As an NFT artist, it can be challenging to succeed during a crypto bear market. With prices for cryptocurrencies and NFTs enduring volatility, it can be difficult to generate interest and sales for your work. However, with the right strategies and mindset, you can still thrive as a Web3 creator even during a bear market.
In fact, economic recessions are actually marked by vast increases in entrepreneurial activity. 57% of today’s Fortune 500 companies were founded during a recession and over 4.4 million new businesses were created in the U.S. in 2020 — at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the burst of the NFT trading bubble requires Creators to do more than set up a Discord server and wait for the sales to roll in — it also forces greater innovation and provides the real builders with the opportunity to bring Web3 back to its creative roots — hopefully without so many Twitter shill-bots and the relentless focus on pumping bags.
Here are some concrete tips to help you succeed as an NFT artist during a crypto bear market:
Focus on the quality of your work:
During a bear market, it's more important than ever to focus on creating high-quality, unique, and valuable NFTs. This will help you stand out from the competition and attract the attention of collectors who are looking for value-add NFTs to add to their portfolios.Instead of following bull market trends, develop a project that resonates with your personal interests.
For example, if you are passionate about environmental conservation, you could create NFTs that are designed to raise awareness about climate issues. An artist looking to make Web3 more inclusive may generate an NFT collection that incorporates features such as alternative text and audio descriptions to make their NFTs accessible to people with visual or auditory impairments.
By personalizing your work you increase your project’s ability to stand out in a saturated market while simultaneously increasing your ability to build an authentic community — both of which are imperative to support the sales process.
Include audience-specific utility for purchasers of your NFTs:
Another way to support sales throughout a bear market is to incorporate additional features or functionality into the NFT itself.
These additional features, often referred to as ‘utility’ can help increase the value and appeal of the NFT, and give collectors a reason to hold and use the NFT beyond its collectible value.
For example, an NFT could be designed to grant the holder access to exclusive content, such as a virtual gallery tour or a behind-the-scenes look at your creative process. An NFT could also be used as a unique and collectible item, such as a limited edition print or a digital art book.
It's important to note the utility of any particular NFT should be specifically designed for its target audience because this can help increase the value and appeal of the NFT to that audience.
When an NFT has utility that is relevant and appealing to its target audience, it can help generate interest in the project, you as the creator, expand your community and support sales performance.
Additionally, by tailoring the utility of the NFT to a target audience, you can show that you understand and are catering to the needs and interests of that audience, which can help build consumer trust and loyalty.
Build a strong online presence:
A strong online presence is crucial for Web3 entrepreneurs, but it's especially important during a bear market. Use social media and other online platforms to showcase your work, connect with potential buyers, and build a loyal following. This will help you reach a wider audience and generate interest in your work.
While it may feel intimidating to start from zero, don’t look for ‘hacks’ or ‘quick growth’ tactics to inflate your social media following or engagement — it does more harm than good! Instead, focus on growing your online presence authentically. Here’s a few tips to help you get started:
Don't try to be someone you're not online. Instead, be authentic and genuine in your online interactions, and show your personality and unique perspective. This will help you connect with your audience on a more personal and meaningful level.
Share valuable and interesting content:
Make sure you are provide value to your audience. Share content that is interesting, informative, or entertaining, and that resonates. This will help you build a loyal following and increase engagement with your content.
Engage with your audience:
To grow your online presence authentically, you need to engage with your audience and respond to their comments and questions. This will help you build a relationship with your followers and make them feel more connected to you and your content.
Network with other NFT creators and collectors:
Building connections with other NFT creators and Web3 innovators can be a valuable way to promote your work and find potential buyers during a bear market. Join online forums and communities, attend NFT-related events and conferences, and reach out to other artists and collectors on social media to share your work and learn from their experiences.
Before hitting ‘send’ on those Twitter DMs, run through this short checklist to ensure your outreach is well-received and provides others an equal opportunity to gain value from the interaction or budding relationship.
When reaching out to others to share your work, always be respectful of their time and attention. Don't spam them with multiple messages or requests, and don't pressure them to share or promote your work.
Instead of just promoting your own work, try to provide value to the person you are reaching out to. This could include sharing interesting or useful information, offering to collaborate or partner on a project, or providing support or resources.
To avoid coming off as overly promotional, be genuine in your interactions and connections. Show a genuine interest in the person you are reaching out to and their work, and be authentic and sincere in your communication.
Offer something in return:
Instead of just asking for help in promoting your work, consider offering something in return. This could include promoting the person's work in your own online channels, providing valuable feedback or advice, or offering to help with a project or event.
Manage your own expectations:
If you are brand new to Web3, you may want to consider starting your outreach with others like yourself instead of directing your communications to well-established creators who already have extensive networks. If you’re launching a new NFT music project, a retweet from @CoopahTroopa may feel like winning a gold medal — but your efforts may be better spent building relationships that have the opportunity for an equal exchange of value.
Offer unique and limited editions:
During a bear market, collectors may be more inclined to invest in unique and limited edition NFTs that have a higher potential resale value or provide the collector an opportunity to be a part of a select group.
Consider offering special editions of your NFTs, such as one-of-a-kind pieces or limited-time releases, to generate interest and increase the value of your work.
National Lampoon’s genesis ReCover mint launched on Aspen in the heart of the bear market and sold out in under 180 seconds. Read about their mint HERE.
Diversify your income streams:
As an NFT artist, it's important to diversify your income streams to protect yourself from market fluctuations. In addition to selling your NFTs, consider offering other services, such as consulting, education, or mentoring, to generate additional revenue.
The end of the frenzied NFT trading bubble does not mark the end of Web3 — in fact, it’s only the beginning. Legacy brands are continuing to enter the ecosystem daily which opens up a prime opportunity for experienced Web3 artists and creators to earn additional income. Many Web2 marketing teams are seeking crypto-native consulting support to help inform their organization’s digital strategies.
If you are interested in finding freelance or contract positions within larger, more traditional brands, try applying the same social media tactics outlined above and setting up a LinkedIn profile to meet project partners on a more work-centric platform.
Bear markets are a natural part of the crypto cycle, and they will pass. Remember that you are early, your work is valuable, important, and has the ability to meaningfully impact the growth and development of the Web3 ecosystem.
Stay focused on your goals and continue to create and innovate even during challenging market conditions. By remaining resilient, determined and consistent — we can all weather the bear market storm and continue to build toward the success of Web3.