Sam “King of the Hilltop”
In an earlier blog a number of weeks ago, we talked about the importance of finding your first followers. For more on that blog, you can go here. But in a nut shell, you don’t become a leader unless someone decides to follow you. You don’t become a sustainable company without customers. You need those first people to stand up and to follow you; otherwise, you are just a nut working on some crazy idea. The first followers are those people who follow you and show other people that they should come follow you as well.
In today’s article, we address where you find those people. We here at B.A. Games were able to talk to our first followers and ask them a couple of questions. What made you decide to follow us? Where did you find out about us?
Here are their answers:
He has been a regular contributor to our Facebook group and is always willing to help out in a pinch if we are teaching some new people or even hosting our community online board game night on Thursdays when I can’t make it in time.
Kenny was one of the very first followers we had that was willing to go the extra mile. If he is available, he is there in a flash to help out and did us a great favor by helping me teach and host online game sessions for Gencon Online. He has also been an invaluable play tester for our game and understands the process very well as he is a designer himself.
We affectionately call him Pyro but this man will stay up to the wee hours of the morning making sure someone playing Cult of the Deep is having fun and even hosts games of Cult of the Deep outside of conventions. He is very personable and is a big advocate of the game. A great cheerleader and I hope everyone can have one as good as Pyro.
“Cult of the Deep for me was a series of immediate firsts. From the moment I first saw the theme and layout pictured in a random discord post, I was immediately interested to get lost in it. As someone who already enjoys deception, I immediately wanted to play along the fine line of this new unique social intrigue. Once I first read the opening rituals, I immediately wanted to experiment with them. From my first dice roll to the end of my first turn…I immediately was hooked. Cult of the Deep has rapidly shot to the top of my favourite games and I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy. The art is beautiful. The gameplay well balanced and no two games are ever the same. Add to this the nature of the designers that immediately made me think ‘I like this guy’ and I might as well be in an actual Cult, it’s only a matter of time until someone brings the Kool-Aid.”
Summing It Up
Those first followers can come from a variety of places: mutual friends, conventions, Facebook, Discord, Twitter, and a whole slew of other places. We have a few more who have been very supportive and I can count on them for anything. One is from a local board game design group, a good friend of mine now. Another used to play video games with me all the time. Anywhere you meet people who like or play board games, you have a chance to meet your first followers. However, the common thread that I am seeing is they need to be invested in you as a person and it takes time. You need to find ways to reach out to people outside of just playing your game. Play other games with them. Start an online board game night. Enjoy your time in the hobby and you will meet other people and eventually your first followers.
Being A First Follower
Ed “Duke of BAzlandia”
So I am not personally much good at trying to figure out where to obtain these wonderful people. I think most people have experience with being a first follower. Everyone at some point in their life has been one. This may seem to be a claim that is unrealistic but if you stop and think, it is true. Everyone hasn’t necessarily been involved in big or trendy things, but I would dare say everyone can think to a time where a friend or family member expressed an idea or a project that they wished to pursue and you lent your support to that project or idea. Why is this important? I think not only are first followers special in that they bring others to the “cause” but also the support they provide the project and the creator/creators. So this brings us to three things we can do to be a great first follower.
- Be Supportive – Encouragement is key. We all have our ups and downs. When sharing something you have created with the world and with people, words of encouragement and positive feedback does wonders as a mood lifter. Nothing feels better then someone who not only says good things about your game but continue to do so in an earnest and honest way.
- Honest Feedback – Going along with the above, it is crucial to provide feedback that is honest. This can and should be critical when asked for or when feedback is requested. What you should not do, however, is provide unhelpful generic feedback. A good example of this is to say your game is not good because that mechanic is a bad mechanic. Now you may be right about the mechanic but your feedback is not really specific enough to actually be helpful. Provide that critical feedback and do it in such a way that you can be specific and provide as much detail and why as possible.
- Don’t Be Obnoxious – When providing both positive and critical feedback do so in the appropriate place, time, and know your audience. When supporting the creators it is good to spread the word about your newest and most favorite thing in the world. Do so in the appropriate forums where people are looking for that sort of information. For example: pitching your newest favorite hi-tech phone app in a woodworking forum. You might engage a few people but more then likely you are going to put people off. The same idea for critical feedback. If you enjoy a project but do have some critical feedback to provide the best option is directly to the creator or a place the creator has designated. What is not advisable is critical feedback in an open forum that could easily get out of hand and misconstrued. This has the potential to possibly provide a negative view for someone’s first impression, and is not providing the creator a direct line to you to better understand your feedback.
The above are three things that each of us can do to be a better first follower.
Let us all be better first followers.