We all want to be more efficient in order to make the most of our time. But how can we really accomplish more and stop wasting our efforts on insignificant tasks? The answer to our productivity concerns can be solved with the use of a tool called crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing is the process of enlisting the help of a big crowd of people, usually on the internet, whose collective knowledge, resources, and skills can help to come up with diverse and expert solutions to your problems. This way you can focus your energies on your top priority tasks while still using your crowd to figure out solutions to other problems as well.
You can ask for help and advice from your own crowd of friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter or engage with other kinds of crowdsourcing platforms. Wikipedia is one of the most well-known of these crowdsourcing efforts.
However, many of us may not know how to crowdsource to its full benefit. In order to get the most out of this process, I’d like to offer a list of 10 tips for crowdsourcing effectively:
- Search before asking – Very often someone is experiencing the same challenge that you are. Before asking for help, use special Q&A platforms to search for solutions. My personal favorite is quora.com.
- Be specific – When you ask for help, make sure you give specific details about your challenge.
- Do not influence. Do not direct people to a specific solution. Make sure you allow enough room for their creativity so they can offer a wide range of potential solutions.
- Be brief. Make sure you keep your questions short and to the point. People need to understand very quickly what you are asking for.
- Tell a story. The only exception for keeping your explanations brief is if you have an interesting story to share. An interesting story engages people while explaining why you are asking for their help.
- Interact – Whenever people come to you with ideas and suggestions, make sure you thank them and engage back. When people see that you are part of the conversation, they have more reasons to respond.
- Give value – Don’t just ask for help. Give value to the crowd and do that over and over again. Whenever others see that you give value, they will be motivated to help you.
- Pay the crowd – Websites such as fiverr.com allow you to pay $5 for simple tasks. Enlisting the help of someone with experience can save you a lot of time for a small amount of money.
- Use WhatsApp – Whenever you need help, WhatsApp is a great way to privately ask for help from close friends.
- User special crowdsourcing platforms – There are dozens of crowdsourcing platforms that can help you out in specific areas such as design, health, finance and more. For a complete list of crowdsourcing platforms visit http://mindsharing.info/locales
Lior Zoref is the author of Mindsharing: The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything. He is a crowd wisdom researcher, an international speaker, and a consultant. He worked for fourteen years at Microsoft, most recently as vice president of marketing for consumer and online services.