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.
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.
This weeks Monday Morning Marketing includes multiple links to articles, ideas and sites that can help alleviate your fears for business, mind and body!
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!
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!
Shadowbend Studios wants to remind everyone to take a deep breath! When we pull together we can accomplish amazing things!
Always looking at ways to help our clients, help them moving forward, we are currently offering 50% off our Professional Business Strategy Consultation* until April 15th.
Let us help you evaluate your marketing strategies based on ‘Shelter in Place’ scenarios and develop new strategies to guide you through business service options that you may not have thought about.
If you are worried about reduced traffic, loss of clients or closings with ‘Shelter in Place’ orders throughout the Bay Area counties and the country, you are not alone!
People are panicked about lost business and lost wages during this very stressful time.
Before you close your doors or shutter your windows let Shadowbend Studios help you with options for:
1. Evaluating your marketing strategies based on ‘Shelter in Place’ scenarios.
2. Developing strategies for moving forward.
3. Learn about engagement and resiliency during crisis.
4. The importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website upgrades.
5. Service options for businesses of all kinds.
Our consultation is tailored for your particular business and will help you to develop resiliency and customer engagement through new ad campaigns, social media strategies and the importance of website upgrades and search engine optimization. Moving forward, we do amazing things together!
We will all get through this together.
Whoever you are and wherever you are, Sandy and I just want to wish for your safety and your contentment and peace. This is a very frightening time for all of us but, we take a certain amount of comfort in the fact that we are all in this together. We are blessed to be able to work from home, so please rest assured that we are here to help you in any way we can during this time of uncertainty.
Moving forward, we gently remind you to remain grateful for what you have and to hold those you care about closely (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Skip & Sandy
* We are offering 50% off our one (1) hour Professional Business Strategy Consultation (normally $75) through April 15th.
Learning new skills can be both time-consuming and challenging. With new technology emerging at breakneck speeds, there’s a palpable pressure to continuously up your skills!
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
That’s never been truer than it is today. According to Josh Kaufman, international bestselling author of The Personal MBA, it takes 20 hours to go from knowing nothing about a particular subject to being pretty good at it. Of course, if you want to become an expert that takes even longer!
Podcasts and blogs are a great starting point for exploring a particular topic. But online marketing courses will provide you with the time and space you need to go deep and truly master this new skill. And most courses are made up of on-demand videos and exercises that you can progress through at your own pace.
Below,Shadowbend Studios has gathered some of the best free online marketing courses. They cover the main skills you’ll need to advance in today’s rapidly changing workplace. Continued learning will help you become an expert in whatever subject you feel can best help you succeed.
Just click on one of the following topics below to jump straight to courses that will help you market your business:
My posts this week have centered on workflow, focus and organization. I’d like to end the week by give you an idea of the types of things that inspire and motivate me. Not only as a business owner but also as a Father and human being.
I find a lot of inspiration in my daily Buddhist practice with it’s emphasis on mediation, gratitude and compassion. My exposure to Buddhism since 2013 has been a major calming and focusing factor in my life. The philosophy of impermanence (nothing lasts forever) has been a huge tool to help me through difficult times and come out on the other end better than I was when I started.
Also, while I’m not a voracious consumer of inspirational memes and videos, I have come across several that I have saved and regularly watch and share with my kids.
This is the video I have watched and shared with my family more often than any other. It has a simple, wonderful, powerful message. Gratitude.
If You Want to Change the World, Start Off by Making Your Bed
A truly wonderful video about the power of perseverance, focus, taking things one step at a time and making sure to start by doing the “little things”.
How To Let Your Light Shine Bright!
As motivating speeches go, it doesn’t get much better than this!! Bring a pair of shades 🙂 I smile EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I see this.
One Life – Act Like It!
Everything that has happened has happened. No more dwelling, no more complaining. Go out and execute!.
I hope these strike a cord with you. Feel free to leave a comment on what you thought of them or if you have other things and inspire and motivate you that you’d like to share.
It’s Monday morning. You’ve had a restful weekend and you are in your office with your favorite morning beverage and ready to get started pumping out some creative work. Right in the middle of things a client contacts you with a technical problem they are having with their website. You let them know you’ll look into it and then one of your favorite clients calls and wants to talk to you about some new ideas they have for their business. After that call you get back to sorting out the technical issue and then remember you have a webinar to attend in an hour that you signed up for. All the while you are thinking about the bills you have this week that you need to cover. Your head is swirling with all the things you need to do and then, 8 hours later you have not done anything you originally planned for the day!
Sound familiar? Happens to me all the time.
As well as being a web developer and designer, I have also been a practicing Buddhist for the past 7 years. One of the things that my practice has taught me is the importance of routine. It is critical for creative types like myself to have a routine and stick with it whenever possible because it is so easy to become overwhelmed with all of the elements that are part of running any type of creative business. I came into my entrepreneurship with a background in art and design and have had to learn the business side of things as I go. Part of this is making lists, keeping calendars and taking lots of notes. I have two paper calendars, one Google calendar and three white boards in my office with all manner of work flow lists and charts. I have found that the only way to keep myself focused on what I’m doing is to always follow a routine. It keeps me focused because I know that I start from number 1 and go from there no matter what else happens (save for obvious emergencies)
The days where I can successfully follow my routine ALWAYS make me feel better and more accomplished at the end of the work day. So, as a (hopefully) helpful example, here is the routine I follow during the day:
Let’s take a look:
1. Meditate / Inversion table – Every morning I spend 10 minutes or so in meditation. It’s a wonderful way to set your intention and focus for the upcoming work day. After that I spend a few minutes stretching our on my inversion table because it just feels great and is so good for my body!
2. Shower – Because a clean body is a great way to start the day.
3. Cat Box – Yea it may sound stupid but have you ever been near a litter box that has been neglected for a few days??
4. Breakfast – This is actually very important because it can so easily be overlooked. Feed your mind and body and you will be able to be more productive!
5. Check, Sort, Answer All Emails – If you are like me you have dozens (or hundreds) of emails to go through every day. Like a cat litter box, if they are not tended to every day they pile up and get stinky!
6. Emergencies – It happens. Clients call with something that needs to be done “immediately”, web servers go down temporarily and need to be looked at, client’s emails can be on the fritz. These things happen and they almost always need to be tended to immediately.
7. My Blogging, Social Media Postings, Etc. – This could be one of the most important things on my list because its not “billable” and so it can get easily pushed aside. However, business development and promotion is vital to bringing in new projects and so it needs to be part of your regular routine.
8. SEO/SMM Client Work – This is the time I spend daily working on the SEO and SMM campaigns for my existing clients. SEO/SMM are ongoing projects that need to be worked on regularly to provide positive results for my clients.
9. Cold Calls – You have to make calls and contact people in order to get new work and clients. Spend a little time every day doing this and you will be amazed at the results you get. You don’t have to get new clients every day but if you are persistent and build up relationships with perspective clients then, when they are ready to pull the trigger, you’ll be the first person they call.
10. Existing Client Work – This is the bulk of my day. Working on projects for my existing clients who are under contract with me.
11. New Client Work – This is the second largest portion of my day. Setting up new client projects: New website hosting accounts, new WordPress installations, gathering creative discovery information etc.
I hope that giving you a glimpse into my day to day routine has inspired you or given you something to try out. Please feel free to leave a comment on what YOU do to organize your work day!
Skip and Sandy
P.S. Thank you to my good friend and tremendously talented artist Rose Adare for the sticker on my white board. I really enjoy having little affirmations around me to remind me to be grateful and practice compassion and kindness. If you are interested, her art can be seen on her site at https://www.roseadare.com/
Hello friends of the studio!
Well, it’s that time again! This has been an annual holiday tradition for the past 12 years and those of you who have followed my blog posts and social media posts know what’s coming. For those of you who may be new to my postings… I’ll apologize ahead of time 🙂 I have a quirky, whimsical and somewhat dark sense of humor at times. It helps with creativity and design but, as I mentioned in the original post 12 years ago…
“This is one of those things that defines a person’s character to others. Either you “get” the humor or you will come away, head askew with a “tsk tsk” look on your face, wondering where my parents went wrong.
And so, without further ado, here is Shadowbend Studios’ annual holiday “gift”…
Please feel free to let us know how you like the video in the comments section! And, don’t hold it against us, we’re just made that way 🙂
Search engines and search engine results are a major source of traffic for your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best strategy for positive, effective search engine results! One of the best things you can do to start you search engine optimization campaign is to install plugins on your site to help you with on-site optimization. It may come as no surprise that there is no shortage of SEO and SMM plugins available, however here at Shadowbend Studios we have been using a handful of the industry leading offerings to great effect and would like to share them with you!
If you have only one plugin on your site, this should be the one. From Yoast’s website:
“Since 2008 Yoast SEO has helped millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines. This WordPress SEO plugin helps you with your search engine optimization. Are you not entirely convinced? Yoast SEO is the favorite WordPress SEO plugin of millions of users worldwide! As Yoast’s mission is SEO for Everyone, the plugin’s users range from the bakery around the corner to some of the most popular sites on the planet.”
Yoast SEO is easy to use, intuitive and very very effective!
Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets
In my opinion, this is a fantastic and terribly underrated plugin! Snippets are the portion of a website that Google displays in search engine results. Under normal conditions, Google just takes a slice of text from the top portion of a web page and displays it. With Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets YOU create and control the text that is displayed. The plugin also works well with Yoast SEO for a great one-two SEO punch!
As I said, there are many more but these two are the heavy hitters that no WordPress website should be without. If you’d like more information, more recommendations or you’d like help installing and configuring these plugins on your site, contact Shadowbend Studios today!
Hello there friends of Shadowbend Studios! It’s a cozy winter weekday afternoon here at the studio, so while I’m sipping my peppermint coffee I thought I’d show you some photos of our decorations! The winter holidays are our favorites here at Shadowbend and we tend to go all out!
Do you decorate your business? And if so, show us some photos in the comments section!