Knowing all web development languages inside and out isn’t enough to help you land a job that pays well or work with those fantastic clients that are hard to come by.
To grow and advance in your web development career, marketing yourself remains the best option. And yes, coding and programming are your passion, and you’re more compelled to bury yourself learning them. But how will anyone know you’re good at what you do or even discover you unless you put yourself out there?
We’ll address this in today’s article: how to market yourself as a web developer.
By marketing yourself, you don’t necessarily have to do job hunting; opportunities will come looking for you. When you share your knowledge, skills, and experiences with others, you quickly establish yourself as an expert. As such, clients and companies will be more than happy to pay premium fees for your services.
We have ranked the steps based on their importance in ensuring you can market yourself efficiently. But first, let’s understand what we mean by “market.”
Who/What is the “Market” Anyway?
The term “market” refers to the target audience or potential clients who want web development services.
The market features individuals, organizations, businesses, or other developers interested in hiring a web developer or partner on web development projects.
When we talk about marketing yourself as a web developer, it means strategically promoting your skills, expertise, and services to attract the attention and interest of this target audience. The goal is to make yourself visible, establish your credibility, and differentiate yourself from other web developers in the industry.
Let’s get started with step one.
1. Build an Online Portfolio
Your prospective employers and clients want to see your work before they can hire you. What they’re doing is gauging whether the quality of your work is ideal.
Firstly, if you don’t have a GitHub profile, start by setting one up and pushing code to it regularly. This is non-negotiable. Remember, GitHub acts as your code repository and should display the code you’ve written, including the projects you’ve worked on and projects where you’re an active participant. In addition, ensure that potential clients/employers can easily access projects on GitHub.
Typically, your GitHub profile is your developer resume; it shows how well you can code and more about your expertise and skills than a CV.
Besides GitHub, it’s essential to have a portfolio website where potential employers can learn more about you, prior work experience, and how your skills can benefit their organization. When building a portfolio website, remember to include the following:
- A logo
- Easily identifiable domain name
- Contact details
- Previous work experience
- Your developer story
2. Leverage Social Media
Social media allows you to connect with billions of people with the touch of a screen. As it stands today, research shows that we’re spending more time on social media than television, giving rise to a wealth of career opportunities like content creation and digital marketing, among others.
As a web developer, you can leverage social media for exciting opportunities such as influencer marketing, developer advocacy, or access to remote job opportunities.
But with so many social media platforms, which channel serves what purpose? Here’s a breakdown:
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is ideal for building professional networks, sourcing job opportunities, and establishing yourself as an expert web developer in the industry.
- Twitter: Even with the risk of sidelining developers, Twitter is an excellent platform for engaging in industry conversations, sharing insights, contributing to relevant web development topics, and building a personal brand.
- YouTube: You can use YouTube to share instructional videos or coding tutorials which ground you as an expert in web development. YouTube’s algorithm is powerful, and with good content, it will push your content to the right audience, and even better, you can monetize your content through ads or sponsorships.
- TikTok: You can utilize TikTok to creatively share coding snippets, quick tutorials, or visually appealing web design content.
- Stack Overflow (SO): Web developers can build a good reputation on SO through upvotes and endorsements. You build a social proof of your expertise by providing valuable answers to questions, greatly increasing your credibility as a web developer.
- Quora: Like Stack Overflow, you can use Quora to answer questions or explain complex topics. Besides this, you can also use it as a resource for continuous learning.
- Reddit: You can join dedicated web development subreddits and contribute to meaningful discussions, answer questions, and share your experiences, all of which improve your image.
Building Excellent Connections
Marketing yourself starts with building the right connections. And there’s no better way to do this than with professional networking sites like LinkedIn.
Contact your fellow web developers, clients, and colleagues, comment on their posts, participate in discussion forums such as Quora, etc.—engage often. Building connections and acquaintances are the best foundations for your web development career and a sure path to success.
3. Create and Contribute to Open Source Projects
Open-source projects are excellent projects where you can showcase your technical abilities and build a solid professional presence in web development.
You can showcase your proficiency in web development languages and frameworks by fixing bugs, submitting code, or improving existing features. These contributions are tangible evidence of your skills and will be useful when seeking jobs or attracting potential clients.
Open-source projects also offer you a platform for learning and collaboration. You can work with experienced professionals like designers, project managers, and senior developers.
To get started with open-source projects, check out the following resources:
4. Start a Professional Technical Blog
A technical blog is another excellent way to showcase your skills as a web developer.
Your blog doesn’t need to have millions of readers. What you need is a decent and active audience who share and comment on your blog.
But what kind of helpful information can you share with readers?
Start with your personal, professional story. Talk about the challenges you’ve faced in your journey and how you overcame them.
Next, teach your readers how to solve problems. Show how you’ve helped junior web developers learn the ropes and build themselves up. In addition, think of a complex challenge you’ve struggled with that you found a solution to and write about it for other developers experiencing the same problem.
Remember to share your blogs on social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn.
To get started with technical blogging, you can set up your website or leverage free platforms like:
Ultimately, we recommend writing about whatever appeals to you as long as it represents and grows your brand image.
5. Get Experience Offline
How do you do this? The best examples are participating in hackathons/workshops and attending online and offline tech-related events within your field. Even with a world gone virtual, face-to-face communication is still critical and can help you attract potential clients or employers.
Search for speaking engagements at web developer events, host webinars, or apply for mentorship programs where you can teach other developers about a topic you’re passionate about.
As you network and attend these events, be prepared to talk about your interests, share insights, learn, and try to direct people to where you host your content and what you do.
Successfully marketing yourself as a web developer requires careful attention and strategic thinking. It's the key to unlocking opportunities and advancing in your career.
To effectively market yourself as a web developer, it's important to view yourself as a business entity and your skills as a valuable product that potential employers or clients want. Highlighting your expertise, showcasing your portfolio, and actively engaging in the developer community is essential to self-promotion.
If you're at the early stages of your web development journey, consider exploring educational resources like the Zero to Mastery web development bootcamp. This comprehensive program covers the most sought-after skills in the industry, providing you with a solid foundation and preparing you for the challenges of the web development landscape. Remember, it's crucial to continuously enhance your skill set and adapt to evolving marketing strategies to stay competitive and relevant in the field.
By adopting a proactive mindset, continuously honing your skills, and exploring diverse marketing avenues, you can establish a solid professional presence and attract rewarding opportunities in the web development industry.