Week 11 Personal branding

“Have you made any steps towards creating a personal brand? The idea comes naturally to some, while to others, the very thought of building a personal brand can make them cringe. If you can get beyond the marketing hype and buzz words, a lot of the time the personal brand is more about reputations and getting yourself out there. For this week’s Spark forum, we’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings about creating a personal brand. This is a great opportunity to share any resources you already have such as portfolio websites, social networking accounts, style guides, CVs or anything else you think is relevant” (Falmouth University 2020).

Social links

My branding is currently under construction because I am moving away from offering photography and hoping to find time to focus on illustration. I am designing a new website, with a portfolio of WordPress design and some illustration that I hope to complete in the beginning of the new year.

Steal Like an Artist (2012) and Show your work (2014) are two titles that greatly informed the way I started branding myself and sharing my work.

“All you have to do is show your work” (Kleon 2014).

Social profiles:

My career goals

One day I would like to undertake a PhD. I would like to create games, as part of a team. Currently, I have begun applying to opportunities that present themself. Internships like Die Gute Fabrik and entry-level jobs that fit my skill set.

The majority, if not all, of my freelance work in web design and photography, came through friends and friends of friends. Naturally, LinkedIn, Social Media and web presence is a factor in how to get work and many of my fellow photography students have achieved huge success by building their Instagram/Facebook/Twitter into a powerful marketing tool. My personal style builds a relationship with my clients, this limits the amount of success I have on social media because I like to know everyone who is following me, and I want to connect with everyone.

I think customer service, marketing and personal branding are miss-understood or undervalued in the games development world. Most startups immediately pour budget into social media marketing – which has returned huge revenue and success – but for a career of love (and most games developers) they shy away from literally any marketing. I’m always shocked by the many, many startup games studios who have not even built a website, or have websites with Lorem Ipsum and bugs and very little information.

Nathalie Lubensky has noticed the same void in customer relationships, marketing and branding and offers her experience and insight at GDC (Games Development Conference) in ‘Learn How to Up Your Game: Empowering Developers Everywhere.’ There is a careful balance to achieve. “Games are a business” and “you’re not making a game so no one will play it” (Lubensky 2019). Nathalie Lubensky’s talk on the GDC provided insight into the realities of the indie games market. “The biggest reason” indie games studio fail “is marketing” and a lack of “business strategy” (Lubensky 2019).

“Games have the reach of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, but they encourage much deeper emotional bonds” (Lubensky 2019).

Five Steps to Indie Game Success by Lubensky (2019):

  1. “Build your brand
  2. Grow your online presence – A well-designed website, social media,
  3. Game studios have an uphill struggle to compete with the big studios
  4. Work with Partners
  5. Know your Audience – your audience is everywhere (know how they want to pay, play and experience your game)”


“Hi Sarah. Good luck with Die Gute Fabrik – looks a great opportunity and the stories in your games so far have a real elegance. You’ve found some really good resources on marketing / indie and I’ve stolen the links to add to my watch list. I agree with you that to create an emotional bond with the audience you have to explain who you are and what you’ve done. I like music and art where the creator is honest, open, has something to say and the bravery to show it to people” (Griffiths 2020)

Reflection on Personal Branding

“The idea comes naturally to some, while to others, the very thought of building a personal brand can make them cringe” (Falmouth University 2020).

Marketing yourself demands a considerable amount of emotional honesty, which can be uncomfortable and make you cringe. You are asked to bare your dreams and your soul to the world, and explain to the world who you are and what you want from your audience. I have always been an open and honest person and yet I have been terrified to explain out-loud why I am here and what I want to do – why? Fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of being mocked – but how can I achieve my goals if I can’t open up enough to express them. And you must be prepared to tell the world that you’ve built a game and you would like them to play and love it as much as you do.

All the indie games studios I admire, the developers, designers, writers, artists, technical artists, animators and so on, invested in marketing and branding to some extent. Words like ‘narcissistic’ have been thrown around, in relation to promoting yourself but I don’t think any less of those creatives who have found success by using social media and an online presence to speak to the world.

To sum up, I want to create “deeper emotional bonds” (Lubensky 2019) with my audience and to do that I have to explain who I am, the game that I have created and how I want the world to play it.


KLEON, Austin. 2012. Steal like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative. New York: Workman Pub. Co.

KLEON, Austin. 2014. Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. New York, NY: Workman Publishing Company.

Falmouth University. 2020. ‘Week 11: Spark Forum’. Falmouth Flex [online]. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/872/discussion_topics/18817 [accessed 14 December 2020].

GRIFFITHS Paul. 2020. ‘Week 11: Spark Forum’. Falmouth University Discussion Board [online] Deccember 3. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/872/discussion_topics/18817 [accessed 14 December 2020].

LUBENSKY, Nathalie. 2019. ‘Learn How to Up Your Game: Empowering Developers Everywhere’ [online lecture]. GDC Vault. Available at: https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1026130/Learn-How-to-Up-Your [accessed 14 December 2020].