How to Create an ICO - Part 2 - The Two "W's"
ICO’s are storming the world of cryptocurrency, every week there is a new Initial Coin Offering that gives investors the opportunity to become involved in the crypto world. But what if you are startup who wants to create an ICO? Don’t worry here at Crowdholding, we have created a step by step guide on how to create your own ICO so you can also immerse yourself in the growing eco-system of cryptocurrencies.
This step by step guide will break down all the parts that are needed for a Initial Coin Offering. Our second part will focus on creating the website and the White Paper. If you haven’t read our first part you can click here, as the first part discusses the theory behind an ICO and asks if you need an ICO.
The first “W” - The Website
As with any business nowadays, a website is vital as it allows potential customers / investors to browse your product with the touch of a button wherever they are located in the world. ICO’s are no different, a website is the most important communication tool. Potential investors will not invest into an ICO that does not have a website / a poorly designed website.
Therefore it is essential that you have a visually appealing website and it contains all the information that visitors are looking for. ICO websites follow this chronological guideline as listed below.
Site menu - Your website will need to have translations, as ICO’s are a global phenomenon, only having English will limit the amount of people you can reach. We suggest that you have Russian and Chinese translations. You also want to have your biggest social media channels so people can follow / get in contact with you. You can also have links to certain parts of your website such as “team” or “documents”
The Homepage - ICO’s follow the format or a long landing page with all the information available by scrolling down. You can separate these into other pages, but 99% of ICO pages prefer to have all the information on one page. Before the ICO launch, this section should contain a countdown timer to the ICO launch and a form of subscription for news about the project. After the ICO has launched, the timer is replaced with the "Join ICO" button and a bar with how much you have currently raised. Showing how much you have raised is important, as it shows potential investors that others also are investing into the project.
The Project Section - This section must show detailed information about the project, technology features, current status and development plans / roadmap. This section shows the investors what they are investing in, the benefits to your project and what you plan to do with their investment. We suggest using an array of pictures / infographics rather than large amount of text.
The ICO and the Token - The fourth segment of your website should describe your ICO and your token in detail. The information that is needed in this section can be seen below:-
Here is an example from our website of the ICO section.
The Team Section - Here is where you list all the team members, with photos and links to their LinkedIn profile (if possible) the team is important because it is one of the main factors that investors look into in regards to the validity of the project. Just below this section, add your advisors in a similar fashion.
Documents / legal / social media channels - Lastly there should be links to your documents such as your white paper and smart contract information. Because these are larger, full of text and more in-depth, it is better to have links rather than have these on your main page. There should also be a link that takes you to the terms and agreements in regards to people investing. This is needed from a legal standpoint and should be carefully considered as this will be different for every ICO. Lastly include all your social media links, as people can browse through them and follow your project / get in contact with you through their favourite social media channel.
Additional items that should be considered are:-
Web based chat application - So anyone visiting your website can immediately as you questions. This requires someone to be on the website at all times though, so you will need to structure this.
Website that is adapted to mobile devices - Most people now browse on their mobile devices, make sure your website is responsive to this.
News / blog - A nice way to keep people coming back to your website, although you can have this on a blogging platform instead such as Medium or Blogger or listing articles that have been written about you from media outlets.
Email / sign up page - There needs to be a process for anyone that decides to join your email newsletter list. This will have to include a retrieve password, terms and conditions etc.
Design - On top of having all the relevant information, do not forget to make the website look appealing.
Research - Look around at what other websites are including that is effective.
You can visit our ICO website to see what the completed example looks like by clicking here.
The second “W” - The White Paper
(If you do not know what a white paper is, we suggest you read this article. It is important that you have an understanding of what a White Paper is as it is long and in-depth)
White Papers are a key mechanism in the world of fintech and more importantly in the ICO ecosystem. This document outlines the technical features of the project in quite substantial detail. White Papers are aimed at experts, opinion leaders and professionals that can understand the technical essence of your project. The white paper doesn’t heavily focus on marketing in a conventional way and is more of a educational document / manual, so it is very important that you have thought out your concept, project and how it works before trying to write a white paper.
The information provided in the White Paper should be divided into sections. A White Paper must contain the following descriptions:
essence of the project, prospects and roadmap.
relevance of the project and the market it operates on.
Team and advisors.
economics of the project and token.
There are certain guidelines as well such as :-
Most White Papers start with the problem that their project solves, showing stats and figures and infographics to back up the problem. After the current issues, the product description section starts.
A white Paper is structured, linear and clean. It does not need to colourful or contain too many buzzwords. As stated above, this document is for experts rather than the general public and therefore does not need to have slogans or logos as a marketing campaign. Instead of selling your product, think of it more as an educational document explaining what your product does and how it works.
Do research and see what other ICO’s are including in their WP. If a section appears in multiple good White Papers consider adding it to yours.
The average length is around 20 pages, the idea is that once a potential investor reads through your whole document they will understand the issue, how your product works, where you are going with your project and how people can benefit from your solution.
If you wish to look at our whitepaper for an example you can click here. Crowdholding is launching our own ICO on the 1st of November, for more information click here or follow us on Facebook or Telegram.
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