In this article, I am going to share with you how you can Build a Personal Brand as a Freelance Web Developer – If you are a Full-Time Developer, you will get better opportunities if you applied them
Developers are known as the behind-screens guys, who are working at night, they are only coding, hack the world, and rarely speak to other colleagues or even friends and family. Well, all of the above are misconceptions about being a developer; Except – to be honest – working at night, as many developers enjoy it!
Build your Online Presence
Open an Incognito Tab in your browser, and search for your name, and see the results – You might be surprised!
Before having a Personal Brand, you need to have a Name, do as following:
- Have a unique “username” on the internet – Namechk is a useful tool to tell you the availability of a username across all Social Media Websites, Domain Names, … etc.
- Decided which username you will use? Start opening those websites and change it immediately before someone else claim it – Even if you aren’t active on X Popular Website, Sign up a new account and claim your username on that X Website, you might need it later!
Choose a username that’s available on the most important websites/platforms for you as a freelance developer (i.e. Domain Name, Github, LinkedIn, … etc)
Get it to the next level
Now you’ve got a name that we actually can start building an Online Presence for, let’s do the following:
- Invest in a domain and a decent hosting – If you can’t afford this, go for a FREE hosting + domain alternative using GitHub Pages or if you are still a student, you can get a FREE Domain with NameCheap, also there are websites offers FREE or Discounted Hosting for students
- Get a professional domain email, this is enough to give you the edge and makes you a trusted and professional freelancer – Here are some examples;
- Design a Personal Logo; I hired someone to design it for me for a few dollars – If you want to do the same, you can Signup at Freelancer.com and get FREE 20 USD Credit, then create a new project and hire a Designer Freelancer to craft your logo based on your needs!
- Build a Portfolio Website – You don’t need to build a masterpiece yet, just build a simple, responsive and straightforward Portfolio Website to start having an SEO Rank!
- Leverage other platforms; LinkedIn has a great SEO Rank, so by having the same “username” on LinkedIn your visibility will be much easier and earlier than your own personal website – This applies on Github as well, and I noticed that Twitter and Facebook are great tools as well but they require you to use them frequently, unlike LinkedIn and Github!
Don’t go for GitHub Pages unless you are just starting out, and you don’t have any money to invest, but I highly recommend investing in a custom domain and hosting for many reasons (I might write a separated article about it), but one of them is having a professional domain email
That’s exactly what I am doing now. I am showing up here by writing an article, and when my readers like it, some of them will notice my name, maybe – just maybe, some of them will put my name on Google to find out more about me, connect with me, … etc. That’s called: Attention
Ask yourself; How can you grab others attention?
As a Developer, you can do A LOT of things to do so, here is a few of them:
- Build an Open Source Project(s)
- Create Technical Tutorials (Free or Paid)
- Write Articles
- Become A Speaker in a Technical Event(s)
- Host/Organize A Local Technical Meetup in your area
- Build Websites for Charities (Local, Global)
- (optional) Stay active on StackOverflow, and start getting some Reputation among other developers there!
Even in your Social Media accounts; Write informative posts, comments and share meaningful ones. Let others follow you because you are valuable to them, a few people who are really sharing useful stuff out there!
Don’t worry about monetizing your content at the beginning, focus on building a community who are interested in your content. Later on, you can start earning from what you are doing – Remember; Money follows Attention!
Developer + Salesman = Better Developer
Most developers aren’t sociable, and that’s completely understandable because they are working with machines, not people. That’s why I started to learn Sales and followed The Top Salesmen in the world by watching their videos, reading many of their books to learn how they are getting others’ attention, become trustworthy worldwide, and the way they earn money!
Well, as a Developer, you need to:
- Know how to sell your services to the right clients
- Convince others to become potential customers
- Keep the relationship with your previous clients
People are willing to pay A LOT to the one who trusts, it’s not only about being a good coder, it’s about expressing your level of seniority, and sell yourself to your clients!
Most Full-Time Developers only sell themselves once – when they interviewed at companies – but if you are a Freelance Developer, you probably need to sell yourself every day to new clients, and you really need to learn more about Sales!
Does building my personal brand worth the effort?
In the image below, Did you notice that green one? Was it hard to see it from the others? I don’t think so!
Actually, you need to be that one, make it easy for others to notice you – even if you are in a crowd – and because everyone is different, you need to think of how you can make the most unique version of you. Some of us prefer to create profitable apps, others might prefer to teach other developers and get exposure from newcomers, or maybe both. It all depends on you, not me!
Back to the question… Does it worth?
Yes, it does. Working on building your Personal Brand might be the greatest step in your journey as a Freelancer Web Developer or even for any profession, is a great way to open many locked doors for you. Here are small benefits of building a Personal Brand:
- Receiving job offers without even applying
- Refining your clients, and start having a high-paying clients
- If you are still a student, the previous methods will dramatically increase your chance to get accepted in an internship
The possibilities are endless here. So, I need to hear from you; What’s your experience with building a Personal Brand for yourself? Comment below…