Discover the key people you need on your NFT project team to develop your concept, launch, and keep your community engaged
Our 'Thirdwork Writers Spotlight' is a guest post series that allows us to feature content by talented writers, builders and contributors from across web3. If you're interested in contributing, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot us a DM.
This week's spotlight features Georges. Georges runs Contentbulb, a a done-for-you content marketing service for SaaS companies. He has a background working in marketing for two tech companies. He is based in York, England.
Written by: Georges | Twitter
Once you’ve developed a concept for your NFT project, it’s time to build a team.
Unsurprisingly, the most important roles you’ll need on your NFT project team will differ slightly from those you might traditionally hire in a web2 startup.
In this post, we’ll explore the five essential roles for your NFT project team, and outline why each one is important.
Let’s dive straight in.
Let’s preface this section by saying that we’ll assume you are already a founder or part of a co-founding team with a clear vision for how your NFT will look and what utility it enables for your company.
The roles we’ll look at are going to help you take your vision from idea to reality.
Whether you’re launching a profile picture-based project or something like a membership pass, you need art that’s visually interesting and high-quality.
For example, Rug Radio’s membership pass is a static image, but it’s clear that they invested time and thought into the concept.
When choosing an artist, we’d recommend going for someone with experience working with previous NFT projects.
As well as ensuring you get an excellent finished product from a visual perspective, an experienced artist will know how to help you push the project over the line from an operational point of view.
For example, they can offer feedback on how you can make your concept stand out in the current market, or suggest new elements you can add to improve your art.
If there are any problems with the art creation process, an experienced artist will also be able to step in and ensure your project keeps moving forwards.
This one is self-explanatory. NFTs and other web3 projects require developers with specific skill sets.
In practice, this means hiring a blockchain developer, who can write and deploy your smart contract.
Hiring an experienced developer isn’t cheap, but it's better to pay more for someone upfront than risk having problems that cost even more to fix later on. If you cut corners, you risk:
One notable example of something going wrong happened to a project called Akutars.
An issue in the smart contract meant someone was able to trigger an exploit, leading to 11,539 ETH (approx. $34 million at the time) becoming permanently locked in the smart contract.
That’s a worst-case scenario, but the risks are very real.
Hiring a developer with past experience helping similar NFT projects launch ensures your mint experience runs smoothly, and it’ll take a heavy load off your shoulders.
As Pet Berisha wrote in another Thirdwork article, “many web3 projects think of marketing as shilling”.
At some point in the NFT market cycle, we could argue that “shilling” – i.e., asking your community to Tweet about your project and jump into every influencer’s mentions – was a valid marketing strategy.
But, times have changed since the 2020-21 bull run. Today, NFT project teams need to market themselves like a professional organization in order to stand out.
An experienced marketer, ideally with web3 experience, is an essential part of any team.
I asked Arthur Fox, founder at Tokenpage, how he approaches NFT marketing after working on two successful NFT launches: Creepz and Sprite Club.
He said that as part of the Sprite Club marketing plan, they set a target for the number of people needed in their community and on the allowlist before they launched their mint. Then, they bootstrapped their allowlist through partnerships and giveaways until they hit the numbers they needed.
Arthur said this system worked well because “they spent $0 on marketing and managed to get a full mint when the allowlist numbers guaranteed the number of minters would fit the supply of NFTs.”
If someone hadn’t worked on NFT projects before, they’d have been more likely to push to launch quickly, and had a difficult time selling out.
A good web3 marketer will know what strategies are working for other projects, has evidence to back them up, and knows how to make your project stand out.
Building a strong community is an essential part of seeing ongoing success with an NFT project.
Web3 companies, across NFTs, DAOs, and DeFi all understand the importance of community. If you look on a web3 job platform like ThirdWork, you’ll see multiple companies hiring for community managers.
A community manager is someone that’s dedicated to seeing your supporters and holders get the best experience in your Discord or Telegram. They’ll ensure everyone feels included and is getting the best value from what your NFT-based company offers.
This might mean:
A community manager is sometimes seen as a ‘nice to have’ role on a team.
But, if you manage to build enough interest in your project, your Discord will be active 24/7.
You need someone there to answer questions and keep your community engaged. The more that your audience feels at home on your server, the more likely they are to come back.
Manuel Kreutz, founder of BrickBuy, agrees with this – he said he views the community manager role as “one of the most undervalued roles in the space”.
If projects can focus on community retention and keep their audience coming back, they’ll always have a group of dedicated fans who want to continue to hold and support their NFT project.
Advisors are experts in particular areas who can guide and mentor you through your NFT project lifecycle.
The best way to find an advisor is to tap into your existing network. Who do you know that can offer relevant advice on building a company, either in web3 or anywhere else?
At each step of your journey, you can tap into their knowledge and skills.
If you don’t have a large network, you could consider finding paid advisors.
For example, the well-known NFT content creator, Zeneca_33, offers a paid advisory group where he coaches project founders. Membership costs 12.5ETH (approximately $16,000) as of writing. It’s expensive, but you get personal advice from someone who specifically works to advise and help founders that have experienced similar challenges to the ones you’re facing.
If you don’t have anyone in your network who would be a good fit as an advisor, paid groups like this are an option.
A good advisor can shortcut your learning curve and help you approach problems from a perspective you hadn’t considered.
If you’re a solo founder intent on avoiding the cost of hiring a team, you could consider no-code tools
The options are still relatively limited here, but some options include:
In some cases, these no-code tools might be able to replace a full-time hire.
For example, if you use Manifold to deploy and manage your smart contract, you won’t necessarily need to hire a developer.
However, no-code options like these are usually best for solo founders or small teams who don’t have the funds to bring on experienced team members in each role.
If you’re building an ambitious project and know you’ll outgrow these tools, you’ll be better off working with a team and having full control over your launch process.
Each role we’ve looked at here can add huge value to your NFT project team and help you get to where you need to go, faster.
Whether you’re hiring on a full-time or freelance basis, having the right people in place is essential to your project’s success.
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