CEO Branding

    CEO Branding

    CEO Branding

    Discover How Creating a Parallel CEO Brand Can Impact Your Career and Company

    Far from being a luxury, an exercise in ego or even a nice-to-have, building an executive or CEO brand is a requirement in our digital world. According to the Burson-Marsteller “CEO Reputation Study,” close to 50 percent of the reputation of a company can be attributed to the standing of its CEO. Like it or not, today’s CEO has been pre-cast in the role of their company’s Chief Brand Ambassador. Assuming you have accepted the charge to leverage your personal brand for the good of your organization, SMG can work with you to implement the CEO Branding Matrix to help you get there.


    C-Suite CEO Branding Matrix

    At SMG we believe the path to creating a strong executive and CEO brand involves taking a series of actions that are distinct from, and go beyond, the branding of your business and include the following:

    • Managing your online presence and practicing CEO reputation management via LinkedIn (and other social media sites), search engine optimization, web presence and others.
    • Creating your executive presence by design instead of default using a personal brand narrative, brand collateral, positioning and personal gravitas.
    • Establishing your thought leadership through media exposure, speaking and publishing.
    • Implementing a content marketing strategy to get your unique message and expertise across.

    For more information on how SMG can help you design and implement your Executive or CEO brand, contact us to schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation.

    Team Branding Off-Site

    Team Branding Off-Site

    Team Branding Off-Site

    Taking the time to align your team’s brand and strategy now, saves time, effort and energy later.

    Team-Brand-Mapping-Process-900This one- to two-day intensive off-site strategy planning session is designed to facilitate a robust discussion with full engagement and alignment around the team’s future brand and strategic focus.

    Done right, a team brand can have a powerful impact on the team’s effectiveness and engagement with each other — and the rest of their organization. New and improved team skills are almost always required to make the team brand a reality, and as such challenge a team to grow in their personal and team talents. This off-site is a powerful process:

    • If your team needs a deeper alignment and commitment to the current team/project strategic direction.
    • If your team desires closer relationships between team members and a clearly defined code of conduct.
    • If your team wants renewed inspiration and engagement with the team, project or departmental purpose.
    • If a resolution of ongoing issues/disagreements about team/project direction is needed.
    • If an acknowledgement of, and commitment to, personal changes among the members is required to implement the team or project mission.
    • When you are forming a new project or intact team and/or have had a change in major team players and need to create alignment on purpose, objectives and strategy.

    During the off-site the team will create their next level of brand expression from inventing the future, rather than looking at the past; gain clarity on the team dynamics required to create the newly desired brand culture, develop and align on a strategic plan that is consistent with the team brand, and identify specific plans of action for both individuals and groups and then commit to their fulfillment.

    For more information on having Karen Tiber Leland, founder of SMG, facilitate a team branding off-site, please contact us to schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation.

    Rent My Brain

    Rent My Brain

    Rent My Brain

    Are you in need of a fresh perspective on your brand or professional guidance on your next steps?

    This is a power-packed, one-hour, high-speed shortcut telephone consulting session with SMG founder Karen Tiber Leland that gets to the heart of what’s next in your branding and marketing. Typical issues that bring people to a Rent My Brain session include:

    • Feeling conflicted and confused about their social media, marketing or brand strategy.
    • Wondering why their platform is not converting more clients.
    • Confusion about the best marketing strategies for the highest return on their money.
    • Frustration at not getting the recognition for thought leadership they deserve.
    • Dissatisfaction with the current state of their online brand including website, LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    In this lightning-strike strategy session, you will leave with a three- to five-point doable action plan that you can immediately put into place that will result in increased business, income and buzz. Past client results from the consultation have included:

    • One client closed $25,000 worth of business by implementing one small adjustment.
    • An author was offered an online column at a top-ten website.
    • A company saved $15,000 by ditching a marketing strategy that would have wiped out their marketing budget, with no real results.
    • A client placed an article on that became #1 on the site that week and was subsequently interviewed by NPR and experienced an increase of 400 percent traffic to their website, and Arianna Huffington wrote about them in a book.
    • 6 months and 10k trying to come up with a name for their business, and we did it in the one-hour call.
    • 1 blog post that landed $33,000 worth of business.

    Schedule a Rent My Brain session today with Karen Tiber Leland, founder of SMG, and receive a discounted price of $500 (a $250 savings).

    The Brand Mapping Process

    The Brand Mapping Process

    The Brand Mapping Process

    A multilayered, congruent story told across multiple channels.

    Personal and business branding is not just a single statement or a clever quip but a multilayered, congruent story told across multiple channels, both online and off. The power is in knowing how to tell the story.

    Using the SMG Brand Mapping© process, the client will be facilitated through a one-day dialog and experiential session. The process focuses on discovering and honing the eight elements of an engaging and effective personal and business brand and addresses:

    • Creating a unique personal and business branding proposition and promise. What is the thought leadership that you bring?
    • Using language and behaviors for powerfully communicating your presence. How can your use of language and presence create greater influence and meaning on a broader scale and with a bigger audience?
    • Developing a personal and business brand story that is both authentic and informative. What is your brand narrative, and how can it be most powerfully presented?
    • Achieving clarity on your current brand and where adjustments are needed. Where do you stand today in terms of reputation, and is that where you want to be?
    • Identifying personal and business brand diffusers and neutralizers and coming up with an enhancement plan. In what ways are you helping or hurting your brand?
    • Uncovering your core brand energy and infusing your brand with a distinct energy, mood and tone. What is the essence of your personal and business brand?
    • Translating the brand into a specific website architecture and other brand identity collateral materials, which can be communicated as the basis for design or redesign, as needed.

    In addition to the one-day Brand Mapping© session, as part of this process, the client will receive: a current brand position intake and evaluation, revision of the personal LinkedIn profile, creation of a personal branded biography, and a six-month branding strategy specific to the client’s objectives.

    For more information on The Brand Mapping Process©, please contact us to schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation.

    Content Development/Marketing

    Content Development/Marketing

    Content Development/Marketing

    A well-executed, ongoing content marketing strategy can grow the traffic of qualified potential customers to your site.

    A recent survey of entrepreneurs and executives on B2B content marketing found that 61 percent say that producing enough and/or engaging content is their top challenge.

    Karen Tiber Leland brings to the table over 25 years of extensive experience with content development. Her work as a journalist, blogger, training program designer, speechwriter, webinar developer, freelance reporter, author and marketing copywriter informs her deep knowledge of content marketing.

    Our process begins with a brand and business audit to fully understand the types, tone, and topics of content that will work best for your company. Next we conduct SEO research to determine what key words and phrases should be woven into the content developed. Finally, we work with you to create, implement and measure a content strategy for maximum marketing impact.

    A well-executed, ongoing content marketing strategy can grow the traffic of qualified potential customers to your site, raise your profile as an expert in your field and increase your search engine ranking through an influx of inbound links.

    Specialists in gleaning and repurposing your existing content and developing new work, we offer value-rich, highly branded content that can take the form of original writing, ghostwriting or expert content and includes:

    • E-book/White Paper Development
    • Blog Posts
    • Webinars, Training Programs and Keynote Speeches
    • Newsletter Design and Development
    • Feature Articles
    • Book Proposals and Full Manuscripts
    • Podcasts
    • Tweets

    E-book/White Paper Development

    SMG will work with your existing expertise to write, create and produce a short white paper or longer-format e-book for use as a lead-nurturing and lead-generation tool.

    Blog Posts

    To begin, we will create a six-month editorial calendar that focuses on a wide variety of topics related to your business expertise and experience. Once topics have been established, interviews with the client will generate draft blog posts to be written in your language and voice and include, when appropriate, relevant statistics, studies, expert interviews and how-to content. The posts may also contain audio and/or video as appropriate.

    Webinars, Training Programs and Keynote Speeches

    A continuing staple of the content world, training programs — both online and off — are a powerful way to promote your expertise in a given area. SMG works with our clients to turn their proprietary principles, practices, models and other information into streamlined, high-energy, content-rich trainings, webinars and keynote speeches. Based on the principles of adult learning theory and integrating appropriate design and technology elements, these programs are customized to fit the unique needs of each client’s brand and business.

    Newsletter Design and Development

    Want to send out a professional monthly or quarterly e-newsletter but lack the time or writing skills to put one together? SMG can write, design and/or distribute a high-style, high-content newsletter that nurtures your ongoing relationship with clients and helps convert prospects to customers.

    Feature Articles

    SMG will work with you to determine appropriate article topics and pitch relevant magazines and/or major blog sites your bylined guest article. SMG can also ghostwrite or edit, as needed, the draft article for publication based on your unique content, editorial voice and point of view.

    Book Proposals and Full Manuscripts

    We can assist you in the conceptual development of a book proposal and, if requested, draft a full document based on the ideas and information you provide. SMG can create a fleshed-out book proposal that includes the following sections: Overview, About the Author, Books on a Similar Topic, Promotion Plan, Part Outline (if applicable), Chapter Outline, Table of Contents and Sample Chapter. In addition, we offer ghostwriting services for full book manuscripts based on the client’s content, voice and brand.


    Based on an extensive client interview, SMG will write, produce and record a series of 10-to-15-minute podcasts with the client for publication on the their website as a downloadable giveaway, a product for sale or a bonus for their newsletter. All podcasts are uploaded onto iTunes as well as the client’s website.


    Relying on source material provided by the client and independent research conducted by SMG, we can write and set up for automatic posting up to a year’s worth of tweets. For authors, using your book manuscript as the basis, we extract and post a year’s worth of tweets.

    To find out more, please contact us to schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation.

    Building A Brand-Centric Company Culture

    Building A Brand-Centric Company Culture

    Building A Brand-Centric Company Culture

    Building A Brand-Centric Company Culture

    It’s one thing to design the architecture of a company brand; it’s another to create a brand-focused culture where the brand is being lived day to day, at all levels of the organization.

    The process requires participation from the senior executive level to the front-line staff and takes between six months and one year to complete.

    Just as creating a personal brand has become a key component in managing individual careers, building a brand-centric business has become a nonnegotiable factor in company success. Simply having a good product is no longer good enough. According to research, 87 percent of corporate executives believe that having a strong corporate brand is as important as having strong product brands.

    How do you get to this sometimes-illusive state of organization-wide brand focus? It requires creating a culture where your brand promise is woven into the fabric of how your company does business.

    At SMG we work with SMB’s and Fortune 1000 companies to implement an organization-wide, in-depth consulting and training process that provides a six-point customer-centric approach to creating a brand-focused company culture. Points include:

    • The Customer Experience: Brand-Focused Connection
    • Walking the Branding Talk: Is Our Leadership a Product of the Product?
    • Lining Up All Your P’s and Q’s: Three Ways Customers Judge Your Company Brand
    • Brand Is Everyone’s Business: Treat & Train All Employees as Brand Ambassadors
    • Let Brand Energy Drive Brand Design
    • Utilizing the Power of Teams to Drive Continuous Brand Improvement
    • Create Narrative-Driven Standards: The Why of the What

    For more information on how SMG can work with your organization to create a brand-centric culture, please contact us to schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation.

    Keynote Speaking

    Keynote Speaking

    Keynote Speaking

    Hire Karen Leland to Speak at Your Next Event.

    As an international keynote speaker, Karen Tiber Leland has presented for a wide range of conferences and organizations around the world, including:

    • The American Management Association
    • The American Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals
    • The Bakersfield Business Conference
    • The Direct Marketing Association
    • The Young Presidents’ Organization
    • Vistage
    • The Loyalty Expo Conference

    The following presentations can be conducted as a keynote presentation, half- or full-day seminars:

    • The Marketing Mastery Pyramid: Design, build and accelerate your brand
    • 3 Steps to Thought Leadership
    • Creating Your C-Suite and CEO Brand: The power of a parallel brand to drive CEO and C-suite reputation, executive presence and thought leadership
    • Personal Branding as a Path to Leadership Presence
    • Building the Brand-Centric Company: Create a culture that gets your organization in alignment with your brand promise

    For more information on booking Karen Tiber Leland to speak at your company or conference, please contact us to schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation.