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Let’s cut straight to the chase. What is an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)? Basically, ICO is a crowdfunding method where investors are offered to purchase tokens or a new type of cryptocurrency (which can be exchanged for real products or services) for bitcoin or another crypto valuable enough on the external market. By doing that, they invest in the development of a future business.
There are other crowdfunding methods like IPO where company shares are purchased instead of tokens. But, unlike those, in the case of investing in ICOs, the investors also obtain the right to influence the company’s business processes in one way or another (e.g. hire or fire employees, take part in business decision-making, etc.).
In the given article, we’ll discuss how one can make money from ICO and what’s required for that.
A good team of variously skilled experts is required in order to attract people to invest in ICOs. Traditionally, it must include marketers, blockchain experts, designers, programmers, and alike (20-30 employees in total). Be prepared to spend some money as the demand would be much higher than the offer. In the last half a year, the ICO prices have started at 200 thousand c.u. and the numbers grow daily. However, according to BlockChainHub statistics, the ICO profit usually overcompensates its budget.
That means that a proper ICO launch preparation would almost definitely provide a sufficient initial capital for the further development of your business.
We’ve come to the main question: how to make an ICO and get nice profit? Building an ICO marketing strategy is a crucial requirement, the prep stages of which are listed below.
Business registration. The first and foremost task when you start an ICO is the registration of your business. Due to the fact that most potential investors are from the USA and Western Europe, having read your whitepaper, they’d surely want to see the confirmation of the legal side of your actions. That way, they’d know whether they just put their money in your pocket or invest in a real thing. The most optimal registration countries are Cyprus (the world-renowned offshore area) and other economically developed places like Switzerland, the USA, etc.
Competitors’ analysis. The marketers’ help would be required here. They’d have to thoroughly analyze your ICO competitors – study their websites/ad campaigns/whitepapers/ICO event dates (which mustn’t correlate with your dates), etc. That can help present your offer as the most reliable and profitable one for investors.
Whitepaper composition. The most labor-intensive stage. Don’t try to formulate the ICO documentation single-handedly, let the experts do it. The proper whitepaper must be written in several languages and include blockchain structure description, business plan, budget planning (exact numbers are necessary), use cases, investor terms, and brief stories of your team’s key employees. It’s also great for a whitepaper to feature relative images (e.g description of the financial distribution can be followed by infographics).
Involvement of ICO-trackers. ICO-trackers are independent online services that assess your project’s profitability potential. In case of positive results, your website is included on the dedicated list. The service starts at 3 thousand c.u. which is worth it and, in prospect, can guarantee the successful Initial Coin Offering campaign.
Website development. Usually, the ICO organizers prefer landings to the time-consuming multi-paged websites. Nevertheless, the latter option can fit the number of cases. Although it adds to the list of tasks the search for a good hosting able to cope with the huge inflow of visitors during the ICO launch.
The proper ICO website features: a user cabinet (which also requires to include various payment methods, integrate your platform with the most popular e-wallets, and, if possible, connect the services like Escrow), newsfeed/blog, ad banner & video presentation, ICO & its stages description, small box with your team’s key members’ stories, whitepaper download link, a bunch of social networking pages links, and a FAQ. Moreover, you'll need the moderator who would monitor your website and detect phishing links on a regular basis and support its overall performance during ICO launch.
Pre-ICO planning. The event like Pre-ICO can at first seem to be an unnecessary and distracting from the main thing affair. It’s absolutely the other way round, however. Pre-ICO lets you prepare for the “real deal” tokens distribution and detect timely the related problems (hack attacks, server lags, inability to pay with unspecified by the project digital currency, etc.). Moreover, this stage allows approving the general quantity of tokens to be sold.
Involvement of SMM experts. In ICO, the most active ad campaigns, usually, take place in such social networks as Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Telegram, Reddit, Twitter, etc. Thus, a few smm experts is a must for your ICO prep team. In your social networking activity, you must not only directly interact with the potential investors but also constantly inform them as to the stage of your ICO development, its story & developmental prospects, etc. All in all, the more info in free access there is, the better.
Privileges for active social networking users. In the ICO terminology, there is such a word as bounty - award your social networking pages’ active users, as well as anyone helping to attract new investors for your ICO with bonuses and privileges.
Platform preparation. The most difficult from the technical point of view stage of ICO preparation is the development of a blockchain platform that would support the standard token operations. You can use one of the two readymade platforms – Waves or Ethereum. Although, if you strive to create the software from scratch without any third-party solutions (extending the limits of the provided capabilities), you’ll need the expert help. In such case, you’ll have to search for not merely experienced developers, but for those who’ve worked with blockchain and fanatically believes in the future of cryptocurrency.
Now then, how to launch an initial coin? As we can see, the procedures of preparing and holding the ICO are pretty expensive affairs. So in order to not only compensate it but also get profit (as much as would be enough for the further business development), you’ll have to make thorough preparations. That is, hire a team of experts, compose a well-detailed whitepaper, and pay close attention to the promotion of your ad campaign.
Also, note that according to the expert predictions, the ICO organization budget can grow by up to ridiculous 5-6 times in only a year. Which means that if you really decide that you “need this”, you must make haste until it’s too late (and too expensive).
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