The Visibility Cloak Method: How Composers Can Find Work

I remember back in 2016, I went to LA to speak at a game development event on the sound design of Hyper Light Drifter.


I went in, gave my talk, got my standard 3-and-a-half hour long standing ovation, and got off stage to mingle with the attendees for the rest of the night.


And one simple moment hit me so hard that it's stuck with me ever since.


As soon as I got off stage, a really great and lovely composer came up to me and asked "man, I'm really struggling to find work here. Do you have any tips?" He looked liked he'd been losing sleep over this question. It was easy to tell that finding work was stressing him out.


I gave him some tips on networking, posting online, doing talks, and general ideas on how to build himself up as a go-to composer. He thanked me for my time and went on his way.


Less than 20 seconds later, a local successful game developer came up to me and asked "do you have any tips to find a composer for my games? I can't find anyone."


Now, remember, this is Los Angeles. Everyone is a composer. We were in a room was full of them.

And still, in a city full of the world's best composers, this successful game developer couldn't find one. And he wasn't even looking for the best, or for some esoteric crazy style. He needed anyone to help him on his next game.


He was already successful and knew how to hire... and yet all the composers were invisible to him, as they are to most people.


There's a huge disconnect here, as I'm sure you can tell.


It may seem like good composers are everywhere, and they are, but the ones who actually make themselves known are less than 0.0000000000001% of the population. The problem usually isn't in their skill, but the fact that they're practically invisible.


Every composer focuses so much on their skill that no one knows they exist. You could write the best piece of music ever made, but if only your mom listens to it, it doesn't matter.


So let's talk about putting on a visibility cloak and letting people know you exist.


Most composers are wearing invisibility cloaks Maybe they write music regularly, but absolutely nobody knows it. They might even show up to a networking event or two every 8 months. But to find work in such a competitive field, we need to be pretty darn visible.


For us game audio people, being visible can mean many things, but to boil it down, it means: have an online presence of some sort (social media + a website), make it easy for people to contact you, show up to in-person and/or online events wherever possible, and post your work regularly (even if it's trash). That's it.


You'd be shocked how few people even have a way to contact them on their websites or social media. Whenever I'm looking to hire someone to help me on a project, I have to discard about 75% of people I had in mind because they make it impossible to contact them.


It's probably pretty obvious as to why we should do this But still, most composers never take these steps. If composin