Embracing Transparency: The Case for Building in Public
In the fast-paced world of digital advertising, influencer marketing has emerged as one of the fastest-growing sectors. The allure of having someone with a massive following sing praises about your brand is so compelling that it often makes founders forget a simple truth: the most inspirational influencer is, in fact, the founder themselves.
This reality underscores why entrepreneurs should embrace the role of being their own influencer by adopting a 'Build in Public' strategy. This is not to say that paid outside influencers should be disregarded, especially if they are trusted and have a high relevance to your brand. However, over-reliance on a third party might not be the most effective strategy, as the public often understands that these influencers are being paid to promote you, recognizing it as a modern form of advertising.
Ask yourself, as a founder, who is the best person to tell the story of the brand you are building? Is it you or an influencer? Can anyone else tell the story more authentically, can anyone else build trust in your brand better than you can?
The answer to these questions lies in a trend known as "building in public." This involves sharing your entrepreneurial journey, including the creation process, successes, failures, and lessons learned, with the public through various channels such as social media, blog posts, webinars, and podcasts.
For some, this idea may seem daunting, especially for those accustomed to traditional business models that value secrecy and competitive advantage. However, the benefits of building in public can significantly outweigh the risks.
Cultivating Trust and Authenticity
In an era marked by scepticism and misinformation, trust has become a defining factor for brand success. When you build in public, you demonstrate a commitment to transparency that fosters trust with customers, investors, and the broader community. This authenticity engenders loyalty and can differentiate your brand in a crowded market.
Community Building and Engagement
Building in public invites your audience, whether they are customers, potential investors, or even peers, to participate in your journey. The act of sharing your process can turn passive observers into active participants, contributing ideas, feedback, and support. This engagement strengthens your brand community and builds a sense of ownership among your users, which can drive long-term success and growth.
Accelerated Learning and Innovation
Sharing your journey opens up channels for feedback that can significantly speed up your learning curve. Feedback from diverse perspectives can lead to innovations you may not have considered within the confines of your team. This real-time market response can be invaluable for iterating quickly and effectively.
From a venture capital perspective, transparency is refreshing. Founders who build in public demonstrate a level of confidence and resilience that is highly attractive to investors. It shows you're not afraid to face challenges head-on and are open to learning and adapting — traits of a potentially successful investment.
Personal Growth and Leadership
Finally, building in public fosters personal growth. Sharing the journey, including the setbacks and failures, requires a level of vulnerability that can be transformative for founders. It encourages humility, resilience, and the kind of authentic leadership that inspires teams and attracts followers.
The practice of building in public is a powerful paradigm shift in the world of entrepreneurship. It's about more than just transparency—it's about trust, community, innovation, and growth. As a founder, embracing this trend could very well be the game-changer that sets your venture apart in a highly competitive landscape.
Not only will this approach allow you to be your own influencer, but it will also lead to a more engaging, authentic, and impactful brand story. In a world of homogeneous brands, take the opportunity to stand out in a way that is as unique as you are.