Haven’t landed your first custom music job for a video game? Or you don’t have as many scoring gigs as you’d like? Here’s my best strategy for getting paid VGM work in 2019.
The art of networking, personal branding, & content marketing are certainly useful strategies for long-term / repeat business with clients, but what about getting work today? After over a decade writing for video games, I’ve noticed an interesting trend: there are fish waiting to be caught, but very few fisherman. In fact, at the time of this writing, I used this strategy to contact about 10 developers this week and have already been hired for 2 game soundtracks. This stuff works. On to the good stuff…
On Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn – search hashtags for screenshots / GIF’s of games you love (#screenshotsaturday and #indiedev are personal favorites)
Direct Message (DM) the game developer. Give a compliment of the game, say that you’re a music composer of ______ games (state your micro-niche here), & offer to write one track free to use in their game or for online promotion.
If the developer responds YES, write said track, do an exceptional job, and send it back quickly (within 24-48 hrs). Record a quick 30-second or less video of your talking head saying how much you were inspired by the game and how you enjoyed contributing to the project in even a small way. Offer to score more of the game if they’re interested.
Developer replies back blown away by your work and:
A: hires you now to score their game; or
B: already has a composer, but puts your info in a safe place to hire you for the next project; or
C: refers you to one of their game developer friends
In any case, you now have an upgraded portfolio, a new video game credit, & new relationships with people you actually want to work with.
Rinse and repeat this formula every day until you get paid work. For some, it will only take one track. For others, it will take 50. But this works every time if you have the work ethic.