Here at .ME, we strongly believe in the power of personal branding. Making a name for yourself is an essential starting point for everyone embarking on an entrepreneurial or freelancing career.
Say you are a web designer looking to stand out from the pack. While sharing helpful content on social networks may seem like a great starting point, it’s usually not enough. Social networks reflect just some aspects of your professional persona.
The key to your professional growth lies in blogging.
The story of Steve McKinney (iamsteve.me) proves us right.
Steve is a veteran designer with versatile industry experience. He’s built a website where he provides design & code tutorials and tips to fellow designers and developers.
Read on to learn more about this awesome member of the .ME community!
Steve McKinney is a Manchester-based designer. Still, Steve emphasizes that he “does not see himself as a designer who knows a bit of code or a front-end developer who knows a bit of design.” He explains:
“I’ve always deemed myself a “web designer” but that’s like calling yourself a webmaster these days. I sit somewhere in the middle of being a visual designer and UX designer.”
To wit, Steve creates websites that are both visually appealing and easy to use.
Steve entered web design waters when he was only 13. The skills and experience he gained back then gave him a massive competitive advantage. One of them is his impressive coding knowledge that takes his web design skills to the next level.
Over the past decade, Steve has worked with hundreds of clients across various industries. He strongly believes that a web designer needs to be 100% involved along the entire project timeline. That way, they can understand clients’ goals and provide the best solution for them.
Steve believes in the significance of user experience in the website design process. He says he always creates websites for users since they are the ones buying products or using services.
Most importantly, Steve focuses on client relationships based on trust and transparency. Poor client communication results in unnecessary revisions, frustration, and even conflict.
Coding Meets Web Design – Steve’s Blog
“You will never reach perfection because there is always room for improvement. Yet get along the way to perfection, you will learn to get better,” a proverb says.
The iamsteve.me website keeps proving this statement right. As Steve explained in a 2017 article, he originally started designing websites and blogging for fun. Over time, he understood the branding potential of the website. Since its launch in 2009, the website has evolved on multiple levels.
In January 2015, Steve decided to start blogging consistently. For the next two years, he published articles once a week. While he managed to improve his publishing efforts, the blog still lacked a clear content strategy. Steve wrote about any topic he was interested in, as long as it was related to website design & code.
To gain an advantage in the hypercompetitive market, Steve refocused on the topics related to coding and design. His HTML and CSS knowledge helped him provide unique web design tips and build trust with his target audiences.
Design & Code Tutorials For Developers and Coders
Today, Steve’s vision of the iamsteve.me website is to create in-depth content that educates readers and brings value to them.
The blog teaches users the basics of building and designing a website. In Steve’s words, it’s aimed at developers wanting to improve their visual design skills and designers with some coding experience. The aim is to improve users’ workflow efficiency and help them build up visual design skills.
The content covers various topics on creating eye-catching and responsive websites, using Illustrator and CSS as core tools. The blog also provides a mixture of content. Whether you are looking for in-depth website design guides or quick web development tips, you can find them there.
How iamsteve.me Changed Over Time
A personal website needs to be functional, visually appealing, and user-friendly. As someone with vast web design and development experience, Steve McKinney is well aware of that. So, it’s not surprising that his website has changed multiple times since 2009.
So, when we land on iamsteve.me, what can we learn about website design?
The 2016 Update And How The Website Looks Today
That was the biggest change to the website. Until 2016, the website juggled between being a blog and a portfolio. To minimize confusion, Steve focused on the writing side of the website and removed the “Portfolio” section from the site.
Since then, iamsteve.me serves as a unique design & code blog. As mentioned above, it delivers tutorials and tips for developers and designers alike.
The 2021 website version is exactly what a web designer’s website should look like.
From the UX viewpoint, the website is responsive, simple, and to the point. The website architecture and layout are completely logical. Users can navigate the website and find the desired content with ease.
From lots of white space to custom icons, the visual website elements are in harmony. Content is easy to follow, irrespective of the device readers use.
Website content is divided into two categories – Code and Design. The homepage makes content more discoverable and encourages users to hop from one article to the other.
On the About page, Steve shows the human side of his personal brand and introduces himself to website visitors. Steve uses this page to share his mission and values, highlight his most popular articles, and showcase his biography.
The main aim of iamsteve.me is to engage users and build trust with them. Steve encourages readers to ask questions and provide feedback, both positive and negative.
In addition to iamsteve.me, Steve created another website (mcknny.com), where he shares his portfolio and promotes website design services.
All in all, both of his websites prove that Steve is a superb developer and designer worth listening to.
.ME As The Backbone Of Steve’s Personal Website
Whether you are a freelancer or a solopreneur, building your personal website is a solid starting point. It is the opportunity to take control of your online presence and establish a unique personal brand. You reflect your personality, knowledge, and authenticity through custom design solutions and quality content.
Even though Steve does not aim to attract new clients or employers, he understands the importance of having a personal website. iamsteve.me has helped him introduce himself to his target audiences, boost niche credibility, and build stronger relationships. Above all, a personal website is an opportunity to publish content that is entirely his.
To increase brand awareness and recall, Steve decided to use his name as a domain name.
Given that, it is not surprising that Steve chose .ME as his digital home.
Over To You
To succeed in your industry, you need to start growing a personal brand. The example of Steve McKinney proves the importance of a personal website for one’s career.
By creating top-notch content and updating his website to meet the latest UI/UX trends, Steve managed to build a name for himself. And help others build their own careers while he’s at it.
Steve, thank you for choosing .ME to be your digital home! Keep rocking!