Since 2021, I've been observing and analyzing dozens of NFT projects. Some of them had talented teams but didn’t generate any profit, some had beautiful artworks, but nobody bought them. The truth is: Only a tiny number of collections become successful.
If you want to have the highest probability of success with your NFT project, then this hands-on NFT marketing guide is perfect for you:
Detailed explanations to launch and market a successful NFT project.
Free NFT marketing canvas template with step-by-step guidance.
Filled with examples from Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), RTFKT, Invisible Friends, Deadfellaz, and many more.
The quickest way to failure
Many people make the beginner mistake to launch their NFT project and just hope that people will randomly buy it. I guarantee you that - in most cases - nobody will. Therefore, it is important to properly market your NFT project, which requires extensive planning and a good strategy.
Long before launch, project founders often ask themselves:
“How can I make people interested in my NFT project?”
“There are a lot of NFT projects out there. How can I cut through the noise?”
“How can I get people to buy my NFT”
“How do I market my NFT project?”
And many more
If this sounds familiar, welcome to the club :) Don’t worry. This guide will provide the answers you need. If you follow my steps it’ll increase your chances to create awareness among potential buyers and partners and convert more people into buying your NFT and create a valuable project.
Understand why people buy NFTs
If you understand why people buy NFTs, it’ll be much easier for you to position and market your project and not get surprised or disappointed by certain behaviors of buyers and the community. For example, artists might be disappointed to see people trading their NFTs for profit (flipping), instead of buying the art because they love it and want to display it.
The motivation of a buyer is often a combination of the below and other reasons:
Making money and quickly flipping the NFT (buying it at a lower price and selling it after making a profit)
Supporting you as a person
Showing off and flexing their rare and expensive NFT
Being part of early adopters and seen as a trendsetter
Investing in it for a long-term believing that the team can deliver their compelling vision
Becoming part of a community who they share the same values with
Getting access to exclusive or discounted items, NFTs, content, knowledge, meetings
Expressing themselves by showcasing their taste
Having an interest in art and the art industry in general
Planning with these different motivations in mind is important to create a compelling collection. Your NFT marketing strategy and promotion need to speak to each point that is relevant to your audience.
NFT Marketing Canvas that guides you
I admit this all sounds complex. That’s why I created a simple canvas to help you guide through your NFT marketing journey. The components consist of purpose, utility, story, team, assets, fun, and community - you can find details for each one below. While covering most project needs, I recommend adjusting or adding components that have an impact on your project’s success.
This is the core of your NFT project. If you don’t have a clear idea about the purpose of your NFT, why should other people believe in your project? Therefore, think about the following questions:
Why are you creating this NFT project?
What do you love and are interested in?
What are you truly passionate about?
Now, try to finish the sentence: “Our NFT project exists to…”
“Get rich quickly” doesn’t count :-) I know and understand why you may think that way. You probably have heard many stories where NFTs got sold for millions. But for every highly valued NFT project come thousands of unsold NFTs projects. Therefore, it will be easier to sell NFTs if you define a purpose that’s not just driven by a monetary aspect.
Utility (and roadmap)
Based on your overall purpose, formulate what value (utility) you will provide to people joining your community (by buying your NFT). Besides owning your scarce digital asset, you need to provide something extra to offer a compelling buying opportunity. Here are a few examples:
Exclusive access to experiences or events
Early access to services and products
Whitelist & Airdrops for future projects (free NFTs)
Pathway to your whitelist or allowlists that are usually hard to get on to
Private 1-on-1 with a celebrity
Forged NFTs (access to a limited physical item based on the NFT)
Canvas print of the NFT art
And many more
Here are a few utility examples from successful collections:
Entrepreneur and speaker Gary Vaynerchuk's NFT collection VeeFriends: “By owning a VeeFriend NFT, you immediately become part of the VeeFriends community and get access to VeeCon.”
The band Kings of Leon: 4 front row tickets to one Kings of Leon headline show per tour, any tour location in the world, VIP treatment, meet and greet with the band, complete tour merchandise, 8hr SUV limousine, on-site concierge, private backstage hospitality, one edition of the "Limited Edition NFT Album w/ additional Vinyl Album (physical copy).
Beyond immediate utility, you should also share how to provide additional utility over time. Formulate a roadmap including what you plan to do when you hit a certain milestone during and after the sale of your NFT collection. This will help users to understand how you translate your purpose into tangible actions. Keep in mind that you need to deliver your promises in the future so while aiming high, the milestones should be realistic to achieve, otherwise, you may upset people which could potentially have harmed your project’s future.
Building an NFT project by yourself will either take a long time or your chance to succeed decreases because you most likely won’t have all the skills it takes to create the project from end to end. To help you identify who you need and whether it’s a good fit, answer those questions:
What skills are required to create and deliver your project?
What value brings each of your team members?
How much time can they spend working on the project?
How do you incentivize team members?
The goal is to create a passionate and skilled team that believes in the purpose of the community. Forming a team consisting of a designer, marketer, and developer is a great start.
Formulate a narrative of your brand that is authentic and stands out featuring key moments in your life resulting in the project. The following questions might help:
Who are you? Why are you creating this NFT project?
What are interesting things people should know about you, your team, and the project?
What message do you want to bring across?
Are you clearly formulating what your project is about so “non-techies” and people outside of the NFT space can understand and get excited about the project?
The assets are the visual representation of your NFTs. At the minimum, these are the images that show up on NFT marketplaces. There are a lot of tools and tutorials out there helping you to build assets. Before creating your artwork, make sure they are aligned with your overall vision and marketing.
What do the NFT assets depict and symbolize for the user?
Do you have the right to create this NFT?
Do you have the resources to build what you envision?
Will the assets have additional functionality in the future?
Think about Intellectual Property rights and write an agreement that’s accessible for everyone. The more rights you provide, the more the owners can potentially generate revenue from it and make your NFT brand more popular.
Even though more and more people are working professionally in the NFT space, most people who are active in the industry are there to have a good time, engage in a community they identify with, simply have a good time and find like-minded “frens”.
How can you ensure your team members have a good time?
How can you spread positive energy to the community?
How do you celebrate wins?
How do you encourage bonding?
Express your gratitude for your communities engagement. Be genuine and share how you feel in a fun way and surprise your community every now and then.
Your community is the foundation of your NFT project. and growing a community is closely related to how well you promote your NFT project. Community building can easily make up the largest part of your entire project effort.
To make it easy for you to promote your NFT, do the other steps of the NFT Marketing canvas first and marketing ideas will come effortless and more naturally. Before we jump into actionable initiatives, however, answer these questions first as this will make your marketing efforts way more efficient.
Who would support your project?
In which channels can you find them?
How do you get your community engaged?
By promoting your project, artists, developers, influencers, and other potential stakeholders will notice it, get excited about it, and might even want to collaborate with you.
Popular media & channels to grow your community
Website: Capture an overall snippet of your project for future buyers and media like journalists
Discord: The beauty of this communication platform is that when people join your community (server) they are there to talk about your project. It’s a kind of club and convenient place for interested people to exchange thoughts and to engage with them
Twitter: is probably the fastest social network for sharing information on a global scale. Topics like web3, metaverse and NFT have been discussed deeply in the past. inform a global audience and share other people’s input & work
Medium: for sharing your roadmap, industry information, team insights, and research
Other media like Linkedin where you can update business people and decision-makers about your project and educate them about the industry and Reddit, where you can find NFT enthusiasts and inform them in a subreddit about your project which the fans follow and in which they can interact with you
1. Build a Website
No matter on which (social) media platform your audience is active in, a solid website with key information about the project helps as an anchor. If you finished the above steps, creating the content for your website shouldn’t take too long. Your goal should be to turn every website visitor into a (future) NFT buyer, subscriber, project advocate, or active community member. Here are activities on how to support this process:
Design your site to represent the purpose of your project
Position large and easy to find links to mint (buy) your NFT
Add links to your social channels (at least Twitter, Discord)
Describe the purpose and problems you are trying to solve (see previous Canvas components)
Share your vision and project details in a whitepaper
Create an e-mail sign-up and newsletters, if you have time to maintain them, so people can stay connected without actively having to follow you.
Visualize your roadmap (see previous Canvas components)
Share information about your team in an about section (see previous Canvas components)
Include FAQs especially for newbies in the NFT space on how they can buy your NFT and how they can get involved
Make sure that your target audience, as well as journalists, understand what you do otherwise it's hard for them to write about your project. Industry jargon doesn't help here.
Once media has picked up your project, create a section about “as seen on” to build extra trust
SEO-optimize your website so it ranks high on google and people can actually find your project when googling your NFT project name
2. Create a whitelist / pre-sale list
A whitelist offers people NFT pre-sale spots and is a popular incentivization to increase engagement within your audience. It is often used in competitions or to reward highly engaged community members. You can create it to reward early supporters by:
guaranteeing them a spot to mint (=buy) your NFT
earlier than the rest of the market can access it
to save on gas prices because they can take their time to mint it e.g. 5 days and
to get the NFT at a discounted rate.
Supporters are then again motivated to promote the project themselves. The list needs to include wallet addresses and depending on your requirements other information.
3. Build a Twitter community
Twitter is one of the platforms to share information fast and on a global scale. It’s been native to the crypto and blockchain community and the most popular medium to spread information about NFT projects. Apart from using it as a promotional channel, it’s good to build trust within the deeply rooted crypto community.
Create a nice banner
Write a sharp profile description based on your purpose and utility (see NFT marketing canvas components above)
Upload a logo or profile picture
Pin your best or important tweet
Use two or three emojis that represents your NFT that you can use on a regular basis so people start associating you with it and to build a brand
Select hashtags you add to your posts to be found and which your community can use when writing about you
Memes are not for everyone so keep in mind your target group when sharing them. When used wisely, they can be fun and sometimes say more than any thread.
3.2. Announcements, updates, milestones
Tweet core updates and announcements with a broader audience like achieved milestones, new partnerships and new team members
Milestone announcement - Share the number of people who followed you and thank them to create fear of missing out (FOMO).
Tweet threads about your purpose, goals and problems you are trying to solve with your project to encourage readers to continue reading in a more storytelling thought and to empathize with you
To increase excitement tweet announcements that are coming up e.g. Big announcement coming at the end of the week.
Dates about the launch. Only post this if you are 100% sure you can deliver. Postponing your launch date can flatten the excitement and engagement you built-up
Include relevant links e.g. to your website
Retweeting tweets from your supporter makes them feel heard and cared about
Retweeting and commenting on tweets from the industry can make you be seen as an expert in your field and make you more trustworthy
Inquire NFT promoters to post a tweet about spots for your allow lists e.g. https://twitter.com/sirBoniek, https://twitter.com/AspectNFT, https://twitter.com/JpegGems, https://twitter.com/NFTDrops
3.5. Raffles, Giveaways, Contests, Quizzes, Flash giveaways
Some people love them, others hate them. Contests, giveaways, flash giveaways (shorter than 24 hours) etc. can feel a bit spammy or needy so choose wisely how often and when you create those.
Before you create a competition, make sure you define what you want to achieve with this initiative. Set specific competition rules that are transparent for contestants. Here are a few actions you might want to achieve: Following your project on Twitter, retweeting your post, joining your discord server, reply your post, tagging friends.
The raffle should include at least the following information: what the user has to do, by when, and what they could get in return.
20 whitelist spots for your NFT project.
1. Follow @yourNFTproject and join the server: https://discord.gg/yourNFTproject
2. Like, RT, and tag your friends
Winners will be picked in 48 hours will be contacted by our official Twitter account.
Retweet raffles as reminders.
Retweet art posts, videos, music, or fun ideas from the community about your project
Tweet flash giveaways e.g.
10 LAST whitelist spots to win
2. Like, RT and tag 5 friends.
Winners will be picked in 10 hours.
3.6. Keep your community safe
To keep people happy and safe, warn them about scam accounts and bots so they don't buy from the wrong collection. Don't post the actual spam links so how didn't read the message correctly, but from the scammer
3.7. Interview, Speaker, events
Tweet about interviews you've given, mention the parter/journalist and add a link to hear/read more about it.
3.8. AMA and Q&A sessions
Build trust by setting up 30 minute live streams, ask me anything (AMA), question and answer (Q&A) sessions and polls and help your community to have a say in decisions, to know you and your NFT project a bit better and for you to better understand your community and to get feedback.
Make sure you prepare potential questions and your answers to them. Instagram has a feature that lets people submit their questions beforehand. Be honest - you can always say “I don’t know yet” instead of promising something you cannot keep.
Announce your AMA session on Twitter Spaces (live audio conversations feature on Twitter) tagging speakers and mentioning the topic
Allowlists (AL) reward active users apart from your own community to mint your NFTs before others their most active supporters. Usually given to popular projects.
Provide AL spots without any benefit for other popular communities to attract OGs and early adopters from the NFT space and mention their project in the post
3.10. Sneak peeks and behind the scenes
Share tools you use to create your art
Behind the scenes shot on how you create the art for example a short video
Fun information about the NFTs or something that happened during the creation process
“Leaks” of part of your NFT collection or 5-10 art pieces in case you create a 10K PFP collection
3.11. Value posts
Can be a bit more inspirational featuring your core values and “reason why”
Information about the utility NFT buyers gain when owning one of your NFTs
Interesting facts about your team and your “story”
3.12. Industry involvement
If anything is happening in the news or industry related to the purpose of your NFT, you can retweet and comment on that
3.13. Tag people, institutions, marketplaces
Tag relevant people and institutions for example the marketplace you are launching your NFT collection on to increase the likelihood of shares
3.14. Thanking supporters and the community
This is an underestimated action. (Most of the time) there are real people behind the phone/computer creating, sharing, coming up with fun ideas, and thanking them for their efforts is really important
Thank people and share community input like their own creations, ideas, feedback etc.
Be grateful for their commitment, hard work, support helping other community members, spreading the love of your projects
3.15. Pre-launch tweets
Share details about the number and rarity of traits
Post 1-2 hours before the launch so people can get ready and know where they can mint. Including the minting URL as well as the link to the NFT collection for secondary market sales.
Tweet again when the mint has started.
4. Grow your community on Discord
People who join your Discord server are here because of your project. Create a friendly and educational space for your community to participate, learn, lead, contribute, and have a good time.
There is a big overlap of Twitter initiatives that can also be applied on Discord too. So make sure you read through the Twitter section above.
Create a nice banner
Upload a logo or profile picture
Add Set up user roles
Set setting of applicable channels to “read-only” e.g. your announcement channel, as you don’t want anybody writing anything
Create channels for subcategories (channels) of your project e.g. official links (so people can quickly access your website or marketplace where your NFT is sold), announcements, general, report scams, send your art, shill (lets users promote other NFT projects if it’s not a separate channel it might clutter your general channel) level-ups, giveaways, a gated channel only for holders of your NFT, and other specific channels depending on your project
Send personalised welcome messages and increase engagement through automated discord bots
Create custom emojis that people can use to express themselves in a more project-related way..
Share information about new channels you create and what their purpose are, milestones and other important information
Ask the community for feedback & ideas
Reward supporters of your community with giveaways for your NFT
Reward active members by giving away spots for allow lists that grant them early access to buy another NFT
4.5. Support & educate
Educate your audience in a q&q or 101 channel. As this is still early days and adoption of NFTs is relatively low you can create a “how-to buy your NFTs on your website or through a marketplace” video tutorial to convert first-time buyers.
4.6. Grow your team
Enable people to create and build for your NFT project. If you provide enough purpose, utility, and vision, some people in your discord server may actively contribute.
Ask them what they want to support and let them know what you need support with
Use it as a place to search for moderators (mods) e.g. from other time zones and other team members and collaborators to grow your community
Give special permissions to active and loyal members to manage discussions
To protect users, announce security measures e.g. you'll never directly message (DM) them, to turn DMs off, use the links from your own discord server directly and not from other sources, never share your seed phrase/keyword with anyone
4.8. Giveaway & Whitelist
For the first 500 discord members, you can guarantee a spot on the whitelist
Offer seasonal contests for Easter, Christmas etc.
Bring on the holiday mood & show us your Christmas Trees
Share your x-mas decorations (project-themed or not)
The team will vote on the 10 best submissions and 10 winners will get a spot on the whitelist
More whitelist raffles
10 pre-sale spots available, each with 2 mints per spot.
1. like and
2. retweet this post to qualify
The 10 winners will be randomly picked in 72 hours
5. Create a community on additional social media platforms
Choosing another channel to promote your NFT project depends on three things:
If you already have a following in a social network, then I would recommend starting in that one as it’s easier to build and scale a community with existing followers rather than starting from scratch.
If you have no audience yet, define who your target group is and on which platform they are active
If you have a budget you could also spend money on paid advertisement, PR, influencers etc.
Medium, Telegram and Instagram are other platforms to market NFT projects. Being authentic is key. Obviously, you should create valuable content on relevant topics and ideas that your community would be interested in. To build a loyal community, also interact with other people’s posts to become an opinion leader in that field.
And always keep your social channels up to date so people know what to expect when. At least three to four weeks before the release you can start posting insights about your project. Try to create suspense and not reveal everything about the project before the launch so people get excited about it.
6. Visit events
There are a lot of events focussing on NFTs like NFT NYC, Art Basel, SXSW and many more. If you can get a spot as a speaker you can share your project with a larger audience.
7. On-marketplace optimisation
If you decide to release your collection through a marketplace, make sure you optimise prior the drop to get discovered easily and to build trust.
Write a fantastic description
Create a stunning header banner
Add all relevant social media channels
Marketplaces such as makersplace, KnownOrigin and all the others feature artists and collections on their homepage increasing eyeballs for your collection.
Get featured in the newsletter of the marketplace your launch your project
To make sure people buy from the right collection and to save them from buying from copycats, create multiple empty collections under different names so people couldn't use it.
Get verified to build some extra trust
8. Speak on podcasts
There are podcasts for a lot of niches, including NFTs. Reach out to hosts and make sure you practice articulating your purpose, vision, and any message your want to bring across.
9. Ranking sites & Calendars
Add your milestones/ drop to the public Calendars for NFTs to gain extra exposure for people browsing for new projects and to reach people who don’t know about your project yet:
Once you have a set date for your NFT launch, get listed in the “Upcoming” NFT section on NFT ranking platform rarity.tools. Here is their form.
Add your NFT project to the NFT information aggregator Mintyscore. Here is their form.
Get listed on the release and event calendar NFT Calendar via their form.
10. Traditional PR & Media outreach
Depending on your target group, PR might attract the industry leader, also great to use as a trust feature for "as seen on". The goal is to get clippings/features on relevant websites/TV channels where you can reach your target group.
11. Collaborations, Influencer marketing & Affiliate marketing
Influencers can - because of their large reach - accelerate your project's growth in a very short time. Make sure to pick someone who has the right audience and to provide the influencer with an interesting story, images, or sport on your whitelist and an explanation of your project so she/he can create a great post about it.
Before activating affiliates, make sure your website and social channels are stunning and the call to action is clear
By partnering with more established NFT projects, you get NFT-affine people interested in your project to enrich your community
12. Engage with and educate the NFT community
Be active in the Crypto community and engage with other projects before promoting your own. Don’t be spammy. Most of the people already get hundreds of random posts.
The market is still young, providing better information to the market to understand how NFTs work, share your learnings, thoughts and support each other ♡ WAGMI
There is one component that I haven’t put in the NFT marketing canvas which is - luck. Some project founders are lucky and were at the right time and the right place. Nothing you can do about it other than try to actively get lucky ;-)
Promoting your NFT project is a lot of effort and crucial for a successful outcome. The key components of the NFT Marketing Canvas consist of purpose, utility, story, team, assets, fun, and community. Following the structure of the NFT Marketing Canvas helps you create a valuable project which translates into awareness and interest of potential buyers and partners to ultimately convert more people investing in you and your NFT project.
This approach can also be applied to companies and projects apart from the NFT, crypto, and blockchain space.