681-260-6021 simone@shbcagency.com
Simone Hawthorne giving back to the community.

Simone Hawthorne giving back to the community.

As a local (Martinsburg WV) business owner and the spouse of a 100% disabled Golf War Veteran, it came naturally for me to give back to the community by helping out Veterans in our area. I am the VP ( update: I am now the President and accredited Service Officer) of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. Chapter 1074 since last year and just took the test to become a certified Service Rep. helping our Veterans to get help and benefits they deserve.

I believe we all need to do our part to make our communities a better place to live in for all of us. My office is at 630 Winchester Avenue and it might sound funny but, you can get a website for your business here, marketing services and help filing a claim with the VA.

You can all: 681-260-6021 to reach Simone Hawthorne

No to doing spec work!

No to doing spec work!

What is spec work?

Basically, it means to produce work for a “possible” client without any guaranty that the designer will get the job. Most young designers start out doing spec work just because they don’t have a reputation and no clients yet.

Did I do it? Yes, I did a few times. I regret it deeply. Many hours spent for nothing.

Doing spec work belittles our trade as designers and web developers. I went to school and piled up student loans that I have to pay back to get Degrees in Web design and development, as well as Internet Marketing. What other College Graduate works for free like that?

Here is what I can tell you will work much better than working just to hope that you will get paid for it.

Pick up the yellow pages and start calling, start Networking, find some non-profit Organization and help them if you want to work for free. This way you will get a nice portfolio together and you are doing something good for people that will value your time.

There is too much frustration for the designer doing spec work and participating in design or development contests. Even if your work is good and you get the second place it still means that you don’t get paid. How long do you think you can be doing this until you give in and realize that it just takes too much of your time and too little money coming into your pockets in return. You could be spending your time trying to find some real clients that value your work or work on your own site and create work for your portfolio. A possible client wants to see what you have to offer and where your education comes from and if you have any show off your testimonials.

Testimonials are very important to become a credible designer, developer, or marketer. Yes, you know what you are doing but how should your client know?  This is also where doing work for non-profits comes in. You should ask for a testimonial in return. One hand washes the other, right?

Only you can control your future.

Dr. Seuss

Business Strategies, under construction.

Business Strategies, under construction.

If you can keep strategies “under construction” you will keep coming back and make adjustments.


Strategy SHBC Agency wants to help small business and especially small start-ups to become successful and allow people to make a good living off of their business.Having a strategy planned out will help every start-up to achieve their goals.
Management What is it that you have to manage? During the beginning stages, you should manage the operation start-up. Did you do all of your research? Do you have a team together? Or maybe you want to do it all on your own?


How important is your website in your business? Did you think about this already?


Tower crane building a 3D yellow grey Under Construction textIf you are selling goods or services online you already know how important your website is. It is the center of your business! Every business should have a great online presence. Your customers will expect to find you online and even on mobile devices. As consumers, we are all so used to people trying to rip us off with poorly constructed, overpriced products and poor services. If you run an honest business, you can use this to your advantage and this is where your online presence can play an important role.

You can (and should) inform people about who you are and what you stand for.

  • Great customer service
  • Ethical business practices
  • Involvement in Community
  • Showing that your pride in the services and goods you have to offer.

Have a great Strategy layed out and keep coming back to look at it, make adjustments if you have to! And keep in mind that your online presence can be so much more than a beautiful looking website!


Search Engine Optimized

Search Engine Optimized

Search Engine Optimization

It is no secret that not always the perfect content makes a site rank high in search engines and get a site on page one. There are (used to be) some tricks that can be done to a website to get it on that first page.

If you are not on page one or page two for the search phrases that should pop your site up it is almost impossible to get traffic from search engines. nobody clicks on the third or fourth page in Google.

Some SEO techniques can hurt your website and you have to be very careful who you trust to do your SEO. Search engines make changes all the time to make sure that users get to see the most relevant content available about the topic they are searching for. I think this is a great thing and you will be rewarded if you don’t try to cheat and use tricks.

Great SEO takes time and if somebody makes a promise to get your site on page one in a week simply hang up the phone or run!

Blogging. Not your favorite thing to do?

Blogging. Not your favorite thing to do?

Blogging for your business is important. It will help you rank, if you really have content that is of good quality. And, yes I know it is not easy to come up with new posts a few times a week. I have times where I struggle so much and I stress myself out because I know I should write more…….

There are a few tricks I have learned.

  1. Reusing articles
  2. List content
  3. Sometimes it is easier to write something about you instead of your business.
  4. Step away from the computer for a while. Take a walk.
  5. read more yourself. Gives you some great Ideas. Don’t steal content but get inspired.

Maybe it would even be better to post videos or podcasts instead of videos. Maybe a good mix of all of them.  I love this part of the Internet, people give you information without you even having to ask for it. You just have to make sure that the person you get your information from knows what they are talking about.

I love this part of the Internet, people give you information without you even having to ask for it. You just have to make sure that the person you get your information from knows what they are talking about.

How do I know what I am talking about? Well, for starters I went to College to learn about  web design, development and  marketing. I started my business about a year ago and I love to share my experience. I love to help small businesses and non-profits to get started and become successful.


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