After such an amazing trip to E3 thanks to KmartGamer, I have been thinking of what sort of unique coverage I can give my readers that they could not find somewhere else, and then Twitter chimed in. It seems quite a few gamers are looking for ways to get into the video game industry, and need pointers. I will not neglect sharing my opinions on the many games I have seen, but professional networking is something that I have focused on recently, and would love to share what has succeeded for me.
Now, let me make this clear, I am not a current video game professional. I do some freelance work here and there, but I am not making a living in the industry. I have however been successful in growing myself as a brand over the last year, and would like to share some of my insight.
- Remember, This industry is made up of people who have passion for the same thing. Share what you love about it and doors will open. Many people forget that there are a wide variety of job opportunities in the video games industry. Don't forget, there are offices in public relations, marketing, engineering, art, sales and even human resources amongst others.
- Know who you're contacting. The editor in chief or lead designer is likely a bit harder to reach than a Public Relations representative, or a Community Manager representative. Also, it is the job of the PR and CM folks to be a contact person for the company, so they are usually very approachable and willing to answer questions.
- You do not need to go to E3 to make these contacts. After following people on twitter, ask to DM them for questions or even ask for their email address. If you have gained their trust to this point, make sure not to bombard their email or Twitter account. Be respectful of their time, but do not hesitate to reach out to them when you have a question. My general rule is about once a week at most. Then, you continue to stay connected without being a bother.
- Nerves have gotten the best of you? When in person, this is the harder egg to crack. Coaching an introvert to be outgoing is not all that easy. If you feel that you are not an introvert, but just nervous about approaching the people you look up to, then start smaller. If your blown away buy the work one company does, maybe start contacting people that represent games you respect, but aren't
- So, if you get in E3/PAX, say hello, I'm ---, ---- on twitter. If they reckognize that and are personable, your through the door. I had the pleasure of speaking with some of the great folks at IGN simply because I said hi first.
- How do you make an impression? Follow them on twitter/facebook. Answer questions they ask, ask your own. Get in their sight lines.
- One major lesson I learned from E3, When you gamble on yourself, you usually win. Stop saying what you should do and do it.
That's are a few things to think about. I'll continue to write more blog posts on this subject, as well as answer more of your questions. A lot about networking has to do with you though. You have to be comfortable enough in your own skin to say hello, to drive a conversation, and to put yourself out there. It's not the easiest thing to do, but it is necessary to gain notoriety online and in the gaming community. Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for more game networking and post-e3 content to come.
*Kmartgamer gave me the opportunity to attend E3 through their contest and covered my expenses.