Ever wonder who are the people responsible for the most extensive encyclopedia known to mankind? This site is created through and maintained through crowdsourcing writers, editors, and people who have the ability to come up with information on their own. With Wikipeedia and all the help it brings, we now know what is the true essence of the principle two heads are better than one.
If you are an entrepreneur thinking of using crowdsourcing, here are some tips to motivate your participats:
What is Crowdsourcing?
The word comes from combining two things, crows and outsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a new way of getting businesses out of the ground by getting work or funding from a group of people may it be paid or unpaid interns. The crowd can either contribute their skills to an Entrepreneur; the group of people working on it produces more results and lessens the margin of error as well as the defects. Tasks can also be broken down into micro tasks and divided amongst the crowd to work on, with microtasks, entrepreneurs can see the results almost immediately because there are tons of people working different parts of the same project.
Let participants know they matter
Since entrepreneurs tap on to dozens and dozens of people for their projects, business owners often experience the slow degradation of their crowd’s numbers. It is very easy to disappear into the shadows when you have a crowd to disappear into. Make sure that you show your appreciation to those who have placed their time, talents, and skills into your project to promote brand loyalty amongst the crowd and show they are being heard. It would be a good thing to have a way of rewarding creativity and recognition to those who have provided the most creative and notable ideas, may it be monetary or bragging rights, participants need to have that sense of belongingness.
Use existing customers first
Since we are already talking about brand loyalty, similarly, crowdsourcing works the same way as the consumers and retailers. Making your customers genuinely happy with your business turns them into recruiters of more happy customers. Take care of your existing pool of people and ensure that they are properly recognized and appreciated with the right incentives; they will by instinct just naturally reach out to their network of people and talk to them about your projects. This way, you people who have more and more connections inside the crowd are less likely to leave.
Promote through PR communications to maximize audience reach
If you are planning to go public to get more participants for crowdsourcing, do not just buy ad space and or bombarding prospects with emails. There is a high possibility that your message will just come unnoticed or be treated like any other ad or spam. It is best to plan ahead and check out the platforms that you want to use, your target participants, and how you would want to reach out to your chosen audience.
Adopt the Contribution Rapidly
It is a natural need of humans to be appreciated, and seeing their work and contributions published gives your participants a sense of acceptance and accomplishment that will surely encourage them to continuously contribute. Seeing a visual representation of how you acknowledge their contributions somehow gives your participant that pat on the back. Start acknowledging their contributions as soon as they come in and watch how your contributors begin to submit their contributions more rapidly every time.
Quantify Their Contributions
Another way to give your contributors a sense of accomplishment is seeing how much they have contributed. It is always exciting to see your finished work pile up where you can always look back at how much you have done overtime.
Set Up a Competition
Since you already have a visual representation of what your contributors have given, it would not be much effort to show them side-to-side with other contributors. We all know the story of Icarus who flew to close to the sun, or the tower of Babel that tried to touch the sky; this shows human nature’s innate need to be on top, and putting the contributors number of contribution against other contributors create a healthy competition that pushes everyone to do more.
Double Your Rewards Near Completion
Putting goals and rewards ups the ante when it comes to reaching for higher numbers. One more way to squeeze your contributors to provide more is to keep increasing the reward as their number get higher and higher. It is highly suggested that milestones are marked with multipliers, and whenever it is reached, the reward gets bigger and bigger. Do not set the bar too high which might be too hard for your contributors, but it would be nice to start off with easy enough goals which is then followed by a slightly harder one.