2018 has been an absolute game changer for blockchain startups, with over 800 ICOs raising more than $21 billion by October 21, 2018. These ICO projects are helping to create the infrastructure that will nurture future advancements in blockchain technology and lead to its widespread adoption.
However, the success or failure of an ICO all depends on what goes into launching the new crypto token. And, while there is no absolute right way to launch an ICO, there are some elements of the process that are a must. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to launch an ICO to maximise chances of success.
1. Think about the Feasibility of Your Idea and Develop the Product
Much before you think about the ICO, you need to figure out the blockchain solution that your crypto token will bring to the world. So, the first question that should be answered is whether blockchain can actually be integrated into your business model in a productive way. A sustained demand for a token needs to be backed by real utility. If blockchain technology can enhance the value of your product, start utilising your resources to develop a secure, scalable, feasible and robust solution. You must have a viable product that utilises your token for its ecosystem.
2. Study Your Competitors
There is no point bringing a solution to the marketwhen multiple existing ones are already working well. Once you have identified the solution you wish to develop, check out the market and your potential competitors. Learn more about what they are doing, where the market currently lags and what you can offer that is better than the competition.
3. Create a Token
Now comes the time to decide whether you should launch a new token or use an existing one for your blockchain platform. You also need to decide whether you are launching a utility token or a security token. How many tokens should you set aside for your ICO and how many will you distribute to team members, associates, advisors and others? Tokenomics is a key aspect that you also need to focus on. This will determine how your token works and how it will gain value with greater adoption. Choosing the right platform to launch your token is also an essential part of the process.
4. Get Legal Opinion
Jurisdiction and regulations over ICOs vary from country to country. So, you need to keep a close eye on the law and proceed within the framework provided by law. Having a legal advisor on board can be very useful in this respect. It will also build greater trust among investors to know that you have sound legal advice backing your project and token. This will also be the best way to avoid any trouble and roadblocks in the launch of your ICO.
5. Write a Whitepaper
A whitepaper is like the blueprint of your entire project. It covers everything about the project, your vision, market analysis, development roadmap, goals, information about the token and distribution model, legal issues, description of the team, early investors, partnerships and so on. It is a complex document, so invest in experienced writers with prior experience of writing whitepapers for this. It is the whitepaper that will tell prospective investors about the value add that your blockchain project offers.
6. Launch a Website
Online presence is indispensable for an ICO. And, your website becomes the face of your project, giving potential investors information regarding your project, progress on it, the ICO schedule and more details. This is also where you can mention important dates and updates for your project. Use infographics and explainer videos to help even non-tech-savvy investors understand your value proposition. This is also where people can access links to your whitepaper, social media profiles and even connect with the team.
7. PR and Marketing
Now comes the time to market your upcoming ICO. To create a buzz, make sure you harness the power of social media. For instance, Twitter has a very large and active crypto-community. There are online crypto forums that your team can participate in. YouTube provide a great avenue to popularise your project through videos. In fact, graphics and videos are known to have a greater impact than a text-based approach. Don’t forget to create your team’s profiles on LinkedIn, a company page on Facebook, an ICO community on Telegram and such like. Your active participation can help build confidence and trust among prospective investors.
8. Launch your ICO
Once you are done with creating the solution, its token and the marketing, it is time to launch your token. Choosing the right exchange for this is crucial. It provides a platform for traders to buy and sell tokens, make sure you do your research before making a final choice of exchange.
ICOs have proven to be as good, if not better, as a means to raise funds, as compared to venture capitalists. As long as you know how to launch an ICO and use an experienced marketing team to create a buzz, this can be a great way to finance your blockchain project.