The NFT Market: A Founder’s Guide to Building Community

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Sep 02, 2023

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The NFT Market: A Founder’s Guide to Building Community

The NFT market is a rapidly growing industry that experienced tremendous growth in 2020. According to a report by NonFungible.com with support from L’Atelier, the market tripled to over $250 million in value. This surge in popularity is expected to continue in 2021, making it an exciting space for entrepreneurs and creators alike. However, building a thriving community is essential to maximize the potential of the NFT market.

Building a community starts with creating a sense of belonging. When members feel like they are part of something bigger, exponential growth can occur. One approach to aligning community with business objectives is by using the SPACES model: Support, Product, Acquisition, Contribution, Engagement, and Success.

Support involves creating spaces where customers can answer questions and solve problems for each other. By fostering a supportive environment, businesses can reduce the burden on their support teams and empower customers to help each other.

Product-focused spaces allow customers to share feedback and ideas with each other and with the company. This enables businesses to gather valuable insights and improve their products based on customer input.

Acquisition programs help businesses grow their pipeline and customer base. By creating initiatives that attract new customers, companies can expand their reach and increase their market share.

Contribution is about enabling community members to provide valuable content, services, or other offerings to a platform. This not only adds value to the community but also empowers members to showcase their skills and expertise.

Engagement is crucial for customer retention. By connecting customers with shared interests, businesses can foster a sense of community and encourage members to stay engaged with the brand.

Success is achieved when customers teach each other how to better use a product and succeed in their careers. By facilitating knowledge sharing and mentorship within the community, businesses can create a supportive ecosystem that benefits everyone involved.

In the pre-product-market-fit stage, the focus is on collecting feedback and insights to solve a clear problem for customers. During this stage, community objectives usually revolve around acquisition and engagement. The goal is to grow the customer base and provide ongoing support to help customers make the most of the product.

When it comes to who should own the community, it is common for one of the founders to take on this responsibility initially. Founders have a deep understanding of the product and a genuine curiosity for the topic around which the community is built. However, as the community grows, it may be necessary to hire dedicated community professionals who can handle the operational aspects of community management.

When hiring community professionals, it is important to look beyond just being a people person. Community roles often involve operational tasks, such as managing platforms and facilitating discussions. Finding individuals who are not only passionate about community-building but also have the necessary skills to handle these responsibilities is crucial for success.

Creating community-level goals is the next step in developing a community strategy. These goals should align with the overall business objectives and guide the programs that will be implemented to achieve them. Programs can take various forms, such as forums, Slack channels, or Discord servers, where members can connect with each other.

To measure the success of community programs, businesses can focus on three key elements: activity, value, and belonging. Activity refers to the regular participation of community members, indicating their engagement and interest. Value is about ensuring that members derive the benefits they came for, whether it's knowledge, support, or networking opportunities. Lastly, belonging focuses on creating a sense of connection, safety, and inclusivity within the community.

Launching a community is akin to hosting a party. It's important to set everything up before people arrive and create a pre-party atmosphere to get the vibes flowing. Starting small is key to shaping the cultural mold of the community and providing a curated experience for members.

When launching a community, aim to start with 10 to 50 members. These founding members can seed quality content and conversations in the space, setting the tone for future members. Encourage them to post thoughtful questions and provide at least three quality answers per post. This not only showcases the value of the community but also sets an example for new members to follow.

Keeping the number of channels or topics to a minimum initially can help maintain focus and prevent overwhelming new members. As the community grows and the model proves successful, scaling up becomes easier, allowing for even greater reach and impact.

In conclusion, the NFT market is gaining momentum, presenting exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and creators. However, building a strong community is essential to fully harness this potential. By aligning community goals with business objectives and following the SPACES model, businesses can create a thriving ecosystem where customers feel supported, engaged, and empowered. Start small, focus on quality, and scale gradually to ensure a successful community launch.

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