How to market your ICO without facebook or twitter
First things first, your idea has to be a good one. The better your idea, the more attention you will attract from experts/ the media/ investors, and the more likely you are to succeed.
Your idea has to be robust enough to be scrutinised every which way. It has to be unique, so research the competition – your tokens will be worth a lot less if they’re not bringing anything new to the table. Finally, it has to be commercially viable – in the words of Dom Kennedy, “if it don’t make money, it don’t make sense”. Unless you are a non-profit launching an ICO, in which case we applaud you. Anyway, if any of those is missing, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
So let’s assume your ICO does tick all of those boxes. Next up is your whitepaper. Your whitepaper should make it clear what your value proposition is, and should be easy to read and understand. It is essentially a marketing document. In my opinion, your whitepaper shouldn’t be longer than 20 pages – it simply doesn’t need to be. If your value proposition cannot be conveyed in under 1 minute with a crayon and a notepad, then it’s too convoluted. I would however advise having a separate technical paper for the hardcore to pore over.
Your project will be a lot easier to market if you have eye-catching, professional-looking branding. Get some proper brand guidelines done, and apply them consistently to everything from your site to your whitepaper to your business cards.
Think carefully about who you are targeting, and create buyer personas accordingly. What are they looking for from an investment? What sites do they visit? How much money are they likely to invest?
ICO calendars/ listing sites/ rating sites are a must. Some are good, some are not. Some of the best ones are free, and some of the mickey mouse ones cost an absolute bomb, so choose wisely. If done correctly, these sites can attract huge amounts of interest from exactly the right kind of people.
The Crypto Community
Engaging with the crypto community is key, both physically and virtually. Let’s start with virtually. Join relevant Telegram chats, Slack channels and Bitcoin Talk threads. Read lots, and when you feel confident, offer your own opinion on things. People will begin to recognise your name and value your views (hopefully). It’s a good idea to have a full time community manager, who can also answer any questions that arise and quash any doubts. Questions have to be answered quickly and in a concise, clear manner – one unanswered or poorly answered question can quickly lead to FUD and shouts of SCAM!, which in turn can put paid to a project. So choose a good community manager. On the physical side of things, go to conferences. The crypto community is pretty tightly knit, so be sure to network and make friends, it could get you a long way. Crypto conferences are a bit like ICOs; if done right, they can be very profitable, but there are plenty of them that are pants – so beware. Always check who the speakers and special guests are, and remember that effective networking and good business cards can be just as effective as big banners and exhibition stands.
As with any venture, vital to success is a good team. One that believes in the mission, and is willing to put in the work. People need to know they’re a good team, and this is where trust factors come in. This means readily available links to all of your team’s LinkedIn profiles, where Mr(s) Potential Investor can see a professional looking, business-like photo of them, and read about all of their relevant experience. Include the whole team, as lots of people looks better than too few. A good team is one of the most crucial factors for an investor.
You will also need advisors. They can be from the worlds of business, finance, economics, IT, computer science, law or investment. Make sure they have relevant experience though, and plenty of it – there’s no shortage of underqualified people willing to take your money. LinkedIn is a good place to look. In terms of payment, if you’re short of cash then shares, sweat equity, success fees and tokens are all popular alternatives.
This is a big one. If you do this right, it can work wonders for your project. A short animation that concisely explains your ICO’s value proposition can serve as an extremely effective marketing tool. An animation we created for the EZToken ICO racked up over 1 million views in under a week, and the ICO ended up selling out each round in seconds.
Have a look at our crash course on content marketing. Post articles you have created and curated and relevant news updates consistently. If you do this well it will be hugely beneficial, but if you do it badly, its worse than not doing it at all. You should be posting on LinkedIn, Medium, Reddit, Telegram and Slack. Also reach out to those in the press who might be interested in your project. Any coverage in the mainstream media, while not of primary concern, can still reap big rewards.
What it all boils down to. Everything detailed so far is ultimately to attract investors. For big investors, reach out through LinkedIn (there’s no shortage) and don’t get discouraged. You might contact 50, 100, even 200 people before you secure a big investor, but when you do it will all be worth it.
If you want a hand with YouTube channel management, creating an animation or ‘talking heads’ video, listing on rating sites, buyer personas, or anything else, give us a call on 0118 950 3381 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.