Published 16th February 2023
How to Smash your IDO
At Avark, we have worked with a number of clients to meet IDO deadlines, so we know how crazy this process can be. But don’t worry, we are here to help. Here is our complete guide to smashing your first IDO.
What is an IDO?
An Initial DEX Offering is a form of crowdfunding for web3 projects to raise money by offering a cryptocurrency token through a decentralised exchange (DEX). A DEX is a crypto exchange that isn’t governed by a central authority and is based on liquidity pools that allow participants to exchange coins, tokens and stablecoins.
IDOs provide a project with a great source of instant liquidity at all market levels and are considered a great option for new projects and entrepreneurs seeking rapid funding and a loyal following.
IDO vs ICO: What’s the difference?
Those in the web3 space may also have heard of an ICO, meaning Initial Coin Offering. This is a different method of raising funds for a project that pre-dates the IDO and doesn’t involve the use of a decentralised exchange.
It can be compared to a stock IPO, or Initial Public Offering, in that it is essentially offering stock to the public in the form of tokens.
To put it simply, an ICO is more similar to traditional forms of financing, whereas an IDO represents a more decentralised method for raising funds via a DEX which generally makes it fairer to all participants.
Where do I launch an IDO?
A number of ‘launchpads’ have sprung up in web3 to enable IDOs to find an audience, but it is important to note that a launchpad is not the same as a decentralised exchange like Uniswap.
A launchpad specifically exists to provide new projects with a means for token allocation and sale, operating like a pop-up stall inside a bigger store, whereas a DEX can be considered more like a bustling marketplace, where people come to trade directly with one another.
So if you’re looking for a strong start for your IDO, here are a number of trustworthy IDO launchpads where you can find strong liquidity pools for your budding cryptocurrency project:
Polkastarter stands out as a favoured platform among those who prioritise interoperability.
Polkastarter enables new projects to launch on multiple blockchains, including Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, and Avalanche. Moreover, these projects have the flexibility to accept any token compatible with these networks during their Initial DEX Offering.
At the heart of the platform’s operations lies the POLS token, which serves both utility and governance purposes. In order to participate in an IDO hosted on Polkastarter, users are required to hold or stake POLS to enhance their POLS Power.
Launchpool distinguishes itself from its competitors in the crypto launchpad space by adopting a unique approach. The platform takes pride in making early-stage investment opportunities accessible to all participants, regardless of their investment timing or financial power.
At the core of Launchpool’s operations lies their native token, LPOOL, which governs the platform. To secure a guaranteed allocation in a project hosted on Launchpool, users are required to stake LPOOL and acquire a percentage in a project during an Allocation Mining Event.
Unlike the conventional first-come-first-served approach, Launchpool ensures fairness by distributing tokens to all LPOOL holders based on their allocated percentage. This inclusive mechanism ensures that every investor receives tokens according to their stake in the project.
Ignition PAID Network
Ignition is an IDO launchpad from PAID network that uses a lottery system to differentiate it from other launchpads. Users buy PAID tokens to stake on Ignition for rewards and APY, but also for the chance to win lottery tickets that give them exclusive discounts on tokens being released on the launchpad.
Ignition make sure this system is not abused by only awarding one lottery ticket to each user, no matter how many tickets they hold, meaning that the system is fair and equitable even for those with less capital.
The platform is very easy to use and friendly to users of all investment levels, and they have been responsible for the successful IDOs of several projects in the past.
5 tips to ensure a successful IDO
There are some key things that an investor will look for in a project with an IDO. Paying attention to these key aspects will ensure that an investor looks at your project with confidence that it will be successful:
1. A solid white paper goes far
This is ultimately the backbone of your project. Without a strong white paper, it is impossible for someone to know the problem your project seeks to rectify, and how it will be done, and therefore impossible to invest in confidence.
A white paper is a comprehensive document that outlines the details of a project, especially its goals, methodology and technical specifications. Some key elements of a white paper include:
This should be a brief overview of your project, its purpose for existence and why it is needed.
Go into further detail about the issue and why it is problematic within its own context.
Propose how your project will provide the answer to this problem, including how it will be solved and how it differs from pre-existing solutions if relevant.
Go into detail about how your project works and highlight its architecture and algorithms. Investors with technical knowledge will need to know how your project works in detail to gain confidence it is something novel.
Explain the economics of your token, its total supply as well as its distribution and use cases within your project.
Describe to investors how your tokens will be released and over what timescale. Perhaps you could release tokens based on particular milestones for your project, the completion of a certain number of transactions or the release of a new product.
Team & Roadmap
Make sure you include some information on yourself and your team. For most projects, it is important for investors to know the human element behind the idea in order to build trust.
“Doxxing” your team, as in completely revealing their identity, is probably the best way to let users know that you have honest intentions, and will encourage them to invest in your project.
Every new idea is inherently risky for an investor, and you shouldn’t pretend yours is any different. Clearly outline possible risk factors associated with your idea and make sure to highlight how these risks will be addressed going forward.
Highlighting possible challenges shows investors that you are one step ahead and are willing to be honest, making a more trustworthy investment for them.
Like any essay, your white paper needs a strong conclusion. Make sure to summarise the key points from the document and call potential investors to action with something provocative.
2. Timing is key
This one is a little less clearly defined, but timing is a crucial part of any project launch. Does your market or industry have room for another fresh face right now? Is the overall market sentiment bullish or bearish?
A great idea proposed in a time of recession is less likely to thrive than it would in a market swell. But more than just timing the market, there is also timing the climate. Does your project solve a problem that is relevant to the current news cycle?
If so, it would be much better to act fast to get organic coverage of your idea. Timing the release of your project into the world is vital to its success and should be handled with precision.
There is also the matter of marketing. Not all projects go viral overnight, in fact the majority take time to build the hype and get people discussing the benefits your project will bring, and therefore announcing your project in good time before making any major moves can be highly beneficial.
Equally, taking too long to launch your IDO can be costly, and could result in investors losing interest and moving away to your competitors. Time management will be something of a hinge for the success of your project, and should be handled with care.
3. Brand, brand, brand
Too many projects think that the promise of their product is enough to propel them to success. There are hundreds of cola drinks on the market, but Coca Cola reigns as king thanks to its iconic and universally recognised branding.
Brand is everything, especially in web3. Invest a lot of time into creating yours. In fact, your brand should be considered as important as the product itself. What use is a great idea if nobody ever hears about it? Develop your brand identity, making sure it fits in with your vision for the project and how you wish to present yourself to investors and your community.
Make sure that a roadmap for your project is easily accessible on your website, with easily achievable targets. The key is to promise less than what you think you can deliver, whilst still sounding like you are setting high targets.
Your visual identity will be what sticks in the head of users and investors, and therefore you should use strong visual motifs and colours to demonstrate the values of your project.
For a more in-depth guide to branding in web3, see our comprehensive web3 branding guide.
The most successful projects in web3 are backed by a loyal community of supporters. This sort of backing only comes around organically, but it can be helped along by implementing a web3 marketing strategy involving some of the following tips:
Write strong copy
Just because you’re a web3 project doesn’t mean you have to abandon the traditional methods of marketing. Online content, PR, social media marketing, search engine optimisation and influencer marketing all apply here.
Make sure you have a broad strategy that encompasses at least the majority of these methods to reach an audience.
This may seem odd at first, but having your project being shilled by an army of Bored Ape accounts may very well have the opposite effect to your intention.
The web3 community you want to attract will be technologically savvy and will see through any attempts to brute force your way into the space. A slow and steady route is likely to be more fruitful, and you may want to steer towards more community-driven platforms like Discord or Telegram.
Web3 users are savvy, and can see through armies of bots and fake followers with ease. Your community should be composed of honest real people, with honest reasons for taking part. Any appearance of artifice will actually harm your branding, and make your project look like a scam.
It’s important to distance yourself from web2 mentalities, and this includes your use of language.
Make sure you refer to yourself as a creator, not a business, corporation or brand. Your audience are not consumers, customers or buyers. They’re users, investors or community members.
Even better, come up with a new name for your users that they can use to describe themselves. For example, users of Cardano call themselves Cardanians while Solana users are termed Solanians.
Reward the Community
This one is massively important as it represents the entire ethos of web3. Be willing to give up control of your project in exchange for loyal support.
This can be through profit sharing or through democratising governance, but it is essential that you do this to reward community members for their support. Make sure extra benefits are given to those who got in early to encourage their loyalty.
5. Get help from specialists
Never be afraid to ask for help. The spirit of web3 is collaboration; the best projects have far-reaching access to specialised teams of experts to help them along the way. If you wish to go far, go together.
Consultants and advisors can provide valuable insights into aspects of the project that you are less familiar with, as well as providing a fresh set of unbiased eyes to highlight any overlooked errors. Even with the best team in the world, it is always best to get a second opinion.
Hiring specialised help for certain areas that your team lacks experience in can also boost progress and make sure your project remains at a high standard and on time.
If you need help laying out the different areas of web3 design, from branding and marketing to website-building and project launch, consider coming to us here at Avark for bespoke consultation that fits your project needs.
So you’ve launched your IDO, you’ve done the groundwork, built an iconic brand, worked out how to build a strong web3 community and made your mark on the web3 space. What now?
Unfortunately, the work doesn’t stop there. In fact, it’s only just begun!
So much that we would need another article to go through everything, but here are some good places to start:
Now isn’t the time to slow down by any means. With your newly acquired funds, it is time to invest in your project and bring your idea to its fullest potential.
Consider hiring in extra hands, expanding your team into areas that you may have lacked expertise in before.
Growing your team is the best way to ensure that your project has a long-term future, and new people can bring valuable experience and insights to your project that can turn great ideas into realities. If you want to go far, go together.
Expand your reach
List your coin on more exchanges. This is the best way to reach new levels of growth, as it gives people a wider set of options for investing in your projects.
Many web3 users have never used a DEX, and rely on centralised exchanges to invest in projects. Do not miss out on the opportunity of the mass market by sticking only to DEXs.
A lot of CEXs have quite stringent rules on which projects they will consider for the platform, so make you read the listing requirements carefully before submitting your application.
Continue to promote your project whilst submitting your application, the more popular projects are certainly more likely to grab their interest.
If applicable, you could form partnerships with complementary projects, such as when Polkadot (a cross-chain interoperability platform) and Chainlink (a decentralised oracle network that provides data to smart contracts) teamed up to enable Chainlink’s services on the Polkadot platform.
Just be sure that whichever project you tether yourself to shares the same vision and corporate ethos.
If you follow this guide and come up with an innovative solution to a relevant problem, establish a strong brand identity and build a vibrant and inclusive community, you are well on your way to smashing your first IDO.
For more help with your web3 project, you may find our web3 UX guide useful.