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.

Marketing Melodie in Las Vegas

SXSW V2V LogoI 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

Marketing Melodie teaches yoga at SXSW

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.

Free Webinar- 3 Secrets for Marketing Your Business Through Speaking

This is an open invite for all business owners to attend my free webinar, 3 Secrets for Marketing Your Business Through Speaking on Wednesday July 1st at 12pm pacific time. You do not have to be a professional speaker to give an awesome presentation. You just have to be an expert in your field and I’ll show you how to convey your message through speaking.

By now you may be thinking: “I’ve never spoken in public before.”“I’m really shy and don’t do well on stage.”, “I work in (xyz) industry, it’s boring and I have nothing to talk about.” or maybe you’re completely scared of public speaking.  No matter what your excuse is, I will give you secrets on how to become a subject matter expert through speaking in any industry and I’ll teach you how to integrate social media into your speaking engagements to build your community. The reason I created this webinar is because speaking is one of the most effective marketing tools I use to grow my own business and I love teaching my marketing secrets so you can succeed. Here’s a quick video about my webinar:


Just to give you an idea of how powerful speaking is for my business:

  • Over 60% of my email list is comprised of people who signed up after watching me speak.
  • Over half of the people who have hired me recently to teach them about marketing through my new Pick My Brain program  are people who have previously attended one of my speaking engagements.
  • One of the best ways to get video content for your business is during a speaking engagement. The majority of my YouTube content is footage from my speaking engagements.

Here are the full details and how to sign up:

Date: Wednesday July 1st, 2015 

Time: 12pm Pacific Time 

Cost: FREE for everyone. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Registration: Click HERE to sign up. 

I look forward to having you in my free webinar on Wednesday July 1st, at 12pm, pacific time. Please share this webinar with anyone you feel may be interested and perhaps the next time I see you will be on a stage speaking about your business and passion.

Marketing Melodie Speaking Engagement

*3 Secrets for Marketing Your Business Through Speaking is part of my brand new “Marketing Your Way to Success” webinar series where I educate business owners on how to successfully use different marketing tools.

Small Business Owners, Pick My Brain About Marketing & Social Media- $79 in June

June has been a very busy and exciting month for me. I just announced that I joined the cast of Asian Voices as a TV Host and Entertainment Reporter. I have also booked upcoming speaking engagements that I can’t wait to share with you very soon. Going back to the foundation of my marketing company, I want to continue educating business owners on how to successfully market their business. I recreated my program “Pick My Brain” for small business owners since I constantly get asked by people if they can pick my brain. My program is fun, effective and affordable for every small business owner. I will help you establish a solid foundation for your marketing strategy and teach you how to do this right now to immediately start seeing result.

Pick My Brain on Marketing and Social MediaHere’s the gist of the Pick My Brain Program: You have the opportunity to get all your questions answered related to your business, marketing, branding, website and social media during a 45 minute consulting call. You also have the opportunity to go through all of your online engagement tools from your website, blog, videos and social networking sites.  I will provide you with insight on how to improve and enhance your current resources. This may include tips on how brand yourself more consistently online, how to create compelling digital messages and how to have your online tools successfully working for you.

You will receive a follow up email within 24 hours of our call with a list of resources related to topics discussed on our call and a list of things to execute immediately. This program is a one time fee of $99, but in June it’s only $79.(Note: You can book in June and set it up for later to still receive my special rate.)

**To sign up for the Pick My Brain program for only $79 in June send me an email: and I’ll reply back with all the details. Spots are filling up fast so sign up today!**

*If you want to get a head start and book your session even sooner, fill out Marketing Melodie’s Discovery Questions HERE.

I made a quick video explaining the program. (Note this video was taken selfie mode before I got a tripod. It’s a little shaky and I’m not directly looking at the right place since it was hard to figure out when filming on selfie mode, but I wanted to post the video anyway to show that sometimes it’s OK to post things that are real and authentic to humanize your brand). Work with me and we’ll be marketing your way to success in no time!

Marketing Melodie Joins the Cast of Asian Voices TV

I have a new venture to add to my reel. I was invited to join the cast of Asian Voices TV as a host/ entertainment reporter. Asian Voices, currently on its second season is a television show dedicated to promoting the diverse Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. As a host I will create more awareness and understanding of the many rich and diverse Asian cultures in Southern California, breakdown the stereotypes barriers of these communities and create a positive “voice” for the community. I will do this through interviewing Asian and Pacific Islander community leaders in entertainment, culture, community, business, music, fashion, film, sports, food and more.

Asian Voices will air this fall in San Diego on 4SD, in Orange County on Cox3 and in Los Angeles on TVK24. The episodes will also all be view-able on YouTube.

While I am often on the mic speaking about marketing, interviewing is a whole new ball game. I am grateful for an opportunity to learn a new skill and connect with so many influential Asian Americans in Southern California. Since joining the Asian Voices cast a month ago, I’ve already hosted 2 segments and emceed the D6 Light The Night, Night Market. I’ll have more exciting gigs to come but here’s just a sneak peek of what you will catch on TV this fall.

Light the Night Emcee Melodie Tao from Asian Voices

So far for my segments, I’ve been graced with the presence of interviewing 2 beautiful and talented Asian American women who have inspired me in many ways after hearing their stories.

The first interview I conducted was with the well known TV Reporter, Anchor and now Media Consultant, Angela Chee of Zen Media Inc. I recently had the pleasure of directly working with Angela through a partnership I had running a division in the digital department at NBC San Diego. Angela is currently the station host for NBC San Diego so I got to see her in action. She has also been an anchor for FOX News, host on HGTV and more. This interview was special because I got to turn the cameras around and ask her all the questions. Angela shared her story of breaking into the media world, finding her voice as an Asian American and how her experience has now inspired her to become a media coach where she helps people put their best foot forward on camera and shine in the spotlight!

Asian Voices Melodie Tao Interviews Angela Chee

Asian Voices Melodie Tao Interviews Angela Chee 2

My second interview was with the beautiful and ambitious Jelynn Sophia Malone. Jelynn began her career as a hip hop dancer in Hollywood which paved the way for her to become a TV Host and Actress. Jelynn’s IMDb is quite impressive. She’s interviewed Hollywood’s biggest celebrities including Mario Lopez, Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan! She’s also starred in movies and TV shows with Christina Applegate, Josh Duhamel and Lacey Chabert to just name a few. Throughout her entire time as an entertainer, she’s always had a larger vision of becoming a business owner and entrepreneur. Jelynn shares her story of how the lessons she learned from being an actress built a strong foundation for her to launch Mostra Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster, based in San Diego. Her story will motivate you to go big or go home when it comes to creating your own business. As a fun bonus, I discovered that Jelynn and I both went to the same high school, Rancho Bernardo High!

Asian Voices Mostra Coffee Interview

Asian Voices Mostra Coffee 2

Stay tuned for more updates about my new role as an entertainment reporter and host for Asian Voices and remember to check out the show when it airs in the fall! If you know of any inspiring stories from Asian Americans in Southern California, feel free to leave me a comment. Perhaps my next interview could be with you or someone you know!

What I Learned at Facebook Boost Your Business San Diego #fbboost

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. 

Marketing Melodie at the Facebook Boost Conference

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.

Facebook Boost Dan Czaja & Marketing Melodie

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.

Facebook Boost Panel

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.

Facebook Targeted Ads

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!

Facebook Boost with Mari Smith & Marketing Melodie

A Fair to Remember- 5 Things To Do at the Del Mar Fair

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”. 

Del Mar Fair- 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. 

Del Mar Fair Foods 2015

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.

Asian Festival at the Del Mar Fair

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.

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Marketing Melodie