How to Launch an NFT Collection
The artist these days has a bunch of platforms to deliver their product to market. We know the hottest is through NFTs so we are going to explain, in detail, what you need to do in order to pull off the exciting task of launching your own NFT collection.
Let’s start with art.
Like most works of art, originality brings the most value. It’s true that “me too” products have been very successful in the NFT space and we won’t knock those at all, but it is hard to argue that the original Bored Ape didn't start a revolution. And so many others have followed suit since BAYC came into play. This brings to point another big issue in this business: intellectual property. What rights do the artists have and what can NFT projects legally produce?
OpenSea moderates “homages” and spin-off collections to already established NFT works such as BAYC or CryptoPunks and they’ve recently introduced their “Fair-use” standards to the site as well. In those standards, they’ll allow the use of copyrighted work to be used in NFTs as long as it’s used in a “transformative” way. Much like Saturday Night Live can parody film and commercial products. They aren’t stealing anything - they are merely building on it for entertainment. More info on that can be found here.
As of this writing, the laws surrounding NFTs are pretty light, but you can expect that to change. The general consensus is that if you didn’t make it, don’t take credit for it.
Speaking of making art, those artists with big names tend to draw a lot of hype. And we all know hype is what drives sales. The quality of art is just as important so draw the line at quality.
Once you’ve determined your artist and style, it’s time to focus your energy on generation. The generation of your art will dictate the way much of it is created. For example, if your generator of choice calls for .png files only, you’ll be prepared with all of your layers in .png format prior to generation rather than showing up with all the wrong files and losing your mind.
How many NFTs should I create?
This is up to you, but for the sake of this article, we are going to assume you’re generating between 100 and 10,000. The number of units you create doesn’t necessarily determine rarity - the number of attribute layers you include will. We will use the “World of Warheadz C1 NFT” as an example.
With the background layer turned off, you can see the warhead (base) layer. This would be similar to a head or bust in a profile pic NFT. From here, you start your design layers for different attributes.
It’s important to note here that in your art program, you’ll be designing specific attributes one at a time in different “layers” and exporting them into certain file formats. Typically PNG. Once that step is completed, those files should be referred to as “attributes” moving forward because when it’s time to load them into a generator, you’ll be feeding them into layers according to where they belong on the image (see below).
In total, “World of Warheadz C1” had 58 attributes including hats/hair, eyes/glasses, mouths, shirts and, of course, backgrounds which added up to 111,540 possible combinations for generated images.
Hats/hair - 11 layers
Eyes/glasses - 13 layers
Mouths - 10 layers
Shirts - 13 layers
Backgrounds - 6 layers
11 x 13 x 10 x 13 x 6 = 111,540 combinations.
Sounds like a lot, right? It’s not.
To put things into perspective, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT release had over 170 different traits. That’s a lot.
The huge amounts of combinations allow you huge amounts of freedom when you go to dictate rarity within your traits. Let’s say you have 4 sets of eyes and one is winking. If you want that particular trait to be rare, and you’re using a generator like the one here at Ambition.so, you can adjust the setting to make it more rare, but in doing so you are also lowering your combination count. That’s why it pays to have a boat load of traits. If you don’t, you may end up with a whole lot of images that are unique but still kinda look the same.
The point is not to do less to make things easier. Rarity is key. The best collections out there have crazy amounts of rarity. In fact, there are people out there who build bots to comb through metadata to find the most rare NFTs in mints. Those are the NFTs that bring in the big money if there is sufficient hype behind a project. The rest are along for the ride.
Promotion is not an option. Even if your strategy is to be super under-the-radar and exclusive, you’ll have to put a plan together. Check out our last blog on this subject for more in-depth discussion.
A successful NFT collection will benefit greatly from the artwork but it will die on the vine if nobody knows it exists. That’s why we suggest you get familiar with Twitter and Discord, the two main NFT springboards today.
Twitter is like a busy town full of shopping centers. Twitter promoters are like the guys on the street twirling signs telling everybody driving by that their Discord server has the best NFT in town. There is an art to it, for sure, and there is definitely power in numbers. Some of those promoters have 100s of sign twirlers. You can hire promoters or do it yourself. If you go for it on your own, just try to post daily utilizing #s and @s, grow your followers and get creative with giveaways and events. You just want one thing: users on your Discord.
Discord is where you get to show the prospective customer the power of your product. You can sweeten the deal with promos and giveaways. You can grant early access to mints and more. Discord is where you build your community - the network that will support your project. Get on some established servers and take notes because you want to do what they are doing: Great channels, regular announcements, timelines, timely moderators and a neat appearance. Do these things and you’ll grow.
Partnerships and advisory can impact your growth as well. Consider teaming up with other projects that have traction and to bolster your launch. Bringing mutual benefit to a partnership in terms of cross-promotion, art-collaboration, mutual giveaways and events helps everybody and increases your footprint in the community. Bringing on solid and connected advisors to your projects will enhance your credibility while helping you to avoid the pitfalls they, themselves, have learned to avoid through real experience. You can reward these folks with honorary NFTs, big shoutouts and, of course, money.
Presale and Minting
Creating a presale list can be an important step for helping to sell out your collection. You can fill up your list by hyping through Twitter promos and signing people up in your Discord server. This is basically preorders for your mint. You have the option to do a prolonged mint where your marketing strategy coincides with the duration of the minting itself or you can do a hyped up mint where you try to sell out fast. Each strategy takes serious planning to be successful. Not planning and executing your strategy would be a hard and expensive lesson to learn.
Building trust with your followers during the presale/premint phase is key. People are investing in your project so the message needs to be unwavering from the beginning. It’s exciting to bring your dream to the world so take your time developing it. The price you set for each mint is also very important because this allows for potential buyers to speculate. When a buyer is convinced they are making a solid investment, you have the power to create a great community.
Longevity and Utility
As I’ve noted a million times already, planning determines a lot of your fate in NFTs. Goal setting is an old, dependable, technique that carries weight with your project from start to finish. This would include your own internal timelines as well as the roadmap you design for potential buyers. Your roadmap needs to be flushed out, realistic and authentic. The more exciting and ambitious it is, the better! As long as you can deliver. Remember the importance of trust and keeping your promises.
The longevity of your project depends on your product and the community you’ve built. If your NFT has long-term utility, like a game card for example, and your community is strong, once you’ve sold out the mint, your new product becomes the community. If you’ve made it that far, you’re golden.
Launching an NFT collection is an amazing experience! What you can learn alone makes the journey worth the effort. If you have the right tools, art, patience, fortitude and the willingness to plan, you can be the next big thing. Just be ready to hit it hard and deliver on your promises.
You’re gonna make it.