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7 Steps to Creating Your First NFT

Erica Johnson

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You might have heard about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the news, but do you understand what they are, how they work, how you can make your own, and how you can start collecting them? As soon as I heard about them, I was intrigued, especially about the possibility of using this new blockchain technology to market my Stick Figure art. But the reality is that I procrastinated taking the time to explore this possibility.

I was stuck in a rut until a friend helped me understand how to get started in seven simple steps. Then I dedicated time during the weekend to work through each step, and after about six hours total, now I not only understand what NFTs are, but have made some by minting some of my Stick Figure art, and even bought my first NFT!

My friend and unofficial NFT mentor is the one and only Mitch Jackson. With more than 30 years’ experience practicing law and building businesses, Mitch combines law, technology, and social media to disrupt, hack, and improve the businesses of his clients and the legal system. I’ve featured Mitch as a guest on my World of Speakers podcast and have appeared on his Legal Minds lifestreams. We’ve hosted Clubhouse rooms together, and if the weather is nice, you might find us having a “board” meeting in Dana Point Harbor, discussing life and business while stand-up paddleboarding. He is doing some cool things with NFTs, which I will get into later. 

First, let me introduce you to the basic vocabulary you’ll need to understand to complete the steps. 

Non-fungible token or NFT: Think of NFTs as digital media, like images, videos, or a digital representation of a real-world asset, like real estate, or a Stick Figure drawing. NFTs are non-fungible, meaning that they’re unique and the value of the asset cannot be traded equally. It’s all about ownership. Anyone can create an NFT and trade them on a blockchain platform. The Ethereum blockchain is the most common for NFTs. 

Cryptocurrency: NFTs are a type of crypto-token, like cryptocurrencies. To purchase NFTs, you’d typically use Ethereum (ETH). Cryptocurrency is digital and decentralized, meaning there is no governing body such as a bank to regulate the exchange of money. Unlike traditional institutions, transactions are instant and recorded on a public ledger that prevents fraud and corruption (records are difficult to tamper with).

Gas fees: You need to know about gas fees. This is what you’re charged when someone buys your NFT. You’re paying for the computing energy of your NFT. What you pay isn’t related to the price of your artwork or media and is subject to the supply and demand of the blockchain. 

Example: Let’s assume I have a Stick Figure NFT for sale for .005555 ETH (around $20). During checkout, the purchaser pays the .005555 ETH and another $120 (in ETH) in gas fees (or whatever it is). You get your sale price less a small commission. The gas fee goes to the miners (people/companies running the computers on the blockchain). You can keep an eye on the baseline for gas fees, based on how much computing is going on. 

Now what?

I want to empower you to learn about and participate in this new digital landscape, so I’ll guide you through the process of setting up and selling an NFT the way Mitch and I did it. Different platforms that allow you to make and sell NFTs have varying cost structures. The most popular NFT marketplace where you can make, sell, and buy NFTs is OpenSea. From my research, it is also the most user-friendly, so I suggest you start there. After you are set up on OpenSea, the process of minting your first NFT is free. But depending on how you sell it, depends on if you or the buyer will be responsible for the gas fees. Based on how I did it, you should be able to get set up with $400 or less up-front costs. 

Step #1: Add a bank account and get a debit card

You’re going to need an account to link to your cryptocurrency purchases and NFT expenses referenced below. If you’re comfortable connecting an existing banking account and debit card, you can skip this step.

Mitch and I both wanted to keep our crypto/NFT stuff separate from my regular banking and investment accounts, so we went online and opened up new checking accounts for this purpose. Once your bank account is funded, go to step 2.

Step #2: Buy cryptocurrency

From your phone or tablet open a new (1) Coinbase account and (2) Coinbase wallet. This is where you’ll purchase your first Bitcoin and Ethereum. Link your bank account and/or debit card to your Coinbase account. Purchase a couple of hundred dollars (min) of both cryptocurrencies just to have funds to complete the NFT process. You can also use these accounts to invest if you want. For now, you’re just setting things up. This will serve as one of your foundation accounts.

Step #3: Set up your MetaMask wallet

MetaMask is a popular crypto wallet that interfaces with a bunch of different services including NFT hosting platforms. Once set up, you can transfer $100-200 into it. It’s also a Google extension that you’ll want to activate if you’re using your laptop or desktop which uses the OpenSea marketplace (below). This is another foundational type account for this and other projects.

Step #4: Make a hard copy of your passwords and passphrases

Keep copies of your Coinbase and MegaMask wallet password and passphrases offline someplace safe. You’ll need these to get access to your crypto. If you lose wallet access you’ll lose all your money. I repeat, if you lose wallet access, you’ll lose all your money! 

Step #5: Open an OpenSea account

Next, you’ll create an OpenSea account. This is where you can list your artwork and other projects on the NFT marketplace. There are many different marketplaces and you don’t have to use OpenSea, but it’s easy to use and will familiarize you with the process. Mitch is using it for his photographs and some other creative ideas, and I am using it to make my Stick Figure NFTs

Once you’re in, you’ll be asked to connect your MetaMask wallet to your OpenSea account. There is an initial charge for gas fees, to get things set up and these funds will flow from your MetaMask to OpenSea. You will have to pay the gas fee before you can sell your NFTs. 

Step #6: Your first NFT: Upload your digital item (content) to OpenSea

Now you can upload your image, GIF, video, or other “thing” that you have digitized to your OpenSea account. You can also make different collections to group NFTs together by theme. Don’t get hung up on what to make for your first few NFTs. I stressed over this for way too long! Just decide on a couple of ideas and publish them. There are lots of options depending on price/auction/video choices. 

For example, you can view what Mitch set up or my Stick Figure art collection on OpenSea. 

NFTs also allow for hidden content that only the owner can access. And this allows for a lot of creativity in how you add value to your NFT. Mitch is exploring how to mint chapters in his book, and even podcast episodes, with unlockable content that gives the owner access to him and his guests! I’m looking at offering copies of original Stick Figure artwork with some NFTs, and I’m exploring adding perks that allow people to get access to my speaking and consulting services. My advice is to get creative and think outside the NFT box! (I’d love to hear some of your NFT ideas. Tweet them to me!)

To get a good idea of the possibilities for using NFTs to build your brand, I suggest you start by reading How To Make An NFT Project as Popular as Nike, a Forbes article by Brian Evans. Get in the habit of finding and following people like Brian, who are NFT enthusiasts. It’s a good way to stay on top of the evolving NFT space.

Step #7: Add an OnCyber Gallery

Once you get your OpenSea set up, you can create a free 3D art gallery-like Mitch did on OnCyber. It is pretty intuitive. You connect using your MetaMask wallet and then choose from a variety of “showrooms.” Choose whatever you want, and then add any of the NFTs that you created in OpenSea to populate your 3D viewing gallery!

For example, you can view Mitch’s Ocean and Harbor gallery, and my first Stick Figure gallery. 

Step #8: Promote and Sell

Once you’re set-up, you can promote the links. One thing I learned by reading The NFT Handbook, is that NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea, don’t have any algorithms to get your NFTs in front of users. That means the only way people will know about your NFTs is if you share it with them. So it’s worthwhile thinking through your marketing NFT strategy. 

When a sale goes through it goes into your MetaMask wallet. From there you can transfer funds to your Coinbase wallet or other accounts. When it comes to selling, you can name a price, put it on auction with a minimum bid, or you can leave the pricing blank, and let people make offers. But don’t expect anyone to find your NFTs on their own. You will have to bring eyeballs to your work. That is why so much of the NFT game is on building community and awareness. It is not easy, but if done right, over time, you can make it work. 

Warning: There is a lot of media about NFTs selling for crazy amounts. Don’t be fooled, and don’t expect to be an overnight success with NFTs, sorry, but that just won’t happen. Look at this as a long-term game, one that might take years to get traction. 

I see making and collecting NFTs as a fun way to be creative, a good excuse to learn more about crypto, and be on the cutting edge of the future of digital ownership. I’m still determining my prices and thinking through how to build and nurture a community of folks who want to be part of owning Stick Figure NFT art. Ideally, as I grow my Stick Figure NFT art brand, those who are collectors might also add a few “figures” to their crypto wallets as their one-of-a-kind Stick Figure NFTs increase in value over time. If you believe that crypto is here to stay and that it will increase in value over time, then that value will also be reflected in NFTs that are tied to those cryptocurrencies. 

Don’t get overwhelmed. That is what kept me from starting my NFT journey a year ago. Don’t make the mistake of standing still. It is still the “early” days, so take the leap, and follow these 7 basic steps. 

I hope you found this helpful. Let me know if you successfully get your first NFT live. Tweet it to me and I’ll share it with my network! 

Once you are set up, visit my OpenSea account, and feel free to buy your very own Stick Figure NFT. Who knows, they might become valuable sought-after collector’s items in the future. Better get them while you can! (And keep an eye out for some Stick Figure campaigns!)

Disclaimer: The author, Ryan Foland is not an attorney, broker, or financial advisor. The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. Mitch Jackson and his firm Jackson & Wilson do not provide financial or investment advice. Trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is extremely risky and could result in significant capital losses and unexpected liabilities.

Published November 18th, 2021


Sales & Marketing

‘Bullish’ marketing industry plans to boost spending power in 2024

Courtney Shields

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‘Bullish’ marketing industry plans to boost spending power in 2024

UK marketing leaders are gearing up for a ‘bullish’ 2024, with more than 70% planning to boost digital budgets this year, new data shows.  

Following four years of economic flatlining and commercial pressures for many of the UK’s top marketers, 2024 is expected to see a resurgence in industry optimism, with increased investment being directed in key growth areas including AI, websites, SEO, broadcast and podcasts, as well as email and content marketing.  

The data from more than 500 UK marketing leaders, commissioned by search-driven content agency No Brainer, is available to in-house and agency marketers now. The first report is called the 2024 eCommerce Trends Report

In addition to No Brainer’s findings, a recent Statista report indicates the eCommerce market is set to reach a projected £100b ($124b) in the UK for the first time in 2024, and eComm marketers are poised to make 2024 the year they seize a greater share of consumer spending.  

The report by No Brainer also reveals significant spending growth in key areas of marketing, with many marketing decision markers saying they intend to invest over 60% more than they did in 2023 in the following areas: 

  1. AI: 64% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  2. Website: 64% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  3. SEO: 62% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  4. TV, Radio & Podcasts: 59% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  5. Email Marketing: 58% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  6. Content Marketing: 57% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  7. Digital PR: 57% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  8. Influencer Marketing: 56% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  9. Organic social: 56% to increase spend by as much as 60% 
  10. Paid search: 55% to increase spend by as much as 60% 

Some of the highest budget increases came from marketers working in sectors including Education with 69% increasing by up to 60%, Finance with 64% increasing by up to 60%, and Retail with 56% increasing by over 40%. Only 14% of marketing decision makers said they’ll be dialling back on budgets in 2024. 

Gary Jenkins, Director at No Brainer, said: “Four years of rising costs, inflationary pressures, and squeezed budgets has made life tough for UK marketing leaders tasked with delivering growth, but we’re expecting to see that turn around in 2024 with many taking a more bullish approach in terms of spending power. 

“This is great to see, and not just because we play in this space, but because if businesses of all sizes are serious about recovery and growth, then investing strategically in the right areas of marketing is crucial. Sadly, in challenging times, these are the things that can often be the first cut.  

“When every penny matters, like it has in recent years, then there’s a laser focus on marketing leaders proving the value of every pound they spend, and quite rightly. It’s got everyone challenging the ROI of their spending across every marketing sector, and the same rule should apply with these increased budgets.  

“It’s about putting them to best use. A solid, strategically planned marketing strategy can unlock new audiences, drive more revenue from existing ones, and drive more brand loyalty and advocacy, so it’s still a case of spending smart, even if spending more.” 

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

Tags: budget, Content Marketing, seo, spending, websites

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Why social listening platforms can’t listen – and how SocialVoice is looking to step in

Courtney Shields

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Why social listening platforms can't listen - and how SocialVoice is looking to step in

The market opportunity for brands who get influencer marketing right is huge.

According to Goldman Sachs, the creator economy is worth around $250 billion (£205.4bn) today. By 2027, it could hit $480bn (£394.5bn), in line with predicted growth for global digital advertising spend. In line with this trend is an increasing preference for brands to use nano- and micro-influencers in their campaigns. The State of Influencer Marketing 2023 Report puts this at 39% and 30% respectively. With the rise of trends such as FinTok and others front and centre, no longer is there a subject which cannot be touched by an influencer; someone passionate, authentic and knowledgeable enough to earn consumer trust.

Getting the right influencers, in terms of what they say, how they say it and how many people they say it to, is therefore vital. Indeed, an entire martech sector has mushroomed in the form of social listening. Yet Nicholas Greig, chief revenue officer at SocialVoice, has a problem with the term.

“Social listening platforms can’t listen,” explains Greig. “All they can do is scan the metadata.”

While social listening tools can look at hashtags and comments, crunch engagement rates, and look at the sentiment of the written word, SocialVoice believes there is no tool currently on the market which can get ‘inside’ a video and analyse the voice. Until now.

The aim of SocialVoice is to enable analysis of an influencer’s past activity, through every frame of every video on every platform. Tone of voice can be analysed, beyond the written word, to assuage fears around brand safety as well as brand fit. This can go from the usual sentiment analysis to understanding personal versus corporate tone, to extrovert versus introvert, to liberal versus conservative. “Because we’re moving to nano- and micro-influencers, we’re not bringing them in for shoots anymore, so we’re relying on the quality of their recording,” explains Greig.

From a technology standpoint, it will not be a surprise that AI is at the heart of the solution, with three primary facets; deep analysis using machine learning tools, statistical approaches to identify pattern correlation across time-based events, and processing at speed. Almost two thirds of those polled in the State of Influencer Marketing report (63%) plan to use AI in executing their influencer campaigns, with two thirds of those brands using it for influencer identification.

What this looks like in terms of product is the Influencer Integrity Report, the first go-to-market effort from SocialVoice. The analysis of time-based events and processing at speed is combined so brand managers can input the influencer link and then get a report soon afterwards backed up by industry standards – toxic and profane content is based on GARM (Global Alliance for Responsible Media) metrics – and headlined by an overall trust score (left).

In the example MarketingTech saw, regarding a well-known influencer in the skincare industry, a specific brand appeared 273 times based on hashtag and written word analysis. For video scripts, the brand appeared 3648 times (right). Tone of voice noted variance between neutral and joyful.

Greig believes this will solve a fundamental industry problem. “We realised that there were some very big problems in the world of influencer marketing that, despite its growth, were affecting uptake from industry sectors such as banking, or from industry sectors where compliance and conservatism was more prevalent,” says Greig.

“These problems come around the fact that not a single influencer discovery platform in the world can be trusted to do proper vetting, or background checking, of the influencer,” adds Greig. “Checking influencers takes hours, and they can’t go back and check everything that an influencer has ever said – so they cut corners, they look at a random sample of videos, and then they go into a campaign [with a] lack of trust in whether the influencer has any hidden surprises in their background.”

While it remains early days, Greig notes that the trust score is the key element for customers on board thus far. The company has trademarked the term ‘trust my voice’ in anticipation not just of this, but for future cases beyond the brand and agency side. “One of the ways where we see this going forward is that influencers themselves on their profile will have a ‘trust my voice’ link,” offers Greig. “They’ll have that from a software as a service perspective.”

SocialVoice is exhibiting at the upcoming DMWF Europe event, on 21-22 November in Amsterdam, with something a little more enticing than usual. Those who visit the stand will have the ability to have one free check of an influencer of their choice – so the company has a strong bet on their value proposition.

“I think it will shock people as to just how limited the information is they have to make right decisions, and just how open they are to problems,” says Greig.

“We are still very much in a concept [phase],” he adds. “It’s going to be very difficult for anyone to compete against us. It’s not just the AI ability, it’s the scale of what it is that we’re doing; it’s the ability to do it at speed and do thousands of influencers at the same time.”

Insert picture credit: SocialVoice

Photo by Daniel Gaffey on Unsplash

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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Clevertouch creates European consultancy and empowers marketers with AI marketing automation

Courtney Shields

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Clevertouch Marketing, a marketing technology consulting and service provider, has formed a new strategic team to drive customer conversion from martech across its European client base.

This, in conjunction with new AI product development in its proprietary Momentum software, will bring productivity in martech to the forefront, at a time when marketers need it most acutely.

As Clevertouch Marketing changes its overall name to Clevertouch Consulting, the company has created a senior team focused on client revenue generation, customer insights and conversion metrics. The team is also investing in the development of new powerful AI marketing tools.

The development of ContentAI, a feature within Clevertouch Consulting’s Momentum software, ensures artificial intelligence is driving maximum productivity within Clevertouch customer marketing teams. It allows the rewrite of email and landing page content, greatly improving the capabilities of marketers and reducing the time it takes to launch assets. ContentAI is backed by a unique persona toolset that allows marketers to ensure generated content fits the tone and personality of the teams and the business. Momentum is used by leading brands such as Fujitsu, Atos and British Land.

To support this, Clevertouch Consulting has strengthened its leadership with a mix of promotions and hires. Elaine Webley has been appointed as COO and CMO to lead operations and marketing strategy, having previously served as Managing Director and Client Services Director. Stuart West, previously Vice President International of BrightTALK, will hold the Chief Revenue Officer position and lead the team across its services and SaaS products. Jamie Burrell, responsible for the company’s consulting services, will take the position of Chief Strategy Officer, and CEO and founder, Adam Sharp, will provide ongoing leadership and market insights. Lucy Larner also joins Clevertouch as Chief Financial Officer after fifteen years in various SMB finance roles.

Adam Sharp, CEO at Clevertouch Consulting, said: “Economic times are tough, and as marketers we all have to sharpen our focus on revenue delivery, customer conversion and productivity within our day-to-day activities. We are committed to investing in the most advanced marketing products and services, driving the efficiencies created by AI, but also backed by a super strategic team to give clients the best possible business outcomes.

“Our name change reflects the changing nature of the business and the desire for clients to bring the martech capability in house, with the support of Clevertouch Consulting to optimise their investment.”

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

  • Duncan MacRae

    Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

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Tags: AI, Clevertouch, consultancy, Europe

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