If you're reading this blog post, you're likely in 1 of 2 camps. You are either wondering how to boost sales for your current NFT project (during a bear market), OR you're about to mint your first NFT collection.
Regardless of the position you're in, this strategy will work for both camps because in order for ANYTHING to sell, a solid foundation must first exist. In this blog post we will break down how to build a solid foundation from the ground up and how to identify loose ends if you're sales aren't proportional to the market.
Understanding the competition
The most common thing a project will do when creating a utility is to try to create something that's "never been done before" because, there's no competition" and its "such an awesome idea" right?? Wrong. In the NFT world, this typically manifests when a project starts making outrageous claims about what "utilities" will exist before the projects even starts. Or, they go off of the deep end listing 100 different unrelated concepts that are somehow tied into this one project. This is 100% ill-advised.
Unless you are the next BAYC, the more likely scenario is that you will be building out your utility in a market where no one has proven they would spend money on your idea. Then, you end up wasting your time building something no one wants or thinks you wont be able to achieve, and you'll later realize that it likely doesn't exist for a reason. And, for those of you who say adding anything a utility is a waste of time and that "the art is the only necessary utility" I would tell you this is a global market, with limited money on the table and good art is simply the entry fee.
If your goal is to make money doing NFTs for the long term, then you have to start looking at things from a less idealistic perspective and a more competitive, and logical one. Remember, this is still a business. So, what should you do instead?
MARKET RESEARCH. Take about 30 minutes a day for 1 month simply looking into projects that you admire. They don't have to be the top dogs. They can be an up and coming project who you appreciate their style, their community, their floor price, and brand. Create a list of 10-20. Now, really explore each of them. Break down why you think the community likes them, and what drives them sales? Write it down. Once you've done that, you now have a clearer understanding of how the industry works and what makes money.
You will also realize that you picked those projects for a deeper reason other than just the numbers. You'll likely realize that you also have similar values or art style. That's great! Because, now you have a starting point. This is also a good practice for projects that already exists. Even if you already have a good idea, you still need to know who your "competitors" are. Once you've done this, you're officially ready for the next step.
What are your goals?
A good utility reflects the mission of the project. Read that again. So, before diving head first into building a road map and barfing every idea all over your community and calling it a "plan", you need to be in alignment with your mission and yourself. Be intentional with this part. It will outline the entirety of your project.
You can get a better understanding of your goals by identifying where you want to be in the next 2-5 years from now.
Try this exercise: Close your eyes, and imagine your dream life! Where are you? What are you doing? Who are the people you're surrounded by every day?
Now take that and roll with it. Here's an example:
Say you envision yourself horseback riding though the mountains and fighting for animal rights with respected activists in the industry.
I would tell someone with this goal, whose interested in the NFT space, to start by creating a collection of horses, find a horse charity they support, interview a local activist, and write some lore around the individual horses. You get the idea.
The point is to start with your vision and let your story, your utility, and your mission be tailored to that. It will allow you to create from the most authentic place which will allow for a cohesive story line to be painted as you grow. It will also be good for brand awareness.
NOTE: This is where a ton of existing projects miss the mark. Too many people are out of alignment with their project and end up attracting an audience of people who like the art, but aren't tied to the utility because they represent two different things or vise versa. This is a huge reason why sales will suffer.
Example: A horse NFT collection whose utility is focusing on building a school.
Stand out from other NFT projects
This is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle. This is your real utility. Your value. The reason why someone will spend money on your project instead of someone else's. Anyone can create art and donate a percentage to a charity, but what can you do that's special? This is where you can get creative as long as you remember one thing:
If this is your edge, it needs to be something that is immediately available to token on day 1 of minting and it needs to be simple enough to explain in 2 sentences or less.
Here is an example of the different brand types who have a creative and tangible utility:
1. Outrageous Persona- This type of brand creates its messaging around character traits of a person.
Example: Chef Gordon Ramsay.
NFT: Different food dishes as images.
Utility 1: All token holders get a weekly airdrop of a new recipe.
Utility 2: 10% of profits
2. Proprietary Art- This is for all of the 1:1 artists out there.
Example: The Moana Lisa
NFT: Any 1:1 art. Just keep each collection style consistent.
Utility 1: A master class on how to create art from a specific perspective. Airdrop a certificate of completion to token holders who complete the course.
Utility 2: 10% donated to underprivileged kids who need art supplies.
3. Physical Event- These can be annual or even monthly events.
Example: NFT NYC
NFTs: They are offered as a ticket. (Different types of NFTs are available for general public, speakers, and sponsors)
Utility 1: Donate a lump sum to hackathon winners.
Utility 2: Airdrop a "thanks for coming" NFT to everyone.
Once you've nailed down your vision, mission, and utility, you're almost done! The last steps include: setting up your community environments, completing your refined road map, and working on your sales skills. Before you know it, the crypto will be rolling in!
To learn more about the different types of airdrops read here: https://www.dropys.com/blog/airdrop-tool