- What is a Personal Brand?
- How can Personal Branding benefit you?
- How long does it take to build a strong Personal Brand for a Programmer?
- Where to start? - Personal Branding for Programmers
- 10 steps of building Foundations for Programmer's Personal Branding
- Maintain your online presence
Personal Brand is an opinion and an overall impression other people have about you. Personal Brand is based on your interactions with other people. You can build that impression online and offline.
It's crucial to mention that against popular belief, a Personal Brand is not about who you are and what kind of person you are in real life. Instead, it's about creating a specific image of yourself. The one you want other people to see.
And even if you think that building a Personal Brand is a waste of time, I have some news for you. You're building your personal brand anyway. But you're doing it unintentionally. Srsly - If you're working with the team, contributing to the projects, or commenting on social media. You're leaving other people with an impression about yourself.
And I strongly suggest that you take control of your image. It can benefit you in many ways.
I mentioned the benefits, didn't I?
Ok, so let's get to the goodies part.
- New, better job opportunities coming straight at you
Imagine you're a C++ Programmer. You're known for your expertise and coding skills in the community. People respect you also for your awesome work ethic. They speak about you fondly at the gaming events and praise you for being an amazing team player. If someone hears about you, they would definitely want to reach out to you and offer you a job or a freelance gig. A word about you spreads through the gaming industry, and you don't have to spend countless hours applying for jobs. The job can knock on your door.
- Extra paid freelance gigs for Programmers
Building a software engineer's personal branding means building relationships with people within the gamedev industry. Even if you aren't interested in getting a new, sweet, full-time job, you can always find some potential Clients for your services. If people will know that you're a capable Programmer, known for writing really clear code. They might approach you directly with a really cool side gig.
I'm not gonna lie. Building and holding an expert position is a long-term strategy. And it requires constant maintenance. So let's assume that you're starting from square one. You have a lot to learn in the particular field you want to be known in. You have relationships to build. People need time to recognize you as "The Guy/The Gal/The Person." Things like that don't happen overnight.
Don't give up, though. This process, if done right, pays off.
Personal Branding fundamentals, my dude.
Before you start to comment stuff on Github or Linkedin or write a blog post about some new programming solutions that you came up with, you need to establish the basics of your personal brand.
1. Define your personal goal - what do you want to achieve?
Is it a new job? Do you want to land a position in a specific games studio? Or maybe you want to attract new paid gigs coming to your inbox? Or perhaps you're thinking about making passive income with an online Programming course?
2. Who do you want to help with your expertise, and how?
Building a consciously designed Personal Brand for Software Developers should start with something you're most proficient in: Solving Problems.
Look for an issue you can address with your expertise. When you realize who needs your help - boom! There you go! You've found an audience for yourself.
3. Competition Research
You need to put on a Sherlock Holmes cap and do some digging. Check if there're any other well-known and recognized Programmers in your field. See how and what they are posting. What vibe do their comms give off? What kind of content do they create?
4. Look for a thing that can make you stand out from the crowd
It's called differentiating, and you need to look for something unique that only you can deliver. It can be everything, really. A specific niche. The vibe of communication.
In short, what can be associated specifically with your Programmer's Personal Brand?
5. Define your brand's values
What do you want to be recognized and praised specifically for? Here you can find a list of example brand values.
6. Define your brand's boundaries
It's essential to know where and how you should not engage as a brand. Sometimes it's not worth being triggered by some trolls.
7. What is your story?
People are drawn to captivating and inspiring stories. Think about your beginning as a Programmer and the motivations that pushed you onto this career path. How did you get to the place where are you now? What being a programmer means to you? You
8. Pick your brand's vibe and voice
Formal and cold professionalism? Or maybe fun and quirkiness?
You need to define which type of communication with your audience suits your own brand.
Here, you can find 12 brand archetypes that might help you decide which paths for building Personal Brand for Programmers might be right.
9. Create an elevator pitch for Software Developer's Personal Brand
Imagine you're at GDC. Someone approaches you and asks you, "What do you do?". You need to have a short and catchy answer to that.
10. Create content that provides real value
Listen to the problems people in your targeted audience have. For example, are your fellow devs complaining about specific programming issues? Maybe you have a solution to that problem? Don't copy mindlessly other devs, though.
Ok, so what next?
You defined your audience and who you want to influence, right? So you need to be where your audience is.
Git Hub - online portfolio Personal Branding for Programmers
This is the most important place for building your position as an expert in the field and to show off your programming skills.
It's also where your potential future employers/clients will look.
You're a programmer, so you're probably pushing code to GitHub already. But make sure to pimp your profile.
Also, create a "Portfolio Showcase" repository. Highlight projects you've participated in. A strong "Code Portfolio," in your case, says much more about the value you'll bring to your potential future team than the most fanciest Resume.
LinkedIn - no, srsly
LinkedIn might be a place perceived as a network full of motivational nonsense*, but the truth is - it's also a great place to look for meaningful business connections and partnerships.
Besides, LinkedIn is a huge search engine. A well-tailored profile helps you to be found by the right people. So it's a good idea to use LinkedIn for personal branding.
Here you can read some of our articles, which will def help you create the best Linkedin Profile for a Programmer:
- Pissed off at getting irrelevant gamedev job offers on Linkedin? - top tips for building a killer Linkedin profile
- Personal branding for game developers
*Besides, it's up to us what are we posting and reacting to on this platform, right? Keep that in mind ;)
Blogging is not everyone's cup of tea. But I can't stress enough how important and smart it is to have your own platform or a personal website for building your brand.
You never know what can happen on someones else's platform? The policy might change; they can sell it to someone else (oh hi, Elon!), and you might lose your account because of reasons.
Also, have your own blog? Then why not start to hoard those emails? Start newsletter. If your content is good and presents value - people will be happy to hear from you.
Social media channels pile up, right? But you can't ignore the fact that there're lots of fellow game developers on Twitter. It's a great place to meet people, engage with your target audience and build stronger connections and professional network.
So here you go!
After reading this, I really do hope that you'll pay more attention to how you're presenting your online brand to others.
If there's anything else I can think of, the best advice I can give you is:
BE CONSISTENT, AND DON'T GIVE UP.
And please, If you have any questions about building a Personal Brand for Programmers or about steering your career path - slide into our DM'sTweet