The #1 Secret To Getting Customers If You’re A Small Indie Game Developer (And A 3 step action plan)

To build a successful game studio, you have to learn how to market your game and get customers.

You might be the best developer in the world.  You might have the most unique indie game.  You might have the best looking art.  Your game might be a lot of fun to play.  But if you can’t get customer’s, your game studio will not succeed.

And to get customers, having a quality indie game isn’t enough.  You can’t just put up a Steam page, post on Twitter or YouTube or TikTok and expect players to line up and just throw money at you just because your game is quality and looks cool.

When the market is so saturated… when players have too many options… when players see quality indie games made by talented indie game devs everyday… you need to learn how to master the art of getting customers.

Think about it this way: how many talented game devs are there that are technically good at code, art, and design?  There’s a lot.  Everyday, I’m blown away at the quality of games small indie game devs are producing compared to not long ago.

Also, you and every other game dev have basically free access to the best knowledge to help them become even better developers, coders, designers, artists.  

But most of these talented game devs, with so much access to knowledge and training, and who are making cool looking and high quality games, are still having a challenge with visibility… they’re still having trouble finding players to play and buy their game.

So if you’re a small indie game studio… or a solo dev… and you’re making a high-quality, cool looking, fun game, but you’re not getting any visibility and your wishlist are low… and your Discord is pretty much empty… then here’s the secret to getting players to wishlist and buy your game…

The Number 1 Secret To Getting Lots Of Customers For Your Indie game…

The secret has a lot to do with good game design and progression systems.

Let me explain this first because it’ll make everything else you learn make sense.

When a player starts your game, they don’t immediately face the final boss. You make the player complete tasks, earn experience points, gradually increase their level and abilities once they overcome challenges.

Or when you’re playing a strategy game, you don’t give them all the resources they need right away. You make the player find resources, build structures, grow their population, establish trade-routes, etc.

In other words, if the challenge is greater than the player’s skill level, they’re going to drop out because it results in bad emotions like anxiety and stress (i.e. throwing a final boss at a player when their skills aren’t ready, they’ll feel anxious and stressed and drop out).

Or if their skill level is higher than the challenge, then they’ll get bored and drop out (i.e. giving them all the resources they need without having them to work for it).

In order for the player to feel engaged and motivated to keep playing your game, there needs to be a balance between their skill and the challenge.

You need to place little goals first so that they feel like their skill matches the challenge and they are motivated to keep going.

In other words, you need small action steps the player takes that leads them to bigger results over the long-term. This makes a good progression system.

I know you know this. I don’t need to tell you how to design a good game.

But what most game devs don’t know is…

Most Game Devs Scare Away Potential Customers…

Remember, good game design is where the player takes small action steps that lead to big results. And this happens over-time. Not right away. And it’s the same with getting customers.

And that’s the secret…

What most game devs will do is this:

  1. Go on Reddit and ask for feedback from other game devs
  2. Then when they feel their game reaches a certain standard, and they can actually show some content, they’ll start ramping up their marketing
  3. They’ll setup a Steam page
  4. And they’ll post on Reddit and Twitter, make YouTube and TikTok videos, or create a dev log
  5. They pump out as much content as they can in hopes that all this effort will build mass and attract players to their Steam page
  6. And when a player lands on their Steam page, the goal is to get 10,000 wishlist before their game launch

That’s basically the strategy.

But just like making the player immediately face the final boss… or like giving the player all the resources they need without any challenge, this strategy scares people away.

It scares players away because players are not ready to make the commitment yet. They still need time. Just like in a game, a player needs time to build their resources and skill to meet a challenge.

Same, too, in marketing: you can’t just throw your Steam page at a player. A customer needs time to build an opinion about you, your game, and see if the game is worth their time and money.

Also, when game devs do this, when they just focus on wishlists and getting players to land on their Steam page so they buy their game, they create marketing that feels impersonal, “corporate”, and distant.

People want to interact with people and not with a corporation or nameless, faceless studio.

To a game dev when they post on Reddit or Twitter or YouTube, it might feel like they’re trying to connect personally with a player. But from the player’s perspective, it’s just noise.

So many game devs do the SAME marketing strategy that it just all becomes noise to the player.

And because marketing itself is so saturated, to a player it’s “just another small indie game dev self-propagating again… yay”.

So when a game dev tries to push a player onto their Steam page just to get a wishlist or to get them to buy their game (or even to get them to join their Discord), it scares the player away — no matter how cool or high-quality the game is.

Let me explain…

To Get Customers, You Need To Build Small Action Steps That Lead To Big Results — Like You Do In Game Design

Again, it’s like putting the final boss immediately in front of your player… or it’s like giving the player all the resources they need without them putting in effort… this will just scare players away. You need to place small action steps the player takes that lead to big results. And this needs to take place over-time.

So you don’t want to throw your Steam page at a player and ask for a sale when a player first meets you and they don’t know you yet… just like you don’t want to throw a final boss at a player when their skill isn’t good enough.

So this is the number 1 secret: when you’re a small indie game dev or studio, you need the player to take small marketing action steps that lead to big results, over the long-term.

Don’t get me wrong… when you’re a Big Indie say like Supergiant Games, or if you ever worked for AAA game company, then marketing is very different. In most cases, all they have to do is post on social media, create a trailer, make advertising agreements with streamers, and make connections with game journalists. This effort will drive traffic to their Steam page, and lead to sales. And the more money they put into this strategy, the more effective it is (in most cases).

When you’re big enough, and have a catalogue of games, then traditional marketing works… but when you’re just starting off, you need a different strategy…

But here’s the key insight: when small indie game studios try the same strategy, they often fail. And that’s because these small indie game studios are missing one important key: trust and credibility.

You see, Big Indies and AAA game studios and publishers already have built some trust and credibility. So when these big indies and AAA game studios or a big publisher post on social media, or release a trailer, or get streamers to play their game, players already have some familiarity with that dev or publisher. So in most cases, all they have to do is announce their game, and that’ll be enough to drive sales.

Of course, not always.

But as a small indie game dev, announcing your game isn’t enough to get people motivated to buy your game.

No matter how unique, innovative, cool looking your game is, if a player isn’t familiar with you and your games, then it’s really hard to convince them to wishlist your game, let alone buy your game.

Again, that’s because big indies, AAA game studios and publishers already have some sort of bond and relationship with their players. They have built trust and credibility. All they need to do is announce their game, and pump money into getting their message out to as many people as possible.

But when you’re a small indie game dev with a very small studio, and you have a very small following or no following at all, you can’t use the same strategy.

You need to build that trust and credibility first before you show them your Steam page… or ask them to wishlist your game… or even ask them to join your Discord.

But “trust” and “credibility” are abstract terms. So let me explain in tangible terms what this looks like and exactly what to do, next…

How To Get A Lot Of Customers By Building a Trusted Long-Term Relationship First…

Remember how I said you might be the most talented game dev, have the most unique indie game, have very cool looking art, and a great story… but if you can’t get customers, then your game studio won’t succeed?

To get a lot of customers, you need to build trust and a relationship first. And this means making the player take small action steps to build that trust and credibility. Just like you do in game design: make the player take small action steps that lead to bigger goals.

But what most small indie devs will do is copy what Big Indies and AAA studios and publishers do. Small indie devs will post on social media, or get a streamer to play their game, or post a new trailer on YouTube. But no matter how much they try, small indie devs fail at marketing because they don’t have what the big game devs and publishers have: trust, credibility, and an established relationship with players.

So in other words, if you don’t have trust… if you don’t have a relationship… if you don’t have a bond with your customers, then it doesn’t matter how talented you are, or how high-quality your game is… if there’s no trust, then there’s no customers.

Again, it’s like having the best designed, cool looking, final boss. But if you throw the boss at a player immediately, it’ll scare them away. You need the player to take small action steps that lead to big results.

And it’s the same with indie game marketing. The secret to getting customers as a small indie game studio is building a relationship first. And that’s because players want to interact with people. People don’t want to interact with “corporate entities”. People don’t want to interact with people who are always self-promoting.

So let me show you an example of how this works. Then I’ll give you a step-by-step guide you can do right now to start getting customers.

Stair-Step Indie Game Marketing System

This is a technique I call “Stair-Step Indie Game Marketing System“.

The idea is to design a “progression system” where your potential customer takes small action steps that lead to a big result. And that result is them buying your game.

Here’s what this looks like… here’s the basic framework for your Stair-Step Indie Game Marketing System:

One: Look For Players Looking For You. Most game devs use the strategy of pumping out as much content they can in hopes that all this mass will gain some traction. So they’ll post on Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, or even create a dev log. And they’ll contact streamers or game journalists to help them “get their game out there”. This strategy often fails for small indie game devs because the objective isn’t to build trust, it’s just to get as many “eye-balls” on your game as possible. And this type of marketing often feels sterile, corporate and impersonal. A better strategy is to look for players already looking for you. I’ll show you that better strategy soon.

Two: Offer A New Person Who Just Met You Something Of High Value. A player meeting you for the first time doesn’t care about your screenshots… they don’t care about your life story… they don’t care about how many years you’ve spent on your game… they don’t care about how unique your game is… they only care about “what’s in it for me“. In the step-by-step action plan that you’re about to learn, I’ll show you how to offer a new player something of high-value so that you build trust and a relationship.

Three: Get That Player To Hang Out With You In One Central Spot. The technology or platform doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own subreddit, Twitter, Discord, email newsletter, or a Facebook group. What matters is, once you found a player looking for you, and you offered them something of high-value, then you need to encourage them to hang out with you online — in one central spot. I’ll show you how to do that soon.

Four: Share High-Value, Exclusive Content To Your Hangout. Once the person is in your “hangout”, then you need to continue to build credibility, trust, and motivation. How? Well, this is where now you can start sharing new features you’re working on. Or show them a prototype. Or give them exclusive access to your demo before you put it up on Steam. Also, invite them to be a small part in the development process. And interact with them. Again, people like interacting with people, not “corporate entities”. Treat them like you’d treat a friend where it’s not just you doing all the talking… but you’re also listening, and valuing their contribution and ideas.

Five: Convert. This is when the “rubber hits the road”. After you’ve spent time hanging out with your players, and built credibility, trust, and motivation, that’s when it’s ok to ask them for something now. This is when you need to be assertive and tell them that it’s really important that they wishlist your game because the game project success depends on it. And when the game releases, you need to be assertive and literally tell your hangout to go buy the game. It’s why you always here YouTubers telling you to like and subscribe. It works because most people are lazy and forget. Even if they love you and your work, you need to lead them to take action… and you do this by literally telling them what to do: “Hey, if you haven’t wishlisted my game, go to so right now. Here’s the link ________. It’s the best way to support me”. Or, “Hey, my game is releasing today, don’t forget to grab a copy! Here’s the link ________. Thanks again for your support!”.

Six: Follow Up Forever. This is how you “grow your game studio”. Now that you have customers, the name of the game is to KEEP them as a customer. In business, you make more money off of your current customers than new customers. That’s because it’s more expensive to acquire new customers. So it’s better to put your time, energy, and money into investing into your current customers.

That is the basic framework of the “Stair-Step Indie Game Marketing System”. So now let’s go into a bit more detail on the how-to. Let me show you exactly what to do, next…

Oh by the way… if you get stuck at anytime, I invite you to email me at help[at]howtostartagamecompany.com. Or join my Discord. Send me a message and tell me your biggest challenge. I’ll reply back with free help. No cost, no expectations, no obligations. I want to see if my marketing tools can help you find players and help you grow your game studio.

Anyway, here’s the how-to…

3 Step Action Plan: Stair-Step Indie Game Marketing System

Remember, the secret to getting a lot of customers is not about the quality of your game… it’s not about cool looking graphics and art… it’s not about talent… it’s not about effort… it’s not about making a unique game… it’s not about how many years you spent on the game… it’s not about your life story… it’s about them. People are selfish and self interested. They are always looking around asking “what’s in it for me!?!?”.

Yes, quality, art, your story — all these things are very important later on in the relationship. But when first attracting players, you need to lead with what they want — and less on what you want.

So if you can show and tell “what’s in it for me” to potential customers, then you’re going to build that trust, credibility, and a relationship. Because without trust, credibility and a relationship, it’s really hard to convince a person who just landed on your Steam page to wishlist your game, let alone buy your game.

People need time to familiarize themselves with you and your game before they make the commitment in buying your game.

So if you want your game studio to grow… if you want to find a lot of customers… if you want those customers to come back and support you financially and emotionally when you develop your next game… then you can’t do what most game devs do.

You can’t just post on Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and expect people to go visit your Steam page, wishlist your game, and buy your game at launch.

And you can’t expect that by pumping out as much content as you can, this will eventually gain critical mass, and all your efforts will gain traction and give you more visibility.

What usually happens is, game devs who become “content creators” and pump out content, just add to the noise. And when players get bombarded with self-promotion posts and ads, they just tune it out. Especially from game devs they never heard of.

And yeah, there will be games like Vampire Survivors that beat all the odds, and go viral for whatever reason. These games never have to do all this “trust and relationship building”.

The dream is to go viral without doing any marketing!!!

But these success stories are not the norm. Normally high-quality games made by very talented game devs get no attention because the market is full of high-quality games. Players have too much choice. There’s too much noise.

And no matter how much these talented game devs try to market their game, they get very little traction because it just adds to all the noise that players tune out.

So your best strategy isn’t to pump out content and hope you go viral… it’s not to become a content creator… it’s not about making advertiser deals with streamers or the press. This just adds to all the noise players tune out.

Your best strategy as a small indie game developer is to focus on building trust, credibility and a relationship with a player.

And I’m not saying don’t post on Twitter or Reddit or YouTube. I’m not saying don’t go approach streamers or journalists.

I’m saying that if these techniques aren’t working for you, it’s because you need to build trust and relationships first.

So to help you get started, here are 3 simple action steps you can take RIGHT NOW to get you your first true, die-hard, customer (or Discord follower or wishlister).

Once you learn this simple technique, you can do it over and over again to build a fanbase of die-hard players that will wishlist your game and buy your game at launch.

And even if your game has already launched, and you’re getting little sales, this technique will work too.

And remember, the goal is to create a marketing experience that feels like you’re building a relationship with a new friend. It’s not about marketing that feels sterile, impersonal, or “corporate”.

Ok, here’s what to do…

Step one: What Are You Rebelling Against In Your Genre?

To get a lot of customers, the very first step in marketing is to know what your game is and why players will play it. You need to know “what’s in it for me”.

So let me help you with that. Then I’ll show you how to find players who are looking for you.

Ok, let me show you what I mean…

To grab a player’s attention, you need to show and tell them “what’s in it for me”. You can’t expect the player to look at your high-quality, innovative game, and they’ll magically come up with reasons why it’s different from all the other hundreds of games that look and feel the same as your game.

If it’s hard for you to figure out what makes your game different from all the hundreds of other games, then imagine how hard it is for a player to do the same.

So, to help you figure out what makes your game different and unique, the best way to do that is to “pick a fight”. Or in other words, what are you rebelling against in your genre?

Let me show you an example of what I mean…

A good example is Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Back in January 2014, Warhorse Studios launched their Kickstarter. Here’s how they differentiated their game from all the other medieval RPG games they had to compete with:

Notice how they said, “you will not find dragons, half-naked Elven warriors, or wizards…”.

This is a time where players were tired of the same RPG formula they got from games like Skyrim, Dragon Age, Baldur’s Gate, and the Witcher. Warhorse studio solved a problem by giving players a medieval RPG game that is set in a realistic world, not a fantasy one. They carved out their own little niche in the medieval RPG genre. They “picked a fight”. They rebelled from the genre.

What’s my point?

If you want to find customers, you need to figure out that one “golden ticket” that separates your game from all the thousands of games that are competing with you.

Remember, your player isn’t going to do the “mental gymnastics” to figure out why your game is different and “what’s in it for them”. Part of your marketing message is to be clear and communicate what is different about your game… and identify problems in your genre… and show players how your game is fixing those problems in your genre.

So to do this, answer me this questions:

What’s the biggest problem in my genre?
What frustrates players most in my genre?
How does my game solve that problem or frustration?

Again, if you want to get a lot of customers, you need to know why your game is different from all the other games. And if your game is unique, you need to tell and show players why it’s unique because players are not going to put in the mental effort to find that out.

So go open a Google document… cut and paste those three questions above, and answer them the best you can.

Also if you get stuck at anytime, email me: help[at]howtostartagamecompany.com. Or join my Discord.

Send me a message and tell me your biggest challenge. I’ll reply back with free help. No cost, no expectations, no obligations. I want to see if my marketing tools can help you find players and help you grow your game studio.

Ok anyway, once you got that done, let’s move onto…

Step 2: What Are 3 Popular Games Similar To The Game You’re Making?

In step one, I had you “pick a fight” and rebel against your genre. I made you try to figure out what problem your game is trying to solve in your genre. The reason you’re doing this is because you want to show and tell a player why your game is unique, different, and “what’s in it for me!?”.

But being innovative and different isn’t enough to grab attention. In fact, a lot of indie games are different and innovative.

You see, players say they want innovative, unique games. But just because a game is unique and innovative, doesn’t mean players will line-up and throw money at the game.

A player’s mind needs to “anchor” that unique game with a game they’re familiar with. They need to compare and contrast your unique features with something they are familiar with.

In other words, if you just show and tell them how innovative and unique your game is to help you differentiate yourself, then that info isn’t going to “stick” in the mind of a player. Again, players need a way to compare and contrast something new with something old so that they can understand how that new thing will benefit them.

And don’t get me wrong — a big AAA studio or publisher that has a catalogue of games, and has built-in trust and a relationship with players, then it’s easy for a player to compare and contrast the new with the old. Because the player has a history with that game dev or publisher, it’s a lot easier for them to understand how the new game will benefit them.

But when you and your game studio has no catalogue of games, and no built-in relationship with a huge fanbase, then a player will have a hard time looking at your game and seeing what makes it unique, different, or better.

Again, that’s because there’s no contrast or context. The player has no “anchor”. And the player won’t take the time to compare and contrast your game with other games because they have no idea how. They haven’t put in years thinking and working on your game like you have.

So it’s too much effort for them to figure out how your game compares to other games they are familiar with. There is no “anchor”. It’s hard for them to see any benefit in your new innovative features because they can’t compare and contrast.

In other words, the player will see your innovative feature, and their brain won’t connect “what’s in it for me” because they don’t have that context…. the don’t have a way to compare and contrast.

So innovative, new, cool, unique features can’t sit in a vacuum. A player needs some sort of context to help them figure out “what’s in it for me”.

So this is why I want you to pick 3 popular games that are similar to the game you’re making and marketing.

And the reason why you’re doing this is so that you can help the player compare and contrast your new cool feature with another game. This is important because this is how a player can instantly understand “what’s in it for me!”.

Think “Skyrim but with guns”. A player instantly can compare and contrast something new with something old. In less than a second, they know “what’s in it for me”.

And I know you’re probably asking…

“How is all this going to help me get a lot of customers?”

Well, let’s keep going and all of this will make sense in the next step…

Step Three: Approach Players Where They Hang Out, And Ask Them Their Opinion

I know… I know… most game devs all they want is to post on social media, get instant traction and positive feedback, go viral, and their Steam wishlists automatically jump from 134 to over 10,000 in a matter of weeks. Basically they want to take a pill, go to sleep, and all their problems are cured.

Sometimes you just wanna post on twitter and you wake up the next day with 10,000 wishlists

But any type of success requires you to take massive action.

It’s like learning game development. You had to get over the hump of learning code, or art, or game design. It wasn’t easy learning a game engine. But you knew that once you improved your technical skills in game development, you can make a game you always dreamed of.

In game development, there are no shortcuts. There are no “magical formulas” you follow. You can’t use a game engine, plop in some art assets you bought, and boom you got a high-quality game. Low effort actions result in low quality outcomes.

It’s the same with marketing. You can’t just post on Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, YouTube and expect to go viral, or at least get some traction. You can’t just approach streamers and hope that their audience will go to your Steam page and wishlist your game. You can’t just participate in Steam Next Fest and expect over 1,000 wishlists in one day. Low effort actions result in low quality outcomes.

And yes, there are exceptions to what I’m saying. There are indie games that “strike a chord” with players instantly, and they get massive traction with very little marketing effort. And they don’t have to do all this “marketing”.

But if you tried and failed at marketing your game… and if you truly want to get a lot of customers… if you really want to grow you game company so that it supports you financially… you have to get over a few humps (just like you did when you were learning a game engine).

What is this “hump”?

Talking to potential customers.

Game devs hate reaching out and talking to potential customers because it means rejection. It means putting yourself out there and facing a mob of angry, negative Gamers (gamers with a capital G).

Also, most game devs don’t even know how to reach out to players without sounding “salesy”.

But there is a way to approach potential customers in a way that is more natural. And there is a way to approach potential customers so it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to be too “salesy”.

Remember, the goal is to create a marketing experience that feels like you’re building a relationship with a new friend. It’s not about marketing that feels sterile, impersonal, or “corporate”.

And also remember, there are no short-cuts. There are no magic-bullet formulas. If you want to build an audience based on trust, credibility, and build relationships with players so they buy your game at launch, you have to take some “grass root” actions, like talking to potential customers. You have to get over the difficulty “hump” just like you did when learning a game engine.

So to help you get over this “hump”, let me show you exactly what do to…

Ok, so far you have two puzzle pieces:

  1. What problem does your game solve in your genre? What makes your game unique, different, innovative? How are you rebelling in your genre?
  2. What 3 popular games are similar to the game you’re making?

You learned this in Step 1 and Step 2.

Now, let’s put these two pieces together, and let’s find players that are looking for you.

Here’s exactly what to do:

You need to go where your potential players are already hanging out. And in 2024, the best place right now is Reddit. In a few years this might change. But as of right now, you literally have access to thousands of players just a click away.

Ok, here’s what to do…

You know how you picked 3 popular games that are similar to your game? Well, most likely there is a subreddit for each of those games.

Now, what you’ll do is…

  • Find the subreddit for each of those 3 popular games
  • Go find a new-ish post that has a lot of engagement
  • Go into the comments
  • Find a user, left click their name
  • And you’ll see a “Chat” button, click that and send them a message (see below)

So for example, say you’re making a game similar to Celeste. Go visti r/celestegame. Find a new post. Go into the comments. Find a user. And send them a Chat request. Here, let me show you…

Find players looking for you by going to a subreddit for a game that is similar to your game, and start engaging with potential customers…

Ok, good. Now here’s what you’ll write to this user. Remember, you’re doing this because we are “stair-stepping” the marketing process. Your goal isn’t to sell your game, or to self-promote, or to spam. You are genuinely seeing if you can connect with another person who shares the same interests as you.

So, here’s the script:

Hey, can I get your opinion on Celeste? What frustrates you the most with the game? And what do you love the most?

The reason I’m asking is because I’m developing a game that is like Celeste. But instead, I’m adding ____________ feature. And your opinion would help a lot to see if this feature is good or not.

Thanks for your time.

Ok, notice in the script where I say…

I’m adding ____________ feature

This is where you’ll add in your new, innovative feature. This is why you did “Step One: What Are You Rebelling Against In Your Genre?“.

This works because this is what will make that player perk up and grab their attention. They’ll perk up because it’s about their self-interest and less about yours.

Again, what you’re doing here is “anchoring” your new, innovative feature with a game that a player is familiar with. The player doesn’t have to mentally work hard to figure out “what’s in it for me”. The player can easily compare and contrast the new with the old.

And I know you’re learning a lot of new stuff… so if you get stuck at anytime, remember you can email me at help[at]howtostartagamecompany.com. Or join my Discord. Send me a message and tell me your biggest challenge. I’ll reply back with free help. No cost, no expectations, no obligations. I want to see if my marketing tools can help you find players and help you grow your game studio.

Ok, next…

How Does This Work In Getting A Lot Of Customers For Your Indie Game?

The secret to getting a lot of customers for your indie game isn’t about posting on social media, getting streamers, getting PR.

The secret is building trust, credibility, and a relationship with players.

This is why if you’ve tried posting on Twitter, Reddit, TicTok, YouTube, and you’re not getting traction or visibility, it’s because marketing itself is so saturated. Players see high-quality, cool games from small indie game devs all the time. And players just don’t care. It’s all noise to them. It just feels like another game dev trying to advertise their game.

But if you can connect with a player at a personal level, and show them “what’s in it for me”, then that’s how your marketing can work in getting customers.

And these three actions step:

Step 1: What makes your game different from all the hundreds of games out there… how are you rebelling from your genre?

Step 2: What popular games are similar to your game, and how are you doing things differently from those games?

Step 3: Go talk to potential customer everyday and get their opinion on your game project and game features and game ideas

These three actions are the “basic building blocks” of good marketing that gets customers.

Think about it this way: in coding, you have variables, loops, functions, classes, objects, if-then statements. You take these “building blocks”, put them together, and out emerges something brand new… something greater than the sum of its parts. These are the “building blocks” you use to code an entire game.

It’s the same in marketing your game that gets customers. Knowing what your game is, why it’s different, showing and telling a player “what’s in it for me”, and talking to them one-on-one are the basic building blocks of good marketing that gets customers.

When you put these building blocks together, out emerges something brand new: a marketing system that attracts players and motivates them to buy your game.

Let me explain…

A New Way To Market Your Indie Game That Doesn’t Feel Salesy Or Impersonal

Talking to players one-on-one is vital because this is how you build that trust, credibility, and relationships that is important when somebody buys your game.

To make any buying decision, people need to justify their purchase somehow. People will rarely land on a Steam page for the first time and impulsively buy the game.

A relationship needs to be established first.

But here’s the best part…

As you talk to players like this… as you slowly build that relationship… this is the start of your growing community of die-hard fans that will vouch for you and spread word-of-mouth for you. This is how you build a community that will support you financially when you launch your game.

So as you approach potential customers, and you talk to them, tell them where they can hang out with you. Again, it doesn’t matter if its Discord, your own subreddit, Twitter, email, etc. As you speak to players, tell them where they can join you to hang out with you.

And you don’t need a demo, or prototype. You can start now with just an idea. You can go right now and ask players on Reddit what their opinion is on your ideas. And if they love your idea, they’ll want to join your journey.

As you start developing your own small group, then you can share with them updates, news, features, and ask them their opinion on features and ideas. Invite them to be part of development. And reward them by giving them exclusive content. For example, tell them that they’ll get to see the demo months before you put it up on Steam. Tell them you’ll put them in your game as NPCs. Reward them for their support.

And as you get closer to finishing your game, remind them to wishlist your game. And remind them of your release date. Tell them that wishlisting is important because without their support, then this project would never exist. And wishlisting and talking about your game with other players is the best way they can help you and support you.

Also, even if you released your game and you’re not getting any sales, not all is lost. You can salvage your game by talking to players like this also, one-by-one. Somewhere there are thousands of players who want to play your game. But they can’t find it because sometimes niche small indie games don’t do well on Steam. But you can still find these players. You just gotta go out there and do the work.

The idea here is to talk to maybe 5 – 20 new players a week. You don’t have to spend hours making TikTok videos… you don’t have to post on Twitter… you don’t have to become a content creator.

All you have to do is put all your time and resources into talking to your potential customers… one-on-one, personally, so that you develop trust and credibility first before you ask them to wishlist your game or buy your game.

Make a commitment to talk to 1 or 2 potential customers a day. Five times a week. It’ll only take 15 – 20 minutes.

And that’s all.

You’ll see how these small action steps add up to huge results. These small steps, done everyday, will net you big results.

What I mean is, as you talk to players like this, and as you start building a small following, there will be a moment where these players will also start attracting other players. And as your community grows, you’ll have to do less and less of this one-on-one work. Your community will build mass and help you attract more players through simple word-of-mouth.

But it all starts with building trust, credibility, and a relationship. It all starts with you taking the very first step, and sending a message to players on Reddit.

You can’t do this by just posting on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, TikTok. Low effort equals low quality results.

And yes, there are games that explode on social media without all of this work. But if you’ve tried marketing your game, and nothing is working for you, then it doesn’t mean you have a bad game… and it doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for your game. It just means players can’t find you. And the only way to find players is to go out there and find them.

Ok, here’s what to do…

Your Action Step Right Now To Get A Lot Of Customers For Your Indie Game…

You’ve learned a lot. But learning doesn’t happen until you experiment and do something in real life. Don’t get stuck in the “learning vortex”. This is where people just consume tutorials and learn as much as they can, but never take action. And after 4 years they’re not any further from when they started.

So take action right now because if you want to get customers for your indie game, and all your marketing efforts aren’t working, then try this technique. You’ll see right away how useful and powerful this is.

And I know that most game devs just want to keep posting on social media, and hope that all their effort and content will eventually gain traction, and it’ll start getting players to go to their Steam page. It’s human nature to want to solve all your problems with the least amount of effort.

But just like game dev, the less effort you put in, the lower the quality of the product. You can’t expect to develop a high-quality game if you just buy some art assets and get somebody else to do the coding. The more effort you put into it, the better the product.

It’s the same with marketing. The more effort you put into it, the better your results.

I’m not saying that posting on social media and making videos is low-effort or easy. I’m saying that you can’t rely on other platforms to do all the work for you. You can’t rely on Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and even Steam to do all the marketing for you. You have to take the initiative and do the marketing yourself.

So do this right now…

Go find a subreddit of a game that is similar to your game you’re working on (or game you have released).

Find a commenter. Left click their username. Send a Chat request. And go ask them this:

Hey, can I get your opinion on Celeste? What frustrates you the most with the game? And what do you love the most?

The reason I’m asking is because I’m developing a game that is like Celeste. But instead I’m adding ____________ feature. And your opinion would help a lot to see if this feature is good or not.

Thanks for your time.

Ask 3 – 5 people today. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a reply back. That’s ok. But keep trying.

Oh! Don’t spam. Don’t go sending Chat requests to 50 users. Reddit will think you’re a bot, and temporarily block you from sending out Chat request. Take your time.

Remember, the secret to marketing your game and getting customers is all about trust, credibility, and relationship building.

So do this right now because I believe that you’ll start seeing results right away. You’ll see that some people will love your idea so much that they’ll want to join your journey. They’ll want to help. They’ll want to spread word-of-mouth. They will wishlist. And they will buy your game. This is how you get a lot of customers when you’re a small indie game dev and all of your marketing efforts haven’t been working.

if Your Game Launches In A Few Weeks And You Only Have 129 Wishlists, Here’s What To Do To Grow Your Audience and Have A Successful Launch…

In The FREE “Wishlist Workshop” You’ll Learn…

  • Goal is to help you double or triple your game’s wishlists so that your game launch is a success
  • How to differentiate your game in a way so that it “rises to the top” in an overcrowded market place
  • What your player wants so that way you can create content that grab’s their attention
  • Optimize your Steam Store page so that more people wishlist your game
  • How to drive MORE traffic to your Steam page using attention-grabbing content
  • How to develop a relationship with streamers and game journalists even though you’re a small indie dev with no connections
  • How to build “word-of-mouth” for free so that your fans do the marketing for your

This is a FREE 6 week course. Each week you’ll get an insight that is easy to understand. And you’ll get a step-by-step guide showing you how how to execute that insight. And after 6 weeks, the goal is to help you grow your wishlist.

Start NOW. Click the button on the right to download your free copy of the “Wishlist Workshop”, and start growing your audience!

Thanks! And looking forward to helping you find players!

Later,

Dariusz Konrad
Port Stanley, Ontario
Canada