NFTs are a game of mindshare. Mindshare is defined as the amount of time a person is thinking and interacting with something during the day. Taking time to plan out your project's road map to capture as much mindshare as possible is crucial for building a community, trust, and a future for your project.
During my time trading, entering, leaving different NFT communities including BAYC, I have gathered what I believe to be the most important parts of successfully launching an NFT project. The three pillars of building mindshare are consistency, contribution, and long-term positioning. By the end of this blog, you will have concrete examples of how you can utilize these ideas for your next project.
First, let's look at the project that started the profile picture / community-as-a-service craze: Bored Ape Yacht Club. The initial road map of the project was six different points with goals that are relatively easy to implement.
- Airdrop 5 apes to random wallets
- Get a YouTube channel with LoFi beats
- Merch Store
- Treasure Hunt
- Liquidity Pool
- Mutants (future project signaling)
As time evolved and new creators sought to differentiate themselves, Profile picture projects began adding more complex road map objectives in hopes to drive up the hype - which for a while, it did.
Like the boy who cried wolf, as more projects adopted the ambitious road maps strategy and started to stall under the highly work-intensive roadmap, combined with the speed of crypto and the sheer amount of projects releasing daily, investors didn't seem to be as keen to invest in overly complex roadmaps anymore.
I will be analyzing a project named: "Chilled Frogs." I took part in minting when this project launched, but I have since sold all of mine for transparency's sake. I chose this project because it surpassed my expectations, and the devs have proven a solid strategy for growing a community and reaching new highs even after dropping below mint price weeks into the project.
I'll be upfront. I was looking to flip this project a couple of days after launch. I was not impressed with the roadmap, but I found the art cute and could see it blowing up.
- Airdrop 10 frogs to first 600
- Another giveaway
- Collaborations with other projects
- The promise of community events
The roadmap was even more barebones than Bored Apes. Compared to other projects that were released at the time, Chill Frogs was relatively spartan and straightforward.
My thoughts on the project would bounce from regretting the mint to being impressed with how the devs handled community building.
Consistency of the release of road map objectives and new surprise "content" is one of the most vital indicators of a reliable dev team and keeps the NFT fun and exciting even when other projects are drumming up their hype.
In Chill Frog's example, even when prices dipped, the event's channel was updated on average every five days. It's was common for streaks of every day or so announcements. In addition, they did giveaways, art submissions, meme competitions, and more. It's not strictly about what you do, but whether your community is willing to engage with it that matters. Understand your users; they are the lifeblood of your project.
As you may have noticed, these events are not particularly difficult to set up and manage, especially when compared to the projects that adopted the "ambitious roadmap strategy."
However, based on my experience in the past 2 months, I am more confident that new projects would be better served using the consistency strategy instead. Remember at the beginning that I mentioned NFTs are a game of mindshare? If your first roadmap takes two months, you will be practically out of everyone's mind in a week with all the excitement of projects that are moving quicker.
The majority of users are not going to be messaging in the general chat. This leaves only announcements as ways to interact with these users. You're not going to force people to chat in general, but you could lead them into your community with things that they would find fun.
Consistency is nothing if no one is paying attention. Contribution is how you capture pent-up energy and utilize it to create something valuable. There's a lot of energy in this space, and it would seem unwise to ignore it and pass on the opportunity to do something with it.
Chill Frogs did an excellent job, in my opinion, in regards to the "easy-to-implement" but exciting community events. In addition, they did a great job in really bringing all types of people with different kinds of skills in the fold.
Giveaways are an excellent way to get people's feet in the door. Preferably, I find that when this is live-streamed in a transparent manner and with some additional "one last thing" to hype up the community, it works best.
I have seen projects do the giveaway through the announcement channel on Discord, and I have found the reaction always to be lackluster.
Art submissions are a fun way to get your artistic part of the community engaged. Having a way for your community to vote on their favorite one to win "X" prize is an excellent way to engage even those who aren't artistic.
Floor Sweeps is one of my favorite underutilized community events that the Chill Frogs devs decided to implement. The general concept is simple if sales are beginning to slump, reinvest in the community by "refunding" gas using pre-allocated funds to help "stimulate" the market for a limited amount of time.
This is great because it helps align the community against a common complaint: gas prices. Helps both newcomers and people who already have some and are looking to collect more. A theoretically exciting event would be an "unlisting giveaway" event after a floor sweep. This would be a powerful strategy for developers to raise the floor if done with community census.
Long Term Positioning (Next drop)
Projects like BAYC have set a precedent that owners of a "break-out" collection will benefit from the developer's next project. This is a win-win for both the development team and the community. Community gets continued access (theoretically) forever to the development team's newest work. Developers get to carry over their existing community without needing to start from the ground up.
Announcing that current buyers will receive a stake in future projects in the final road map goals is a solid way to signal to potential buyers that the development team intends to stay for the long run. Chill frogs would eventually bring out the "Extended Universe" which is an extended road map that includes more ambitious goals. Based on the success of carrying out previous events, it is no surprise that the community is as excited as ever with the new goals.
This is the brilliance of this strategy. If done correctly, you can still reach your ambitious goals, and you'll have your happy community by your side to support your new endeavors. Small, nimble events give your team the opportunity to "prove" yourself out and start laying out the foundation of a solid community.
Chill Frogs has shown that the "secret sauce" to community building is simple: be consistent with following up on road map goals, pick open events for community engagement of all types of skill types, and position yourself for the long term and reward your holders.
Finding unique ways for your community to integrate these ideas is a major player in the success of your community long-term. Keep trying new things and find what works for you.
Till then, I'll see you in the next post.