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Ethical Bribery and Crowd Sourcing the Smart Way…

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have every visitor to our website help us promote our site and get the word out about your products and services? Well, it is possible with a little ethical bribery.

One technique we have used a lot on our niche sites is offering a reward for our visitors for performing certain actions that help us build our business, trust and authority as well as performing tasks that help us dominate the search engines. This is crowd sourcing at its best and there are several ways you can do it, even if you have zero budget.

Social Lockers

If you want to dramatically increase your social footprint and authority backlinks, then one very simple way to get your site’s visitors to help you is to hide fantastic content on your site behind a “social locker.” A social locker basically wraps around your awesome content and only shows it if your visitor shares your site on top social media sites. This creates a powerful stream of social media shares and links to your site and does not cost you a dime.

One secret to this method is to make sure that you introduce and emphasize the real value of the hidden content and make it very easy to access it. If you put too many obstacles in the way of accessing this content and have not established just how amazing this content is then people will just ignore it. However, when done right, this technique is very powerful. We use this on premium posts with solid gold content that is very powerful.

Download Lockers

This technique is very similar to the last method except that you offer the customer a free download of something that is amazing rather than just a small amount of content. For example, if you have a special report that you are giving away that has some incredible content and can help you build authority, trust, and rapport, then wrap it in its own social locker so that in exchange for this awesome download they have to help you build your authority and social footprint by sharing this page or your site.

Again, rewarding your visitors for this action is a little bribery, but completely ethical and it is used by top sites for many purposes.

Ninja Marketing Tip: Combine this technique with a list building form that says something like “Thank you for sharing! Now, let us know the email to send the download to…”

With this you can now compel action for social media sharing and build your list at the same time!

List Building Freebies

One of the oldest forms of ethical bribery is to offer a free download in exchange for subscribing to your list. One of the best converting methods is to have a lightboxed popup appearing all over your site, but one other list building method most people miss is to put a call to action right in their content. For example, right before the content you can place an ad that leads to the sign up and the same after the content as well. Then make the end of your content pre-sell the action you want the customer to take and sign up.

Now, where does the crowd sourcing part come into this? Well, here is one of my best kept secrets…

After they get to the download page, offer a second download or bonus for sharing your squeeze page with their friends using social media or something similar. Make this second download or bonus so tantalizing that it is irresistible and you will see incredible conversions.


Finally, we come to one of my favorite techniques for ethical bribery and crowd sourcing…competitions. Imagine having a competition that offers a big prize for the best review of your site. For example. imagine if I offered a brand new IPad for the best video review of our site, IM Success Center, and another IPad for the best blog review and article about our site. Now, throw in some runner-up prizes. If I told everyone on my huge mailing lists about this…you can imagine the incredible response I would get for this and all the amazing relevant videos, content and links to my site. Massive authority, trust and a dramatic increase in engagement with my audience.

The possibilities are limitless and I have only scratched the surface of what is possible when you use these techniques. I am sure you can find ways to implement similar strategies in your business (online or offline). These create a WIN-WIN situation for everyone involved and that can help you create a stronger connection to your visitors, turning them into loyal fans of everything you do.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. I really do agree with the techniques mentioned. However, instead of using the terms”ethical bribery”, the best term IMHO should be “Compensation” which is much “ethical”. As the definition “bribe”is something unethical. I do not see how “bribery” can be considered “ethical”.

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