Open To All – Shadowbend Studios Is #OpenToAll

Open To All – Shadowbend Studios Is #OpenToAll

open to allOpen To All

Thank you all for being such wonderful clients, customers, supporters and friends of Shadowbend Studios. During these recent tough times, we value your support more than ever, and we want to let you know that we support and welcome you—no matter who you are, what you look like, who you love, what you believe in or where you are from.

Joining Open to All® means we are making an explicit commitment to maintaining a welcoming and safe environment for people—including employees, visitors, customers, vendors, and clients—regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion, or disability. Not only that, we’ve signed the Open To All pledge not to discriminate against any individuals or deny them goods or services based on any of these characteristics, and to provide all goods and services to everyone on the same terms.

We joined the Open to All® coalition of hundreds of thousands of businesses nationwide because we believe we all have something to contribute. We believe we can all learn from one another. We believe that when we work together, when we value our employees, when we care for our customers and one another, we all thrive.

The Open to All® campaign is also supported by more than 200 national and state civil rights and racial justice organizations; LGBTQ organizations and community centers; health and healthcare advocates, disability advocates, and inclusive faith organizations; and more.

Of course, we know that this is just a step on the long road towards achieving full equality for all. Shadowbend Studios is in this for the long haul, that’s why we’re committing to listening, learning, and continuing to find ways to better serve you.

If you’d like to learn more about this campaign, visit

#shadowbendstudios, #opentoall, #enddiscrimination, #equality

Optimize Your Site – Monday Morning Marketing

Optimize Your Site – Monday Morning Marketing

Optimize Your Site – Shadowbend Studios Monday Morning Marketing

Optimize your site – Most of us have heard about Website Optimization, Search Engine Optimization, Mobile Optimization etc.  Website Optimization is the process of testing a new site using multiple platforms and devices to make sure that the site does not have any coding issues that are browser specific.  There are instances where a site will look perfectly fine on one particular browser but may have some quirks when being presented on a different browser.  Website Optimization is the opportunity to address and correct those quirks.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is used to help websites get found and ranked by search engines (such as Google).  There are many elements which comprise an effective SEO optimization campaign such as relevant keyword research, backlinks, onsite optimization (alt tags for images, meta descriptions, header tags, etc.) and the appropriate amount of text on your pages with a good keyword density.  Luckily there are many excellent tools out there to help you achieve this:  From Yoast SEO and Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets to Majestic and Moz, there are ample resources to get your site in tip top shape.

Mobile Optimization is the process of making sure that your site loads quickly, looks good and is easily navigable on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.  Here are some interesting statistics according to an April 22nd, 2020 article on Oberlo:

  • There are 3.5 billion cell phone users worldwide.
  • Adults in the United States spend an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes on their phones daily.
  • 2/3rds of people shopping on the internet use apps on their mobile devices.
  • Mobile web traffic accounts for 52.6 of global web traffic.
  • 69% of users shopping on the internet prefer to look up reviews on their mobile devices rather than asking in-store staff.

Optimizing your website is a critical step in the foundation for an effective business marketing strategy!

Visit our Blog Page for more Monday Morning Marketing!
You can also subscribe to the “Shadowbend Digest”, our “low-impact”, friendly and informative newsletter

Client Showcase – Advanced Eyecare Optometry

Client Showcase – Advanced Eyecare Optometry

Shadowbend Studios Client Showcase – Advanced Eyecare Optometry

client showcase


Our client showcase posts serve as an opportunity for you to meet and get to know some of the wonderful people and businesses I have had the chance to work with over the years.  This week’s post features:

Advanced Eyecare Optometry

I have been working with Dr. Robert and Janet Turcios over at Advanced Eyecare Optometry for the better part of 10 years.  We have provided photography, videography, graphic design, web development, website hosting, search engine optimization, web security and social media marking services for the entire office in their previous location as well as their new location right here in Pleasant Hill!  On a side note, my family goes to Advanced Eyecare Optometry for our annual eye exams!  It’s always very satisfying when business services can go both ways!

A little bit about Advanced Eyecare Optometry

(from the “Our Office” page on the Advanced Eyecare Optometry website)
At Advanced Eyecare Optometry, the doctors are thoroughly trained in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vision disorders and eye disease. They utilize state-of-the art equipment such as the Zeiss OCT Optos Retinal Scanning Laser, and Humphrey Auto-Refractor and Visual Field Analyzer, which provides a higher level of care. This facilitates the early detection and management of eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataract which helps preserve your vision!Examinations also include the detection and treatment of eye muscle imbalance, poor eye coordination and reduced focusing ability, which are common problems among children and 40+ year olds.When indicated, the doctors fit any contact lenses required, including specialty lenses for astigmatism, monovision, (simultaneous far and near vision), or bifocal needs, as well as colored contact lenses for those who desire a “different look”.

If you are interested in laser eye surgery, (LASIK), the doctors will determine if you are a good candidate, and will provide the pre- and post-op management to insure a good outcome for this procedure.

Should you choose to wear eyeglasses, Advanced Eyecare Optometry offers a modern eyewear boutique with hundreds of styles to from which to choose. The licensed opticians are trained to help you select fashionable eyewear that compliments your lifestyle and fashion sense, all in a relaxed, friendly, caring atmosphere.

If you are looking for someone to help you with all your eyecare needs, then call Advanced Eyecare Optometry today. We’ll put your needs in focus!

You can visit the Advanced Eyecare Optometry website here.

Visit our Blog Page for more Client Showcases!
You can also subscribe to the “Shadowbend Digest”, our “low-impact”, friendly and informative newsletter

Image Compression – Wednesday Wisdom

Image Compression – Wednesday Wisdom

Shadowbend Studios Wednesday Wisdom – Compress Your Images

Good morning and happy Wednesday everyone.  This week’s bit of Wednesday Wisdom is about compressing the image files that you plan to use for your website to help keep your site load speeds fast and effective!

Nearly every website contains media files:  pdfs, videos, photos etc. and an often overlooked aspect of web design and development is image compression.  Websites like MachMetrics monitor site loading speeds and mention that the optimal time for a site to load is 3 seconds or less.  I checked the Shadowbend Studios website on Pingdom and found that it loads in 2.97 seconds!

Why is this important?

Your website load speed is important for a few reasons.  First of all your visitors attention spans are getting shorter every day.  You want you site to load quickly so that your visitors can begin enjoying your site right away.  Slow loading speeds can also trigger server time outs which will cause your site to lag or stop loading completely.

Compressing your images is one of the easiest and most effective way of speeding up your website load times.  Websites rarely need an image file with a resolution larger than 72 or 96dpi and I try to keep most of my images under 1900 pixels wide.  This helps to keep your file sizes under 100-200kb.  There are many ways you can achieve image compression.  There are WordPress plugins like Optimole, Imagify and Smush and you can always utilize software like Photoshop to get your images the right size before you even upload them to your site.  On a side note, if you do compress your images before uploading them, always make sure to save a copy of the original (pre-compressed) image.

Visit our Blog Page for more Wednesday Wisdom!
You can also subscribe to the “Shadowbend Digest”, our “low-impact”, friendly and informative newsletter

Client Showcase Covid-19: Pirate Santa

Client Showcase Covid-19: Pirate Santa

Shadowbend Studios Welcomes
Scot Harvest, Pirate Santa

At Shadowbend Studios back in late March, Sandy and I wanted to take some time to check in with our clients to see how they, their families and their businesses were coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and all it entails. So, we sent out a simple questionnaire to all of our clients. Typically our Client Showcases’ talk about a specific client, their business and what Shadowbend Studios did for them. Our Covid-19 Version asked each of our clients the same 5 questions to see how they’re responding and adapting to life during a pandemic.

We have known Scot Harvest for years and can honestly say “Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus!” Scot Harvest embraces his roles as Pirate Santa or just Santa, often times with his beautiful wife, aka Mrs. Claus, for many different functions, special events and occasions. His specialty is unique Santa crossovers. If you are interested in having Scot attend a special event you’ll need to book him early because his schedule starts to fill up months before December. He is also open to charity events and good causes. Here is what Scot had to say:

1. How are you, your families and your business doing?

Our family is doing FANTASTIC! We rally as a family and keep each other in good spirits, healthy and supported.

2. How has this pandemic affected your business?

My trade (plumber) has suffered somewhat in that its impossible to do social distancing while working on someone’s bathroom / kitchen issues.

My seasonal work as a Santa Claus portrayal actor is MUCH worse and is in risk of loosing the personal visit side of the work. Santa with a MASK is not an option!

3. What strategies are you using to cope (professionally and/or personally)?

Personally I have a VERY upbeat and optimistic attitude… this too shall pass.

Professionally I hope to take Santa into peoples home with the virtual opportunities available to me and my brothers in red.

4. What could you use help with (professionally and/or personally)?

I need help getting the Holiday Season Santa options out to current/potential clients with as much grace and poise as possible with an online presence.

5. What are you looking forward to when the shelter in place mandates are lifted?

Physical contact with loved ones HUGS!

If you or someone you know, would like to connect with Scot Harvest, aka. Santa Claus, aka Pirate Santa, book an event or special occasion or learn more about him, here is his contact information:

Scot Harvest, Pirate Santa

Be sure to let him know Shadowbend Studios sent you!

For more from Client Showcase, check out Shadowbend Studios Blog Page


Client Showcase Covid-19: Loving Arms Childbirth Services

Client Showcase Covid-19: Loving Arms Childbirth Services

Shadowbend Studios Welcomes
Janaki Costello, Loving Arms Childbirth Services

At Shadowbend Studios back in late March, Sandy and I wanted to take some time to check in with our clients to see how they, their families and their businesses were coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and all it entails. So, we sent out a simple questionnaire to all of our clients. Typically our Client Showcases’ talk about a specific client, their business and what Shadowbend Studios did for them. Our Covid-19 Version asked each of our clients the same 5 questions to see how they’re responding and adapting to life during a pandemic.

Our first respondent is Janaki Costello. Janaki is the Founder of Loving Arms Childbirth Services and teaches childbirth preparation. She has been working with pregnant women, their partners and families since 1975. Her passion for helping moms with pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding began with her own three children, now grown. Janaki is also a proud grandmother of five amazing grandchildren! Here is what she had to say:

1. How are you, your families and your business doing?

We have converted our classes to online childbirth education entirely.   We are doing well personally 

2. How has this pandemic affected your business?

Registrations are down for all classes after May and we are hoping to attract more pregnant students. We are spending quite a lot of time working to stay on top of all the new medical & clinical guidelines about birthing in the time of Covid-19. 

3. What strategies are you using to cope (professionally and/or personally)?

Professionally we attend webinars and classes on new online teaching strategies. Personally getting outside in nature, meditation and connecting with family as much as possible either virtually or physical distancing outdoors helps. 

4. What could you use help with (professionally and/or personally)?

Attracting more registrations! Providing more support in postpartum for the new families without the usual means of family/professional support.

5. What are you looking forward to when the shelter in place mandates are lifted?

HUGS!!! Although we have discovered some new and exciting teaching materials we will continue to use, we are looking forward to teaching in person, hands-on as this is far more appropriate for childbirth education.

We are right there with you Janaki! Virtual hugs all around! And using this time to reorganize, retrain and reconnect with the basics is a great idea during all this down time! If we were pregnant right now, we’d definitely be using a Doula!

If you or someone you know, would like to connect with Janaki Costello, Loving Arms Childbirth Services or learn more about her classes, here is her contact information:

Janaki Costello
Loving Arms Childbirth.
(510) 525-1155

Be sure to let her know Shadowbend Studios sent you!

For more from Client Showcase, check out Shadowbend Studios Blog Page

Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing Strategy

A successful content marketing strategy is telling your business’s story in a way that attracts, engages and delights your audience through each stage of the buyer’s journey. All of which you’ll learn how to do in this course.

So what exactly is a content marketing strategy? According to the Oxford dictionary it is “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”

social media is an integral part of a content marketing strategy

So what are you doing for your business’ content marketing strategy? How is your story unique to you and your brand? In these uncertain economic times its imperative to have an online presence. Being sure your message is a unique one is just as important.

With Social and Physical Distancing taking center stage in the world right now its important to remember a few things:

  1. Many people are turning to online platforms for shopping, news, entertainment, etc.
  2. Its much easier to sell yourself or your business with a proven strategy.
  3. We all have more time now to concentrate on building our brand and the way we need to do business NOW.

Hubspot is a great resource for learning. And there’s never been a better time for some FREE online classes you can take from the privacy of your own home! Here’s a great course to learn about content marketing strategies! Check it out here!

And remember Shadowbend Studios is always here to help you with all your businesses online marketing needs!

For more from Monday Morning Marketing, check out Shadowbend Studios Blog Page



Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Client Showcase

One of the pleasures of our work is the fact that we get to meet and interact with people from a huge cross-section of businesses and industries. In working with these people, we are allowed to enter their world and for a brief time we become experts (at least in our own minds 😉 ) at what they do and how they do it. Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase is our way of paying homage to the hard work accomplished through our collaboration with these amazing businesses and business owners.

“Rocco’s Ristorante Pizzeria”

I have been working with Rocco of Rocco’s Ristorante Pizzeria in Walnut Creek for over twelve years. Walnut Creek’s Rocco Biale grew up in the restaurant industry. He’s held just about every job in food service, from busboy to owner. Biale recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his restaurant, where he spends each day, alongside his three adult children, who also work at the Ygnacio Valley Road eatery. In between serving pizza to hungry patrons, he is also committed to helping the community during the recent Covid-19 outbreak by serving up hot food for healthcare workers on the front lines in Contra Costa County.

You can volunteer to help Rocco’s efforts by signing up here to deliver food to local hospitals.

We are Proud to Serve Rocco Biale of Rocco’s Ristorante Pizzeria!

Over the many years and many iterations of Rocco’s website, Shadowbend Studios has been proud to serve him! From website design and development to website hosting, security and social media marketing, there hasn’t been much we haven’t done for Rocco. We’ve even done graphic design and photography for him too! And throughout it all, we’ve been happy to serve such an upbeat and successful restaurateur committed to creating his own individual web presence with Shadowbend Studios.

Contact us today to find out Shadowbend Studios Can help you with your web presence!

For more from the Shadowbend Studios Blog Page

Tips to Help Your Business, Mind and Body

Tips to Help Your Business, Mind and Body

So many of us are struggling to comprehend what the future may hold for us through this terrible pandemic. Shadowbend Studios is committed to helping our clients see the light at the end of the tunnel! Too many of us are in fear for our health, our livelihoods, our businesses and our communities. There are, however, safe, sane and rational steps we can take to improve our businesses through social distancing, alleviating those fears by making strategic plans with the new normal. Tips, if you will, for Business, Mind and Body.

business mind and body

This weeks Monday Morning Marketing includes multiple links to articles, ideas and sites that can help alleviate your fears for business, mind and body!


Social Distancing and Working From Home…

How Brands are Encouraging Social Distancing

How To Activate Your Workspace During Social Distancing

13 Ways Businesses Can Use SEO & Marketing to Combat Coronavirus Impact

How To Network While Social Distancing

8 Ways to Manage Your Team While Social Distancing


What Covid-19 Outbreak Can do to Your Mind

How To Manage Your Mental Health During Covid-19


Workouts While at Home During Social Distancing

We’re All in This Together

Just remember, you’re not alone! Shadowbend Studios is here to help in any way we can to improve, upgrade and organize your business utilizing our menu of services. Check out our website today and be sure to give us a call if you have any questions or concerns that we can help you with!

For more from Monday Morning Marketing, check out Shadowbend Studios Blog Page

Sources: See links above

Image by Theodor Moise from Pixabay

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing


l businesses have to be careful about what type of marketing strategies they invest in. When you have a limited marketing budget, it’s important to get the most for your money. Social media marketing is one of the most versatile and cost-effective strategies that small businesses can use. Targeting your audience can boost your sales over time. That’s why great marketers are using social media to reach their audiences.

What’s so great about social media marketing? Here are Shadowbend Studios top 5 reasons why marketing through social media is a must for small businesses, especially today!.


5 Reasons Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing


1. Your Customers are on Social Media Platforms

The best reason for your business to market through social media platforms is that’s where your customers are spending their time! At least 70% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile. And by 2021, the number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach about 3.1 billion people. With so many consumers using social media every day, this presents a great opportunity for small businesses who want to reach their online audience.

Connecting with your target audience can be easy if you are active on the channels that your customers use most often. In other words, , don’t make your audience come to you – go to your audience! If you aren’t already on social media, you could be missing out on an important chance to connect with your customers and engage with new leads.


2. Consumers Are More Receptive to Your Messages

Users are active on social media platforms because these channels offer a fun and easy way to network, keep in touch with friends and family, and stay connected with what’s going on in the world. Typically, users are not on these channels with the expectation that they are going to be marketed to. But this does not mean that social media users aren’t following and interacting with their favorite brands.

In fact, 95% of online adults ages 18 to 34 are likely to follow a brand on social media. However, when users follow brands and engage with their social media profiles, it is because they find the content and information in these social media campaigns valuable. Whether they are looking for deals, enjoy entertaining content, or just want to learn more about the brand, social media users are open to engaging with brands on social media channels.

The reason why consumers may be more receptive to your brand message on social media is because social media allows you to be more conversational and show a different side of your brand. The content that you publish on these channels contribute to your brand personality and help you demonstrate your brand voice. On social media, you are able to make authentic connections with your leads and customers, rather than just delivering direct marketing messages. This is something that consumers are generally more responsive towards.

It’s probably not new to you to find customers and companies discussing an issue/ concern about their brand on Twitter. Or maybe you have stumbled upon some brands’ Q & As on Instagram Stories. Most marketers see these social media channels as a way to get to know their audience better in a more personal way. So you should too!


3. Marketing Through Social Media Increases Brand Recognition

Another benefit of marketing through social media is that it helps you improve visibility, and thus increase recognition for your brand. Your business social media profiles present new opportunities to share your content and really present your brand’s voice and personality. By posting compelling content that adds value for your target audience, you are making your brand both more accessible and familiar for new leads and current customers.

For example, let’s say that a new lead stumbles upon your brand on social media. They may not have heard of your company before, but through your social media content, they are able to learn more about your brand and the value that you provide. This same situation can apply to your current customers. After seeing your social media content on multiple networks, existing customers are able to become better acquainted with your business, which may increase their interest in a repeat purchase.


4. Marketing Through Social Media Increases Inbound Traffic

Your social media profiles provide yet another way to get more inbound traffic to your website. This makes marketing through social media an excellent strategy to complement your search engine optimization efforts. Each piece of content that you post is an opportunity to bring new visitors to your site. Once the visitor gets to your site, you will have the opportunity to convert.

To get the most inbound traffic possible, it’s important that you consistently publish content that is engaging and adds value for your audience. The more quality content that you post, the more opportunities you have to engage new leads. If your website is optimized, then its only a matter of time before new leads convert into customers.


5. Different Social Media Channels Help Your Reach

Another benefit of social media marketing is that you are able to strategically target different audiences. Based on channels your brand is active on, rather than putting your marketing message out there for everyone to see. You can reach your target market and work to drive more qualified leads back to your site.

Create a clear list of your audience demographic values – the more detailed it is, the better. This list can include their gender, age, location, interests, the brands they follow, hobbies, etc. Knowing these values will give you more idea on which social media channel you should use to reach them. Also, this will help you in creating content that will engage your audience thus increasing your chances for conversions. The more relevant this traffic is, the more likely you will be to boost conversion rates.


Call Shadowbend Studios today to learn more about how your business can utilize Social Media Marketing!

For more from the Studio, check out Shadowbend Studios Blog Page


Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay