Curation as sales strategy

Todd SchnickI’ve been thinking about curation a lot lately. Curation, as in the act of collecting disparate pieces of content from around the internets, organizing them, and then sharing with a targeted audience.

But here’s the thing: I think curating content is a great sales strategy too.


1. It reinforces your brand. I want people to live boldly. So, I share articles that push them towards living a more intrepid life.

2. Gives you a chance to be of service. Service first, sales second, I always say. Providing helpful information to your list is a great way to be of service.

3. Allows you to control the education of your market. Marketing is about educating your market, making them understand how you can help them. Why not provide even more helpful knowledge to your market?

4. Allows you to use the work of others to keep in touch with your list. I can’t create everything, and others do an outstanding job of creating content that helps my market too. Why not tap into that? This builds trust too.

5. Gives you opportunities to occasionally share your own material. Where appropriate, I sometimes sprinkle my own content into the mix. This makes it less icky to share a link to one of my books or radio shows.

My friend, and past Intrepid Radio Show guest, Colin Wright recently published a short book on how to become a curator. A quick read, it is worth checking out:

So here is how I do it:

Every Sunday morning, I send an email to my mailing list with the curated bits from the previous week. Here’s a sample.

This has quickly become one of my favorite tasks each week. I already spend lots of time researching, studying, and learning what I can over the course of the week. Now, I have a way to take what I am learning, collate and share it, thus serving my audience.

Serving my audience is a good strategy. Builds trust, demonstrates service, and strengthens my relationship with my list. I recently received this lovely email from a member of my mailing list:

“This has quickly become my most eagerly awaited and useful email each week. You’ve introduced me to some incredibly valuable people that I was completely unaware of.”

Do you think someone with this type of reaction is a more likely buyer down the road?

Yeah. Me too.


To get my Sunday email of curated awesomeness, sign-up for my Intrepid list here.

Photograph via Unsplash.

  • Michael D. Haberman, SPHR

    A superb suggestion. I am going to do this as well. Thanks Todd, always fantastic material.

  • Marshall Kirkpatrick

    Good stuff. My favorite email newsletter right now is without a doubt Mattermark’s curated collection of content from the VC and startup world. I’ve started using UnRollMe as a sort of personal curation process as well. From a technical perspective, Kale Davis’s is pretty awesome – it just curates the best news of the week from Hacker News, no other source!

    Curation has long been one of the web’s best ways to add value, from Justin’s Links at (20 years of curating!) to BoingBoing and Lifehacker and more. Done really well, it’s a great way to build a brand – always has been. Just like anything else though, it’s hard to do well. Years ago I read an HP Social Software research paper where they traced the links from Lifehacker, BoingBoing and elsewhere to find the obscure niche blogs that were the most common sources curated from by those big blogs. That was a key source of value, the sources most trusted by the top curators!

    That’s something that inspired the creation of my company Little Bird’s product: we trace the connections between the people you know to discover people you should know – then we make it easy to read a select stream of hot content from those trusted experts for our sales and marketing customers to consider curating from.

    I like the way you’ve articulated things here, Todd. Especially: service first, sales second. This is a timeless opportunity, I don’t expect curation will ever go away, but it’s also an art that ongoing discussion can help us all get better at!

  • TommyRector

    Its what I do, son. (And have been doing for several years!) It totally works for me and my brand in my industry.

  • Todd Schnick

    Thanks, as always, for reading Mike. Knowing how you spend your time learning, I think curating some of content and sharing it with your specific target audience will be a very viable strategy for you. Look forward to exploring it further with you.

  • Todd Schnick

    Marshall, thanks for the thoughtful comment, and for sharing some cool resources. And yeah, I agree: curation will always be here, but it is an art form, and a skill that people will have to hone. Like virtually everything on the internet, everyone will do it, and most will do it poorly. The cream will rise to the top. And well, consistent application over time will also weed out the non-players. Thanks for reading!

  • Todd Schnick

    Thanks Tom! As always, appreciate your attention and your comments. Appreciate your leadership on this strategy…