Time for some inspiration!
Something to get those creative ideas flowing.
Today, you’ll discover how to:
- crowdsource amazing blog content
- reduce hiring costs
- collect compelling before-and-after client testimonials
- run online competitions and challenges for your audience
... and so much more using our latest update to Thrive Architect!
Today, we'll explore 10 powerful ways to use Thrive Architect’s new File Upload feature on your own website.
You do know we’ve added a file upload feature to our lead generation and contact forms… don’t you? If you missed that announcement, here’s a quick recap on how to accept file uploads on your website.
Let’s get started...
Accept Job Applications from Within WordPress
Let’s start with the most obvious use case for allowing visitors to upload a file… job applications.
With Thrive Architect’s new File Upload feature, there’s no need to use a 3rd party hiring platform anymore.
You can now collect information about potential hires directly on your website.
Use our contact form fields for standard data (name. phone number, location etc.) and our File Upload feature to collect CV’s (resumes), cover letters, critical qualifications, and creative portfolio highlights.
By submitting the contact form, job applicants can be automatically added to your email list to receive email updates on their progress...
- An initial “Thank you for your application, here’s what to expect” email.
- A gentle let down if they’re not right for your business.
- Requests for more information if they get through to the next round of hiring.
By making each field mandatory, you can weed out the low effort applicants and ensure you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision.
If you’re hiring in a creative field where applicants are required to share recent portfolio highlights, – e.g. web design, photography, modelling, acting – then the File Upload feature really shines!
Boost Engagement with Exciting Audience Competitions
Contests, challenges and competitions are a great way to get your audience excited and engaged, not to mention they offer great potential for going viral on social media.
All you need is an idea – photography, sketching, painting, music, woodwork, cross stitching, anything! – and a way to collect submissions.
Here’s some examples…
A writing prompt contest
If you run a creative writing blog, this could be a great way to engage your audience.
Simply set a writing prompt and a deadline, and collect the submissions for an audience-focused post via the File Upload feature later that month.
People will love to see their work featured on your website!
An audience crowdsourced mega mix
Here’s an off the wall idea for music teaching blogs…
Release a basic backing beat track, set the key, and ask your audience to record and submit a single instrument track as an MP3 or OGG file to your website.
Then open your Dropbox or Google Drive folder to find all the community tracks you’ll need to create an epic mix of everyone’s work, giving each person their 15 seconds of fame.
Publish the final mix in a blog post, ping your email list, and let social media do the rest.
I’m thinking about starting a music website just to test this awesome idea!
A photo competition for a gardening blog
Cycle through some different topics to make this a monthly event... wildlife, water features, spring blooms. You get the idea!
Imagine the influx of gorgeous photos you’ll receive that you can share later on a round-up post and social media.
Offer Personalized Critiques as a Service, or to Create Crowdsourced Blog Content
Some people are naturals at offering criticism.
Mother-in-laws and ex’s aside, some businesses offer professional critiques, reviews, and constructive feedback on a range of things:
- CVs / Resumes
- Acting Demo Reels
- Public Speaking
- Website Design
If something is critically important to get right, there’s probably a professional out there offering a review service.
But if you offer a similar service, how do you collect submissions?
That’s right, our File Upload feature!
This isn’t just for paid services either – offering a free review session (such as a homepage review) can create killer blog content that shows off your expertise.
Here’s a quick example I whipped up in just 10 minutes using Thrive Architect...
Offer Fitness & Health Coach Check-Ins
If you offer personal coaching services for fitness, weight loss, bodybuilding, yoga, or any other health transformation journey, then consider accepting regular check-in submissions from your clients.
This lets you achieve a few things:
- Improved accountability to encourage your clients to continue their hard work.
- The chance to provide positive feedback and motivation.
- The chance to provide constructive criticism e.g. yoga poses, posture.
- A way to continue the in-person interaction that fuels a successful client-coach relationship.
- A valuable service component that can be used to sell your coaching sessions.
But what does an online check-in look like?
Let’s take a posture coach, for example. An online check-in might include collecting information about clients’ weekly activity levels, physical challenges, aches and pains, and a full-body photo from the front, back and side.
As a client, it’s frustratingly slow to see progress because it happens so gradually.
But as the coach, you can now maintain a weekly or monthly progress log of their improved posture. It will only take a few months before the first and latest images show an impressive transformation… and by extension, how impressive your coaching services are!
Accept and Vet Guest Post Submissions
Guest posts are a valuable method of offering new voices on your blog.
I’m not talking about those lame content mills that churn out 250-word trash for questionable backlinks.
No, when I say guest posts, I mean welcoming professionals onto your platform to share value that genuinely helps your audience. The kind of professionals who stick around to chat in the comments and social media afterwards.
Here’s how you can use Thrive Architect’s secure File Upload feature to accept – and vet! – guest post submissions on your WordPress site.
First, create a dedicated page that makes it very clear what type of content you’re looking for: length, tone, topic, voice. Describe your readers and their needs, so writers can align their guest post to your audience.
Then set out the rules. No spam, natural self-promotion, on-point grammar and spelling. Remember, strict rules will only turn away the type of guest posters you want to avoid. Professionals won’t have a problem with an equally professionally run website.
Then use Thrive Architect’s Contact Form element to capture the information you need:
- Author details
- Topic pitch
- Associated websites that will be linked to or promoted
- Samples of past work
And of course, use Thrive Architect’s new File Upload element to collect both the article and a photo of the author.
Pro Tip: Many guest posts are written in Google Docs, so why not give contributors the option to either provide a Google Docs link or upload a DOC(X) file? You can do this by making both fields optional, but clearly stating that they must use one option.
Accept Submissions for Your Publication
Do you run a magazine, journal, comic, book label, editing service, or some other publication?
Then you need a way to accept online submissions for manuscripts, drafts and articles.
Sure, a shared Google Doc link will work for basic web articles, but the industry standard is still DOC(X) or PDF format.
And any publisher will tell you their email inbox is overflowing with submissions to sift through. Wouldn’t it be better to automatically collect written submissions in Google Drive or Dropbox?
And how about forcing all those future Hemingways, Gaimans and Rowlings to fill out their details and pitch in a standardized form beforehand?
Thrive Architect’s File Upload feature can handle all this effortlessly.
But wait, there’s more!
Writers are an impatient and eccentric lot (ask me how I know!) and they often chase up their submissions too early, leading to even more unnecessary emails or calls. You can control the follow-up interaction process by automatically signing submitters up to a special email list, where you can set expectations and share updates in a timely manner.
- “Thanks for your submission. It can take 3 months to review and reply…”
- “Just a quick email to let you know we’re still reviewing this month’s submissions…”
- “We’re sorry to say that your story, while good, doesn’t quite fit with our audience…”
- “Great news, we’d love to chat about how we can work together to publish your work…”
Pre-write the emails once, and use them for every draft submission thereafter!
Collect Homework from Your Students
Virtual learning is all the rage right now. There’s an overwhelming choice of online learning platforms to choose between, from LMS software to academic portals.
But these big solutions can feel bloated and unnecessary for small scale teaching and coaching.
Sometimes, you just want something a little simpler.
If you use your blog to teach languages, music, extracurricular maths, or just about anything else, and you don’t want to lock yourself into a complex or proprietary solution, then this is where a secure file upload feature can help.
Offer your lesson material on a page or post, set the homework task, and include a form to collect submissions directly to your Dropbox or Google Drive.
The beauty of this solution is that it’s super easy to clone an existing lesson so you don’t waste time re-inventing the wheel for each lesson – everything will already be properly configured.
Plus you’ll get a nifty email notification whenever a student submits their homework!
Create Powerful Testimonials with Before-and-After Photos
If you’re not showcasing customer testimonials or case studies to promote your product or service, then you’re operating at a huge disadvantage. Sales are made when people feel a connection to real transformation stories from past clients and customers.
Thrive Ovation is a full solution that will help you collect testimonials on autopilot, but sometimes you only need a simple form with… yep, you’ve guessed it… a File Upload feature.
Testimonials are notoriously difficult to get after a client project has concluded, so I advise asking your clients while they’re feeling good about your services, and guiding them with questions in a contact form.
Here’s some examples:
- What were you struggling with, or trying to achieve?
- What did you try before, and why didn’t it work?
- How did you feel supported and informed throughout our work together?
- Tell us about the great results you achieved.
- How is your life better now?
- What have you liked most about working with me?
The resulting answers can be woven together to create a powerful story, but the icing on the cake will be the before-and-after images that you’ll collect with our File Upload feature!
Be clear about the type of photos you need (maybe include examples) and be sure to clearly state that by submitting them, the client grants you the rights to use them in your portfolio and marketing.
Challenge your Readers and Boost Engagement
Hosting an audience challenge is similar to a competition (in that you set rules and encourage people to submit their work), but it differs in one key respect:
A competition is played to win.
By contrast, a challenge is its own reward. The goal is to grow and learn something about yourself.
From a content creator’s perspective, they’re both used to generate engagement, a sense of community, traffic, and social media buzz.
Here’s some examples of audience challenges...
- Halloween Spooky Baking Challenge
- The 7 Day House Cleaning Blitz
- 10 Day Für Elise Beginner Piano Challenge
- The Grind: How to Become Amazing at Anything with a 30-Day Challenge
Now not every challenge is conducive to collecting audience submissions – a daily meditation challenge, for example – but for those that can, it’s highly recommended.
First, collecting submissions at certain milestones increases audience accountability, which encourages people to continue with the challenge.
Second, those same submissions can be shown in super-shareable round-up posts to promote your brand and demonstrate just how wonderful your community is.
Here’s how a simple audience challenge looks:
- Set the topic and rules in a blog post, and promote it on social media and email.
- Capture participant opt-ins via Thrive Architect’s Lead Generation element, or a full list building plugin like Thrive Leads.
- Create a separate, standalone check-in page with a simple form and a File Upload feature.
- At key milestones, send an email to your participants, asking them to submit their challenge check-in.
Let’s expand our earlier examples with file types...
- Halloween Spooky Baking Challenge - Submit photos of your fiendish food!
- The 7 Day House Cleaning Blitz - Submit before-and-after photos of your great cleaning work!
- 10 Day Für Elise Beginner Piano Challenge - Submit your best Beethoven in a quick video or mobile phone recording!
Quote with Confidence for Custom Commission Work
Do you sell custom commission work?
One-of-a-kind works of art, built to the customer’s specifications?
Maybe tattoos, pet portraits, 3D printing, knives, dolls, jewellery, logos… you get the idea. With so many variables and customizations, how do you accurately quote your clients?
File Upload to the rescue!
Let’s look at tattoo artists as an example…
You can either try to understand your client’s vision on the phone (oh, please no!), or ask them to share some examples via email (more unbilled work!).
Or you can ask them to complete a guided quote form on your website.
- Customer details
- Part of body
- Tattoo dimensions
- Known allergies or other sensitivities (all to keep on file for your liability)
… and some uploaded images to help you understand the design style and complexity.
Imagine how much easier your job will be when, in the morning... you log into your email to see all this information waiting for you along with a Dropbox/Google Docs folder of supporting images. All collected while you sleep!
Over To You
I’ve shared 10 great ways to use our new File Upload feature on your website, but I feel like I’m only scratching the surface.
I’d love to hear your ideas for how to use this feature in the comments below!