Being a NAME

What do you notice about this shelf of books?

Bookshelf with author names bigger than most book titles

I notice that for most of the books, the author’s name is a significantly larger font size than the book title.

Self-employed software developers tend to think of themselves in terms of their skills and previous project experience. I believe this (bad) habit comes from how HR departments handle matching job seekers with open positions using skills (many of which are easily and quickly acquired) as a first-pass filtering mechanism.

Especially as you move towards the consultative end of providing services to clients, your mix of skills matters less and less. It’s not that your skills don’t matter. It’s that they matter less than other qualities like relevant experience, your approach to solving problems, reducing risk, and creating value, and any unique IP you bring to the engagement.

In the analogy I’m drawing here, the “title of your book” is your skills and your “name” is those other qualities like relevant experience, your approach to solving problems, reducing risk, and creating value, and any unique IP you bring to the engagement.

In your marketing, the “font size” for your name should be larger than the title of the book. The emphasis you give to relevant experience, your approach to solving problems, reducing risk, and creating value, and any unique IP you bring to the engagement should be significantly greater than the emphasis you give to your skills.

Becoming a “name” like this is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s worth working towards.

The first step in that process is narrowing down your marketing focus. Get help with that from the only book written specifically for self-employed software developers: http://thepositioningmanual.com

Talk to you soon,
-P

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