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Amy Oulton
Amy Oulton

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How To: Brand Yourself As A Developer

This post was originally published for Codecast.

Branding yourself online has become increasingly important as landing a role in the tech industry is constantly getting more competitive. If you want to freelance, creating a personal brand is the absolute best way to land roles, but it’s still important for those of us looking to gain more traditional roles. Creating a strong online presence that is clearly branded will help employers and clients understand exactly what you can do for them. It will also create a strong sense of skill and authenticity, as well as display your communication skills. Plus, it’s a great way to network.

So what exactly goes into creating a personal brand? The good news is that you don’t need to be a marketing expert to accomplish this, you just need to spend a bit of time.

Figure Out Who You Are

Computer

I don’t mean this in the existential “who am I and what is my purpose here” way. That’s a whole other ballpark! What you want to do is figure out exactly what you’re brand is all about. Are you a developer? A designer? Are you specified in your stack or interests? Is there a specific language you’re extremely proficient at? Figure out exactly what you excel at and want people to know you excel at. Once you’ve decided that, you have the core foundation of your brand. Now we just need to establish it.

Be Everywhere

Sign up for all the core and popular social sites that are relevant to your field. For example, as a software developer, I have accounts and am active on LinkedIn, Twitter, dev.to, CodeCast, Medium & Hashnode. I use these to discuss relevant topics as well as showcase my skills and promote my work. I enjoy writing content, so for me, it makes sense to sign up to places like dev.to and Medium, but depending on your content, you'll need to find your own niche spots!

I also don’t hesitate to share a single blog post across all the different platforms at the same time. I have had some junior developers ask me in the past where the best place to share your writing is to get views. The answer is honestly everywhere. There is no single ideal source, every person will have a different experience based on their content, so until you know what is and isn’t successful for you, share it everywhere you have an account!

Share Your Strengths

If you’re great at something, make it known. If you excel at the front-end, for example, share CSS tips & tricks, or perhaps some work you’ve done that you’re proud of. Do a walk-through on CodeCast where you build out a small project or walk through a tutorial, or show off a previous project you’ve done. Regardless of how you do it, you want to showcase something you are confident in and something you enjoy! Passion is the biggest motivator and most people can feel your passion when it’s sincere - so use it to your advantage!

CodeCast

Most people also mistakenly think they need to be a developer for a very long time before they would ever be suited to teach someone else something. Not only is this not true, but teaching something to someone else strengthens your own knowledge of the topic! It will also allow you to gain a wider audience because as developers, we are always looking for new resources or information every time we need to do something new. It can also be used to help make a portfolio, which is something we will be discussing in the coming weeks!

Engage, Engage, Engage

Getting the attention of a bigger influencer somewhere like Twitter can be helpful, but the biggest factor will be being consistent. If you constantly engage with people on different platforms, you will slowly grow your audience. Getting your first 100 followers is the hardest part and takes the largest amount of time, but once you have a decent base, you’ll start to slowly grow.

Twitter

We don’t need to shoot for the moon and try to get hundreds of thousands of followers (though I definitely wouldn't discourage that)! But an account with a thousand followers is a lot more trustworthy on first impression than an account with eight, so taking the time to engage is well worth it and will make an impact on how well your brand resonates with other people.

Consistency

Try to be as consistent as possible. Months of nothing followed by short bursts of posts won’t do much for you. Being able to create a small amount of content that you regularly post will perform much better for you. If you have time to generate a large amount of content all at once, refrain from posting it right away. You can use free apps like Later to help you schedule outposts, or save them as drafts and publish them at a consistent pace.

Outside of timing, you also want to be consistent about the type of content you post. If your account is all over the place, people will have no idea what your brand is. Consistency about the type of content, as well as keeping it to the appropriate level of professionalism for your goal, is probably the most important aspect of branding yourself.

There are a lot of little things you will learn along the way, so with that my advice is to always just start, and make adjustments as you see fit. You don’t need to have a fancy logo or banner, or posts that are completely original and mind-blowing - you just need to make posts that are true to yourself and your desired brand. The rest can come with time.

Discussion (21)

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richardkentng profile image
Richard

Thanks! Things gives me confidence to post things as a non-expert. Codecast and Hashnode are two that I have not heard of before. I have a question..why would I use Codecast when I could just post on Youtube?

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author • Edited on

Great question!

CodeCast is both media AND live-code. So while you record yourself teaching, any live updates you are making to the codebase you include in your Cast are shared alongside the video in a single platform. You just share the codebase in the Studio and edit it on your local machine like normal, and it updates in the Cast each time you save!

This allows for people to see your code simultaneously to learn better, follow along with what you’re doing etc, as opposed to just providing something like a GitHub repo!

PS. They also have a download feature coming out that will allow you to republish the media portion of your Cast on YouTube! That falls right into my “be everywhere” tip!

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richardkentng profile image
Richard

Interesting! I enjoy watching youtube videos as part of my learning process. But I'm unable to copy and paste code from youtube videos (because I want to double check if I typed things correctly). Will using codecast allow me to do that? Thanks!

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author

Yes! That was one of the biggest motivations behind creating our software.

You're able to copy entire files with a single click, or highlight any portion of the code from any file shared with you and copy it!

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richardkentng profile image
Richard

That is extremely cool!

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author

I made this video about CodeCast in general if you feel like checking it out! I’m one of the devs there so I am happy to answer any questions!

youtu.be/eqehwwFnSoM

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mujahidi profile image
Mujahid

Thank you for this post. I have been thinking of doing the same but unfortunately, have been also delaying it for no particular reason (read procrastination). I guess its time to finally put in the first gear and gradually pick up acceleration.

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author

We’re our own worst enemies! We always say “maybe tomorrow” or “when I know a little more” but truthfully, we will always feel that way. We just kinda have to decide to try and see what happens!

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alexeagleson profile image
Alex Eagleson

This is great stuff, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel like I am learning most of these lessons gradually through trial and error, and it's nice to see things summarized in a way that makes them feel less daunting.

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author

So glad this could help!

There is this false narrative that some people have "figured it all out" but the truth is that most "successful" people are just trying things and re-directing themselves when needed.

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alexeagleson profile image
Alex Eagleson • Edited on

I'm throwing spaghetti at the wall every day, and very fortunate that it seems to always turn out okay :)

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jubarcelos profile image
Julia Barcelos

I've been write something very close of this article. And you write very well about this. Congrats! I probably will use parts of your article.

I started this blog recentily because that, you know, I've been part of everything.

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ikurosaki profile image
ikurosaki

Buen artículo Amy💪😃

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author

Thank you so much!

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abdrzqsalihu profile image
Abdulrazaq Salihu

Thanks! this is Inspiring

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waynium profile image
Waynium

This is so good, I'm still a varsity student trying to immerse myself into the industry. Thanks 👍

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rolandixor profile image
RolandiXor (Roland L. Taylor)

Great post!

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author

Thanks so much!

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mahdouglass profile image
Marissa Douglass

Thanks for the post and advice! I hadn't heard of CodeCast or Later. Definitely adding them to the list.

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jyotirmoydotdev profile image
Jyotirmoy Barman

Brilliant post 🌝.
It will help me in a long run ❗❕

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amyoulton profile image
Amy Oulton Author

Happy to hear!