You probably have already noticed that how fast the digital world has changed in the last few years. Cryptocurrency, blockchain and ICO have come to a leading edge in the digital industry. Let’s understand the basic terminologies before going ahead with the steps of launching an ICO.
ICO- Initial Coin Offering
ICO is the decentralized body by which funds are raised for the development of the start-ups. In an ICO campaign, there is a sale of tokens in exchange for the cryptocurrencies usually Bitcoin. It is based on the blockchain technology.
This uses cryptography for its operation and it is in the form of virtual currency. The cryptocurrency is organic in nature and not controlled by any central authority.
It is the decentralized, digitized and public ledger having all the cryptocurrencies transactions. It is recorded and added in the chronological order in the form of blocks. This allows the market participation keeping track of digital transactions without any central authority.
How to Launch an ICO?
Once you have reviewed other ICOs by knowing their marketing strategies, their whitepapers and teams, you should launch your own ICO. Here is the step by step process on how to successfully launch your ICO.
Step 1- Have an Idea
An idea is an important aspect on how to start an ICO. If you want your ICO to be successful, then you need to have the solid idea. Whether it is new or improving the presence of existing product, you should make sure that it is achievable. You don’t want to spend your efforts and time on the idea that hardly exists in the market. In other words, don’t promise anything that you can’t achieve and deliver to the investors. You should have achievable goals and strategies to accomplish them.
Step 2- Proper White Paper
A white paper is an essential document to convey the message of ICO. It should have all the details related to ICO outlining the product and the problems it is going to solve. It states the problem and the proposed solution for it. The document also includes the description of token generation and distribution strategy. There are services available to write the whitepaper. But you should at least draft the ICO whitepaper as you are the one who knows the idea very well.
Before you contact the professional writer, take an extra time to engage with the advisors who will help to provide the clear information about what to write in ICO. You are the one who needs to hire the expert advisors for your team. One of the good sources of finding the advisors is ICObench, a site with the list of ICOs and the experts who have been approved to rate the ICOs. If you contact them to work for you, they can join your team and create an effective piece of the white paper. Make sure you answer all the questions related to ICOs.
Step 3- Create a Product
This is the crucial step which is often ignored by the owners in order to generate the large capital. Building a great product is an important aspect of launching the ICO. The product should be robust, secure and scalable. The product basically provides an answer to the problem defined in the whitepaper in the form of the solution. You will have to explain here the technical specification of the specific products you’re launching.
Through the product, your investors have all the knowledge of an idea you’re trying to convey. When the investors have the proper knowledge of the information you provide through the product, they will instantly buy the tokens. This section is extremely important and in order to reap the benefits of the product launching, you should have the realistic goals.
Step 4- Create Token
This is the simplest part of the ICO launching process in which tokens are released and they are the biggest asset that the business needs to survive. It can be tradable digital coins similar to shares in an IPO transaction that company sells. You should decide how many tokens you will sell in the team and pre ICO stage of the ICO.
There are various platforms that allow creating your own tokens such as Ethereum and Waves. The sale of this token is performed by the smart contract which is based on the computer program that transfers the digital assets under certain conditions between the parties directly.
Step 5- Build a Strong Team
Building a good team of advisors and consultants is the second biggest task after creating the whitepaper. You will require software developer, website front and backend and blockchain developers along with legal advisors. You need someone to answer all the questions of the investors. The ICO fundraising requires the smart contract. You must hire an expert to write the smart contract for you.
With the good team, you will able to approach better investors for the ICOs. In fact, you will able to develop the product as early as possible. You will also be able to entice the popular advisors to your project. It is good for the ICO if team members have the prior knowledge of the ICO. You can find the great team players through LinkedIn. Initiate the connection with them and then have the conversation over the phone or Skype.
Step 6- Get Legal Opinion
Whenever it’s the matter of money, you need an expert legal advisor to guide you. You will require the formal legal opinion and description of the token offers and what investors actually get after investment. The legal aspects of token sales vary from country to country so have your own diligence to comply with the ICO laws and regulations. It is important to hire an expert legal advisor. Access the sites of the legal advisors and then contact them by shortlisting the best ones.
Step 7 – Pricing Strategy
This is an important aspect of launching an ICO. There are four types of pricing. First one is undetermined pricing which doesn’t have any set value. The investors get the coins amount based on their contribution to the project. Second is the fixed price in which investors can buy the tokens but they can only trade them after freezing period. Third pricing strategy is dutch auction having the expensive coins in the first stage but later on, the price is decreased. Lastly, there is price rise ICO where the investors get the coins at the best price.
Step 8- Prepare Your Website
The website is the foundation of an ICO. This is the place where the future contributors will see your work. Avoid making the free website of just one page. The investors see the credibility of the website to trust your ICO. Your website should load fast and secure for the investors. It should have the details of your ICO including the white paper, team member details, information about token allocation. It should also contain the links to your social media accounts and other communication links and blog section.
Step 9- Protect your ICO
There should be the protection of ICO as the token generation units aren’t regulated by the financial authority. The investors should be aware of the ICO scams. The website should be on the secured hosting platform. There should be transparency of the information mentioned in the website and other communication channels. Keep the website updated and professional looking. Technically sound along with visually appealing website entice a lot of investors.
Make sure that the profiles of the team members aren’t fake and should include the links of their active social accounts. It is also crucial that the team members should possess the right skills and expertise. The white paper should be unique to earn the credibility of the investors. It should outline how the ICOs plan to achieve the proposed results and what benefits the investors will get after investment.
Step 10- Market Your ICO
This is definitely the most important aspects of the ICO launching. You can’t have the sale of tokens unless the investors know about it. There are numerous marketing channels to promote and market your ICO. Here is the list of them
Forums- The most popular forum is the Bitcointalk, where all the ICO projects are run. In fact, you will get many reviews and ratings both positive and negative but you can also get a lot of visibility and potential investors.
Reddit- You can create your own channel and there are many subreddits that are worth engaging to your target customers.
Quora Discussions- There are many active discussions on Quora about the ICO and its launching. You can participate by answering the questions and provide a link back to your landing page.
Telegram and Slack- You should create the profiles on each one of them to get the potential investors.
LinkedIn Groups- There are thousands of members in the LinkedIn professional group and can be the good medium to entice the investors.
There will be a lot of work after you launch your ICO such as token exchange, listing your ICO and participating in the community. Keep developing your ICO to get the better returns. Good Luck!