Dey talk the koko

Dem nor get law wey talk say you suppose promote open source project when you first launch am. Plenty reasons dey wey fit make person dey work for open source wey nor get to do with popularity. Instead make you hope say other people go find and use your open source project, you suppose spread the word about your hard work!

Make you dey find your message

Before you start the real work of promotion for your project, you suppose sabi explain wetin your project dey do, and why e dey important.

Wetin make your project different or interesting? Why you create am? As you dey think about your project’s message and value, try look am through the eyes of the people wey fit use am and those wey fit contribute to am.

For example, @robb dey use code examples to yan clearly why him project, Cartography, dey useful:

Cartography README

If you wan go deeper for messaging, check Mozilla’s “Personas and Pathways” exercise for developing user personas.

Helep people to dey find and folow your project

Make you get clear handle to promote your work. Twitter handle, GitHub URL, or IRC channel na easy way wey you fit use point people to your project. These outlets still dey give your project’s growing community place wey dem go fit gather.

If you nor wan set up outlets for your project now, make you dey promote your own Twitter or GitHub handle for everything wey you dey do. Promoting your Twitter or GitHub handle go show people how dem fit take contact you or follow your work. If you go talk for meeting or event, make you sure say your contact information dey for your bio or slides.

Make you think about create website for your project. Website dey make your project dey friendly and easy to navigate, especially when you combine am with clear documentation and tutorials. Having website still show say your project dey active and e go make your audience feel comfortable say dem fit use am. Give examples to show people as dem fit take use your project.

@adrianholovaty, co-creator of Django, talk say website na “by far the best thing we did with Django in the early days”.

If your project dey for GitHub, you fit use GitHub Pages create website. Yeoman, Vagrant, and Middleman na few examples of excellent, comprehensive websites.

Vagrant homepage

Now wey you don get message for your project and easy way wey people fit take find your project, make you waka comot go yan with your audience!

Go where your project’s audience dey (online)

Online outreach na correct way wey you fit take share and spread the word quickly. As you use online channels, e fit help you reach wide audience.

Make you use existing online communities and platforms to reach your audience. If your open source project na software project, e possible say you fit find your audience for Stack Overflow, Reddit, Hacker News, or Quora. Find the channels wey you believe say people go benefit well or go dey excited about your work.

See as you fit find ways to share your project well:

  • Know the relevant open source projects and communities. Sometimes, you nor need promote your project directly. If your project dey perfect for data scientists wey dey use Python, make you sabi the Python data science community. As people sabi you, opportunities go naturally show face to talk about and share your work.
  • Find people wey dey face the problem wey your project solve. Search through forums wey relate to your project’s target audience, and try to answer their questions. If e dey right, find polite way to suggest your project as solution.
  • Ask for feedback. Introduce yourself and your work to audience wey your project fit benefit. Make you specific about the people wey you think say your project go fit help. Try to complete the sentence: “I think my project go really help X, people wey dey try do Y”. Listen and respond to others’ feedback, rather than just promoting your work.

Generally, focus on helping others before you ask for something in return. Because anybody fit easily promote project online, e go get plenty noise. To stand out from the crowd, give people background about who you be, nor be just wetin you want.

If nobody pay attention or respond to your initial outreach, nor let am discourage you! Most project launches nor dey one-time thing, e fit take months or years. If you nor get response the first time, try different method, or look for ways to add value to other people’s work first. Promotion and launch of your project go take time and dedication.

Waka go where your project’s audience dey (offline)

Public speaking

Offline events dey very popular to promote new projects to people. Dem be very good way to reach audience wey dey engage and build better human connections, especially if you wan reach developers.

If you be newbie for public speaking, you fit start by dey find local meetup wey relate to the language or system wey your project dey based on.

If you never talk for event before, e dey normal to feel nervous! Just remember say the people wey dey the audience dey there because dem really wan hear wetin you wan talk about.

As you dey write your talk, try focus on the things wey your audience go find interesting and get value from. Make your language dey friendly and approachable. Smile, breathe well, and enjoy yourself.

When you feel say you don ready, try consider talk for conference to promote your project. Conferences fit help you reach plenty people, sometimes from different parts of the world.

Find conferences wey relate to the language or system wey your project dey use. Before you submit your talk, try do research about the conference so that you fit arrange your talk to match the people wey go attend and increase your chance to talk for the conference. Sometimes you fit know the kind of audience wey you wan get by checking the people wey don talk for the conference before.

Kulekule your reputation

Apart from the strategies wey we don yarn before, the best way to invite people to share and contribute to your project na to share and contribute to their projects.

To help newcomers, share resources, and make thoughtful contributions to other people’s projects go help you build positive reputation. To be an active member for open source community go help people to understand wetin you dey do, and dem fit dey pay attention to and share your project. To dey develop relationships with other open source projects fit even lead to official partnerships.

E no dey too early or too late to begin build your reputation. Even if you don launch your own project before, dey always look for ways to help others.

No get quick fix wey go give you audience. To gain the trust and respect of others dey take time, and building your reputation no dey end.

No relent!

E fit tey before people go notice your open source project. E dey okay! Some of the most popular projects wey dey today, e take years before dem reach the level wey dem dey now. Focus on building relationships instead of dey hope say your project go just blow. Be patient, and continue to dey share your work with those wey dey appreciate am.