Using the Power of You.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, Social Media and Personal Branding, there are loads of folks who want to learn what you have to share. Your followers are interested in watching you follow your passion for your area of expertise. By sharing interesting articles (including your own, as much as possible) you are establishing yourself as a resource for others who want to learn more about you and your business

Content Curation – What is That All About?
Content curation is the process of making your way through the vast amounts of content available on the web to then be able sift, sort, arrange and present it in a meaningful and organized way.  You will want to be choosy to pick the best content that is important and relevant to your own community. Often, curated content may be organized around a particular theme.

personal brandingCurating great content can help you as a  small business owner establish yourself as a thought leader, a valuable resource within your spheres of online presence, thus strengthening your personal brand.  You essentially become the “go-to” authority for issues or topics related to your industry.

By curating relevant content, you develop the ability to serve up frequent content which then increases your opportunities for interaction, which can help exposure over time as you strengthen your online personal branding.

This means that you will need a number of reliable sources to turn to for access to interesting and appropriate articles.

There are many tools and personal favorite methods for collecting articles that are relevant to you and your business.

Here are my current top 6 content curation sources and tools.

My current go-to tool for collecting and organizing articles that I either intend to share at some point, or would like to refer to for future blogs or to assist with a client’s online presence is  In you create boards of content around specific topics and then add content to these boards.  If you are familiar with how Pinterest helps you collect recipes and decorating ideas onto boards, then you will be able to grasp how allows you to organize your ‘saves’ onto ‘topics’  Another cool feature of is that you have the opportunity to find others on the platform who are collecting similar content as you intend to.  You simply “follow” those folks or those topics and you will have loads and loads of great content to review.  I have created 2 ‘topics’ for my profile.  I collect articles on “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs” and “Developing Online Presence”.  Check them out.

As an ardent “connector”, I enjoy sharing content that my own connections share on LinkedIn.  I am especially enjoying the Pulse feature of LinkedIn which provides a curated feed from reputable news sources. This feature allows us to choose which influencers we prefer to follow. LinkedIn Groups is the perfect place to find others with similar interests as yours.  Spend a little bit of time searching out the best groups (caution: some can kind of spammy) that are sharing great ideas and content.  Engage and share in these groups.  They can be a truly valuable resource.

Google +
My two favorite things about Google+: I love the visual appeal of the posts and I love that it’s Google. Searching for great content is easy on Google+ using the search feature for the keywords you are interested in. Hashtags are incredibly useful, too.  Arranging your contacts into relevant circles will help you scan your feeds with ease and speed. Sharing and commenting on posts on Google+ not only helps to establish you as a resource in your area, it also helps to strengthen online relationships.  Be sure to add your own insightful comments when you share a post. Find me on Google+

I use Hootsuite for content scheduling across platforms for a number of clients.  But this very cool platform also offers tools like the Hootsuite’s Syndicator and Hootsuite’s Suggested Content to find great content to share. The Hootsuite Syndicator allows you to put all the RSS feeds you follow in one place, so you don’t have to go to multiple locations to find content to share. The Hootsuite Suggested Content feature uses info from your Twitter profile to suggest categories you might be interested in. Once you’ve determined your content categories it will find relevant content that you can schedule or share out to your social networks at the click of a button. Once again, I would suggest that you review the content carefully prior to scheduling a post to make sure it is well-written and relevant.  Whenever possible, add your own comments or spin to the post.

Even if you never, ever tweet on this platform, there is no denying the strength of Twitter as a resource for really great content.  Pick a keyword, run a search on it and browse away.  Follow hashtags and conversations to see what is trending and who the influencers are in your area of expertise. Let’s tweet.

Following companies that are relevant to your own business, or to your online persona, is another great way to access interesting articles and videos that you, in turn will be able to share with your followers.Again, by adding your own take on an article will help establish you as someone with knowledge and wisdom in that particular area. I am involved in a number of private Facebook groups which I have found to be incredibly useful for increasing my knowledge and engagement in my own areas of interest.  I highly recommend finding just one or two relevant groups and spending some time learning from others in your field.

As you have by now figured out, when it comes to content curation tools and content planning, the right combination of tools depends on your goals, needs, and resourcing. Show that you are well-informed, skilled and ready to offer the best service to your clients or customers. Remember that it is important to provide quality over quantity. Be a resource, but be a respectful resource.

Personal Branding for the Small Business Owner

Need more curation tools?  Check out The Ultimate Content Curation Tools List by Business 2 Community.

I would love to hear from you on any of these topics.  I hope you will contact me with your thoughts and comments.

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