Curate Your Thought Leadership: 3 Pro Tips
As leaders, it’s up to us to share our ideas and insights with our teams and our networks. I frequently hear that one of the biggest challenges in sharing thought leadership is creating consistent, quality content in the midst of an over-scheduled calendar and multiple work priorities.
Of course writing your own content, or producing your own videos, is a great way to get attention for your ideas. Another way is to curate content from leaders who inspire you. I spoke with Ryan Duritsa, a designer whose LinkedIn feed I’ve admired for its compelling, vibrant, fun content from an array of sources. I caught up with him to find out his pro tips.
Create habits and systems. Support your goals with a structure that works for you. As James Clear says in Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, habits are more important than goals. Makes sense, of course, because consistent habits get you those goals in a way that big thinking won’t deliver. Duritsa sets an egg timer for 20 minutes to research content suitable for sharing. He tweets and posts on LinkedIn daily.
“I use a physical egg timer because I can hear it clicking,” he said, reminding him to stay focused and avoid getting sucked into the spinning vortex of social media. The 20-minute egg timer method is known as the pomodoro technique, named for the tomato-shaped timers popular in the 1980s. Determine your own approach, and how much time you can devote to curating, then treat that time as sacred.
Curate from a range of sources. Duritsa draws inspiration from a variety of social media sources, particularly Twitter and Instagram. He spends time curating his follow lists, looking at who his contacts follow to broaden his list.
“By identifying people who are posting good content, I know I won’t need to scroll very far to find something I’d like to share, said Duritsa.
Follow your own thought leaders on Twitter or, if you are in a visual profession, Instagram. See who they follow or retweet, and follow those people too. While you study who’s sharing what in your sector, keep an eye out for newsletters and articles that might interest your network to broaden your resources.
Work your goals. Of course goals, habit and systems need to be measured to determine if you are making headway. Social channels don’t let us peek behind the curtain of the algorithm, making it a challenge to see if we are getting the most traction. Duritsa’s metric of choice is to see how many viewers click through to his profile.
Your goal might be to measure engagement with your posts. Social media expert Marie Incontrera of Incontrera Consulting works with clients on thought leadership strategies that include social media, podcasting and speaking engagements, including TEDx. She suggests a win is a 1% engagement rate for LinkedIn. For example, if your post gets 100 views, then one engagement – a reaction or a comment – is good. She also says that if you post every day you’ll goose the algorithm into “super poster” status where your posts are amplified further than if you post less frequently.
As you track your results, look at what topics get the most attention from your audience, determine what is resonating with them, then dial up what they like and phase out the types of posts that might fall flat. You may look at how many 2nd or 3rd connections engage with a post, indicating that you are reaching people outside your core network.
The most important thing is to be consistent. Again, work that habit. Whether you post once a week or once a day, get your audience used to hearing from you with quality content on a regular basis. With a consistent, intentional approach, you’ll be on your way to being a master curator.