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Become a Better Thought Leader in 2024 with Curated Content

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Ah, don’t we all love that feeling?

You’ve spent hours typing away at your keyboard, pouring out your knowledge and expertise on another piece you’ve written, demonstrating your “thought leadership” in your industry.

You head to LinkedIn, share the link, and post away!

Aaaaand….2 likes and 40 impressions later….guess it’s time to hit the drawing board again?

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to continually create thought leadership content and feeling like you’re getting nowhere.

But maybe this is because your thought leadership content needs context.

This is where adding third-party content to your thought leadership efforts can help take your influence from flat to all that!

Content curation is a strategy for sharing relevant third-party content to help educate and build trust with your audience by providing them with content they find valuable.

Nobody likes hearing just one side of the story, it’s just a monologue at that point.

UpContent has helped hundreds of companies and individuals flesh out their thought leadership with our curation software.

In this article, we’ll talk about what a thought leader is, how you can’t be everything to someone, building your thought leadership with curating content, and some examples of curated thought leadership.

What is a thought leader?

The basic definition of a thought leader is someone who people turn to when looking for answers about a specific topic.

A person who people trust as an expert and knows what they are talking about in an unbiased and valuable way.

Thought leaders can help cut through the clutter of content we all experience when searching for something on Google, but it’s easy to add to the chaos if you’re not careful.

Thought leaders share both Knowledge and Perspective on topics of relevance and know which to communicate to maximize the benefit of their contribution.

The easiest way to show the difference between the two is with an example.

Knowledge is when you share the steps to fixing a leaky faucet.

Perspective is when you talk about the best ways to fix a leaky faucet.

Subtle, but different.

Back when content marketing and LinkedIn were still new, thought leadership was all about creating your own content to show you were the expert and could communicate solutions to your audience.

Write. Write. Write.

But now, anyone can publish a blog (or video, or podcast).

How does your audience know they should be looking to you for that information?

Naturally, if your authority isn’t evident,  we all research more and visit other resources to validate what you prescribed.

You know as well as I do that there is SO MUCH CONTENT about pretty much anything you could search for. 

The problem is not the same as it once was: people aren’t looking solely for knowledge anymore. 

They need help cutting through the immense amount of information and perspective on the knowledge already out there.

That’s how, in 2023, you can round out your thought leadership efforts.

But how exactly will you do that if creating your own content isn’t good enough anymore?

You Can’t Be Everything

The first step to becoming a thought leader is defining your area of expertise.

In what areas do you have unique knowledge and perspective, because you can’t be everything to everyone all the time, right?

Let’s take an example we all can understand.

Maybe you are a roofing contractor. You specialize in all things roofing for homeowners, so that’s perfect content for you to create content around!

This is where YOUR knowledge exists.

But every homeowner doesn’t need information about their roofs all the time, right? This makes your knowledge valuable, but only when needed. 

How can you remain relevant when roofing knowledge isn’t an immediate need?

If someone owns a roof, they probably own a home!

So the same people coming to you for roofing advice are also interested in all kinds of home improvement topics, like maybe bathroom renovations or how to paint sheetrock.

But does this mean you should also be creating content about other areas of home improvement that you don’t specialize in just to be the thought leader they come to? 

Probably not. Setting aside the constraints of time and budget, creating any knowledge content where nearly 100% of it comes from your own Google searches likely isn’t providing much value to your audience. 

This is where sharing content with your perspective comes in.

You shouldn’t be compiling an original article on something you don’t already have explicit knowledge of. 

But just because you aren’t a plumber doesn’t mean you, as a roofer in the home improvement industry, don’t have valuable perspectives on these topics.

So how do you effectively share content you aren’t exceptionally knowledgeable in?

Building Your Thought Leadership with Curated Content

Content Mix.

Have you ever heard of it?

It’s the idea of your content marketing strategy being comprised of content you and your company create and using third-party content to help supplement.

Now, this could look like many different things, like content curation, syndication, aggregation, or user-generated content.

.But we have found that one of the easiest ways to start diversifying your content.

Using the knowledge vs. perspective guide from earlier, you can figure out which topics you should create and which you should curate.

If it's an area where you have explicit knowledge; in almost all cases, you should be writing about that or creating a video about something original in this area of expertise because you have unique knowledge that others don't have.

But if it's in related areas, you can curate from people with that knowledge and share your perspective. 

This way, your audience gets the best knowledge across all of their interest areas and knows they can come to you for not only your unique knowledge but the value you provide in helping them find the best knowledge in areas you aren’t a specialist. 

Through curation, your audience is learning more about you and gaining knowledge from other people who are the best in their space because you're also adding perspective to it. 

Examples of Curated Thought Leadership

An example of how you can share your perspective on a piece of curated content is, “Here's why I think this is the best article to read about leaky faucets.” (Continue with a short summation of your thoughts on the matter.)

You could also add your opinion or hot take on a piece, as long as you’re being respectful.

“While most people say you should hire a plumber to fix all of your leaky faucet problems, I think some situations can be handled by the homeowner because…” (enter your thoughts or reasons)

Scott Brinker, the VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, is an excellent example of sharing original content and curated content for thought leadership purposes. 

While he is a trusted resource for many in the marketing technology industry and has little need for developing additional credibility, he still sees the value in sharing third-party content to add to his perspective on the matter.

Next Steps to Using Curated Content for Thought Leadership

Being the one to help bring the answers to people's questions is extremely valuable. 

However, automatically assuming that to become a thought leader, you have to know, write, and create all of the answers your prospects are looking for is fundamentally flawed. 

Your audience isn’t looking for your answer, they are looking for you to help them find the best answer whether that be from you or others.

The best way to become a thought leader, either at the brand or individual level, is to create only on the areas in which you have unique expertise and then find the best knowledge about those other questions that your prospects have. 

Make it easy for the prospects to find that information and understand your perspective, and that's what's going to keep them coming in and checking with you first for all of their questions or for doing research in your industry.

UpContent makes finding that high-quality third-party content easy by using our proprietary crawler to find articles tailored to your specific criteria and bring them into one dashboard for you to curate and share with your audience.

If you’d like to learn more about how UpContent and curated content can help you in your thought leadership, schedule a call today with one of our Content Curation Experts.

Check out these articles if you’d like to learn more about content curation!

What Is Curated Content?

Created Content vs. Curated Content: Which One Is Right For You? Pros and Cons to Help You Decide

Why Your Social Selling Strategy Isn’t Working, and How You Can Fix It

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