The Ultimate Guide to Crowdsourcing

The Ultimate Guide to Crowdsourcing

The silver lining Jabaley plucked from the shambles of his failed campaign was realizing he needed to focus on his customers more. Before he bought inventory, Jabaley would post merchandise designs on Instagram and use follower behavior and feedback to help him scrap unpopular designs and turn popular designs into merchandise. Eventually, Jabaley’s method for determining which merchandise designs would sell, and which would not, helped him produce his first merchandising hit -- a Dabbing Santa sweater that generated $2.1 million in only 30 days. What is crowdsourcing? Contently, a content creation platform that also connects brands with freelance talent, built a freelance rates calculator to provide more transparency across the industry and help freelancers better negotiate their rates. Well, that’s because it was created by an aspiring filmmaker who entered the spot into Doritos’ annual Crash the Super Bowl contest in 2014, and won the whole thing. And by offering such a can’t-miss opportunity, which allowed them to tap into tens of thousands of people’s creativity, Doritos could associate some of the most unforgettable Super Bowl ads with their brand. Crowdsourcing Sites Fiverr Upwork CrowdSource Contently Skyword If you’re a freelancer looking for work or a brand looking for talent, check out the following crowdsourcing sites. Instead of being a platform where freelancers search for jobs posted by brands, Fiverr is a place where brands search for freelancers with the expertise and skills for which they’re looking. If you’re a freelance creative looking for gigs with some big brands, you can register as a freelancer on Contently’s platform and create a free portfolio.

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When Charlie Jabaley, co-founder of the artist management and marketing firm Street Execs, released one of his first client t-shirt designs, the euphoric high he felt in the morning plummeted to a heartbreaking low by night.

He had only sold a total of eight t-shirts.

With famous clients like 2 Chains and Travis Porter, Jabaley’s pressure to succeed was already stifling. But this failed merchandising campaign had just jacked it up to suffocating. Instead of freaking out and sulking about his woes, though, Jabaley took a step back and breathed in some well-needed fresh air.

He decided to frame this embarrassing flop as an opportunity to learn. And after some deep reflection and analysis, he dug up a silver lining that would eventually lead to a multi-million dollar model for merchandise design.

The silver lining Jabaley plucked from the shambles of his failed campaign was realizing he needed to focus on his customers more. More specifically, he needed to understand their’ true preferences. So rather than following the standard formula of merchandising — which was designing products based off a whim, buying hoards of inventory, and then marketing them — he broke conventional thinking by reverse-engineering the process.

Before he bought inventory, Jabaley would post merchandise designs on Instagram and use follower behavior and feedback to help him scrap unpopular designs and turn popular designs into merchandise.

By following his new method, Jabaley knew exactly what his customers wanted and what they were willing to buy, allowing him to solely focus on creating products that had proven demand, avoid wasting precious cash on unwanted inventory, and unload a huge amount of risk off the merchandising process.

Eventually, Jabaley’s method for determining which merchandise designs would sell, and which would not, helped him produce his first merchandising hit — a Dabbing Santa sweater that generated $2.1 million in only 30 days.

Charlie Jabaley isn’t the first person to inform his product design using the public’s opinion, though. It’s actually a method that iconic brands like Budweiser, Pepsi, and Oreo have leveraged for years — a method called crowdsourcing.

What is crowdsourcing?

When businesses crowdsource, they ask the public for ideas, information, and opinions to help them craft better products and services. By crowdsourcing, companies can tap into a huge group of people’s expertise and skill sets, ensuring diversity of thought, expedited production, and cost-cutting, since they don’t need to hire new, in-house employees.

Companies who crowdsource usually break massive projects into individual tasks, which allows them to assign hundreds or thousands of people small jobs that they can work on by themselves.

Companies can also crowdsource on social media to gauge people’s opinion on their new product releases or updates. Additionally, companies can run contests to see who can create the best marketing material for them — like a logo, jingle, or commercial.

To help you fully grasp the concept of crowdsourcing, here are some concrete examples of the practice in action.

Crowdsourcing Examples

Waze is a community-based GPS traffic and navigation app. Their users, which has grown to over 90 million around the globe, report real-time traffic and road information, like police traps, accidents, road hazards, traffic jams, and the cheapest…

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