Whatever you call it – community, tribe, posse, cheering squad, raving fans, platform – you need a group of people who are ready, willing and able to come to your aid when you need help with your project.
As I get further in to my Adventure in writing a book, I realize there is a tremendous opportunity to engage the people in my community in a new way and really get to know the individuals. One way to do this is to ask for help.
I invite you to look at this strategy with an eye to how you can implement it with your own books and products…
Before you can sell a book or a product or a program, you need to build your platform. “Platform” is a clinical way to describe all the people who follow, friend, like, subscribe, and buy from you. It’s all the content that attracts those people and that contributes to your expertise and the footprint you leave on the Web. The bigger the better (quality is important, too).
Keeping up with everything you need to create can be daunting and overwhelming at times.
As I make notes and contemplate how I want to structure my book, I realize I need some help.
This is where crowdsourcing content comes in.
One of things I want to include in the book are quotations to illustrate or clarify topics and ideas. I collect a lot of quotes and have a big file in Evernote. But, I decided to enlist my cheering squad and you, if you’re game, to help me find exactly the right quotes about adventure, introversion and entrepreneurship.
Collectively, you and I and others in my community, we can create a resource with the best quotes to choose from for the book. You help me and I’m grateful. I acknowledge you and you get a bit of extra visibility from the book project.
— Denise Wakeman (@DeniseWakeman) January 17, 2014
Want to play?
I have created a form on Google Drive that makes it super easy to add a quote (or a few). And, if I use your quote in the book, I’ll give you credit and include the URL for your site. Go ahead and submit a quote in the form below.
How can you do this for your project?
First, take a look at the scope of your project. Make a list or outline of all the elements you need to create and collect. With a book, the list seems endless.
In addition to your content, you may need images, quotes, graphs, charts, etc. You also need to have a cover designed. The book needs to be proofread and edited…more than once.
Identify what you need help with and what you’re willing to get help with.
Create a private group on Google+ or Facebook so you can maintain contact with your helpers.
Keep your helpers in the loop with regular reports on your progress and how they can assist you.
Guy Kawasaki has reported that when he wrote APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, he asked friends and people in his community to help him with the initial proofreading. 10 friends + 60 testers + 2 authors found 1400 mistakes! The 60 testers were fans who stepped up from Guy’s huge social community.
Why not create a group of select people who know you, love you and believe in you and your message? These are your cheerleaders. They want you to succeed so use their enthusiasm, skills and talents to help you with your project.
- Get help sourcing content (like quotes)
- Get feedback on cover designs
- Get help with proofreading
- Get help with promotion
- Get words of encouragement and motivation when you’re feeling stuck
This is crowdsourcing. You don’t have to do it all or do it alone. (Oh, and always acknowledge those who help you!)
The result is a community of raving fans and more buzz and visibility for you, your project and your fans!
Have you crowdsourced content for a project? How did it work for you?
Would you like to be part of my cheering squad? Click here to request an invitation to join my private Google+ community and go on the adventure with me (you need to have a Google+ profile).