The concept of founders “building their companies in public” has gained a lot of prominence recently. But, what does “building in public” really mean for today’s entrepreneurs? Collaboration? Knowledge sharing? Open source? Transparent? Feedback? This approach is about acknowledging and sharing the step-by-step process of building a company openly with everyone. Although, there is a distinction between being transparent and giving out a company’s intellectual property. Remember, one must approach this conversation with a degree of honesty and vulnerability. The goal of “building in public” is to nurture trust and facilitate dialogue along the lines of, “here is something I am making; what do you think?”
The most incredible success story around building a brand in public would be of Tesla and SpaceX by Elon Musk. Elon Musk’s ability to navigate the conversation around these companies has allowed them to grow exponentially without spending a massive amount on marketing. In cases like these, it is essential to recognize that these are exceptions, not the norm.
Another notable example of a founder building in public would be Andrew Gazdecki from Microacquire. Gazdecki has consistently found ways to provide insights from his professional and personal life. Building your brand in public is likely to garner equal amounts of attention, awareness, criticism, and scrutiny of your brand. Like all things social media: it’s about creating a genuine connection while sharing your authentic journey.
Here are some content ideas to start you off –
- Business Metrics and Milestones achieved – These can represent the times you have reached your business goals. It is a good idea for you to summarize what it took for the company to get there.
- Solved business obstacles – The company should highlight specific business struggles and how you tackled them.
- Insights that are not commonly talked about – As business leaders, sharing some unknown insights from the industry can be a great idea.
- Advice for your younger self – One is bound to experience situations that change your perspective on how you view your life, your business, or both. Sharing such moments of growth is bound to make your brand more authentic.
- Factor in your quirks and idiosyncrasies – Whether it is about getting the perfect animation, the ideal graphics, or even the perfect font for you. Talk about it! Talk about the frustration that might have come along with it. And, when something is perfected, tell everyone about it.
How should you choose the platform to build in public? The platform you select depends on two primary criteria: channel-market fit and channel-enjoyability. Channel-market fit refers to whether your customers are likely to be on that particular platform, and channel-enjoyability refers to how ‘fun’ creating content on one specific platform relates to the sustainability of content production for you. Both these factors must be considered when choosing your channel. Designing high-impact content with multi-platform utility consistently is key.
Building in public is all about creating a community built on transparency, integrity, and consistently delivering value. Increasingly founders and brands are taking ownership of engagement through a more direct route through the new platforms that social media provide. For many this shift couldn’t have come sooner. What are your thoughts on building in Public? Let us know in the comments below.