Reforce Success Hires Roanoke Web Design Firm Duvall Media

Roanoke web design firm client of Duvall MediaReForce Success has hired Roanoke web design firm Duvall Media to help with its website and online marketing efforts. Reforce Success is a sales training and coaching company serving businesses throughout the region and is run by Cam Cole of Roanoke, Virginia.

Reforce Success needed a website to capture leads for its sales training workshops and seminars. They were referred to Duvall Media by a local client. They didn’t need a whole lot of assistance. They mostly wanted a quick, easy to manage and affordable website solution that could be maintained with minimal staff time.

Duvall Media recommended WordPress as a simple content management solution to meet their needs. Since then, Reforce Success has gone on to recommend and refer clients to Duvall Media for other projects. Special thanks to Cam for the kind referrals.

Roanoke Web Design Firm Duvall Media Hired By GoMonti Coaching Software

Roanoke Web Design client of Duvall Media

Lynda Foster of Voltage Leadership has hired Duvall Media to re-design and manage the content of their goMonti coaching software website so that it matches the branding and functionality of the Voltage Leadership website.

Michael Guessford designed the web graphics and provides content creation for the goMonti site with assistance from Dylan James.

The original site was not consistent with the Voltage brand and lacked functionality. It was also hard to make simple content changes in a timely manner which frustrated the Voltage Leadership team. Their goal was to create a site that would help market and sell their proprietary coaching software to a national audience.

Duvall Media is assisting them with search engine optimization and sales copy writing for improved conversion of site visitors.

Roanoke Web Design Firm Hired By Roanoke Area Fashion Designer

Fashion designer hires Roanoke web design firm Duvall MediaRoanoke web design firm Duvall Media was recently hired by local fashion designer Genevieve Journell of Catrina Fashions to build a strong online presence promoting her sewing workshops and guest speakers.

Duvall Media did some keyword research to help define some good potential domain names for the brand and website. The result was ArtisanSewingClasses.com.

Online sewing tutorials and classes are extremely competitive so we needed to find some aspect of the niche that was still relatively untapped but capable of attracting targeted customers and prospects. The artisan sewing classes taught by nationally and internationally known designers from the fashion industry are for all sewing levels of experience but appeal to the very serious hobbyist and professional.

The website features upcoming workshops with the ability to buy tickets and make reservations online. Future plans include video recording workshop so they can be sold on the site as well.

Roanoke Web Design Firm Duvall Media Hired By Roanoke Valley Academy of Martial Arts

Roanoke Web Design firm Duvall Media hired to re-design martial arts websiteRoanoke web design firm Duvall Media was hired by Roanoke Valley Academy of Martial Arts to redesign their website, optimize the content for the search engines, improve visitor conversion and make it easier for the owners to make changes as needed.

Their original website was built by a parent of one of their young karate students. The site was attractive but not well optimized for their strongest keywords. The old site also lacked the three essential elements necessary to convert site visitors into actual customers.

Duvall Media submitted a proposal to Bryan Cochran, the owner of the academy. It’s a pleasure working with clients who know what they want and are prepared to get it. The Roanoke Academy of Martial Arts was quick to provide quality content and loads of photos for the website to progress rapidly. They even had some quality video clips left over from their 2011 banquet that Duvall Media was able to edit into short clips and post on the site.

You can see the new site at RVAMA.com

Reach More Than 10,000 Customers With Duvall Media’s New Service Called Huge Savings Card

online coupons roanoke vaRoanoke Customer Acquisition firm Duvall Media launches new direct mail service reaching more than 10,000 targeted prospects.

The new direct mail service is called Huge Savings Card and is designed as a cooperative campaign to keep printing and postage costs to between 5 cents and 11 cents per piece mailed. This makes it extremely affordable and cost effective for local businesses to get their offers in front of middle and upper middle income families resulting in more customers and more sales.

The Huge Savings Card is a 9X12 postcard featuring up to 16 different businesses and their special offers. Each business is an exclusive advertiser on the card. Once a company has a spot on the card then no other competitors of the kind of business is allowed on that card. It’s not an insert nor a coupon magazine with your offer getting buried among a bunch of other offers. The extremely large postcard format causes everyone who gets the card to see all of the offers on it.

The first campaigns to be launched on the Huge Savings Card include Cave Spring in April / May and the New River Valley in July / August. Once the first campaign launches in the New River Valley, then more focused Huge Savings Cards will be published for Blacksburg and Christiansburg for September / October.

Spaces sell out fast so call Darin Britt for details on promoting your business in the New River Valley or Brian Duvall for promoting your business in the Roanoke Valley.

How You Can Benefit From Using Pinterest

I was just reading an article in Gizmodo about the hot new social network called Pinterest.

Turns out that Pinterest is primarily geared toward women at the moment… or at least it seems that women are the majority of users actively posting on it. So, mostly what you will find there are Pin Boards (photo “likes”) on topics of a more feminine nature.

Basically, the premise of the site is that you can “pin” images from other websites onto a pin board. It’s like the community bulletin board where you would pin lost and found notices or items for sale. But this pin board is where you can pin images of your favorite things that you find all over the web. You can share your pin board with others who can like it on Facebook or re-pin your images on their own pin boards.

So why would anyone want to spend their valuable time doing this?

Good question. Here’s how I suggest using it.

Build your own online Dream Board and share it with your organization. If you are in an MLM then get your downline to create their dream boards so they can access, look at, be inspired by and share their hopes and dreams. Use it for positive thinking, visualization, inspiration, or a reminder of what’s important in your life and your future.

Sharing your dreams or at least your taste and desire for the finer things in life may give others inspiration, too. If you have a support structure who is actively involved in helping you achieve greater success then they may even help bring images from your pin board into your experience. Think Law of Attraction.

Give it a shot. Besides… it’s fun to dream BIG.

Top 6 Tips On How To Start a Video Blog

Video ShootStarting a video blog doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Most people talk better than they write so it’s surprising that more bloggers haven’t taken the leap to video blogging.

Video posts provide a great, unique way to connect with your audience. Here are six tips that may help you get started:

1. Watch a lot of videos.
Write down what you find appealing and what you don’t like. I tend to like short videos with lots of personality. Pay attention to the video content, length, and the format. For example: The Phil DeFranco Show

Check out these places to start: Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine, Marketing),  Ill Doctrine (Hip-Hop, Political), Startup Lucky (Entrepreneurship),  Design for Mankind’s Dialogue (Art/Design), Momversation (Lifestyle & Mom Blogging), Brazen Careerist (Contest Announcements), Sam Davidson (Social Change & Motivation), and Shama TV (New Media Marketing).

There are many more out there, so feel free to share your own favorites in the comments as well.

2. Stop procrastinating on the technical stuff.
A big barrier is researching the right methods to use. Like, what camera should I buy? How do I transfer video to computer? What program do I use to edit with? What site do I upload it to? How do I embed it?

But these things are easy. Just trust me on this. If you can use blogging software to write, you can use a video camera to talk. I use an older model Flip and a Canon XH1-A, Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premier Pro for editing and Vimeo for hosting and sharing my videos. You don’t need anything more to start. Even big media companies like Momversation have their contributors use Flip cameras. I also recommend the Kodak Zi8 because it allows you to use an external microphone

3. Create relevant content.
Video and written content is not the same. The content you present on video should be a better fit than if you wrote about it. Videos make it easier to be self-involved, so ask yourself, are viewers gaining value from watching?

I generally use videos to clarify or expand on previous posts, instead of presenting new information. This is because the medium is so different from writing that it’s sometimes difficult to present big ideas concisely.

Another good way to use video might be to start dialogue with your readers. Present a quick problem and ask your readers for input on the solution. Or use video to respond to comments in a more personal manner.

Whatever you do, make sure that your videos are good enough to stand on their own, whether they’re complementing the rest of your blog or are the main spotlight on your video-only blog.

4. You still have to write.
Your video should have a point if you want viewers to watch the whole thing. While a conversational tone is great, it’s good to either:

a) Write down two to three bullet points that you want to cover, and/or
b) Write your entire spiel out as if it were a speech

Don’t just ramble. I tend to jot down what I want to say (a page worth is usually one to two minutes in length), and then highlight the key points I want to remember. And okay, sometimes I just practice what I want to convey in the shower. Spontaneity is good too.

5. Practice in front of the camera.
Pay specific attention to your body language and how you present yourself. Video is, after all, a visual experience anda visual experience and viewers want to watch someone who is both authentic and engaging.

Take up space with your arms to project confidence (good for speeches as well), or frame the shot close to your face for a more intimate conversation. Emphasize your points and exaggerate your personality with your facial expressions for an energetic video, or keep your movements tight and slow if you’re trying to show authority.

Watch yourself, experiment and then re-record until you’re happy with the result. You don’t have anything to lose. No one is watching yet.

6. Post a video that’s not perfect.
Don’t worry about getting it right your first video. It will probably be too long, you’ll look like a huge dork, and the guys building a hotel next door will probably take the exact moment you’re recording to use their jackhammer. Whatever.

Look at one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s original videos and then look at one from last week. Big difference. HUGE. You’ll improve with time and confidence too.

If all of the above sounds like too much trouble then you can hire me to get you off to a good and fast start. It’s more affordable than you think.

Getting Clear On Your Business Goals

I just attended the Synergy Master’s Class Retreat at Wilderness Adventure where 32 business owners from the region gathered for an eye-opening experience led by Jeff Smith of Voltage Leadership and Lynda Foster of Synergize My Business.

Briefly, we covered our DISC assessments and how to benefit from this new understanding of our behavior tendencies. We also spent time going over our goals and getting to know the other attendees in our inner circle so we can reach out to them as resources. If you have never taken the DISC assessment then I highly recommend it. You will be amazed at how accurately it describes your behavioral tendencies.

Why should you know this about yourself? So you can understand how you prefer to communicate and so you can let others know how best to communicate with you. It also helps you to understand why you act the way you do.

Meridian Wildlife Solutions Hires Duvall Media For Website

The guys at Meridian Wildlife Solutions were looking for a simple, easy to use website that would help them get more leads for their business.

They were referred to Duvall Media by Caleb Mann of Farmers’ Insurance. Thanks, Caleb.

So, I did a little analysis of the competition in the marketplace for them. Turns out their competitor has been around for awhile and has a significant lead on market share… BUT the competitor’s website is missing some key elements needed to convert site visitors into leads and sales. I revealed these weaknesses to the Meridian Wildlife Solutions guys in an exclusive, secure, custom web page I created for just for them in the client area of Duvall Media.

They couldn’t wait to meet with me to discuss their needs and wants for their website. Their website is currently under construction as they create the content for the site and send me photos of their work. We will be launching the site soon. Stay tuned.

How To Quickly & Easily Back-up or Clone Your WordPress Site

How secure is your website and all the content you put on it?

If it were hacked or crashed for some reason, how quickly could you get it back online… restored with all of the content you worked so hard to create?

The reason I ask is because for several weeks the Duvall Media site had something wrong with it. Specifically, my blog page and recent posts widget weren’t displaying my posts in the right order and some were even being displayed more than once. I didn’t notice this at first but then I realized that several of my published articles weren’t showing up at the top of the page where they belonged.

How odd. So, I started my quest to track down the problem and fix it. Here’s the process I went through so you can learn from my experiences. Be sure to do each step one at a time and then check to see if the problem goes away before you do the next step.

  • Make sure the post or page is actually published and not just saved as a draft or scheduled to be published in the future.
  • Next, make sure your version of WordPress and your plugins are all up to date.
  • Then, if you have a membership site or a client only password protected area be sure to check to make sure you don’t have public content protected by mistake.
  • Then start deactivating plugins one at a time. Remember to see if the problem stops before you deactivate the next plugin.

This is how I found the problem on my site. I deactivated a plugin that I had recently updated and BINGO… problem gone. To make sure, I reactivated the plugin and the problem returned. The bummer was that I rely heavily on this particular plugin. The good news is that it has awesome technical support and a thriving user community so I submitted a support ticket and they gave me solutions to try.

I followed their instructions but the problem persisted. So I followed-up with them, answered a few questions, and they went in a fixed the problem for me. My blog is back on track and I’m a happy camper once again.

But then it occurred to me that backing up and/or cloning your website is a critical security measure that everyone should do on a regular basis in case of disaster. What if my site had gone down totally due to the plugin problem or during the fix? I have been blogging nearly every week since before 2009. That’s a LOT of content to lose. Some of it I could never re-create.

I have tried to do back-ups before but it can be complicated. I’m the kind of guy who hates complicated. If I can’t do it in a few clicks then I tend to not do it.

YIKES!

You and I can’t afford NOT to do our back-ups. It simply isn’t an option. So what do we do? I found this plugin that does for you in just a few clicks.

Problem solved.

It will not only let you back-up your entire website, plugins, setting, membership site modules & setting, your content, etc… it also lets you clone your site as much as you want. This is really POWERFUL.

So instead of me giving a sales pitch, I’ll just give you my recommendation… go here to check it out for yourself. It’s so inexpensive it’s a “no-brainer”. Don’t wait. Go now and install it before it’s too late. What’s the price for peace of mind? Certainly worth more than what they’re charging.

Cheers,
Brian

PS: I like this plugin so much I became an affiliate. Try it out. If you like it, too then you should look at their affiliate program. You should assume that they will compensate me if you decide to follow my recommendation and buy this plugin… however it does not affect what you pay or the fact that it’s really good. I would still recommend it even if I weren’t an affiliate.