How I market myself in the indie game industry

Week 9 - Indie Marketing Techniques

Marketing and getting new jobs to work on always trouble me as a freelancing song writer for video games. In the online lecture, it stressed the importance of positioning yourself relatively on the market and find your own competitive edge. However, it would be a challenging task for me as the market of freelance song writers is not very well established and developed. Usually, when customers look for services or products in the market, they have some criteria in mind and they compare the vast amount of products using these criteria. In my own experience, a lot of game designers I have worked with, have no idea what they are really look for until I present them my work. Therefore, the theories of positioning, differentiation and competitive variance covered in the lecture do not seem to work in my particular field.


When it comes to a newly developed industry with weak connections between business like the indie game industry, there are no formal and reliable platforms for employers and employees to seek out each other. Often times they have already known each other before and it is really hard for a newcomer to establish his/her connections. Word of mouth do not seem to apply when you do not know where to start. Social media seems to be the only way to go when a job market is not developed and interconnected. A lot of indie video game song writers started as member of certain small gaming forums and kickstarted their careers by joining small indie projects. Some of these projects eventually became a big hit and therefore they gain positive feedbacks and fame to eventually sustain their career. Some of my favourite writers include Toby Fox who produced music for the big indie hit “Undertale” and Triodust who produced for the “Opus” series. Both of them started out this way, their music received a lot of positive reviews due to the project they worked on ended up being a hit, but they still struggle to participate in bigger projects. This explains how hard it is for freelancers to market themselves in a small industry like this.


I found this lecture not quite useful for students because all the materials covered in the lecture actually requires a certain level of experience, information and resources to start being useful. For example, the overhead cost of launch events and press kits would be unbearable for a small new business. It would also be very hard for them to establish a presence on the market and attract reporters’ and reviewers’ interests to help you promote your products or give you feedbacks.


Reading this lecture made me reflect on how I market myself towards employers and what they want from employees. Upon reflecting my work processes with these game designers, I found out that music is always a blind spot in their mind. In a small industry like this, employers often focus only on a narrow field of expertise and they do not even possess the basic knowledge of what else they would need to finish and sale their product. When I show my employers my previous works, they often do not even know how to judge whether my music style suits them or not. Therefore, I realised that a person like me, who can locate and understand their problems without them being able to elaborate clearly is exactly what is needed. I market myself as a musician who is also a gamer, which is surprisingly rare in the market, who can show them the problems of their product and also solve them. Nonetheless, I still struggle with not being able to reach my potential employers and this is what I will be research and experimenting on next.


References

Fox, T. tobyfox.net is almost here!. Tobyfox.net. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from http://tobyfox.net/

SAE. (2015). Week 9: Indie Marketing Techniques – Self-Directed Practitioners – Medium. Medium. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-9-reaching-your-audience-aa1b2e58dd53#.38y3sabrg

Triodust. Triodust. Triodust.com. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from http://triodust.com/

Undertale. (2017). UNDERTALE Help, FAQ and Troubleshooting. Undertale.com. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from http://undertale.com/help/#making_of

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