A Guide to Brand Image for Developers

I’ve been building for about 3 years, and within those 3 years I’ve made a lot of mistakes and dealt with a variety of different clients. In this guide, I’ll share some knowledge I learned down the road which will hopefully help you to avoid the endless list of mistakes I made.

This advice is situational, meaning it doesn’t apply to everyone. If you’re a hobbyist like I am you can break most of the advice on this list and probably get away with it.

1. Roblox Account


Username

One of the many mistakes I made was changing my username. Way too much. I’ve had a total of 5 usernames. To this day, some of the commission sheets I send to clients have my old usernames on them. There’s always that one client that questions if I stole monorust’s, or monomorphosis’, or TheCardMechanic’s work. Don’t impulsively change your username like I did.

That being said, your username may be worth changing if it’s something extremely forgettable and generic like “Andrew42592.” It would be awful if a potential client impressed with your work went to sleep and wakes up Googling every zip code in Kentucky trying to remember your name. Make your username something easy to remember, like ColdFridge or FatFrog or something (it can be stupid like mine). It might take weeks finding an available username your satisfied with, but it’s certainly worth it.

Avatar

Same deal with usernames. There’s a reason that when you see this item you immediately think of someone I don’t even have to name because you already know who he is. And there’s a reason that when you hear his name, you immediately think of his avatar. Because he has a very memorable username and an iconic avatar; both of which he practically never changes.

If you have the Beautiful Hair—2.0—Adidas Sweatshirt—Skeptic Face combo, it might be worth a change. Make sure your avatar is not generic and default-looking.

Let’s play a game. What does badcc’s avatar look like? I don’t even have to check it to tell you you’re right.

Profile

I know this is stretching it, but when I see a developer who’s friend list is clogged with a bunch “Andrew42592” with the Beautiful Hair—2.0—Adidas Sweatshirt—Skeptic Face combo, I immediately think slightly less of them. I’m wrong for this, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I’m not saying to purge your friend list all because of some usernames, but ask yourself, “when was the last time I talked to this guy.” If you friended someone because they did your hair on Bloxburg a year ago, you may not need them in your friends list.

Don’t pollute your own description with weird stick figures, Ronaldo doing suiiiii, and stuff like “if you can copy and paste this without breathing you will eat dinner with Kanye West at the height of the Burj Khalifa” in some weird quirky font. Also, don’t vandalize item comments in the avatar shop (I’m so sorry, friends, but /e free doesn’t work).

Make sure to add your socials on your profile. You can do this in settings.

2. Portfolio


You’re just as good as your worst piece of work (that you advertise)

Let’s say hypothetically, Bentley, a car manufacturer known for its ultra luxury vehicles, starts rolling out a model for $20,000. Now, you can’t go a mile without seeing a Bentley. You sigh and tell yourself, “if I win it big in Vegas, I’ll just stick to the Maybach.” Bentley just lost all of its rich customers.

Point is, top developers only advertise their best work on their portfolio. If you have outdated work that doesn’t meet your standards, remove it from your portfolio (or, do what I did and hide it under a dropdown). Award-winning developers’ portfolios are filled with only their best works.

Formatting

There is no “proper format” that must be followed, but I hate it when I click on someone’s portfolio and all I see is a mountain of text and a dropdown hiding all of their work. Be straight to the point and make your work visible. Mention your achievements. If you won a Bloxxy, say it. If you’re in EBR, say it. I really like Younite’s portfolio because:

  • All his work is clearly visible and not hiding under a dropdown
  • He doesn’t rant about his prices, policies, payment options etc.
  • His prices are in a graphic that looks sleek and nice
  • He provides more work on his website

Creating a banner or graphic piece may be useful. This is a banner I made in Canva in under 5 minutes. It’s no good at all since it’s just an example, but having a cool logo or banner will help present yourself as more serious and experienced to other clients. Spending money or Robux on a professionally made graphic is not a bad investment.
ObstructedSkies

3. DevForums & Social Media


Think HARD before posting on your work account. Especially on the DevForums.

Probably the biggest mistake I made during my laughably short-lived career was on the DevForum. I used to dig my head deep into a thesaurus every time I would post so I sounded more enlightened. Now that I can’t delete them, I learn to live with my incomprehensible posts (that I still refuse to read) and accept that I will never become a successful developer on this account. I see too many low quality topics and replies here. Believe me; think hard about it.

Grammar

On Twitter and on the DevForums, I used grammar almost exclusively. Since anyone can see it, and since most other people on here use grammar, my recommendation would be to use grammar on any social media available to the public. The only place I wouldn’t use grammar here would be the Regular+ categories (I don’t even know if they still exist, it’s been 2 years). On your personal social medias, it doesn’t matter. Same with most Discord servers.

Join a Discord server that will uplift your work

3 years ago, I joined a server called DevArchives (by 2hex). I don’t know if they exist or if they still go by the same alias, but they had dozens of channels where creators could share Twitter links of their work. They also had support channels for developers who needed help or experienced any difficulty. Join a community that will help you grow as a developer.

Associating your government name with your Roblox account is a HUGE commitment

By associating your real name, you immediately lose all of the freedoms of the Internet. I’ve been banned by both Roblox and GRP before for engaging in very petty fights and not being the nicest of folks. I can do that because no one knows who I am. I would also HATE to be known as

x, a builder so bad that a moderator removed his post for suspected trolling.

Yes, this actually happened. I’ve improved a LOT since then (not really). Point is, unless your full-time job is literally Roblox, you’ve attended Roblox conferences, worked at Roblox, won a Bloxxy, etc. I don’t think it’s worth it. It’s your decision, however, and it’s also irreversible.

4. Clients

This is my favorite part.


Run as fast and far away from the “I’ll get the funds before…” folks

They won’t get the funds by …. As we speak, they’re trying to sneak in a $20 Roblox gift card in their mom’s Target haul and blame it on the dog. Don’t work with them. I once had a client like this. It took over a year for him to give me the funds. It sort of became an inside joke; every month or so I would pester him for the funds. He’s a pretty cool guy, and when he finally collected the funds I just let him keep them.

Be cautious with indecisive and unsure clients

I’ve had clients before that will take minutes to respond when prompted with simple questions.

“I want you to make a restaurant.”
“Ok, how many stories?”
“Uhh, hmm, well (2 minutes later) I want a restaurant not a story.”
“(Me confused) What style? Modern, medieval, tropical?”
“Normal.”

Then they get mad at you for making a “normal restaurant” when they wanted a medieval coffee shop with a stage for fencing.

:exclamation: Make your client honor your agreement

Since I’m a budget—quick delivery—commission only—small volume type of guy, I always tell clients in advance (before I start anything) that I require payment first. Most clients agree to this. As you get into the big boy leagues, you might want your client signing a contract. Don’t ever provide your client with what they want before they pay you.

Grammar

This is subjective. I pretty much never use grammar with clients but it’s a decision. You could also reciprocate it, meaning that if they talk to you in grammar, you talk to them in grammar. If they don’t, you don’t. Once again, completely subjective.

Don’t sound too robotic. Make an effort to know your client. Ask how their day is going. Ultimately, if you feel your client is satisfied, ask them for a testimony of their experience. Maybe even stick it on your portfolio.

Percentage % payment is a gamble

If the project has a team of renowned developers, a fortress of advertisements, or if it’s actively making money, it’s a calculated risk. If not, it’s practically unpaid labor. I know this opinion won’t be received well by some, but I will never be convinced otherwise.

Don’t force yourself to work with someone

It’s better to go weeks without any client than to work with indecisive, “I’ll get the funds by…” people.

The same advice applies to real estate funnily enough.

Find clients on GRP

This is better for newer developers and lower-scale projects. I used to walk up to every cafe/homestore and offer to build for a very cheap price. You can also volunteer your services as an animator, programmer, graphic designer, etc. It may also be a good idea to build for free when starting out.

Conclusion


Thanks for reading; I hope you learned a thing or two! My last post was over 2 years ago so please correct me in the likely event that I’m doing something wrong. I want to apologize if this was obvious to you, and if you disagree with my points I invite you to tell me more in the comment section.

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