If you’re in the crowdsourcing business, you’re oftentimes working closely with creators or designers who are trying to make a name for themselves in your industry or area of focus. If you’re not helping them grow, I can assure you, you won’t be growing either.
For crowdsourcing companies, the most critical asset that you have is the community that you've built. Your success is inextricably tied to the success of your community. It’s not enough to just ask them to do work for you; you also need to commit to serving their needs.
To achieve greater success, you need to tie your community and your company even more closely together.
No matter what your areas of crowdsourcing, you have to be totally committed to your member communities. As obvious as it may sound, it is critical to recognize that by showing that commitment every day, you will keep your communities engaged, build their trust, and have them spreading the good word among friends and peers which will attract more community members to help grow your business.
Specifically, if you’ve partnered with a large, diverse crowd to tackle projects for your clients, the first thing you should be looking at critically is how well you’re really serving your community. Here’s an exercise in community care:
First, how well do you know your community?
- Are you engaged in a real two-way dialogue with your community? How do you get feedback from them?
- Do you have dedicated team members who are advocating for your community, and ensuring that their needs are met?
- When was the last time you led an initiative designed to improve your community’s relationship with your company?
Take a breather, and then continue by asking yourself some more important questions:
- Are you ensuring that members are given access to opportunity, and paid a fair wage when they do work that a client wants to use?
- Are you helping your community members build their business, and continuing to provide new opportunities?
- Are you teaching them specific new skills that will improve the quality of work they do, both for you and for other jobs?
In terms of being helpful to those who comprise your community, continually look at ways for your community members to improve their relevant skills via meet-ups, white papers, blog posts, tips and tricks, and professional profiles covering all aspects of their craft.
While our company has worked hard to say ahead of the curve in community care and development, we are definitely not alone in providing a broad range of services to crowdsourcing communities. Consider the example of 99Designs: This graphic design crowdsourcing company provides specific information for their artists to enable them to build new skills as well as help them to manage their careers. Their best artists are invited to join a “Gold Design” team that is given access to exclusive contests with larger financial incentives. They’re even encouraging budding artists who are still in school with incentives to participate.
So, where do you fit into the community care profile? It’s a question worth asking, as the answer could ultimately determine the success of your crowdsourcing business.