If you're on this website, it's highly likely you're considering getting your marketing crowdsourced. Whether it's a logo, website design or something else, crowdsourcing is the next evolution in commercial art. It brings the power of the masses to you at a fraction of the cost.
Article Contributed by P.R. Chase Author of The Design Democracy
Before you use crowdsourcing to build your brand though, here are some things you need to know to maximize your experience.
- It’s not always inexpensive. While crowdsourcing is generally much cheaper than a design firm, it’s still not always the cheapest route. Most crowdsourced logos cost anywhere from $250-$1400 depending on the project. The higher cost comes through different options. If you want more entries to your contest, one site will give you 20-50% more entries if you pay a non-refundable fee. If you would like to keep your contest off the search engines, you'll need to pay for that as well. Ditto if you want to make the entries viewable only to you. Also keep in mind, all sites charge a hosting fee to post and maintain your contest. To minimize your cost, choose the economy, basic, or bronze package and keep it simple. Go for the minimum amount of designs, the longest time period to receive them and don't worry about the search engines. Crowdsourcing is a respectable business model these days that you have nothing to be ashamed of.
- It could be amateur hour...but that's OK. Crowdsourcing is not a lucrative option for most designers. Professionals usually won't touch it. In fact, they normally decry it as amateur hour and pine for the old days when designers ruled the commercial landscape. Too bad for them. The fact is, crowdsourcing has given many talented designers who might be self taught a chance to showcase what they can do. It's also a great way for up and coming design students to build their portfolio. Tap into this resource. Don't concern yourself with a designer's credentials, just look at their previous work. If a website let's you look through specific designer profiles, use that resource. Find designers whose aesthetic matches yours and invite them to compete.
- It all comes down to you baby. In crowdsourcing you’re not getting the personal touch of working with a designer one on one, so you need to be really certain that you define what you are looking for in the most specific terms. The point here is be prepared. Know exactly what you want before you start your project. Think about color choices, the message you are trying to communicate, and the style you want created. Find samples of similar branding you can include in your brief (many sites will let you upload files). Look at your competitiors and see what they are doing right (and wrong) and plan accordingly to maximize their wins and refine their mistakes in your own marketing. Talk to your customers, ask them what brands they respond to. The more prepared you are before you start this process the better the designs you'll receive and happier you'll be with the final product. If you don't know how to get started, use the "creating a design brief" resource under the help section of your chosen crowdsourcing site to find out the most important points before you start a project
The biggest benefit:
The same companies that helped you design a logo (for example) can also help you design a web site.
In fact, as part of the greater crowdsourcing model, many sites offer everything you could ever need for all your creative projects. This even includes copywriting and mobile app development. So if you want to stick with one company to do all your marketing—print to web— your chosen crowdsourcing site is a fantastic place accomplish that goal. Just keep in mind that you will have to create a new contest for each piece.
What do you think? Will you use crowdsourcing to build your brand? Are there other considerations to think about when working with crowdsourcers that need to be addressed? Leave your comments below.