Amazon Mechanical Turk is one of the most radical inventions in online outsourcing. It allows you to outsource tasks to other human beings for pennies. Amazon Mechanical Turk is great for all those tasks that aren’t quite highly paid enough to bring on a real outsourcer, but are still too complex for a computer to handle.
What Kind of Tasks Would You Use Mechanical Turk For?
Here are a few examples of tasks you could use Mechanical Turk for:
Look at a picture and determine if it’s uplifting or depressing.
Look at a name and determine if it’s a man or a woman.
Look for any words in this picture.
Look at an advertisement and determine what the core message is.
Look over a Yellow Pages scan and identify all the phone numbers.
Basically, these are all tasks that you’d want a human performing rather than a computer. Amazon calls these “Human Intelligence Tasks” or HIT for short.
How HITs Work
You set a price for each HIT. For example, let’s say you want someone to look at a picture of a person and determine if they’re male or female.
You might set the price at 5 cents apiece. You figure a human being could do one task per 15 seconds and earn 15 cents per minute or $12 an hour. People who can work faster than that can earn even more.
For a lot of outsourcers, this kind of work is a dream come true. For many businesses, paying a few pennies for data is much more cost effective than developing software to perform the task.
How to Set Up a Task
So how do you actually use Amazon Mechanical Turk?
It’s quite simple, actually. You begin by setting up a template. Amazon has several pre-made templates you can use as a base, or you can create your own template from scratch.
You then upload your data sheet. This contains all the data that you want to sort.
For example, let’s say you’re having people look over your list of emails to determine if the names are male, female, undetermined or if they look like fake emails.
You’d start by creating a template with four options: male, female, undetermined or fake email. You’d then upload your list of email addresses.
Mechanical Turk will present outsourcers with each email. The outsourcer will be awarded with a HIT every time they finish sorting an email for you. Once you’re satisfied with your results, you can pay all your outsourcers at once.
It’s that easy! If you have tasks that need to be performed on a mass basis and you don’t have the software to do it, consider using Amazon Mechanical Turk to handle all your Human Intelligence Task needs.
Have you ever used this service?
What types of task would you like to have them do for you?
Content marketing tactics such as blog posts, feature articles, optimized website copy, white papers, social media content and press releases move buyers along a specific path. Most people will agree that content marketing generates awareness of your brand, product or service; inspires consumers to engage and consider you; converts them into leads and sales; and creates advocates.
The biggest obstacle to even more adoption is the question “How do I measure the success from these activities?”
This infographic from BrandPoint helps to communicate the why and the how pretty well. If you are in an organization that has not yet embraced this thinking, forward a link to this post for your leaders to review. It should create some further conversation.
Would love your comments on these two questions:
Will you be stepping up your content marketing in 2014?
Is there one area of content marketing that you want to get more active in than in the past?
Small business owners and entrepreneurs – pay attention. Sales people without a support staff, generating sales on your own out in the field – read on. I know that one of the biggest time-wasters for you is creating a proposal or quote for your products or services. This activity is the poster-child for what web tools should be able to automate and improve vs. the traditional way.
Quote Roller is the tool that you have been searching for. It is built to create polished, professional proposals in minutes. It not only gets a proposal that you will be proud of into the hands of your prospect, it also gives you all the other tools that your big company competitor probably already has at her disposal.
Quote Roller addresses some of the biggest headaches you face in generating your business. Some of the challenges solved by Quote Roller for many small business owners and those new to an industry include:
What should my proposal include?
What about format?
What is the best way to deliver my proposal?
How do I keep track of my proposals once delivered to the prospect?
How can I know how my business proposals are doing overall?
What should my proposal include? – This is the #1 question I get when I am consulting with a small business owner. Quote Roller has an always growing library of business proposal templates that are ready to use. They can work as is, just adding your company information and logo, along with the specifics for pricing on what you offer. This feature alone is worth signing up for. There are currently over 30 standardized templates for you to select from on a range of products or services.
Here is a sampling from a wide variety of needs to give you examples of the breadth of this tool:
Web Design Proposal Template
Business Plan Template
Marketing Proposal Template
Construction Proposal Template
Event Management Proposal Template
Photography Proposal Template
Speaker Proposal Template
Catering Proposal Template
Research Proposal Template
Online Tutoring Services Proposal Template
Sponsorship Proposal Template
As you can see, there is tremendous variety for almost every need. Don’t see one that fits? Then take one that is closest and edit it to fit your need. For anyone that has hired me over the last 14 months or so to speak at their convention or event – I delivered my proposal using the Speaker Proposal Template from Quote Roller. I will never go back to doing these manually. Ever!
What about format? – Impress your clients with state-of-the-art proposals. Add interactive content, like videos, flash, picture galleries and anything your creative mind thinks of. Then, let your clients comment on your proposals. Quote Roller proposals come in two flavors, web and PDF. Online proposals come with built-in analytics, digital signature and are just one click away from being accepted. Either way, you can use a template as is, or modify it extensively You can of course, start with a blank slate if that is more your style. The online editor will speed proposal creation and automate everything. The content library of reusable content blocks makes you faster, the drag-n-drop editor is easy to use, and they have pricing tables with optional items that have all the flexibility you need for your specific purpose.
What is the best way to deliver my proposal? The short answer is any way you want. Hand deliver a printed proposal. Email a PDF to them. If you deliver it electronically, your customer will be able to print it out and sign it for acceptance and return it back to you just like the big companies do. You will get spoiled using electronic signatures. I find that it saves time and it leaves a very positive impression with your customer as well.
How do I keep track of my proposals once delivered to the prospect? – Quote Roller has built-in proposal analytics. Do you know if your client opened your proposal? How much time have they spent on the pricing page? Have they opened your portfolio section? The in-proposal analytics allow you all that and more. Get instant notifications when your clients open proposals for more efficient follow-up, to improve your proposals based on past performance, and to increase your win rate.
How can I know how my business proposals are doing overall? – The Quote Roller Dashboard will serve you well here and is unlike anything you are currently using. You are able to get a quik view of your sales activit with Quote Roller’s extensive Dashboard. The Dashboard allows you to track deals in the pipeline, follow up, and plan business activities. Track proposal comments, performance of your proposals, and win rate at a single location, while keeping an eye on your sales team or your own personal sales.
One of the less-known but equally as powerful capabilities of Quote Roller is it’s integration capabilities to many other web tools that you are, or should be using. The combination of Quote Roller with your CRM, eMail, Accounting and even payment collection services like PayPal make Quote Roller a key tool in the foundation of your small business or start-up. As a day-to-day individual sales person, Quote Roller has become one of the most important tools of my company. It is easy to learn, easy to use, and will help you deliver top-notch proposals and quotes to your customers every time.
Quote Roller is a tool that will pay for itself in your first proposal. Pricing starts at $14.99 per month with plans available for teams and even entire companies.
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