Above is a quick video of me sharing my thoughts on the POWER in developing influence and thought leadership through Twitter engagement (from a happy hour at SXSWEco 2014, no less). This gives you a great sense of my enthusiasm for the topic. I was more recently named to the Serve To Lead “Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs” which cited my work in unifying leadership, sustainability and social media as “a gateway into 21st Century leadership.”
I’m an independent integrated communications strategist working with businesses and nonprofits in the sustainability, climate action and social impact space. My dream projects involve helping clients understand the incredible power in building social capital. I provide the fresh thinking and expertise that will make their content, social platforms, events and speaking appearances all align for the biggest leadership bang. I love, then, also being able to activate my own social platforms to further amplify client content and news.
The leadership secret that shouldn’t be one is this: Building a social platform is about building social capital that can be at-the-ready for activation.
Today’s organizations and corporations can lead by being first to step boldly into more visible leadership roles for climate action and social impact. Too few do, and often because they don’t have the expertise or communications team capacity. But, that’s why I do this work.
I’ve helped clients learn about and leverage social media (specifically with org/business-facing leadership goals) in ways that include:
• How to quietly gain competitive advantage by using social media as a business intelligence “listening post.” (Sometimes this behind-the-scenes insight gathering is powerful enough, in and of itself.)
• How to most naturally and effectively engage with their unique and tightly targeted influencers – whether journalists, industry experts, academics or business leaders.
• How to best leverage their digital platforms around conference panels/keynotes/events.
• How to translate the insights gained through all of the above for stronger content, events, and interviews.
My services include the following:
Overall communications strategy tune-up: I help clients in communications department transitions by advising on how to best align content and social media plans, and on where there may be specific opportunities to better build leadership visibility. I’ve got experience helping both organizations that do not yet have an FTE communications manager or that are in need of a jumpstart for transitioning into a new focus area. [4-month project. This includes coaching of the in-house team for the hand-off].
Leadership platform building: Many clients come to me for a specific leadership platform-building project. I initially audit their online presence, and then help guide and ramp up their social engagement potential. Once I’ve monitored interactions and key, targeted industry conversations, I help create a customized strategy for better using his/her voice authentically and at a realistic, manageable scale. [4-month project. This allows for front end industry and influencer insight gathering, building a trusted relationship with the leader, and being able to offer some coaching for background communications team members for the hand-off.]
Twitter/LinkedIn jumpstart (organization and/or individual leaders): Often part of the above, this is where I conduct “business intelligence” research and develop a social listening dashboard. Through that I am able to anticipate event (offline or digital) opportunities, gain insights for general website content strategy and build or re-new a strong foundation of engagement/branding in your organization’s most strategic topics. [3-month project. This is an excellent option for those who have begun, but may not yet be actively leveraging their social media presence].
One-time event-based Twitter handle management: Many of the clients I’ve helped with the above continue to call on me beyond our initial engagement to conduct strategic oversight/management of their Twitter handle for specific milestone events. Most clients use this service leading up to and around a conference where they seek a boost in their influence/leadership profile. [2-month project. This is a great way to maximize impact and become a very visible industry influencer with a wider range of stakeholders (including the media)].
Whether it’s my background in marketing to women or my now 12 years of focus on sustainability, climate action and leadership, the thread that runs through my career is this: I guide clients in how to build meaningful, human scale communications strategies that re-ignite and amplify business impact.
Client And Colleague Comments
“Andrea has been an incredible resource during her time working with KEXP. For every project she’s been a part of, she’s offered valuable insights, created online connections that result in off-line partnership, and informed long-term strategic direction for how we can increase our impact in the community. I am consistently impressed with Andrea’s capacity to dive into a new campaign and instantly recognize connections that can be built through social media that ultimately help us meet our goals. She keeps us thinking about what’s possible. It is truly a pleasure to work with Andrea.” – Dashel Schueler, Associate Director of Development, External Relations, KEXP
“Out of the gate for just a two-month project, Andrea helped us jump start a new Twitter handle, engage with our key influencers, and be ‘seen’ at industry events we were attending for the first time. With her deep sustainability and social impact background, she was able to identify strategic opportunities that helped us amplify the impact of our blog posts. If you know you need to build a social media presence to launch new products or amplify milestones, I can’t recommend Andrea enough. Her strategic mind and social media savviness will be a benefit to you and your company.” – Susan Fairchild, Director of Investor Relations and Impact, Green Canopy
“Our work with with Andrea Learned on the 2016 Climate Leadership Conference in Seattle helped make the conference a huge hit on social media. Her expertise and vast network made even a small, event-driven project like this an extremely worthwhile investment for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.” – Marty Niland, Communications Manager, C2ES
“Andrea has an intuitive understanding of how to strategically leverage social media to effectively engage customers, employees, and other stakeholders.” – Hugh Byrne, Sr. Vice President, GreenBiz Group
I enjoyed an early career in writing and consulting on marketing to women – during which time I also co-authored Don’t Think Pink. This led to my taking a deeper look at who leads in business and how they tell their stories or build their networks of impact. All of this collided (in a good way) with my personal passions for sustainability, climate action and impact investing.
In 2011, I wrote my Master’s thesis (Goddard College, Sustainable Business & Communities program) on the leadership traits of successful corporate sustainability executives. Along the way, and driven by my desire to share more of what I was learning, I developed an expertise in using social media for influencer engagement. Today, the ability to significantly and collectively amplify innovative ideas or world-changing messages drives my work as both a writer and consultant.
Additional Backstory Links
- A November 2011 profile of me: TheAtlantic.com.
- My March 2011 piece: Gender and the Sustainable Brain: Solutions Journal (March 2011):
- My 2004 book: Don’t Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy – And How To Increase Your Share Of This Crucial Market (AMACOM)
- My HuffingtonPost.com archives.