This Wednesday at 10am I will be hosting a webinar with Philip Morgan on Positioning Your Data Science Portfolio.
If you are interested in creating a Data Science Portfolio that positions you as an expert in your field, then I encourage you to attend.
An Unpositioned Portfolio
I had been developing a portfolio for a few years before learning about “positioning”. If you had asked me at the time, I would have said that I wanted my portfolio to highlight my open source projects.
The portfolio did that job well. But unfortunately, it wasn’t having a significant impact on my career. These days I see a lot of Data Science portfolios that have a similar problem.
A Crash Course on Positioning
In January 2016 I had to make a decision: either find a way to make this “open source thing” work, or go back to a “real” job.
I joined a business development program called Double Your Freelancing Clients to help me figure this out. That’s where I met Philip Morgan. He encouraged me to put a sentence like this on the top of my homepage:
I help <audience> with <problem>.
That’s all that a positioning statement is.
Harder than it Sounds
For many people, positioning is harder than it sounds.
In my case, picking one audience with one problem meant giving up something important.
One the one hand, I had a lot of experience working as a software engineer at venture-backed startups in San Francisco.
But going forward, I really wanted to work with R, Maps and Open Data. But I was new to that field, and couldn’t articulate what companies would be interested in the skills I was developing.
And here’s the rub: Positioning requires picking just one audience and just one problem. With Philip’s help, I chose the positioning statement “I help R programmers map open data sets”. I also removed all references to my past jobs from my website.
Becoming Top of Mind
The results were fantastic. By focusing on such a small niche I was able to become top of mind when people were actively searching for help in this field.
Even better, the quality of conversations I had with people started to improve. Rather than treating me as one of dozens of people they were interviewing for a job, people were now seeking me out for an expert opinion.
Attending this webinar, of course, will not give you similar results overnight.
But I will say this: if you want your portfolio to position you as an expert, and start conversations like the ones I describe above, then you will need to do something more than publish a bunch of analyses online.
This is where positioning can help you. And this is where Wednesday’s webinar can help you.
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