Easy Networking strategies for Video Game Composers
Starting a viable career in the game development industry as a composer can be as awesome as tough.
Maybe you’re new to the industry, just graduated, or a musician passionate about games. Perhaps you’re struggling to find contracts at this moment. It can be nerve-wracking to search for game developers needing your music, especially if you’re lacking the skill to talk with confidence to strangers.
As an introverted myself, Networking has always been the most difficult part. Through errors and events where making a fool of myself was easier than saying “hello”, I came up with some useful strategies.
1) Find the right event
Most cities have a central organization with local meetings you can attend, and they usually welcome newcomers. My favorite ways to find events in my area are Meetup and Eventbrite, as you can spot how many people will attend and the names of the organizers. Knowing the names of the attendees is great for building connections and remembering them easily. Don’t hesitate to attend Game Audio events: talking to experienced composers may be helpful, sometimes even more than finding a client.
Take your marketing material with you – business cards, DEMOs, etc. – anything you think you might need. When collecting other people’s cards, take a moment or two to read them. Write on the back when and where you met that person.
Set yourself targets for what you want to achieve at the meeting. It could be one or two Game Developers, particular artists you want to meet, or freelancers with marketing expertise.
3) Make contact
If you are nervous like me, before entering the venue pause outside the door and take a few deep breaths. That helps lower your body pressure and lower stress.
Enter and seek out the organizer, present yourself, and have a nice chat. Game Industry people is always happy to meet new people, especially at networking events, and you will probably be made very welcome.
4) Move around
If you are on your own, approach small groups or individuals and present yourself. I know, it may seem awkward, but that’s the right way to do it. Try to remember the names of the people you’re talking to. Listen to them. Be prepared to hand your marketing material only if they seem sincerely interested in what you said.
Remember, people love to work with people they like. Having a good time and showing your true self is more important than handling business cards to strangers who will bin them right after the event.
When the meeting is over, it would be a good idea to go thank the event organizer/host.
5) Follow up
Within the next 48 hours follow up with anyone you’ve promised to contact. It’s useful to do this very promptly, as the person will remember you.
Then review the meeting and decide if you achieved your targets. If not, why not? Was it the wrong sort of meeting for you? Did you stay too long with one person? Did you talk too little, too much?
If you write these things down it helps focus your thoughts on what went right and what did not.
In two or three meetings you’ll be the Master of Networking!