4 Things Programmers Can Learn From Marketers to Be More Effective

Written By Ron Stefanski

programmers learn from marketersAccording to estimates from experts, there will be over 28.7 million programmers in the world by 2024.

This means that as a programmer in such a competitive digital landscape, you need to find ways to make yourself more effective to your audience.

That’s where personal branding comes in.

The idea of personal branding is essentially the same as that of branding a business. It involves showing people who you are, what you're passionate about, and what sets you apart from other programmers in your field.

In this article, I will cover the essentials of personal branding and how it applies to programmers.  This way, you can maximize your reach and value as a professional and improve your career prospects.

Why Should You Maintain Your Personal Brand?

Your brand is an emotional perception that is held by someone other than you. It describes their experience of their relationship with you. Personal branding can be defined as an ongoing, consistent process of presenting or marketing yourself as a product or brand, whether online or offline.

In short, it is the essence of how you stand apart from the crowd.

And while you may not personally require a channel management strategy to connect with others, maintaining your personal brand on a consistent basis is important.

Why is this important, you ask?

There are multiple reasons why you need to take care of your personal brand as a programmer. These include:

  • To assist in job search
  • To raise your credibility and authority in your industry
  • To spread your influence and increase your value
  • To mentor other developers
  • To get more contracts as a freelancer
  • To get users to discover you or your business

Keep in mind that your skills are crucial to your brand, as they will prove your expertise and help you become more effective.

I recommend that you use technical skill testing websites so that prospective clients can get an idea of how proficient you are in the field they're looking for.

Now that you understand what personal branding is and why it's crucial for programmers who want to become more effective let's take a look at the different ways you can start to build a powerful brand that will propel your business and career forward.

Define Your Target Audience

Since your personal brand involves the promise you make and the expectations you create regarding the services you provide, it's crucial to define your target audience so that you market yourself to relevant clients.

For the most part, successful programmers are those that “niche down.” A niche is simply a specialization or a smaller subset of a larger market to which your specific service is focused.

For instance, you might choose NoSQL databases as your area of expertise. Or maybe you decide to become a JavaScript guru so that you’re known as the authority or go-to developer in that realm.

By niching down and being as specific as possible about what your service is, you can build a stronger and more memorable brand as a programmer. You will then be able to determine the people to whom you market your services (a.k.a. your target audience) and create specific messaging that communicates your core competencies to them effectively.

Establish Your Presence

After getting a clear idea of who your target audience is, the next step in becoming more effective as a programmer is to establish your presence in the online space. There are many different ways you can stake your claim, including:

  • Building your own blog
  • Creating a portfolio on GitHub
  • Being active on LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Creating a YouTube Channel (Movavi is a simple video editor for beginners if you need it)
  • Creating high-value guest blog content on authority sites

Doing this helps to lay the foundation for further expansion down the line, which is why it’s one of the most essential parts of the entire process of building your personal brand.

When setting up your profiles on various platforms, such as your website, social media, forums, etc., keep in mind the current experience of your target audience so you communicate with them in ways that they will understand, whether it’s professional business communication or programming jargon.

In other words, make sure you effectively convey the promises you make and the expectations you create concerning your services.

Craft a Compelling Mission Statement

A brand without a message is not accomplishing anything since it's not trying to communicate anything.

To become more effective as a programmer, you need a message that will inform prospects what your brand is all about and outline a set of promises and expectations that your brand will deliver on.

That’s why your next step to building a solid brand is to craft a compelling mission statement: a short statement that explains why you or your organization exists. It outlines your overall purpose and goals, the types of services that you provide, and your primary market.

To help you craft a strong message, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What unique value do you provide as a programmer? This will separate you from other programmers and keep you memorable to your audience.
  • What technical skills or creative expertise do you want to highlight? This will help to convey your authority and expertise to others and showcase your strongest skills.
  • Why should someone hire you (or your company) for the job? This will help others understand the unique value that you’ll bring to their company and how you are the best person to help them find a solution for their problem(s).

Bottom line, crafting your mission statement is something you should take seriously as it is a major component of your brand.

Roll Out Your Campaign

When you have completed the above steps, it’s time to roll out a campaign that aligns with your goals.

The objective here is to become an authority through the power of content creation and leveraging communities and events. Or, if you come across a course that you really like and think others would benefit from, consider using a PLR approach to sell to others.

programmers learn from marketersFirst, you need to start creating high-value content that exposes your passion for programming. And don't worry, you don't have to be the best in your field, with years of experience under your belt, in order to be able to share your knowledge. There will always be a lot of people who are less experienced than you and are happy to have found your advice.

Moreover, you may also create some free tools such as password generators, URL decoders, or browser update tools if you have time.

This way, you’ll show your professional skills and allow people to use your stuff and share it with others, which will increase your brand exposure.

In addition to creating and sharing high-quality content as well as free tools to boost your credibility and authority as a programmer, you should also focus on joining communities, attending events, and connecting with groups of like-minded people who share a common interest.

The idea is to get your voice out there, help people understand what skills you have, and deliver value to them on a consistent basis.

Whether online or offline, these types of interactions can lead to a huge boost in awareness of your brand.

If you want to take things a step further, and develop superfans in the process, drive your audience to a page where you collect their email address using one of the email platforms here.

Once you’ve collected their email addresses, you can set up email automation to develop these relationships on autopilot and make meaningful connections you could never do through a comment system of a blog or on YouTube.

A Personal Brand Helps You Stand Out

Taking care of your personal brand will help you stand out from other programmers. If done correctly, your personal branding will reflect your background, skillset, strengths, and uniqueness.

However, building a personal brand is not something you need to overthink. Simply focus on doing small things to build and strengthen your image consistently.

This includes things such as connecting with and engaging your audience on your blog, social media, or forums on a regular basis.

Over time, this will help you build a compelling brand that will allow you to be more effective as a programmer.

Your turn. What tactics are you currently using to help you improve your results in your business or career? Share your thoughts in the comments below!