If you are a skilled computer programmer trying to make a career breakthrough, you need to look beyond the borders of your own occupation. Although you have knowledge and professional expertise, you need to learn how to present them and to convince potential clients that you are the right person for their projects.
To put it simply, you need to create a marketing plan in order to stay competitive.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer programmers in the U.S. is projected to decline by 7% from 2016 to 2026. This means that only the most versatile and flexible coding professionals will be able to get the projects they like and earn as much as they hope to.
But how exactly do you create a marketing plan as a computer programmer? And do you know how to put your plan into practice?
Perhaps you haven’t thought about a marketing plan so far, or it might feel difficult. But worry not; it’s easier than you think! In this post, I will share with you all the important details you need to know to stay competitive.
4 Reasons You Need Marketing Activities
Before we dig deeper into concrete marketing issues, we need to explain why computer programmers need marketing plans in the first place. We could name dozens of reasons, but four activities definitely stand out here. Let’s check them out.
- Display portfolio – Your employment history may be long and distinguished, but it won’t make any difference if you don’t tell the world. A simple website presenting product portfolio will drastically improve your online discoverability and give you exposure to the brand-new world of potential clients. Besides that, you will prove that you are not afraid of showing your products and being fully transparent.
- Build professional reputation – Showing your coding skills is one thing, but marketing can also help you gain a positive reputation. Jake Gardner, a human resource manager at Essay Have, says you can walk the extra mile and use promotional activities like blogging to build a professional reputation: “It gives you the opportunity to help people solve practical problems. This is the shortest way toward becoming a genuine rock star programmer.”
- Outdo competitors – This is a very simple but highly logical reason to create and realize a marketing plan. Just ask yourself one question: How many computer programmers deal with marketing? You probably won’t think of too many names, so consider it the opportunity to outdo competitors and find your special place in the programming sun.
- Grow your network – As you keep working on your marketing strategy, you will be getting in touch with various people and organizations. This will grow your network of professional connections and perhaps even lead to new business projects.
Therefore, earn more! – Making money is the last reason to create a marketing plan, and it is probably the most important. The average salary of a computer programmer is almost $62 thousand per year, but you can improve it drastically in the case where you establish yourself as an industry thought leader.
7 Tips to Kick-StartYour Marketing Plan
Now you know why you need a marketing plan, but do you know how to implement it? It’s a serious activity that requires a fair share of time and work, so it’s necessary to start with the basics.
We selected seven key steps programmers should take when launching marketing campaigns. Buckle up, as we are about to discuss each one separately.
Make a Plan
The first thing you need to do is analyze the current situation and determine what to do next. Start by choosing the right communication channels for your target group. I recommend beginning with a personal website and then moving on to social media accounts, email newsletters, and guest posts.
The good thing about being a programmer is that you don’t have to publish new content every day. It’s enough to refresh your social accounts two to three times a week, while your website will be fine with a weekly entry.
It is essential to keep your activities consistent in the long run, which is why you should use scheduling tools such as Google Calendar. It will help you stay on the right track and remind you to publish new posts in a timely manner.
Create a Website
This one shouldn’t be too big a problem for a computer programmer. A website is the first place that potential clients visit when they want to evaluate your professional credibility. For this reason, it is important to design a user-friendly site that clearly displays your skills, employment history, and product portfolio.
At the same time, you should launch a blog and start with custom essay writing. It’s the easiest way to present your knowledge and expertise, so make sure you write high-quality articles about your niche.
Keep in mind not to use programming jargon, because your target audience consists mainly of business people who likely don’t understand programming. Therefore, you should use plain and actionable language while at the same time trying to build a unique style of writing.
Of course, search engine optimization is mandatory, so do your best to find the right keywords for each topic. If you can’t handle it alone, we suggest consulting with writing experts or using Google Keyword Planner.
Make Use of Social Media
Social networks attract billions of users on a daily basis, so you absolutely have to take advantage of this marketing channel. It doesn’t mean, however, that you must create accounts on every single platform available online.
On the contrary, it’s enough to concentrate on two or three networks that your audience is really interested in. For a programming professional, this usually means activating on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Use those accounts to promote website content, but don’t be afraid to publish funny or entertaining stories to break the ice and keep the audience engaged. After all, social networks are perfect for building relationships with the target group.
Another thing you should do is make use of paid advertising. Platforms like Facebook Ads are perfect for computer programmers who want to target highly specific audience groups, so feel free to use them and approach potential employers directly.
Use Email Marketing
Email is by far the oldest channel of digital marketing, but it still keeps growing and getting more influential worldwide. Users send nearly 105 billion emails every day, and the number is expected to reach 246 billion before 2020.
Email messages are widely considered to be the main tool for business communication, which is why we urge you to exploit it and send newsletters to your subscribers.
It doesn’t have to take you too much time, since all you need to do is send a newsletter once a month or once every 15 days. This is more than enough to keep the audience interested in your work and remind them that you are still alive and kicking.
Activate on Quora
Another way to grab the attention of your target audience is to activate on Quora and write excellent answers related to your field of work. Quora is one of the most popular question-and-answer websites that invite users to post inquiries and share knowledge with their peers. The best answers get the highest number of positive reviews and stand out from the crowd of other explanations.
Now, the real question is how this site can help you to reach out to target audiences. The mechanism is simple: You only need to answer questions directly related to programming and the skills you possess.
The goal is to write amazing answers and rank highly among other users. In your answers, you can add a backlink or two leading to your website, but only if the content perfectly corresponds with the answers you’re writing. That way, you give Quora users the chance to visit your website and get acquainted with your product portfolio.
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one, but it can grant you even more exposure than Quora. If you can find a few blogs dealing with more or less the same topics as your website, then you might as well send them a guest post request and ask to write an article for their blog.
Just like with Quora answers, you will also use the opportunity to insert URLs leading to your website and drive a brand-new wave of traffic to your personal pages. According to Mark Jacobsen, a content creator at Essay Review, this is a great promotion mechanism for programmers who create outstanding content but still struggle to generate enough website visits.
The last advice on our list is to analyze competitors and see what they are doing marketing-wise. This can give you a lot of inspiration, particularly if you notice something your biggest rivals are doing much better than you.
On the other hand, competitor analysis will also help you identify pain points in their marketing strategies. You can use those insights to enhance your own marketing plan and win over clients with completely unique promotion tactics.
A Marketing Plan Helps You Stay Competitive
Computer programmers are a special sort of professionals with a highly specific set of skills. In a world where everything revolves around digital products and online activities, coding proficiency becomes even more valuable.
However, the market is still highly competitive, and you need to invest a lot of time and work into self-promotion. This is exactly why computer programmers need a marketing plan, one that is fully functional in a real-world environment.
Are you ready to launch your own marketing campaign? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to ask a question if you need additional explanations—I’d be glad to help you out!