So, you’re a great Software Developer, but you want to get to the next level?
One of the most important things you can do in your career as a Software Developer is to build a solid reputation in order to unlock opportunities that are not necessarily available to others in the market.
The benefits of being well known.
It is commonly believed that if become good enough in a certain technology or programming language then you would get a great job with a decent salary and although that factors into it, this assumption is not necessarily true.
Marketing yourself means to spread the word about yourself. Imagine going for a job interview and wanting to impress your potential future manager. How much more impressed would they be if they already knew you from somewhere, having maybe read some of your blog posts or magazine articles written by you.
It is not so much about being the most skilled or most experienced in your industry, although this helps, it is also about your reputation and online presence.
Let’s use the example of a musician: Do you think it is the most skilled, the most experienced or even the one who creates the most albums, who makes the most money? The answer is no, it is the famous musicians that have a reputation, sell concert tickets, and knew the right people that make the most!
Think of it like an equation: skills x marketing = £££
As frustrating as it is the marketing part of the equation actually holds more weight. Self-promotion and building a brand around yourself are not bad things, it is all about how you do it and once you have this reputation, people; jobs; and other opportunities will come to you!
You can market yourself in a way that can boost your career and in the book “Why Marketing yourself is Important” by John Sonmez he explains different ways of getting noticed in the community or within a company.
How do you start?
Know what you are promoting: Think about what you want to be known for.
Pick something and stick with it - make sure that your message is clear, simple, and concise so that you are instantly recognised by people for that specific thing.
Find one channel to start on (whether it is a blog, magazine articles, podcasts) and master it to get your name out there!
Be clear and precise. The different visual aspects of your social platforms are very important. It needs to be something that stands out to people but is also professional and easily recognisable. For instance, a logo – a company’s logo is something that is easily recognisable and makes you think about that company.
Repetition and consistency are also very important. People won’t remember something if they only see it once. Something that gets stuck in your head and that you remember is due to repetition. It is said that on average someone needs to have exposure to one thing 4-5 times before it is recognised.
Remember that this is not something that can be achieved over night, it will take time and perseverance, but stick at it and don’t give up because the rewards will be worth it!
According to John “One of the key parts of marketing yourself is building a brand”. You need to look at yourself like you would any successful business or product. They will have a brand that establishes and differentiates itself from its competitors and that is what you want to do for yourself.
Something of great importance about building your brand is narrowing down your area of expertise. You don’t want to be known as a ‘Jack of all Trades – Master of None’. Another way to look at it is to be a big fish in a small pond. You should want to focus on being everywhere within one market which is called a niche. This is basically a portion of a market that is very specialised. The more specific your area of expertise is, the easier it is to conquer it!