One Yellow Brick: Wizardly tips to empower building your empire

Melissa Swader’s debut book, “One Yellow Brick: Wizardly tips to empower building your empire,” offers inspiration for entrepreneurs.

Some 20 years ago when she began as a marketing executive, Melissa Swader believed she could achieve anything she set her mind to.

Now, as a nationally respected marketing influencer, she is poised to help others on the same path.

Swader’s debut book, “One Yellow Brick: Wizardly tips to empower building your empire,” distills her decades of experience as an entrepreneur.

“I started at a very young age and I went through a lot of these trials and tribulations — cliché as it sounds — as a woman in business trying to get her foot in the door and facing those challenges in a really competitive market,” she recalled. 

“I thought this is the perfect time for me to release a book. Because, after 20 years of being a woman entrepreneur, I know that there are so many students, young entrepreneurs like me, who’re probably going through the same thing.”

She comes across many during her mentoring in the entrepreneur program at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. She also meets them during her work in marketing and public relations for her company, Ruby Red Media.  

“I was really excited to get the book out because I know there are business industry professionals out there that are struggling, and so it felt so liberating,” she said. “It was so wonderful.”

Despite its fairytale imagery from the classic story set in Kansas, “One Yellow Brick” isn’t fanciful. Swader gives away plenty of concrete instructions on marketing strategies and guidelines to succeed as well as on how to build confidence and believe in yourself.

“‘One Yellow Brick’ is about all your ‘one yellow bricks’ that you have to get through, that you have to take along your journey,” she said. “There are a lot of unexpected things that happen in your life, that pull you away. It’s all these ‘one yellow bricks’ that really build your empire. 

“You just have to do it one yellow brick at a time,” she added. “So, it’s very telling.”

The book’s ideal reader, according to the author, is “anyone who’s looking for the marketing strategies necessary to reach their business goals, a student or young entrepreneur or anyone looking to build their business.” 

Even though the pandemic robbed it of a formal presentation to a gathering, the book is selling well.

That’s because Swader wears many hats, and each one helps her promote it. 

Swader works as a writer in the commercial real estate industry and knows many of its major players and the associated national media. The book contains relevant conversations to commercial real estate because of her long association in the industry. 

Hence, she counts on a “huge support system.” 

“I owe a lot of gratitude to the commercial real estate industry for that kind of media support and really pushing out my book as a writer, as a marketing media personality in general,” she said.

The Phoenix native has an international following. She maintains a dozen social media pages on various platforms, presents podcasts and programs via Zoom, publishes blogs, posts images, and constantly promotes her book. This has helped create a buzz since the soft launch in October and it’s still trending.

Swader said she feels honored to be named “2020 Influencers in Marketing” by the GlobeSt./Real Estate Forum Magazine in New York City. 

How does one become a social media influencer?

“I talk a lot,” she replied. “People are being influenced to try something when I say it.” 

Social media is her main platform., as it is “such a universal tool of communication, so I capitalize on having my confidence level where I believe in what I’m saying. When you do things with conviction, people believe you,” she said. 

On Mondays, she publishes a blog, #Marketing with Melissa, which is a two-minute video clip at a business location in the Valley, where she talks about marketing the business and offers tips.

“They are valuable, useful to them; people listen, they utilize it,” she said.  

Soon, she will also open an Amazon Influencer Store called “Fabulous Finds Online” that will feature items that will bring value to a home or business. 

Swader said she built her brand by staying true to who she is as a professional. 

“I’ve built my individual brand by being honest, bringing valuable new information and bringing valuable tips and marketing strategies to help people grow their business,” she said. “That’s how everyone knows me in business.”

In the book, she stresses the importance of community support and for people to be advocates for each other to help people stay positive during the inevitable difficulties that arise. Referring to her own community of the North Valley, she said: “We can come together as a community, or as a professional, unified organization if we start really putting together ideas and thoughts. We really can make a difference and that could be on a personal level or on a community level.”

Swader also emphasizes the importance of women supporting women and men supporting women in business. One forum that she created on Facebook called “Women in Commercial Real Estate” has more than 400 members, some of whom are top names in the industry around the world.

“They are asking questions and supporting each other and trying to find buyers, trying to sell. They’re doing it as this cohesive group of women trying to help each other and supporting each other on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “I love that. That epitomizes why I’m in marketing and why I love business.”

Melissa Swader’s

“One Yellow Brick

Wizardly tips to empower building your

empire” is available on

(paperback $19.99/ebook $9.99).

For more information, visit