Justin Wu is currently the founder of Blocknauts and previously was Head of Growth for CoinCircle. In this interview, Justin goes over how cryptocurrency and blockchain companies can build a strong community and brand for their product. Hope everyone will enjoy and learn from this Q&A!
1: Hey Justin, so tell me you are a well known growth hacker and now you’ve gone into the ICO space, tell us a little bit about why you decide to do that and how you are involved in the ICO space now.
Justin Wu: I’d say it’s more on the growth marketing side and what Ive done in the past was helped a lot of start ups as well as crowdfunding Kickstarter projects with launching their full campaign from developing their story roadmap to the whole marketing infrastructure and then just executing their full distribution channels on a lot of different properties from social emails etc. So what I decide to do, I mean i’ve always loved crypto I got into it about 2013 and starting mining dogecoins, I had a lot of rigs of graphic cards and what really happened though was I really wanted to take my experiences from the traditional startup and tech space into the crypto space because i knew as a young market and i just got kind of tired seeing bad marketing, shady marketing coming and people not really building up their story and building up a branded community with ICOs and tokens they’re working on.
2: Interesting, so you know in any sort of crowdfunding or ICO campaign marketing and PR are so important as is building a community. What advice do you have for folks that are wanting to go out hire a marketing agency to go build that community or get that brand awareness.
Justin Wu: Yea for sure, so I would always say that with any before you even go out and do any marketing PR, you have to make sure your product service token, blockchain project is solid otherwise you will have to compensate on the marketing and PR side to try and mask all of that and we’ve seen a lot of people throw a lot of money on that side. If you don’t have a product and speak it for itself, you don’t have a partnership or team that can help you execute that then I would have to say focus on the core foundations first before going out on trying to promote and this is the same and not even just like crypto blockchain, you see this in startups. A lot of startups want to go out for the growth first well they don’t have a product or service that can sustain all those that community and so when it comes to bringing people reading a white paper it sucks.
Seeing your actual alpha beta even if you have one it sucks then you’re like, you’re going to go up and then go down so what kind of my best advice first is to focus on the core foundation first, come with good fundamentals, then when you’re going out and talking to marketing or PR, two seperate things, PR is good for big press releases, marketing is good help for distribution in the overall game plan. I would always say to vet a few sources out, give them a small test and projects and then if they produced wealth them continue on. I’ve seen many times though on the token founder side or a blocking product side where they’ll engage in one pr and then write good for a few stories and then that’ it and then they keep on some crazy retainer and I think that were a lot of founders get burned so much from even on the marketing agency side where they’ll throw a lot of jargon and big plans and not really execute on that.
3: Interesting, I think we are starting to see this trend now where you know ICO issuers are going out to ICO but they end up raising you know everything they need at the precinct when they end up canceling the ICO, do we still need to be marketing them?
Justin Wu: Yea I’d say so because one thing as well they still have to build up the investor confidence or accredited investor confidence institutional crypto hedge funds and you can’t always bank on that private funding to come in only and also to you have to focus on not just the actua sale itself but post sale as well, which is the most critical part you’ll see a lot of tokens of you they may raise thirty million but they have no audience in crowd, no PR and no backing, especially then you’re gonna see a big whale dump and nobody coming in to fulfill that and continue on with the token. It’s about that long-term game, sure you get funding upfront but if you’re not really sustaining that with the crowd then you know then you’re in a whole different ballpark.
4: Telergram and you know any iCS telegram channel and a number of followers they have seem to be really important in this space, why is that?
Justin Wu: It’s a good indicator or signal that you are really able to really round up the crypto heavey community and it also – it’s not just telegram itself is just the nature of chat. If you look at Facebook chats those are open rates and read rates and engagements are just through the roof, these chat groups are kind of like a little pub where I seen tokens where people don’t even talk about tokens, some of them don’t even know about the real fundamental reason why favourite tokens, but they’re like hanging out putting a lot of memes or just their gifs, and so what it’s really about is building a community and fostering that and really getting people excited and creating a hangout spot and an overall enjoyable brand and so that’s where a lot of people are seeing that effect because evene mail open rates are just on massive decline, reddit has a lot of noise a lot of big shills and twitter also has a lot of noise too as well, so telegram telegram still has a lot of noise – but it’s a little bit more controllable with them on moderation.
5: Interesting, anything else ICO issuers should know about marketing?
Justin Wu: Yea I would say marketing each of the tokens and campaigns I worked with, I’ve been involved with both marketing or advisory on the growth side with about eight different tokens now anywhere from like a 33 million up to like a 50 million crowd sale that i’ve seen is that each campaign has been very different in terms of strengths of the founders and the product was serving some of them have done all their sales through influencers, marketing, PR, and community building. Other just pure brute force on ads but I’ll say it like they spent a million dollars on ads where as the influencers didn’t spend as much and they got much more bigger reach, impact and much more it was much more organic dealing with the audience. I would say to look at a multi-channel strategy not focus on the channels first, focus on the stories that you have to create. If you can’t create stories about your token the you got some fundamental issues that like you have nothing to sell that there’s nothing exciting , good and you’re not excited about your own product. I would always focus on the stories first and then everything else I got, Telegram , Reddit, and Medium is just extra distribution channels. So start a story first then you can disseminate it out on all different channels and then push ads bost posts etc, and find out what resonates very well.
6: Very interesting, well thanks so much for joining.
Justin Wu: Thank you for having me.
You can contact Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org
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