In the crypto community, it’s often just as much about who you know as what you know. For new startups, often the first step on their business roadmap is community building. But, if you’re new to the space, how do you achieve this?
In the crypto community, it’s often just as much about who you know as what you know. There’s a reason the space is often referred to as a community — within the blockchain industry, projects are often very open to striking up collaborative partnerships. As an emerging industry and new economy, participants within the blockchain space embrace collaboration over competition. Innovators are always looking for new ways to work together and build valuable projects rather than competing for market share.
For new startups, often the first step on their business roadmap is community building. But, if you’re new to the space, how do you achieve this?
Networks vs Networking
A mainstream crypto future is the end goal for most within the community. This has led to many entities feverishly working to establish themselves quickly within the space, and capitalize on the first-mover advantage. However, the flip side to this burgeoning crypto industry is that it’s becoming more difficult than ever for startups to gain traction or garner awareness. The simple fact is, even if your product is completely groundbreaking, without the right people around you it’s difficult to get noticed within a noisy marketplace.
One tried and tested method for getting ahead is networking — building a close network of peers and friends who can give your project the push it needs to succeed. The crypto community is a thriving and friendly network who often meet at industry events and through mutual friends. One of TLDR’s Founding Partners, Graham Friedman, explains how this can help with network building:
“I think the best plan is to approach networking with an intellectual curiosity. It’s a fun crowd and generally, people in crypto are very active viewers. They’re intelligent. They’re problem solvers. So, rather than just shoving another whitepaper or elevator pitch in someone’s face, presenting it as a problem is a really good way to get someone to lean in and actually participate. I end almost every conversation with ‘how can we help?’ because, not only is it useful, but it supports the peer-to-peer movement.”
While an initial coin offering (ICO) or security token offering (STO) does help with community building, raising capital often begins with a private sale that utilizes the power of the network you already have. Investors are often attracted by other investors, so leveraging the power of your close network can net you greater interest and more investors. This works like a chain reaction to help you build a strong, engaged community.
Who to Target and How
The key to a successful project is an engaged community. To begin with, it’s far better to have a small but loyal core following than large numbers amassed through incentive schemes such as bounty programs. It’s the core community you build that can really strengthen your project. Modern investment isn’t as simple as just capital anymore, it’s becoming more about investing time, skills, and belief into a project. Graham shares his views on the strengths and rewards gained from different community development strategies:
“There are two different approaches. I would say the community and the insiders are people that can help you, like B2B relationships. Maybe you end up partnering on tech or maybe they’re funds that you’ve gotten to know from around the world. This would fit the private sale. Then there is the ‘reach the masses’ kind of thing, if you fundraise via an ICO and actually go through that public element. I always think of it as two separate lines of thought. Person-to-person relationship development takes time and you build these relationships with the same people over time, whereas the other version is very much a social media campaign. Trying to suss out interested parties and to attract the interest of a large group.”
In a nutshell, it shouldn’t be a case of either/or. Both methods of community building have their own merits and are more powerful together than apart.
Starting the Conversation
There are a wealth of blockchain and crypto events happening globally. These events are a good place to make valuable connections for collaborations or community building. What begins as a simple conversation can often develop into something bigger. TLDR’s advisory partnership with South Korean supply chain project TEMCO evolved after team members from both projects met at Korea Blockchain Week and started talking about a possible collaboration. Graham discusses the value of seeking out networking opportunities:
“It’s definitely worth getting out there and talking to people because you’re just going to learn so much. There are a variety of different events that you can go to. Some will be aimed at the curious person stepping in off the street, other ones are more for industry players looking to chat. There’s quite a bit of opportunity to go out and be social or engage.”
At TLDR we strongly believe in the power of networking. We not only endeavor to attend a vast range of global networking events, but we actively support those who champion the space and contribute to its evolution. Collaboration is vital to the crypto community, it helps drive innovation and push the boundaries of blockchain.
We understand that it can be difficult getting started with networking as a new project. An advisory partnership can really help new startups. It’s a vital link to knowledge, skills, experience and, above all, an established network.
At TLDR, our mission is to facilitate working relationships between crypto-ready projects and help build strong companies and infrastructure for the new token economy.
The TLDR Recap
- Embrace collaboration.
- Surround yourself with the right people and you’re more likely to get noticed.
- Build a close network of peers and friends and utilize the combined power of this network to attract people to your project.
- Nurture B2B relationships in tandem with community-building efforts for maximum benefit.
- Attend industry events, conferences, and meetups, which offer great opportunities for socializing and engaging with others in the space.
If you’re interested in finding ways to collaborate and partner with TLDR, don’t hesitate to reach out here.
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This article is based on views and information held by TLDR on publication date and may be subject to change, although TLDR does not undertake to update them. Nothing contained herein constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice, nor a recommendation or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made or given by or on behalf of TLDR as to the accuracy and completeness or fairness of the information contained in this article.