From the art world and real estate to gaming and sports, the hype around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has exploded in 2021. The boom began with the sale of Beeple’s NFT Artwork for $69.3 million, which made global headlines. Early NFT holders such as CryptoPunks and BoredApe went on to become millionaires overnight. Collectors began using their NFT avatars as profile images to represent the NFT community they belong to.
Then came the culture of buying and “flipping” NFTs, which resulted in a flood of cash-ins and copycats. However, as the technology evolves, NFT developers are exploring how they can leverage loyalty, long-term rewards, and opportunities for education and collaboration to establish communities.
What is an NFT community?
A Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) community is a group of people who are actively collecting, buying, selling, and conversing about an NFT project. A “Creator” is the one who mints their artwork or project into an NFT. A “Collector” is the one who buys and holds the NFT to participate in the community.
Some NFTs are spur-of-the-moment, quick, and related to a brand or celebrity, which an investor flips for quick profit. However, for any NFT project to succeed in the long run, it must have a community that will stick with it and grow together.
Additional Read: How to Mint NFTs? Step by Step Guide
What does an NFT community offer?
Bitcoin and many other crypto projects never had a marketing budget, but they did have a devoted community that believed in their purpose and backed them throughout history. Spending billions on marketing is no longer effective; instead, authentic storytelling and micro-influence are the new ways to engage with your target audience.
NFT avatars provides its collectors with:
- A Second Skin: that reflects your personality and ideas you resonate with, forming a community with others who have similar interests as you.
- A Status Symbol: The NFT you hold also reflects what your connections are and who you are affiliated with. For example: If you hold a CryptoPunk NFT, you would be considered as the highest echelon of NFT collecting.
Additional Read: Top 10 Most Expensive NFTs sold
How to build an NFT community?
It’s essential to start building an NFT community from the very beginning, because a solid community lays the groundwork for a successful NFT project. Creators are gathering to learn from one another as well as engage with and share ideas with the community.
This engagement helps creators in improving their fan base and building their credibility. Some initiatives, for example, are selling tokens that provide collectors access to a variety of NFTs, and interacting with collectors to let them know that the project has a solid team behind it. Investors also want to keep a close eye on the project’s progress to gain assurance that the team is committed to the project for the long haul.
We will discuss developing an NFT community in three stages in this guide: before, during and after the NFT launch.
Building an NFT community before launch
You already own the assets you’d like to convert to NFTs. Be it images, videos, avatars or merchandise, you need to follow the below steps before launching them:
1. Define your audience and set your goals:
You must define why your NFTs are valuable, how they vary from others, who your ideal collectors are, and what value you will offer them. People are drawn to projects because of their story, voice, and vision. If you’re aiming to integrate your art into the metaverse via NFTs but your community is still small, it’s a good idea to start with a whitepaper.
For example, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) includes more than 10,000 images of various apes. The Apes live in a future where wealthy early crypto investors get together at a yacht club with other like-minded Apes. BAYC established a realm into which people could only enter by purchasing NFTs.
Additional Read: Metaverse Explained With Examples
2. Choose your channel:
Choose a social channel that most connects with your NFT community. Twitter is ideal for sending short messages, making announcements, and interacting with others quickly. Reddit allows for more open debates, community-driven support, and the sharing of your subreddit.
When you’re just getting started in the NFT arena, Discord is a good option to consider. Originally a game platform, Discord has evolved into a bigger space that includes the NFT community. What’s amazing about it is that it’s quite customizable; you can create separate channels for general information, chat, question of the day, and so on.
3. Create a fair launch:
To ensure a fair launch, the number of NFTs a collector can purchase per transaction should be limited. If the limit is set to 15 NFTs per transaction, a user who has the money to pay a higher gas fee for processing transactions faster during a gas war could wipe out a small fraction of the overall supply by themselves if they have the money to pay the gas fees. As a result, the number of people who can join your community will be limited.
One of the KPIs you’ll need to track is the number of unique wallet holders for your NFTs. If you have 10,000 NFTs but only 200 wallet holders, the community is restricted, and would raise a big red flag.
Additional Read: How to assess the value of an NFT?
4. Ensure that the launch is professional:
Create a professional website, promotional videos, photos, a presale sign-up form, and a mailing list. Make sure you’re giving fresh and engaging content and product teases to make people excited and ready for launch day when you get website traffic, Twitter followers, or new members to Discord channels. Pay attention to humor, and provide a positive experience. Also ensure that your NFT drop time doesn’t coincide with another project.
Building an NFT community during launch
5. Include a Proof of Attendance protocol:
With this protocol, you can give badges or other incentives to users who join the community first and complete a certain activity, providing value up front. Members of the community then become sales reps and marketers as a result of their ownership and tradability. Keep in mind that if you overdo it or have a lot of airdrops, people will be less likely to contribute or stay in the project long-term.
6. Ensure that your website is prepared for high-traffic:
As a result of the influx of users, hyped NFT releases have caused markets like OpenSea, Christie’s, and Makersplace to crash. All of these outages had one thing in common: the websites weren’t prepared for the traffic spikes caused by the NFT drops.
For example: Over 300,000 users queued up for a chance to win The Matrix Avatar NFTs in a recent Nifty’s NFT launch. While there were some issues with the launch, Nifty was able to sell 100,000 NFTs without charging users petrol expenses or canceling or postponing it. Nifty’s demonstrated their dedication to fairness and the community by providing free NFTs to individuals who were affected.
7. Reiterate your roadmap, and stay active:
It is important to hold sessions on your social channels, and talk about your long-term vision, to attract participants, artists and builders. For example: While most Discords are full of memes, shilling and complaining, Pixelbeasts Discord is focused on talking about their investment DAO developments, a podcast, a newsletter, and a video game.
Stay active all the time. Notice what questions are being posed, and ensure that you address them. This will build your credibility and connection within the community.
Additional Read: How to Protect your NFTs
Building an NFT community after launch
8. Engaging with your community
Conduct Clubhouse sessions, Twitter spaces, or voice chats to engage with your community. This will give your NFT avatar a voice. Keep in mind that as a spokesperson, you should know everything there is to know about the project and your team. This gives the impression that the project is being managed by a genuine person. By granting voting rights to your community, you can also engage them in the process.
9. Develop partnerships with mainstream brands
By partnering with well-known businesses, you will gain the attention of a wider audience. They will act as a cross-pollination of your communities and ideas.
For example: Junkyard Dog NFTs partnered with Hash Garage, a play-to-earn blockchain racing game. Hash Garage created a Junkyard Car in which the driver is a dog avatar. People will be able to sketch a picture of their Junkyard avatar from their wallet and put it on their car as a skin in the future.
Additional Read: How to buy virtual land in Metaverse?
Because of blockchain’s immutability and digital provenance, any artist can sell their work globally and trade it for borderless currency. And the nature of combining technology with emotion, has helped many NFT projects to thrive in the market.
If you are building a community for your NFT project, make it a habit to participate in the NFT community. Nothing will happen overnight, and there will be ups and downs along the way, but stick with it. It’s impossible to build social proof overnight. You need to spend time advertising yourself, assisting other artists, and being an ambassador of your own community.