The InnoCentive Challenge referral program rewards potential Connectors like you for referring the winner of any Challenge. Use the referral tools to generate a unique referral link for any Challenge to send to your friends, family, or anyone else -- if they win the Challenge, you receive a 10% referral award (up to $10,000)!
Since Ben Sikora's blog post about his experience referring the winner of the Games for Health Challenge, subsequent Connectors have referred several more winners and shared Challenges with thousands of potential Solvers. We'll be featuring more Connectors on the blog in the near future. For this post I've compiled some great advice and strategies used by successful Connectors. Follow these tips, and you can be in the running for a referral award on every Challenge -- it'll only be a matter of time until you refer a winner!
Focus on interests as well as capability
Capability is necessary but often not sufficient for solving a Challenge. Winning Connector Ben Sikora advises that "it isn’t about who you think is the smartest, most innovative, or even most creative (even though these help), it is about the interests of the people around you." One clever Connector referred several solutions of the craft beer packaging Challenge by posting his referral link to Beer Advocate -- an online community of craft beer lovers. For technical Challenges, a quick literature search will often uncover relevant papers with authors whose interests may be aligned with the Challenge.
Take advantage of viral Challenges
Many Challenges, particularly public good and ideation, have very broad appeal. In these cases, social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ are great tools. If several people retweet or share your post, you could easily reach thousands of potential Solvers. If you're on Twitter, every Tuesday is #challengetuesday -- simply Tweet your favorite Challenge and include @innocentive and #challengetuesday to automatically be entered to win a $50 gift card.
Track your referral activity
Curious about how effective your referrals have been? You can track clicks on your link by shortening it with bit.ly. To track referred registrations, project rooms, submissions, and awards, visit the referral activity report in MyIC.
Passively refer while supporting a cause
We frequently offer free Challenge postings to for nonprofits and other public good organizations. If you support the aspirations of a Challenge, such as the BeyondPolio Challenge to reduce the cost of polio vaccinations in developing nations, show your support by linking to it in your email signature, forum signature, blog post, or chat client away message. Get creative!
Stay on top of Challenges
You can't refer a Challenge if you don't see it. Besides visiting the Challenge Center, you can also follow Challenges by registering and opting in to receive the Challenge Bulletin, following @ChallengeFeed on Twitter, subscribing to our Challenge RSS feed, or downloading InnoCentive Anywhere for iOS or Android mobile devices.
What have you found to be effective? Leave a comment below!