Developers are smart. They can see through your ads and fluffy marketing content. Building trust with them can be a challenge.
If you’re coming from a marketing background, I am sure you are nodding your head right now. I’m sure you are also wondering why your paid ads don’t perform, well it’s not that they don’t perform sometimes, but not for the audience you are hoping to obtain. It’s the same reason they aren’t responding to your marketing communications and engaging with your surveys.
You need to build trust with developers first, before you roll in there playing the me, me, me game.
The Building Trust Model is a simple 3 step process. This model works for me—every single time. If you put in the effort and truly listen and care about your developer audience, you can use this model to engage any developer.
To be honest, this model will work on anyone. Who doesn’t want someone asking their passions and interests and then hand delivering them value before they’ve even spent much time together?
Here are the three steps of the Building Trust Model:
Spend time truly getting to know them.
Ask them what they are working on or something they are excited to complete. What technologies interest them? Listen, because the information you capture here will be incredibly valuable for building developer personas that you can use to help further make future decisions.
Now that you know them, what could they benefit from you doing?
Sometimes this is a network introduction or other times its scheduling a 1:1 with your product team. It could even be as simple as a social share.
Find something that is impactful for them, but easy for you to implement.
At this point, they should be excited about your relationship. You put their needs before yours and listened. You then provided a value that was simple for you but big for them.
It’s now time to invite them to engage with you. This may be for a product feedback request or a blog post collaboration. Whatever it may be, if you’ve done 1 & 2 right, it’s unlikely they’ll say no, and in most cases, they end up thanking you for the opportunity.
See this model in action in my other blog, How to Build Trust and Create Developer Superfans.
This article was originally posted on Devocate, which joined the Common Room family in August 2022. For more developer relations insights and resources, check out the Common Room blog. Learn more about Common Room’s solution for DevRel teams if you're looking for an intelligent community growth platform to educate, empower, and enable your community.