When planning your first ICO launch, you can’t leave anything to chance. Inform yourself on how to prepare your team, marketing strategy and legal issues.
ICOs, or Initial Coin Offerings, are all the rage these days. With all the ways cryptocurrencies are disrupting the global economy (and how we think about money), startups, investors and tech moguls are trying to get their own piece of the pie. You might be thinking the very same thing.
If you are, here are a few tips about doing it right.
Decide if this is right for your company or platform
While this might seem counterintuitive, the glamour of taking part in a rapidly expanding sector can lead some entrepreneurs to commit prematurely. Anyone thinking about an ICO launch needs to ask themselves, is this what I really need, or am I just getting on the bandwagon?
It helps to know what the fuss is all about. When someone does ICO planning, they’re usually trying to get funds to begin a startup – the money itself is raised by offering investors tokens in a bespoke cryptocurrency that has a value linked to the value of your startup. Think about it like shares in an age of Blockchain. This helps entrepreneurs get around strict regulation and venture capital systems, which typically are seen to slow things down. Funds collected are often in the form of another cryptocurrency – usually BitCoin or Ethereum.
But while it might seem like a quick way to gain capital, making sure there’s money behind your tokens is a job all its own, and all the legal bits need to be arranged in advance. If you’re willing to put in the work, this could be a great opportunity to start your next project. If all this seems intimidating, maybe a more traditional route might be best for your needs. Figuring this out in ahead of time is key.
Getting The Pieces In Order
Once you’ve decided that an ICO is the best option to achieve your goals, the next step is to start thinking about the details. It would be a good idea to research successful ICOs and figure out what went right. A quick Google search will offer endless streams of lists and success stories, both in terms of some of the biggest ICOs to date (Filecoin, Tezos, SIRIN LABS for most funds raised at once), the most influential currencies ( Bitcoin, NEO or Etherium for name recognition) or the most profitable (NXT or IOTA, for direct ROI). But if you’re looking for a place to start, ICO Bench is comprehensive and easy to read. They have experts doing the research so you don’t have to, which will free your energy for the other tasks you will be preparing for.
Making sure you’re attracting the right expertise to create your token and manage the ICO is key. Once a token is created and registered, it can’t be taken back. Making sure you’re confident in your team goes a long way, because it’s better to do something right one time rather than have to live with a mistake forever. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding specialists, as is word of mouth from entrepreneurs who have been through the ICO process.
Do the Dirty [& Legal] Work
One of the only tasks more important than assembling the right team is making sure you’re on the right side of the law. ICO launch planning means researching jurisdiction laws in your country of origin, as well as in many countries you may seek to register in, is an absolute must. Many recommend hiring the services of a lawyer, and in this day and age, the amount of legal experts in cryptocurrency is only growing. A great way to find experienced legal advice is to go through the documentation of previous ICOs and locate the experts who were consulted.
If you haven’t drawn up your whitepapers yet, now is the time to do it. Your whitepaper is not unlike your project’s personal bible – it’s supposed to be an authoritative, persuasive and in-depth report on what problem your startup is trying to address and how it will succeed. It’s less of a product pitch than an informative deep-dive into the kind of impact you plan on making in your sphere of interest. Many ICOs live or die by their whitepapers, so it’s worth getting some outside advice. The services of a professional copywriter, proofreader or editor are also a must.
Get the Word Out
Once you’ve built your foundation, it’s time to make sure people hear about your ICO. As the value brought by an ICO is completely dependent on the number of people participating, this stage is a major hinge on your way to success. Classic ways of announcing your offering include forums like Bitcointalk and Reddit, but don’t count out ICO Calendars like Coinschedule or CoinGecko. Top listings on sites like these often get included in roundups read by large audiences.
Plus, there’s always the power of social media. Professional groups on LinkedIn help bring like-minded investors together, and custom channels on Slack and Telegram have become mainstays in the crypto community. As a huge part of ICO planning is building trust, turning to word of mouth or traditional media outlets does a lot to ease the mind of many potential investors.
Finally, once your marketing strategy is in place, you need to find a place to trade your coins. Best Bitcoin Exchange and CoinMarketCap are great platforms to reach out to, but diversity here is key. Just note: if you want to be taken seriously, make sure you’ve already prepared your coin name, logo, launch date, trading symbol, descriptions, source code, and necessary links. Making a bad impression by being underprepared can cut you off from marketplaces that might prove key to your success.
Look to the Future
Once your ICO launch is on its way, it pays to start thinking early about what happens next. Cryptocurrencies are famously volatile, and making sure you have a consistent strategy to weather the storms is key to trading confidently. That said, as crypto becomes more and more embedded in the financial system, you’ll already be placed to take advantage of the enormous potential of Blockchain.
Tasks to look forward to involving maintaining your social media presence, tracking your token’s progress, breaking into new listings, hiring new workers and developing your platform or product. But if you’ve made it this far, whole new frontiers will be stretching out in front of you. Now it’s time to celebrate your success and start prepping for your next big thing.