Why You Should Attend #SXSWYoga with Marketing Melodie, Saturday March 14th, 9:30am

Next weekend will be my 4th year attending SXSW in Austin and it’s my 3rd year speaking. Being a SXSW speaker is definitely an accomplishment I am very proud of. Back by popular demand I will once again be presenting my session Come As You Are Yoga on Saturday March 14th, 2015 at 9:30am in Room 8A at the Austin Convention Center. To bookmark my session in your SXSW Schedule, click here.

Marketing Melodie Returns to SXSW 2015

You might be thinking “there are thousands of SXSW sessions, why should I come to yours?”. Here are just a few reasons:

1. This is a unique session because it’s interactive and engaging. That’s right, you will actually be participating in a yoga class. All poses are modified so you can do them in your conference clothes. This is a great way to mix it up from all the sessions you’ll attend where you are sitting and listening. Every year I get at least one person who has never tried yoga before. I love that I’m introducing someone new to yoga at a tech conference! I also get very advanced yogis who are happy for an opportunity to practice while traveling. All levels are welcome.

2. Learn yoga poses to do at home and in the office– During our class I will talk about yoga poses you can easily incorporate into your busy lifestyle at work, while sitting at your desk and poses you can do at home. Not everyone can make it to a yoga studio or class but the wonderful thing about yoga is that it’s something you can do anywhere and everywhere (Yes even SXSW!). All attendees will receive a sheet with my yoga tips and a way to follow up with me with additional questions.

Yoga in the Office

3. Prepare your mind and body for enlightenment– SXSW can be information overload. How do you know which sessions to go to? Which networking events to go to? How do you avoid the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) syndrome? We will start the with an intention to let go of these expectations and fears so you can successfully navigate and enjoy every moment of your SXSW experience. In a sense, I’ll be preparing you for enlightenment at the conference! How cool would it be to return home and tell your colleagues about this experience ?

4. Relax at the quietest place in the convention center– No matter what is happening outside our yoga room, we still have the power to relax and turn inward before going back out into the chaos at the quietest place in the entire convention center, maybe even in all of downtown Austin. This is another beautiful thing about yoga. Someone could be standing right outside your window screaming, yet you have the power to acknowledge the disturbance, let it go and focus on your own yoga.

 5. Network with other like-minded professionals– Yoga is the common bond that will bring us all together. Meet other successful entrepreneurs, business professionals and SXSW attendees who care about health and wellness enough to make it a priority during their busy day. Every year, great networking occurs both before and after this session. Business cards are exchanged, online connections added  and new friends are made.

If you are going to be in Austin next week, let me know! I have less than 48 hours in Austin so I’ll be making the most of my time there. I already have a packed schedule for March 13th and March 14th but as a 4th year SXSW attendee, I know very well that schedules need to be kept flexible. If you want to guarantee to connect with me, then I’ll see you on Saturday March 14th, 9:30am at the Austin Convention Center, Room 8A! The full #SXSWYoga schedule can be found here. Have a wonderful SXSW everyone.


15 Reasons to attend the 15th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival & Win Free Tickets

I love attending the San Diego Asian Film Festival (also known as SDAFF) every year and I love seeing how much it grows each time I come back. There are always more films to watch and more people who attend. I’m very happy to be partnering with SDAFF to promote the film festival again. In honor of their 15th anniversary, here are 15 reasons to attend. Make sure you read them all because at the end I will share with you a special offer to buy tickets for the film festival and I’m also giving away a 4 pack of tickets to a lucky winner.

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2014
1. Watch Unique Films – Going to the movies during the film festival is very special. I enjoy going to the movies all year long, but during the festival I’m able to see unique films that are not normally in theaters across all different genres. You’ll find comedies, romantic comedies, short films, horror films and action films just to name a few.  The Festival has grown to become the largest exhibition of Asian cinema in the western United States, and has showcased everything from future classics like Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (US Premiere) to luminary independent work like Patrick Wang’s award-winning In the Family (North American Premiere). There is really something for everyone.

2. Check out Different Movie Venues in San Diego-This year, SDAFF will be showing films at a record 9 different venues in many different areas of San Diego. While their home base will be at the UltraStar Hazard Center, this is a chance to check out some new spots including the Arclight Cinemas in La Jolla and La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas. You can find a list of all the venues, along with additional information on each venue here.

 3. Celebrity sightings- You never know who you’ll see at SDAFF. I heard Jeremy Lin and George Takei have both made appearances at SDAFF in the past. I also had the pleasure of meeting MC Hammer. I can’t believe that I am unable to find a photo of this moment, but it did happen! Make sure your cameras are ready on selfie mode when you spot a famous star.

4.  Film Premiers– Each year, the festival brings West Coast and world premieres of films from around the world to San Diego, giving you a chance to see some films before anyone else.

5. Free Films– Did you know that you can attend SDAFF for free? That’s right, all weekday film programs at 4:00pm are free, courtesy of the Hom Family Foundation. The catch is that you have to be able to make the early show. You can pick up tickets for the free films in advance at the UltraStar Box Office starting Oct. 31. (limit 2 per person)

6. Bring the Whole Family- While some movies are for adults and teens only, there are still plenty of options for the while family. In fact the Shorts for Shorties program that airs Saturday November 8th is free for kids 12 & under.

SDAFF Shorts for Shorties
7. Cultural Diversity– For its 15th Anniversary, SDAFF will showcase over 140 films from 21 countries! Attending the film festival is a great way to expand your knowledge on many different cultures and ethnicities.

8. Shorts– I love watching short films because it gives me a chance to see so many different creative endeavors all in one sitting. Another great thing about shorts, is if you don’t like one of the films, you can rest assured that it will probably be over in less than 10 minutes.

9. You Have a Voice– In previous years, after watching a film, there are always staff members standing near the exit to collect short questionnaires that ask your general thoughts and rating of the films. This gives you a chance to voice your opinion. It also gives film makers great feedback for the things they work so hard on creating. You are essentially a part of the festival jury!

10. Free Live Music– While film makers get to showcase their work, local musicians will also get to share their skills. There will be a variety of musical acts throughout the festival as part of the annual BLOWFISH UNLUGGED. You can find the full schedule of BLOWFISH UNPLUGGED here.

11. Volunteer– Whether you want to get your foot in the door with Pacific Arts Movement or the film industry, enjoy volunteering at cool events or are just looking for a great way to rack up volunteer hours, you have a chance to do all of that by volunteering at SDAFF. All the details on volunteering here.

12. Films, Music and now Dance with MOVEfest- In addition to having a chance to watch dozens of films and enjoy free music, you can also add dance performances to your SDAFF itinerary with MOVEfest. SDAFF partners with Outreach Through Dance to present the inaugural MOVEfest, a showcase of live hip-hop and contemporary dance by the most exciting API performers, choreographers, and dance cinematographers around. Details for attending MOVEfest can be found here.

SDAFF Movefest

13. Support the Pacific Arts Movement- The San Diego Asian Film Festival is organized by Pacific Arts Movement, a non-profit media arts organization dedicated to sharing Asian American and international films to inspire, entertain, and support a more compassionate society. Attending SDAFF is a wonderful way to support this organization that’s doing some amazing work in San Diego and beyond. For more information about Pac-Arts, click here.

14. Taiwan Film Showcase- For the the third straight year, SDAFF is showcasing the diversity and achievements of Taiwanese cinema. Presented in conjunction with the UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series and the UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair in Taiwan Studies. All the information and show times related to the Taiwan Film Showcase can be found here.

15. If you’re still not convinced on why you should attend SDAFF, watch this trailer!

SPECIAL OFFER- 4 Pack of Tickets for $22! I worked with SDAFF to launch an awesome promotion and ticket offer with NBC 7’s The Goods. You can buy a 4 pack of tickets (Normally $44) for only $22. With this pass, you can watch 4 different films on your own or enjoy films with friends. This is such a great opportunity to check out a variety of films for a good price. There are a limited number of 4 packs available at this price, so sign up for The Goods here, then click on the home page to find the special offer for SDAFF.

WIN FREE TICKETS! If you’re feeling lucky, you can enter my contest to win a 4 pack of tickets. Entering is simple. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and tell me which film you’re looking forward to seeing  the most. You can earn an additional entry by Tweeting this post. Make sure you include my Twitter handle @MyMelodie and the film festival’s hash tag #15SDAFF. The contest will close at 9pm on Wednesday Nov. 5th, the eve of the 15th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival.

I look forward to seeing you all at the 15th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival. If you weren’t planning on attending, you now have 15 reasons on to go, a special ticket offer and a chance to win free tickets!

Marketing Melodie Emcees the San Diego Night Market and has your Free Tickets!

I am very honored and excited that the organizers of the San Diego Night Market invited me to emcee their event this coming Saturday October 4th. I’ll be at the main entertainment stage from 5pm-8pm where I have the privilege of introducing our very own Mayor Kevin Faulconer along with many other talented performers and distinguished members of the community.

What is a “Night Market” you might ask? Well just as the name suggests, it’s a street market, usually held outdoors that’s open at night. Night markets are organized so you can leisurely stroll through all the vendors, shop while getting some great savings all while enjoying authentic street food from different cultures. The San Diego Night Market in particular aims to fulfill the following mission:

  • Promote Asian Pacific American culture in cuisine, arts, and music
  • Support local businesses – Asian and Non-Asian, small and large
  • Cultivate innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship
  • Foster volunteerism, leadership, networking, and teamwork
  • Expand the cultural vibrancy of the San Diego region
2013 San Diego Night Market

2013 San Diego Night Market, Photo Credit: Convoy District

Ladie's Market Hong KongMy first experience of attending a night market was a few years ago when I was invited to Hong Kong for a speaking engagement. I had plenty of time to be a tourist, shop and enjoy everything Hong Kong had to offer. One of my stops was the “Ladies’ Market”, the most popular and busy night markets of the area. Even though I was told it would be busy, I was not expecting it to be as packed as it was. I snapped the photo to your right of ladies at the Ladies’ Night Market in Hong Kong. Keep in mind, this photo was taken around 11pm! People were excited about the new shipment of purses here. There was so much enthusiasm and energy from all the ladies (and gentlemen) at Ladies’ Market. It was definitely a fun experience which is why I’m looking forward to experiencing the night market culture right here in sunny San Diego.

On Saturday you can expect to satisfy your taste buds with delicious food, learn to cook at the various cooking demonstrations, be awed by amazing dance performances and so much more.

Here are the details for the San Diego Night Market:

Date: Saturday October 4th, 2014
Time: 4pm to Midnight
Location: Engineer Rd. near Convoy St. in the Convoy District
Cost: $2 entry fee

As usual, I’m hooking you up! I have two pairs of entry tickets to give away to two lucky winners.  Each winner will also receive $10 to spend on food at the event. I’m basically giving you free dinner! What’s not to love about that? All you have to do to enter is to leave me a comment on this post about what you’re looking forward to the most at the San Diego Night Market. You can enter until 10pm on Thursday October 2nd.

If you have attended other night markets, I would love to here your experience. I also look forward to seeing you at the San Diego Night Market. Please remember to come say hi to me. I’ll be at the entertainment stage from 5pm-8pm and if I’m not making announcements on stage, you can be sure to find me enjoying some of the delicious food that will be offered at the event. 

Takeaways from the National Eczema Association’s 2014 Patient Conference in Boston

I recently had the privilege of attending the National Eczema Association’s Patient Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past I have shared my challenge as an adult with Eczema. I have also shared my dedication to helping find a cure. Attending this conference in Boston has given me a new positive perspective about a cure coming very soon. There were general sessions related to different medications and treatments, allergies, medical breakthroughs in Eczema and my favorite topic, alternative therapies.

The understanding from everyone at the conference was heartwarming. To be surrounded by so many others who completely understand what it’s like to live the itch life made me feel a support that I had never experienced before.

National Eczema Association Conference

I attended the patient support session: How do you cope with Eczema? This session was a group discussion where everyone had a chance to share their story. My favorite part of the session  was when we all shared one positive thing that’s come from our Eczema. It’s easy to focus on the negative but focusing on the bright side makes everything better. Here are some positive things the adults shared:

  • I am more compassionate
  • I have learned how to cope
  • I am more conscious of my healthy in general
  • I am grateful for NEA (National Eczema Association)
  • I am resilient and strong
  • I am a comedian and can add jokes about Eczema to my stand up routine
  • I appreciate my family being there for me
  • I have more self control

Everything on that list is awesome! The conference had a Kid’s Camp where the kids got to learn, make new friends and just have a good time with other kids without having to feel self conscious about their skin. On the last day we had a general session with both the kids and adults. The kids had a chance to share some positive things about Eczema and the conference too. Here’s what they shared:

  • I get to make new friends
  • I get to see my photo featured on the NEA magazine
  • I get to travel to new places
  • I am itching for a cure


I am amazed at how smart and aware all of the kids are. The list of positive things from both the adults and kids  is a great reminder that even when experiencing something challenging such as Eczema there are many things to be grateful for. I mentioned that I really enjoyed learned about alternative therapies. I avoid pharmaceutical medications as much as I can so I was happy to hear doctors recommending other things to try. Dr. Lio, the founder of   The Chicago Integrative Eczema Center gave many suggestions on alternative therapies. He did let us know that with alternative therapies there haven’t been studies done to prove they work. Here are new things I learned:

  • Oil pulling– This is a tradition in Ayurveda medicine. I have heard about this before but not for Eczema and it wasn’t recommended specifically for Eczema either.  It’s a way to cleanse and pull toxins from your body through your mouth. At first the concept seemed odd but I’ve been doing it consistently for over a week with coconut oil and if anything, my teeth feel cleaner than ever!
  • Acupressure– I can’t tell you how many times people have recommended I try acupuncture for my Eczema. My answer has always been that I don’t want to use needles to puncture my skin since I’m already so sensitive and I just don’t feel comfortable doing anything that will further irritate my skin. People don’t really understand this response and always tell me how “small” the needles are and that I won’t feel it. Well when you have Eczema, you feel everything! Dr. Lio recommended acupressure instead. Without me even saying anything about my concern with acupuncture , he started off by addressing my exact concern! I was so happy to hear someone finally understand why acupuncture is not right for most people with Eczema.  He taught us how to do acupressure on ourselves and recommended we do it for 3 minutes, 3 days a week.
  • Sooth skin with oil before moisturizing– Emu oil was recommended for Eczema. Some people also use olive oil and coconut oil. I have tried olive oil and coconut oil but never emu oil. I will look into emu oil, it does not seem very common.
  • Hypnosis– This one seems odd, but I have actually tried it before! My friend Christian Wasinger is a Hypnotist  in San Diego and made me a recording over a year ago. Listening to the recording is very relaxing and similar to meditating. I had not listened to my recording for a while, but last night I found it and will be listening to it regularly again. I definitely notice myself not scratching when I’m listening to the recordings.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Baths– I rarely take baths but it was recommended to place one cup of apple cider vinegar in your bath water. I am open to trying this the next time I take a bath.
  • Get Vitamin D- I’m lucky to live in San Diego so I have plenty of access to natural Vitamin D from the sunshine. Vitamin D supplements can also be taken.
  • New Products– In addition to learning about new alternative therapies, I received dozens of new products to try. I am going to read the ingredients very carefully before trying any of these, but the sponsors were very generous with their giveaways. The photo below only shows a few products, by the end of the conference I had more than triple the amount of products pictured.

Products from the National Eczema Association Conference

Overall I feel very grateful that I was able to attend the conference.  One of my favorite things is the luncheon with a doctor at each table (I chose Dr. Lio’s table). Getting this one-on-one time with Dr. Lio was extremely valuable. I also enjoyed the opportunity to share our positive thoughts both in our sessions and on camera. Julie Block, the CEO of the National Eczema Association shared that now, more than ever there is more research that’s focused on Eczema. This only means we are closer to finding a real cure. I’m excited to see more developments in Eczema research and look forward to staying positive.

National Eczema Association Signs

How to Overcome the Top 3 Excuses for Not Marketing Your Business

When I tell people that I’m a Marketing Consultant and my job is to help your business generate more revenue, I get mixed reactions. The reactions are usually positive in a sense that the person I’m talking to understands how important it is to effectively market their business but at the same time they don’t necessarily know where to start.

“I really need help with my marketing, that’s the one thing I don’t get.”

“I made sure my business is on social media but I’m not sure how it works.” 

“I definitely need to start marketing my business more to get new customers.”

Do any of these lines sound familiar to you? If the answer is yes, read on. Marketing is one of the most important elements in growing your business and generating more revenue, yet it’s also one that gets the least attention.  What if marketing your business was fun? What if you could make a direct correlation between your marketing activity and impact on your bottom line? What if your marketing efforts automatically made more customers seek you out and want to work with you? Once you start seeing the positive results with your marketing, your attitude about this dreaded activity will change. You’ll stop making excuses and you’ll grow to love marketing your business.  I’m going to discuss the top 3 excuses business owners and entrepreneurs give for not marketing their business and ways to overcome these objections. After each solution I list a specific action item that you can do today to start accelerating your marketing efforts.

Stop Making Excuses

EXCUSE #1–  I’m too overwhelmed with all of the marketing tools out there, I don’t know where to start. Digital technology can be both a blessing and a curse. With all of the new apps, programs and social media sites out there, it can be very difficult to know what will work for your business. It’s very easy to just ignore everything we see and hear about how we need to use the latest app/site/program but it’s even easier to understand what tools to use to start making money for our business.

SOLUTION- First, let’s take a step back. Rather than focus on what tools we need to use, it’s important understand the measurable goals you want to reach.  Feeling overwhelmed with your marketing is often a result of not knowing what you’re measuring. Therefore your efforts may feel like a waste of time because you don’t know how to track your success or figure out which activities to cut out that aren’t providing value.  Set SPECIFIC and measurable goals to track your marketing activities. I promise this will help with the “overwhelming” feeling you’re getting.

Examples of measurable goals 

  • Sign up 30 new members each month over the course of 6 months (180 new members total).
  • Generate $100,000 in donations to our charity over the next year.
  • Sell 200 packages over the course of 6 months (1200 packages total).

Examples of goals that aren’t measurable 

  • Get more visibility for our business.
  • Get new customers to sign up for our programs.
  • Spread the word about our new product.

Once you know what goals you want to reach, you can figure out how to incorporate your goals into your marketing activities. If you want to get new members, make sure you’re promoting your membership program when you’re out at an event. Make sure you mention membership benefits on your social media updates and emails.

ACTION ITEM Write out 1-2 measurable goals for your business. Take a look at the current things you’re doing in your marking strategy and see if they connect back to your goals. 

EXCUSE #2-  I don’t have the time to focus on marketing right now. This is a popular excuse because most business owners feel like they’re doing many random marketing activities that aren’t adding up to new business. If this is the case, I certainly wouldn’t have time for marketing either because I would associate it with wasting time. Let’s focus on making sure our marketing efforts are reaching the right audience who will turn into customers. Otherwise we will waste a lot of time marketing to people who will never turn into customers. 

SOLUTION- Understanding your audience will provide you with a solid foundation for marketing your business. You’ll know the behaviors of your audience, which will help you narrow down which tools to start with. For example, if you’re marketing to teenagers, perhaps you know they’re into the “Selfie” craze so you may want to use Instagram for a Selfie promotion. If you’re marketing to stay at home moms and know that there is a big blogger community for moms, you can write a guest post on some popular mom blogs.  Think of who your audience is and where you will find them, then make sure you’re there too. This will save you a lot of time, make your marketing efforts more efficient and you’ll find that you have more time because you’re generating more revenue.

ACTION ITEM– Create a profile for your ideal target audience. Don’t just say “moms” or “men between the ages of 25-49″. “Moms” is still broad because a  mom can have a grown adult child or a toddler. Here’s an example of being more specific “I am targeting moms who have children between the ages of 6-12 years old. These moms have a household income of at least 150K per year. They are tech savvy and manage most of the activity planning for their children.” You can even be more specific by listing out some of the hobbies these moms might have or some of their family values.  Now that you have a profile for your target audience you’ll spend less time marketing to the wrong people and more time connecting with people who will become customers.

Excuse #3- I don’t have enough money to invest into my marketing You don’t need a lot of money to start marketing, but you do need to market your business to make money. There are many free marketing resources that you can take advantage of if you understand how to use them properly. The ultimate goal is for your marketing activities to make you more money than you spend. Soon you will feel comfortable with having a mindset that money spent on marketing is an investment in your business to generate even more revenue. 


SOLUTION– Stop looking at every dollar you invest into marketing as a waste and start seeing it as an opportunity to grow. This requires some due diligence on your end to learn about which tools are free but also learning how to use them properly. Just because a tool is free tool doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea. You still need to invest time into creating content. You will save a lot of money by only focusing on the marketing channels that help you reach your goals and only marketing to the right audience (This is why overcoming excuse #1 and #2 are so important.

ACTION ITEM- Write a list of as many free marketing tools you can think of. Many of these tools will be social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, review websites, etc. Choose 1 tool to focus on. Figure out ideas on how you can create content to reach your measurable goals and connect with your target audience.

My intention is to teach every business owner how to love marketing their business. I promise you’ll enjoy marketing if you can make more money from your efforts. If you enjoyed learning how to over come these common marketing excuses, I want to help you even more. I am currently offering complimentary 30 minute marketing consultations. You’ll have 30 minutes to speak one on one directly with me to get all of your tough marketing questions answers. I will also give you more action items you can implement immediately.  If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, I need to get to know you first so I can figure out the best way to help you during our consultation. Fill out the form below so I can get to know you. After your submit the form, I’ll contact you to set up a time start working together. Good luck and happy marketing!


RIP Tony Gwynn + Cages and Cocktails with my San Diego Padres

Before I begin this post, I would like to express my deepest condolences for Mr. Padre, Tony Gywnn. Gywnn was a true icon for San Diego and national sports. It’s been a tough year for the Padres especially after already losing the great Jerry Coleman. We truly lost another leader and friend in San Diego sports so I’m happy to see all of the positive tributes to him locally and in the national media.

Tony Gwynn Statue RIP

Thanks to @sdgaucho on Instagram for this photo of Tony Gwynn’s statue.

While we are all mourning the loss of Mr. Padre, baseball season is still in full swing and I know my San Diego Padres will want to do whatever they can to make Tony Gwynn proud! Despite our not so hot record, of course I’m cheering on my Padres. I love any opportunity I get to connect with my favorite baseball team. A few years ago a simple Tweet I posted got me VIP access to a Padres game. This year (May 2014) I was invited by the University Club to practice with the Padres in their batting cages.

I arrived to the Lexus Premier Club where I was greeted with appetizers and beverages. After mingling a bit, it was time for me to batter up! I got to bat at the very same spot Mr. Padre even once stood. I must say that my batting average wasn’t too bad! I had such a great time in the cages and even got a behind the scenes tour of the field at Petco Park.

Batting Practice with the Padres

Private Tour of Petco Park

Thanks to the University Club for this special behind the scenes experience. If you haven’t been to the University Club it’s home to one of the best views in San Diego and is the pre-eminent club for social and business connections in San Diego. Crowning the San Diego Symphony Towers, in the heart of beautiful downtown San Diego, it’s a place to build fulfilling, long-lasting relationships. They host effective, high-quality networking events such as the one I just attended and have many and business advantages. Members can also come by to relax or for a  fine-dining experience with breathtaking views of the city. I’ve you haven’t been to the University Club, I highly recommend checking it out. If you’re interested, contact me and I’ll connect you with Michelle Belgar (on the left in the photo). She founded the Young Executive Society at the University Club and will be able to connect you with the right person to help you set up a tour and learn more information about joining.

University Club San Diego

I wish my San Diego Padres the best of luck as they continue to play ball with their hero now resting in peace. I’m so glad I had the unique experience of going behind the scenes with the Padres and I hope to see everyone out at a ball game some time soon.

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Marketing Melodie