A Prize Purse Isn't the Only Way: 5 Alternative Incentives for the Crowd

If you read my previous post, “4 Tips for Funding Your Crowdsourcing Project,” you already know that one of the common hold-ups to launching a crowdsourced campaign is often the funding. In this post, I do a deeper dive into the concept of Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic motivation. Here’s how you can create a really incentivizing challenge, all while minimizing your cash dollars spent.

While cash is a sexy motivation, it certainly is not the only one. Our most successful challenges are not the prizes with the largest cash offering. Instead, the most successful challenges are those with the largest impact on the world. Don’t take my word for it, read Drive by Dr. Daniel Pink. He’s the real expert on human motivation.

I am assuming you already have a challenge draft in the works, and that your Overview Section is robust with information geared to compel the audience to see the bigger purpose.

Consider these 5 ways to offer additional motivation:

1. Blog Post

As Crowdsourcing becomes the next form of labor, innovators are eager to seek career-building opportunities to highlight their accomplishments. A short and complimentary blog post with finalists’ bios and submission summaries can help the innovators feel recognized and acclaimed.

2.Named Recognition

It may seem small, but it never hurts to offer a public name recognition of the selected finalists. Depending on your company's communication strategy, this recognition could occur on several platforms: the HeroX Challenge Page, within your Company Emails, on a Monthly Newsletter, your Company Social Media channels, or throughout your industry networks worldwide.

3. Conference Attendance

Your Challenge Timeline may perfectly sync with an industry conference or an annual meeting. Perhaps you can offer a free conference badge to a winner, or include them in your company’s next planning meetings.

4. Pitch to a Panel

Many inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs highly value a network of potential investors or product early adopters. Once you select Finalists in your Challenge, can you offer a virtual or live pitch opportunity to give the innovators access to this network and feedback?

5. Future Commercial Partnership Opportunity

Once you’ve selected a winner, you may be interested in entering a long-term partnership with the innovator(s). Stating the potential for future equity, intellectual property sharing, or additional business opportunities may help innovators feel included in the long-term vision for the project.


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