For once, all the cool kids are doing it right--crowdsourcing is not just cool, it's an effective way to get things done quickly. Whether you're a Fortune 500 company that needs a voiceover for a presentation or you're a Mom and Pop dog grooming shop that needs a logo, crowdsourcing is an affordable option for both.
Article Contributed by Tara Tyler of VoiceBunny
However, in order for your crowdsourced project to be successful, you must take full responsibility for it. Sounds weird, right? "I thought the crowd was supposed to do all the hard work for me?", you say.
Yes, the crowd will get the work done, but they cannot be successful if you don't tell them (or even know) what you want them to do.
1) What are your expectations? Are you looking for quality or quantity? Do you want "good" or "good enough" for your project? With a site like TextBroker, you can pay more to get "better quality" writers:
If you pay for a 2 star writer, that is what you will get, 2 star quality. Make sure you know what your priorities are and communicate those effectively when posting your project. And, as with anything, you get what you pay for!
2) GIVE DETAILS! Always give too much info rather than too little. Using 99designs as an example:
This is only just a portion of the form to request a website design.
You are busy, obviously, and it may be very tempting to leave some of those boxes blank. Don't do it. When crowdsourcing any task, fill out forms completely! Those questions are there for a reason. This may mean coming back to the form later or asking your staff members to help answer the questions.
If you don't have an opinion on a question, state that, it's still better than a blank box. ALWAYS use that "special instructions" or "other comments" box. Taking the time to figure these questions out now, will save you time, money, and headache in the future. Now, I am not saying that you shouldn't leave some room for artistic license, especially when crowdsourcing creative tasks, but if you leave the door wide open, you never know what's going to come through!
3) Speak the lingo. Find out a little bit about the technical terms you might need to know. It will help you describe what you need more effectively and it will make the more professional, experienced freelancers take notice. For example, if you are crowdsourcing graphic design work, you might need to know what Pantone spot colors have been assigned to your logo, the difference between bleed and full bleed, etc.
4) Freelancers are people pleasers. The crowd is not a machine, even though it kind of functions like one.
The crowd is individuals, with biases, stresses, distractions, and all the other stuff that comes with being human. These individuals will work very hard to make you happy (repeat business is the freelancer's lifeblood, even with crowdsourcing websites), but are you the kind of client they will want to do business with again? Keep in mind that many crowdsourcing sites now offer stats and rankings on YOU, the buyer, to help crowdsourcers decide if they want to work on your project.
You can't just post a project online, say "Make it good!" and expect it to be just what you wanted. You must put some effort into knowing what you want, what you expect, and communicating effectively with your workers.
Crowdsourcing is an absolutely amazing innovation and once you learn how to effectively manage that kind of energy for quality, your business can compete on a level you might not have even imagined!
How do you feel about your relationships with your crowdsourcing employers or employees? Let us know in the comments.