My very smart friend Mark W. Schaefer is working on a new book called The Content Code. It will be out in April. Watch for it! As part of his book research, Mark asked me about how I have built for myself a “super brand” where people trust or want to consume what I create, without having to sample it first, and whether anyone could create a “super brand” if they chose to do so.
Here’s what I wrote back to Mark:
Every time I publish a blog post, dozens of people tweet it instantly using some sort of automation protocol. It is gratifying to be so trusted as an information provider that this group believes it is in their best interests to automatically redistribute what I write. But I also find it frightening, and it’s not something I would ever do myself.
While I certainly try to create content that passes the Mom Test every time I open the laptop to write, I know that some content is better than other content, the same way that not every batch of pulled pork is your tastiest, and not every workout achieves a personal best. By automatically sharing all of my content, this group of people is indirectly saying that my C game is still meritorious. That’s amazing to me, especially considering my attitudes could change, I could just be wrong (happens all the time), my blog could be hacked, and any number of other calamities could occur that would cause something I publish to be far below an acceptable standard.
But that’s the power of content curation as a brand-builder. These people build their brands partially by sharing my stuff, and I build my brand partially because they are sharing my stuff (and I, in turn, am sharing stuff created by other people). It’s a super brand powered by a curation circle, and as someone who has greatly benefitted from that trend I certainly will not indict it universally.