Marketing Yourself As A Game Designer with Emma Larkins

In this episode, host Nalin talks to Emma Larkins about all things digital in regards to board game creation in today’s world.

From digital test play to the right social platforms to be on and how to utilize them, they discuss it all.

We discuss:

  • [4:30]: How to go from that first game creation to promoting yourself as a designer.
  • [6:06]: Marketing and networking don’t have to be systematic, scary, or intimidating. Emma looks at it as a way to make friends. 
  • [8:28]: Playtesting has become increasingly more digital these days and there are actually a lot of benefits to it. There is a very low barrier to entry and it’s quite a bit easier than in-person groups.
  • [10:46]: What can people expect from digital playgroups these days? What should we do to prepare to go into one of these?
  • [15:54]: You will have strong and weak connections via social media. Make sure you are utilizing and focusing on those strong connections, as those will be reciprocal connections that will help in your crowdfunding later on.
  • [18:06]: Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Discord, Instagram. Let’s talk through which platform(s) are most important during the beginning stages as a game designer.
  • [26:47]: People choose to consume the things that you’re putting out there. So, put things out there that people want to interact with. Post about more than just your board game.
  • [28:00]: Recommendation to people who are a little shy: get a lot of mileage from some of the less involved interactions – i.e. retweeting and liking. These things will go a long way and they require less interaction. 
  • [31:00]: Final advice from Emma
  • [32:53]: How to get in touch with Emma Larkins.

Thanks for listening to the Board Game Marketing Podcast!

Final marketing tip from Emma to new board game creators:

Talk to people about your upcoming Kickstarter. Friends, acquaintances, anyone who will listen. It always shocks me when I first hear about a friend’s campaign AFTER it launches! Talking about a campaign before it launches is lovely because you don’t have to feel like you’re begging people for money. Launching a Kickstarter is a big deal, and you should be proud to tell people about it.

You can send an email, or Facebook message, or a text. Keep it simple – “I’m getting ready to launch a Kickstarter for the game I’ve been working on! I’m really excited and nervous about it 😅” Leave space to start a conversation. You’re building a relationship, not trying to trick someone into giving you money. Only do this if you are willing to engage with and really listen to the other person.

Start early, ideally a month before you launch, messaging a few people each day. Keep these conversations one on one – this is a different type of outreach than your social media posts or email newsletters.

You’ll find that most people will be excited to hear from you. Sure, every now and then you might get someone who ignores you or gets annoyed, but the vast majority of people will be supportive.

It goes without saying that this type of outreach is more effective if you are generally connected to and supportive of your network. If your campaign is still a ways off, start sending check-in messages to the people you don’t talk to regularly. It’s good for business, and for your relationships. Think of these people as friends who want to hear about your adventures, not just potential backers.

Ultimately, your friends want to share in your success, and they can’t do that if you don’t talk to them.


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For more information on how to market your game, be sure to check out the Meeple Marketing Blog.

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