I’ve practiced this technique countless times. It’s super easy, and also powerful.
Crowdsourcing is when you reach out to your following to collect information on a subject from them.
We all have subjects we don’t know much about. With such great fans, friends, and followers, we can reach out and find more information about a subject and write about what we’ve found.
Harvesting expertise by asking your followers also opens the door for their friends to contribute. This supercharges your results by adding more valuable information on the topic.
A perfect example of this took place on Facebook when I asked my followers how real estate agents can dominate their local markets. Andrew Fawcett-Wolf, a friend of mine, called on Pete Flint for his expertise. This was his reply:
“From my experiences running Trulia and being in the industry for the last 13 years. Real estate is fundamentally a service industry, the most important thing is the need to deliver the very best service in their local market and also add unique touches that get your brand shared between customers – driving word of mouth adoption and virality. Be highly visible on major consumer destinations, e.g. Trulia/Zillow and other local ones. These typically will deliver good payback and ROI as long as the leads are followed up quickly and professionally. Augment your team if you cannot follow-up by yourself, otherwise you will waste money. Be analytical on how much you spend, where you spend it, so you are continuously optimizing for the most profitable and scalable channels. Use the best of breed technology tools, for CRM, marketing, website, etc. helps you deliver on service and scale” – Pete Flint
This is expert insight from a real estate industry leader and online marketing, given to me simply because I asked. Now I know dominating local real estate markets needs great service, being highly visible, and using tools and metrics to optimize my efforts.
Plus, many of the people responding are saying positive things about me and our company, which we can add to our Content Library, through the process we have in place to collect positive mentions.
I can then assemble my listicle using all of this valuable information I have collected while simultaneously building my personal brand.
Think about how much it costs to produce a listicle like this- to run every step of the process. Locating contributors and sorting through articles for relevant information can be a tedious task.
Crowdsourcing to create listicles can produce a wealth of knowledge stored in one location, saving you precious time and energy.
These articles themselves are interesting, but even more powerful is teaching the processes so that fellow marketers can create articles written in their focus areas, even if they lack the expertise.
Of course, using this technique requires the person asking the question has a moderate social media base. If not, you will need to ask the question on multiple channels.
Without it, only a few responses might be captured. Which is why establishing your authority and continually growing your brand are vital to successfully crowdsourcing information.
Let us know how you have used your network to crowdsource information?