How to build a sticky online community around your brand: Part III
That “inner circle” feeling
The glory of belonging can’t be overstated, and NFTs can be the proverbial password to tight-knit online communities. Take Friends with Benefits, a pioneer in the “pure community” NFT space: FWB is a water cooler for Web3 ideation, aiming to lead and shape the discourse around decentralization. Anyone who owns $FWB can be inducted into the group, which ensures each member is literally invested in its success, and bound by a set of shared values and incentives.
Proof Collective follows the same playbook, but with a more exclusive bent. While FWB “strives to showcase how a community can reach scale without diminishing quality along the way,” Proof has only issued 1,000 membership tokens. This stands to reason: Proof is a space designed for early adopters. The number of CryptoPunks and Bored Apes collectively owned by its members is proudly displayed on the homepage.
If FWB is a house party, Proof is a cordoned-off lounge. Both are immensely successful NFTs that have nothing more to offer than a hyper-engaged community — which is clearly more than enough.
The all-access pass
To anyone who thinks NFTs have little use beyond the digital world, we have two words for you: Flyfish Club. Serial entrepreneur and ubiquitous online personality Gary Vee recently launched the first “NFT restaurant” concept, slated to open its doors in 2023. Access to this members-only eatery is available only to those who own the Flyfish NFT; all 1,151 memberships sold out within a few hours of hitting the market.
Meanwhile, in the sports world, the Super Bowl — AKA the largest sporting event in America — announced it will be issuing commemorative NFT tickets in conjunction with Ticketmaster, expanding their fan experience into the metaverse.
An event that draws 100 million viewers without breaking a sweat certainly knows a thing or two about engaging a fanbase. And while the NFT tickets being issued for this year’s Super Bowl largely serve as a collectible (each regular ticket comes with a commemorative NFT version), the move is a loud-and-clear bellwether of what’s to come for tokenized event attendance.
A new way to fundraise
If you want to get your big idea off the ground, you won’t make it very far without funds. Historically, entrepreneurs have sought cash infusions from angel investors, venture capital funds, and in some cases, the Bank of Mom and Dad. Now, NFTs are the new kid on the fundraising block — and they’re particularly useful to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO).
A DAO is a blockchain-based community that is governed by a group of stakeholders instead of a single entity. Its rules are stated in smart contracts and can only be changed through a vote that includes all DAO members.
In late 2021, LinksDAO cropped up with a singular mission: to fund and build a decentralized golf course through the sale of NFTs. Anyone who purchases a LinksDAO NFT gains access to the online community, earns voting rights, and will eventually have the ability to purchase a membership to the future club.
This “for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts” concept is diametrically opposed to the archetypal country club: exclusive, elite, insular. By introducing NFTs into the fundraising mix, LinksDAO did more than just digitize the process. They democratized it.
Since minting their collection of just over 9,000 tokens, the collective has raised over $10 million, plus royalties from secondary market sales. These funds will be used to cover startup costs, and more NFTs will be minted to fund the acquisition of the property itself. If all goes well, golfers will be teeing off at the first LinksDAO Club location by 2023.
Now, go forth and build something special
If you’ve been following the evolution of NFTs for any amount of time, it’s clear there are an infinite number of niches out there. All they need is a leader or trailblazer to set the movement in motion.
So, if you’re ready to be that trailblazer, let this 3-part series guide you from blueprint to implementation. And if you’re already at the helm of a rich, engaged, successful community, we hope it helps you create deeper, even more meaningful connections at every level.
Written by: Steph Ullman