Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are an integral part of the blockchain revolution. They are helping aspiring entrepreneurs to come up with brilliant innovations. However, it is also a fact that we are still in a very early stage for ICOs to be considered a legitimate funding mechanism. A lot of apprehensions still exist in the space. This is why it is important for ICO owners to not just come up with a viable blockchain solution but also invest time and effort is helping investors gain confidence in their solution.
Here’s a look at the key steps you should follow to successfully launch your crypto token.
A Concept That Can Be Tokenised
For a successful ICO, you first need a project that addresses a problem in the real-world. Your token should offer a solution that the market urgently needs and it should be something better than what your competitors have to offer. There are thousands of crypto projects vying for attention right now. So, do your market research to define not just your solution but also your target audience. Remember, not every idea can be tokenised. And, unless a token offers something of value, investors are unlikely to be interested. This is also the time for you to define your ICO budget, so that you can make further plans.
A Solid Team with a Brilliant Advisory Board
Assemble the core team members who will drive your project forward. Investors always check the team profile. So, look for experienced and skilled professionals who have a good track record with blockchain projects. Open-source collaborations are always ideal. Make sure you have an advisory board in place too. Any shortcomings from the team will be fulfilled by highly experienced advisors. They will provide advice, mentoring and also crucial connections within the industry. Many ICO projects have thrived on associations with well-known faces.
Find out if ICOs are legal in your country. Right now, in most countries, they are either being regulated, banned or subject to future regulations. Countries like China and Pakistan have banned the concept completely. Thailand recently launched a comprehensive policy and laws surrounding ICOs. The US SEC has so far remained skeptical about coin offerings that are actually security tokens in disguise. However, Coinbase now has regulatory approval from the US SEC to list security tokens. Get legal counsel to help you launch a compliant project, so that there is no fear of future hurdles.
This is the foundation of the success of your project’s entire ecosystem. Create your distribution plan. You can put in different stages of token sale in your ICO, such as private sale, pre-sale, the actual sale and even a general sale. Next, decide how many tokens will be distributed in total; the hard cap and soft cap. Will some tokens be reserved for your team members? How many tokens will go into the pre-sale? How many will be allocated especially for long-term investors?
As for creating the tokens, your team should include technical specialists and coders. Most tokens today are created on the Ethereum platform. The website has all the codes you need to use. Consider how your tokens will be transacted across your platform too.
A Professional Whitepaper
This is the technical document that will define your project for venture firms and investors. Your whitepaper needs to mention your vision, the technology, token distribution plan, your complete team structure, list of advisors, ICO timeline, future roadmap and so on. Remember, this document will establish credibility and the genuineness of your project. So, make sure it is drafted by an experienced writer.
Release Your Code Prototype
Promising a project but not delivering is something common in this industry. If you are able to launch a working prototype, you will gain an edge over the competition. You can share your smart contract code to be revised by an auditing service.
Marketing Your ICO
Now comes the marketing aspect. The blockchain world is hugely driven by communities. You need to have a good communication strategy in place, with a multi-channel approach. First of all, hire a community manager who will head a marketing team of 2-4 members. This team will work round the clock to constantly communicate with potential investors, before, during and after the ICO. A global marketing team will ensure that your project resonates with people around the globe. Here are the channels you need to focus on.
1. Project Website
You have to design an attractive yet professional website, through which investors can gain knowledge about your project and participate in your ICO. Your website, just like your whitepaper, should have all the details of your project, including links to the LinkedIn profiles of team members and key contact information. Include high-quality images and graphics. Also include your ICO explainer video, as well as the link to your whitepaper. Links to your social media profiles and PR releases should also be included. Have your website translated in different languages, if you can. This will attract a wider audience.
A thing to take note of here is having a reliable hosting service. After all, you don’t want your site to crash just because it sees heavy traffic. The goal is a high visitor count. Also, employ adequate security measures.
2. Social Media Presence
Create your company’s profiles on Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, GitHub, BitcoinTalk, YouTube, Twitter and so on. Engage in discussions on important crypto forums. Sites like Reddit, Twitter and Telegram have large, active crypto communities. Make your presence felt on these platforms.
3. Press Releases
Try to connect with important blockchain journalists and ask them to talk about your project. Platforms like Forbes, Hackernoon, CoinTelegraph, BitcoinJournal and such like have become popular for ICO marketing. Make sure any articles about your ICO get featured on your website.
4. Coin Listing Sites
There are plenty of good ICO listing sites available today. Make sure you list your upcoming token sale on forums like ICO Alert, Coinschedule and ICO Rating. Include a short and precise note on what your project is all about. This information should be appealing, something that engages the investor and motivates them to learn more.
5. Influencer Marketing
There are plenty of experts and thought leaders on platforms like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. These influencers have a vast number of followers. Feature in their videos on YouTube, be a part of popular podcasts. A well-known influencer can single-handedly drive tremendous traffic to your website.
After your ICO goes live, the next chapter of your project begins. The development of your project has to follow the roadmap you’ve provided. Provide regular updates for investors. Also. Get security specialists to ensure that the funds remain safe and transactions occur smoothly. If your token has to get listed on exchanges, follow the rules and regulations diligently. If the token is valuable and in demand, you and your investors will have a lot to gain.