How I Built This In Public: Peter Mick
Lessons from building and growing Copylime to 6 figures all in public
Hello everyone, it’s KP. Welcome to the 9th edition of “How I Built This In Public“, a special series that features top founders and creators who’re boldly building their projects, startups and creative ventures in public. My intention is to ask them a consistent set of simple questions and distill insights and lessons so we can all learn from their experiments.
For this edition we have Peter Mick, Founder of Copylime - a tool made to inspire copywriting and content, ultimately help fuel you with ideas and overcome the writer's block, whatever the niche, community or audience may be about.
I personally enjoyed witnessing Peter build Copylime in public and he was extremely transparent including the journey of the Product Hunt launch and the MRR!
Without further ado, here’s the full interview. Enjoy :)
“I’m Peter Mick! Dad of 3 gone indie hacker. Software Engineer-at-heart.
I’ve tried to build a startup back in 2010 but failed thinking having VC funding was the only way to succeed.
I’ve then taken a break so I could focus on my growing family and here I am again :) ”
1. At what point in your startup journey did you begin your “build in public” journey and why?
I began to build in public in the very early days of building Copylime.com & TweetAI.com
As a solo developer, I found it motivating (and exciting!) to be able to share my progress with others - back in August 2022 I had less than 100 followers and today I’m at almost 10K followers.
2. What personal / business benefits do you believe you attracted from building in public?
Personally I love to share and help others - I know that sharing my journey has inspired others (I got a few DMs on Twitter from people saying how inspiring and motivating my updates were for them).
Business benefits - spreading the word about my products early on and inevitably doing marketing by sharing my progress.
Many people are put off by marketing activities (especially developers!) but by building in public you can get your first customers and every single update you make contributes to brand awareness (which is actually a big thing, example: Coca Cola spends billions of $ on brand awareness).
3. In the early days, did you have any specific challenges or hesitations on whether you should build in public or not? If so — what were they and how did you overcome them?
As a dad of 3 including baby twins I found it challenging sometimes to find the energy to post an update - I used to overthink what to tweet and wanted every single tweet to be perfect.
But then I realized that even a single sentence update is OK and that was both a relief and helped me get into a consistent tweeting habit.
Don’t overthink your updates / tweets - just tweet it.
4. Are there any myths or misconceptions about building in public from before that were debunked by your personal experience?
Hmm, nothing that I can think of.
5. What are your 3 tips for someone who’s just starting their “build in public” journey?
Start sharing your journey early on
Don’t overthink your BIP updates - a single line will do if you’re stuck for ideas
Don’t try to sell, just talk about what you’re doing
6. In your experience, how did the 80-20 rule play out? What few vital activities of BIP do you believe have resulted in high leverage outcomes for you?
Consistency helped a lot - also sharing demo videos and/or screenshots do result in higher engagement and visibility.
7. How much time do you allocate for building in public on a daily/weekly basis?
As much time as possible - whenever I get a 10-15 minute window of “free” time, I will try to progress even with the smallest thing. Sometimes it could be updating a few CSS classes.
I celebrate all progress, no matter how small. Every evening I try to put in solid 2-3 hours of building the product and think about what update I could share with the community.
8. How did you stay motivated in the early days when generally you don’t see quick results or super high engagement as you begin building in public?
Deep down I knew I was building a useful product that will help others achieve their goals - so that truly motivated me as I love helping others. I also priced my product so competitively that the barrier of entry is nearly non-existent for many. I’m not in it to get rich, I’m in it to help others in the long term.
As with anything in life, I knew that consistent participation and efforts in it will help me become more known for what I do and help me reach a wider audience, so I just kept at it :)
9. How did you handle copycats while you built in public?
As a busy dad of 3, I don’t have the time to look for / at copycats so I don’t know of any.
10. Who are 3 people you would recommend for others to follow in the BIP niche?
Other blog posts and Twitter threads where we can learn more about you/your story?
Here’s a post I wrote in December 2020, I spent most of 2021 thinking of ideas and buying domain names, at some point I had 200+ domain names and was mentally “paralyzed” by too many ideas and not enough time to build anything. In 2022 I decided to let many domains expire and focus on one or two ideas…
All this while having 3 young kids including baby twins born in 2020 - it was really challenging to find the time and energy, I’ve always taken the family-first approach and squeezed in startup / BIP work whenever I could. Celebrating every progress no matter how small kept me going.
And this meme:
That’s a wrap for now! Hope you enjoyed this piece.
Here are the rest of the interviews in this “How I Built This In Public“ series.
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