Get started with 'working in public'

I've been experimenting with 'working in public' for 5+ years and I'm going to share some examples of 'working in public' type content that has worked for me.

Bean Ninjas started out as an online bookkeeping business (we've evolved to eCommerce accountants). Not the sexiest of businesses and in the early days it was a struggle to get noticed.

Creating 'working in public' style content is what helped us to get started with content marketing and now content marketing is one of our biggest lead generators.

Why some founders don't 'work in public'

Here are some common reasons why founders hold back from 'working in public'.

#1 Confidentiality - someone will steal my ideas
#2 Ego - I will look dumb if openly share what I don't know
#3 Brand - it could be bad for business if we share the lows as well as the highs

These are all potential risks, but in my experience, the benefits that come from 'working in public' far outweigh the risks.

Here are three types of 'working in public' content I have experimented with.

Sharing income reports

In an income report, you share key metrics about your business like revenue.

They have been around for years, but a well-written income report still grabs me!

Sharing private business metrics is uncommon in the accounting industry, so it took me months to get up the courage to publish my first income report.

They turned out to be the best performing blog posts in the early days of Bean Ninjas.

Recording a podcast as you build something

The idea of 'working in public' isn't just to celebrate your wins, people want to hear the challenges you faced and your thought process in overcoming them.

I recorded a podcast series when creating an online course and again when we were developing an app. Both times we recorded every few weeks while we were building. This meant we could share in real-time our thoughts, decisions and challenges.

Speaking at events

Our podcast and blog then led to other speaking opportunities. I found the process of crafting a presentation also helped to hone storytelling skills.

Practicing a presentation over and over forces you to think about what is engaging for an audience and how to weave stories into your key points.