It’s not all about the CV
A CV jam-packed with references and recommendations is a powerful weapon in your attempts to climb up the career ladder. However, it is not a silver bullet and solution to all professional problems. The resources on the market are limited and there are more and more competent developers seeking to exploit them. The best way to separate yourself from the competition is to nurture your own distinctive voice: A personal brand. Startups and corporations are not the only subjects in need of a business identity. In fact, each and every individual on the market can benefit from learning how to brand yourself. To become a recognizable business persona, you must learn how to increase your value and sell yourself.
- A career of a freelance web developer is one of those that take advantage of the modern way of doing work. Being a one-man company, however, is harder than many freelancers imagine. Employers choose the candidates based on things that caught their eye. Your skills do not set you apart from legions of others as much as you think, and will not get your name tossed around on their own. This is a crucial thing to keep in mind for those developers who are only starting out. That being said never let the time dedicated to learning how to brand yourself compromise the quality of your work as you would only undermine the whole mission and beat it’s purpose.
- By infusing your brand with your personality, you can breathe some life in it and make it shine. Still, it can be hard to be objective and identify the parts of your personality that make you stand out from the competition. So, why don’t you ask others? Or, if you are still feeling disoriented, feel free to follow other examples and use online resources for personal branding development. By basing your brand on your persona, you can achieve consistency and show that you are genuine. Of course, a business image is a stylized version of your real self, but they grow and develop together. Do not just make an effort to have a brand. Be your brand, and live and die by it. This involves the ability to make every project distinctively yours.
- When making your own website, there are several things to consider. First, what could your unique name be? It must reflect your brand, but you also need to avoid it being similar to others. So do not go with something like “Creative Web Development”. Think about the SEO benefits of domain name, and aim for a high Google ranking with appropriate keywords and content. One of the most obvious examples for this is really simple. If you’re running a site that is selling printer equipment, toners, cartridges and ink – you can’t go wrong with the name tonerprice.com. People would definitely know where they’re going and what to expect when they come there.
- Next, come up with a tagline and a slogan, to accompany the brand name. These are supposed to give people a comprehensive idea about your skill set. It is advisable to write a bio first, and then reduce it to the tagline, which usually contains eight or fewer words. As for a bio, its place is in “about” section of the website, as well as on social media profiles.
- Social media are indispensable in your efforts to build a name for yourself. It is more than just your profile and cover picture on your account. That does not mean you should not pay attention to this element, because it is the first one other will notice. Just do not spread yourself too thin, and focus on networks like LinkedIn or popular developers’ platforms. Bear in mind that you are not amassing the likes with your holiday picture, but trying to present yourself as a businessman. Social updates should cover your unique selling proposition (USP), and be related to your niche. Use these platforms to showcase your brand voice and engage in industry-related discussions.
- Note that the online realm is oversaturated with visual content. This tells you two things. First is that visuals are the backbone of marketing and branding activities, effortlessly grabbing attention of people. Second, this suggests that you cannot offer just some generic and unappealing content. Take your time to develop a striking logo, and use it across the digital landscape. It must also set the tone for the rest of your visual branding efforts. Remember this when picking your signature typography, color scheme on the website and the font you use. Every bit of digital real estate should be painted with ingenuity, as it is a visible counterpart to your unique brand voice.
- A business blog is another great tool for reaching out a wider audience and enhancing your reputation. Offer a different angle than other developers, and instruct people on how to solve practical problems. Create lists of tips and include video content if possible, because these features steal the show. Also, try to contact prominent bloggers and renowned developers and guest post on their blogs. This is a way to drive more internet traffic your way and establish connections with influential people. Finally, engage in blog-commenting on other relevant posts as well and present yourself as an expert with a clear opinion.