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0 to 100 Instagram Followers Speedrun

It started when my friend (who requests to be unnamed) posted this in my marketing channel.

This friend has about 1k followers on their main art Instagram. One day they decided to make a new side account and just posted old art to it with good tags. Over the course of around 15 hours, they went from 0 to 20 followers.

As a marketer (but an artist first and foremost) this intrigued me. At this time I was only on Instagram with my company’s account (@CrystalGameWorks), but I didn’t fully understand it. However, this made me want to try something…

I’ve been drawing for, come November, an entire decade. I have a lot of art finished. Sure, a lot of it isn’t great, but there’s a fair amount of pieces from the past few years that are serviceable. While some of the pieces might not look great to me, someone else might think it looks fine. So, I started digging them up and created a challenge for myself.

On May 6th, I decided to create an art Instagram for myself and upload once or twice every day until my birthday, May 30th, or until I reached 100 followers. How quickly could a new account reach 100 followers? What’s the best ways to increase engagement? How do you get people to even notice you? These questions and more will be, er, somewhat answered…

Click page 2 to continue!

Articles

Boys Love Media Survey Results

A few months ago foleso and I were sitting around as usual trying to answer the 2930809384 questions we have about marketing and target audience and whatnot. We were talking about boys love / yaoi media—namely, who the target audience for all ages games were. Most of the boys love games we see are 18+, while both of us would rather make all ages games.

As marketers, we come up with assumptions and then try to prove them wrong. Marketing ≠ advertising. Marketing is about trying to find who can benefit from your product/service and how to better build it for them. We had a lot of assumptions about yaoi fans and what they enjoy, so the only next step was to test those. I started a survey.

Some terms, before we get started:

  • Yaoi: a term in ENG fandoms typically to mean boy x boy gay content, though not used often in JP fandoms
  • Boys love (BL): a term meant for boy x boy gay content
  • Boy x boy (BxB): two gay guys. Guys who like each other romantically. Don’t know how else to phrase this.
  • Male/male or Men loving men (MLM): this doesn’t mean multi-level marketing scheme. It’s basically the same as BxB except some people use this term to refer to character who are older.

As I mentioned before, foleso and I are both fans of boys love media, but we know our tastes don’t represent the majority. Our assumptions at the beginning were:

  • People who use the term “yaoi” want 18+ content and are typically younger
  • People who use the term “boys love” are fans who have liked BL content for years, are more into gay content in general, and are typically older
  • A majority of BL fans want fandom content and got into BL media through fandom
  • A majority of BL fans identify as women

The survey we conducted ended with 222 responses and was posted on Discord, Twitter, Amino, deviantArt, Facebook, and more. We asked people to share it around, especially other BL game developers, since our reach is only so big.

Click page 2 to get started! (Warning: very long)

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Enamored Risks Postmortem

Enamored Risks was my / Crystal Game Works’ NaNoRenO 2020 entry. At the time of writing this (or at least, starting), we released it a couple days ago and are currently working on the Steam build.

A few stats on the game:

  • It’s a little over 52,000 words
  • It has 3 routes- 2 male (Finn & Paxton) and 1 female (Zaina)
  • 10 artists submitted promo art
  • Started accepting team member applications in mid February
  • Over 100 people applied for various positions
  • We required Discord for communication
  • Currently has almost 1,000 downloads on day 3 of Itchio

So, where to begin? I suppose the beginning…

Click page 2 to begin!

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Quick Update – Odd Times

I just wanted to make a quick update post to talk about the past month, what my next few months hopefully look like, etc. I also just… really wanted to put this down in writing? Namely, this whole “thing”. This whole pandemic. We’re in such an odd, scary time that most people never thought possible. Over spring break, my plans- my future- came to a screeching halt.

We decided to go to the beach, to the Mississippi coast just for a day or two (at this time, there had been no confirmed nor alleged cases in Mississippi). I had been making jokes with school friends on Discord ever since spring break started, but as the days went on things started to get more serious. “What if someone comes back from spring break with it” stopped being a joke and more of an actual future occurrence. The night before we were supposed to leave, all of the US’s borders to Europe (i.e. travel) were closed. Some people a few days prior had joked “what if they cancel school”. Now most of us were hoping they would. The next day, they did.

In one email, our Chancellor gave us an extra week of spring break, ordered all teachers to move to indefinite online learning, canceled all on-campus or campus-sponsored events, and postponed graduation ceremonies. (Exactly a week later he ordered us online for the entire semester, but I digress.) I love college- I love all of the cool events I get to go to and help put on, I love hanging out with friends, I love living down there. I hated high school- I never went to things besides choir trips, I had very few friends, and I just hated it. I’d been working on several campus events, all of which are canceled or slimmed down & moved online.

So, what am I doing now? I’ve moved back in with my parents (something I was planning to do after graduation for a time anyway). My job hunting has basically stopped- as has all my email threads with potential employers. I’m working on school work at home (typically from 12-5). I’ve been self-isolating for 3 weeks now. NaNoRenO has been going strong- there were a few road bumps but we’re still on track. I’ve been working on Asterism some still as well as another script on the side.

That’s about it. I wish I had all day every day to do VN dev, but sadly I still have the same homework load as before… I’m hoping things will pick up but in this climate that’s unlikely. I’ll be working on a few new marketing / dev editorials soon though!

Thanks for reading- stay safe and please don’t go to large gatherings!