The conversation around NFTs can be overwhelming and confusing. Or as a recent Vox article put it, NFTs are “the future, a scam, or both.” And the recent volatility in the crypto market has only made any conversation about Web3 and NFTs more heated.
But can NFTs play a role in helping creators achieve independence from social media platforms? The short answer is, yes. With the right creator tools, NFTs can move beyond being pure collectibles and provide the basis for long-term relationships between creators and their fans. They're also helping digital creators protect their artwork, music, and other creations. NFTs have the potential to disrupt a wide array of industries, according to Forbes. Music is the example we see most at the forefront, but the benefits of NFTs have even touched the events industry, helping performers fight back against scalping and the secondary market.
If you're looking to sell NFTs as a creator, the process is much like selling any other product. The most important thing is to provide value to your fans and then market it through the right channels. Your marketing and selling efforts need to be fueled by your creativity. What value are you providing to your fanbase, and how do they unlock it by purchasing an NFT?
How to market NFTs
Many artists struggle with selling, which is understandable. Your comfort zone is creating - not monetizing. But marketing NFTs can be an exciting extension of telling your story, especially as you venture into building a community. Here are some tried-and-tested strategies the pros use to market their work after they’ve made their NFTs.
1. Leverage social media in advance of your NFT drop
If you're in the creator space, you're probably already using social media to connect with your audience. And if you're just starting out, you'll still need to create a social media presence.
When it comes to marketing your NFTs, you'll have the greatest chance of success by promoting your collection on platforms where your personal brand is already established. Leveraging a cross-channel promotion strategy, i.e. promoting your collection across Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, etc., can help you expand your reach. Over time selling NFTs can help reduce your reliance on social media platforms, but today you will still need to reach an audience on them.
Marketing early is a great strategy to increase the quality of your sales. Before your NFT sales go live, consider teasing your collection and generating some hype around it. That way, when it comes time to buy, you'll have reached a wider audience and have also generated some good old FOMO.
2. Build a website for promoting NFTs
Getting your fans onto your own turf is one of the most important ways to give potential buyers more context about your NFTs. You can include snippets explaining the inspiration behind the artwork using video, audio, images, text, and more. The more time a casual fan spends with your work increases, the more likely they are to become a buyer.
Building a website to showcase your NFTs doesn't have to be difficult, either. With Tellie, you can build your own website in a few minutes, with our website builder that is compatible with Ethereum, Polygon, Flow, Avalanche, and Binance Smart Chain (Solana coming soon).
You can also gate access to certain pages on your site that only fans who purchase your NFT can unlock. The NFT becomes a key or "token-gate" that unlocks unreleased content and powers your fan club (e.g., exclusive products and merch, tickets, BTS materials, and more). Loyal fans are more likely to buy your NFT if it grants them access to exclusive parts of your world.
Finally, over time having your own site can help you get off the hamster wheel of feeding an algorithm and relying on third parties to reach your audience.
3. Experiment with different types of promotional content
If you're selling digital artwork, you don't have to stick to one medium to promote the NFT. If you're a musician, you can promote your NFT by making songs about it. The possibilities for promotion are endless – videos, audio, photos, text, and more. Tap into your own creative energy and find what works for you.
4. Collaborate with friends and other creators
When you start marketing your NFTs, tap into your own network first and ask your creator friends to check out your work. They will promote it if it speaks to them. Goodwill is the lifeblood of the creator space – help your friends out, and make sure they've got your back!
You can also collaborate with creators outside your network. Reach out to musicians, entertainers, product creators, and even fellow artists whose work is complementary to yours and speaks to you.
Some creators shy away from collaborating with others in their shared space because it could mean more competition. But if you collaborate with a creator in an unrelated space, their audience might not be interested in what you're offering. So it’s best to stick to collaborating with other creators whose audiences are similar to yours. Web3 is all about community and collaboration, so don’t be afraid to promote others and make new friends.
5. Use email & SMS marketing
When you think of promoting NFTs, your mind probably goes to social media. And while social media is great for promoting your NFT artwork, email & SMS marketing can result in the most sales. Email & SMS marketing are great ways to connect with your audiences, and you can personalize your messages and how often you send them to different types of fans. Similar to how collaborations on social media work, you can also collaborate with someone else for SMS/email marketing to get yourself promoted to their list.
6. Build a community of superfans
The end game for creator success is to build your own community of superfans. Having a loyal fanbase doesn't just help you monetize initially, but it's also great for growing your audience and participating long-term in the value you create. Superfans share your content, help you grow through word of mouth, and support your creativity directly with purchases and donations.
Connecting with your fans on a deeper level also helps you consistently produce relevant, high-quality content and artwork. Having the tools for your fans to fund your passions, rather than relying on advertising dollars, means you can make a living over the long-term from your creativity from a smaller number of fans. No more providing endless free labor to social platforms in exchange for the hope of one day getting a big sponsorship deal.
Remember how we discussed the importance of creating NFTs that mean something, especially to your audience? Well, interacting with your superfans helps you discern the kind of artwork that will resonate with them.
7. Offer buyers unique benefits for purchasing your NFTs
Incentivize buyers to purchase your NFTs by offering unique benefits. This could be exclusive content, a shoutout, or additional products as benefits. What you need to prioritize is creating a relevant offer. Learn more about your target audience's interests, and tailor your offer accordingly. An easy way to tie these added benefits to your NFT is to create a token-gated page on Tellie. Your page can host all your exclusive content in one place, and you lock it with your NFT’s contract address.
Here’s an example from Iman Europe.
With Tellie, Iman created a Backstage experience where fans have access to unreleased music. Iman allowed holders to suggest artists they would like to hear on future tracks and submit demos themselves for a chance to be featured. Her Backstage experience was initially gated by 75 NFTs, allowing 75 holders to gain access to the experience.
On the day Iman launched her gated experience, her five unreleased tracks received over 1500 streams total within her Audio Tile – or over 20 streams per visitor. Altogether she saw over 1600 clicks on her gated tiles, a 554.48% clicks to visitors rate. Her 75 holders entered her gated page and could not get enough – they came back again and again for more–making it far more likely they would support her again in the future.
8. Combine NFTs with physical products
You can also use physical products to promote your NFTs. There are two ways you can pull this off.
First, If you have a Shopify store, you can offer discounts on NFTs with certain purchases. This will incentivize Shopify buyers to check out your NFT collection and see if they like it enough to buy it.
Second, you can gate exclusive products or early access for your NFT holders, including posters, t-shirts, stickers, or clothing items inspired by your NFT project. Do this by embedding an exclusive Shopify Store on a Tellie Page with the Code Tile and token-gating it so only your token-holders can access it.
Selling NFTs is a lot like selling any creative project, so don’t be intimidated by stepping into this brave new world. You'll need to:
- Know your audience: This is crucial for creating NFTs that appeal to them and tailoring your offer and marketing efforts.
- Leverage traditional marketing channels: because they work.
- Prioritize sustainable growth: Be smart about your budget allocation, connect with your fans and build a community, and work to attain your 1000 super fans.
- Create an NFT-focused website: With token-gating, you can create sites that only your NFT holders can access, making the NFT more valuable.
Marketing can feel like a grind, but it’s important for it not to be an afterthought. Don’t feel like you have to do everything listed here to launch a successful NFT campaign. Pick a few channels that are most authentic for you and speak most to what sparks you as a creator, so you can find creative spark and joy in promoting your work. Find marketing tools that allow you to tell your story. Let your creativity power your growth.