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How I optimised my online presence to get opportunities.

  • 8 minutes read
  • #career

Open article in DEV.to You can also read this article here on DEV.to

I'm a firm believer that a good online presence can lead to a really successful career path that may open you up to better job opportunities...

All my articles are first published and hosted on my blog - but you can also find this article here on DEV.to. You may also be interested in my tweets on my Twitter profile and my monthly newsletter. 🔥


Why did I join Twitter?

I'm a firm believer that a good online presence can lead to a really successful career path that may open you up to better job opportunities, invitations to talk shows and tech events, new friends, a widened knowledge base and understanding of tech.

I joined Twitter in April 2020, based on advice from one of my colleagues, Andrew Baker, who said to me, "Twitter can be used as a way of following people with a similar interest to you and seeing how they go about their projects and what tech they use. It's also useful to share your own work and hopefully receive some feedback. For example, you could tweet your Cooltipz.css project and see if anyone is willing to give it a test out and respond with some constructive feedback."

So, that's exactly what I did, I joined Twitter and I was hooked, not addicted. When I started following people and seeing some of the creations on CodePen, I was amazed and wanted to be involved more.

I began creating my own CodePens (I already had an account with some pens I was trialling) and seeing what little projects I could create. CodePen picked a few of my projects to be featured on the homepage and I started to be noticed.

Likewise, I was consistently tweeting about topics that mean a lot to me - front-end development, UI/UX, accessibility, self-development, motivation and inspiration - and starting creating my niche. Although I was only receiving approximately 2-3 likes per tweet, I was being noticed and anyone visiting my profile could see exactly what I was about and had some examples of what they would expect from my tweets.

What do I mean by opportunities?

When I say 'opportunities', I'm not specifically talking about job opportunities, although they are a valid candidate. Here is a list of some of the opportunities a great online presence can bring you (I have been offered most of them):

  • New/better job
  • New friends & connections
  • Exposure to new tech
  • Offers to do a talk either at an event or on a podcast
  • Offers to affiliate promote (Gumroad, Amazon, etc)
  • Paid tweets (yes, people will pay you to tweet)
  • Free stuff (books, t-shirts, mugs, etc)
  • Recognition
  • Large following
    • Which can be beneficial if you are ever selling anything like a book or a course
  • Freelance jobs
  • Paid articles (some companies may pay you to write for them)
  • And many more!

What did I do and what am I doing?

Jump ahead a few months to now (3 August 2020) and I'm up to almost 5000 followers on Twitter, almost 150 followers on CodePen, almost 300 followers on DEV.to, almost 60 followers on GitHub and over 300 connections on LinkedIn.

I'm going to show with you a list of resources and techniques that really helped me develop a good online presence and still growing.

  • I keep my online presence apolitical
    • I want to keep my feed and my presence relating to tech and helping people. As soon as I post something about politics, not all of my audience will agree with me and I am essentially denying that audience.
  • I tweet 95% about my niche and 5% other stuff
    • My followers followed me for a reason, my niche attracted them to my profile and to click Follow, so they would expect me to tweet about that. But we are all human so it is ok to tweet once in a while about something about you.
  • I stopped casually swearing
    • When you don't swear, even in a joke, you sound so much friendlier and professional and give the impression that you are confident in what you are saying without the need for swearing to aid you.
  • Engage in other people's content
    • Not everything is about me, I take time to like and comment on other people's tweets, CodePens and DEV articles because a lot of stuff people share on Twitter is pretty amazing and is worth engaging with!
  • I began ignoring the hate and trolls
    • At about 1500 followers on Twitter, I had my first troll telling me, "Developers should not have to relearn the basics, that's wasting time. They should just remember and move on." I replied to this asking why they thought it and I very quickly realised this person's goal was to make me feel triggered and become aggressive. Never again, people like that get the Mute and are not worth my time.
  • I started cross-platform promoting
    • I try and make it as easy and as obvious as possible for someone who is on any of my profiles such as Twitter, CodePen, DEV.to, GitHub, LinkedIn or my website to be able to navigate between the different platforms - go check out my profiles to see what I mean 😉.
  • Resize images for Twitter
    • Whenever I make a tweet with an image, I will always edit the image to have a size ratio of 16:9, so it fits better as a thumbnail on someone's feed. This means the image won't be "cut off" when in preview. Twitter users are lazy, if they can't see all your image, it's very likely they will open it up in fullscreen and even more unlikely they will give it a like.
  • I limit my retweets
    • Let it be said here that everything does not need retweeting. All your comments don't need retweeting either 😅. Keeping your profile clean of constant retweets will ensure new visitors are seeing your best content.
  • BIO
    • I always maintain a true image of myself rather than an avatar image and always use my actual name in my name with no emojis or other characters and emojis. My Twitter BIO is quite strong and to the point and ensures new visitors know exactly what I'm about.
  • My tweets are meaningful
    • It is incredibly rare I will tweet something that I don't think will have value to anyone. I will always try and tweet something that I feel will have credible value to my audience.
  • Standard username across all platforms
    • Whether it's Twitter, LinkedIn, CodePen, GitHub or DEV, my username is always the same - jackdomleo7. I have a very unique name anyway so is easy for me to know my username will always be available. My username is also very recognisable so people can distinguish me easily.
  • Standard profile picture and banner
    • My profile picture currently is so recognisable that instantly people recognise who I am (I've also been used as memes because I have the perfect "meme" face 😅). My banner on Twitter and LinkedIn are the same, to keep it simpler for me but also so viewers can recognise my brand. (You can see my profile picture and banner at the time of writing below).
Jack Domleo face
Jack Domleo banner

These are some of the primary techniques I use and in just a few months I have been opened up to so many opportunities and it can only get better, right? 💪

I also read a lot of books, so here are some that really helped me as a developer with an online presence:

Improve Your Online Presence by Catalin Pit
Improve Your Online Presence by Catalin Pit - see my review
Create Your Following by Danny Thompson
Create Your Follwowing (a really good course to accompany the Catalin Pit's book) by Danny Thompson - see my review
The Standout Developer by Randall Kanna
The Standout Developer by Randall Kanna
Decoding The Technical Interview Process by Emma Bostian
Decoding The Technical Interview Process by Emma Bostian

What's next?

Carry on. Why stop?

I'm doing fantastically well and can only improve to better my chances at bigger and better opportunities. I hope to be invited to tech talks, release a book and be recognised for my expertise.

Small improvements is all it takes to make yourself standout! 💪