Being a Lion – Standing out in a field of web developer sheep

By January 5, 2018Rants, Technology
Being a lion among sheep

This is an insight into the life mottos I base my development and creativity by. I thought to start 2018 off right, I’d actually write down everything I’ve been saying for years about being a lion so it had more purpose and meaning to myself and others.

Standing out among your competition is important, but it’s not always easy. You’ll probably never  have a clue to whatever strategies they might be employing, but you still have to be prepared. And by prepared, I mean better.

There are, in fact, a few important strategies I follow to insure I’m always a lion who stands out in a field of mediocre sheep – and leave my competitors in the dust when working on projects. I’m giving away my secret sauce so pay attention.

1.) Be Better

Build a website. Or, if you already have one, make it even better.

Having a website that you can call your own is the best way to showcase your design skills and capabilities.

It must, of course, include an eye-catching and engaging gallery or portfolio. A stunning portfolio won’t necessarily be enough, however. The key to bringing in new clients lies in the website itself. Your creative website needs to provide a UX that will blow visitors away. Use the latest technologies and make sure you’re following the latest trends. (Like having an SSL and scoring at least 80+ in Google Insights)

Too many creatives (and companies) simply slap a bloated non-user friendly website together and rely on their portfolio to reel in clients or to land a job.

Make yours different. Make your visitors say, “I want a website as good as this one, and I won’t settle for less.”

Do this, and I promise they’ll choose you to build it.

2.) Be Faster

Never disappear. When you keep a client waiting, you’re sending a message that the client is somehow less important. He/she might think that their project is a lower priority in your scheme of things. Always stay in touch and have a process for quickly communicating progress.

Also, have a process for rapid development. Especially if your a WordPress developer. You can’t sit and spin on a project for months. It’ll not only kill your margins on the site, but you’ll naturally begin to loose your creativity and drive.

Learn to do simple things like packaging the core WordPress installation, your go-to theme, and all your most commonly used plugins into one installable file that you can constantly re-use. Anything to speed the development process up.

3.) Be Stronger

Lions are stronger together. Meaning, join a tech group, go to meet ups, network and never stop learning or asking questions if you need help. The strongest leaders still surround themselves with people who give them advice when they are struggling with an answer or solution. Many developers might take this as weakness, but asking for help is most definitely a lion type quality.

Also, know that you’ll never know everything, but if your not at least staying up on the latest trends and technologies, someone else WILL take your place. Never stop learning or continuing your education to stay on top. Whatever development software or langue you learned in college probably has about a 2-4 year shelf life in todays digital landscape so don’t become complacent with the tools you use.

Lastly, and most important, leaders of the pack teach the cubs. Learn to teach and communicate your thoughts and processes to the next generation. Becoming a trusted resource of learning and advice for others only makes you more valuable and stand out head and shoulders above the rest.

I choose to be a lion.