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This is an email from The Lean Letters, a newsletter by TheLeanProgrammer.

What’s louder than your voice?

If you’re not branding yourself, you can be sure others do it for you — June 2021 Newsletter

Here’s a question for you — What do you think is louder than your voice (or any sound)? Pause here for a moment, and think about it.

Okay, do one thing, go to a friend’s home (or make a phone call), and shout at your best voice — “I AM THE BEST PROGRAMMER IN THIS WORLD!”

Would you be acknowledged as the best programmer? Not likely,
Would you be acknowledged as a lunatic? I bet!

Okay, let’s think about one more scenario — devote your 6 months into learning how to code, and the next 6 months into -

  • Writing tech blogs
  • Starting a tech podcast
  • Starting a YouTube channel
  • Teaching people online
  • Creating tech content
  • Participating in various coding competitions
  • Winning several hackathons
  • Making cool projects,

And so on…

In this case, you don’t have to shout and tell your friend that “YOU ARE GOOD AT PROGRAMMING”. I bet that your friend already knows this, and he is going to come to you if he wants any guidance in programming.

Can you think about what made all the difference?

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Let me give you this answer in one single line -

The best way to get known within your circle, is to get known outside your circle!

You can go on talking about your achievements endlessly, but it makes more impact when others speak about you.

A simple example — A LinkedIn recommendation, imagine how would you feel if a friend says this for himself -

“I am an absolute genius when it comes to android development. I am also extremely focused, hardworking, and super talented. I deserve this job.”

Weird, isn’t it? Now imagine this (about him/her) coming from some 3rd person, or imagine this written on his/her LinkedIn recommendations -

“Jimmy is an absolute genius when it comes to android development. He is also extremely focused, hardworking, and super talented. He deserves this job, and I wish him all the best for future endeavors.”

Makes much more impact, doesn’t it? Social proof in action!

Coming back to the 6+6 months story…

Now revisit the story I told you above, where you devoted 6 months to learn programming, and the other 6 months into finding jobs + creating tech content.

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Which part do you think played an important role in getting people to acknowledge your skills?

  • 6 months of learning — Of course! without knowledge, there’s nothing.’
  • Looking for a job — Of course! popularity doesn’t fetch you money (at least not directly and instantly), financial stability is super important.
  • Creating tech content — BINGO! This was where people started seeing your work.

The first two are important, no doubt, but the third one is super important. That helped you build a brand.

If you are good at something, why not let others know?

You made an amazing side project, you know it’s wonderful, but would you —

  • Take a screenshot and upload it on the Instagram story?
  • Write a blog around it?
  • Create a YouTube tutorial for it?
  • Write about it on LinkedIn?
  • Tweet about what all did you learn while making it?

Imagine that you don’t have any limitation of time, would you still consider doing all these just around a single side project?

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

Work hard and market!

An excellent product without the attention of it’s users/audience, is useless, since no one knows about it.

I’ve seen a lot of people confusing posting with boasting, they are afraid of judgment. A lot of thoughts cross our minds just before we click on that “post” button -

  • What if it’s not good?
  • What if people don’t like it?
  • What if others think that I am boasting?

Remember, posting is not equal to boasting. If you achieved something, share it on social media, that’s how people are going to know about it, and that’s what makes you open to more opportunities.

Branding is for you!

If you’re not branding yourself, you can be sure others do it for you

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

I took the above examples to show you the power of social proof and personal branding. Here’s a quote by Jeff Bezos —

Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

And now, relate it with what I asked you at the top — “What ‘s louder than your voice?”

You have the answer, the brand you create — or the brand that others create for you — speaks louder than your voice!

Why should I invest my time in building a personal brand?

In one line — to have your own voice

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

There are endless benefits of building a personal brand —

  • Gives you more credibility
  • Increases trust
  • Fetches you recognition
  • Increases your network
  • Increases your expertise
  • Improves your career
  • Makes you open to more opportunities

But, what should I do to create a brand?

I’ll keep it small — You create an implicit brand by the small actions that you do daily.

Photo by Linus Mimietz on Unsplash

First, leverage on your implicit brand, and then take it to next level by “intentionally” investing your time in building your personal brand.

You want it or not, you are always building a brand through the way you talk, the way you do the tasks assigned to you, the way you manage things, and the way you do every single small activity — I call that an implicit brand.

Initially, start building an implicit brand by putting quality into even the smallest tasks that you do daily — people appreciate when they see someone serious about his work.

Over time, your implicit brand will grow big. Yes, you didn’t do anything as of now, you just did your work, and that’s what built your brand — quite sarcastic but true, most people don’t take their small tasks seriously, people who do are always appreciated.

This first phase is quite simple, provide quality work. Your brand speaks louder than your voice, and your work builds your brand, so we can say that:

Your work speaks louder than your voice

What to do after improving the implicit brand?

Invest your time in intentionally building a personal brand

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

The best thing about improving the implicit personal brand is that you’ll gain mastery at whatever you do, and now that you have good knowledge, start sharing your knowledge and achievements to build your own brand.

You can be creative here,

  • You can build a portfolio website to showcase your achievements
  • You can start creating content on various social media websites
  • You can start a podcast series or a video series
  • You can start giving lectures/webinars/seminars at various colleges

And so on…

But whatever you do, remember, the goal is not to “work because you need to show”, rather, “work hard to achieve your goals, and show your skills to the world so that others can feel motivated and seek guidance from you, so that you can help them achieve what you achieved”

There’s a big difference between both scenarios,

Working because you need/want to show — this is destructive and won’t work for a long time.

Working hard and showing to motivate others — this is constructive and will further increase your motivation.

How can I help you?

If you seriously decide that you wish to start working on your personal brand, having a portfolio website is a must.

A personal website can

  • Help you showcase your achievements
  • Help you display your skills
  • Help you show your projects
  • You can mention about yourself

And much more…

This month I released a free tutorial to teach you React, React Router, and React Portals. In the tutorial, I’ve helped you build a cool portfolio website completely from scratch. You can check out this playlist if you are interested to build your own portfolio website —

Hope this helps.

Ready to take up a challenge?

In the previous newsletter, I motivated you to learn — Are you spending some time to upskill yourself?

This month’s newsletter agenda was to tell you the importance of building a personal brand. Having knowledge is good, but letting others know that you are skilled is also essential!

If I could motivate you to start working on your personal brand, here’s a challenge for you — 60 Days 60 Posts challenge.

Rules —

  • You have to study/learn something new each day
  • At the end of the day, write a post on LinkedIn about what you learnt
  • Tag me in your post (Madhav Bahl — @madhavbahl) — I would love to see how many people are working on learning and documenting their journey
  • Do this for 60 days with #TheLeanStudyChallenge
  • After 30 days, write the first blog about what all did you learn
  • After the next 30 days, write the second blog about the same

By doing so, at the end of 60 days, you’ll have a lot more knowledge and skills than you have today. See you after 60 days 😉

How was the month of June?

The month of June was super exciting for The Lean Programmer publication, here are our top 2 achievements -

  1. We are now a family of 140+ writers on medium with more than 70 blogs published!
  2. We crossed 2.5k followers on our LinkedIn page — https://www.linkedin.com/company/theleanprogrammer/

And this is just the beginning! We’re aiming to build a huge community of super enthusiastic programmers.

Here are a few top articles from the month of June -

And many more 💯

I really want to mention all of the blogs that were published last month, but I am limited by the newsletter space, but I really wish to say that all the writers that we have in our family are so skilled and so amazing that it makes me so happy to call them a “family”.

That’s it for The Lean Programmer June 2021 Newsletter. Hope it motivated you to start building a personal brand! (And don’t forget to start the 60 days challenge)

Before ending, I really want to thank everyone who is currently a part of our lean programmers family, it includes everyone, our super amazing group of writers, subscribers of our newsletter, our readers, everyone who consumes our content, and you.

Remember, all the lean programmers have one goal — to help you learn new stuff and explore more domains in a fun way 😊

So, have a great month ahead, and keep learning!

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Madhav Bahl

Madhav Bahl

The Lean Programmer | Tech Blogger | Aiming to make youth well versed with tech | Self-help and Productivity Blogger | On a journey to find the meaning of life