Crowdsourcing follows a similar principle to that of outsourcing. Where outsourcing requires the delegation of tasks to outside providers in return for pay, crowdsourcing is essentially an open invitation for the public to contribute their knowledge and expertise to a given topic, for free. Wikipedia is a perfect example of a successful crowdsourcing project.
Crowdsourcing is a great way to promote your business, and the key to getting your customers to participate is to encourage communication. Everyone has something to say, they want to be heard.
The following three scenarios serve to generate ideas, and rely on there being a “fit” with your business – but you get the idea. You may operate an entirely different business, but the basic principals of encouragement, engagement and enlistment still apply.
Make contact with your bean-loving friends. Ask them what their favourite blend is. Maybe they use it as an ingredient in their baking; if so, ask them to share their favourite recipes. What’s their favourite way to relax with a coffee; accompanied by a book, a newspaper, a particular television show?
Reach out to your fellow home renovators and ask them what their favourite brands are. DeWalt or Ridgid? Skil, or Makita? Ask them to share tips and tricks of the trade, or even have them write a short article for your website or associated blog in return for advertising space on the website.
Ask for the public’s help in writing book reviews or have them start an online book club. Designate a leader and moderator to maintain member enrollment, book lists and discussion questions. Encourage your customers to share their favourite books, with the possibility of featuring their selections in-store.
By encouraging your followers to create your content, you are in effect getting them to promote your business. Remember the following three actions on your quest to crowdsource your way to business success: Encourage, Engage, Enlist.