My tips if you’re thinking about curation

I’ve been writing about the curation business model recently. It’s made me think about what makes for a successful business based on curating products and services and really helping people to buy the right thing for them.

7 success factors for curation

  1. Pick something which people are confused about, where there is some complexity and an excessive degree of choice.
  2. Pick something which doesn’t have a lot of information on it already.
  3. Research it in depth. If you’re going to be the go-to source of vacuum cleaners, you have to know an awful lot about vacuum cleaners. You have to immerse yourself and become an expert, in the same way that a museum curator knows a lot about their subject.
  4. Be able to write about it in a convincing, interesting way. You’ll have to write a lot of content for this to work, so make sure you can write it well, or find someone who can.
  5. Your products must be high enough margin for you to make a profit. There’s no point in doing this for, say, boiled sweets, where you’d have sell millions of them to make any sort of money at all.
  6. Be open about what you’re doing, especially about where you’re making your money, and be clear about the products which aren’t so good and why you don’t recommend them. No one will trust you if you say everything is good, because we all know that’s not true.
  7. Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you’re selling and why you’re selling it. That will help people to trust you and want to buy from you.

Other things to consider if you’re curating choices

Think about providing information about your chosen products in a different way.

Maybe you could be making little videos of the products in action. Think about interviewing people who use them. You could film a complete newbie or a ‘regular person’ using the product and giving their opinion.

In the same way that museum curators have found ways to give more details about their exhibits, including interactive models, scale drawings, films showing it in action, you will win visitors and repeat visitors if you can be innovative in how you talk about your products. Also think about making collections. When you go to a good museum, you don’t see a big jumble of old stuff.

You see a carefully assembled display of thoughtfully placed together objects. Think about how much more interesting it would be to see all the items that might be placed with a mummified body, rather than a jumble of old pots with no explanation. Making a collection isn’t just more interesting, it means that you can sell the whole collection as well. Here are some more thoughts about selling curated collections, a sub-branch of the curation business model.

Help with your business

As you can tell from my blogs, I’m passionate about business to the point of being called a business geek by my friends. If you’d like me to have a good old think about your business, and help you to pull it out of the doldrums, maybe we should have a chat. Julia Chanteray

Photo credit – soviet postal pins collection by John Lloyd from Flickr on a creative commons licence