The way your name rings out in rooms you aren't even in, simply when your topic of expertise comes up? That's your personal brand.
Marketing and positioning yourself is unavoidable in your career. Best to do it mindfully. Being mindful about your personal brand is a cornerstone of having an indie mindset.
Ultimately, its about being deliberate about the kind of people you want to connect with, and the kind of work you want to do.
Personal branding is distinct from specialization. Specialization is about what you can do. Contrast with what you highlight.
positioning is a subset of personal branding: its specifically how you target a particular audience or problem.
Crafting your brand
What makes you unique?
What do you do that entertains, educates, inspires, motivates?
What parts of your career or life spark conversation? Think of your talking points. Get them down cold.
Pick an expertise and be laser focused on it. See where you show up the most, and what you talk about the most.
Look through your writing, twitter, reddit, slacks, discords. What do you engage the most with? Where you get the most engagement?
Content Creation and Personal Branding
The idea that content can be laser focused at a small audience and get big wins. Most devs don't have a blog, most don't have a github.
Personal Branding and Career
This can all work at a micro level. What do your coworkers think about you? How does it affect the opportunities you get within your company?
The bigger the company, the more branding and positioning matter. Small companies want full-stack engineers. Bigger companies want specialists.