In recent months, it has become quite common to hear about Initial Coin Offerings. Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs for short, have popped up everywhere on media outlets and channels, being intensely debated and criticized.
What is an ICO?
ICO is a crowdfunding method, where companies issue their own token with the purpose of raising capital for their projects. During an ICO, a company releases a certain number of crypto-tokens which are sold to willing investors in exchange for cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies. The company will use the obtained funds to invest in the development of their product or service, while investors get their crypto-token shares and own a company stakes.
Set precise objectives
Each ICO campaign has its objectives, and it is essential that you explain clearly your project’s goals in its white paper and roadmap. These documentations can either make or break an ICO, as they can get potential investors convinced that your project is serious and worth investing.
Whitepaper. This document explains your company’s vision, product, feature, its systems architecture, developers and other relevant information about the ICO. It should contain business and regulatory details of your project and what technologies will be implemented in said project. The whitepaper is basically your pitch to potential investors, so make sure you provide all the required data in a well-written and succinct form.
Roadmap. This report lays out the timeline of your ICO’s activities. It shows in what stages the ICO should be, following a chronological order.
Build a solid team
Successful ICO projects are always backed up by a team of professional that have accumulated knowledge and experience in their domain. A group of highly skilled individuals working behind your project will increase your chances of not only making a quality product but also convincing investors that your product is reliable.
Include profiles and resumes of your team members on your company/project’s website, while also listing their former project. ICOs that don’t list information about their developers and personnel will seem untrustworthy to potential investors, remember, reputation is crucial in business.
Have ICO tools
You will need reliable digital tools to support your ICO campaign. There are hundreds of Facilitators that provide new companies technical solutions, as well as legal advice, marketing and business consulting.
BlockStarter is a platform that allows you to share ICO ideas with blockchain contributors from around the globe.
Have a well-designed site
Websites are like the company’s face for potential clients and investors. Take the time to make sure the website has been set up properly, has quality images, and its user interface is easy to navigate through.
A poorly designed website denotes that the company isn’t willing to invest time and money into smart marketing and page development.
Have the proper token
Decide on what platform you want your tokens to run. Waves and Ethereum are two of the most popular starting technologies that are used for ICOs at the moment. But you can create your own blockchain-based platform if you want to be set apart from your competitors. This way you can also implement technologies that are not limited to Waves and Ethereum.
Ensure that the projected value of the token is what investors are looking for, helping them assess incentives in the long run.
Have a pricing strategy
Your pricing strategy is determined by your goals and growth expectations. There are four basic pricing options.
Undetermined price– the price is not set, investors receiving an amount of coins in proportion with their contribution.
Fixed price– tokens are bought at a fixed-price, but they can be traded only after a freezing period;
Dutch auction– the first coins to be issued are the most expensive, but their value decreases gradually over the investment period.
Price Rise ICO– the fastest investors get the best price for the offered tokens.
Have precautionary systems for investors
There are those that like to take a chance on things, but most investors play it safe and do not want to take on too much rick. Offer your investors some protection by using:
Discounts- early contributors should always receive some form of discount or benefit
Escrow wallet– a multi-signature digital wallet which shows the names of all key holders. Some of those key holders are outside the project and serve as guarantors.
Fund return– an ICO is not guaranteed to always succeed, so you’ll have to provide a way through which you return funds to campaign supporters.
Create a PR campaign
Seeing as there are many ICOs popping up almost every minute, it can be hard to get noticed without a good PR campaign before and during your project launch. Make use of blogs, social media and crypto forums to post high-quality status updates and comments.
Marketing channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn should be used to support your project’s story and direct all your traffic to the ICO site. Use online cryto-based channels such as Reddit and Bitcointalk to reach out to communities and explain how your ICO works. Building a good reputation online is the basis of a solid PR campaign.
ICO campaigns have increased exponentially over the last few years due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies. They have enabled companies to create their own products and gain funding for them in a short period of time. But only the projects that have the best designed strategies are destined to succeed, so make sure you have all the tools and information before launching your ICO.