Karen Dietz
December 20, 2013

6 Surefire Ways Curation Can Tell Your Story and Generate Leads

what your story

If you really want to leverage all of your hard work curating content, you want to do it in a way that tells your story. I run across so many folks who think they are curating when actually all they are doing is simply aggregating stuff. That means they’re bringing a lot of content together but not adding any commentary. Nor are they sharing with the reader why they selected article they did. In other words they are not providing a context for others that helps them generate meaning from the material collected.

In order to share your story — your voice, personality, values, viewpoints, and perspectives — without reviewing the posts you are curating it’s going to be difficult to engage your readers and keep them interested. People don’t have the time today to sift through a lot of material and try to make sense of it. That’s why they have you! Don’t make them work so hard and eventually lose interest. Help them out. Write a paragraph – in your authentic voice — about why you think the article is important, what it has to offer readers, and even what other experts might have to say about it.

Why We Really Do This

When you are out there marketing a business and using content to help you do that, ultimately what you want to generate is leads, and plenty of them. But there are other significant reasons to develop content too:

  1. Generating thought leadership, visibility, and word-of-mouth marketing for you or your company.
  2. Engaging people in conversation about your business or product\service to build relationships and generate sales.
  3. Having lots to share on your social media feeds to promote additional sharing and engagement.
  4. As a wonderful way to source additional ideas, learn more about a topic, and find and share some really cool material from other people.
  5. Establishing relationships with other bloggers/influencers and grow a community.
  6. Growing your business. Specifically you want prospects, customers, or other deals to come to you. I want that too. For example my content curation helped me land a book deal, a TEDx talk, and has help close the deal with clients.


Unique Content Or Someone Else’s?

Periodically I’m asked if companies should be creating their own unique blog posts or if they should just curate content from other people. Ultimately you want to do both since either way can tell your story. But the degree to which you write your own articles or curate others is a personal choice based on your time and talents.

For me, I agonize over writing articles, even if they are short. I fuss, fiddle, and rewrite way too much. When you add in all of the links that you want to include in the graphics and the layout, all of a sudden it feels like a big project. So for me, microblogging really works as an alternative. When I write a review for a piece I’ve curated, that’s my microblogging and it’s a lot more fun for me this way.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t write my own blog posts. I just don’t do so very often. I find I write a blog post when I run across an article that needs a lot more explanation and commentary. Or when I’ve had an experience with business storytelling that I want to share with folks — which I then promptly curate.

Some people may write more unique blog posts and spend less time curating other people’s material. Whichever way you choose works fine because you know what? The ultimate goal is to provide value to your readers.

Then again, curating someone else’s content can seem quite counterintuitive. Why in heavens name what I want to showcase my competitors and lose possible business to them? But if done right, curating material from others can increase your followers, opt in rates, and bring qualified leads. Because remember, you are writing reviews and showcasing your unique perspectives or offerings that set you apart from your competition.


Generating Leads

I definitely get frustrated with curation platforms that don’t allow you to add reviews and don’t allow readers to add comments. You want engagement; you want comments, because these are your initial leads. So what are some additional ways you can generate leads from your curation? Here are a few I use:

  1. I got my graphic designers to create the masthead on my curation to include a sign-up form for my email newsletter. In addition there is a bar near the top that mimics the navigation bar on my website. Each word is a direct link to a specific page on my website. Now how cool is that? I learned this neat trick from fellow curator Brian Yanish. Thank you Brian!
  2. Once a week create a video, or podcast or article that is a roundup of the best news or pieces you’ve curated that week.
  3. Hook up with other curators and swap content. That way you broaden your audience and possibly gain more leads. For every review I write, at the bottom I always say, “This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it.” This signature line travels with the review when it is re-scooped by other curators and I’ve found this effective to gain new followers.
  4. Think of your content is helping your readers through the entire sales cycle. Curating content can be really effective in bringing early-stage leads to your website or platform. But as the sales cycle progresses you want to add deeper knowledge to your content to help position you as a trusted advisor who has a solution to meet prospect’s needs. While I have deep knowledge in my content that I’ve curated, I think I’m still learning this one.
  5. I said this above but it bears repeating: create your own blog post and then curate it. I’ve done this to generate book sales, podcast listeners, a newsletter sign-ups.
  6. I use my content curation like a calling card and add it to my email signature lines. And it’s on my website. And every article I review in my curation also gets posted to my blog. All of this helps my business grow.


As content curation grows and matures we will have more opportunities to engage with readers; better tools will emerge for slicing, dicing, and displaying the information in our curation; and we will become more sophisticated in generating leads. In the meantime, let your story shine through in how you select your articles, the reviews you write, and how you promote your content. Above all keep having fun growing your business!

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Karen Dietz has been working in business storytelling with organizations for over 2 decades. She is also the top global curator on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it. Karen is the co-author of the just published book "Business Storytelling for Dummies" by Wiley. You can find this and more at her website here.
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