I’m back from an incredible and highly educational experience at SXSW V2V in Las Vegas. I’ve attended SXSW Interactive in Austin for the past 4 years but this was my first time attending the Vegas conference. V2V is SXSW Interactive on a smaller scale, but the quality of content and connections I made were impressive! The focus is more on educating startups and small business owners. I liked the intimate environment because it allowed me to build deeper relationships. Just like I do my top 10 SXSW Interactive recap each year, here’s a recap of the top ten things I experienced at V2V. You’ll find tips you can apply to your own business, mixed in with my favorite moments and fun experiences.
2. Yoga for the Busy Body– I had the pleasure of being the yoga instructor the the conference! I taught 2 morning yoga classes. I created a special class for the conference called yoga for the busy body. I incorporated poses that students could easily replicate at home and even at work! I absolutely love the fact that I had many students who have never, ever practiced yoga but decided to try it for the first time with me. I’m honored to introduce yoga into new lives at a tech conference of all places!
- Apply to speak at multiple SXSW events. Most people only apply to speak at SXSW Interactive so the competition is fierce. Customize your presentation to fit SXSW Film, SXSW Music and SXSW Edu.
- You have a better chance of getting chosen with a solo session versus a panel. Many people on panels don’t prepare as much as a solo session because they rely on other panel members. If you’re hosting a solo session, the spotlight is on you, so you will be more motivated to prepare.
- If you are going to apply to speak on a panel, make sure the panel is diverse. An all male panel, won’t fly. Don’t include 2 people from the same company or 2 people who do the exact same thing.
- Include a video! This personalizes your entry. It can be a short video you make on your own with your phone. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Having one will significantly increase your chances.
- Grammar and typos will count against you. Make sure to proofread multiple times and then proofread again.
Unfortunately, the application deadline for SXSW 2016 is over but these are things to keep in mind for next year. I also feel that these tips are relevant when applying to speak at other events and conferences.
My popular marketing workshop for yoga and fitness instructors is back! I’m partnering with Hapa Yoga to host my revamped program now called, How to Pack Your Class!
While having an abundance of yoga and fitness options available is great for fitness enthusiasts, it can be a challenge for instructors. In this interactive workshop you’ll learn tips and tricks on how to pack your class every time! I’m combining my 2 passions for marketing and fitness to help you create a successful class following. Learn how to authentically improve your brand and maintain your integrity while marketing your yoga and fitness business.
You’ll leave this workshop with the following takeaways:
- Learn what to do and say during class to motivate students to come back
- Become a subject matter expert for your students by improving your social media brand
- Create a community of followers who are now sharing your content and promoting your class to their friends
If you want to take your yoga and fitness business to the next level, here are the full details:
Date: Friday July 24th, 2015
Location: Hapa Yoga, 4242 Camino Del Rio N #10, San Diego, CA 92108
Cost: $40 in advance, $50 day of
Registration: Click HERE to sign up
It is recommended that you bring your laptop for this workshop. If you are unable to bring a laptop, pen and paper will be provided. There will also be light exercise during the workshop. Dress comfortably. Here’s the event flyer:
Marketing Melodie Speaks: Why Inbound Marketing & Social Media Are Best Friends on Thursday July 30th, 2015
Hubspot has invited me to keynote their next San Diego Hubspot User Group Event on Thursday July 30th, from 3-6:15pm at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station and you’re all invited to join me! Hubspot is a company I’ve long admired for their consistent and educational resources on all topics related to SEO, digital marketing, sales and social media for consumers. It’s an honor to align myself with such a power house in the industry! In fact check out their blogs and see what I mean when I rave about their content.
The event starts at 3pm with registration and networking over free Stone Brewing Co. Beer and bites. Then there’s a Hubspot Academy project review with Steve Haase, HubSpot eCommerce Inbound Marketing Consultant. I take the stage at 4:45pm with my presentation Why Inbound Marketing & Social Media Are Best Friends. I love when I’m featured at an event and have an opportunity to invite my entire network. Yes, you’re all invited to have a beer, enjoy food and you’ll learn about marketing at the same time. PLEASE NOTE- If you only want to see my presentation you can arrive at 4:30pm.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
With the constant changing landscape of social media, it can be overwhelming to know which networks to be on. Brands are faced with confusion on what content is effective to post and how to find time to incorporate social media into their marketing strategy. At Why Inbound Marketing & Social Media Are Best Friends you will learn about the important role social media plays in generating inbound leads and how to enhance your current profiles to get more leads. You’ll hear success stories and learn how to create resourceful content that encourages prospects to keep your brand top of mind. You will leave the event with the following information to implement immediately:
- Specific updates you need to make on popular social networks to generate more inbound leads.
- How to be a subject matter expert on social media in your specific industry so customers seek you out in time of need.
- How to be more efficient when creating and posting content on social media so you can focus on nurturing inbound leads.
I’ll close out the event with Q & A, plus a group discussion. As always, I make presentations engaging, interactive and fun!
Here are the full details and how to sign up for this free event:
Date: Thursday July 30th, 2015
Location: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station – 2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116 – San Diego, CA 92106
Time: 3pm- 6:15pm, My presentation starts at 4:45pm (PLEASE NOTE- If you only want to see my presentation you can arrive at 4:30pm.)
Cost: FREE for everyone. As I like to say, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Registration: Click HERE to sign up
I look forward to seeing you on Thursday July 30th. Let’s enjoy a beverage, have some tasty food and expand our marketing minds!
Marketing Melodie Speaks: SXSW V2V in Las Vegas- Marketing Your Way to Success Through Social Media Branding
There is something about the city of Las Vegas that keeps people coming back for more. Maybe it’s the exciting night life, the incredible live entertainment or the thrill of possibly coming home a big winner. For me, Vegas is a place where I’ve seen great artists perform including David Copperfield, Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons. Vegas is also a place I associate time and time again with opportunities for career development, learning and business networking. Half the time I find myself in Sin City it’s for a work conference or event (in fact, almost 6 years ago I was inspired by my business trips to share a few tips, How to Avoid Conference Fatigue in Las Vegas) and in just a few weeks I’ll be back for this very reason.
I am overjoyed to announce that my favorite event in the world, SXSW Interactive is coming to Vegas for the third year in a row for the SXSW V2V conference taking place at the Bellagio July 19th- 22nd. I’ve been invited to host and speak on a Core Conversation Session, Marketing Your Way to Success Through Social Media Branding. This topic is one that I hold near and dear to my heart since my passion in life is educating business owners and entrepreneurs on how to create an effective marketing strategy to grow a successful business. I have a chance to do just that in an intimate setting at SXSW V2V. Rather than me talking the whole time and boring you with slides, I will lead a conversation that is engaging and interactive so we can learn from each other, share ideas, success stories and motivate each other to successfully market our businesses.
About my session: Marketing Your Way to Success Through Social Media Branding– With the constant changing landscape of social media, it can be overwhelming to know which networks are necessary to use. Brands are faced with confusion on how many sites to be on, what content is effective to post and how to find time to incorporate social media into their marketing strategy. Melodie Tao, Marketing Consultant and Founder of Marketing Melodie will lead a discussion that inspires startups, entrepreneurs and small business owners to start being more effective and efficient on social media by building authentic online communities. You’ll hear success stories, learn how to create resourceful content that encourages prospects to keep your brand top of mind and learn how to encourage customers to be your brand ambassadors on social media. My session is Monday July 20th, 3:15pm at Raphael Room 2 in the Bellagio. Add my session to your schedule HERE.
About SXSW V2V: SXSW V2V is the newest addition to the SXSW family of events. It is an extension and re-imagining of the legendary SXSW experience with an emphasis on the nuts and bolts education startups need to ensure entrepreneurial innovation and success. This four-day boutique event brings the startup and venture capital communities together with the creative industries that have helped to make SXSW so special. V2V serves innovators and entrepreneurs from across all the industries at the core of the SXSW Family of events—technology, music, film, fashion, health, education, sustainability, and more—as they learn the skills, make the connections, and find the inspiration to take their ideas and talents to the next level.
If you have followed my adventures to SXSW Interactive in the past, you may know that for the last 3 years I have been invited to teach SXSW Yoga. As a bonus, for all SXSW V2V attendees, I will also be bringing back my yoga sessions. On Monday July 20th and Tuesday July 21st, you can start off your morning at SXSW V2V’s Yoga for the Busy Body taught by yours truly.
About SXSW V2V Yoga for the Busy Body: You’ll learn relaxing breathing exercises, yoga poses to improve your balance, flexibility & strength and practice stretches you can easily replicate at home and even at work! This is an all levels class. Whether you have never tried yoga or are an advanced yogi, you’ll prepare your mind and body for enlightenment in this class. You will also learn tips on how to incorporate yoga into a busy lifestyle. This class was designed by Melodie Tao, a Marketing Professional, Entrepreneur and Yoga Instructor who was seeking a way to practice staying calm in any situation. No special equipment is needed, come as you are. My Yoga classes are Monday July 20th, and Tuesday July 21st, 9:15am at the Tower Ballroom 7 in the Bellagio. Add my Monday yoga session to your schedule HERE and my Tuesday yoga session to your schedule HERE.
If you plan to be at SXSW V2V in July, please leave me a comment and let me know what you look forward to the most. I would love to meet you around the conference or at one of my sessions. If you’re thinking about attending but are still on the fence, check out the Top 10 Reasons to Attend SXSW V2V and you’ll see what this event is going to be amazing. For anyone interested in having me speak at your upcoming event or conference, check out my speaking resources and connect with me.
Last Thursday I attended the first San Diego Facebook Boost Your Business conference held on the gorgeous Broadway Pier at the Port Pavilion. I am very familiar with a lot of business tools Facebook has to offer being that I use them for both myself and for clients but I knew this would be a rare opportunity to learn about the latest technology Facebook has to offer as well as meet people from Facebook HQ in real life, yes they exist! I appreciated their cost effective $25 entry fee because it’s something all business owners can afford to invest in. The $25 entry fee also included a $50 credit to advertise on Facebook. (Although I went to use my credit a few days ago and even though the credit says it expires in April 2016, I entered my code and got an error message that the code was already expired! I’m not sure if anyone else had this issue. I am bummed, so will look into seeing who I can contact about this error).
SIDE NOTE- Wearing Facebook Blue at a Facebook event will give everyone the impression that you work at Facebook. I guess it was not a bad marketing strategy to match the conference since this tripled the amount of people who came up to talk to me during the event.
The event started off with an introduction by Mari Smith. Mari is a Facebook rockstar! I am lucky to have connected with Mari many times during the course of my career. She is always positive and has great advice. She shared her own stories on the power of Facebook for her brand and business.
The event kicked off with Jonathan Czaja, Director of Small Business for Facebook. He started his session with eye opening facts:
- 40 million small businesses are active on Facebook
- 2 million small businesses actively use Facebook advertising
These numbers are astounding! If there’s a place you want to reach people where they are already captive and active, that place is Facebook! I snagged a photo with Dan after his talk to prove there is a human behind the Facebook name.
Next, 4 local businesses who successfully use Facebook for their business took the stage, Jelly Skateboards, Tri Swim Coach, Suja Juice and Chef’s Roll. They shared success stories and insight on properly using Facebook and other tools, plus they gave us authentic feedback from one local business owner to another.
This brings me to now share the things I learned that I feel will also be helpful for your business. I add a lot of my own insight in this summary to elaborate.
1. Creating Targeted Facebook Ads– Facebook advertising is very powerful because of the targeting options it gives to marketers and it was the dominate topic of conversation at the conference. It’s the one place on the web where users voluntarily give an abundance of data about themselves. I bet even your spouse can’t compete with the amount of information Facebook knows about you! There are so many options for advertisers when deciding who to target that most people just pick and choose a few options to quickly get their ads set up. However, to be more effective with Facebook advertising, it’s important to take advantage of their targeting options. Perhaps you’re growing an alumni network for your area. You can target women of a certain age who went to a specific school, who are now living in a specific area. You can also target people who work at a specific company. Here’s an idea: If you’re looking to get hired by a certain company, whether it’s as a partner, consultant or employee, why not create an ad and have it targeted to people from that company? I also love the idea of targeting friends of people who like your page because this provides social proof. There are a lot of other creative ways to create targeted Facebook ads that I could go on for days. Next time you set up a Facebook ad, be specific on who your audience is to really optimize your investment dollars. If you need help with this, reach out to me and I’m happy to walk you through it.
2. Facebook MailChimp Integration for Remarketing- MailChimp was onsite helping small business owners understand the power of their email marketing tools. I use MailChimp and I use Facebook, but I didn’t know about the easy integration of both. (This is why I love being open to learning, no matter how much time I’ve spent on a certain platform the beauty of it is that I can always learn something new). When choosing who you want to target on Facebook under “target ads to” you can create a custom audience by uploading your MailChimp list (or any email list) to remarket to your prospects. Remarketing is very powerful. This means that after you send someone an email, the same person will then see your Facebook ad, so you’re connecting with them in more than one place on the web. We were assured that privacy is not an issue with uploading your email list because the list will never be shared and once your list does get uploaded, it’s encrypted so additional data from the emails can never be accessed or leaked. By having the ability to remarket through Facebook, your email list is gold and becomes even more valuable.
3. Make Your Photos “Pop” with Apps- During the panel discussion it was recommended by Suja to have great photos and images as part of your content strategy. The term they used was make your photos “pop”. As a small business owner, it’s not always in the budget to hire a professional photographer, so I learned about 2 photo editing apps Snappseed and Afterlight. I have since downloaded Snapseed and am trying it out. So far I find the app to be very intuitive and easy to use. I personally take photos of many different things, including random objects and scenarios, I recommend that you do the same. I do this because you never know when you’ll a need a photo for content you’re creating such as in a blog post. There have been times where I have needed a random photo and rather than trying to find a free a photo where you aren’t breaking any copyright laws, it’s much easier to just pull a photo for your own personal library. Now that I have a photo editing app on my phone, I can make these amateur photos look more professional.
4. External vs Internal Hashtags- A few years ago when I used term “hashtag” everyone just gave me a puzzled look along with a reply along the lines of “Hashbrown? Hash what”? Alright who am I kidding, to this day when I say “hashtag” I still get blank stares . Well now there’s even more lingo to learn. There are external hashtags and internal hashtags. Jelly Skateboards gave great information on how they use both. Since Instagram, was highly visible at the conference (Yep Facebook owns Instagram) and hashtags are widely used on this site, they went with Instagram when explaining the difference between an external vs internal hashtag.
- External hashtags are used by potential customers. Jelly Skateboards actively searches hashtags connected to photos that are posted by people interested in skateboarding. For example, to target females they will search the hashtag #skatergirl. They will then start liking photos with that hashtag and following people they find through that hashtag who are potential customers. After they engage with the new people they are following a while, they usually get noticed so they have that personal relationship already built when someone wants to buy a new skateboard. This increases the chance Jelly Skateboards will be top of mind for a purchasing decision.
- Internal hashtags are usually created by businesses. They are more specific hastags used to track things related to their company such. Jelly Skateboards can use the hashtag #JellySkateboards to showcase photos of all their skateboards or #JellySkaterGirl to showcase female skaters they may be sponsoring. Having hashtags related to your own events is also a great idea. If Jelly hosts a skateboarding competition this year they can create a specific hashtag so everyone can follow the photos posted for that event such as #JellySkate15. Internal hashtags are a great way to start building photo libraries of things your own business is posting.
After the presentations Mari Smith hosted dozens of one-on-one sessions allowing each attendee who was lucky enough to snag a 3-5 minutes spot with her to get specific questions answered. My questions to her were about professional speaking since I’m working hard to grow my business as a professional speaker. I’m really glad I scheduled a few hours out of my day to attend the Facebook Boost Your Business conference. If you have any success stories from using Facebook to grow your own business, please share them!
First, I’ll just address the elephant in the room and that’s the title of this post, “5 Things to Do at the Del Mar Fair…”. Yes I realize the name has changed and it’s now the “San Diego County Fair in Del Mar” but growing up in San Diego I have fond memories of the Fair and calling it something other than the Del Mar Fair just doesn’t evoke the same sense of nostalgia.
Today is the opening day of the fair and this year’s theme is A Fair to Remember: A Celebration of World’s Fairs and Balboa Park in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Panama-California Exposition. I couldn’t be more excited about the theme because Balboa Park is one of my absolute favorite places in the world! If someone asks me what to do when they visit San Diego, Balboa Park is always on the top of my list. Last Friday, I had the honor of attending the Del Mar Fair’s Media Party where I got a sneak peek of what’s in store. My takeaway, was a stomach filled with my quota of deep fried food for the year and 5 things I recommend check out to truly make this “A Fair to Remember”.
1. Try the newest fair foods– I’m all about healthy eating and living but I also know that sometimes it’s ok to splurge. The Fair will give you the perfect excuse to try some interesting but not so healthy foods. This year, on the menu are treats including a Krispy Kreme Slider with 3 patties. Enjoy the slider for lunch, but then make room for dessert with the Sweet Corn Ice Cream. And if you’re feeling a little sluggish in the late afternoon, then why not try Deep Fried Starbucks for a caffeine boost! PRO TIP– The fair allows you to bring in your own snacks and factory sealed beverages. I recommended bringing in a few sealed water bottles for something healthy and refreshing to chase down all the Fair foods.
2. Celebrate the environment at the 16th Annual Enviro fair Locally Grown Festival- Not into the crazy deep fried foods? Then check out the Locally Grown Festival, dedicated to the memory of Loren Nancarrow, on Saturday, June 6 from 10am to 5pm in the Paul Ecke Jr. Garden Show area. This event is free with Fair admission. Fairgoers will learn firsthand about a variety of topics including organic and sustainable farming, pollution prevention, and healthy living in this beautiful market setting. You can also buy a ticket to enjoy an unforgettable dining experience that night at the Farm to Table Dinner, a garden affair featuring five courses paired with award-winning wine and beer. Chef Barry and participating farmers will walk you through each pairing in this exclusive dining experience. Find the full details for the Enviro Fair HERE.
3. Run the San Diego County Fair 5K– Bet you didn’t know there are many more ways to enjoy a healthier day at the Fair! If you are into indulging in Fair food and want to eat your way through the fair guilt free then I recommend running the San Diego County Fair 5K before the fair opens on Saturday June 20th. The race starts at 8am and it’s an all ages, one of a kind VIP behind the scenes experience at the fair before it opens! Get ready to run, skip, and stroll your way through the fair and see all of the attractions before crowds. Your race entry includes a free ticket to the Fair, another ticket for future use plus more hookups! Sign up for the San Diego County Fair 5K HERE.
4. Get your culture on at the Asian Festival Day- This is a hat tip to my good friends over at Silk Road Productions. I have been working with them to host and emcee many events in the San Diego Asian Community and I’m happy to announce that they are producing a unique event at the Fair on Sunday June 14th, the inaugural Asian Festival Day. This is a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, featuring music, dance and martial arts performances, as well as fashion and community-based organizations representing China, Philippines, India, Korea, Japan, Polynesia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. You will enjoy cultural performances from 10am-3pm, a dance competition from 3pm-7pm and close the night with a DJ concert! Find the full details for the Asian Festival Day at the Fair HERE.
5. Keep your fair memories alive by creating more memories outside of the Fair- If you save your 2015 Fair admission stub and you can get a free or discounted adult admission various attractions in Balboa Park and beyond including The San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Marston House Museum, The San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, Whaley House (Old Town San Diego) and Warner Carrillo Ranch House (Warner Springs).
Who will be attending the Fair this year? If you plan to go, please feel free to share with me what you look forward to the most. Oh and check out some ways to score discounts and save money at the Fair.