For every successful non-fungible token (NFT) project there are hundreds more that have failed to impress. While some may argue that it all comes down to luck, most successful NFT projects share key similarities when it comes to strategy. Here are tips for successfully launching and running an NFT project.
What makes an NFT project successful?
The measure of a successful NFT project revolves around its ability to maintain a high level of buzz even after launch. This is only possible when an NFT collection or project offers additional utility or valuable features, constantly evolving to keep up its appeal so as not to fizzle out into oblivion. Examples of the popular features among successful NFT projects are:
- Membership passes to exclusive events and content
- Early access to upcoming NFT launches
- The ability to use the NFT in existing or new games
So when creating an NFT project, your goals should go beyond attracting buyers at the minting stage.
"The real work starts after you sell one or all of your NFTs,” Kristopher Webster, founder of the Avatar Convention Center, told CoinDesk.
6 steps for creating a successful NFT project
1. Build a desirable product
The first thing you should do is research your target audience and determine what type of theme will appeal to them. For instance, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) depicts a future where crypto millionaires are bored out of their minds. So, they laze around and hang out in an ape-themed club. This theme quickly resonated with crypto holders and helped BAYC attract a large following.
You should find one or more utilities that will tie into your chosen theme. For example, you can offer users special privileges, including the option of owning intellectual property rights over their NFTs.
Alternatively, you can enable functionalities that allow users to import their NFTs into play-to-earn games. With this feature holders can use their NFTs as in-game assets and generate additional revenue.
As Web3 expands, so too do the potential use cases of NFTs. Therefore, when choosing utilities, be open-minded to the new concepts and trends constantly emerging in the Web3 space.
You can also attract the attention of your target audience by partnering with an artist who appeals to them. This is similar to how Reddit partnered with artists within the Reddit community. As a result, users feel like they are supporting one of their own when they buy Reddit Avatars. This same strategy can help you boost the support for your project.
2. Build a community
Note that you are competing with thousands of other NFT projects for market visibility. Therefore, it’s crucial to build a network of individuals who share and believe in your vision and can help take on the project as their own. This is how projects birth communities.
As Crass Kitty, head of product at Degenerate Ape Academy, told CoinDesk: "Art matters, utility matters, but the most important thing is finding your product market fit – who is going to buy/mint your NFT?"
3. Consider working with Web3-native agencies
In most cases, Twitter and Discord are the most popular social networking platforms among NFT enthusiasts. Hence, when choosing a marketing strategy you need to find individuals and agencies that know how to build followings on these platforms.
The most effective way to build and manage an online community is to hire a marketing consultant or marketing agency that has experience with Web3 because they know the most effective ways to reach Web3 audiences. They also know the importance of adopting innovative and compelling promotional campaigns, especially when competing with projects that already have a head start or a strong following.
Alternatively, you can hire an in-house team consisting of PR experts with experience in community building and management. A team that constantly engages with community members will quickly understand the different dynamics of the community and how to ensure that every member is actively participating.
It’s worth noting that you may have to pay above the market rate to get talented community managers who will agree to focus solely on your project.
4. Create a potent roadmap
To maintain a high level of buzz after a project or collection launches, you have to offer more to users than just the NFTs themselves. For instance, BAYC's creators released Serum, an NFT that lets BAYC holders generate mutated versions or variants of the original Bored Ape NFTS. This was followed by the launch of a utility token, ApeCoin, that gives holders the right to participate in project governance.
It’s helpful to create a road map that outlines the types of applications that will become available to NFT holders in the future.
"By thinking long term, you can create an NFT that evolves over time, provides more utility and has enduring, and even increasing, utility value," Wyeth Ridgway, co-founder and chief technology officer of Random Games, told CoinDesk.
5. Set a fair mint price and royalty
The initial price of your NFTs could make or break your project. It is important not to price out the core members of your community and leave the future of your project in the hands of profit-chasing holders who do not share in your vision. If long-term success is the goal, ensure that your NFTs are reasonably priced.
One of the perks of launching an NFT collection is that it allows you to earn a share of the revenue generated whenever the NFTs are resold on the secondary market. Depending on the longevity of your NFT project, you can generate more earnings from royalties than launch. However, it’s important to ensure the royalty amount is reasonable so that NFT holders can still generate enough profit when they sell their NFTs.
6. Build a foolproof ecosystem
When it comes to blockchain technology it is imperative to build a foolproof ecosystem that is unsusceptible to the security risks associated with NFTs, including theft. So, how do you create a viable ecosystem? You can start by following these steps:
- Launch your NFT ecosystem on reputable and viable blockchains: The sustainability of the base network where your NFTs exist indirectly determines the viability of your project. As such, it is advisable to consider speed, security and decentralization when choosing a blockchain network.
- Audit your software: It is imperative to hire a reputable software auditing firm to confirm that your codes do not have loopholes.
- Launch NFTs on reputable NFT marketplaces: NFT marketplaces provide the tools required to create, sell and buy NFTs. Depending on your preferred blockchain network, you may have the option of choosing among two or more NFT marketplaces for the launch of your project. If this is the case, consider an array of factors, including user experience, security and trading volume when choosing an NFT marketplace.
Explore NFT best practices with the pros at Consensus 2023
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to launching a successful NFT campaign. It is most important to find a solution that is best suited to your audience and brand while keeping best practices in mind. Join us at Consensus 2023 to learn from, and connect with, the most successful creators and brands launching NFT projects. The Web3 Creator and Brand Summit at Consensus 2023 is the place to hear from influential artists, entrepreneurs and companies that have successfully integrated Web3 technologies into their businesses.