Finally, your product is out for people to use. You have been working so hard on it and it’s eventually live. The only issue, no one is using it. This can be explained by different reasons. Number one is that your product does not solve any problem, so even if you would have the best marketing or the best brand awareness, no one would still use it. Typically, you are selling fridges in Siberia. The number two reason no one uses your product even if it’s been live (and it’s operational) is because no one knows you.
You have a product that you are proud of, it solves a real issue, but still, there are no active users. That’s why you should ask yourself what should be the right growth strategy. There are multiple growth strategies you can choose from to grow your web3 project. The art is applying the right strategy at the right time. You don’t want to buy a Super Bowl campaign when your project just launched, do you?
In this article, we will go through what a growth strategy is, how to brainstorm around which strategy makes sense for your business, how to execute them, and finally, we will list some growth strategies that worked the best for web3 projects I consulted in the past.
What is a growth strategy in crypto?
A growth strategy in crypto is an approach that focuses on expanding the user base, increasing revenue, and improving brand recognition. It involves setting objectives, understanding key markets, improving user experience, and leveraging resources to reach new customers. It also involves developing marketing campaigns, collaborating with influencers, and optimizing customer service. The world of web3 and crypto is an ever-evolving landscape. With the increasing number of projects entering the space, it’s becoming more important for project teams to have an effective growth strategy in place. A successful growth strategy must take into account the complexity of the space, the competition, and the ever-changing environment in which these projects operate. In this article, we’ll explore how to brainstorm and find the best growth.
What is the objective?
If we look at the definition of what a strategy is, we see that every strategy needs an objective. A strategy is: “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”. That’s why the very first question you should ask yourself is what is your objective? The strategy is completely different if your objective is to run a profitable company or if you “just” want to show growth to a VC that invested in you in order for them to make a follow-up ticket. As soon as your objective is clear, it will be easy for you to take decisions when it comes to which strategy you want to follow.
Here are a few common web3/crypto objectives projects are aiming towards. Maybe you see yourself in some of those:
- Run a profitable web3 project from day one
- Increase user base to unlock follow-up tickets from investors
- Increase usage at all costs to vampire attack users from other protocols
Who is your dream user?
As soon as you know what your main objective is, it’s time to find out who is your dream customer. You probably already have a rough idea, but in an ideal world, you would go in as much detail as possible. Here are some questions that can help you define your dream customer:
- What age group?
- What gender?
- What location?
- What interests him/her?
- Why is he in crypto in the first place? Gambler? Privacy maxi? Decentralization maxi?
- What crypto/financial experience should he have? For example, you don’t need the same crypto background to interact with a project like Antfarm, than you need to interact with Guard.
On top of those questions, it can be very useful to run user interviews. For example, let’s imagine your target audience is DeFi retail users, but also professional market makers. Then you might want to spend a little bit of time talking with people who exactly represent your target audience.
- What are your biggest pain points when it comes to use-case XYZ?
- Which product do they use for now?
- Which solution do they use now to circumvent the problem you are planning to solve with your product?
- Show them a demo of your product and see how they interact with it.
Important is to always take user interviews with a grain of salt. It’s sad but that’s how human being work. They might not tell the truth during interviews, they might also not really know what they need. Remember Henry Ford said: “if you asked people what they wanted, they would have all said faster horses”.
Where does your dream user hang out?
Now that you know who is your dream user, you need to ask yourself, where can you reach those dream users? For example, privacy coin users will probably hang out in privacy communities or cryptography forums. While traders will hang out in trading & financial communities etc… Here it’s crucial that you do your research well. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your dream user. What would you do all day? With whom would you talk and where?
- Reddit communities
- SEO – Check search volumes
- Crypto Twitter
- Airdrop farming communities (Olimpio, Airdrops_one, Mingo Airdrop)
- DeFi Newsletters
One other element you should not neglect is the word-of-mouth effect. “Porsche owners know other Porsche owners. Pregnant women know other pregnant women”. If your product is really solving an existing problem for your target audience, people will share it with their surroundings. We will cover later that just having a great product is not enough to go viral. However, if the product is good enough, you can expect some “product lead growth” where you get organic growth without running any active marketing campaign.
How to reach out to your dream customer?
Great, now you know who is your dream customer, you also have a good idea of where they congregate. You already did a big part of the job. The next step is to reach out to your target audience, but you can’t just say “hi”. You need a message. To find the message, think about the following rule: One of the strongest motivations of humans is to avoid pain. So let’s go back to the drawing board. What are the pain points of your target audience that your product solves? Here are some examples that may put you in the right direction:
- Privacy-orientated crypto users hate doing KYC. If you offer On/Offramping services without KYC, then it’s a great way to start.
- Your target audience is influencers and their channel has been censored/shadowbanned? They might react very well to a product for decentralized social media.
- DeFi users hate to be liquidated. If you offer an alert system to warn users before their LTV reaches the liquidation threshold, you might advertise about “how not to be liquidated again?”. For example Savvy.
Get your users to do the marketing for you
Classic marketing is great. You can be a sponsor for a Youtuber that is strong for your target audience, or you can pay influent Twitter threadooors to write about your product. But this costs a lot of money and time to coordinate. In most cases, there is also a lot of leakage and it’s hard to measure.
Especially in the very early stage, it’s smart to ask yourself: “how can I get my customers to do the marketing for me”. Does this question seem stupid to you? I get it. But think again.
- Starbucks barely does any classical marketing. The only marketing they do is a) they have a lot of stores, b) people drinking Starbucks coffee to go, are walking advertisement
- “Sent from my iPhone” as an automatic footer of each email you send from your iPhone
The best way to find a lever with which users will do the marketing for you is to map out your customer journey. And to ask yourself, where are the “moments of delight”? For example, let’s say you are a decentralized exchange like Uniswap or Concordex, a typical moment of delight would be when you made your 10th swap or when you harvested your LP rewards. Why not nudge your customer to share your service on Twitter in exchange for a POAP on his 10th swap? No one says “no” to a free badge and it would just require you to sign a message to connect Twitter to your 0x.
That’s just an example, but you get the idea.
How to get viral?
Lots of people are saying that to get viral, you just need a great product and the market will take care of the rest. WRONG. But not entirely wrong.
It’s true that there is absolutely no chance your company will go viral if your product is bad. That’s a given. However, the second condition you need in order to go viral is to have a product that is so good, that if one of your users shows your product to one of his friends, it will elevate his social status. In other words, if one of your users shows your product to some of his friends, he should get a “wow” in return that makes him look cool. Without this motivation to boost one’s ego, there will likely be no virality.
- Remember some decades ago when some of your friends at school showed you for the first time his shoes that were making light on the hill when he stepped. How did you react? Probably the same as me. You congratulated him with a nice “WOOW”, he felt proud and you were jealous. Mission accomplished.
- Were you the first in your friend’s group to have an iPhone? If not, do you remember when you first saw an iPhone? While everyone had a Blackberry or a Nokia. The person with the iPhone showed us how he could zoom in and zoom out of pictures with finger movements. All our reactions were the same “OMG this is awesome”.
- Would you recommend this great doctor that treated your hemorrhoids? Probably not. Even if he is the best doctor in the world. Why not? Because recommending him would not create a “WOW” effect towards your friends. If anything, it would decrease your social status because you had hemorrhoids in the first place.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow your web3 project. If you have any feedback, please, by all means, hit me up on Twitter.
As closing words, please find here a list of ideas that you could consider to grow without a marketing budget:
- You plan on doing an airdrop anyhow? A tweet with “snapshot was taken” or when someone in Discord asks your if you plan on doing an Airdrop, just answer that “you plan to reward the early adopters”. This might be enough for some high-reach Airdrop farmers’ communities to join your community and use the product. While this might be great in the short term, those users are not really interested in your project.
- A lot of Degens snipe new projects straight from DeFi Lama. If possible, get your project visible there and you will already have some attention.
- Engage with people from your audience on Twitter. Comment on their threads. Compliment them. I know, this is a pure grind, but it pays off.
- Your audience is tech people? Create a bug bounty on IT security platforms. You get your platform hardcore tested and as a bonus, you get in front of your audience.
Do you need a sparing partner about how to scale up your growth, just hit me up on Twitter.
>> Understand what is your objective,
>> Define who is your dream customer,
>> Find out where your dream customer hangs out,
>> Find out what problem he has that your product solves,
>> Find a way to get him to promote your product for you,
>> Elevate his social status to go viral