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Personal branding and your new Twitter profile

Twitter began offering a new way to showcase your personal brand. They are rolling it out selectively so if you haven’t been able to implement the new format, I’m told it should be available to you very soon.

It seems Facebook has gotten more like Twitter, with timelines and real time updates. Now, with this change, Twitter is getting more like Facebook, making it easier for you to showcase who you are on your Twitter page, especially with the big new header image.

Most Twitter profiles don’t say enough and most have lousy design. While that’s fine if you’re just communicating with friends, if you’re using your Twitter feed for your business, you need to pay attention. With the new profile, now is a good time to focus on yours if you haven’t already done so. Here’s my new @dmscott profile.

Your bio and other details are now at the left rather than the top center.

As I write this, my bio is “Marketing & Sales Strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of 9 books including The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Newsjacking.” As a component of personal branding, this is a critical section. I prefer not to make it a 160-character resume from a laundry list of attributes like this: “father, husband, surfer, economics major, world traveler, marketer, and rock star wannabe.” (I confess, that would be my list.) I see this sort of thing all the time, and in my opinion it is not good for personal branding because you don’t really focus on your particular expertise. Try to be descriptive. And try to be specific.

The profile photo (your head shot) is slightly larger.

While there is no absolute right or wrong about photos in social networks like Twitter, do keep in mind that each of these choices says a great deal about you.

Some people use a cartoon avatar to represent themselves. While that’s okay for some, I do think it communicates that the person doesn’t like their real self for some reason. If you use Bart Simpson or a snowboard rather than your photo, you’re limiting what you want people to think of you.

There are many choices when it comes to a photo to use. You can use a casual shot taken by a friend. This is a great option for many people. But there are many different approaches and each says something important about you. Are you in a recognizable setting, such as at a restaurant? Or someplace formal, like an office? What are you wearing? A hat? Is it a shot of you taken on a vacation with a beer in your hand? Or a head-and-shoulders photo in business attire taken by a professional photographer? Smile, or no smile? How close do you crop?

I chose a simple, recent headshot in which I am wearing casual clothing. If you care about your personal brand, you should use a representative photo of you on social networks.

Best Tweets

Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger in your Twitter feed, so your best content is easy to find. I sort of like this for when I look at someone’s profile who I do not know.

Pinned Tweet

You have an opportunity to “Pin” one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s always there and easy for your followers to see what you’re all about. I chose one I sent last week that says: “Educate and inform instead of interrupt and sell” because it nicely sums up my ideas on marketing and sales strategy.

Header Photo

Perhaps the biggest change, is that the header photo now spans the entire top of your Twitter page. This is some great real estate to showcase some aspect about you.

I love what my wife @YukariWatanabe did with hers – a photo of us kayaking this winter in Antarctica.

I made mine a photo of me speaking last month at BeWizard in Rimini Italy. I like how you can see the audience in the background. But I’m torn between several other photos of me speaking, one that I’ve used for several years until now, which I have included below. I might change. What do you think?

But one thing I won’t be doing is using this space to “advertise” like some people do. I could put the image of my books lined up. It is a cool image. But I would rather showcase me speaking than my book covers.

Have you changed your profile? Let us know your Twitter ID in a comment.


Weight Loss Services Market Research Report

Weight Loss Services Market: Overview

Overweight and obesity refer to excess body fat and it is related with increased weight-for-height. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 1.4 billion adults 20 years or older are overweight and obese. Obesity not only leads to loss of confidence among obese people, but is also a great concern from health standpoint. Overweight eventually leads a person to several diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), type 2 diabetes, strokes and even carry a risk of cancer. Obesity and weight gain has become one of the biggest concerns in the developed countries such as the U.S. owing to increasing adoption of sedentary lifestyle among the youth.

Weight Loss Services Market: Trends

The global weight loss services market is poised to grow in the coming years, thanks to increasing awareness among people about their health and well being. The huge consumer base is a key market driver for the growth of global weight loss services market and will continue to remain due to increasing global population, particularly in the Asia Pacific and Rest of the World.

Other prominent market drivers include consumer’s increased weight and rising disposable income among people in the developing countries. However, large number of tall and false claims misleads general public about the effectiveness of particular services. Such unfounded loss claims and misleading endorsements restrain the market growth for genuine products and services.

Weight Loss Services Market: Segmentation

The global weight loss services market can be segmented into four major segments, namely, weight loss food and diet chains, weight management programs, health clubs, and other approaches for weight reduction such as liposuction and bariatric surgery. The market is highly competitive in the developed world with simultaneous presence of several multinational and local players. The food and diet chain segment have been growing in incessantly even during the recession period and accounted for largest share in the global weight loss services market. NutriSystem, Inc. is one of the major players in this segment and is engaged in provided meal replacement and weight loss supplements.

Weight Loss Services Market: Region-wise Outlook

Geographically, the global weight loss services market can be segmented into four major geographical regions, namely, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World. Historically, North America and Europe have been the largest play areas for the players in this market. The market for weigh loss services is getting a boost in the U.S. due to coverage provision of screening and counseling for obesity under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).According to the Health & Social Care Information Centre, obesity levels in England have illustrated a sharp increase during the period 1993 to 2011.

The obesity and overweight population continues to grow in the OECD countries as well. A report –‘Obesity and Economics of Prevention: Fit or Fat’ from OECD presents the scale of obesity epidemic and recommends that nations make policies to prevent the consequences of obesity on the health and economy of the nation. Therefore, the market for weight loss services is expected to grow continuously in the near future. However, as the economies in Asia Pacific are growing at a rapid pace, the changing lifestyle of people in this region is resulting in more people becoming obese. This presents lucrative opportunity for market players in this highly untapped regional market.

Weight Loss Services Market: Key Players

Some of the players in this market include Northcastle Partners, NutriSystem, Inc., Weight Watchers International, Inc., Jenny Craig, Inc., Medifast, Inc., BistroMD, Inc., and Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs.

Request a brochure of this report to know what opportunities will emerge in the rapidly evolving Weight Loss Services Market during 2016- 2023

Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a market intelligence company, providing global business information reports and services. Our exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trends analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR’s experienced team of analysts, researchers, and consultants, use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather, and analyze information. Our business offerings represent the latest and the most reliable information indispensable for businesses to sustain a competitive edge.

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10 Web Content Writing Tips to Boost Blog Readership

I don’t read my friend’s blog. It’s not that he doesn’t produce interesting, useful, truly valuable content. It’s not that he forgets to share his posts on social media, or even that he doesn’t use engaging titles. He does all of that.

I don’t read my friend’s blog because just looking at a post gives me anxiety. Every page feels daunting, like a challenge to overcome.

As a web content writer, one of the biggest and most frequent mistakes I see is also one of the easiest to remedy: formatting for readability.

Why Formatting is So Important

It’s common knowledge that people read differently on the web. Consider your own browsing habits. You click a headline that sounds enticing, scan the post for the specific information you’re interested in, then look for bite-sized takeaways.

You don’t bother reading long blocks of text to isolate the most relevant details, and you don’t like having to search an entire page to locate a particular element.

The posts you prefer to read are formatted to provide you with the most important information as quickly and easily as possible. Your readers expect the same thing.

It makes no difference how interesting your content is. If it’s not formatted for readability, your audience will not read it.

10 Web Content Writing Tips to Boost Readership

So how can you format your content to optimize readability for the web? Keep the following elements in mind as you upload your next blog post.

1. Keep Paragraphs Short and Sweet

Seriously. This might be the most important tip I have to offer. If you take only one thing away from this post take this: paragraphs on the web should be no more than four lines.

2. Size Up Your Font

Tiny fonts not only look old-school, they also immediately make your piece less readable. We spend enough time squinting at our computer screens. Don’t make your users struggle to read your content. Use at least a 14pt text; and don’t be afraid to go even bigger.

3. Use Descriptive Subheads

What is this paragraph about? I’ll be more likely to read it if I know right off the bat. Wherever you can, include descriptive subheads that act as titles for each section. This lets you coax readers through the post from beginning to end.

4. Plan for Mobile

If you think a paragraph looks dense on your laptop monitor, just imagine how it will look compressed for a mobile device. If you have a responsive website, test how it’ll display in a preview by dragging the right side of your browser toward the left to mimic the stacking effect of responsive design.

5. Use Bulleted or Numbered Lists

Don’t be afraid to go ham with bulleted or numbered lists: nothing makes content more easily digestible. Use these for the most important facts or takeaways, just be sure to frame them with descriptive content to give context to “skimmers.”

6. Break Up Your Content with Images

Like descriptive subheads, images are a great way to break up a post into distinct sections. They also make your content appear less daunting at first glance because there are fewer solid blocks of text.

7. Take Advantage of White Space

Give your content room to breathe. Include space above your sub headers and below each paragraph. Consider the spacious feel of Medium’s platform to really appreciate the value of white space.

8. Start With the Most Important Information

Putting your most important information first is essential. This is an old journalist’s trick that’s incredibly relevant on the web, where attention spans are shorter than ever. Don’t make users dig around to find what’s promised in the headline.

9. Consider Jump Links

Got a ton of content on one page? Consider jump links, which let users click a link to “jump” to another section on the page. This is a great tool for organizing resource pages like our always-up-to-date guide to social media images sizes.

10. Bold or Highlight the Most Important Text

Finally, think back to your school days. Highlighting the main points in bold makes it easy for users to identify key takeaways at a glance.

The truth is, you can’t change the way people read on the web. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your content will be the exception. It won’t.

What you can do is adapt the formatting of your content to your readers’ habits to make it as painless (and perhaps even… fun!) as possible to absorb your message. Because sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

By: Amahl Majack


New Skift Research Report: A Deep Dive Into Operating and Branding Strategies for Hotel Owners – Skift

In the report, we examine implications for hotel owners of the major brands increasingly shifting to asset light; how independents can succeed when catering to experiential-minded consumers with a focus on technology and data; and key items to think about when choosing a brand. We provide our growth expectations for soft brands and non-branded operators, changes in management and franchise contracts, and distribution, and how these changes will impact hotel owners.

When it comes to owning a hotel, many public investors think of the less-than-stellar aspects of hotel ownership: lower profit margins relative to franchise and management organizational structures; more volatility in economic downturns against an essentially fixed cost structure; potentially lower company valuations; challenges with online travel agency (OTA) commissions and other distribution costs; costly investments in renovations, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, labor, insurance, sales and marketing, reservation and property management systems, and other expenses. The list goes on and on.

From inside the industry, however, hotel owners and developers see the opportunity to make a return on a real estate investment, “wow” guests with a unique experience, and provide a place of shelter, a space for people to meet and gather, a community. When a hotel owner appropriately positions a property by making smart, efficient, innovative decisions, the outcome can be a financially rewarding, and also a personally fulfilling, experience.
Preview and Purchase
What we found through our analyses and interviews with owners, operators, managers, franchisors and other industry experts is that there may not be one best way to own a hotel. There is no “one size fits all” operating model, and decisions must be made on a property-by-property basis. Nevertheless, hotel owners can’t be idle, and should continue to be innovative, adaptable, thoughtful. They should also be willing to push back on their managers and franchisors to produce the best results. At the end of the day, the objectives remain the same: Acquire or develop strong real estate, ensure the property is run as effectively and efficiently as possible, choose the right partners, and never lose sight of that hospitality factor. This is a people business after all.

What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • The advantages and disadvantages of different ownership operating models
  • Key considerations when entering into management and franchise agreements
  • How income statements differ among owners, managers, and franchisors
  • An overview of the hotel industry in terms of market shares of branded versus non-branded and managed versus franchised versus owned properties
  • Why the large brands have increasingly shifted to asset light and consolidated
  • The benefits of brand affiliation, including how loyalty programs and lower online travel agency (OTA) commissions can drive incremental revenue
  • How consolidation has negatively impacted hotel owners
  • The potential market opportunity for soft brands and non-branded operators
  • Keys to operating a successful independent property
  • How changes in the distribution landscape, from OTAs to Airbnb and Google, are influencing hotel owner decisions
  • Cost considerations for hotel owners in today’s environment
  • Skift Research’s proprietary ranking of seven major hotel brand chains based on 13 quantitative metrics to inform hotel owners’ decisions about brand affiliation
  • Expectations for distribution costs, growth of independent hotels, how contracts will evolve, and how the major brands are going to respond to industry trends

This is the latest in a series of monthly reports, data sheets, and analyst calls aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision-maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

After you subscribe, you will gain access to our entire vault of reports conducted on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to deep dives on key travel brands. Reports are available online in a responsive design format, or you can also buy each report a la carte at a higher price.

The Skift Daily newsletter puts you ahead of everyone about the future of travel, subscribe.

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Modern Romantic Black & Mauve Valentine’s Day Wedding Ideas

A fresh, modern romantic style designed by Flaire Weddings has quickly swept us off our feet in this Valentine’s Day wedding inspiration! A break from the bold reds and flirty pinks, this team chose a more muted palette of mauve and blush tones, accented with burgundy, black, marble and acrylic details that add a dramatic flair to the layers in the design. 

Bri Cibene Photography captured this soft and romantic style beautifully with her light and airy style, and we love how every detail for the day came together. 

We love that they started this style with a beautiful invitation suite by Heather O’Brien Designs that featured rough edged paper and a style that was such a perfect fit to their overall design. Knowing that the invitation sets the tone and mood for any wedding, we love how beautifully they carried this through from invite to cake!

The bride wore a beautiful blush pink Hayley Paige gown with a full skirt that had so much playful movement, and the groom sported a classic black tux. They started the celebration of the day with fresh cocktails from Catered Cocktails as they made their way to their dining table. And the rose veluto linen from Nuage Designs was the perfect grounding piece for the table- we love the mix of blush and burgundy blooms accented by a table of candles to add a spark of romance. 

So much love for this design… you absolutely must dive into every detail. You won’t want to miss a moment!

A twist of modern romance makes this design truly stand out, and it remains relevant all year long.

Can you see yourself incorporating any of these romantic, Valentine’s Day inspired details into your wedding day design?


Concept, Design, Planning, Florals: Flaire Weddings // Photography: Bri Cibene Photography // Invitation Suite + Menus: Heather O’Brien Designs  // Bridal Gown and Accessories Boutique: The White Magnolia // Gown Designer: Hayley Paige // Groom’s accessories: Kalypso Couture // Bar & Beverage: Catered Cocktails // Makeup: Blush and Mane // Hair: Modern Classic Beauty // Venue: Chandler Oaks Barn // Linens: Nuage Designs // Acrylic Lettering: Chelsea Olson Handlettering // Invitation Calligraphy: Calligraphy By Cami // Flatware + Glassware: Southern Charm Events // Chairs: Mugwump Productions // Cake: Choux Cake Studio // Desserts: Pine and Creme

[Reminder] Live webcast: Social Media Marketing 3.0 – Top Seo Soft

[Reminder] Live webcast: Social Media Marketing 3.0

december8_521594695Social media is now an integral part of marketing — spending on social media is expected to double to 25% of marketing budgets by 2020. Yet, nearly half of digital marketers say they can’t prove the bottom-line impact of social media on their businesses.

Join our panel of experts on Thursday, December 8, 2017, as they show you how to reduce complexity, increase scalability, and improve your social media marketing results. You’ll learn how to:

  • streamline content creation and planning across departments;
  • identify and measure key metrics that will demonstrate social ROI; and
  • improve your brand authenticity by leveraging user-generated content.

Register today for “Social Media Marketing 3.0: Best Practices for Ramping Up Social ROI,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by Lithium.

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[Reminder] Live webcast: Social Media Marketing 3.0

Search Yourself: A Personal Branding Must

Personal branding is all the rage.

I wrote a post offering 11 suggestions for getting started with your personal brand development last month, which was well received. Then I wrote a listicle version for the popular site,, which went ballistic on social media, especially LinkedIn.

Next, (with a big assist from my friend Seth Price of Placester) I created an infographic called “The A to Z Guide to Personal Branding.” It quickly became the most popular piece I’ve ever done. 78K views on SlideShare. It’s been republished by HubSpot, MarketingProfs and Steamfeed, to name just a few.

Google it and see for yourself.

Speaking of Googling it…

This article is about doing a search of yourself. I suppose that could be your name or your company. Since we’re talking about personal branding today, try it with your name first.

I guess I have a good overlap thing going on in that my company has my name in it. The search results won’t be the same for “Barry Feldman” as they will be for “Feldman Creative,” but there will be some overlap.

I want to tell you that was a smart naming strategy is, but it’s mostly smartly lucky. (Or would that be luckily smart?)

See, in 1995, when I launched my company, I wanted to name it BFD Advertising. That is, “Barry Feldman Does Advertising.” Wifie gave the idea an enthusiastic thumb down. Feldman Creative was approved.

Anyway, consider a few of these new media realities:

  • Your brand is what other people say it is—not what you say it is.
  • Like it or not, a Google search result is the easiest, fastest and best way to gauge your public persona.
  • It’s also the best way because it’s what potential employees, partners, customers and even friends are going to do.
  • Google is essentially your home page.
  • A Google search result is essentially your business card (or even resume)

You with me? If so, I believe you’ll understand why I suggest Googling yourself now and then.

I hope to help you understand why—and the process—and the results—and its implications.

Do you like what you find?

When I search myself, it looks like I’m doing some things right online. I’m not saying all is perfect. It’s a work in progress. But results I want people to see dominate the first page.

What about you? Happy with the results?

Let me give you a tour of mine (as of today) and deliver some tips to help your with your search. Refer to the numbers in the screen shot here.

(1) Put your name in there. Search. Simple as that. You could do it on Yahoo! and Bing and you may learn something. Obviously, Google is most important.

(2) Push the unprivate button. See that portrait icon? It’s on by default and it indicates your search results are private, which really means they’re personalized. Yes, Google knows a helluvalot about you and your online behavior.

Click the globe to “hide private results” and get a better take on the search results the other 7-billion people on the planet will see.

(3) The top spot. I found me. Shwew. Regardless of what happens next, I’m at peace with the Google gods. The first listing on the SERP (search engine result page) gets approximately a million times greater CTR (click through rate) than TOR (the other results).

Did you find you?

I’m helping a client develop his personal brand and he has a fairly popular first name. SERPs for his name put another guy at the top spot. Next is another guy by the same name. Then comes a film strip of photos of dudes I don’t know. In third place is my client’s LinkedIn profile.

We have work to do. If you’re not #1 when you search yourself, you do too.

Also, in that first spot, you see my photo. That’s huge, but not because I’m pretty. It’s because research reveals it magnifies your clicks by a mile. You need a Google+ account to make that happen. Then you need to do the rel=author protocol (I know, catchy name.) Like it or not, you need a Google+ account and you need to do the “thing.” Get on it.

(4) Local results, part one. I’m not a plumber.I don’t have a storefront and I don’t deliver. So what appears over on the right where Google’s “Places for Business” results are served isn’t vital.

You see I chose to use a colorful version of my logo. Looks good, right? It’s the most colorful thing on the page, so it attracts attention.

(5) Google+ page. Yup, Google plays favorites with Google properties. You won’t find your Facebook page as a subsection of your main listing.

Again, get a Google+ account and learn how to take advantage of it. IMO, it’s the most powerful social media of them all (and it’s a lot more than a social medium), but in keeping with Google everything, there’s nothing simple about it. Budget some time to get the hang of Google+.

(6) Sitelinks. Sitelinks are beautiful bonuses. Here you see two very important pages on my site:blog and free pointers.This definitely helps the reader find what he or she seeks and helps my company put its best content marketing feet forward.

However, you have little control over this. Use this link if you want to fully understand. What you’ll learn is:

  • Sitelinks are automated.
  • There are a few practices you can apply to help your cause.
  • There’s a process for demoting these links, but not promoting them.

(7)  Local results, part two. There are some benefits to doing the “Places” thing, but the important one is the prominence of the listing. It gets its own column and box. If “directions,” and “reviews” are important to you, you see they’re offered here. “Follow” is a shortcut to Google+. If you want your phone number to be public, there it is.

(8) Hmm. I don’t know enough to tell you exactly what to expect to find at this link. For me, a number of links were served from my website and blog, which is obviously a good thing. The results appeared a bit arbitrary, but I suspect they are (recently) popular pages, which is obviously something Google would know.

In any case, it’s good to click there and find an entire page of links to your content. That said, I doubt the link gets many clicks.

(9) Barry Feldman on Twitter. I’m very active on Twitter. I’m glad Google knows it. No Twitter lesson will be offered here. However, if you want search and social to collide in your favor, get active on social. I love Twitter. Most marketers feel the same.

(10) Feldman Creative | Social Media Today. I’m a hardcore guest blogger. You may know that. Though I have contributed to 20+ websites in an effort to build an audience, Social Media Today has been a mainstay.

I contribute posts, infographics, podcasts and eBooks there. I’ve done webinars with them. My blog is syndicated there and as of last year, I’m also a columnist. Google recognizes my affiliation with Social Media Today and places it prominently on page one. If you aim to enlarge your digital footprint—and do so via guest blogging—put in the effort and you may enjoy this type of search love.

(11) LinkedIn. I’m doing a LinkedIn dance right now. Love ‘em. I’m not a LinkedIn expert, but take LinkedIn extremely seriously. Notice how after the URL, the listing includes information from my LinkedIn profile page including the long list of things I used to create a title, and then, a snippet from the top of my profile.

Take this stuff to heart and return to LinkedIn profile often to do some fine-tuning.At the risk of stating the obvious, you want everything on your LinkedIn profile to be hunky-dory.

(12) Facebook. No serious revelation here. Facebook simply earns its place near the top. I’m more committed to a variety of activities than Facebook and if my page slipped down to make room for one of the many listings on page 2, I’d be quite alright with that. That said, Google aims for relevance and Facebook pages are relevant to more people than any other.

(13) SlideShare. Now we’re talking business. I’m so pro-SlideShare I almost wish it appeared second on my SERP. I’m very active on SlideShare, do SlideShare content for many clients, have written about its benefits, and did a Social Media Examiner post about how to generate leads on the site. It’s a major weapon in my marketing arsenal because of its enormous audience and the content does remarkable in search (as evidenced by the first page listing).

So there you go. Consider what I’ve shared with you here and go search yourself.

If you have questions about what I’ve written here, I’m glad to answer them. And if I can help you develop your personal brand, make your way to my contact form and shoot me a note.


Search Yourself: A Personal Branding Must

20+ magical unicorn birthday party ideas

Sparkly, magical, colorful…no wonder kids love unicorns! These cool unicorn birthday party ideas will enchant partygoers of all ages.

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