Personal Branding for Developers

Ryan Hayes



What is a Brand?

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.

Seth Godin

Some things that are hard if no one knows who you are:

  • Trying to get a job (or better job)
  • Trying to find a business partner
  • Trying to promote a new thing you made
  • Trying to get customers (freelance or product)


Value Proposition


Three things you need:


  • Website
  • Articles (on your own domain first)
  • Meetups and Conferences (events)
  • Your own website (and .com)
  • Forums
  • Google
  • Social Media
  • Open Source Projects

Discovery Pro Tip:

Focus on compounding content.

Value Proposition

  • What do you do?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are you good at?
  • What can you offer?
    • To Customers
    • To Business Partners
    • To Your Current or Potential Employer

Value Pro Tip:

How am I bringing value to others?

Can I bring MORE value with LESS time/work?


  • Build Social Proof
    • Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.
  • Relationships instead of pure "Engagement"
  • Recommendations
    • Will people put their reputation on the line?
    • Get letter recommendations
    • Linkedin recommendations
    • Get permission to republish (on your website)!


Your Everyday Work

  • Do a good job
  • Be nice
  • Say no to some things so you can say yes to others
  • Get Recommendations


  • Ask for them!
  • Get them in writing on LinkedIn
  • Get them with permission to publish

The Basics

Level 1

Ok, let's go.

Step #1: Get

#2: Make a Landing Page

#3: Get a great headshot photo.

  • Recognizable
  • Non-sketch
  • Cute animals and
    babies totes work

#4: Pick a Unique Screenname helps

Your Website

A.K.A. Home Base

Level 2

Make an About/Contact Page

Create a Blog

Self-Hosted Wordpress, Gatsby.js, VuePress, etc.

Blog Content Ideas

  • How-To
  • Story
  • ProTip
  • Break/Fix
  • Review
  • Top 5
  • Introducing ___________
  • Expand on StackOverflow
  • Post your talk slides
  • (Or videos of your talks)
  • Videos/Screencaps Help in articles
  • Use Images or animations
  • for code


  • Don't game it
  • Have a Descriptive title
  • Use an SEO plugin (yoast is good for Wordpress)
  • Write well
  • Ask Jeff Rainey


Social Coding

  • Meet other developers where they are
  • Build credentials through code
  • Help influence direction
  • Build plugins, tools, scripts and share!



Get Your Screennames!

You already did this, right?

Your Profile

  • Have a consistent photo
  • Link back to your website!
  • Have an interesting bio
  • Plug your projects

Where To Post?

  • Twitter?
  • LinkedIn?
  • Facebook?
  • Snapchat?
  • Instagram?
  • Google+?
  • My_?

Where To Post?

  • Twitter has the largest tech focus
  • for long form
  • Follow the attention
  • Get in on new networks day 1
  • Engage (total buzzword, but works)

What to Post?

  • Curate (repost) Great Content
  • Retweet w/comment
  • --> !!Your Blog Posts!! <--
  • Images are more memorable


Your Content: The gift that keeps on giving


You can do this forever...


Post once to everywhere

The Content Pipeline

your idea



Social Media

Talks from the meetup

Stack Overflow Explanation

Always Pay Your Website First

You can't predict the social media future.

Speaking and Talks

It's a Blog Post in Verbal Form

  • Speak clearly and loudly
  • Shorter is actually better
    • Hopefully it's not 7:30pm right now as you read this slide
  • Q and A
  • It's OK to not know!
  • Speak on topics you know without slides
  • Aim for 75% of the room

Slides + Video
Free Content

  • Post slides to Slideshare or
  • Post recording to Youtube
  • Create a blog post and embed them!

At the Meetup

  • Introduce yourself
  • What do you do?
  • Where do you work?
  • What do you work on?
  • So are you front end or back end?
  • Javascript pushed me down on the playground stories
  • Follow people on social media from the meetup
  • Engage!
  • Write a post about the talk you saw/share links! (free content)

Talk Benefits

  • Improves soft skills
  • Builds free content
  • In-Person relationships are the strongest
  • Can now literally put "speaker" in your About section on your site and profiles
  • Builds trust


Get Google Analytics

  • Find your most popular articles to share
  • Find where people are coming from and target them.

Capture with a call to action and build an Email list

Mailchimp works. Also there's a GDPR thing now.

Then Email People a 3 sentence summary and link to your posts!

El Conclusión

(That's Spanish for The Conclusion)

Do good work and tell people about it.

"and don't forget to like, subscribe and ring that notification bell."