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20 Tips To Make An ICO (Initial Coin Offering) Successful

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A popular way for startups to raise capital, Initial Coin Offerings have become a highly saturated and increasingly competitive space. Here are 20 tips to make your ICO successful.

#1 Write a detailed whitepaper

Once you know how it will work, you need to explain it to your investors and customers. So write a long, thorough whitepaper that explains everything about your business.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#2 Promote your ICO only on respected platforms

Do not use any Facebook promotion or any other platform that has banned ICO's. Yes, there are ways to bypass that. But you should not do it, because then you put your project on the level of other scam ICOs that do the same. And you do not want this association.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#3 Do not make empty promises

While making up grand ideas may attract more money during the ICO, you should not promise something you can not deliver. Because people will remember and will expect you to bring your project to reality the way you promised it. And when you won’t, they will make sure that no other start-up of yours will ever fly again.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#4 Lawyer up

Get a legal opinion on your white paper and your business overall. If the legal team finds any inconsistency — this is your last chance to fix it, so make sure you do. You might require several drafts before your project is in the clear.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#5 Launch a live product before ICO

Everything may look great in the whitepaper, but reality can crash it. Don’t launch an ICO to get money and start working — launch an initial version of the product to understand if people really need it. Also, it helps to create a community that would be ready to participate in the ICO. Offer more than just a whitepaper and a website — you have to deserve users’ trust.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#6 Do not pay celebrities to promote your project

If Tom Cruise writes to you “Hey, Alex, I love your project and want to be your brand ambassador!” — you say “Yes”. But reaching out to Tom and asking him to promote your ICO for $5 000 000 per month is a big no-no. Same thing about cryptocurrency celebrities like John McAfee.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#7 Present your team as much as possible

The project lives and dies on its team, so the more you talk about it — the better. The best way to do this is to have pictures and short bios for all team members. 

However, publicly disclosing your team members may put them at risk, so you might want to think it through. In that case, you may reveal only the C-level officers of your company and have very detailed bios for each one.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#8 DO NOT start your ICO in the United States of America

In fact, do not accept any ICO purchases from there and inform your investors about it. Even if your legal profile is immaculate and you are sure that you will be able to pass all the checks of government agencies… just don’t. At least, not when you are still starting up. The amount of unwanted attention you will attract far exceeds the profit you will gain. The best place to have your ICO is in the European Union. 

Their law actually makes sense, even after GDPR, and is far more friendly to the cryptocurrency startups. And once your project is up and running, you will be able to simply expand to the USA with far less legal scrutiny.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#9 Make a good plan

Before you start your ICO, you should already know how your business will operate and what it will bring to the table. The more detailed your plan is, the better.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#10 Be active on social media

Every serious company (and even not very serious ones) has accounts in the social networks. Share everything — what the team is working on now, what your future plans are, what coffee machine you use in the office. Users want to see what is going on, they want to feel engaged. Also, social media is a great tool to receive a feedback and hear honest opinions.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#11 Communicate

People have so many questions, and they want to get answers immediately. Creating a comprehensive FAQ is great, but there will always be some unpredictable questions from the users—and you must answer them, and answer quickly. Create a support team that is ready to help 24/7.

Contributor: Alex Blazhevych from bonpay.com

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#12 Be picky about your team and investors

In order to stand out from the crowd and run a successful ICO, one of the most important things to do is surround yourself with a good team. Having experienced and relevant industry professionals working behind the scenes adds credibility to your ICO and product. 

While a lot of startups make the mistake of not hiring the right people in the first place, the importance of having a team who understands your goals and knows how to leverage your varying skill sets to build and offer a value-added product to your target market cannot be underestimated. 

The importance behind picking the right team should also be heeded when it comes to looking at your investors. Be selective with who your investors are. It’s important to remember that every person investing in your company should genuinely believe in what you do and have values that align with yours. Leverage the community that are investing in you. Interact with and learn as much as you can from them. Remember, it’s important that your ICOs obtain smart as well as connected capital and not just any capital.

Contributor: Gabriele Giancola from qiibee.com

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#13 Crypto is already complicated; Simple beats flashy

Too many new projects try to impress their potential customers with big buzzwords and long lists of features. What they fail to understand is that complexity doesn’t attract users and investors - it scares them away. If you can’t communicate your core value offering in one simple sentence, you’re not ready to launch a successful ICO.

Contributor: Kyle Fournier from Cryptomaniaks.com

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#14 Don’t sabotage yourself – make it simple for people to invest!

I’m part of your target market. I’m interested in investing in ICOs. I can tell you that this process has played out (several times) for me, personally: I did my research. I decided to invest in the ICO. I tried to figure out how to buy tokens. I found no clear, simple instructions. I decided against investing in the ICO.

Don’t expect people to find your instructions on a subreddit or forum somewhere and don’t expect them to read paragraphs of text. Present short, simple steps for investing on one easy-to-find page on your official website. 

Contributor: Kyle Fournier from Cryptomaniaks.com

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#15 Develop and conducting a due diligence process

Developing and conducting a due diligence process should also be a central part of your ICO strategy. Educate yourself about what requirements you must meet; do you need to pay taxes? When must you pay them? And what regulations exist in the country you are based in?

Contributor: Gabriele Giancola from qiibee.com

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#16 Don’t neglect the Big 3: White Paper, Roadmap, Website

My number one tip to people for investing in a successful ICO is to do make sure they do their research and fully understand the project they’re considering - inside and out. Projects that are worth investing in take the time to invest in their communication. Incomplete White Papers, missing Roadmaps, and Websites with typos all communicate a simple message to potential users: “We’re not trying hard enough.”

Contributor: Kyle Fournier from Cryptomaniaks.com

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#17 Respect your audience’s intelligence

Lots of ICOs today are attempting to appeal to uneducated investors by promising unrealistic returns and making extravagant claims about their technology. I don’t know if this works by luring in newbies. I do know, however, that it doesn’t work on real investors. People that might otherwise be interested in your project WILL be turned off if they see you promising things that shouldn’t be promised.

Contributor: Kyle Fournier from Cryptomaniaks.com

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#18 Don’t shill

This point is related to the 'respect your audience’s intelligence' point, but while the last point was discouraging lazy, disingenuous marketing, this point refers specifically to the dishonest guerilla marketing carried out by “shills” these days. 

Anyone that’s lurked their fair share of ICO forums and message boards has seen shills. These individuals pretend to have no vested interest in the project, but they’re REALLY EXCITED about how great the project is. Quite simply, they’re liars trying to drum up interest by going undercover as regular posters. Like with the disingenuous marketing I mentioned in the last point, I’ll concede that maybe shilling does work on unsuspecting people. However, it makes the rest of us lose respect for you.

Contributor: Kyle Fournier from Cryptomaniaks.com

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#19 Understand how all the different ecosystems in the ICO space interact with each other

Good advisors on your team will help attract good quality influencers, who in turn will help drive traffic to your social media channels. Active social media channels will help build confidence with ICO pools demonstrating that there is community excitement for your project. A fully integrated approach to building your project's profile will maximize the return on your budget and time.

Contributor: Henry Clay from blockinfluence.com

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#20 Don't rule out anonymous Influencers

Anonymous Influencers, despite not revealing their identity carry a great deal of social clout, and can help you quickly get your message far and wide through their significant social footprints, however make sure you work with those who you have built up a trustworthy relationship, because you can't enter into contractual agreements with them nor can you invoice them, because they don't disclose their identity.

Contributor: Henry Clay from blockinfluence.com

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