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How to Build a Product in Public

An increasing number of indie makers decide to build in public. Some do it via their blog, on Twitter, on an open page or via communities. But it can be incredibly daunting to makers who are used to build their products in a more private fashion.

Why build a product in public? Successful products have users. To get users for your product, people have to know about it. Building in public will help people find out about your product. Here are some of the ways you can start working in public today.

Get social
Use Twitter to gain followers interested in your industry by tweeting relevant information. I constantly tweet out podcast episodes because my product is about podcast discovery. Tweet about your product’s development. Show followers pictures of what the product looks like.

Ask for feedback or ideas. This makes your followers feel involved in the building process and will increase their desire to use your product. Engage with others in your industry. Other industry insiders may like your product ideas and share your content with their followers

Log your work in public
Makerlog is a great source of motivation. It gives you a quick visual representation of all the progress you’ve made, allowing you to see all the work you’ve put into the product day to day. It also allows your audience to see your progress from day one. Additionally, it is a way to keep yourself accountable. If you stop adding tasks to Makerlog, your followers may start to ask questions.

Write consistently
Writing helps you to log your progress. This way it is easy to keep track of everything that has been done or is planned. Having to write about your ideas and problems will give you a better understanding of them, which will in turn help you solve your problems or expand on your ideas.

Writing is also a way to help expand your audience, because your articles will be seen by different people than those that see your tweets. If you struggle to write regularly, you can use a platform such as 200 Words a Day.

Create a podcast
Podcasting is similar to writing. The advantage with podcasting is that a podcast can be consumed everywhere, allowing you to reach a whole new audience – for example people who prefer to listen to content while commuting rather than reading. Podcasting also gives you an excuse to reach out to influencers in your industry to get them on the podcast for an interview, which is great to build your network.

Live stream your progress
You can use Twitch, YouTube Live or Periscope to stream your work sessions and let your audience watch you work. This allows them to give you feedback or ideas in real time. People like to see how products are made, and live streaming gives your audience a behind the scenes look at the product.

People also like knowing there is a human behind a product. Live streaming also allows your audience to see that there is a person behind the product. Streaming your progress on Twitch or another video platform gives audience visual and auditory engagement with you, which is different from Twitter because the audience can see and hear you and can engage with you in real time. This is great to build deeper relationships.

Join relevant communities
There are many relevant communities you can find based on your audience, whether on Reddit, or Quora, which are keen to read about the progress of entrepreneurs. Share your progress and answer questions to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. People will trust you and use your product for that reason. This will also help if people are looking up information about your produce, as these large communities tend to rank higher in search results.

Building in public is a long-term commitment. Over time doing these things will help grow your audience and lead to people using your product.

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