Welcome to Mo’s Letter, a series of essays by Dr Mo on personal growth and professional success in a digital world. Today’s essay is about curation.
Before we start: I recently put together an e-book on “Unlearning” — 11 stories and articles from women who have overcome anxiety, depression, fear of failure, and impostor syndrome. Take a look: https://bit.ly/UnlearningVol1
I follow a guy on Twitter who posts job vacancies every day. Naturally, he has amassed a sizable following in a country with rampant unemployment and has managed to become a sort of “recruitment influencer.” What I can’t help thinking about, however, is how perfectly positioned he is within the job market.
This man will get first-pick of every juicy job that comes his way.
Not only that, but he also has access to the salary range for each role so he can negotiate and maximize his compensation in every interview he walks into. If he so chose, he could parlay this knowledge into starting his own recruitment agency: he has a large database of jobs, and followers, and thus CVs. Getting corporates to sign on would be a breeze.
In short, he has become a resource for job-seekers and created a potentially profitable resource for himself.
In many ways, helping others directly helps you by compounding the benefits upwards (where you’re positioned). I’ve talked a bit about the 2 Cs of online content strategy (creation and curation)—and while you can see success with either approach, it’s the latter that places you at the epicentre of newer, better opportunities thanks to selection and scale.
If you like jewellery, for example, you could create and sell your own pieces for instant profits. In the beginning, at least, scaling will be slow (because you have no audience) but you can start making money on Day 1.
However, starting an Instagram page of the best jewellery pieces you come across (curation) will help you build your following quicker. If these pieces are made locally, you can then bring the creators visibility, connect them to buyers, and create a marketplace out of thin air.
Formalize this into an e-commerce store and you can take a small cut of each transaction that happens on your platform. It’ll take much longer to get there, but once you hit a certain point you’ll be raking in profits without having to create a single piece of jewellery yourself. Plus, you’ll have first dibs on all the best, cheapest, or rarest pieces that come onto the market. You can rinse and repeat this strategy for housing, clothing, cars, and more.
Be a resource
Being a resource allows you to create an audience, generate a marketplace, and monetize the reach and access you’re bringing to both buyers and sellers of the product you’re curating.
In this era, there’s nothing more important than building an audience as this will become a ready-made market for your future products. Curation also positions you as a thought leader or authority in your field, which is a level of credibility you can parlay into speaking gigs, consultations, book deals, job opportunities, and more.
Collecting and curating things is just one way of being a resource. You can also write helpful content on a subject, link people to resources, facilitate introductions, and more. Whether you’re a podcaster, a therapist, a farmer, an animal trainer, or a social media manager, find something within your field that you can be a resource on—and start building your audience early.
A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.
Till next week,
In my last post, I touched on content creation — how to win customers over by using the WWW-WWH method. Here’s what I mean:
Need help with content creation and social media management? I help brands become rockstars on all major social media platforms. Get in touch.
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Mohammed Shehu, Ph.D. writes on marketing, content, and tech for fast-growing B2B clients. You can find him online @shehuphd everywhere.