In this day and age, when a personal brand is a widely acknowledged space where you can display your unique identity, personal branding is critical to showcase your expertise and establish an audience. As a developer you may have other immediate priorities, but a personalized outlet is still an exciting way to advance your career and networks.
Before you start putting together your ideas about branding, think about why you want to create your own brand. Money making is a great benefit to having a successful personal brand, though it should not be your only goal. The key to leading a creative brand is to invest your time and passion into it. If you work toward influencing the audience and listen to feedback, then earning from that brand won’t be a problem.
In this post I’ll offer you some simple but efficient ideas so that you can not only develop your own programmer personal brand but also earn money from it. A win-win scenario!
Things To Consider Before You Start Your Brand
While it is easy to build your own brand online, make sure you do it in the right way—there are numerous online resources available that can help you get started. Social media is the most popular platform for laying the foundation, though it still is just the first step. Before you launch your website or blog, put some thought into what you would like to post about. Here is a list of simple things you might want to consider while starting your brand as a programmer.
Define the brand goal: Clearly define what you want to achieve out of launching your brand. Do you want to build a strong network or just want more opportunities as a freelancer? Regardless of what you decide, the key is to maintain focus. One of the major errors most programmers make while building a brand is pushing themselves too much. Accept the fact that you cannot do everything at once, neither should you try to.
Gain visibility: You can be the best developer with the easiest code but still not gather the following you want due to lack of visibility. It is very easy to get lost amidst an overload of information, especially online. Start off from the right platform. Even when choosing a social media channel, be careful to select the right medium where you can post suitable content. Next, polish your skills, earn certifications, and attend conferences to network and spread the word.
Don’t undervalue yourself: Even if you feel you don’t have great public speaking skills, try presenting content through videos or interactive images. Underestimating yourself can cost you a lot of good opportunities that could have helped your brand grow. Have confidence that you can do what you started as a brand. Being a programmer, you have the knowledge and skills needed to build a brand; you just need to find the right motivation and inspiration.
Ways To Earn From Your Personal Brand
You discovered your passion and spent time to convert it into a personal brand that speaks to people. This means that you have established a meaningful brand. Now comes the next step— earning from your brand. While this may seem overwhelming at first, don’t give up without trying your best. If you don’t know how to start, here are a few simple ideas that can help you get started.
Host a Virtual Summit
A virtual summit is an event hosted online by multiple people from all around the world. Summits are basically conferences carried out online so it is easier to connect and manage people. A great example is the Developer Week Summit, which is one of the largest global development summits held each year. This summit includes interesting subjects like management, cloud computing, and the latest trends for enterprises.
In order to hold a successful virtual event, you need to decide on a few critical factors: Know why you want to hold a virtual summit, who it is for, and what are you going to talk about. Depending on your brand, you can easily decide whether a virtual conference or webinar will influence your audience.
For instance, if you consider yourself well versed in programming languages, you can go ahead and schedule a summit around that. You can talk about upcoming programming languages and the ones that are big in the market right now. Choose whatever excites your audience. Narrow down the topic; don’t leave out things to the last minute. People want a streamlined event, especially if they are paying you for it.
For a great virtual experience, do your research in choosing the right tech platform. You would also want to make sure to get the right audience notified well in time—a great way to do this is to use email and social media marketing. Lastly, set down a strategy to monetize the event. The key is to get sponsors on board, mainly to help you with costs. Other ways include:
- Capturing a greater audience at a lower price point. This is something you would want to consider, especially if this is your first virtual event.
- Generate revenue through tiered packages. The idea is to create exclusive access to the event or advanced stages for high-paying audiences.
- Extend event life and reach. Don’t just end the virtual summit in a couple of days. Post event videos in relevant online marketplaces.
- Offer group access. This works best for students or office employees, as the whole batch can register at a cheaper cost.
Offer Consulting Services
Consulting services are an excellent way to monetize your brand if you are truly passionate about software development. Software engineer consultants are generally senior developers with years of experience. They are hired by companies to advise, lay down strategies, and design software for business problems. Due to the nature of the job, a software consultant interacts with various stakeholders to gather requirements.
If you are someone with solid experience and impeccable soft skills, then you should definitely think about offering consulting services as a part of your personal brand business. However, before you think about projecting yourself into the market, make sure you are ready to take on clients. Once you are confident that you can start offering consulting professionally, put together a game plan.
Pick out a niche you want to specialize in and stick to it. Analyze what the competitors are doing. This should give you an idea of which avenues to explore. Some major consulting services include mobile and web development, DevOps, cloud consulting, blockchain consulting, machine learning, and data science.
Get professional advice for seamless task management, and outsource freelancers, if required. This way you will be able to focus on your core competency. The key to maximizing revenue is minimizing startup costs. Main expenses include getting a website domain, business tools, application developer accounts, and advertising. Before spending any money, thoroughly research the market, and invest in suitable options.
Create an Online Course
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to gain authority for your personal brand is to register for an online course. Doing so does not require years of professional experience. You just have to be good at what you do. It can be as simple as teaching beginners how to code. If you are passionate about launching a course, polish up on your skills by taking a few training sessions.
While developing a course looks like a straightforward task, teaching online programming comes with its own challenges. Being a technical subject, programming may be difficult to teach online if students are left to learn in isolation. Moreover, online courses often lack the ability to inculcate feedback from instructors.
To provide an interactive learning experience, choose a teaching technique that resonates best with your subject. If you want to teach a programming language, then a good idea is to use a live board. With the right teaching strategy and tools, you can develop collaborative assignments to enhance student learning.
Some great platforms for launching an online course include Teachable and Udemy. On the majority of teaching websites, the most important aspect for an online course is the outline. Remember to design a course outline that attracts students and provides a comprehensive overview.
Next, work on a marketing plan to introduce it to your followers. If you have a personal brand website, integrate the course on the webpage so that it is visible to your audience. Advertise the course on your social media platforms, and generate hype before the launch date. Keep your course your priority, and learn to automate marketing and selling.
Publish an Ebook
Ebooks require a lot of hard work and commitment to deliver a final product that is worth buying. If you are looking for something short term to make money, then a blog is a better option. For an ebook, you have to be consistent throughout the writing process and be confident enough to take a stand for your content. You should realize that the ultimate selling factor for an ebook is how effective it is in helping others.
If the ebook is about your personal brand, then you already have an idea about the niche. Try to write about something that you learn from, as a developer. For instance, how to learn coding as a fun activity or what skills you should develop to be a successful programmer can be some ebook ideas. Do your research and generate reasons for why your ebook will be useful and how it fits into the technical world.
As writing can be overwhelming, you need to have a robust task management system like Trello to help you stick to deadlines. Start the first chapter and draft outlines for the rest of the book. Concentrate on the layout, prerequisites, and the summary. The reader should be able to grasp what the book is about before buying. Get your ebook edited and reviewed by peer counselors. Once the ebook is ready, design an attractive cover, and publish it on online platforms.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Leanpub are two awesome platforms to showcase your ebooks. Don’t just stop at publishing the book online. Make it a personal brand event. Create hype on social media, and hold webinars to interact with your readers.
Focus On Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is probably one of the oldest ways to earn extra money on the side. According to statistics, affiliate-marketing spending in the United States is expected to reach $8.2 Billion by 2022, triple the amount from 10 years earlier. The reason for this rapid growth is that people trust client reviews before making a purchase.
There are countless opportunities for affiliate marketing if you have a strong personal brand as a programmer. In simple words, affiliate marketing requires you to redirect traffic to a certain website to increase customers or purchases. For every sale you help the website make, you will be paid. In this way your personal brand can help you earn money while the site you worked for gets promotion.
As a developer you may be asked for professional hosting advice for a website or asked to promote cloud platform testing. Depending on the area of your brand’s niche, you can choose to affiliate yourself with a company.
There are numerous affiliate programs to choose from for developers and programmers. However, affiliate marketing is a skill that requires you to get creative. If you have a knack for creating killer content for your personal brand that gets the audience’s attention, then affiliate marketing will work out for you.
In order to propose a new idea to the audience, you need to build a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. This will help you understand what your target customers are looking for. Once you get an idea about the sort of content you want to generate, think about link placement.
Affiliate links should be accessible on your website, blog, or social media handle. Callouts can be used to redirect the reader to the product you want them to buy. “Top picks,” “editors choice,” or “latest trends” are all attention-grabbing callouts.
Finally, if you have doubts about any affiliate program, do your research and ask questions. You can only make money if you know what you are doing and why!
Focus On Creating an Impact—Not Just Money
A personal brand can be used to generate insightful conversations that not just attract viewers but also allow you to build a community. With the right resources and effort, you can turn your personal brand into a passionate avenue that helps you generate some income on the side.
The key rule to running a successful brand is to have focus—don’t try to do everything at once. Carve a niche and then make your message consistent to that community to be remembered.
Success does not happen overnight, and it certainly does not guarantee making you money quickly either. To stick to your brand business, remain consistent and don’t run from failure. Failing is a part of the learning curve and lets you learn what you are doing wrong. Look at an established developer and their personal brand. What strategy do they follow? To make an impact, you need to be a trendsetter.
Leave a positive legacy. Whatever your brand, message, or passion is, channel it into good vibes. Tell your story to motivate others and influence them to do better in their lives, careers, or personal development.