Kate Middleton’s Royal Baby: Why the Second Picture Could Be Worth a Fortune

kate and hubby

categoryheader_royals2The world is super-excited for the first real glimpse of Kate Middleton’s baby bump, let alone the actual baby that’s scheduled to show up in July.
But when her and Prince William’s child arrives, can you imagine the type of beyond-Brangelina bidding war that will ensue for the first picture of the royal offspring?
Well, that is, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planned to handle such matters like mere civilians. Which they almost certainly will not. Sniff.
Kate Middleton, not showing quite yet, visits maternity store
“Everyone is going to be racing to get that first picture of William and Kate’s baby. It could be worth millions to outlets around the world,” a longtime royals watcher tells E! News. “It’s the most anticipated baby in years, everyone wants to see that first picture. If any photographer is able to get the first pic, it would be the biggest scoop in the world.”
But, what does the royal family want with such an unseemly to-do?
“The palace will do everything they can to reduce the bounty on that baby’s head,” the expert says. “It is fully expected that William and Kate will walk out of the hospital with the baby in their arms so that the world’s media will all get the same picture at the same time.”

That was good enough for Princess Diana, who introduced William to the world in that fashion more than 30 years ago.
So, if the first official photograph of the little prince or princess is going to go to everybody for the price of a memory stick, the spoils then go to the shutterbug who gets the first unofficial picture.
“There are some overseas outlets that will pay a fortune for it,” says our source, “although in the U.K., it’s unlikely anyone will buy it, as they won’t want to upset the palace.”
Kate Middleton portrait artist fires back at critics
“Unfortunately, the child will always have a price on his or her head,” the expert adds. “Every exclusive set of pictures, as that child grows up, could fetch tens of thousands.”
Same goes for the first picture of the expectant mum’s baby bump—which, we admit, we are eagerly awaiting.
“Everyone wants to see the first glimpse of the bump,” acknowledges the royals watcher. “But Kate’s royal protection officers are doing everything they can to give Kate as much privacy as possible. The likely scenario is that, as soon as Kate starts showing, the palace will organize a public event so Kate can be photographed by everyone. That way they will be able to kill the market and stop photographers following Kate as much.”
How…civilized!

[E online]

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Small Businesses Should Embrace Fear

fearThere’s a lot of fear within entrepreneurship—and it’s no wonder. Ultimately, you’re responsible for everything that happens within your company, from sales and marketing to legal and tech support. Not to mention the big fear of going it alone into unchartered waters where you’re doing things out of your comfort zone.

So how do you deal with fear? One of my responsibilities when I was an editor for another business publication was to oversee the internship program. For many of the interns, if not most, it was their first post outside of the school paper; and I wanted to make sure they got real-world experience. One of the responsibilities I pushed a lot was having them get more information about businesses we may have been interested in. This required them to pick up the phone and make call after call to small and large business CEOs who could have sales in the tens of millions or more.

For someone who was green or not particularly gregarious, talking with corporate big wigs could be an intimidating assignment. Over the months of their internship, however, most soon figured out that on the other end of the phone were regular people just like them. They had to repeatedly tackle that fear head on, day after day, until they forgot what they feared in the first place.

I thought about this when I came across the blog of Jia Jiang, http://www.entresting.com. According to his blog, Jiang has a start-up technology company, Hooplus, and was rejected by an investor last November. He wrote that his fear of rejection was holding him back so he wanted to tackle fear head on. To do this he began Rejection Therapy. For 100 days Jiang is recording himself and posting video as he approaches strangers to make odd requests that have a high chance of rejection. For example, he has asked a Toys R Us employee to race him on a kids bike through the store, he asked a cop if he could sit in the driver’s seat, and he has requested a free room at a hotel.

Jiang is currently less than halfway through his 100 day quest, but he has already acknowledged that the sting of rejection has subsided. Ultimately, it is his goal to become desensitized to the fear of rejection. Part of what’s helping Jiang is the expectation or at least the strong likelihood of rejection and failure.

Not that anyone should strive for rejection and failure, but it’s important to get your mind right that being rejected isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. I remember when I was in journalism school that a professor once told the class that getting a rejection letter from an editor was a great sign—it meant you were close to acceptance and were interesting enough to have their attention. I remember how having that perspective changed my reaction when I received my first rejection letter from a major publisher after I had graduated.

Entrepreneurs run into uneasy challenges all the time, but it’s that process that breeds greatness. If launching a business were a simple task, everyone would be a success. The beauty of facing your fears is how it forces you to grow. Put best by American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”

[Forbes.com]

4 Tips To Define Yourself In The Market

standing out

cartier-crash-3

valentine-gift-giorgio-armani.jpgValentine’s Day is just around the corner and the dating and break-up e-mails are trickling into my inbox. The unfortunate thing about these messages is that I delete them before I ever read the second sentence. Why? Because my website, Hitched, is not a dating website nor does it have anything to do with single life. Hitched focuses exclusively on married life. With all the dating and wedding planning resources out there, we have created our own niche focusing on the “happily ever after” part.

Defining a market can be tough, but year after year companies come along and break through the noise. The best part about these businesses is that they don’t have to be first, they just need to maintain a clear vision and resonate with their consumer. For example, Apple didn’t create the digital music player or the tablet computer, however both the iPod and the iPad really defined those markets.

I mentioned the many e-mails coming into my inbox that I’m not interested in, but to be honest, the ratio of appropriate and on-target pitches I get has dramatically shifted since we launched Hitched over six years ago. Here are a few steps on how we’ve defined our market with the hope the information helps your business as you break new ground.

1. Be explicit about what you do. I can’t tell you how many times someone has mentioned a company to me and I’ve gone to their website and had to dig around and read multiple paragraphs on their About page before I had a clue what they did. Don’t make it that difficult. We put our tagline right at the top of our website that explicitly states what we do, “Hitched – entertains, educates & inspires marriages.”

2. Correct people when they get it wrong. We’ve had the good fortune to get mentioned by industry experts, media outlets, bloggers and others. Every once in a while someone will get it wrong and say that we’re a singles website. In the politest way possible I provide them with the accurate information and kindly request they make the correction. By ignoring this wrong information, the internet has a way of perpetuating false data—it’s best to stamp it out as quickly as possible to minimize the misconception.

3. Inform press relations. Since we produce editorial content many PR firms contact us pitching various products, services and personalities. Every once in a while (even when they have us pegged wrong and before I hit the delete button) I might see a product we would want to mention or feature. In these instances I’ll contact the PR rep and inform them that we’re interested, but that the pitch was off. Most reps have expressed appreciation because it has allowed them to refocus their efforts to provide more appropriate clients and queries in the future.

4. Have a conversation with your customers. When you’re doing something new, sometimes you just need to have a conversation and reassure people what it is you’re doing. This is where social networks shine. On many occasions I’ve had people confirm with me on Twitter what they thought they knew and understood about our website. They were right, but since it was different from other relationship resources they had come across they just needed a little reassurance. Being available and having that direct contact has helped our message stick.

[Forbes.com]

This One Leadership Quality Will Make or Break You

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One of the most often overlooked aspects of leadership is the need for pursuit. Great leaders are never satisfied with traditional practice, static thinking, conventional wisdom, or common performance. In fact, the best leaders are simply uncomfortable with anything that embraces the status quo. Leadership is pursuit – pursuit of excellence, of elegance, of truth, of what’s next, of what if, of change, of value, of results, of relationships, of service, of knowledge, and of something bigger than yourself. In the text that follows I’ll examine the value of being a pursuer…

Here’s the thing – pursuit leads to attainment. What you pursue will determine the paths you travel, the people you associate with, the character you develop, and ultimately, what you do or don’t achieve. Having a mindset focused on pursuit is so critical to leadership that lacking this one quality can sentence you to mediocrity or even obsolescence. The manner, method, and motivation behind any pursuit is what sets truly great leaders apart from the masses. If you want to become a great leader, become a great pursuer.

A failure to embrace pursuit is to cede opportunity to others. A leader’s failure to pursue clarity leaves them amidst the fog. Their failure to pursue creativity relegates them to the routine and mundane. Their failure to pursue talent sentences them to a world of isolation. Their failure to pursue change approves apathy. Their failure to pursue wisdom and discernment subjects them to distraction and folly. Their failure to pursue character leaves a question mark on their integrity. Let me put this as simply as I can – you cannot attain what you do not pursue.

One of the most often overlooked aspects of leadership is the need for pursuit. Great leaders are never satisfied with traditional practice, static thinking, conventional wisdom, or common performance. In fact, the best leaders are simply uncomfortable with anything that embraces the status quo. Leadership is pursuit – pursuit of excellence, of elegance, of truth, of what’s next, of what if, of change, of value, of results, of relationships, of service, of knowledge, and of something bigger than yourself. In the text that follows I’ll examine the value of being a pursuer…

Here’s the thing – pursuit leads to attainment. What you pursue will determine the paths you travel, the people you associate with, the character you develop, and ultimately, what you do or don’t achieve. Having a mindset focused on pursuit is so critical to leadership that lacking this one quality can sentence you to mediocrity or even obsolescence. The manner, method, and motivation behind any pursuit is what sets truly great leaders apart from the masses. If you want to become a great leader, become a great pursuer.

A failure to embrace pursuit is to cede opportunity to others. A leader’s failure to pursue clarity leaves them amidst the fog. Their failure to pursue creativity relegates them to the routine and mundane. Their failure to pursue talent sentences them to a world of isolation. Their failure to pursue change approves apathy. Their failure to pursue wisdom and discernment subjects them to distraction and folly. Their failure to pursue character leaves a question mark on their integrity. Let me put this as simply as I can – you cannot attain what you do not pursue.

[Forbes.com/Mike Myatt,]

30 Motivational Quotes For Job Seekers

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A little inspiration and motivation can go a long way in the daunting job search process.

“It would be great if we all had a career coach or mentor who could follow us around every step of the way when we look for a job,” says Andy Teach, author of From Graduation to Corporation, and host of the YouTube channel FromGradToCorp. “They could motivate us and keep our spirits up when we get rejected for a job; and congratulate us when we snag that interview or, even better, land that dream job. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen so we all need to look for motivation from other sources. There are many great quotes from several famous and not-so-famous people that can inspire us to be the best that we can be in whatever we do. These quotes can certainly pertain to us as we search for a job. It’s best to pick a select few, write them down, and keep them close to you so that you have a constant reminder of what you need to do.”

Here are 30 motivational quotes for job seekers:

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” –Japanese proverb

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” –Thomas Jefferson

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” –George Santayana

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” –Andrew Carnegie

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” –Benjamin Franklin

“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” –Katherine Whitehorn

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky

“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“I’m playing; I’m here. I’m going to fight until they tell me they don’t want me anymore.” –Steve Nash

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” –H. Stanley Judd

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” –Author Unknown

“Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.” –Audrey Hepburn

“Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.” –Brian Tracy

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” –Alexander Graham Bell

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius

“Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.” –Marva Collins

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” –Robert F. Kennedy

“Never tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” –Author Unknown

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney

“Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” –Brian Tracy

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” –Thomas Jefferson

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.” –Calvin Coolidge

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” –Maya Angelou

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” –Theodore Roosevelt

[Forbes.com]

The 1-Click Shopping – BuyCommonthings.Com

1 click1-Click, also called one-click or one-click buying, is the technique of allowing customers to make online purchases with a single click, with the payment information needed to complete the purchase already entered by the user previously. More particularly, it allows an online shopper using an internet marketplace to purchase an item without having to use shopping cart software. Instead of manually inputting billing and shipping information for a purchase, a user can use one-click buying to use a predefined address and credit card number to purchase one or more items.
This new style of shopping online has been made popular by the best online grocery company in Nigeria BuyCommonThings.com and they are now putting words into action by commencing a schedule delivery of purchased goods to their esteemed clients who have signed up through their channel and also have indicated their willingness to participate and also shop regularly.
The beauty of it all about this shopping style and technique Is that not only is it quite convenient, affordable and less stressful, it literally saves you a whopping 50% off your shopping time, affording you the best of your time.
To sign up for this program kindly follow the link http://bit.ly/VkpMML

Will Apple’s New, Higher Power 128GB iPad Relieve Some Investor Pressure?

Apple Stock Price Hits Record High Ahead Of Earnings Report

apple share forecastApple says it will begin production on a new iPad that doubles the capacity of older fourth-generation models.

The new 128 gigabyte version, complete with the retina display, will fetch $799 for the wifi-only version and $929 for the model that connects to cellular wireless. They become available Feb. 5, in black or white.

Already, Apple has sold more than 120 million of its popular tablets. Yet, the timing of today’s announcement is particularly intriguing. Less than a week ago, Apple revealed lackluster holiday iPhone sales, reinforcing anxiety among investors that the company is fading from a growth company to a stodgy, if immensely profitable, corporation and that Google‘s Android phones can fully replace the iPhone as the go-to smartphone.

The discontent has centered in part on Apple’s lack of new, attention-grabbing product releases. It’s mostly been a slow parade of product enhancements—just like what happened this morning. Fear is high that Apple is aging and that its fate will soon parallel the elder giants in the industry, like Microsoft and IBM.

Apple shares went up 2.3% in pre-market trading. So for now, investor seems pleased, after wiping away tens of billions in market value from Apple and reducing it (momentarily) to only the second most valuable company in the world.

Manchester United Becomes First Team Valued At $3 Billion

296px-Manchester_United_FC_crest.svg_Manchester United has become the first sports team in the world with a $3 billion valuation.

Shares of the English soccer team, which were offered to the public last August at $14, did poorly at first but have soared the past few days. Last seen at just under $17, Manchester United’s stock has outperformed the S&P 500 since its IPO and made the controlling Glazer family and legendary investor George Soros, who bought a big stake in the team shortly after it went public, wealthier.

The recent increase in its stock price has pushed up Manchester Untied’s enterprise value (equity plus debt) to $3.3 billion, the highest value of any team in the world. The second most valuable sports team in the world are the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.1 billion.

Despite a drop in first quarter earnings because of a reduction in television revenue, the appetite for shares of the 19-time English champion has increased due to brighter earnings prospects from new sponsorship deals with Japan‘s Kansai, and China Construction Bank, and the potential of much more lucrative English Premiership (Manchester United currently is in first place) and Champions League payouts this year.

Publicly traded sports teams have traditionally been bad investments. But thus far the Red Devils are bucking history.

Analyst: Why BlackBerry 10 Won’t Save RIM

Smartphone-resell-values-300x90

bb 10Research in Motion will make a giant leap towards relevance on Wednesday when it unveils a new BlackBerry 10 smartphone and operating system. RIM showed Forbes a demo of the new-look interface earlier this month, and the software looked sleek, efficient and perfect for professionals. But can its much-hyped launch reverse a long-term decline that has beset Research in Motion in the last two years: a share price down by 73%, along with slimming market share and profits?

There are an estimated 80 million BlackBerry users out there, and a good chunk will almost certainly upgrade to the new device over the next two quarters to give RIM a financial boost after months of holding out for BB10. But that may be as good as it gets according to analysts at Ovum, who contend that RIM will continue to suffer from two big problems:

1) The “BYOD” phenomenon, in which companies have given up buying smartphones (read: BlackBerrys) for their own staff, leaving employees to choose their own devices.

2) A struggle to appeal to mainstream consumers.

As IT departments have let employees buy their own smartphones, more of them are choosing iPhones and Android devices over BlackBerrys. BlackBerry phones currently has just 1.1% of the U.S. smartphone market, according to the latest statistics from Kantar Worldpanel, while the iPhone has grown to 51% and Android, 44%.

To appeal to a broader range of consumers, RIM perhaps should have distanced itself from the category of “company phone,” yet it shows no signs of doing that with BlackBerry 10, Ovum contends. RIM has touted multitasking, productivity, email contact and calendar applications in its latest teasers for the device, the “best BlackBerry for BlackBerry users,” rather than better gaming, content consumption or social networking experience to appeal to a wider audience, says Ovum’s lead telecom analyst Jan Dawson.

“We can’t fault RIM for wanting to hold onto its 80 million existing subscribers,” he says, estimating the Waterloo, Ontario-based company has always sold about half of its devices to new customers, and half to existing BlackBerry user who are upgrading to a newer model. Yet for the last two years, the portion of upgrading BlackBerry users has significantly outweighed the converts — meaning RIM essentially has little choice but to focus on maintaining its existing user base.

To its credit, that user base is strong. The trade-in experts at NextWorth recently pulled together data that showed re-sell values for BlackBerry handsets were not far behind HTC and neck-and-neck with Samsung models, indicating the “dedicated nature of BlackBerrry enthusiasts.” (See chart.)

BlackBerry 10 will give RIM a healthy financial boost in the short term, says Dawson, and the company will plod along for a few years yet with its loyal subscriber base, zero debt and some profits.

“But its glory days are past,” he adds “and it is only a matter of time before it reaches a natural end.”

Solar Crowdfunding Startup Lets Ordinary Investors Own A Piece Of The Sun

Don’t hold your breath, but the U.S. Securities &
Exchange Commission could finalize regulations
this year to implement the JOBS Act, the 2012 law
that lets startups raise funds directly from mom-
and-pop investors.
Mosaic isn’t waiting. The two-year-old Oakland,
Calif. firm already won approval in California and
New York to allow individuals to invest directly via
its website. The twist is that the investments are
loans, not equity, and the money goes (for now)
only to new solar power developments. In the past
ordinary investors have been shut out of the solar
boom, as most projects obtain equity or debt
financing from banks and corporations, which lately
are not so eager to lend for solar projects.
“Anything that introduces new sources of cost-
effective capital is valuable,” says Reyad Fezzani, a
former BP executive who is now chairman and
managing partner of Energy Finance Company in
Manhattan Beach, Calif. In late December he raised
$350,000 from accredited investors through
Mosaic’s website for a 470-kilowatt photovoltaic
array that his company installed on a New Jersey
convention center. He says he’s saving 200 to 300
basis points over banks with Mosaic.
Even not particularly green-minded investors might
be tempted by Mosaic’s returns of 4.5% to 6.5%,
well above CD rates. Residential solar projects tend
to have default rates as low as 0.2%.
“One of the fastest ways to build the clean energy
economy is to allow more people to benefit from
it,” says Billy Parish, Mosaic’s 31-year-old
cofounder and president.
Similar to peer-to-peer financing site Lending Club,
Mosaic puts the burden on investors to assess the
risks in project prospectuses. If they like a deal,
they can get in for as little as $25. No money is
transferred if a deal isn’t fully financed. The
developer pays back the loan with interest from
income generated by the sale of electricity to its
customers. Mosaic takes 100 basis points of the
interest rate (along with an origination fee and
annual platform fees) and passes the rest to
investors.
Mosaic is far too small to scare any investment
banks, but it can get deals done quickly. Within the
first 24 hours of going live in January, Mosaic’s new
website raised more than $300,000, including
$227,875 for three loans for solar arrays on three
affordable-housing complexes that offered returns
of 4.5%. Mosaic has now raised a total of $1.1
million for all projects. Parish says profitability is
“within sight.”
Anthony Kim, a solar analyst with research firm
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, questions whether
Mosaic can attract a big enough pipeline of
investors to fund large solar projects. “For now, I
think it’s a relatively niche product,” he says.
The startup hopes to build on its current 7,000
potential investors via social media referrals and by
targeting foundations, financial advisors and
corporations.
Mosaic board member Marco Krapels, a renewable
energy financier with the Dutch bank Rabobank,
has his eye on the $17 trillion that sits in U.S.
retirement accounts. “If you could put a Mosaic
note in an IRA, I think the opportunity is just
massive,” he says.
Fezzani says he’s investing his own money in
Mosaic’s offerings. “I know many people who say
they want to invest in solar, but there’s just been
no option before.”
Click for full photo gallery: 30 Under 30: Energy
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FORBES | 1/25/2013 @ 7:55AM | 4,647 views
Solar Crowdfunding Startup
Lets Ordinary Investors Own A
Piece Of The Sun
This story appears in the 11 February 2013 issue of
Forbes.
Todd Woody, Forbes Staff

9 Top Twitter Tips You Can Start Using Today

Tweetstats_Wordle-300x17213Is Twitter going mainstream? Whether you are a Twitter newbie or an old pro, Twitter is still a mystery to a great many business professionals.

I think Twitter is an amazing tool. I have been on Twitter for almost 4 years. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent his 1st tweet over 6 years ago!

In the course of those nearly 4 years, I have interacted with some of the smartest business and marketing people on the planet. I have learned more than I ever thought possible and I have forged relationships all over the world.

So I thought it was a good time to share some of my top Twitter Tips (and not to brag with stats that mean nothing to anyone) … I hope you find these helpful and please add your own twitter tips in the comments below

Twitter Tip 1: Listen Before You Tweet
I am no crazy expert like Scott Stratten (@Unmarketing) who wrote one of the most shared blog posts ever about his 50,000 tweets, but in looking at my Tweetstats, I noticed something interesting: I waited 3 months before sending a single tweet. Then in October of 2009, I sent 55.

I watched. And I listened. I followed early adopters like Chip Rodgers (@ChipRodgers) and Mark Yolton (@MarkYolton) from my own company, but also Scott and Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer) and many, many others. Then I jumped in with both tweet (sorry couldn’t resist).

Twitter Tip 2: Share Great Content
Twitter is an amazing mechanism for distributing news, tips, blogs and other types of information. I am somewhat voracious about my desire to scan, filter and share great content. And to me, this is the greatest way to gain followers and become known as a valuable content curation source for your audience.

Twitter Tip 3: Engage With People
Twitter is an amazing information channel, but it’s real power comes from the ability to interact with people in real-time, from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Looking for someone to follow who really understands engagement? Follow Aaron Lee (@AskAaronLee) from Malaysia. Aaron has over 342,000 followers but somehow finds a way to connect with lots of people all the time.

Twitter Tip 4: Find Your Voice
If you are interested in business, cats and knitting, then you should find a way to build that in to your tweeting habits. It’s important to define your goals for being on twitter and then to find your voice in support of that.

By sharing content about topics you are interested in, you will attract an audience with similar interests. Then you can slowly become more influential within that community.

Twitter Tip 5: Have Good Manners
I always say “thank you” in social media. I also try to follow back everyone of my followers who looks like a real person, has a real bio filled out, a profile picture and interacts with others.

So make sure you fill out your profile. Load up your picture. Explain where you work, what you are interested in and anything else important. Include a link to your blog or Linkedin profile.

If you read my top tweeted words over the course of my 4 years on twitter from the image above and string them together, they would read:

RT Thx Social Media Marketing Great RTs B2B Content Business Blog

Twitter Tip 6: Mix It Up
Sometimes I follow all the people who RT me. Other times, I thank them. Other times I RT one of their tweets. And other times, I will go and comment on one of their great blog posts. I try to find different ways to engage with people and test new approaches.

Also, make sure you follow some version of the 4-1-1 or 9-1-1 rule (depending on your goals), where you share 4 or 9 articles from other people, and engage in 1 conversation, for each (1) self-promotional tweet you send.

I try to be more like 9-9-1 (9 articles from others, 9 @ replies for each 1 link to one of my blog articles) but you should find what works for you.

Twitter Tip 7: Use Twitter Tools
I rely heavily on Twitter Lists to filter accounts into important groups like “people I work with,” “great bloggers and media accounts” and other important segments. I use Tweetdeck and the columns to scan my lists and schedule posts. I use Triberr to curate great blog posts to share from others. I use Buffer when there is just too much great stuff out there and I want to spread my sharing out over a few days.

The trick with using tools is not to over-rely on them. I am not a fan of total twitter automation and will always use Twitter to engage with people on a personal level.

Twitter Tip 8: Use Hashtags Sparingly
Hashtags are a great way to have your content exposed to people outside your circle, but try not to over-use them because it feels a little SPAM-ish to me. You should know what hashtags to use and when to use them for the greatest effect.

Twitter Tip 9: Attend As Many Tweetchats As Your Time Permits
When I first started, I participated in a lot of Tweetchats. I found them to be a great way to find people with similar interests and to engage on topics I was interested in. I don’t always have the time, but tweetchats are a great tool.

Kobe And LeBron Top List Of The NBA’s Highest-Paid Players

NBA owners intended last season’s lockout to
reduce player salaries and increase parity between
small- and large-market teams. While overall
player costs are down, the stars are still raking it in.
The NBA’s 10 highest-paid players will collectively
earn $340 million this year alone through salary
and endorsements, with big-market players
dominant: Seven of the top 10 suit up in New York,
Los Angeles or Chicago, while two others hail from
sunny, no-income-tax Miami.

The NBA’s highest-paid player is Kobe Bryant, who
will make $59.8 million in salary and endorsements
this year. Bryant’s Lakers salary of $27.8 million is
$7 million higher than any other player’s. The NBA’s
collective bargaining agreement limits individual
player salaries to 35% of the team salary cap,
which is $58 million this year. But players can also
sign deals that are 105% of their previous salary
even if it exceeds the cap. Bryant is an exceptional
case because he is in his 17th season with the
same team at 34 years old and is still playing at an
exceptionally high level. The result: Bryant has
signed a series of maximum level contracts with
the Lakers.
Bryant, who was voted this month to start in his
NBA-record 15th All-Star game, is a popular
corporate endorser, earning an estimated $32
million annually off the court from partners Nike,
Coca-Cola (he plugs Sprite), Turkish Air, Mercedes-
Benz and memorabilia firm Panini. Nike provides
the bulk of his sponsorship income. Bryant is a
hugely popular figure in China, where Nike is
looking to make further inroads. Nike sells twice as
many of Bryant’s sneakers in China as in the U.S.,
according to sources.

LeBron James of the Miami Heat ranks second with
annual earnings of $57.6 million. James accepted a
smaller contract ($17.6 million this season) to sign
with the Heat than what the Cleveland Cavaliers
offered when he left the Cavs in the infamous 2010
“Decision.” Florida offered a lower state tax rate
and the Heat provided a clearer path to an NBA
title.
James had a historic 2012 when he led the Heat to
the NBA title and the U.S. men’s Olympic team to
the gold medal in London. Along the way, he was
awarded the MVP award for the regular season and
the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan is the only other
player to nab the four honors above in the same
year.
James’ memorable 2012 has helped dissipate much
of the fallout from his departure from the Cavs. The
NBA announced in November that James had the
league’s best-selling jersey. He is the NBA’s top
pitchman, earning $40 million annually off the
court. His sponsors include global titans Nike, Coca-
Cola, Samsung and McDonald’s. Audemars Piguet,
Dunkin’ Donuts, State Farm and Upper Deck are
also part of James’ endorsement portfolio.
Derrick Rose clocks in third with earnings of $32.4
million. Rose’s income skyrocketed this season in
the first year of his five-year, $95 million contract
extension with the Chicago Bulls. The point guard
also kicked off his new 13-year, $185 million
Adidas deal.
Adidas is fighting an uphill battle in the U.S. in
basketball. Nike, including its Jordan Brand
subsidiary, is the dominant basketball shoe
company in the States with a 92% market share,
according to SportsOneScan, which tracks sports
shoe and apparel sales. Adidas is at 5.5% in the
U.S.
“Today’s athletes do not provide the ROI in terms of
footwear sales,” says SportsOneScan analyst Matt
Powell. “However, athletes like Lebron and Rose
have become more than just shoe endorsers, and
act as the face of the brand, which amortizes some
of the huge contracts.”
The popularity of U.S. hoops is only part of the
story. The NBA is soaring in China, helping players
land lucrative deals with shoe, beverage and car
companies, as the brands fight to expand their
reach in Asia. There are 300 million basketball
players in China, according to the Chinese
Basketball Association. Chinese companies are also
tapping NBA stars for endorsement deals. Chinese
athletic apparel firm Li-Ning signed Dwyane Wade
in September to a long-term deal, worth an
estimated $10 million annually. Wade ranks fourth
among the highest-paid players with earnings of
$30.2 million.
Two of Bryant’s teammates also made the cut.
Dwight Howard is No. 8 with earnings of $26.5
million. Howard was once one of the NBA’s most
marketable players, but his prolonged messy exit
from the Orlando Magic damaged his endorsement
potential. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s both choose
not to renew sponsorship deals with Howard in
recent years. Lakers’ forward Pau Gasol ranks 10th
thanks to $21.5 million in income this season,
largely driven by his $19 million playing salary.

German Drugstore Entrepreneur Dirk Rossmann Joins Billionaire Ranks

Today we take our local drugstores for granted.
They are everywhere in large cities in the U.S. and
in Europe. But that wasn’t the case in Germany in
the early 1970s. Dirk Rossmann, 66, founded the
first self-service drugstore in the country in 1972,
and has since turned Dirk Rossmann GmbH into a
company with 2,775 stores in six European
countries and sales of $7.9 billion in 2012.
Rossmann’s 60% stake in the private drugstore
chain makes him worth well over the $1 billion,
according to research by FORBES. Rossmann GmbH
is the second largest pharmacy chain in Germany,
behind a company called dm. It also has stores in
Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Albania and
Turkey. Sales in the non-German stores grew 12%
in 2011 to $1.76 billion (1.32 billion Euros).
Revenues for the group as a whole rose 16% in
2012.
In the 1980s Rossmann sold a 40% stake in the
company to Hanover Finanz, which was then sold in
2004 to the A.S. Watson unit of Hong Kong
billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa
conglomerate. The transaction price was not
disclosed.
Rossmann’s two sons, Daniel and Raoul, also work
for the family company, which is still run by Dirk
Rossmann.
Dirk Rossmann also owns 25% of listed German
private equity firm Deutsche Beteiligungs AG
(commonly called DBAG), a stake worth about $95
million. Together, his stakes in the drugstore chain
and the private equity firm are worth an estimated
$1.9 billion. Spokespeople for Rossmann GmbH
have not replied to a request for comment from
FORBES about Mr. Rossmann’s net worth.
Rossmann started a charitable foundation in 1991
focused on family planning, Deutsche Stiftung
Weltbevölkerung. He received the Federal Merit
Cross in 1998 for his commitment to the
foundation

Samsung Moves Past Apple To Be World’s No. 1 Chip Customer

Gartner-chip-marketSamsung in 2012 surpassed Apple to become the world’s leading buyer of semiconductor products, according to new data from Gartner.

The two companies combined consumed $45.3 billion of semiconductors in 2012, Gartner says, up $7.9 billion from a year ago, and accounting for 15.2% of the total market. Samsung was 8% of the chip market last year, while Apple was 7.2% of the market. They were followed by Hewlett-Packard (4.7% of the market), Dell (2.9%) and Sony (2.7%). Rounding out the top 10 were Lenovo, Toshiba, LG, Cisco and Nokia.

The 10 largest customers combined accounted for 36% of the worldwide semiconductor market.

“Although Samsung and Apple continue to go from strength to strength, other leading electronic equipment makers fared less well, and six of the top 10 reduced their demand in 2012,” Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “In addition to a weak macroeconomic situation, a dramatic change in consumer demand contributed to a reduction in semiconductor demand in 2012. The PC market still represented the largest sector for chip demand, but desktop and mobile PCs did not sell well, as consumers’ interest shifted to new mobile computing devices like smartphones and media tablets. This shift caused a substantial decrease in semiconductor demand in 2012, as the semiconductor content of a smartphone or a media tablet is far less than that of a PC.”

Virgin Atlantic soars high with world’s first in-flight art gallery

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virgin-atlantic-41Passengers flying on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class between London and New York will be treated to the first ever-airborne commercial art gallery. The service, which has been dubbed ‘The Gallery in the Air’, will allow passengers to purchase the work of renowned street artist Ben Eine. Ben Eine has always been well know in London, especially for his work on Middlesex street, which thanks to him has been renamed Alphabet street. However Eine rose to global prominence when Prime Minister David Cameron gifted one of his paintings to President Barack Obama. The display will operate like a traditional exhibition with upper class passengers having the chance to take a virtual tour of the gallery and see behind the scenes footage of how each piece was constructed. The buying process is the same as any in flight product and will allow customers to but the pieces duty free.

The collection draws inspiration from London and New York as well as the artist’s partnership with Virgin Atlantic. The collaboration is to be the first of many such partnerships and will last from February 1st to the 28th. Most street artists are skeptical of partnering with a brand, but Eine says that the presence of Richard Branson helped persuade him to partner with Virgin Atlantic. The gallery will feature works ranging from $4,000 to $24,000.

2014 Bentley Mulsanne enhanced with comfort and entertainment to debut at Salon d’Auto, Geneva 2013

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bentley-mulsanne-14The Mulsanne is one of the most luxurious cars ever produced by Bentley and it is all set to become even more comfortable and luxurious this year. Since it was first introduced to the world in 2010 it has only gotten better, with advancements in both comfort and technology. This flagship Bentley car will be unveiled with its new advancements at Salon d’Auto in Geneva this March. The most important change to be made to 2014 Bentley Mulsanne is in the area of comfort and convenience, which includes comfort headrests with manually adjustable wings for lateral support. Also available are new footrests which have been specifically designed to blend in to the to each individual vehicle. To provide an additional level of comfort there will also be duck down filled loose cushions that will be finished with the traditional Bentley Wing emblem.

Privacy is of course central to most Bentley owners lives, regardless of whether you’re a celebrity or businessperson. So Bentley has provided with new privacy curtains that can be added as Crewe – fitted option. They are available on the rear doors and and rear windscreen in Black or Ivory; these opulent curtains can be drawn with one touch as they have been integrated into the window lift switches.

Technology is always changing and the Bentley Mulsanne has changed to accommodate the latest in technology, the rear cabin offers the highest level of technology today. There are rear picnic table designed to accommodate an iPad and a wireless keyboard, they also double as a smooth hide trimmed writing surface. You can even stay connected via the Wi-Fi router fitted into the rear cabin. Twin 8-inch LCD head rest screens and a DVD player, all supported by Naim for Bentley’s premium audio system further enhances the entertainment

Connectivity is at it’s best in the 2014 Bentley Mulsanne with the option of a high speed Wi-Fi router with a UMTS phone module and SIM card reader. This allows for a rolling Hot spot that lets you simultaneously connect 8 devices. A dedicated antenna housed on the boot lid outside the vehicle’s steel frame allows for a much stronger signal strength than a handheld device.

For those looking for purely Aesthetic changes, Bentley has added three new colors to the Mulsanne Palette, Dark Cashmere, Portofino and Damson. In addition to these there are also three new additions for the interior hide colors, Damson, Saffron and Brunel. They are also offering a set of bespoke fitted luggage for the Mulsanne. Italian luggage specialists Schedoni has exclusively designed the bags to fit perfectly in the Bentley trunk. The collection is made up of 6 pieces, two small cases, two large cases and two foldable garment bags. The collection has been made of the same hide that goes into the interiors of the Mulsanne and can be customized to your personal tastes.

2013 Panerai Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica

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panerai-pockrt-watch-2Panerai introduces an exclusive Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica which is in amalgamation of the essence of the past with the strong technical knowhow of today, both combined in a unique and fascinating way. The Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica is the first pocket watch by the makers though there are specimens of the same in the brand’s history. The tourbillion regulator in its graceful and breathtaking P.2005/S skeletonised version is a watch with a very superior technical content. The tourbillon cage makes two rotations per minute on an axis perpendicular to that of the balance

Other highlighting specifications include a Radiomir case 59 mm in diameter in ceramic made from zirconium oxide, power reserve of six days and KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. The chain of this pocket watch is inspired by a nautical chain and can be easily removed, transforming the watch into a table clock. Adhering to tradition, the watch is water-resistant and guaranteed to a pressure of 3 atmospheres (30 metres).

2013 Panerai Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica is an exquisite edition of only 50 watches of 10.05mm thickness and comprising of 31 jewels, giving it an admirable look.