Thursday, November 18, 2010

Business Day Thursday: Crowdsourcing For Your Small Business

Internet DisconnectGood Afternoon Everybody,

Well, blogging is a little tougher today.  We are totally disconnected from the world today. It seems a storm has knocked out our studio internet connect – we’ve been down since about 8:00 p.m. last night.  The wait time for tech support is at least a two hour wait so we don’t know what’s up for now.  Well, let’s look on the bright side – I don’t have to check emails every 10 minutes today ;~)

All joking aside, I’m working on my laptop today with my Verizon MIFI card doing all the work.  Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will keep DPT from going on line!

KPPA Print Review Webcast This Sunday!

Stephanie ClaskA couple of things before I get to today’s post – don’t forget about the KPPA Print Review webcast I announced on Tuesday [link].  It’s this Sunday from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST, when our Kentucky Professional Photographers Association is conducting their Fall print review.

We still have plenty of seats left so why don’t you come on by for a while. Here is the link to register right here. It’s a great way to learn how to improve your photography and a good time too hearing what the judges have to say about the submitted images.  I’ll be MC’ing so I hope to see you there.

On with today’s post….

Crowdsourcing For Your Small Business

Crowdsourcing2OK, some of you may think I’m a bit crazy for suggesting the idea I discussing today.  Others may not even know what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about looking to the “crowd” for your next golden idea.  I first came across the term in an article I read in Delta Airlines SKY Magazine [link]. I thought it was a fascinating read.

Hit the “read More…” link below for the rest of the story.

First of all, how about a brief description of what crowdsourcing is.  Wikipedia gives the definition as this:  “Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call.”

Want a little better idea of what I’m talking about?  Here are a few examples you may be familiar with.  How about Yelp and Trip Advisor – these are examples of Crowdsourcing sites – they utilize the power of the “crowd” to rate restaurants, hotels, etc.

Another example would be  Here the “crowd” supplies the photos and the art director makes a selection from the “crowds” images.  The list can go on and on.  In fact, let me point you towards three links that illustrate the same point.

  • 10 Kickass Crowdsourcing Sites [link]
  • 5 Interesting Crowdsourcing Sites [link]
  • Top Crowdsourcing Websites [link]

But Now Let’s Begin To Think Of A “Crowd” Closer To Home

In today’s post I want to vary the concept just a bit.  How about instead of using a crowd, how about calling out to your own personal crowd, your clients, for your Crowdsourcing projects?

You’re trying to come up with a few new product ideas.  You want to put together a new holiday promotion. You’re racking your brain trying to come up with some new portrait session ideas.  Where best to go for those ideas?  Why not your own clients? 

I’m not saying hit them with all the ideas above at one time but I think it is a good idea to periodically reach out to your clients for their ideas about products and services you can add to your studio repertoire.

Now to make this happen successfully means that you have been doing all the right things to begin with. You keep an up to date listing of all your clients in a marketing database, right?  You send out e-Newsletters regularly, right?  Because if you do, it makes this crowdsourcing idea work like a charm.

If you do a e-Newsletter, it’s really easy.  One of your articles in the newsletter becomes a call to action to your clients for those ideas. 

It may go something like this:

Article name: What’s On Your Wish List?

Christmas Wish“The Holidays are right around the corner.  Our studio has some great holiday suggestions for you to make your gift giving even easier.” … At this point you do a pitch for your favorite holiday products and services.  

But here at John and Mary Smith Studios, we want all your photographic dreams to come true.  If you could have the photo wish of a lifetime, what would that wish be?  Would it be a “Day In The Life” shoot of your 3 year child or a video “Oral History” from Grandma you could share with your entire family. You get the idea.

We are offering all of our clients the opportunity to make their photographic wishes come true this year.  Just email your best ideas to us at John and Mary Smith Studios.  If we choose your wish as one of our favorites, we will grant your wish to you at no charge.

Just for submitting your wish to us, we will send you a $25 Gift Card good for any of the wonderful products we offer.  So why not start making your wishes right now and send them on to us.  We can’t wait to help make your photographic wish come true!


Do you see the power of asking your clients for their ideas.  You could easily come up with a lot of great ideas for new products and services for your studio. And, with the gift card, you always create a customer “stickiness” to your studio.

I think the one BIG secret to success is to be pro-active in reaching out to your clients.  Also, you are asking your clients to be pro-active with you. You have turned your clients into active participants in this endeavor, not just passive readers of some stale holiday ad.

You guys and girls may have some ideas of your own that may polish up my idea a bit more too.  Why not submit them in the Comments section below for the benefit of all our DPT readers.


Hey everybody, that’s it for me today.  The phone company called us and said they have just discovered that we have an area wide outage of our internet service and they are working on it.  Better than no news at all. 

See ya’ then,  David

1 comment:

  1. I think I will use this for engagement sessions. Ask clients where they think the perfect location in the Dayton area would be for an engagement session. The winner gets a free engagement session and all who submit get a $50.00 dollar gift card. Thanks for the good advice!