What is Building in Public?
Building in Public is defined the same way it is said – you build in front of the public eyes.
Building in public is you being accountable to the public to deliver, to be transparent and to hold the customers or potential customers as more important that the money you would get.
A Competitive Advantage
One thing people fail to understand about building in public is the upside it gives – a competitive advantage.
For instance, if you are a writer, there is really nothing you want to write that would be new and cannot be found somewhere on the internet. This means that the competition is high for you as a writer.
What differentiates you from other writers will be your public display of affection for your audience (permit me). You are more than a writer to them. You are a human who cares about them. They are readily available to engage with your content and also give immediate feedback.
This applies even to other fields and industries
Vulnerability & Trust
Building in public requires a lot of vulnerability like exposing personal parts of your life, or terrible mistakes you must have made in the past or even currently. However, most people hardly judge you against your mistakes. In fact, they are even more proud that you had the balls to share as well as learn from them.
Building in public also means you get to share what you are doing or learning at the moment. You might think it is purely informational but you will get feedback from people thanking you for sharing from time to time. Hence, they become to see you as an authority and begin to trust you.
Trusting you means they will either hire you, recommend you or even invest in you and your ideas.
Connecting with People.
Building in public is like creating a magnetic field where you attract people that share similar interests and worldviews like you do. So for instance, you seem to be the only one that likes writing and reading horror novels. Once you begin to talk about this interest of yours in public, you will begin to see people that share similar interest with you come around.
The world has moved from a product first to an audience first market. It is also the same way you can get to know who shares your interest. For example, if you want to start a business and you are not clear on who your audience is, start a blog or draw a social media plan and start sharing educational and informational content around your niche. In no time, you will begin to see people gather around asking to buy from you.
It is a sustainable business model that has worked for thousands of brands looking to build sustainable businesses
One major force at work with this model is the Ego
In my book, Dear Creative, I explained the power of the Ego as that things that pushes us to want to do better in order to impress the public.
While there are a lot of negative things you must have heard about the ego, this is one positive narrative. The Ego likes to be stroked. It wants to get feedback. It wants to hear “well done, this is good job, this helped me, you are so good,” and other variants.
When you get these feedback, the ego forces you to want to do and deliver better. It forces you to continually improve, keeping you on your toes.
Building in Public is free. Many startups started this way and as a young folk, it is a good way to start your career. You do not know who is watching.
Personally, I have got jobs, recommendations and even people invest in me by simply showing up every day to build in public.
Give it a shot!
However, don’t get hooked in people pleasing