How to Sell More NFTs as an Artist — Part 1 of 2
Marketing can be daunting, but it doesn’t need to be
As a marketer, I find myself also having no problem showcasing other projects that I believe in. At the same time, as an artist, I can understand how hard it is to put oneself out there and say, “look at my thing.”
In a previous article, I wrote about why your NFT probably won’t sell. In this article, I wanted to showcase various strategies one can employ to better market and sell NFTs.
Some of these strategies are platform and blockchain agnostic, others are more focused on fx(hash)—where I’ve been spending more of my time recently. I will try to specify where these strategies may be more and less relevant.
Share Your Thing
Probably the easiest thing to do is to actively share your work with others—both in person and through social media.
Too many artists hope that simply publishing something on a marketplace will allow them to get sales. Sure, there are algorithms that provide some form of discovery for new and interesting content, but in many cases publishing your NFT, hoping that it will be picked up, is a kind of like hoping someone will notice you in a library on a rainy day in summer with a hoodie on.
Discovery is possible. It can happen, but sharing your work is going to net plenty more eyeballs and interest than just publishing to a marketplace.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when actively sharing your work:
- Understand who your target audience is
- Know when they will be most active on the platform you want to share on. Don’t just randomly publish. On Twitter, for instance, you can schedule your Tweets so that they even publish when you’re asleep.
- Keep in mind that links can kill distribution of your post. If you’re starting off, this may hurt more than help. Just consider things from the social media company standpoint—how do they keep people on their platform? It’s not by having users easily click out of their native environment.
Did I mention understand who your target audience is?
Many artists get the sharing part right, but too many share their thing, never to share it ever again.
We’re not dealing with cooties here.
Not only may people miss your one post, but people often don’t comprehend the message the first time around.
In marketing there is this concept of a magic rule of seven—that is that it takes showing someone something seven times, on average, for it to sink in. This number continues to increase as people’s attention spans become shorter too.
Consider for a brief moment this scenario:
- You share your amazing thing on Twitter at 10:00 am
- It’s 4:00 am where your amazing collector is—dreaming of new NFTs to buy of course
- You never post again about this amazing thing until it is released a week later
- Amazing collector wakes up, brews some coffee, and scrolls through their Twitter feed (maybe through 50 posts before they put the phone down)
- Your post was 80th in their feed
- You and your collector continue life never having that magical moment that artist and collector have…
I think you get the point.
Reshare/retweet, show different angles of your NFT, talk about it during different times, use some text only posts, add media, etc.
Remarketing your NFT will help increase the chance that it is seen by the right people, at the right time, in the right manner.
A caveat to all of this is, as with any social media platform, you probably don’t want to solely sell, sell, sell. Providing a mix of value with a sprinkling of selling can go a long way — a premise documented in Gary V’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
As an example, Camille Roux does a good job at providing a lot of value with a dash of selling. I often see other artists reshare fellow artist content—which can be useful! Just make sure you’re not overloading your audience with posts that they may not find very useful.
Build Up and Maintain Excitement
Some of the most captivating NFT artists increase the excitement level leading up to a drop—harness this power.
Kind of like showing a little leg at a time, before a piece is listed for sale, you can use sneak previews as a way to command and keep attention.
Examples of sneak peeks include WIP content, showing part of a whole piece, using a silhouette, pixelating, or even blurring parts of a finished piece.
After pieces are purchased, it’s so easy to think that the job of selling is over. Once NFTs are sold out on primary, there is typically the ability for pieces to be purchased on secondary.
Keeping up excitement post sale can help sell future pieces more easily. Versus losing momentum and having to build it back up again, you can basically ride the tailwinds of success.
One big event that I’ve noticed can be ridden is a floor sweep. If you get notice of a floor sweep, don’t be afraid to boast a little and let others in your network know that other collectors are watching.
Dress it Up
When you go window shopping, what do you notice?
Probably not dust collecting on the floor.
Your eye most likely gravitates to large things, flashy statements, and bold colors.
Take advantage of the fact that we’re working in a digital space here. If you have content that you want to share, dress it up so that it stands out next to other posts being made.
A lot of being able to create eye-catching imagery is understanding usage of color. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and layouts to find something that works.
If you’re working on a generative mint, consider how the main image will look to people browsing. Work towards making the cover image something that people would want to click into.
Tell a Story
Although there are a lot of pretty images involved with NFTs, words can also be used to get people excited about what you have to offer. Specifically, stories can be a great way to create intrigue and bring potential collectors in.
“Speaking of stories, there was a time…” were you engaged just a little? That’s the power of a story.
Some engaging stories I’ve seen go into why a collection exists:
Other stories go into the intricacies of a piece and how it’s created:
Just because something is minted and/or sold, doesn’t mean that it can’t be talked about more. I’ve enjoyed reading stories about individual pieces and what they mean to an artist. This can be a great way to get sell more as collectors can develop a closer connection to a piece.
Anecdotes after a sale can be a great way of building connection between artist and collector.
Elsewhere, storytelling can be a great way of enhancing an experience for your community.
Because so much of NFTs is fun and experiential, don’t be afraid to use stories to enhance both of these qualities.
Make it Fun
Whether you liken them to Pokemon cards, Beanie Babies, stamps, or vintage coins, so much has been said about NFTs being fun to collect.
Don’t hesitate to lean into this notion.
Some of the most exciting collections I’ve found make it fun to both collect and be a part of the community.
You can add a little fun wherever there is potential interaction with others. Here are some ideas I’ve come across:
- Do a stealth drop, maybe even on a different platform
- Query your audience on social media
- Throw a contest—art contests are huge right now, but there are any number of contests that can be fun to participate in.
- Launch a quiz
- Play a game with your audience
- Surprise your audience
- Reward people who play
- Create a reward for collecting specific groups of a collection
- Get your audience in on the vibes
- Mix it up
- Do something festive
There are plenty more ways to introduce fun into your project than what I’ve listed here. Find that fun spark that excites your community and watch the fireworks happen.
Interact with Your Community
Aside from not being on social media/not sharing, one of the biggest reasons I see artists not selling is that they don’t interact with their community very much.
Unless this is your MO (and your collectors know this), interactions are a simple and effective way of drumming up interest for your project.
If you have a social media account and you’re using it, don’t hesitate to like and engage with comments. Potential collectors and collectors alike will feel seen and more drawn into your ecosystem.
On Twitter, be sure to check in every now and then on the mentions tab.
On Discord, go through and respond to various points that your community may be talking about.
You can even interact with your community in an asynchronized manner with email, if email is your cup of tea.
It may not be possible to engage with every single person that comes along—nor is it always warranted—but people will notice and feel more comfortable with collecting, should you find some way to interact with them.
Keep Tabs on Your Collectors
Once you have a customer, or in this case a collector, it’s much easier to get them to buy into your vision. Keep these collectors around as much as possible.
How do you keep them around?
Make them feel special. Additional strategies will be talked about later in this post, but one easy way of making holders feel special is by keeping watch of cool things they’re doing.
Keeping tabs on collectors works particular well with smaller collections where the number of collectors is limited to a few hundred. It’s easy enough to follow your collectors and/or add them to a private list.
Thank them for their purchases, of course, but also feel free to chime in and share things that your collectors may be working on or are interested in. Not only will they love the attention, they will also develop a closer relationship with your work.
Follow Potential Collectors
Another strategy that you can use is following collectors who may be interested in what you have to sell.
The idea here is two fold:
First, you’re identifying collectors who may be inclined to buy what you have to sell. Second, you’re subtly notifying them of your existence.
On Twitter, following someone provides a notification in the notification tab. Some people may have email notifications for follows, adding to the likelihood that someone checks out a follow.
On platforms like Objkt, Foundation, etc., following someone who is not used to seeing follows might be reason enough for them to curiously check you out.
Use this method sparingly as it has the potential to annoy if not done in a genuine manner. Additionally, on platforms like Twitter, there are limits to the number of users that you can follow in a short period of time—so that people don’t spam follow.
Couple a good follow with enabling alerts on Twitter and you’ve got a system where you can easily be one of the first to engage with collectors who may be interested in what you have to offer, simply by being helpful and engaging in the comments.
Define and Showcase IP Usage Rights
If and when someone buys an NFT from you, what can they do with it?
Is the buyer able to print the art attached to your minted token on mugs and sell those mugs? Are they only able to appreciate the token in their wallet?
IP usage rights isn’t talked about or used very much when a part of the core ideas behind NFTs is the concept of ownership.
Because of a lack of clarity around these matters, defining IP usage rights and showcasing them can be a huge plus for people to buy into what you have to offer.
There are a variety of different resources for figuring what exactly to go with from “All Rights Reserved” to CC0, there’s bound to be a system that works well with your vision.
Share a Feature
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but are those words telling you about the fact that your NFT can function as a working calculator?
One of the things that artists miss is that there is often more under the hood than what meets the eye.
Instead of leaving it up to potential collectors to discover, showcase a feature!
Sharing a feature works particularly well if there’s some additional utility to the NFT, as in the case of bitfishy. It also works well for interactive NFTs, for obvious reasons.
Even static NFTs can have some kind of unique trait that is feature-worthy. You might point out a detail that makes a particular piece unique or share why it is that you enjoyed working on a piece.
Regardless of the what, sharing features can bring additional depth and intrigue beyond what a simple image can do by itself.
Ready for the second half of this article?
The portal is open, ready for you to jump in!
If you’ve found this helpful so far, feel free to follow me @cryptomoogle and drop a comment. Would love to hear from you!