Developers from all over the globe are competing for jobs these days. Due to lockdown, businesses are even more open to hiring remotely as they already were.
That's why your personal brand as a developer needs to stand out in the market brighter than ever. In this post, I'll outline three steps you can take today to build your personal brand.
I've learned these steps from Dennis Yu, who I interviewed for my upcoming Ecom Services Summit. We talked about how agencies can increase their perceived authority to double your prices. And some of these lessons, you can easily apply to your freelance career too.
Executing these branding steps will look simple but you might not find it easy. If it were easy, everybody would do it, right? However, you'll find the results you can achieve from these steps are worth getting out of your comfort zone.
Now, why should you pay attention to what Dennis said in his interview on the summit?
Firstly, he's the CEO of Blitzmetrics, a company that spent over $1B in ads for its customers. Yes, that's one billion.
Secondly, he is a regular contributor to publications like AdWeek, has spoken over 730 times in 17 countries on 5 continents, and has been featured in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TechCrunch, and other authority platforms.
I understand that the topic of building your personal brand does not come naturally for many developers. But think about what the alternatives are...
- How would clients find you if you don't have a strong personal brand?
- How can you command higher prices than other developers in your field without having a strong brand?
- How can you ditch customers you don't like working with if your brand is weak and you are desperate for the money coming in?
Those were the questions I asked myself when I started working online. And I'm lucky in that I found a good way to build my brand.
Now, with the lessons I learned from interviewing Dennis a couple of days ago, I too will be able to take my brand to the next level. Let's dive in!
In the following, I'll describe Dennis' infamous "3x3 grid" of videos you can create to build Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
He recommends you work on these videos in the following order:
Conversion -> Consideration -> Awareness.
Did you ever hear the term that companies hire people and not other companies? And that "people hire people" and not companies?
Here is where the 3x3 grid of videos comes in. Essentially, you create three short videos about "Why" you are doing what you are doing.
For me, this is what my three topics for my "Why" videos are:
1) "Life is too short to not follow your dreams"
2) "Use technology to save time and money in your business"
3) "Leave an impact for your clients"
I can easily record a 2-3 minute video about each of these headlines and share a personal story about why that specific topic is important to me. You could certainly come up with three reasons why you became a developer too - you just have to think about them if they aren't obvious to you.
The purpose of these videos is to build an emotional connection with potential clients. If somebody is looking at your social profiles or website and evaluate if you're the right fit for their open position or project, giving them emotional reasons of why you're passionate about what you're doing is going to set you apart from the other developers competing with you.
In these videos, you will explain how you do what you're doing. I'm not saying that you'll give away your exact coding methodologies, your stack, or any other intellectual property you developed over time.
However, you'll need to make your way of working tangible for potential clients and demonstrate that you know what you're talking about. Again, these videos need to be just 2-3 minutes long (if at all) - so there won't be much time to lose yourself in technical details anyways.
My "How" video headlines are:
1) "Use content & digital tools to build a business"
2) "Leverage automated workflows and collaboration tools to simplify communication with your team and with clients"
3) "Provide efficient services, sell helpful products, and deliver projects on time smoothly"
I believe that with these topics, I'll have a good follow-up video sequence to what I am talking about in my "Why" videos.
Lastly, you'll get to pitch your services and products in your "What" videos. These videos are your conversion drivers, the ones that bring in the $$$. Dennis recommends that you record these videos first, because you likely already have an audience that is interested in what you're doing.
Those people could be your past customers that you can pitch your services to again, people who visited your website or engaged with you on social media, or essentially any leads you've been in touch with.
To give you some inspiration, my three "WHAT" headlines for the videos are:
1) "Run virtual summits to kickstart your business and overcome plateaus"
2) Learn Continuous Integration and Continuous Development workflows with my WP-CI course"
3) "Scale your agency by learning from experts on the WP Agency Summit or Ecom Services Summit"
These are essentially my three core offerings: I help people run virtual summits (that's a new one), I have a course on CI & CD, and obviously I have my own virtual summits that are set up as evergreen events.
One thing I will make sure in all these videos is that my skills in client communication and project delivery shine through.
Why? Because that's most often the difference between charging $2,000 or $6,000 for a project. That's what Dennis said in his interview (see the snippet here) and what I found to be true in my own projects as well.
If you want to learn more about positioning your agency or freelance business as an authority in the market, you'll want to check out the Ecom Services Summit.
It'll be especially valuable to you if you work with e-commerce brands, but even if you don't, you'll learn a lot about growing your agency and attracting higher-paid projects.
Check out the website and secure your free ticket here: https://ecomservicessummit.com