This article focuses on all that you need to cross of your checklist if you want to launch a successful ICO. But before we go into this let us explore what an ICO is.
What is an ICO?
ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is a crowdfunding method, where cryptocurrency startups issue their token to raise capital for their projects. An ICO is an industry standard to the crypto community what an IPO is to a traditional business, but in this case, the product is a digital asset that runs on blockchain technology. 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.
Some essentials to consider for a successful ICO
I would be lying if I said that launching an ICO is an easy ride in the park. The truth is, it is tough and there are some things you need to have at the back of your mind before embarking on this journey.
Now here are some things you need to consider:
1. Launching an ICO is not cheap.
Launching a successful ICO campaign is expensive. It cost much money an arbitrary figure is approximately $60,000 but this figure varies depending on the project and your goals.
2. It is time-consuming
There is a pre-public engagement phase where you lay all the groundwork before even going public. this is when you plan, consider the legal side of things, know your target audience, set a launch date, etc. Even if you have a good idea, this would go a long way to determine how successful your launch would be. The pre-public engagement phase can take as much as six months to a year. So, you should be prepared for this.
3. You need a dedicated team and getting this can be tough
Assembling a dedicated team is very much essential in this journey to launching a successful ICO. Now, I was caught in a dilemma, whether to add this as a step or as a basic thing for anyone who wants to launch an ICO should know. But it is here and it is what you should know.
Now, back to the subject. You need to assemble a great project team that covers every area of expertise needed for the successful launch. This includes a great development team, Blockchain, and crypto specialists, PR and marketing specialists, advisors, partners, and early investors. Getting these professional groups of people can be a daunting and time-consuming task, majorly because the space is still in its infancy and there are few experts.
Successful ICO projects are always backed up by a team of professionals 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.
Finally, it is important to include the profiles and resumes of your team members on your company/project’s website while also listing their former projects. ICOs that don’t list information about their developers and personnel will seem untrustworthy to potential investors, remember, reputation is crucial in business.
Steps to launching a Successful ICO
Now, there are several steps required to launch a successful ICO and we will cover as much as possible in this article. I will not say that this covers everything but it covers what I consider to be the essentials.
A lot of research needs to go into launching an ICO. First, you need to research the market you are launching into. You cannot launch successfully without knowing the market dynamics. Another angle of research is researching your competition. This is important because there are no rules here and you are faced with the fierce competition that would swallow you up if you don’t play the game with tact.
Cover the legal side of things
Some ICO launches have run into legal issues because they failed to cover all the legal bases before going public. Now, for you to launch your own successful ICO, you need to ask a lot of legal questions based on your location and the cryptocurrency regulations peculiar to it. This will help you to avoid running into a roadblock. It is very much important to consult a legal counsel for this.
Make your objectives as clear as possible
Each ICO campaign has its objectives, and you must explain clearly your project’s goals in its white paper and roadmap. These documents can either make or break an ICO. This is because they convince potential investors that your project is serious and worth investing in.
A well-written Whitepaper
The white paper gives detailed information about your company’s vision, product, feature, systems architecture, developers, and other relevant information about the ICO. It also contains business and regulatory details of your project and the technologies you are implementing in the project. The whitepaper is your pitch to potential investors. And it is important that it contains all the information a potential investor needs to make a decision. It is also important that this document is well-written, you can outsource it to an expert or do it yourself and get an expert to look through it, depending on your budget. Some people judge the quality of an ICO and the crypto project by its whitepaper. Shady projects such as the Squid token had very poorly written whitepapers. And in the end it was a rug pull.
A roadmap lays out the timeline of your ICO’s activities. It shows in what stages the ICO should be, following a chronological order. this should be as clear as possible because potential investors will hold you accountable for it.
Get expert help
There are hundreds of Facilitators that provide new companies with technical solutions, as well as legal advice, marketing, and business consulting. And trust me, you will need a lot of this to launch successfully.
Decide on the platform to run your tokens
Decide on what platform you want your tokens to run. Most ICO launches use Waves and Ethereum at the moment. But to set yourself apart from your competition, you can create your blockchain-based platform.
Ensure that the projected value of the token is what investors are looking for, helping them assess incentives in the long run.
Your Token Smart Contract is important
For a successful ICO launch, you will need a token smart contract. And an ERC 20 compliant ICO token will help you raise more money because it is easily tradable on exchanges. Althouh this may seem like the industry standard there are other tokens. Just in case you don’t know how to create a smart contract, OpenZeppelin provides a tool (and template) for creating one. And this requires minimal information from your side. Also, PinkSale enables anyone to create and sell tokens in a matter of seconds.
ICO launch tools
you also need ICO launch tools that will help you stand out in the market. BlockStarter is a platform that allows you to share ICO ideas with blockchain contributors from around the globe.
Your website is what your investors see
Your website is the company’s face for potential clients and investors, it goes a long way to determine if they will invest in you or not. So, it is important to pay attention to your website and set it up properly. Ensure it has quality images, and its user interface is easy to navigate.
A poorly designed website demarkets the company and is bad publicity for the company.
Decide on a sales model for your coin
Your goals and growth expectations determines the sales model for your coin. There are several sales models you can explore.
Undetermined price– the price is not set, investors receive some coins in proportion to their contribution.
Soft cap– This is where there is a minimum amount needed for the ICO to continue till the set date. This sales model helps in a successful ICO.
Hard cap– This sales model sets the maximum amount needed for the ICO and once this is achieved the ICO ends even before the set date.
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
Some investors are brazen and like to take a chance on things. But most investors are risk averse and like to play it safe. You can offer such investors some protection by applying the following:
Discounts- early contributors should always receive some form of discount or benefit
Escrow wallet– a multi-signature digital wallet that shows the names of all key holders. Some of those key holders are outside the project and serve as guarantors.
Fund return– ICOs do not always succeed. So part of your precautionary system should include providing a way return funds to campaign supporters.
Market your ICO
I said earlier that the ICO ecosystem is ruthless and very competitive. So, visibility and publicity should be important to you if you will launch successfully. A good PR campaign before and during your project launch will help you make strong inroads into the market. To achieve this, make use of blogs, social media, and crypto forums to post high-quality status updates and comments.
You can also use popular marketing channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and LinkedIn to support your project’s story and direct all your traffic to the ICO site. Your PR campaign should also include educating the crypto community about your token. And to achieve this, use online crypto-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.
Every new day sees a lot of ICO launches, some successful and others are unsuccessful. and to stand out, there are certain basic things to know and things to do. A successful ICO campaign is important because it enables cryptocurrency startups to create their products and gain funding for them in a short time. But this success only comes to projects that have the best-designed strategies, so make sure you have all the tools and information before launching your ICO.