Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Web Design Development Client Showcase

“Advanced Eyecare Optometry”

I have been working with Dr. Robert Turcios of Advanced Eyecare Optometry here in Pleasant Hill for many years.  Both he and his wife Janet are long term clients and we have had quite a bit of success in redesigning their office website, filming his “Eyecare Tip Of The Week” segments for their YouTube Channel and, most recently, getting them started on a social media marketing campaign.

As a man of a “certain age” I decided a couple of months ago that it was time to ditch my “cheater” reading glasses and get serious about having my eyes examined.  I made an appointment with “Dr. Bob” and was very happy with the results.  It was a great experience going to see a medical professional who I have known for years and already established a relationship with even before I needed his services.

http://www.advancedoptometry.net/

Monday Morning Marketing

Shadowbend Studios’ Monday Morning Marketing
“Your morning cup of marketing know-how”

Online Web Marketing

4 Steps to Creating Better Goals for Your Blog

If you don’t write down your goals with clear instructions, your plans will be mere wishes.

I read the post Daniel brought to us to usher in the new year Write Down and Share Your Goals, and I thought it would be a good idea to expand on it to make sure you maximize the potential of your blog in 2014 by being specific about your goals.

Write down Your Goals

This might seem obvious and an echo of what Daniel said earlier, but this is still a very important step. You must be clear and concise with your goal writing. You can’t leave out anything, and you can’t imply it because your subconscious won’t understand it when you see it again.

It is best to have 5-10 goals in present tense, as active, affirmative statements.

  • I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog…
  • I earn $500-$1000 from my blog a month…
  • I am a successful blogger…

Write the Time Frame You Want Your Goal Completed

To reiterate: If you aren’t specific about your goals, you are merely wishing. If your goals do not have a deadline (somewhere between 3 months to 1 year), you’re unlikely to reach them.

Some people are reluctant to set deadlines, but they do three things to help you along.

  1. You will have the date in the back of your mind, even if you only write it once.
  2. You will be accountable, which will motivate you more than fear or shame from others.
  3. You will be able to prioritize your work accordingly.

If you say “I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog by March 31st, 2014,” you are committing to do just that.

Write What You Will Do to Complete the Goal

Flesh out your goals so that they become real plans. Add a line to each of them explaining what exactly you plan to do.

If you say “I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog by March 31st, 2014 by writing two short posts in the morning to create a back catalog,” you are now committing to what you’ll do and taking it upon yourself to adjust your morning routine to accomplish this.

Repeat Writing Your Goals until You Complete Them

There is something to be said about repetition. Through the act of writing your goals down every day, you are reinforcing your desire to do the task at hand. It will infuse your day with energy and emotion as you keep going through your day remembering what you wrote down.

It’s fine to change the wording of the goals, and their order, especially early on. You might have your posts goal in the number 3 position, but then the next day you have it in the number 6 position. Just keep writing them down. As your priorities change, so will your goals. This is a necessary part of the process.

Results!

I tested this out for myself from Sept. 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013. I wrote down 10 goals to start off with, but trimmed it down to 5 to make sure I could accomplish what I set out to do. They were:

  • I am a successful writer, completing 5 stories to 2nd draft by December 31st, 2013 through dedicated morning writing and taking any opportunity I can to write during the day.
  • I am a well-read person, completing 10 books on writing by December 31st, 2013 through reading first thing in the morning as I wake up for 30 minutes each day.
  • I am a learned person, earning two certificates through Coursera by December 31st, 2013 through focused study and diligent note taking when the classes were released.
  • I am a wiser saver, setting aside $2500 by December 31st, 2013 through a tighter budget and setting aside at least 10% of my income (and whatever bonuses I acquire).
  • I am a healthier person, weighing 200 pounds by December 31st, 2013 through better eating and steady exercise.

I am pleased to say I completed four of the five goals I set out for me by December 31st, 2013 (sadly, my love affair with burritos keeps me above 200 lbs).

With these steps, even just a few written goals can change your life.

Happy blogging! Once you’ve written down your goals, tell us about them in the comments.

original source: ali luke, daily blog tips enewsletter

 

“The Shelf Chronicles”

Shadowbend Studios’ “The Shelf Chronicles”

The Shelf Chronicles

Hello everyone;

We are going to do something a bit different this week with our “Shelf Chronicles” post.  This is one of my FAVORITE muses in the office and one of the reasons is that she is rather obscure.  Not very many people know who she is.

That being said… I’m going to turn this into a contest.  The VERY FIRST person who can correctly identify who this is will win one (1) FREE BUSINESS CARD DESIGN (just the design… the printing is up to you) from Shadowbend Studios.  Post your guess in the comments section below and GOOD LUCK! 🙂

Photo Feb 26, 2 34 27 PM

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Web Design Development Client Showcase

AccSys Technology, Inc.

One of the pleasures of my work is the fact that I get to meet and interact with people from a huge cross-section of businesses and industries.  In working with the people over at AccSys Tech I was allowed to enter the world of Ion Linear Accelerators (yeah, I know, you don’t need to know what they do, they just SOUND cool!).

As part of the project I toured the facility and got a chance to see what Proton and Ion Linear Accelerators (or “Linacs” for those of us in the know!) are all about and the various applications they are used for.  Very very impressive!

From the AccSys Technology, Inc. home page:
“AccSys is an integrated design and manufacturing company specializing in the development, production, installation and servicing of  ion linear accelerator (linac) systems using the radiofrequency quadrupole (RFQ) linac and drift-tube linac (DTL). Our mission is to build on our history of product excellence and technology innovation to provide the highest-quality and most reliable products and services to our world-wide customers in medicine, industry and research.”

http://www.accsys.com/index.html

 

Monday Morning Marketing

“Your Morning Cup Of Marketing Know-How”

8 Ways to Create Shareable Social Media Content

Online Web Marketing

According to Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, creating content people love to share is the key to success.

Self-titled as the ‘hottest, most social content on the web,’ BuzzFeed features content ranging from breaking news to cat pictures that make you ‘LOL’ (laugh out loud).

Peretti emphasized one important rule for content, “You need to spend 50% of your time on the idea and 50% on how you spread it. Not 95% and then only a tiny portion on how to spread the idea.” Quality alone is simply not enough to making something spread, you need a strategy.

When it comes to creating content people will love to share, anyone can do it. Keep these eight helpful tips in mind next time you’re thinking of what to post.

1. Have a heart

Emotional intelligence is important when it comes to creating relevant social media content. The formula for success, in regards to social media marketing, begins with showing your fans and followers that you genuinely care about them. Focus on starting a conversation, not advertising your services. Listen and pay close attention to what your customers have to say and get to know them. This is what builds strong relationships. By recognizing the things your fans and followers care about (relevant to your business), you can create a meaningful community.

Also, don’t be afraid to add personality to your content. Prove to your fans that there is a living breathing person (or people) behind your brand. Content should never be dry and lifeless. Your audience may be professionals, but that doesn’t mean they’re not human. Remember, people use Facebook to make social connections with friends. Make your brand feel like a friend.

2. Discover what drives them

People use social networks to build profiles that express who they are. Consequently, people share content that helps them share their identities. This may sound harsh but it’s not likely that people are passionate about your actual product. It’s what your product enables them to do or what it allows them to express about themselves that’s important. What does your business’s product or service say about those who use or buy it? Tap into these insights and tailor your social content to speak to the unique personalities of your customers. This will create a vibrant, engaged community of people with common interests and passions.

3. React fast

During the Super Bowl blackout, Oreo got so much buzz from their on-the-fly Facebook post. The ad said, “You can still dunk in the dark.” It was incredibly simple but so successful because it was timely and subtle. Oreo reacted to an unexpected event and in turn created the most powerful ad on one of the most expensive advertising days of the year, for free! When your posts are timely, they feel more authentic and genuine. As a small business owner, you can use your smartphone to instantly react to breaking news or simply share an in-store exchange.

4. Walk a mile in their shoes

Cute animals deserve respect. ‘Huh?’ What Peretti meant is that you should be human and empathetic. Put yourself in the shoes of your fans and followers. The best content is content that is emotional. Use the perspective of your audience to shape the nature of your community.

5. Make them laugh

Perretti made a great point, “When you go out and laugh with your friends, you don’t remember the jokes, only that you laughed.” You don’t always have to fixate on the value level of your content. The emotion your content elicits is what creates a memory. It’s not mandatory that every post makes you ‘ROTFL’ (roll on the floor laughing), but humor is important when it comes to connecting with people socially.

6. Use nostalgia socially

People use social media to express themselves and share their past experiences. Content that pays tribute to something your customers might miss or may have forgotten creates connections amongst customers who share the same emotional reaction. This will create social chatter and engagement.

7. Take a stand

Caring about something that ‘matters’ is absolutely something people want to express. Nonprofits have a great advantage here. Let the passion you have for your organization shine through and if you’re not a nonprofit, show customers the ways your business gives back. You also shouldn’t be afraid to share the positive causes you stand behind. Be inspiring and your readers will be inspired to share.

8. Keep it classy

When people search for content on Google, they assume no one is watching. When people consume content on Facebook, they know everybody is looking. In fact, people are 25% less likely to purchase an embarrassing item online if there’s a social media button next to it (25% more likely if it’s an item they’d be proud to own). If you ever have any hesitation about posting something socially, don’t post it.

These 8 useful tips will help you create socially shareable, relevant content. Just make sure you spend as much time getting your content out there as you do actually creating it.

original source: constant contact blog

“The Shelf Chronicles”

Shadowbend Studios’ “The Shelf Chronicles”

The Shelf Chronicles

BEETLEJUICE, BEETLEJUICE, BEETL… (Ut oh, I’m not going to temp fate by saying his name THREE times!)

Yep, it’s one of my favorite spooks… Michael Keaton’s “Beetlejuice”.  I have always said the only thing I disliked about the movie was the limited amount of screen time he got!  I would have enjoyed seeing much more of his antics on screen but I have to contend myself with having Beetlejuice as a referral agent for Shadowbend Studios now.

I have to say, with his copy of the “Handbook For The Recently Deceased” in hand, he does a pretty fair job of bringing in new business from the “other side”.

The only problem is… most of those new referrals are such DEAD-beats.  🙂

Photo Feb 19, 10 56 55 AM

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Web Design Development Client Showcase

“Abert Entity”

It’s always a lot of fun when I get the chance to collaborate with other design companies and agencies.  For the Abert Entity website project, I worked with TWO other companies;  Mel Abert of Abert Entity and Bill Ewing of Bill Ewing Ads.  Mel was the client and gave us the creative direction he wanted to see the website go in.  Bill was the chief designer and came up with the look and feel and I was brought in to make the whole thing work properly in and HTML environment.

Working with a group can sometimes be difficult with many opinions and creative directions but this project went very smoothly and was a lot of fun.

From the Abert Entity home page:

“WHAT IF EVERYONE ON YOUR MARKETING TEAM WAS A RECOGNIZED EXPERT?
In a nutshell, that’s Abert Entity. A carefully assembled team of highly experienced communications specialists with very impressive credentials all under one umbrella. People who have worked for major advertising agencies, graphic design companies and marketing firms. There are no juniors. No layers of people to wade through before you get answers or results. No wasted time getting up to speed. No massive departments increasing the overhead. No excessive fees. Just solid marketing plans and materials designed to enhance your bottom line.

Our services include the full gamut of marketing communications disciplines from ads to websites and everything in between.

If you’re ready for product or service marketing without all the wheel-spinning, give us a call.”

http://www.abertentity.com/index.html

Monday Morning Marketing

“Your morning cup of marketing know-how”
Online Web Marketing

What to Do if Blogging Doesn’t Excite You (And When to Ignore the “Rules”)

By Ali Luke: Daily Blog Tips eNewsletter
In our survey last year, one reader wrote: I just can’t seem to get excited about blogging. I understand that videos are a must.”

This raises two key questions:
How do you get fired up to blog (or how do you recapture that enthusiasm if you’ve lost it)?
Do you have to follow the rules – the “musts” of blogging?

It seems to me that trying to follow all the rules is an easy recipe for losing your enthusiasm (and as I’ll explain in a moment, the good news is that you don’t have to take every piece of advice going).

Getting Excited About Blogging

While you may well be blogging for a purpose like making money or building an online platform, you want to enjoy the process, not just the end result.

A blog takes up a lot of your time and energy, over months or years. If you feel “meh” about blogging, then either you won’t get far, or you’ll have to keep on forcing yourself forward – which isn’t much fun.

While there are plenty of practical ways to recover your blogging motivation, if you never feel excited about blogging, you might need to sit back and take a look at what’s going wrong.

If you feel completely unenthusiastic about your blog, ask yourself:

1. Have You Chosen the Wrong Niche?

Perhaps you picked something that seemed like a good money-making opportunity, but you’re really not interested in it. Or maybe your niche was so narrow that you’ve run out of things to say.

2. Do You Interact with Other Bloggers?

I don’t just mean leaving comments or retweeting their posts. Do you go to conferences or meetups of bloggers? Do you get together on Skype, or exchange emails? Other people who “get” what we do can help us get excited about it.

3. Do You Need to Take a Break?

If you’ve been blogging for months and months, and it’s wearing you down, perhaps you need to take a few weeks off. (This can also be a good opportunity to assess what you might want to change about your blog.)

Not Every “Rule” is Right for You

Personally, I’d find it pretty hard to get excited if I tried to follow every single blogging rule I’d ever heard. Like:

  1. You should post every day if you want traffic.
  2. You need to leave loads of comments on every blog.
  3. You should email five new people every day.
  4. You must create videos.
  5. You have to build a really big audience before you think about monetizing.

… and so on.

Some of these “rules” are useful advice in some circumstances. (Number 5 is just plain wrong, but some new bloggers think it’s true.) But there’s no single rule that’s going to make your blog succeed or fail.

If you’re struggling with a particular rule, like “you must create videos”, then ask yourself:

1. Is This Rule Out of Date?

Sometimes, advice changes, either as the blogging world itself shifts or as bloggers learn more about what does and doesn’t work. When I first got interested in blogging, blog carnivals were a big deal; today, you hardly ever hear about them.

2. Is This Rule Ignored By Other Blogs?

How many big blogs can you think of that don’t post anywhere near daily? Jon Morrow’s Boost Blog Traffic and Glen Allsop’s ViperChill both come to mind – both highly successful blogs.

While we do post daily (Monday – Friday) on DailyBlogTips, we don’t advise all bloggers to do the same. If you enjoy posting frequently and your audience are engaged, by all means stick with it – but you might want to ask your readers what they want.

3. Is This Rule Making You Want to Quit?

If the thought of producing videos makes you shudder, then it’s probably not right for you. While it’s a good idea to take a step outside your comfort zone, don’t let the rules force you away from blogging (or put you off even getting started).

There’s no single “right” path to success as a blogger, whatever some gurus might have you think. If the rule is getting you down, then it’s time to ditch it.

How excited are you about blogging? And what’s the worst “rule” you’ve come across (and perhaps even tried to follow) during your time as a blogger? Let us know in the comments.

original source: Daily Blog Tips eNewsletter

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