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998590 Posts in 39168 Topics- by 30582 Members - Latest Member: luisfelipeart

April 20, 2014, 03:55:28 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessHow do I market a consulting service?
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Author Topic: How do I market a consulting service?  (Read 1555 times)
shay.yizhak
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2013, 12:49:41 PM »

If you want your site to look more professional, and you can't create one yourself - please use web-templates. It's preferable that you buy a premium one, but if you can't - even a free one will look much better.
As it stand at the moment - the site is hideous (no offense). As a potential customer, if I can on to that site - I'll leave it immediately. I won't even bother reading the rest of your content.
Here's an example of a free template:
http://www.freewebsitetemplates.com/preview/businessworldtemplate/

If you don't like it - you can find thousands more on that site, and on templatemonster.com.

Do yourself a favor - buy a good one. Looks is EVERYTHING!


Wow, is it really that bad? What exactly puts you off about it? I don't understand what is wrong with it.

Didn't mean to offend. The site just doesn't look good. It looks like a site from 1999. Compare it to the link I sent ya, and you'll see it.

Don't forget - if you somehow manage to convince me to go to your site - that's the FIRST thing I see. And the color scheme (red, black and white) just doesn't work for that type of site. It doesn't scream PRO.

Check the sites I gave. Choose a better template. Your site should look like you put some real thought into it, and not just threw something together with some basic HTML. Trust me - no serious client will hire you while this site is the face of your company.

Also - remove the pricing from the site. Ask the client to leave contact information and get back to him. Putting the price on the site scares people off.
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Graham.
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2013, 01:05:16 PM »

I'm not talking about testimonials.... Do work for people so you can build a portfolio, then show your work to other people. That will be your fee: "hello, I will help design your game, but I'd like to share some of the results publicly."

Indies don't want to be told they need an overhaul, even if they do need one. Your review of Terraria seemed to miss the point of it. The game is about freedom. Not having a goal in it is a sticky issue. Minecraft has no goal and has sold 16 million copies. Use your head.

I am telling you, for one, that I value consultation, and someday would pay for it, just because "why not," but I don't want to have to justify what I know is great about my game to someone else who has their own ideas. I am making my game _because_ I have a special instinct about its core quality. That makes me an expert. ... You have to be very careful about when you try to overrule, and when you try to understand.

By "conversational" I mean you express your thoughts, but you don't present them as actionable items. You don't say, "do X, then Y, then Z, in these exact ways, accepting these kinds of costs." Turning what you suggest into a plan, at least a potential one, is a whole other step. ... You give the idea of solutions, not actual solutions. I can play any game and give the idea of solutions off the top of my head. Actual solutions take work. That's what the payment is for, ideally.

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Reactorcore
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2013, 02:42:16 PM »

Your site should look like you put some real thought into it, and not just threw something together with some basic HTML.

*It took me a couple weeks, lots of learning, planning, serious thought and serious design to build the entire website*

okay.jpg

Anyway, I see your point, but for now I'll consider it a question of different tastes. Every detail in this website was very deliberate in design and function. Later on if it really screws me over, I'll give it an overhaul using a template like you suggested.


@ Graham:

Most developers are quite seperate from each other and may not take kindly into intruding consultants to offer giving advice. Atleast I wouldn't take kindly to it, so I'm reluctant to do that.
I'd rather have myself out there for those who need me through being visible in places where I'd expect a developer to come looking for.
That and having my game project drive the traffic too.

This service is really for those who are ready for it and need it, hence its called "hardcore" since its specialized for such games, although not limited to them.

As for topics on who needs and is ready to an overhaul or whether terraria or minecraft wouldn't work with goals, it can easily turn into a flame war, since this is a thing where theres more to this than what meets the eye. I'd have to go great lenghts to explain the reasoning behind my logic for the feedback. This topic is not for that, but you're free to ask my PM or start a new thread about it.

It ties into the research for the infinite game, which is a very intricate thing in itself.

As for the whole "giving ideas for solutions", isn't that the point of game design consulting? I'm not gonna suddenly get access to the clients source code and do his coding work for him, now am I? Thats a whole different service.
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Graham.
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2013, 03:13:41 PM »

No, I'm saying you list a series of observations, instead of proposals to solve them. For example, many of your solutions had many problems of their own. These problems had solutions in your mind, I'm sure, if you chose to work them out, but you did not express them. Consulting is the following:
  1. Here is your product.
  2. Here is its flaws.
  3. Here are solutions.
You did half of step 1, all of 2, and a cursory look at 3.

The amount of work you do is up to you. I am just pointing out the biggest things for you to work on. Depends how much work you want to get.

Don't intrude on people. Offer free work, and share your results. Customers need an idea of what you are offering. ... The best way to get clients is to approach people directly, or pay for marketing. Then as you grow the word will spread. ... I don't know what you're thinking but it sounds like you're just expecting people to look you up. You need to get in people's faces I think.

There's no "flame war." I am not saying exploration is better or worse than goal-oriented games. What I am saying is that both have extremely strong cases, and the client prefers one over the other, and you are trying to change their mind. Dead end. They don't want that.
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_Madk
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 05:12:44 PM »

I find it fascinating that you expect people want so badly to receive your criticism that they should pay you money for it while you are so adamant against considering the criticisms that others have of your own work.
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CowBoyDan
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2013, 07:20:05 PM »

You can be a good design consultant and not know the first thing about marketing...

If you are a design consultant for a product to be sold (particularly en mass) you should kinda know something about the market itself, knowing the market goes hand in hand with marketing.  You design FOR a market.  Making the bestest most awesomest widgetgame ever means squat if there is no market for it.

If I am hiring a design consultant I would hope that he or she is going to be able to help me designing for an audience (ideally a large audience with disposable income).  Designing a game that other game designers love isn't going to help me.
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Graham.
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2013, 07:27:28 PM »

knowing a market is business. marketing is business too, but they are different things.
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Reactorcore
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2013, 06:42:16 AM »

No, I'm saying you list a series of observations, instead of proposals to solve them. For example, many of your solutions had many problems of their own. These problems had solutions in your mind, I'm sure, if you chose to work them out, but you did not express them. Consulting is the following:
  1. Here is your product.
  2. Here is its flaws.
  3. Here are solutions.
You did half of step 1, all of 2, and a cursory look at 3.

Ah I see.

The case of that Terraria post is not the full extent of what I do. You need to notice that this post was made in a very popular forum where suggestions are posted by the thousands. My post, although lengthy, was a very condensed version of what I had in mind, mostly intended to spark curiosity and not be a complete design document. If it did pick up, then I'd continue to indulge more details and solutions as necessary.

In a real work situation, I go through all the steps you described above.


As for your point about offering directly to potential clients (i.e cold calling), may not be such a bad idea after all. Its worth a shot anyway, but I need to be mindful who to approach.


On the topic of goalless/goal driven games, while they do indeed make strong cases by the way of statistics, that doesn't mean they're still the best option or that they couldn't be even better. If a client does not see the value in what I offer, then so be it. I won't shove it down their throat, but there is great potential to be had if they do accept it.
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evelynjolie
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2013, 12:16:16 PM »

i giv u gam design advic for free
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Graham.
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2013, 12:47:38 PM »

let's say a girl says to you, "make me a better baseball player," and you say to her, "well, men are statistically better, so the first thing for you to do is become a man." while this is a technically possible solution, and may in some cases be the desired one by the client, chances are that it is not what she is looking for. you can talk all you want about how much better boys are at baseball, she doesn't want to be a boy.

does terraria want to be a boy? I don't know. but I know for sure that if I wanted to hire you, I would want to know that you would support my values, and criticize my flaws. people don't pick values arbitrarily. their values are rooted in them. it is your job to determine what is personal and what is a mistake. you do this by listening, and having a conversation. this is what consulting is all about, delivering on the customers wishes, not your own.

beyond that, it is not even statistically proven that goal-driven games are better business decisions than open ones. Minecraft shows a hole in the market. you are wrong twice.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 12:54:35 PM by Graham. » Logged
Evan Balster
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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2013, 02:20:13 PM »

So I'm a programmer of considerable skill and a game designer as well.  I'm a little disturbed at the values you mention at the head of your site -- they suggest your inclination is towards the design of large-scale games.  I get the idea that any design I threw your way would be expanded into something "infinitely replayable" and "emergent" with a mountain of technical and content goals.  I'm perfectly capable of overdesigning a game myself, thank you.

You should acknowledge that most game developers are working on small-scale titles, iOS games and the like.  Those who are working on large titles but don't have dedicated staff designers are generally going to be independents, and independents who try to make large games universally do so because they have a design, however crude and oversized, that they're passionate about.

Which brings me to my next point -- you should rule out indie developers as clients.  Generally speaking we design our own games and our designs are personal.  We think they're good even when they aren't, and we've got places like TIGSource where people will write pages of feedback for us free.  This is nice because we don't have much money and generally don't mind showing our work off before it's done.

Your insistence on upfront payment is the next big red flag.  I make my money from freelance work, and I know that mutual trust is a huge part of a healthy relationship.  What your repeated mention of an upfront payment policy indicates to me is that you expect your clients to swindle you.  If you don't trust me, I don't think we can discuss something as personal as a game design.  After all, I'm trusting you with the details of that design by revealing it to you, and I'm trusting your judgment by seeking your input on it.

Your CV is also really limited and I generally have very little reason to believe you're good at what you do.  Learn to use a game-making tool and implement some of your own designs; it will make you a better designer while giving you valuable portfolio material.

Let me drive that last one home...

Game designers are like architects -- we think about how they draw out buildings and they are built thereafter.  But architects know how buildings are structured, supported, wired and ventilated.  Without a thorough understanding of how the idea is implemented and the constraints that apply, the idea is useless.  An engineer is a better architect than an artist, but a proper architect combines both skillsets.  So learn to program or you will fall behind.


The website looks awful and if you want a case against it being a matter of taste I can find ten people who agree with me.  On its own it wouldn't be so bad, but it tells me that your self-proclaimed taste in game design does not extend to visual aesthetics.  Sorry.  :/
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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2013, 04:50:34 PM »

Evan Balster++++++++
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shay.yizhak
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« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2013, 12:13:58 AM »

Quick question Reactorcore: how old are you?
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Fallsburg
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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2013, 05:01:15 AM »

 Without a thorough understanding of how the idea is implemented and the constraints that apply, the idea is useless.

This sums up everything I was going to say. 
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Evan Balster
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2013, 02:25:10 PM »

Also I apologize if I come off as harsh.  I'm trying to be honest, and in doing so I'm being blunt.  Don't mistake my words as antagonism; I try to help people learn and that's what I'm doing here.


EDIT:  One last suggestion is to stop being internet-anonymous.  That's another big no-no for an independent contractor.  Again, it's a trust relationship; if I don't even know your name, how can I trust you with my game design?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 02:47:37 PM by Evan Balster » Logged

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