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Erica Levy Klein is the country’s top-ranked thought-leadership writer and strategist. Erica works directly with CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and other senior leaders and board members on both enterprise-wide and individual projects, such as key message platforms, white papers, senior executive speeches, articles, and Video White Papers®, for which she holds the trademark.
In addition to being a Random House and Wiley author of six books, Erica has supported the thought leadership efforts of Goldman Sachs, JPMorganChase, AIG, Oppenheimer Funds, Legg Mason, and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Technologies Division. She is also the founder of the LinkedIn group Thought Leadership Professionals Association and does one-on-one LinkedIn coaching with executives and companies across multiple industries.
How did your thought leadership writing background evolve?
My career in thought leadership took shape after I became a copywriter for several large advertising agencies, then launched and taught Washington University’s first advertising copywriting course, subsequently writing a book on the subject that was published by Wiley. Eventually, with the publication of several other books, I began specializing in the healthcare, technology, and financial services industries on the client side and realized these companies needed a systematic approach to leveraging their unique ideas, insights, and experiences in a way that differentiated them and generated significant new revenue. That’s my personal definition of thought leadership: “ideas made actionable.”
Why did you decide to leave corporate life and become a thought leadership writer and strategy consultant?
There was a clear need for a long-term approach to thought leadership in the marketplace, rather than engaging in one-off projects here and there, which is the approach that most companies were taking. So I created a Thought Leadership Blueprint™ that gives clients a six-month to one-year master plan for drawing together all the thought leadership and marketing initiatives throughout their organizations. That includes key messaging, conference and special event initiatives, social media, as well as any book projects they might want to develop as a thought leadership platform for a senior leader or the entire company.
What is the most gratifying aspect of thought leadership work?
Without a doubt, it’s helping a company’s senior leadership team elevate their discussions by integrating the insights they may not have even known about and weaving them together into a cohesive set of business development tools. It’s been wonderful interacting with as many CEOs, CMOs and CTOs as I’ve been privileged to work with—these are all smart, committed people who understand the long-term value of thought leadership, but who also need a proven strategic and tactical resource to help them achieve their bottom-line goals. I view myself as a partner and not just a consultant, and people seem to appreciate that distinction.
For more from Erica, check out her website, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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