Throughout 2016 and 2017, we saw the ICO ecosystem maturing. Blockchain platforms have evolved, offering more powerful tools for listing and conducting your token sales. And, highly experienced professionals are now available to assist you with every activity to prepare for a successful ICO – creating the financial model, documentation, marketing collateral, publicity campaign, etc.
Often entrepreneurial teams get swayed by self-confidence and try to do everything on their own. Confidence is important, but it’s critical to recognize the skills the team lacks. And, getting some experience on your side couldn’t hurt!
Do You Really Need Advisors?
When preparing for an ICO, the role of advisors cannot be overstated. They provide guidance and mentorship, and can assist in:
- Vetting your idea
- Creating your go-to-market strategy
- Structuring your token sale
- Formulating a financial plan
- Ensuring legal compliance
- Introducing you to investors during the prelaunch stage
- Creating the roadmap for actual production
Also, advisors (when chosen carefully) lend credibility to your idea and business; and can prove to be a huge asset in your ICO promotion campaign.
Here’s what you most definitely shouldn’t do – offer funds to a reputed advisor to lend his name just to promote your ICO. Investors are smart. They can see through this. So, do invest the time to identify advisors before you begin planning your ICO. And work towards building a strong relationship between the advisory board and the management board.
What to Look for When Choosing Advisors?
Before you begin looking, there’s some groundwork to be done. Define the areas in which you need help, determine the number of advisors you want and the level of involvement you’re expecting. The answers to these may change while your search is on, but it’s important to stay in touch with these aspects.
Here are some things to look for:
Expertise in related fields: Yes, we know your idea is highly innovative and unique. That’s why we said “related” fields. Find advisors who have knowledge and experience in the segment to which your business belongs.
ICO experience: You need a been-there-done-that sort of person. Advisors who know the ins and outs of the ICO world will help you stay ahead of compliance regulations and provide critical inputs for a successful token offering.
Your kind of people: Get to know them well before getting them on board. Your team should feel comfortable discussing every aspect of the business and financials with the advisory team. And, you need people whose opinions you can trust.
Diversity is an asset: Try to form an advisory board with people who have diverse areas of expertise. You’ll need to build a system for them to work together, which may not always be easy.
Where to Look?
Google them. Check out their education and experience. Consider the history of companies for which they have worked. Find out whether they have advised ICOs in the past and what’s the track record. If you’re looking at their LinkedIn profiles, you can check out their network.
Get the word out there. Tell your friends, family and past colleagues that you’re looking for advisors for your ICO. They may be able to get you in touch with someone.
When you’re done choosing advisors, be sure to set expectations clearly. Discuss their role in detail, clearly define their compensation package (making sure it’s attractive) and ensure that your legal contract is exactly what you want.
Whether your ICO advisor is there to lend a guiding hand or to roll up their sleeves and work alongside you, they are an integral and necessary part of your team and your success.