Save time becoming a Thought Leader

As we’ve progressed through the last two decades of the digital revolution, we’ve seen what was once a nascent industry become an integral part of our daily lives. Indeed, most legacy aspects of business now rely on aspects of the digital realm as part of their “marketing stack”. Empirical evidence shows us that the most successful online entrepreneurs strive for “Thought Leader” status as a way of standing out from the online clutter that permeates today’s web environment.

Be seen as an expert

Perhaps the single most valuable channel used to strive towards Thought Leader status is that of content, and its subcategory of curated content. Proper use of content marketing is very powerful, but it takes a great deal of effort to create and publish good content. A reliable addition to your content marketing efforts is curated content, where you use articles written by others and attach your viewpoint in order to accrue the associated Thought Leader benefits for your brand. Curated content is a valid and rewarding method for part of your Marketing Mix when time constraints prevent you from creating your own original content.

Why Thought Leaders Curate Content

How is this Thought Leader-status association achieved, you ask? Empirically, it’s easy to understand. Just think of how many times a Facebook friend of yours has posted an article and inserted a little blurb over the top of that article. For example, a concerned neighbor posts an update from the local TV station’s website informing about an accident that is disrupting traffic flows, with a blurb from them directly saying “Watch out for traffic on Highway 123, take Highway 456 instead!” On the surface, that concerned and caring neighbor simply made the post to inform his/her immediate circle to drive home a different way. However, there are other factors at play here, such as;

  • That neighbor has now subliminally associated themselves as someone who pays attention to Facebook with respect to Local News.
  • That neighbor has now subliminally associated themselves as someone who actually cares about the neighborhood in general.
  • That neighbor has now subliminally associated themselves as someone who is dependable.

The same applies for any professional who regularly posts content about a certain subject. Such a person striving for Thought Leader status will be seen as an expert simply by regular posts on the subject in question.

4 Pillars for Curating Good Content

When trying to decide on what content to look for and then post, there are 4 Pillars to consider, as follows;

  • Relevance
  • Insightfulness
  • Variety
  • Shareability

Relevance is quite obvious. The more relevant the article, the more status you will accrue from posting it. The opposite is also true. Posting an article that is NOT relevant will actually be a negative for your status. Insightfulness is also worth paying attention to. The deeper the knowledge contained in the article, the better the end-user will appreciate it. It doesn’t do you much good to find short articles that simply regurgitate commonly known facts. Try looking for articles which are well-researched and have meaning. Variety would seem to be counter-intuitive to Insightfulness, but it isn’t. Knowing your subject matter well enough to determine various aspects within your industry and then finding hyper-specific articles on these various subjects is essential to building your reputation as a Thought Leader. Finally, Shareability cannot be ignored. The more shares your post generates, the better it is for the profile in question.

Save Time Curating Content

One of the commonly cited problems with content marketing is the amount of time it takes to find good content. Indeed, finding relevant content is more of a roll-the-dice task. Between Google searches and scanning through various email Newsletters that you are a subscriber of, it takes almost as much time to FIND a relevant article as it would have taken to simply to write one from scratch! In the fast-changing world of digital marketing, various tools have sprung up over the last 12-18 months that aid in the task of finding good content. These tools all strive to empower the User to zone in on the content he/she requires. The best tools offer the ability to increase relevance by filtering content by keywords, along with one-click options to post the chosen article to your social media of choice. Currently, I prefer Gnowit, as it offers all of these features.

One of the features I appreciate the most in a content curation tool is the ability to edit the content. For example, once I’ve found a piece of content that I want to post on one or more of my networks, I like to give the article my own “spin” and attach my own commentary, in the fashion of a “Book Review”. Accordingly, I look for any tool that I use to have a proper edit feature built in that allows me to insert my own phrase to go along with the link. Now, that custom content is quite important, as that will be the first thing your Users see, and is the primary determining factor as to whether they click the link to your article…or not. Best practice is to flesh out that attached statement as much as possible in the space you have. Statements such as “This is a good read!” don’t really work that well, as they are much too vague. Try a statement such as “Give this a read if you’re interested in curated content” in order to increase click engagement for your article link.


In closing, good content curation tools will save you a ton of time, and increase your standing with your peers within your industry, making you a conduit for your followers to obtain information on news within your sector. Even though they won’t send you too many thank you notes, trust me when I say that they DO appreciate your efforts. You’ll eventually be seen as an expert in your field, and accrue the benefits of such status.

Best of luck!

About the Author

Jordan St. Jacques is a Growth Hacker and Digital Marketer for Digitera and is based in Ottawa, Canada. His twitter is @mydigitera. Jordan’s first introduction into the digital world was in 2004 with the advent of MySpace where he was one of the first people in the world to take a MySpace profile to over 1,000,000 friends. From 2004-2013, Jordan added other such digital skills every year, including WordPress in 2009. In 2013, Jordan left the entertainment world and entered the Tech World, and is now a regular Speaker on both Digital Marketing (including Social, SEO and Email) and of course WordPress! 

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