It’s quite possible that you’ve heard that an NFT project’s success is solely based on the strength of its community.
This is mostly true.
There are some other factors of course, but your community will play a large role in the long-term success of your NFT project.
So the question becomes how do you build an awesome community for your NFT project?
Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder than signing up for Discord and posting an invite link.
In this guide, I’m going to show you how we’ve built a number of different successful online communities over the years along with one for our own NFT project, Boopieverse.
Before we look into what it takes to build a successful community it’s important that we understand why people want to join a community.
The Need for Acceptance
Since the dawn of humans, we have always felt a need for acceptance.
Many, many, many years ago it was because we needed to be accepted to survive.
It was impossible to survive on your own.
That need of acceptance hasn’t left us.
People show it in different ways and this is what makes the online world so beautiful.
Not too long ago you only had your physical, offline community to lean on.
If you couldn’t find people with the same interests and worldviews then you were screwed.
You were alone.
With the online world, you can actively CHOOSE who you want to hang out with and that’s an amazing thing.
But it’s also a huge challenge for project owners because everyone is trying to get everyone else to join their community.
So you have to make sure that your community stands out in the right ways if you wish to find success.
That leaves the next question of “how in the hell do I do that” to be answered.
Who Do You Want?
Before we get into the actual steps it’s important to understand WHO you want to be in your community.
If this is a long-term project then you’re going to be talking to these people almost every single day for the next couple of years.
These are also going to be the people that talk to others about your project so you really have to take into consideration who you want to be a part of your community.
Now, because you’re working in the NFT space you might think that you’re all-inclusive and there are obvious things that should be ignored.
You know, the typical demographics:
- sexual preference
- age (mostly, you probably don’t want a thriving community of 10 year olds)
Things like that.
What you care about is how people view the world.
Not all things like politics, but more along the lines of do they believe in art, do they believe in growing slowly, or do they believe that floor price in the short-term is not a reflection of the long-term potential of a project?
The reason why all of this stuff is important is because you’re going to try and create a movement.
I know that sounds a bit heavy. You just want to have fun, create art, and make some money!
And that becomes a lot easier when you start a movement.
How to Start a Movement
Now, please don’t go overboard with your thinking.
I’m not saying you need a desire to change the world to succeed with NFTs.
But when I say movement I mean that the whole community feels as though they are trying to achieve a common goal.
That might sound kind of weird because if people are buying NFTs and just shooting the shit with others, then what is the goal?
It could simply be to make more money but do so in a way that makes you feel good. Maybe every week you give to charity.
Maybe you spend time help other projects.
There are a lot of different movements that can be started.
This is why you often see a project launch, a group of people form around that project, and then suddenly there is a DAO started by the members.
Because they feel that they share a common purpose.
What I’m saying is that as a project creator do you sit around and HOPE that your community does that or do you plant the seeds to make it a bit easier?
That’s what we’re going to explore in the rest of this guide.
How to Build an NFT Community from Scratch in 7 Steps
How do you actually go about building a community that is strong and passionate?
First, you have to have an NFT that people can get behind. I figure that goes without saying so we won’t count that as a step.
I also won’t dive into the technical aspects of creating a Discord and setting things up.
I’ll talk about that elsewhere.
This is about what needs to be done to ensure that when people join your community it feels like home to them.
1. Set the Tone Early, Reinforce It Daily
Too many people get their communities set up and just let people do whatever or even worse they hope people start talking.
No new person is going to join your community and decide they know how to act in it.
Most will take a look around to see what is happening.
Are you going to be there?
Are the previous conversations are representation of how things will be?
When you join the Boopieverse Discord you might find a serious discussion on crypto or some people joking around about 80s Pop.
However, the tone is always welcoming.
And that’s what you have to keep an eye on.
When the tone of a discussion veers off course you have to jump in and get it back on track.
This is why you have to constantly reinforce the tone that you want until it’s fully established.
2. Owning Over Renting
What does this mean?
You want your community to feel like they have a say in the direction of the community.
Some people like to turn full ownership over to the community and while that can be an extreme measure it works for some people.
I don’t think you need to go that far but your community should understand they have a say in things.
Ask for feedback. Keep them in the loop with your plans.
This is how we run the Boopieverse.
People show up because they feel it’s their community and for many that’s enough reason to continue to show up.
3. Gang Gang
People can’t feel a part of something if that something doesn’t have a name.
People that own Boopies are Boopies or Boops.
The NFT name is the community name, but only because it works out that way.
If your NFT has name that might not be easy or cool for a group to use as representation then you need to think of something.
For example, if your NFT is Junior Squad Top Bottles then people aren’t going to go around saying that.
Maybe they’ll call themselves TopBotts.
Or maybe not.
But on day 1 you should have some term you refer everyone as so when you show up and you say “What up, Boopies?” then people automatically feel they are part of the family.
4. Create Rules. Live By the Rules.
This is important.
Nobody wants to play the social police, but it must be done.
This is more about what people can’t do in your community.
Can they be racist? Can they be sexist? Can they harass people? Can they DM members?
Set the boundaries early. You might feel that it will hinder the growth of your community but instead what it will is help people understand what is tolerated.
5. Create Rituals
It can be hard to establish a community because you’re asking people to replace something that they do with now visiting your community.
And they have to remember to do that constantly.
Is it possible?
Yes, by creating rituals.
We like to do weekly Zoom/Twiter Spaces.
We constantly have different events.
Get people to form a habit of showing up by creating different rituals to follow.
In the Boopieverse, you hop on, jump into #boop, say “!boop” and then start your day.
6. Record History
It can seem like everything is happening fast and fleeting in today’s NFT space, but you have to be mindful to record those moments that should be shared.
Remember, the outside world is going to know what happens within your community so it’s your responsibility to make sure they see them.
These kinds of shareable moments should happen frequently.
You want to show the outside world that your community is the place to be.
7. Make Your People Feel Seen
This is going to sound weird, but your NFT isn’t what the world will revolve around.
In a perfect world. people will buy your NFTs but every conversation can’t be about your NFT.
Things aren’t changing in the daily world of JPEGs so make sure to let people know that you want to actually hear about THEM.
What’s going on in their lives?
What wins do they have?
The reality is that you’re not really creating a community. You’re creating a family.
If done right, people in the community will know about a person than people in that person’s life.
They’ll trust the people in the community more than they’ll trust people outside of the community.
But that only happens when you make sure they are being seen.
Spend Time in Other Communities
One of the best things that you can do is spend time in other communities.
How do they make you feel? What do you like? What do you dislike?
Creating a community from scratch gives you an opportunity to create the online space that you’ve always wanted.
Be sure to take advantage of that opportunity.