ICOs are the in-thing these days, not just for fintechs but wide range of businesses. Many startups have realized the prospects and potentials inherent in selling tokens to finance their project. Insomuch that ICO is now a common phenomenon, many would founders would want to know how to launch a successful ICO.
Make A Plan
There are many ICOs that were not successful because the founders thought that raising funds from investors is a simple matter.
If there is one lesson you must learn in your quest to launch an ICO, it is the fact that the days when investors lined up to buy up tokens are over. These investors are now smarter and would mostly scrutinize any ICOs before buying the tokens.
These days, you really have to convince investors that your project is worth spending money in and that their money will not be lost.
50 Percent of ICOs Fail
The reason for this is that more than half the ICOs launched since 2017 failed to reach their objectives. Compounding issues is that there have been many scam ICOs that defrauded investors making many of them skeptical about any form of token sale.
So to make sure that your ICO is not counted among the failures, you have to make a solid plan from the outset. Your objective should be to have every detail planned in such a way that nothing is done haphazardly.
Assemble A Team
One of the first steps in launching a successful ICO is assembling a good team. This is one of the most important steps that determine the success or failure of the ICO.
The team must comprise of experts in the various fields that are essential to the success of the ICO. For instance, if your project is on logistics on blockchain, your team should comprise experts in blockchain, logistics, design, programming, web development, marketing, social media and the like.
In selecting a team, be sure that they are people that you can vouch for and that they have reputation to protect. A dishonest member of the team can ruin the project.
For instance, there have been cases of team members using faked IDs because they have no intention of making their identities known. It is better that a team member remained anonymous than using a faked ID.
Discovery of that would definitely cast doubts on the integrity of the project and as far as token sale is concerned, teams do not just need integrity but Mega credibility.
So select your team carefully based on expertise and credibility. Crosscheck their IDs to be sure that your project doesn’t encounter unforeseen problems in the future.
Create A Roadmap
A roadmap is a timeline that shows all the programs scheduled for the project. It comprises the planning stage of the project, the window period for the sale of token and the execution stage of the project.
You have to bear in mind that most ICO teams plan their roadmap using this sequence because most have nothing on ground at the time of launching their token sale.
However, this should not necessarily be so. If you have developed an alpha or beta product prior to the ICO, make this obvious in your roadmap. This will add more credibility to the project and investors will be more inclined to cast their lots with a project that has been proved capable than another that is speculative and just forward-looking.
Influencers Will Boost Your ICO’s Credibility
Exception to this is if the project is made up of people that are known as authorities and influencers in the industry.
Making your roadmap obvious and following through with it will boost the confidence of potential investors in your ICO.
The core members of the team should contribute in planning the roadmap since they are the ones that will build the project. It should be based on realistic time frame within which each milestone objective can be accomplished.
For instance, if the development of the website or a wallet will take 2 months, the team should make it clear on the roadmap.
Build Your Website
A website is the rallying point for your initial coin offering. It is the place where every investor could visit to know more about your project, the team, the time for the token sale and every other information they may need.
It is also a place where you answer any queries investors may have. It also enables the investors to contact your support team. Furthermore, it is the platform where the actual token sale takes place since payment for token is made to any address you provide on your official site.
One important feature of a good website is SEO. The website must be built in a way that the search engines find it quickly so that investors will be able to access the offering when they search.
Craft Your Whitepaper
The whitepaper is the most important document that your ICO needs. This is because it is an argument about your project that proves its feasibility and the fact that you mean business.
The whitepaper is a comprehensive explanation of the project in a way that answers any questions that any potential investor may have. It also may prompt the investors to contact your team for further clarification.
In any case, the whitepaper must be professionally written and every aspect of it made as clear as possible. When your whitepaper is ready, place a link to it on your website so that potential investors can access this important document.
Make it Professionally
Giving your whitepaper to just any writer is not a good idea. Make sure that the person drafting your whitepaper is experienced and professional. Plagiarized whitepaper could ruin your project. You can contact an experience whitepaper expert here.
Announce the Project to Create Publicity
Armed with your website and whitepaper, you can now announce the project to the blockchain and investment community. There are a number of ways to do this. Some of these are:
Press release is a quick way to create awareness for your initial coin offering. There are many press release sites that cater for this service but selecting a site where blockchain investors converge is essential to make sure that your target audience is reached.
What you need is targeted ad and the essence is to make sure that you get high conversion for your money. You can arrange for a press release service here.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related forums are platforms that you should take advantage of to announce your ICO. Choose especially those forums that have high traffic such as BitcoinTalk and be sure to follow the process recommended on such forums. There are specific formats these announcements follow so you may need a manager to help you through this.
It may be necessary to incorporate a bounty campaign with your ICO announcement. This is an effective way of spreading news about your ICO.
A bounty campaign is essentially leveraging the online blockchain community to spread news about your ICO. The interesting thing about a bounty campaign is that bounty hunters will publicize your project for token payment.
Yes, you’re launching an ICO because you are building something worthwhile. Bounty hunters are participating because they believe so too – that your taken is going to be valuable so they are willing to be paid with it after helping you create publicity for the token sale (ICO).
In a bounty compaign, you typically invite bloggers, social media advertisers, translators and other marketers to use different channels at their disposal to promote your ICO and get their payments in your token.
There is a need to make sure that your bounty is managed by a good and experienced bounty manager.
List Your ICO
There are many ICO listing sites that will list your project for free while there are the premium sites that are specialized in publicizing ICOs that charge you to get listed. These are the ones that you should consider most since their listing service will bring you reasonable traffic.
Your aim is to create as much buzz as possible for your ICO to gain enough traffic traction so that there are many people talking about it and actually interested in purchasing your token.
Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Twitter and Telegram are popular social media campaigns that are relevant to initial coin offerings. These should be a part of your bounty campaign. Nevertheless, your project should have pages and accounts on these platforms with which to communicate with investors and build an audience around the ICO.
Airdroping is the act of giving free tokens to some users for doing little or nothing. Usually, the essence of airdrop is to create awareness for the ICO as well as spread the distribution of the token.
Airdrops are usually done after the ICO and the beneficiaries are enrolled members of the community.
Use A Funnel to Make Good Conversion
Not many ICO teams are aware of the potency and efficiency of sales funnels in selling tokens. However those teams that are aware of its efficiency use it to make their token sales a success.
Sales funnels will even be more relevant to ICOs in view of the ban and restrictions placed on initial coin offerings by Google and Facebook. With this limitation, sales funnel is essential to make your conversion higher whenever your prospects are directed to the funnel.
Some funnels are designed to give conversion as high as 80 percent and are customizable for initial coin offering token sale. This should be included in your marketing and publicity campaign. You can check up this funnel for your ICO.
Build A Community
Your aim should be to create a community around your project so that there will be a buzz and so many people talking about it. The buzz around a project is usually a function of the marketing effort.
Bear in mind that you can also outsource your marketing efforts to a company if you do not have an in-house marketing team.
All marketing campaigns should be geared towards having an active community that will continue to support the project even after the ICO.
Good blockchain projects are characterized by active communities around them. One of the tools in building a community for a project is Telegram. ICO projects routinely use the app to build, keep track and manage their communities.
It is also a tool for organizing airdrops. So the community members can come handy when it’s time to airdrop tokens.
Selling Your Token
Everything you’ve been doing is aimed towards selling your tokens to investors. The awareness your campaign has created would be wasted if you didn’t sell the tokens during the ICO. There are different approaches to do this as we shall see briefly.
In private sale, you approach high net worth individuals or organizations and pitch your project to them to convince them to buy. These are entities that can purchase substantial volumes of your token.
If you’re successful in private sale, you may not even bother with the public sale because a few entities could buy up all your tokens if they’re convinced that it is worth it.
However, you have to understand that you should know what you’re talking about and be ready to answer convincingly every query that the investors may have if they will buy what you are selling.
This class of investors is usually savvy and will be sure that you know what you’re talking about before investing.
An example of the effect of private sale can be seen with the Telegram ICO in which less than 70 investors raised $1.7 billion for the TON foreclosing the possibility of a public sale.
Presale is a feature of most ICOs. It is a window period in which the token is sold at a discounted price to investors that are willing to purchase certain volumes of the token.
A presale is important in helping the ICO reach its soft cap early. It reduced dependence on only the public sale in the drive to raise funds for the project.
The public sale is the main crowd sale open to every investor. The essence of the sale is to get as many investors as is possible invest in the project by buying the token.
Investors generally visit the website and make deposits to the designated digital currency address.
The tokens are distributed to the investors after the sales period. Those that participated in the bounty and airdrop also get their tokens.
List Your Token On Exchanges
Getting the token listed in an exchange is the next line of action after the ICO. Listing the token will enable holders to trade it. It is also an indication that the project is making progress. The confidence this builds in investors usually result in appreciation of token price.
Launching a successful ICO takes serious work, however with careful planning and follow-up, the reward of a successful crowd sale is immense.