People are going to forget about you. They’re going to forget about your games, your art, your programming, and you.
Pretty terrifying right? No one wants to hear that. Sorry for being so harsh, but you’re not doing anything to remind them who you are.
That’s why you need to be consistent. Consistency is the key to being successful in anything.
Let’s start at the top.
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You need to be consistently making games.
My friend Sean McCabe says “show up every day.” Every day you should do at least one thing that works towards your game design and development.
That doesn’t mean you have to code every day, or draw every day.
Just one thing is all it takes. Show up every day and do at least one thing that’s going to get you closer to completion.
One thing every day that’s going to get you closer to your goals.
He says that doing this for two years will get you where you want to be. That’s such a short period of time if you really think about it.
Plus, you’ll be getting better at your game design and development each day as you work on it.
While you’re getting closer to completion, you’ll need to be working on marketing. Building your audience is what you should do, which is why the next three parts need to be consistent.
You need to be consistently showing your games.
Show people what you’re working on. Show your works in progress.
It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or intense. Maybe it’s a gif of an animation you made this week. Or you added in a cool game mechanic that you can show.
Heck, even just share a teaser of the story.
There’s so much in the process of gamedev that can be shared, and it drums up interest in your game.
Of course you can and should be sharing this stuff on your social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc, but you should also be sharing on your blog.
You need to be consistently posting on your blog.
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You need to be posting to your blog because it’s the one platform you control.
Remember MySpace? Who uses that anymore?
Don’t think it’s impossible that Twitter or Facebook could be next. I don’t even know anyone who really uses Tumblr anymore (of course I still post there but that’s another story).
But your blog, your website, that is something you can control. It will exist as long as you want it to. I use A2 hosting and their quick and easy 1 click WordPress installer.
There’s also a simple little thing you can do to keep people coming back to your blog for more. Aside from posting consistently, you need to be collecting emails from your visitors, and sending them a newsletter.
You need to be consistently sending out email newsletters.
My biggest regret is not starting collecting emails sooner.
I would have made way more sales on my previous games by now had I started collecting emails from the very beginning.
It’s just the best marketing you can do on a video game. Tell people about it.
Like I mentioned above, controlling your own platform is important. If Twitter disappears it will be very difficult to retain that audience and move them to whatever new platform you’re on.
I use ConvertKit because it’s easy and they have great functions for automation.
If you have their email, you’ll be able to take them wherever you go very easily.
Plus, people will see you all the time. You’ll be in their thoughts because you regularly send them valuable and interesting content.
That way, when you launch a game, they won’t see it as spam.
You ever sign up for an email list and forget about it? Then weeks or months later you get an email that’s like “Hey I just released my new game!”
Of course I usually check it out but it’s just like “ugh who is this person and why are they trying to get money from me?”
You need to share at least once a week.
They won’t forget about you this way. We think in weekly cycles. That’s why most TV shows put out new episodes at least weekly (during their season).
Of course, you can share more than just once a week if you want, but don’t overwhelm yourself.
Trust me, people will start to notice.
I’ve been inconsistent in the past and people have commented on it. I was totally embarrassed.
Consistency is totally hard but there are lots of ways you can prepare, like setting up an editorial calendar or automating your social media posting with a tool like CoSchedule (that’s a referral link, btw. If you sign up, they cut me a discount on my subscription at no extra cost to you).
An example of what not to do:
This is tricky and I need to preface this by saying that I am not trying to call out this gamedev publicly or anything. He’s wildly successful and I am confident that he will continue to be successful for various reasons, despite the things he’s doing “wrong” that I’m about to show you.
I do believe he would make a lot more money if he were to put more into marketing in the ways that I have suggested here (and will more in the future), but I also don’t get the impression he’s too worried about that. Please know that while I am saying what he’s doing here is “wrong”, I highly admire him and he’s one of the reasons I got into game design and development in the first place. It’s only “wrong” from a marketing standpoint.
But, as no-name indie dev, you don’t want to repeat what he’s doing here, because you need all the help you can get.
That said…look at this tweet:
Take a second to think about what you just learned and see if you can figure out what’s right and what’s wrong here.
Okay now that you’ve thought about it, I’ll list out a few things that were done right:
- Really well written posts.
- Lots of images in the posts.
- Definitely content that will build up hype.
- Pinned tweet…I wouldn’t have seen this otherwise.
But here’s what’s done wrong:
- Not hosted on its own platform.
- Telling people to bookmark and come back on their own accord.
- No email list?
- Posts aren’t really consistently posted. Definitely not weekly.
Again, at this point in his career I’m sure he’ll be fine and continue to be successful, and he absolutely deserves it.
But for an indie dev who’s not at that point, you need all the help you can get. That’s what I’m here for!
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