I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now, it feels oddly personal but in the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I wanted to address some things.
There has been a lot of talk in the hobby recently about content creators and whether they should be able to make money from the work they put into creating content for the industry and a lot of this talk is focused on YouTube videos. It’s widely known and accepted that many ‘Kickstarter Previews’ or ‘How to Play’ videos are sponsored, and rightly so! Having started making video myself this year, I have learnt the insane amount of work that goes into making and editing videos!
Yet when it comes to social media it is seen as somehow taboo to accept money in exchange for creating content for a game. I think the negative view on this practice stems from the rise of the ‘Influencer’ and the dishonest start that industry had. It was unregulated and payment and relationships were often not disclosed. But there is no denying that social media plays a huge role in online marketing and industries outside of board games are using it to it’s full potential, in honest and transparent ways.
Just to be clear, I don’t claim to be an influencer (I couldn’t influence my way out of a paper bag) but I do enjoy making recommendations and helping people find games they love. My favourite messages are ones were new gamers are asking for advice and I often go way over board and send them a huge list of games to look at!
Over the past couple of years my Instagram account has grown to have a substantial audience. I have done this organically, without the use of dishonest tactics or bots and I’m pretty proud of what I have achieved! I’ve been asked more times than I can count to repost someone else’s content on my account in exchange for money and the answer is and always will be NO, I take pride in the content I post and it will always be MY content.
HOWEVER after a lot of contemplation I have decided to offer promotional packages on my Instagram account in a way that I believe will serve everyone and this is the reason for this rambling post. I want to let you all know what it means and why I’m doing it!
How I’m doing this
The main thing you will see popping up on my feed is Kickstarter Preview posts (kinda like a bite-sized version of preview videos). These posts will use my own photos of the game and have a written overview in my own words.
I am selective about which games I choose to promote on my account. If it doesn’t feel like a good fit, or it doesn’t appeal to me personally, then I will not feature the game. I also don’t want to take on so much that it floods my account with paid content, I want the majority of my account to remain as it is.
If I am previewing a game on my feed, then I will play the game before posting about it! However, as with all previews, I will not give much of an opinion, if any, on the game. It will instead be an overview of the game and how it plays. Any opinions given will be my own honest opinion as always, but I do not ‘review’ prototypes.
Due to regulations, all paid promotion or sponsorship on Instagram has to be declared as early as physically possible, so the caption will start with the hashtag #ad. While I think the word ad feels a little strong as I am not reposting other people’s content, it’s the simplest way to ensure absolute transparency!
Why I’m doing this
I have a full time job, 9 – 5.30 Monday to Friday. My evenings and weekends are spent running my own business, Mint & Mustard and making board game content. This is basically a second full time job! My dream is one day to be able to quit my day job and focus purely on my own businesses but this can’t happen while I keep doing a lot of work for free!
I want to offer a more affordable option to small publishers who want to get their game in front of the right audience on a smaller budget. Preview videos are great and absolutely necessary, but social media is often overlooked so I hope that my packages can help bridge the gap.
I want to be able to bring new games to your attention whilst maintaining the integrity of the work I’ve been doing for the last couple of years.
I also kind of hope that being honest about this might help other content creators in the industry consider what their time, expertise and audience is worth.
one more thing
I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you! For reading my blog, my reviews, following me on social media. I fully appreciate that without you all I would not be able to offer these services and I will always be grateful for all the opportunities my audience has granted me. I truly hope than none of you feel let down by this decision as it was not one I made lightly.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above, please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out via email.