Book Review + Giveaway: What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube

In my recent  blog post about visiting Boston, I mentioned hanging out with Socialnomics creator, Erik Qualman. During our time together, he shared his successes/ challenges with me on writing and publishing books. He also gave me valuable advice on writing my own book. He was kind enough to bring me several autographed copies of various books he’s written including his latest book, What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube.

What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube Book

This is a must read! He discusses the role of digital technology on privacy where he states that “privacy is dead.” This book is short but an extremely impactful quick reference guide to living in a digital age. I read the entire book during my 9 hour flight delay from Boston back to San Diego. I absolutely love how clear and concise Erik is on getting important points across.

What Happens in Vegas, Stays on YouTube focuses on NEW rules for business, personal and family reputation. It’s structured in an easy to read list format. Each chapter focuses on a different topic such as protecting your identity, top reputation tools and business & team resources with rules related to the topic listed in the corresponding chapters. There are many examples and case studies that make the rules much easier to grasp. It’s all of your favorite tips found across dozens of places on the web, condensed into one powerful book that can fit in the palm of your hand.

I practice, teach and believe in so many rules in this book already but was still able to learn new things that I’ll be incorporating into my business and personal life. It was also refreshing to read affirmations on so many rules I live by. Here are 3 of my favorite rules/ points in the book.

1. 100% LinkedIn Profile- “LinkedIn profiles show up high in Google search results. This is particularly helpful for those who do not have a substantial digital presence.” I have been stressing the importance of having an optimized LinkedIn profile for this exact reason and many others for years! Your LinkedIn profile is your digital resume and it’s where potential employers and business partners get a glimpse of your career history and success. Since it has such a high search engine ranking, it will most likely be one of the top results when people search for you on the web. Taking ownership of your LinkedIn profile is a great step in building a positive online reputation. I am quoted for saying that I personally won’t consider hiring someone if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile and I know many employers who feel the same way.

2. Use Strong Passwords for all online accounts-Passwords have been around since ancient times. A password is definitely not something new. However, hackers are always coming up with new ways to retrieve your password. I loved reading this rule because I have been teaching people about how to create strong passwords since 2008 when I was hosting Internet Power workshops yet I still know so many people who have passwords that include their name, their pet’s name or an easy number sequence such as 12345. I personally have a different password for every single login. That may sound  like it’s impossible to keep track of but it’s not as difficult as you think. I recommend choosing a pattern to create a password for each login, then adding a standard sequence of characters that stays the same. Here’s an example with different steps that you can repeat for different logins.


  • Step 1: Create a pattern unique to the individual website. For examples, take the last letter and second letter of the website, in this case it’s nm
  • Step 2: Add another letter in between such as “p”. Now your password is npm
  • Step 3: Add your own sequence of characters starting with a capitol letter that’s the first letter of the website. Now your password is npmA
  • Step 4:  Think of a sequence of charters you’ll remember. You can choose the first 3 letters of the city you were born and the date. If you were born in San Diego on October 13, you can use san@1013. Now your password is nmpAsan@1013
  • Step 5: Repeat the same steps for every new login. So if the website is Ebay, your password would be ypbEsan@1013

The intention is to choose a pattern of steps that after you use once, you’ll remember. At the same time this will make your password different for every site and hard to figure out for anyone who might get a hold of one of your passwords. You can read another example on creating strong passwords in Erik’s book.

3. Digital Stamp- Digital Stamps are a new concept for me. As described by Erik, “A Digital Stamp is a permanent collection and culmination of your digital footprints and digital shadows. Your digital stamp matters 5 seconds from now, 5 years from now, 50 years from now and 500 years from now.” He asked companies and individuals to submit digital stamps and he shares some of them in an entire chapter dedicated to digital stamps. Erik’s digital stamp is this: “Be a digital Dale Carnegie by motivating others to their best life, leadership & legacy. Honor my family & God.” Check out the image below for a sample of other digital stamps.

Digital Stamps from What Happens in Vegas

Since I only shared 3 things I enjoyed in this book with you, I’m now giving you a chance to get your very own copy.


1. Create your own digital stamp and share it in the comments section of this blog post. This counts for one entry.

2. Earn an additional entry by Tweeting / Sharing this blog post on Twitter. Make sure to tag me @MyMelodie

3. Last but not least, whether you win the autographed book or not, your very own digital stamp could be featured in the next edition of What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube. After you have created your digital stamp and shared it with me here, email it to Erik: He’s going to be adding more digital stamps to his upcoming books and you could make your mark by being published!

The winner will be chosen Friday August 22nd, 2014 at 5pm, pacific time. The winner will be asked for a mailing address to receive your prize of one autographed copy of What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube. Good luck and I can’t wait to read your digital stamps.

Marketing Melodie Speaks: Community Health Institute

I’m excited to announce that on Tuesday August 26th, 2014 I’ll be hosting a Social Media session at the  2014 Community Health Institute held right here in American’s Finest City. The healthcare industry is making huge strides to connect on social media. Last May when I presented to a group of veterinarians at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital Symposium, I was thrilled to see so many professionals in the medical industry embrace social media as a positive tool for their business. So when I received the invite to speak at the Community Health Institute, I was happy to accept.

National Association of Community Health Centers

As Erik Qualman of Socialnomics says “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it?”. His quote is very fitting as many businesses that previously did not seem like a fit for social media (such as businesses related to healthcare)  are realizing that social media will now be a part of your business no matter what. I’m privileged for an opportunity to help people effectively integrate social media into their marketing mix!

Here are the details of the session I’m leading at the 2014 Community Health Institute:

Date: Tuesday August 26th, 2014

Time: 8:30am- 10am

Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt

Registration: Click here to register

I will be teaching healthcare professionals how to navigate social media in a field with many rules and regulations are in place. I will go over strategies for using different social networks and I’ll be hosting a Q & A to answer additional questions. If you’re a healthcare professional or are interested in this industry, you are welcome to register and attend. Also if you work in this industry and have any success stories using social media, please share them with me and you might be included in my presentation.

Marketing Melodie Speaking Engagement

I look forward to this upcoming speaking engagement. Speaking and teaching others is one of my favorite things I get to so if you are a business or organization who wants learn how to get real results with your marketing and social media efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can learn more information on hiring me to speak here.

A Week in Boston with Marketing Melodie

The primary reason for my most recent trip to Boston was to attend the National Eczema Association’s patient conference. I love exploring new places and really making the most of my time when I travel. So in addition to attending the conference, here are some other great things I got to experience during my week Boston.

My first AirBnB experience- I have known about Airbnb for years. When I needed a place to stay in Boston, I decided to try it out. I found a nice house with my own room that wasn’t too far from my conference so I went for it. Although I only saw my host when I checked in, he was very nice, explained all the keys, got me logged in on wifi and provided me with fresh towels. Sometimes when you rent on AirBnB the people renting to you are still home, so you have to make sure you’re ok with privacy. As for my case, no one else was ever home when I was there so I enjoyed my own space and had access to the entire house. I definitely recommend Airbnb as a hotel alternative when traveling. You can find a place that has a full kitchen, you can rent an entire house and often times you can save money. Here is $25 off your first Airbnb if you want to check it out!

AirBnB  in Cambridge

AirBnB Cambridge Dining Room

Special screening of Boyhood and meeting the actors- I was invited to a special screening of Boyhood.  This movie was filmed over 12 years with the same cast. The drama charts the rocky terrain of childhood. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between come together. The film is both a nostalgic time capsule and an ode to growing up and parenting. There are many moments in the film that will make you think of your own journey. It was amazing to see the actors grow up in front of my very own eyes on the big screen. After the movie we all got to meet the stars of the film Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane. They graciously stayed for a Q & A session which gave me even more insight into the unique experience of creating a movie over 12 years. 

Boyhood Movie Poster

Watching entertaining improv shows, YES….and…! - I’m intrigued and inspired by the concept of improv. I have personally taken improv classes and feel that they have helped me significantly in my business. You learn how to think on your toes, adapt quickly to any situation and craft answers that address tough questions on the spot. If you have ever considered trying improv you can check out 10 reasons taking an improv class will make you happy. My good friend since high school, Lauren Magnuson is a great improvisor and regularly performs various improv formats in front of live audiences. I personally love watching improv performances because they are hilarious and I always learn something new. Whether it’s a new word, phrase, pun or fact, I love taking in new tidbits of information while being entertained. I had a chance to watch Lauren perform at Improv Boston and then again at Comedy Sportz. Comedy Sportz is an improv competition between 2 teams where they play games based on audience suggestions. I love the interactive nature of this improv format and thoroughly enjoyed both shows.

Improv Boston with Lauren Magnuson

Comedy Sportz Boston

Autographs and Apps with C.C. Chapman- I had the honor of meeting C.C. Chapman and getting my books autographed by him. We connected on Twitter a few years ago so it was great putting a face to the Tweets. In addition to teaching marketing classes at National University I am also in charge of course development. I created a course called “Interactive Campaigns” and searched for books that touch on this topic. I came across C.C.’s book, Content Rules co-authored with Ann Handley and knew it was perfect for my course. There are many specific examples of successful businesses creating unique content tailored to their target audience. I highly recommend reading this book if you want inspiration to develop content that really connects to your customers. C.C. and I had a great chat sharing our favorite apps (He recommended I download Trip Advisor and I recommended he download NextDoor), discussing speaking engagements and the latest tech gadgets.

CC Chapman Autographing Content Rules

Getting Social with Socialnomics and Erik Qualman- Another successful entrepreneur I look up to (and literally because he’s tall!) is Erik Qualman, the founder of Socialnomics. I was grateful for an opportunity to hang out with him. Despite his busy schedule of  just getting back from DC and then heading off to Kenya in just a few days, he graciously took time out of his day to connect with me. He inspired me with many ideas to write my own book and gave me tips on getting started.  Erik is the genius behind the Socialnomics video series, the most watched videos on YouTube about Social Media. Back in 2009 when I was teaching Marketing and Communications classes at Platt College San Diego, I introduced social media to my students through showing them Erik’s videos. They provide a clear, concise and fun way to understand the power of social media. Erik has now created the 5th version in his Socialnomics video series. You can check it out here and I guarantee you’ll appreciate learning this valuable information.

Books by Erik Qualman

Lunch with Lillian’s Test Kitchen- I had a chance to spend time with the lovely Lillian of Lillian’s Test Kitchen. Lillian and I connected on social media a few years ago. I love her cooking show which focuses on delicious food that’s gluten, dairy, cane sugar and soy free. One of my favorite recipes is her cauliflower rice dish. We caught up over lunch at an amazing organic, vegan restaurant, called Life Alive (so good that I came back the next day before I had to catch my flight) where we shared cooking and health tips. Then we walked around Cambridge/ Harvard Square during the World Cup which was being shown outside on a giant screen. There was definitely a lot of great energy from everyone who was rooting on their team.

Touring Boston with Lillian's Test Kitchen

An abundance of yoga in Boston- Yoga plays a significant role in my life. I recently have been dedicated to getting stronger in my practice both mentally and physically. One of my favorite things about yoga is that there’s an abundance of yoga everywhere. Even though I’m thousands of miles away from San Diego, being on my yoga mat always makes me feel at home. I set an intention to make time for yoga while traveling and despite my busy schedule, I was able to take 5 classes, one of them being acro yoga! I recently started playing around with acro and love that it adds variety into my regular yoga practice. It builds strength, trust and looks cool! Most of my classes were taken at Karma Yoga. They have 3 locations and a variety of awesome classes to choose from. I highly recommend dropping in for a class when you’re in Boston and enjoyed every yoga class I took during my trip.

Acro Yoga at Karma Yoga

That’s my week in Boston in a wrap! Social Media has really enhanced my social life in real life. 3 out of the 4 people I spent time with in Boston were due to a social media connection. One bonus during my trip is that the weather was great! It was nice, sunny, mostly in the 70s with no humidity. I like to think that I brought the awesome San Diego weather to Boston during my stay! This was my 4th trip to Boston so if you’re ever planning a trip there, feel free to ask me for more recommendations on things I enjoyed. I’m so lucky that a conference took me to a city where I’m connected to so many amazing people who all went out of their way to make my trip “wicked” (I have only ever heard the term “wicked” in Boston) awesome.

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!


So Cal Road Trip to Celebrate Terranea’s Birthday and Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of being invited to 2 unique events. One being in LA and the other in Orange County so I figured this would be a great time for me to take a quick road trip, enjoy some fun experiences and also catch up with friends who live in my neighboring cities.

On Sunday afternoon I drove up to LA and returned to the gorgeous Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. I stayed there a while back when I did a promotion for Klout at Terrana. This past Sunday I was invited back to celebrate their 5th birthday! The event consisted of a mouth watering farm to table lunch that really was reflective of the type of food Terranea serves, live music on the meadows and breath taking views in every part of the resort. I also had a chance to relax at their ocean view pool.

Terranea Resort 5th Anniversary live music

Music on the Meadows at Terranea’s 5th Anniversary Party

Farm to Table Lunch for Terranea's 5th Anniversary

Farm to Table Lunch for Terranea’s 5th Anniversary

Terranea Resort 5th Anniversary Dessert

Farm to Table Dessert for Terranea’s 5th Anniversary

Poolside View at Terranea Resort

Poolside View at Terranea Resort

Terranea's 5th Anniersary Red Carpet Welcome

Terranea’s 5th Anniersary Red Carpet Welcome

I had a great time and am glad I got to experience this momentous occasion. Before driving down to Orange County the next day, I finally had a chance to practice yoga at Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga Studio in Santa Monica. I set an intention to practice yoga whenever I travel and I have always wanted to check out this studio since I have taken workshops and classes by Bryan Kest. I loved the simple yet very fitting decor and the class was a great addition to my road trip. After class it was time for me to make my way down the coast to Laguna Beach for the Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters Media Preview night. Little did I know what a treat I was in for!

Bryan Kest Power Yoga Studio

Bryan Kest Power Yoga Studio

The Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters is a celebration of live artwork with real people and objects making up the portraits that are showcased on stage. I have never seen anything like it and can truly say it was the most unique and intriguing type of art my eyes have ever seen. I had a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and see how the art was being created. From the elaborate sets, to makeup artists essentially serving as artists for the final masterpiece, it was truly fascinating. 

Behind the scenes of Pageant of the Arts

Behind the scenes at Pageant of the Masters

Behind the Scenes at Pageant of the Arts

Behind the Scenes at Pageant of the Masters

Finished Masterpiece at Pageant of the Masters.

Finished Masterpiece at Pageant of the Masters. Photo Credit: OC Events

During media night, we had a chance to see 4 live portraits on stage. As you can see from the above photo there are so many intricate details from the props to the clothing.  I personally kept wondering how the people were able to hold still and not blink for almost 5 minutes. If you want to enjoy this unique type of art, the Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters is open in Laguna Beach July 9th – August 30th, 2014. I definitely recommend it. If I get a chance to go back before the festival closes I absolutely will. My mini road trip was a success! Thanks to Ted Nguyen who organized the media night for social media influencers. I met Ted at a Twitter conference 5 years ago but thanks to the power of social media we stayed connect.

If you have recommendations for things to do/see in Orange County and LA let me know. I’m grateful to live in San Diego but would love to try and explore my neighboring cities more.

Welcome to the New and Improved Website

Introducing the new and improved! I  have been working hard on many improvements for my company and website so I’m excited to share them with you. Here’s what’s new:

1. Welcome Message- I added a personalized welcome message to my home page to let you know that I’m ready to help you take your marketing efforts to the next level so you can start reaching the right customers and making more money. I also remind you about my complimentary resources including a consultation and posts on my blog. What are you waiting for? Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Marketing Melodie's Welcome Message

2. Clients Page- I want to be more transparent to create a stronger relationship with current and potential clients so I’m sharing a select list of businesses I have worked with on my clients page. Please feel free to ask me about my relationship and work with any of the clients you see listed. I am happy to share more information and success stories to inspire you.

Marketing Melodie's Clients

3. Features Page- The features page is a compilation of various media outlets and organizations that have featured my company, my personal work and other fun mentions. I have been meaning to compile this page for years now so I’m happy that it finally happened and I can now share it with you.

Marketing Melodie's Media Features

I’m constantly working to enhance and improve my own marketing efforts so my website is a work in progress. While there are still many other elements I can add, I am happy with these new additions to my website so far. Thank you all so much for checking out my new and improved website. Now let’s get started on working together so I can help you grow your business through marketing!

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Marketing Melodie