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Dynamic Business crowdsources magazine cover

Always keen to stay ahead of the game and keep things fresh, Dynamic Business is crowdsourcing its front cover and letting its readers choose their favourite design.

Editor and publisher Jen Bishop interviewed 99designs’ co-founder Mark Harbottle for the magazine’s October issue, due out next week. 99designs is a Melbourne company and the world’s largest graphic design marketplace, which launched a localised Australian site last month. Anyone can use the site to find someone to design their company logo, branding or website. Graphic designers bid to complete the work for a set price with the person running the ‘contest’ picking their favourite.

Bishop said: ”Crowdsourcing, like group buying, is a big phenomenon in business at the moment. I can see how using 99designs could be a great way for small businesses to get professional, affordable graphic design services. We all know how much difference a slick, impressive corporate identity can make to a business. Likewise, a logo or website that look like they were designed by your teenage son with Clipart can be damaging to your business’ brand. As a small business wanting to compete with bigger businesses with bigger marketing budgets, remember you can only make that first impression once.”

Bishop decided to go out on a limb and try crowdsourcing for herself. It’s not the first time she’s given away control of the cover subject. In November 2009, when Twitter was just becoming the next big thing for business, she asked her Twitter followers who they’d like to see on the cover, which is usually photographic.  The readers overwhelming voted for social media expert Iggy Pintado and a photoshoot and interview with him followed.

But this move is a little riskier. The cover, which will be conceptual rather than photographic, will have a completely different look to usual, although the distinctive diagonal masthead and coverlines will remain. While Bishop and her team will pick the top eight designs, the readers will ultimately vote for the favourite.

“Our readers are very engaged with the magazine as a brand, me as the editor and the rest of the team. They meet us at events, chat to us on Twitter and Facebook and really feel like they know us. We love receiving their feedback and I think it’s a great way to encourage their involvement. At the end of the day, I think the reason we’re thriving while other print magazines are struggling is because we’re ahead of the game with our website and social media initiatives and because we have a strong relationship with our readers and actually ask them what they want.”

For the winning designer, who could come from anywhere in the globe, they’ll get great exposure, a $1,000 prize and a profile within the magazine. Voting details will be posted online at backend.dynamicbusiness.com next week when the final eight designs have been chosen.

Want to submit a design for the cover competition? Visit this link.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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