Building Your Blockchain Brand on Budget
Building a brand in the blockchain industry is extremely difficult, especially in a bear market. Brand building is a delicate dance of showing your face online and off, talking to the right investors and demonstrating value often at your own expense. But there are low-cost tricks you can use to optimize your brand. Here is your chance to get creative.
Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Startups are often strapped for cash, with many team leaders investing in technology rather than marketing to attract users, partners and investors. I have worked with over two dozen startups who share the common perspective: “Once I get capital, I will invest in marketing.” The reality is that if you don’t leave a digital trail for building your brand, attracting the early users may be challenging.
Offline, there is little you can do to build your brand on budget. Organizing meetups or managing a team of college students and virtual assistants to manage admin and sales may be your strategy.
However the best thing you can do is start video recording yourself, tell your story and share your success for FREE on social media. Become an influencer on Instagram (personal messages), LinkedIn (business objectives) or WeChat where you combine the two strategies. LinkedIn permits you to upload up to 10-min long videos.
I get 3,000 to 50,000 views and hundreds of comments on my videos from talking about the blockchain industry, anywhere from tracking the beef supply chain and patient outcome to creating a crypto hedge fund and real asset backed tokens. I ask people to share the video, and often I get shout outs. People talk about how I provide value in their lives and they can do the same for you.
Ask for Third-Party Endorsements
There are several ways to receive and leverage third party endorsements. As you post videos, capture and track the comments. Save them in the productivity software app, Evernote, so you can easily retrieve them. List the comments that serve as testimonials on your website or as copy for your personal and product/service videos.
Ask for testimonials after you have performed a service. Videos work best as they lead to higher conversion. Have prospects fill out a Google form questionnaire with a question like, “How likely are you to recommend Alice or New Economies to your friends and clients? Explain why…”
Talk to the Right Investors
Not all investors are created equal. Before engaging investors, ask about their preferences and portfolio companies so you better understand their interests and behaviors. Before the pitch, ask lots of questions on these preferences. I start off by saying, “Would you or who do you know who would like to invest in my company?”
Keep in mind, investors invest their resources; ie, time and money into you first. Keep in mind that if you don’t get investment it may have nothing to do with your company. Your attitude and even market conditions play a role and they may not align with your investors needs and desires.
Focus on your communication skills and use your creativity to create the “hook” or angle that wets their appetite. Investors get pitched all the time so try to entertain them and connect on a personal level.
Build Value, Seek Capital Later
Build value first and then ask for capital. Value creation comes in many forms and it is often free. We call this phase engaging in “sweat equity.” For example, I write thought leadership and advocacy content on the benefits of women in blockchain and why people in general should enter this space. I create video interviews of relevant companies and give the digital products for free to my partners, prospects and investors.
I do pay for my expenses, travel, studio costs, staff, on camera wardrobe, etc. I leave a digital trail, a value proposition that can be showcased online through the videos and free education material that I produce. My portfolio gives me negotiation power, leverage on the terms and conditions of consulting contracts and eventually, capital.
Become a Cheerleader
At New Economies, our bread and butter is the video content we provide for blockchain companies at the level of professional interviews. As a result, we get more eyeballs on us, our website, our partners and clients. Our activity leads to a higher customer acquisition rate not to mention more third party endorsements.
We not only provide video content but also business strategy and advisory services to help these companies engage investors. The videos become your calling card you can send as a link with you white paper and pitch deck. We show up to investor meetings on your behalf, share your news and upcoming events via our website. We love being your cheerleader, helping you find your place in the blockchain world.
Our end goal is to highlight the pioneers who are helping mature the industry. We want to make blockchain technology accessible to everyone.
Visit neweconomies.com. Follow us on YouTube.
Written by Alice Hlidkova
Alice Hlidkova is a visionary, futurist, and a blockchain consultant and writer, based in Chicago. She helped launch MetroLab Network, a Carnegie Mellon University startup that deploys technologies such as IOT applications, traffic sensors, and autonomous vehicle pilot programs to cities for testing (the organization received funding from the White House and was recognized by President Obama in the first 10 months of its inception). Alice founded her creative consulting agency, Through the Changing Glass LLC, to advise tech startups on positioning and capital raise in Silicon Valley.
In 2017, Alice joined the founding team of Pitch Investors Live, the only blockchain company for entrepreneurs and startups to pitch investors live, 24/7, via the app. Through her agency, Alice advises numerous blockchain companies including the Women in Blockchain Impact Group (WIBI.io) and serves as the Strategic Partnerships Architect for leading blockchain news portal, Missblockchain.tech, where she is also featured as one of the main contributing writers.
Alice has advised over 20 blockchain projects led by startups, corporations and governments, in over a dozen countries including the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Singapore. Her expertise include PR/media, marketing, strategic partnerships and investor relations. She has authored/co-authored over 200 articles on the blockchain industry for Bitcoin News, Bitcoin Talk, Merkle, Coinidol, Inc. and Forbes Magazines. Alice holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Carnegie Mellon University.