Many people struggle to get their business ideas off the ground. It often takes longer than they think to develop their products or services. And this stops many from even launching into cyberspace. But that is changing. More and more entrepreneurs are opting to build their businesses in public. Yes. Even before they have products or services to sell.
This might seem risky or foolish. But there is a method to their madness. They may start by sharing how they’ve been researching their ideas. What they have learned. They may share what other companies are doing, and how they intend to improve the issues of those products or services.
And social media is where many entrepreneurs are talking about what they are building. Sharing their journey of discovery and development with the public eye. Many entrepreneurs actively engage with the public and get feedback, which can be a fantastic way to build an even better business.
Let’s take a look at why building a business in public can help facilitate opportunities for your startup.
Transparency Builds Trust
One of the biggest challenges in building a new venture is establishing trust with prospective customers. People need to be able to trust that you will deliver what you say you will. At the beginning of your business journey, you will start with zero customers. And that means you need to be able to attract interest in your offering. But how do you build trust?
Building in public is a way to establish trust. As people see you online, you will start to build up credibility as you interact with your audience. People will feel like they are a part of your journey, and will relate more than if you simply tried to promote what you were selling.
As you share more of your journey in public and people can see you are consistent, willing to listen, and give feedback, you will establish a strong sense of trust.
Establishes Your Brand
Establishing a strong brand is pivotal to building a successful business online or offline. And it ties in with the previous point on trust. Your brand presence can build a public image that can be a powerful asset to attract customers.
Brand versus Business
Your business is the behind-the-scenes mechanics of your venture. It’s the systems you use, the administrative side, the inner workings of your services, and operations.
Your brand is the public persona or image that people see of your business. It’s how you represent yourself in public, both verbally and visually. It’s the way you market your business, or how you talk to your customers. It’s fundamentally the outward character of your business.
And this is where building in public can help you build a strong brand, whether personal or organizational. The same benefits apply. The voice and attitude of your communication will establish a certain character for your brand. And this will attract a certain type of audience.
For example, if you are developing a service for corporate professionals, considering your audience can help guide how you represent your brand both verbally or visually. Appealing to one group might repel other groups of people. If some people don’t connect with your brand that’s okay. You are not trying to help everyone. If you attract the right audience, that is ultimately what matters.
And that’s where your brand can be a magnet. It can attract the right type of audience that you want to connect with online.
Attracts Your Audience
A problem many entrepreneurs have is selling their products or services once they are ready to launch. This can take a lot of time, effort and even money to do. And if you like many entrepreneurs, you don’t want to be starting from scratch when you are ready to launch your offering.
This is where building your audience before you launch can be invaluable. The advantage to this is that you are building anticipation for your launch. People are getting to hear about how you are building your venture. If you do it right, by the time you do launch your offering, you will have already created awareness and interest. And that means that you will not have to start from nothing.
Better Product-Market Fit
You might have an idea that you think is fantastic. You feel it’s so good it cannot fail. But what does the market think? Does your offering meet the demands and needs of your target audience? This is a challenge for any startup. You just don’t know how people will react to your idea.
And this is where building in public can come into its own. You can share your product or service offering and get feedback. Maybe people offer you constructive criticisms or ideas to make it even better. They might even be able to help you hone your product to meet the demands of your target audience.
If you want to succeed you need to listen to your audience, your prospective customers are a goldmine of information. Don’t dismiss them. You ultimately build something for them. And the more the public sees your openness to embrace feedback the more confidence people will have in you.
Test Your Offering
One advantage of building in public is that you can test your offering with a select number of customers. By gauging the feedback from your customers you can prepare for your launch. And ensure you iron out any issues before you finally go live.
By launching too soon, you might disappoint customers and lose valuable trust that you’ve taken time to develop. So rather take your time to gauge feedback from users and ensure it meets a certain level of quality before you make it available.
If you are considering building a new venture you might want to consider starting even before you have a clear direction. Sharing your journey can greatly benefit your progress and brand awareness.
Before you even have a clear vision of your business, you can start sharing about the area of interest and get feedback on ideas to gauge what people want. This can guide you toward a clearer idea for your offering, it’s really a win-win…
And all at the same time you will be building your online presence, establishing your authority, and growing your audience. This means when you are ready to finally launch your venture, you will have the audience you need to sell your product or service.
So… are you ready to start your journey in public yet?
Entrepreneur Magazine, Building in Public: How Tech Companies Master Product-Market Fit
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