The first half of 2018 has seen more than 460 token crowdsales close, cumulatively raising more than $10 billion, according to Coinschedule. But what makes a successful crowdsale in 2018?
It’s worth examining a few of this year’s notable crowdsales to understand what works — and what doesn’t — in the token crowdsale world.
Be clear and consistent in your messaging
When you are launching a crowdsale, you’re looking for people to support and contribute to your project. This means your number one job is to clearly communicate what your project does and why it’s important. This requires a clear, consistent message across all forms of communication.
Can you explain the purpose of your project in plain language and in a couple of sentences? This means without relying on difficult to understand jargon or offering up some long-winded explanation. This isn’t just an abstract exercise. This elevator pitch is needed to help build a business case around, it will also help inform the beginning of your marketing strategy, website content, social media messaging and more.
Lithuanian company Bankera completed one of the most successful ICOs so far in 2018, raising over $150 million from more than 100,000 people. Arguably, one of the reasons for this success was the company’s clear, consistent message, which is stated clearly on the Bankera homepage: “Banking for the Blockchain era.”
The content then sets out exactly what this means, what each project component involves, and essentially explains how traditional banking services can be offered in a decentralized way.
This clear messaging makes it simple for any potential contributor to easily and immediately understand the value proposition of the project.
Build a creative and compelling website
Expect contributors to conduct due diligence when considering whether or not to support your project. It’s extremely likely that the first place they will turn for information is Google — so you should be sure to have a professional website and strong SEO strategy in place.
In addition to clear and concise messaging, each website makes it simple to navigate to important information and sign-up for updates from the homepage. Additional content includes a white paper and roadmap, giving potential contributors access to information about the project, team and crowdsale details.
On all three websites, the content is engaging, easy to understand, and simple to navigate. DAOStack offers a particularly impressive list of content, including a blog, videos, summaries, a FAQ section and forum.
Beyond great content, though, what’s really interesting about these websites is how much they differ from each other. Each company has injected some flair and personality into their website to create a unique brand identity.
This combination of compelling content and creative design results in a strong and professional brand presence. This is essential to give a potential contributor the confidence to support a project — a quick look at your website should make it clear that there is an active and engaged company running a promising project.
Building confidence and trust is essential to the success of a crowdsale.
Be open and transparent
Bankera, SciDex, and DAOStack all have something else in common — it’s very easy to see a list of team members and advisors, with LinkedIn (and in some cases, Twitter) information provided.
This is more important than you may realize. Unfortunately, there are a number of crowdsale scams out there, and one red flag can be the absence of team information. Beyond showing that your company is legitimate, though, you should fly your credentials to build interest in your project.
For example, SciDex is focused on the scientific community. A quick look at the team and panel of advisors and it’s easy to notice it is composed of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs with a background in science and tech ventures. The DAOStack website goes a step further and offers a brief blurb on each team member, which can then be verified by checking each member’s LinkedIn.
Each company also has a visible social media presence and offers blogs and/or a forum to find out about their crowdsale, the company, its technology, and next steps.
Walk your own path
Ultimately, though, there is no single perfect formula to success, just key common denominators: You need to have a clear vision, a good team, and the ability to communicate the value of your project to the world.
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