Hey everybody. I’m super excited to write this article celebrating the first 30 days (and counting) of my NFT project, VeeFriends. First, let me just say thank you. So many of you have supported this incredible project since it first dropped on May 11 and I am so humbled. The stats are staggering and exciting, and so I wanted to recap on all that VeeFriends has done thus far — both as a disruptive launch in the NFT space and as a community.
I hope this article gives you some valuable insights and information that will help you with your own projects. Cheers to the first 30 Days…and the next 45 years!
Before we jump into the 30 day recap, I want to bring your attention to the importance of the pre-launch. When you’re getting ready to launch anything — an NFT project, a website, a new product or service — you have to think about how you will prepare your audience for the drop. The pre-launch period should be about increasing awareness and providing real value ahead of your drop, aka the jabs before your right hook. For VeeFriends, pre-launch was all about education, anticipation, and community.
As many of you know, I spent months researching in the crypto and NFT space before ever introducing the concept of VeeFriends to my team. It was important for me to do my due diligence and learn from the people who have really been in the dirt with NFTs and blockchain technology for years. When I realized the long-term impact that digital collectibles would have on society, I wanted my community to be properly educated so that you could take part.
Building education meant creating and putting out content — a lot of it — about NFTs. The main goal was to get you equipped with the understanding you’d need to participate not only in VeeFriends, but any NFT project that piqued your interest. First, we introduced the concept of digital art and collectibles with What is NFT? Non-Fungible Token Guide. Then, we got you all set up with your own MetaMask wallets in How to Make a Cryptocurrency or NFT Wallet. 4 Steps to Make Sure You Have Ethereum in Your Wallet made sure the community was ready to go come launch day, and 5 Things To Do To Best Prepare for 5/5 served as a quick-and-dirty checklist. Finally, we published 10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Scams to ensure that anyone participating in the launch could do so safely and responsibly.
Ultimately, when preparing to launch anything you want people to buy, your main priority should be helping them to first navigate the space and understand how it will add value to their lives. Yes, I wanted VeeFriends to be successful, but more importantly, I wanted you guys to understand the real power of NFTs so that you could get in early, understand your investment opportunities, and start building your own projects.
Creating Awareness and Anticipation
Another vital component to any successful project launch is building awareness within your community. Why? People can’t support what they don’t know about. In order to grow interest and anticipation for a launch, you need to put a lot of energy into generating buzz.
As far back as February, I started sharing my doodles across social platforms. While they might have seemed random to some at the time, I was really dropping sneak peeks of what would become the VeeFriends characters.
Man …… pic.twitter.com/8xACVH0HBd
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) April 3, 2021
Why was this important? By the time launch day came, many of you were able to figure out the real meaning behind these seemingly meaningless drawings. At the same time, you became more and more familiar with VeeFriends being integrated into my content.
Another way the team and I built anticipation was through the countdown to 5/5, which was the originally intended launch date for VeeFriends. Even though the launch was actually pushed back by a few days, all the 5/5 content we did helped build up momentum and prime the community to be even more excited.
There’s a lesson here that’s really valuable: the importance of being able to pivot. Sometimes, things don’t go to plan. Missing the 5/5 deadline could have been horrible, but instead, it became an opportunity. While the auctions were delayed, 5/5 marked the public release of the VeeFriends.com website. While people could not yet purchase, they could still go to take a look at the site and familiarize themselves with all the different token categories and characters. This helped many of you know exactly which VeeFriends you wanted ahead of the launch.
The point? Stay flexible when micro details go left, and focus on the macro.
Another huge part of preparing for an impactful NFT project — or a project of any kind — is building a strong community. This meant building a dedicated home and voice for VeeFriends across social platforms.
The VeeFriends Instagram account was launched on March 21. Since then, it has become the place to learn everything related to the project, from current top resales on the secondary market to potential future VeeFriends products and more.
The VeeFriends Twitter account came later on May 5th, coinciding with the public release of the website. There, the community gets a deeper look into the personality of the VeeFriends brand and messaging.
Finally, we have the VeeFriends Discord. Launched on April 28th, the Discord server has become the go-to home for those interested in all things VeeFriends. With over 150k members, I’ve been blown away by the kind, compassionate, and hungry community that has grown there, so much so that it became the hub of my GOO token giveaways (more on that later).
The Discord isn’t strictly about VeeFriends. It’s a place where anyone interested in cryptocurrency, digital art, or networking with like minded people can go to feel supported. It’s a place where people share their biggest wins and make friends both online and in person. I believe in the impact of Discord so much that I believe anyone looking to build a true community should understand how it works. For more information, check out my recent blog, How to Use Discord: An In-Depth Guide.
To strengthen the community even more, we created individual Discord roles and channels for members to get really involved. By appointing some of our most dedicated members as moderators, we have created a community — the VeeFam — that people can really feel a part of.
Now, let’s get into all the magic that has happened since VeeFriends went live. On Tuesday May 11 at 5:55pm ET, the VeeFriends.com website went live for the inaugural auctions. Within the first 24 hours, 3,129 tokens were sold. After a successful first day, the work had just begun.
We followed up with additional educational content and materials, this time specifically geared towards aiding those interested in participating in the launch. How to Buy Your First VeeFriends was a step-by-step instructional guide on purchasing VeeFriends via the website. After the 5-day auction period, we released Meet the 268 VeeFriends Characters to begin the lifelong journey of familiarizing the community with each character.
Building VeeFriends Brand Awareness & Relevance
After a project goes live, your efforts will shift to increasing brand awareness and social relevance. We did this through fun, interactive tools for the VeeFriends community to use, express themselves, and bond with other members both on and offline.
Official VeeFriends GIFs
We created custom VeeFriends Gifs which can be found on Giphy.com and in Whatsapp, Facebook, and Twitter GIF libraries. This way, VeeFriends entered not only the NFT space, but also larger social conversation. Giving the community more ways to engage and interact with the help of their favorite characters grows the VeeFriends name and enhances brand recognition.
Official VeeFriends Twitter Avatars
To that end, we also created individual VeeFriends character avatars to be used as profile pics on Twitter and across social media platforms. Available for anyone to download via our most recent blog, Official VeeFriends Twitter Profile Avatars, these profile pics increased VeeFriends’ accessibility and inclusion. Now, even those who missed out on owning a VeeFriend token during the launch, secondary resales, or giveaways can rep their favorite character — not to mention, the avatars make it super easy to spot and connect with fellow VeeFam online.
VeeFriends Sold Out on VeeFriends.com
On June 1, 21 days after auctions began, VeeFriends officially sold out on the website. While this was a major milestone, it was also a prime chance to shift conversation to amazing opportunities to score tokens on the secondary market.
Changing focus, we shifted gears to informing the community on How to Buy VeeFriends on OpenSea.
VeeFriends GOO Token Giveaways
One of the main highlights of the first 30 days of VeeFriends has been being able to give back to the community. In a Thank You Economy, it’s crucial to show your audience that they are valued and appreciated for their support. It’s good business, but more importantly, it’s being a good human being.
That being said, I’m very proud that we have gifted — so far — 48 Gary Originally Owned (GOO) VeeFriends tokens to the Discord community. Not originally for sale on the VeeFriends website, GOO tokens are tokens I reserved specifically for this purpose. I knew that ETH would be pricey for many, so it was important for me to ensure that some of my OG community was able to benefit from the launch.
Not only is surprise and delight central to the core of who I am, but it also enhances community building efforts through incentivizing and adding value. For any project launch, saying “thank you” should be a main priority.
First VeeFriends Brand Collaboration
Finally, in just its first month of existence, VeeFriends was able to introduce its first example of IP in motion with the STAPLE Pigeon x Perspective Pigeon capsule collection collaboration. It all started with a simple Instagram comment from STAPLE CEO, Jeff Staple:
From there, the concept was sparked. This was an exciting moment for VeeFriends, as it was the first taste of what’s to come for the next 45 years…more concepts, more collabs, more IP.
VeeFriends Secondary Market Sales
Once tokens sold out on the website, the secondary market took off. To date, we’ve seen approximately 1,983.88 ETH in secondary sales, including some incredible resales on OpenSea…and we’re still going strong.
What’s most exciting about resales is seeing my community make a return on their investment. Whether you HODL or flip your VeeFriend, my goal was always for this project to add value to the lives of everyone who has supported, and it’s just getting started.
Let’s take a quick look back at VeeFriends’ biggest milestones in the first 30 days:
- Building education — familiarizing the community with concepts like NFTs, crypto wallets, and Ethereum.
- Creating awareness and anticipation — using content strategy to generate buzz and build excitement for launch.
- Community building — creating an engaged community of VeeFam through social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Discord (150k+ strong)
- Launch — introducing our inaugural 5-day auction and the launch of VeeFriends.com
- Building brand awareness & relevance — creating social capital around the VeeFriends name through fun, interactive tools like Veefriend GIFs and profile pic avatars.
- Selling out — hitting a major milestone and selling out of all tokens on VeeFriends.com
- Giveaways — saying thank you to the community with 48 GOO token giveaways on Discord.
- Brand collaborations — Dropping the first VeeFriends collab with the STAPLE Pigeon x Perspective Pigeon collection
- Secondary market sales — 1,983.88 ETH in secondary sales on OpenSea.
Ultimately, I hope this article can serve not only as a look into the first 30 days of VeeFriends, but also a blueprint for how to structure and execute your own projects. Once again, thank you all for making VeeFriends one of the biggest launches in the NFT space in less than a month!
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