Why you should be a Content Curator, not a Content Creator

Blogs and email newsletters are really hard to pull off for accounting and bookkeeping firms.

It's tough to make time to write content, and it's even more difficult to write content that people want to read. That's why most accountants don't do content marketing, or they make an initial effort, get little response (because their content isn't very good), and then give up.

This is not surprising.

Most accountants and bookkeepers didn't get into the business of numbers because they're great writers. So why would we expect better results?

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way! We're just going about it all wrong.

Getting content to your clients and prospects doesn't have to be difficult at all. It can even be easy (and maybe fun, too) according to Wayne Schmidt in a recent webinar by his company, Karbon (formerly PracticeIQ). 

Wayne argues that accountants should curate content vs. creating it. Rather than writing original articles, you should scour the Internet in search of blog posts and videos that your clients and prospects will like, and share those instead.

Hoe's six-cylinder rotary press from the 1860s. Source: Wikipedia.

This makes a lot of sense. Why spend a bunch of time writing original content when there's plenty of content already out there (and with creators who are eager for you to share it)? This is especially true if you're in a "boring" niche – for example, the taxation of commercial real estate transactions. 

What are the chances that your prospects are interested in reading about the nitty gritty details of the latest IRS regulations? If this is your area of expertise, it's probably what you'll want to write about. But your clients hired you so that they don't have to know any of this stuff. They hate taxes! And most of them have zero interest in reading about it.

Don't bore your clients and prospects with technical writing.

Don't bore your clients and prospects with technical writing.

As Wayne points out, one of the top reasons people unsubscribe from "permission emails" (your email list) is that content is repetitive or boring. So don't write about stuff that's boring to your clients, even if you find it interesting. No one else cares. (Sorry to break it to you).

Rather, you need to find the content that will be interesting to your clients and prospects. And it doesn’t have to be anything from your area of expertise. It's probably better if it isn't. That's why you have to curate content rather than create it.

Here's an example. 

As an expert in the taxation of commercial real estate transactions, "Tax Ted" naturally wants more clients who are owners of commercial real estate. They're the type of people who want his services, but don't really want to know much about the details. 

Instead of writing about taxation issues, Tax Ted decides that it would be a lot more helpful to his clients if he shared articles on topics of greater interest to them. Perhaps something about how to pick a property management company to take care of your commercial property investments.

Ted doesn't know anything about this, so he finds an article somebody else wrote online about that topic and posts it on his blog, and maybe even with the addition of a few of his own insights. He then copies the blog post into an email in Mailchimp and sends that out to his client email list. After that, he takes a few minutes to post a link to his new article on LinkedIn.

Ted didn't have to do a lot of work to write an article and post on social media, and he was able to put some content out there that is of interest to both his clients and his prospects. That's the added bonus of content curation β€” it's also a lot easier than content creation.

So how I do I get started with content curation?

Wayne recommends Flipboard and TED as great places to find content. He also recommends going to the blogs of the various accounting software vendors and looking for good content there. 

I would add another app to the list: Feedly

Feedly is my personal favorite app for keeping track of all the blogs that I follow. It's what's known as an "RSS Reader". This means that you can put a blog address into Feedly, and it will keep you updated of all the new blog posts that get added to that website.

Feedly is a great way to stay on top of all the content being published on many sites without having to visit them all individually. It's also easy to share that content using Feedly's integration with Buffer, which is an awesome tool for scheduling your social media posts.

You should subscribe to various cloud accounting and industry blogs using Feedly.

Software companies are constantly putting out new content in order to increase their search engine rankings. This free content is a potential treasure trove to repurpose for your blog, social media posts, or email list. 

Here are just a few examples of SaaS companies with some great content. You can use Feedly to subscribe to these blogs and stay on top of new posts in one place:

Once you start curating content, try going to the next level: Content Remixing.

If you've been paying attention, you may have realized that this entire post is a form of content curation. I didn't come up with any of these ideas β€” I'm just sharing what Wayne told me on his webinar. But I also added my own touch. Perhaps we can call this "Content Curation Level 2", since I'm also adding some of my own insights and opinions. Or maybe we can call it "Content Remixing".

Whatever you call it, it sure was much easier to write this blog post versus coming up with my own ideas from scratch.

Thanks, Wayne!