If you want to make it as a freelancer (or even an influencer) in the world of tabletop role-playing games, you need to start by creating a strong personal brand. But what exactly is a personal brand? And how do you go about creating one? Many people in the TTRPG community are at a loss regarding self-promotion. This blog post will answer these questions (and more) as we explore how to brand yourself as a TTRPG or DnD professional.
So, What’s a Personal Brand?
Essentially, it’s the way that others see and perceive you.
When branding yourself in the TTRPG community, you want to be known for your kindness, helpfulness, and professionalism. At least most of you do, I assume. I guess you could make a successful professional brand as a jerk, but, I don’t recommend it. To do this, you’ll need to be known. Yes, this means putting yourself in places where you can interact with your target community.
Join Online Communities and Forums Related to Tabletop RPGs
One of the best ways to get your name out there is by joining online communities and forums related to tabletop RPGs. There are tons of these communities all over the internet, and they’re a great way to connect with like-minded people worldwide. Not only that, but many of these communities have weekly or monthly activities that can help you hone your craft.
The communities I personally recommend are Reddit, Facebook, Discord, Twitter, Hive, and Instagram. You can even create a private community through Patreon or Ko-Fi, though that will be easier once you’re better established. Discord is an incredible space for DnD nerds with opportunities for niche chat, gaming, and more. As a professional Dungeon Master, I even carve out private Discord channels for my players. It’s an extremely helpful tool and if you’re not on Discord yet, you should definitely get on that.
Attend Local Gaming Events and Meet People in Person
Another great way to brand yourself is by attending local gaming events and meeting people in person. These events are usually advertised online, so do a quick Google search to find ones in your area. Not only will you make some great connections, but you’ll also get to show off your work in person.
Before the pandemic, I used to attend my local game shop for DnD night as well as ASL night. I met a lot of great people that I’m still in touch with three years later. Even better than local game shop events? Conventions. When I tell you that conventions are crack to TTRPG nerds, I’m not joking. The community, love, hype, and support I feel when I’m surrounded by complete strangers at a gaming convention is immaculate. Everyone is in their total element and likely the most inspired they’ve been in a while. (Conventions are like community resets for me after getting exhausted from trudging through the chaos for months.)
Share Your Thoughts, Ideas, and Work With the Community Online and in Person
So you’ve joined some online communities and started attending gaming events, but are you sharing your thoughts and ideas with the community? This can be done online through social media, forums, or in person at events. Being open to feedback and constructive criticism is essential, as this will only help you grow professionally.
No, I’m not asking you to be yet another “hot takes” persona. There are plenty of those and we’re all a little bit over it. That said, sharing your opinions, struggles, and wins with the community will help them gather around you in support. Make sure you’re supporting your friends as well, though.
If you want to appear more laid back and approachable, share more than just your DnD thoughts. Share memes you find funny, snippets about your day to day life, and pictures of your cat. If you ONLY want to be known as the Strixhaven expert, you’ll want to reserve most of your content for that topic. What are all the things you can explore there? In an afternoon, I’m sure you could come up with a big chunk of sharing ideas around your chosen TTRPG niche.
When you’re representing yourself and your brand online and in person, always strive to be kind and professional. It’ll take you a long way.
Branding yourself in the TTRPG community doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a name for yourself in no time. Just remember to stay positive and be a good role model for other members of the community. And always represent yourself and your brand in a professional manner. Thanks for reading!