Brian Cuban is writing a book titled Shattered Image about his recovery from body dysmorphia. It's part story, part advice, and is shaping up to be a highly successful Net Minds Select project. He uses Facebook not only as a platform to market his interests (such as his online TV show, Legal Briefs), but to validate ideas or make decisions on creative issues. This is truly a collaborative way to run a business or a personal brand. I call this Friendsourcing, which I used in working on my last book (Today We Are Rich).
On his page, he announced his intention to write this book months ago, then updated his following that he signed with Net Minds. He introduced his editor to his following via a picture they took together in New York. Contemplating a new subtitle, he asked his tribe to react to various iterations or submit some on their own. For the PR campaign and the book jacket, he needed to have a new headshot photo. Last week his Cover Design partner James Bland (who is by trade a professional photographer) did a photo shoot with him. When Brian received the proofs from James, he went to his Facebook following for advice.
And they responded. By the end of the the day, there were over 424 comments and the post gained thousands of impressions as it spread. His tribe helped him understand which picture worked best, and became a little more invested in his project along the way. One of the things this proves is that people love pictures, and intercting with them. This helps explain the rise of Pinterest.
According to Brian, "that was a pretty successful crowdsourcing experiement!" But it requires hard work and a small investment. Otherwise, your following may not pay attention or contribute. "The biggest insight I have gotten," Brian continutes, "is that no matter how big your FB following is there is really only a small percentage paying attention, and even smaller percentage engaging on the book topic and even smaller who are actually interested. An even bigger revelation, if you want anyone beyond those people who are paying attention anyways, to see the content and have an opportunity to "get interested' you have to play Facebook's sponsored posts game on both my public page and pay the $7 to promote it on the personal page. To the extent I have been able to engage people using those tools, I have found Facebook to a very valuable crowd-sourcing tool.
Photos by James Bland Photography.
For more read: A New Way To Write: Friendsourcing
Tim is a bestselling author and former Yahoo! executive with a mission to disrupt the traditional publishing and self-publishing industries and share knowledge with authors looking to publish and market high-quality books.Follow @sanderssays