Karen Tiber Leland
Founder, Sterling Marketing Group
Over the past 25 years, I’ve successfully worked as a management and marketing consultant, freelance writer, keynote speaker, spokesperson, media guest, freelance writer and reporter, author, sometime exhibiting artist and occasional actress.
Clearly, being a one-trick pony is not my strong suit — and that’s my strong suit.
I believe the power of what I contribute lies precisely in the unique mix of who I am and what I’ve done over the years. Having sat on both sides of the media — as a journalist and a guest — has given me a deep understanding of the intricacies of today’s on- and off-line media environment.
As a writer, actor and keynote speaker, I’ve experienced the world of performing in various contexts, and the decades I spent doing communications consulting with Fortune 500 companies has infused my systems approach to modern marketing and branding with a solid foundation of best practices. Below are the small details that make up the big picture of my professional life.
Marketing and Management Consultant
Karen Leland is the Founder and President of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding and marketing strategy and implementation firm helping CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs develop stronger personal, business and team brands.
Drawing on 25 years of consulting experience, Karen takes a systems approach to help her clients effectively navigate the wired world of today’s business landscape while powerfully communicating their messages to the public, potential customers and media.
Karen has worked throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America with a highly diverse group of industries. Her clients have included: Apple Computer, Cisco, AT&T, Oracle, Avis Car Rental, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, Sprint and Xerox, among others.
Karen Leland is the best-selling author of eight books, which have sold over 350,000 copies and been translated into ten other languages including German, Spanish and Korean. Her books include:
The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand (Entrepreneur Press)
Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business (Entrepreneur Press)
Watercooler Wisdom: How Smart People Prosper in the Face of Conflict, Pressure and Change (New Harbinger Publications)
Customer Service for Dummies 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions (John Wiley and Sons)
Freelance Journalist, Blogger, Columnist & Content Developer
Karen Leland has written more than 200 articles on business, food, travel, health and lifestyle for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, including: Self, Woman’s Day, Inc. magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Entrepreneur, The Christian Science Monitor, Hemispheres and others.
In addition, Karen has written book proposals, e-books, training advertorials, catalog copy, blogs and marketing and public relations materials for a variety of small businesses and Fortune 500 companies including: Lufthansa Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Banana Republic, American Express and others. She has ghostwritten blogs, e-books and book manuscripts for a wide variety of experts and enterprising clients.
Karen also has extensive experience writing for the Web and developing blog content for various websites, including More.com, allbusiness.com, webworkerdaily.com, realsimple.com, Pinkmagazine.com, Sheknows.com and others.
Media Guest and Expert
Karen is a frequent media expert on personal branding, CEO branding, executive presence and business branding for radio, television, print and online media. She has been interviewed by The Today Show, MSNBC, Fortune, Inc., Fast Company, NPR, CNN, Bloomberg, Oprah, Sirius, and others. She previously wrote segments and conducted on-camera interviews as a freelance reporter for Comcast.
In her capacity as a publicity expert, Karen has secured bookings for her clients in hundreds of media outlets including:
- Ladies’ Home Journal
- Woman’s Day
- The Wall Street Journal
- Time Magazine
- The New York Times
- The Today Show
- Harvard Business Review
- Good Housekeeping
- Black Enterprise
Keynote Speaker and Spokesperson
Karen is an international keynote speaker for a wide range of conferences and organizations, including:
- The American Management Association
- The American Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals
- The Bakersfield Business Conference
- The Direct Marketing Association
- The Young Presidents’ Organization
In addition, Karen has been hired as a spokesperson for IBM, Apple Computer, UPS, Bank of America, John Hancock and more. Ms. Leland’s spokesperson projects on behalf of her clients have involved giving keynote speeches, webinars, workshops, radio and television interviews, presenting at trade shows and conferences and meeting with members of the press.
Karen has participated as member of several profit and nonprofit boards including:
- The Marin Jewish Community Center Association Board, where she facilitated board retreats and served as chairman of the Human Resources committee.
- The Hoffman Institute, where she facilitated board and staff retreats, participated in fundraising, conducted leadership development programs and advised on branding and marketing issues. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Hoffman Institute.
- Venture Greenhouse, associated with Dominican University. VG is an incubator focused on socially and environmentally responsible early stage companies with a focus on positive economic impact.
Artist and Actor
In addition to her work in the business world, Karen has a lifelong commitment to the arts. Her paintings, prints and photography have been shown in the Sausalito Art Festival, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, The American Craft Council Show and the Celebration of Craftswomen.
Her passion for the arts encompasses performing as well. She has performed throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles as Sarah in Company; Desiree in A Little Night Music, Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes, Mona in The Guest Lecturer, Cleo in The Most Happy Fella, Theresa in How The Other Half Loves and recently as eight different characters in The Laramie Project. Karen’s acting credits include voice-over and on-camera work for industrial films and online programs.
Karen attended the Theater Arts program at Cal State University Northridge in Los Angeles County, California, and did further study at Antioch University, where she majored in Organizational Development.
In addition she has intensively studied a number of learning/communication methodologies and has extensive training or certification in neuro-linguistic programming, action learning, acting for public speaking and quality improvement/continuous improvement.