Introduction to How To Start Your Own ICO
Initial coin offerings or ICOs as they are commonly known, are seen as the finest point of confluence between new technology like the blockchain and a traditional process like crowdfunding.
It would not be an exaggeration to call 2017 the year of ICOs. The total amount of funds raised in ICOs was almost close to a staggering $5 billion.
There may be a lot of new manifestations of blockchain-based fundraising but ICOs still retain supremacy in terms of being the most prominent and the most successful method of crypto fundraising.
Relatively, an ICO is one of the easiest ways to raise your funds compared to the security token offering (STO) and the initial exchange offering (IEO), end, of course, the initial public offering as well – the grand old daddy of fundraising with stocks.
Although it is ‘relatively’ easy, an ICO also commands its fair share of attention and expenses. There are different phases that need to be addressed, and each one deserves a strategy of its own when launching an ICO. In the lines below, we have given the most intricate details on how to launch an ICO.
Before we start…
It is to be remembered that an ICO development process is a grand culmination of a lot of talents coming together converging for a unified course. It includes developers, people who specialize in economics and legal dimensions, and a strong marketing and PR team. Needless to say, you will also need to have your own team of advisors, partners, and early investors.
This only goes on to say that even the simplest process in the crypto room also involves a lot of thinking and strategizing, obviously because of the uncertainties involved.
Let us look at the nuances of every stage in uncompromising detail.
It all starts with an idea!
At the end of the day, the ICO is just a fundraising method. Since there is a certain fat factor associated with ICOs, people might jump into the bandwagon thinking that and ICO itself elevates their marketing stones.
However, more often than not, an ICO might not even be needed, and it is bound to be a failure if it is not convincing enough for the investor.
You can consider creating a thread on specialized forums and can take feedback. At the same time, you should be sure that you do not spill too many beans, so someone else will steal your idea.
Understand your competitive landscape
It is only the unique selling point that differentiates the mediocre from the excellent, at least from a marketing perspective. Understand what your competitors are doing.
Know if there are any similar solutions that are being offered right now, and that will also help you position your product better. There’s nothing more devastating than being faced with a competition that does exactly the same thing as yours at the exact same time.
Research on the legal front
This is possibly the trickiest and the most cumbersome process in launching an ICO. The legal regulations governing anything related to crypto, in most jurisdictions, have been quite uncertain.
It is not a problem as long as it is like China or South Korea that have completely banned ICOs or if it is like the United States where it is highly regulated.
Wherever you launch in ICO, ensure that you are in complete legal compliance without any lapses on your part. Even if the laws are shaky, transparency in the way you handle people’s money is quite likely to establish your compliance even if there is a new law that is imposed.
Creating an ICO token
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the token is the epicenter of your ICO. Figuring out the dynamics of your token on both technology and distribution perspectives is key to ensuring the success of your ICO.
Your token distribution plan includes the details on the number of tokens reserved for private sale, pre-sales, marketing purposes, and the actual ICO.
You should also earmark a set of tokens for the general sale that happens after the ICO. It is to be noted that a few public ICOs have not been quite successful and some secret token sales have raised close to $1 billion in their ICOs.
Another crucial step in ensuring the success of your ICO is in choosing the right blockchain platform. More than 80% of the ICOs happen on Ethereum, and some of them happen on other services like Waves, Stratis, and Hyperledger.
The reason for Ethereum ruling the roost is because of the relative ease in creating tokens using the ERC 20 standards. The website even lists the code that you will need to use under different circumstances.
That might be a need for considerable technical expertise to customize certain aspects of the crowd say, but it is the easiest and most straightforward nevertheless.
Write a white paper
The white paper can be considered the single most important document in the entire process of launching an ICO. The white people should describe every detail that goes into your ICO, the analysis, division, the development strategy, the architecture and goals, the tokenomics, and the legal dimension.
To add credibility to your ICO, the white paper should also contain information about your team and their credentials.
Not every investor might go through the entire length of your white paper, but even if a few people do, the detail that they get from the white paper is quite likely to convert them into serious investors who almost commit to investing in your ICO.
Launch a website
When it comes to your ICO, the website is a project on its own! It serves in some cases as the first point of contact for investors to understand your ICO, and in most cases, it is the point of culmination where investors commit to investing for you. There are a few key aspects that need to be considered to ensure the success of your website.
- The content should be engaging and informative. It should fall in line with the interests of your investor.
- The website should detail about the team and their credentials.
- The website should also contain a roadmap with defined timelines.
- You should link your social media presence to your website.
- Given the fact that regulations required KYC/AML to be completed, your website should also have facilities to complete doors formalities.
- It is to be remembered that and ICO website handles financial data, and it needs to be made extremely secure.
- The website should contain a link to your white paper, the press coverage, case studies, legal terms and conditions, and a place where they can input their contact information for future communication.
Marketing and PR
All the efforts are taken to build an ICO might fall in vain if it is not complemented by proper marketing efforts. The marketing avenues for ICOs might be quite restricted but even under those restrictions, they are still quite wide.
Your marketing efforts should be a combination of strategies specific to the crypto world and the general digital marketing methods. On one side, you should participate in cryptocurrency forums where you can talk about your ICO to a specific set of people who have implicitly express their interest in Krypt and blockchain.
On the other side, you will also need to have an engaging social media presence on places like LinkedIn and Facebook. They might not allow paid ads but it still makes a great place to engage with your audience.
In addition to all of these, you can also run bounty programs and even airdrop your tokens, so you get some additional publicity and coverage. In all of this, email marketing should not be forgotten – it might be old but it still works.
Launching your ICO
After all the activities are done so far, the key is now to launch your ICO. Some ICOs have lasted four days and have raised thousands and sometimes millions of dollars.
In most cases, launching your ICO is a turnkey activity. However, what makes the process of launching a bit more complicated is communication. This is the time when you are expected to have a high influx of website traffic, and as a consequence, a lot of support queries.
The traffic also translates into a portable security threat. For this reason, you will need to have security specialists and support executives always on standby to address any untoward issues.
Further visit: 6 Insane Ways How Blockchain Can Secure IoT
Beyond the launch
Most people would consider launching the ICO to be the final step, but there is one more that reminds – getting your tokens on the exchange.
Even when you strategize the initial steps of your ICO, it should not be forgotten that the tokens find their Nirvana in being listed on a crypto exchange.
Each exchange has its own set of requirements and, as an ICO token issuer, you will need to act in the best interests of your investor, so they receive their returns and benefits.
As you may have inferred from the above paragraphs, launching an ICO might be straightforward but it requires extensive work to be done on the legal and technical fronts.
Your focus should be on the core of your business and the product or project. You can consider outsourcing your ICO development process to end the ICO launch services company.
They will take care to build your ICO from scratch, ensure legal compliance, put together the technical elements, and find the right ICO launch platform for you. They will, in most cases, also take care of PR and marketing.
All you need to do is get in touch with them and let them know your requirements. They will take care to move forward your ICO and make your token a phenomenal success.