Feeling overwhelmed by your blockchain project? Youâ€™re not alone. Spend a few minutes on sites such as ICOBench or CoinMarketCap and youâ€™ll see that more companies are wading into the world of crowdsales and cryptocurrency every day. Even traditional venture capital companies like Bain, Andreessen Horowitz, and Lightspeed have jumped on the bandwagon, participating in token sales for the first time this year (raising $133 million for Basis earlier this year, for example).
Researching the tactics and strategies of successful crowdsales can be useful, but simply following in someone elseâ€™s footsteps does not necessarily guarantee your success. If youâ€™re not sure where to start, below are 10 steps to guide you to a successful token crowdsale.
1. Create a WhiteÂ Paper
Without overstating it, your white paper will be the single most important document when it comes to the success of your token crowdsale. Why? This document outlines why anyone should contribute to your project. It should clearly state the problem you are trying to solve and how your project will solveÂ it.
Beyond this high-level information, you should also include technical details about your project. Such as, its architecture, development and implementation plans, how contributors can use your token, and information about the team involved.
2. Build aÂ Brand
Unfortunately, itâ€™s not enough to have a great idea; you need to create a real company to implement your project. This includes deciding on a company name, branding, and incorporating your business. You may be able to complete these tasks yourself, but itâ€™s likely that you will need to outsource or consult with contractors, for instance, a marketing agency to help with branding and a lawyer and accountant to provide advice about your business structure, incorporating andÂ more.
3. Budget for Development
How much will your project actually cost? Itâ€™s important to make sure that you have enough funds for at least six months before your token crowdsale, as you need time to develop your project, build a prototype, and market your crowdsale beforeÂ launch.
4. Clear Any LegalÂ Hurdles
Itâ€™s all well and good to have a plan for your project and to launch, but legal advisement, such as whether the token youâ€™re offering is a security or a utility, is not just highly recommended, it is required under the absence, currently, of a global regulatory framework. A legal expert with experience in blockchain is essential to avoid issues with regulators down theÂ road.
5. Plan a (Realistic) FundingÂ Goal
You should have a strategy for your token crowdsale in place well before launch day. This plan will be based on how much money you hope to raise from supporters.
The funding goal is just a start. Some initial factors to consider are the characteristics of your token, implementing a minimum and maximum cap, campaign timeline, and what will happen to tokens that arenâ€™tÂ sold.
Make sure to also look into other token-related factors, such as how much should be allocated to team members, advisors, marketing and more. Down the road, decide whether or not incentives to early contributors will be employed.
6. Establish a Timeline for Your Token Crowdsale
Once youâ€™ve set your funding goal and token allocations, establishing a timeline can help plot out exactly how you will reach your goal. Break out tasks by phase: pre-sale and public saleâ€Šâ€”â€Šessentially, determine what needs to happen before you launch, and what should come afterwards.
7. Develop a SmartÂ Contract
All token crowdsales require a smart contract to facilitate and govern the terms of the crowdsale. Engage an experienced smart contract developer for this stage of your project, as it is critical to the success and security of your launch. Your smart contract should be free of vulnerabilities to shield it from malicious attacks.
Even if you hire the best of the best, you still shouldnâ€™t rely on a single developer to complete such an important project milestone. Hiring an auditor may seem excessive when youâ€™re on a budget, but the cost will be insignificant compared to the potential issues you can face if your smart contract is developed with errors or securityÂ flaws.
8. Plan Your Marketing Strategy
Once you have all the pieces of the puzzle in place, itâ€™s time to consider how you will bring your token crowdsale to the attention of contributors. Your marketing strategy should employ different tactics around your pre-sale and public sale projectÂ phases.
For instance, you need to consider:
- Whether your website effectively reflects your brand and tells yourÂ story
- If you have enough content to educate potential contributors about yourÂ project
- How you can build and engage a dedicated community through email newsletters, events, and socialÂ media
- Whether you can generate industry or mainstream media attention through PRÂ tactics
- Where to advertise your token crowdsale to reach the rightÂ audience
- How to gather metrics and tweak your tactics to improveÂ results
9. Pull theÂ Trigger
Once youâ€™ve transitioned to the public stage of your token crowdsale, itâ€™s time to pull the trigger on your smart contract. A seamless execution is important, but you should also ensure that you are able to easily track the results of your token crowdsale and adapt accordingly.
10. Complete Marketing Tasks
Ideally, you will finalize promotional tasks ahead of your launch, leaving you to focus on contributor relations in the immediate lead up to launch and during the duration of your token crowdsale. Communicating with supporters before, during, and after the campaign will be essential to build credibility, motivate your community, and ultimately, ensure a successful campaign.
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for next weekâ€™s post to find out more about the most important foundational document for your token crowdsale: the whiteÂ paper.
Discover how you can simplify the token crowdsale process by signing up for email updates about Rocket, the all-in-one platform that lets you set up, launch, and track your token crowdsale without a development team.
10 Simple Steps to Launching a Successful Token Crowdsale was originally published in Etherparty on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.