Most people think Web 2.0 is about “The Conversation.” Nope. It’s really about harnessing talent.
Six weeks ago I started taking applications for a Content Czar. Someone who would help me take 1000 pages of raw, unpublished or under-utilized content, hours of audios and videos, and turn it all into products; assist with product strategy and promotion.
- I charged a $25 application fee. Harshly criticized by some people. Handily weeded out the whiners and complainers, very glad I did.
- Got 18 applicants; only one was a dud. Eliminated quite a few that were “OK”. To the rest, assigned a project.
- I gave contestants a few hundred pages of raw material and existing products (what I gave them was easily worth $1000 – they sure got a lot for their twenty-five bucks…) and said:
“Pick a sub-topic within this material and make me a mini-product. Something I can sell for $20-$40. Create the product, write the sales letter, build a whole sales funnel for it if you’re so inclined. Show me what you can do.”
- Got ten submissions.
- Six were quite respectable.
- Four were excellent.
Honorable mentions go to:
Ryan Healy http://www.healymarketing.com
Richard Beatty http://www.vistaworks.net
Darrel Hawes http://www.copywritingaccountant.com/
Jenna Lloyd http://www.appliedforcemarketing.com
Markus Trauernicht from Germany http://www.optimusprimus.de
All of the above ladies and gentlemen contributed products that may well become part of future products that I sell. If so they will receive credit and compensation.
As I said, four were excellent:
- Drew Bischof
- Joshua Boswell http://www.earnmorecopy.com
- Rod Brant
- Jay Cross
Denise and Jeremy did a random roll-of-dice and of these, Joshua Boswell was chosen as “Interim Content Czar”. Joshua’s job is to take the four, set them up as products and we’re going to see how well each of them sells.
After that leg of the race is complete, I will choose the winning Content Czar.
Meanwhile, I already tabbed one of these four to work on a special project for me. It is a very cool, very ambitious project. Top secret, for now.
Principles I employed for this process:
- I’ve nurtured my email list for seven years. Now I am harnessing it as a talent pool.
- By charging an application fee I eliminated all those who didn’t think they could win.
- Judge people by what they do, not what they say. Run them through the maze. I gave applicants a task to do and was able to observe how they do it, and how well.
- By doing so I have thorough evaluations of several people whom I did not select, so when a project comes up, I can easily go to them and have available talent.
Most people think Web 2.0 is about “the conversation.”
Nah, that’s just the shallow end of the pool. I think it’s actually about vetting and harnessing TALENT.
May the best man or woman win.
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