Hi, I'm Blake. my big project is a tower defence game called 'Forgive Me My Henchmen'. you play as a typical head 'bad guy', deploying henchmen and sabotaging a building to delay an unstoppable one-man army.
I am working on creating my trailer, so recently had to commission an artist to draw some images that the trailer will need. I created an ad, got a decent number of responses, then had to decide who I would use.
I wanted to make a quick blog entry explaining why one of the most important factors I based my decision on was the artist’s ‘trustworthiness’, and how the artist managed to come across as trustworthy. I can’t speak on behalf of all who commission artists, but hopefully, writing this will especially help those artists who have a ton of skill and act professionally, but aren’t necessarily standing out in the market in the way they deserve to.
From the offset, the artist made an effort to establish his trustworthiness. When he first wrote to me, he even described himself as a ‘reliable and versatile’ and provided the link to his website. On his website was not only his portfolio, but also a ton of positive reviews that he had received from previous clients. I can’t stress enough how important these testimonials were to me.
For me, one of the biggest fears that I have when doing business via the internet is that I’ll be ripped off. Either I’ll pay the artist and they end up being like Patrick Swayze and GHOST or that they will be difficult to work with. For those reasons, building trust is so important when doing business online. When a ton of clients write on someone’s site saying how awesome that they are to work with and how they can be relied upon to come through, the risk I’ll be ripped off or be dealing with an unprofessional feels waaaaaaay smaller. Simply put, in my opinion, collecting and displaying positive testimonials from previous and satisfied clients builds trust.
Another thing that builds trust is when an artist (eventually) uses their actual name. I know it is not safe to overshare one’s personal information on the internet, but when you have been calling someone ‘Generic Designs’ or something similar for days/weeks, you don’t know what country they live in, you don’t know if they have a face, you don’t even know if they actually exist - when that happens you wonder why they are being so secretive, and consequently, what they are trying to hide.
I am not saying this is logical (it would be incredibly easy for someone to create a scam profile), BUT I am saying that this is what goes through my (and likely many others) heads. I don’t need to know someone’s life story about them to be able to trust them, but I do need to know that I’m dealing with a person and not a nameless, faceless, locationless entity. The more ‘human’ someone comes across as, the more one trusts them. That is why even companies make an effort to have a personality as opposed to being seen as cold, emotionless, impersonal institutions.
When I was faced with choosing an artist, it was the one who provided EVIDENCE that I could actually rely on them to do a great job - in the above ways - who got the nod of approval.
So all in all, find a way to signal to potential clients that they can trust you. I think testimonials and sharing (but not oversharing) some basic information can be a great way to do that. More importantly though, be trustworthy! If you are trustworthy, and end up signalling it effectively, then you definitely deserve all the great business that will come your way. (If, however, you are a scam artist who reads this to try and figure out how you can scam more effectively, then I hope you get a papercut you swine!)