Is oDesk the Best Online Freelance Marketplace for Your Business?

On October 15th, 2010, wrote:

The process of establishing and enhancing your presence on the Web takes a lot of time – time that you, as a startup or small business owner, may not have. It also requires a full range of skills: content writing, online networking, search marketing, project management, web design, programming, etc. – things that you also might not have a lot of experience with. Sure, it’s convenient to hire dedicated full-time staff members to perform a bunch of Internet marketing jobs for you – but is it really always worth it? Wouldn’t that deplete your resources, as well as the money and the infrastructure you need to run your business? We’re still in the midst of recovering from the recession, after all. Surely, there must be a better and more cost-effective alternative. Like outsourcing. If you think that outsourcing – online – might be a worthwhile option for you, there’s a marketplace where you can find freelancers and hire them on – Read the full article

What Your Optimized Press Release for Online Should Have

On October 11th, 2010, wrote:

Launching a new product? Opening a new branch or office? Headlining an event? Just won an industry award? Take advantage of the fact that you’re making news – go write a press release. Not only does this classic PR strategy earn you an opportunity to gain free publicity (so you won’t have to pay $15,000 for advertising placements); a press release also allows you to reach a wide audience through the media. You get to keep the brand fresh in their minds, and you’re able to enhance the visibility of your business, too. A press release is your opportunity to get a message through – without having to use hard-sell techniques, sales pitches, and marketing buzzwords. These days, it’s a best practice to optimize your press release for the Web. Why? Well, there are a bunch of reasons why – like reaching potential customers who don’t necessarily keep an eye out for items in traditional news media (newspapers, radio, TV), – Read the full article

Why Lakeshore Branding Loves Moo.com

On October 9th, 2010, wrote:

It’s been around, but up to this day, when people think of Moo (at Moo.com), there’s a good chance they might associate it with domestic livestock. That’s why we here at Lakeshore Branding thought of outlining the top reasons why we love Moo, a great card creation service that doesn’t at all have anything to do with cows. Founded in 2004, Moo is basically an online print business, specializing in the creation of high-quality business cards and related products. The service is catered to businesses and professionals, but it is equally great for designers, freelancers, bloggers, photographers, and anyone else who has to personally introduce himself or herself in some form and situation to another human being. In short, Moo is for everyone. As a creative online communications agency, Lakeshore Branding is always on the lookout for great ideas and inspiration for the Web. But no matter how much we love the Internet, we still can’t put it in our – Read the full article

Dropbox Review: Sync, Store, and Share Files and Folders Anywhere

On October 7th, 2010, wrote:

At this day and age it’s not unusual to be using multiple computers at once – one desktop at home, another at the office, a laptop, a tablet computer, even a mobile phone. But it can be quite tiresome to have to back up or synchronize all your folders and files from these computers – regardless of whether you’re using a USB disk, an external hard drive, or a stack of blank CDs. Sure, E-mailing the files to yourself might be a pretty cool idea (since everything is stored online), but when you’ve done it more times than you can take, and when attaching files takes more time than you actually have, it’s a definite sign that you should be looking for a better solution. Enter Dropbox – a service for automatically syncing, storing, and sharing files online. Launched in late 2008 for Windows, Linux, and Mac, Dropbox makes it simple and easy to access your documents from anywhere, from – Read the full article

Don Draper Lessons in the Age of Social Media

On October 6th, 2010, wrote:

We don’t know about you, but Mad Men is a show we can’t get enough of. Sure, it has won a bunch of Emmy Awards, and it provides a gripping depiction of the lives of advertising executives on Madison Avenue in the 1960s, but these aren’t the only reasons why we’re watching. The truth is, Don Draper – played by actor Jon Hamm – is actually wise beyond his years. A classic  American figure, sure. But old-fashioned? We don’t think so. Every episode, Don Draper unleashes a brilliant, memorable line, a gem of an advice that we can take and use in the age of Internet marketing and social media. Take for example the following Don Draper quotes. Don Draper: “Our worst fears lie in anticipation.” Sure, trying to learn things like Twitter, SEO, web analytics, PPC advertising, etc. can be downright intimidating. It’s almost like trying to learn a whole new language – something you may be afraid you’re – Read the full article

Why You Should Love KnowEm

On October 4th, 2010, wrote:

What if you could control and monitor your image across all social media? What if you could sign up for all the important social media sites out there and hear all the conversations being made about your business or brand? It sounds like a lot of work, but not if you’ve heard of KnowEm. A few months back we wrote a post that focused on this extremely useful social media service, which, as a kind of username detective, basically helps small business owners, startups, or even enterprises and larger companies check for the use of their brand, product, trademark, personal name, or username instantly on over 400 popular and emerging social networks or social media sites – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Multiply, WordPress, MySpace, Formspring, Blogger, Posterous, and many more. KnowEm is a great brand management tool, too. You can grab your name and secure your brand before someone else does – someone who doesn’t have the authority for – Read the full article

FreshBooks Review: The Leader in Online Invoicing

On October 1st, 2010, wrote:

Tracking time and invoicing clients are important office tasks that you may often wish you don’t have to do. If only, right? But regardless of whether you’re a freelancer, a consultant, a small business, or a corporation, you just have to have some form of system to keep that income stream running smoothly – plus, of course, a staff member employed specifically for the purpose of managing that system. Enter FreshBooks, a web-based accounting, time billing, cost estimate, and invoicing application that has been dubbed “the leader in online invoicing”. It’s designed to help users save time and money in performing such accounting tasks as tracking income, managing estimates, creating and sending invoices, receiving customer payments, and generating accurate year-end financial reports. It’s definitely a great concept, but does FreshBooks perform better than if you just hired an accountant or a third party? Our answer: yes. A resounding one. We here at Lakeshore Branding have recently incorporated FreshBooks into our – Read the full article

Your Social Media Checklist for Launching a Product

On September 16th, 2010, wrote:

One of the most exciting milestones that can be achieved by any business owner or retailer is a product or service launch. It marks the fruit of all the hard work that had been done. A launch, however, can also be one of the most terrifying, stressful, and expensive projects that you, as a business owner, will ever have to take on. So why not do it via social media? Traditionally, product launches feature a mix of advertising and PR efforts, pushed by a huge corporate event, media banquet, or some kind of conference. Yes, these still work. But what if you ran a business that was Internet-based? What if a great deal of Internet usage is critical in your day-to-day operations? What if you want to test the waters of Web 2.0 and use social media as your platform for launching a product or service? Don’t think it’s not possible. While many perceive social media as something that only – Read the full article