guidance on what steps to take to make this determination for your project
    • Stuck with journaling and need some prompts and ideas to keep your mind flowing over the next month
  • One solution presented with tips on resources, tools, and people to assist with implementation.
  • One follow up emails to answer brief questions, share any afterthoughts, and provide names of people to assist you, if needed.

Four- to six-hour calls include:

  • Pre-call questionnaire
  • You present one to three pain points you need in-depth guidance on, desiring to come away with a strategy that you can implement within the next few days. Such pain points include:
    • Struggling to develop marketing strategy for next quarter
    • Drawing a blank on event ideas for next quarter
    • Can’t focus on blog and social media content ideas for the next quarter
    • Stuck with program development and need an outside eye on the content, with ideas presented on how to move forward
    • Need guidance with webinar or presentation run through with feedback for better delivery and fielding of questions
    • Not loving your business and can’t figure out what’s blocking you from doing so
    • Know you have a passion for ministry but can’t seem to find your place within the church for using your voice and helping others
  • One – three detailed solutions for each of the pain points, including resources and tips on how to implement in shortest timeframe.
    • Examples include complete social media or blog calendar development, new program skeleton development so you just fill in detailed content, or book marketing plans.
  • One 30-minute check in call two weeks after your call.
  • Two follow up emails to answer brief questions and provide names of people to assist you, if needed.

$Varies between $222 and $1010 per call based upon type of project and frequency of calls. If you need a full day or a retreat, those are available in special circumstances at a reasonable rate. 

(Payments are made through Zelle.)

What others are saying about strategy sesssions

What others are saying (excerpts, see the full testimonials here):

Shell’s warm and inquisitive approach to learning about me as a person and my business struggles of writing was a Godsend. She created a welcoming and trustful conversation that encouraged me to dig deep into why prior design jobs weren’t fulfilling, something that I usually glossed over with most people. … I feel more confident in writing my blogs and some social media content. Shell’s honest feedback will open up those blocked writing channels and that’s coming from a person who says “I’m not a writer, I’m a designer.” ~Marissa Gonzales, Brand Strategist | High-End Website Designer

Shell and I met in a divine way: meaning multiple things fell into place that brought me to her services. I had an epiphany to put together years of my poetry and self-publish a book. I was recommended to find a developmental editor and thus I found Shell Vera. She is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. First off, Shell had a grace about her that I could sense just from our quick phone call. She saw me, understood me, and envisioned for me what I did not even realize I was looking for. Our phone call later turned into a few more zoom meetings and phone calls. Her guidance/services all felt completely genuine, honest, and in my best interest (not necessarily hers). She offered advice beyond the scope of what I expected that fully gave me the confidence and resources to complete my book. She helped me narrow down my target audience, create the best introduction to my book, and made suggestions on how to market myself. I could not imagine where I would be now if she and I did not meet. To that, I am forever grateful and know Shell has so much more to offer. I highly recommend her. ~Amanda Baker, Mental Health Therapist | Author

I first connected with Shell Vera in 2019. I was booked to be a guest on her Fireside Chat Series. We had a great interview and kept in touch after that experience. Weeks later, Shell noticed that I wasn’t maximizing my Instagram page and addressed it via text. She noticed that I was sending inspirational content to my small text network but not sharing it on IG. At first I was resistant because I had a different vision for my business at the time. Then I started using the strategies she gave me. Within a few months I saw a huge spike in engagement as well as a substantial increase in sales for my services and products. If Shell hadn’t stepped up to push me towards something bigger, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I strongly recommend her services. She is knowledgeable, caring, and has a visionary lens when coaching her clients. ~Robbin Marx, Producer | Coach

Shell is easily the most compassionate, insightful, gifted, amazingly giving, artistic individual that I have ever met! Her knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile to make it happen for you is matchless! Your life can only get better with Shell in your corner! 💖🔥. Luv you girl! ~Beloved Carter, Baker

Become What You Once Thought Impossible – Last Quarter 2020 Challenge

I love looking back at my old words so I can see how far I’ve come from that lonely, sad, angry, broken little girl I once was. I think of those years and see where I am today and realize that I can truly conquer anything. What makes me a good coach is that I’ve walked through so much that I’ve lived out the act of sharing my story authentically, confidently, and responsibly. That’s why I am so committed to ensuring others do the same. It’s also why I struggle to understand why I try to separate being a writer from being a coach. Writing is what led me to coaching. Seeing my brokenness transform into wholeness beyond what I ever thought possible for myself is something I wish to share with every human ready to embrace that journey.

As such, I announce a challenge to myself that I am going to extend outward to those of you who are ready to share your story and would like some encouragement along the way. This challenge is geared toward heart-centered writers, bloggers, and poets who would like to challenge themselves to go one layer deeper in the last quarter of this year.

If you are ready to step into your “Next”, let’s join together on the journey. We will take time to reflect back as we move forward and share the stories that made us who we are today.

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Movies & Meditation: Project Power

If you had a chance to release your superpower, would you? What if you didn’t know what your superpower was or how it would affect others? What if unleashing your superpower was the last act you would do on this Earth? Project Power brought up some great discussions in our home and a chance for self-reflection about whether we were living our life in a way that people see our superpowers daily.

In case you haven’t seen the trailer yet, here is a look at the premise of the film:

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“The Blessing”: Keeping Things Scriptural and Simple

I hope Summer is going well for everyone so far. It’s been one ride of a year. A year with much change. Much thought. Much that has been brought to the surface that has needed to be discussed for years, decades, and longer. It’s important in the craziness, depth, and intensity that we keep ourselves centered on what matters most. As a Christian, for me that is Christ. It is His Word and what He created me to be here for. It is about co-creating with Him a life in which I use my voice well and write what He has placed in my heart. It is about loving others and living a life in which I know when my time comes that I left NOTHING on the table.

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Going Full Time with your Side Gig: A Fireside Chat with Damaly Shepherd

I was able to sit down with Damaly Shepherd back in January and she has been wowing me since! We sat down for this Fireside Chat to talk about going full-time with your side gig, the power of sticking with a goal, the importance of personal growth, and how to ensure you are being mentored even if you can’t afford a coach. The chat is chock full of helpful information for those on the brink of going full-time with their side gig as well as those who aren’t sure that going full time is right for them.

Damaly shares how she got involved in photography, why being passionate doesn’t have to be a requirement to be successful at something, and how she had the courage to leave her job to go full time in photography. In the talk, we leave nothing on the table when it comes to real talk about the fear that comes along with going full time or the two sides of the passion discussion and whether it’s needed to be truly good at something! Listen in today to see what you can take away from it and apply to your life and career.

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Being Still versus Being Stagnant

While filming videos about voice discovery and reading my poetry, I started rambling to my videographer (the talented La Chale Renee). She started filming and this is what resulted.

Don’t mistake your stillness for stagnancy. It’s okay to not be hustling and not be gaining new clients. With all that has happened in the past few months, it is ABSOLUTELY okay to sit back, listen, and have complete peace that you will be okay in your business and life by taking time to rest and refuel. Like Jesus in the boat during the storm, the world can be going chaotic around us but if we know that we are doing the Father’s business, we can have absolute peace.

~Shell

“Interruption” by Brandon & Cornieta Whitfield

Seldom do you read a book about a subject most people won’t talk about and realize you aren’t the only one in the world who experienced a heartbreaking situation while also being inspired to move forward in new ways. With most books, you walk away knowing you aren’t the only one but having few steps to put into action. Or you walk away with steps to implement but very little assurance you really aren’t alone. “Interruption” is different.

From the moment you begin reading this book, you are welcomed in Brandon and Cornieta Whitfield’s world. You sit with them and walk through one of the toughest trials and learn how God showed Romans 8:28 to be true in their life. You feel their pain and cry tears with them as they share with you the pain they experienced as Cornieta miscarried their twin babies. And you get to see how God turned their mourning into dancing as they arrived on the other side of the loss…but I won’t ruin for you how that happens.

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