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Kickstarting the Easy Way: Social Media and Self-Promotion

Probably the question I see most asked by new designers starting on the route to self-publishing is how to begin gathering a social media following, mailing list etc. I'm no expert in this area but I did manage to get enough of a following to back my first project so I'll offer what I've picked up so far. If you're looking for an expert in this area I recommend following Stuff By Bez or Stonemaier Games, both of whom are helpful souls and are much better at this than I am.

First of all, I think its important to accept your place within the community and industry. If you're reading this blog I'm going to assume you're a first time creator, in which case you shouldn't expect a following of thousands or a multi page mailing list, nor do you need one. If your first project is a reasonable size, a "humble" project, backing with a "humble" following is entirely doable. Our Kickstarter for SSO backed at around £9,000 with only a few names on our mailing list and a facebook following only just in the hundreds. Most importantly don't think that a good following or a huge mailing list will save a poor campaign or sell a bad game because it won't. These elements support and extend a good project, they don't replace one. Finally, if you're at the level where you are looking to blogs like this for advice be very careful about spending money to increase your reach. Money spent on boosting can feel heartening but it is easy to run away with, particularly as a new designer, remember that it makes people aware of your project's existence. If there is nothing for them to interact with with that awareness it will fade away and be quickly wasted.