Why building in public works

Humanizes the company: People connect with people, not faceless brands. By putting a human face on your startup and sharing your journey, you make your brand more relatable and trustworthy. This fosters a sense of community and invites valuable feedback to improve your product.

Generates early hype: Creating buzz before the official launch is crucial. BIP helps build early brand recognition and attract potential supporters. Engaging your audience early can significantly boost your product’s success, much like musicians teasing their songs on social media before release day.

Builds a community: BIP helps you gather a community of like-minded followers who can become early adopters, customers, or brand advocates. This approach not only grows your user base but also attracts subscribers, referrals, and word-of-mouth recommendations. It can also draw potential hires, investors, and collaboration opportunities.

Establishes trust: Transparency in sharing both successes and failures builds credibility. It shows your commitment to honesty and can increase trust and loyalty from both your team and clients. An open culture can enhance your company’s reputation and lead to repeat customers.

Encourages valuable feedback: Feedback is crucial for product development. BIP allows you to gather input from your community, helping to refine your product and ensure it meets market needs. This iterative process can lead to a better product-market fit.

How to build in public

Airbnb’s BIP success: Airbnb’s 2023 Winter Release post on their Twitter account saw just under 30,000 impressions. However, the same post on CEO Brian Chesky’s Twitter account saw over 2.5 million impressions! This shows that people engage more with individuals than brands.

Steps to implement BIP

Share personal elements

  • Share behind-the-scenes looks, progress updates, accomplishments, goals, milestones, performance metrics, financial data, and business strategies. Deliver valuable content to keep your audience engaged.

Choose the right channels

  • Use platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Medium, YouTube, Twitch, newsletters, podcasts, Reddit, and Indie Hackers to share your journey.

Be consistent

  • Regular updates are key to maintaining audience interest. Establish a consistent posting schedule to keep followers engaged and informed.

Decide on transparency

  • Determine how much detail to share. Some startups may opt for radical transparency, while others might share only high-level updates. Find a balance that works for your team.

Engage actively

  • Active engagement is crucial. Respond to comments, thank followers, and participate in discussions to build a strong community around your product.

Insights from Brett’s BIP journey

You might have seen Brett’s viral Twitter threads. Brett, a successful founder, shares detailed and tactical threads on Twitter every week. He emphasizes how helpful BIP can be for fundraising at any stage. His new startup, Figure, aims to raise enormous amounts of capital, and building an audience allows him to get consistent exposure to prospective investors and top-tier talent. Brett has already hired over a dozen people via Twitter for Figure.

Additional Insights on BIP

The origin of building in public: BIP isn’t just a new fad; it has roots. In 2013, Buffer pioneered radical transparency, sharing everything from revenue numbers to employee salaries. This approach paid off, winning the loyalty of customers and creating a trustworthy work environment. Following Buffer, companies like Ghost and founders like Pieter Levels of Nomad List have embraced and thrived with BIP.

Why founders build in public…

Building in public isn’t just for visibility; it’s about:

  • Early feedback: Direct access to your audience’s thoughts on your ideas and strategies.
  • Increased buy-in: When people feel heard, they’re more invested.
  • Building trust: Transparency fosters deeper connections with customers.
  • Expert status: Being vocal and open makes you a go-to person in your niche.
  • Attracting talent and investors: Transparency can attract like-minded individuals and investors who value openness.

Examples of BIP content

Wondering what to share? Here are some ideas:

  • Screenshots of work-in-progress features.
  • Business metrics and milestones.
  • Marketing and development strategies.
  • Bug fixes and new launches.
  • Industry insights.
  • Daily or weekly updates on progress and plans.

Choosing the right channels

Where should you share your journey? Here are some options:

  • Twitter: Great for tech founders. Quick virality through retweets and likes.
  • LinkedIn: Ideal for B2B businesses. Content can reach far beyond your direct network.
  • Newsletters: Direct updates to your customers, building a strong relationship.
  • TikTok: Perfect for B2C businesses targeting younger audiences.
  • Niche communities: Forums or groups where your potential customers hang out.
  • Streaming platforms: Show your work live, fostering real-time engagement.

Building in public is more than a trend; it’s a powerful strategy that can transform your startup’s journey. By sharing your ups and downs, you build a community, gain valuable feedback, and establish trust. Consider how BIP can fit into your startup’s strategy and start sharing your story today.

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