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About the Author – Erika Napoletano

Born in Opelika, Alabama and raised in Houston, Texas, Erika Napoletano’s a dose of Southern sass and business savvy — all in one little redheaded (shocker) bundle. The person behind the¬†RedheadWriting persona (on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest – don’t judge), Erika’s a 30-some-odd (ish) writer and business strategist based in Boulder, Colorado. Her blog, RedheadWriting, began back in 2006 and today delivers “unpopular thoughts and blunt advice,” calling out the overly P.C. in life and in business alike. But it’s not all funny animal photos and unfiltered snark.

For 17 years, Erika tried to fit into corporate America. Tried. Desperately. And the fact that she cared for her customers was always her demise. She saw better ways of doing things that didn’t always meld with those who signed her paychecks (with ethics playing a huge part) and in 2008, she said sayonara. She walked away from a multi-six-figure paycheck to pursue what she loved — writing — for a living. And in the process, she fell face (keyboard) first into marketing, branding, and emerging social media strategy. Which is just all English for people talking to/with people and how they do it.

While we could fill in all of the gory details, we’ll skip to the important part — a Thursday in 2009 where she was the Director of Communications for an emerging real estate technology startup. The conversation went like this:

Erika: Hey, I was wondering when I could draw a paycheck. I haven’t taken one in two months.

Owners: Yeah, we were meaning to talk to you about that. We’re out of money.

And so it happened that the following Monday, she was on her couch with a few freelance clients, a growing social media presence, and a lack of tolerance for the BS that came with relying on anyone but herself to make sure her bank account was flush. That was September of 2009.

By December of 2010, she had replaced 150% of her income from the real estate tech startup and had two book proposals out for sale.

In March of 2011, she scored her monthly column in Entrepreneur Magazine (now in its second year).

By May of 2011, she inked her first two book deals with major publishing houses.

And that’s what being an inky, foul-mouthed, tell-it-like-it-is gal with a penchant for taking care of not just her audience, but developing strategies so that her clients could get closer to their audiences, can bring.

Erika consults and speaks nationally on business and online marketing strategy, advising primarily on brand development and social tactics for launching companies. Her work and lessons learned in the branding industry led to the book contract with John Wiley & Sons for The Power of Unpopular along with her column in Entrepreneur Magazine.

She has tattoos (!!), one small dog, one large dog, two Japanese cats that don’t speak English, doesn’t take her holiday decorations down until the end of January, and (currently) has more bicycles to her name than ex-husbands (and would like to keep it that way). She rallies against lactose intolerance with the occasional banana milkshake and has an inexplicable affinity for hedgehogs. An admitted audiophile, her vision of heaven includes a choir headed up by Darryl Hall with Stevie Ray Vaughan on lead guitar. Her iTunes library is a dirty, dirty place — and she likes it that way.

You can learn more about her at ErikaNapoletano.com.