Part of what I do at Origami is talk to new DAO creators who have great ideas, well-written white papers, and some money—but struggle to find members. web3 projects are hard to market because the ecosystem was built in response to the mistrust of institutions.
To learn how to promote with respect to the community's ethos, I interviewed Emily Rasowski, founder of web3 marketing firm Pop Agency. Emily is a former Amazonian who built the go-to-market strategy for Amazon Care, the tech behemoth’s major healthcare initiative.
Listen to the podcast or skip to her web3 marketing tips below.
web3 is built on trustless infrastructure, but people buy because of trust. So one way to build trust is to meet people in person. You can do this with 2 or 3 conferences per year.
When Protocol Labs wanted to build relationships with DAOs, Emily advised them to go to MCon. “It’s just straight-up DAO people. There’s not a lot of extra noise.”
Emily also organized a side event at MCon to help maximize Protocol Labs’ presence at the conference. Whether you’re just attending an event or doing more, prioritize sessions and parties that allow you to build relationships over those that are just educational.
Join the right online groups
Part of the goal of meeting people at conferences is connecting on Telegram afterward. “With Telegram chats, I find my strongest connections,” said Emily. Helping her clients find the right groups is one of the most valuable services she provides. “Nine times out of ten, that's where I get the strongest conversions.”
Discords can be too noisy, which is why the most tight-knit communities migrate to Telegram. Emily says most verticals have around 10 relevant Telegram groups—some with a few dozen people, some with a few hundred. The key is knowing which groups to join. And once you identify them, it takes patience to integrate yourself into the chats.
“You can either build these relationships out with blood, sweat, and tears. Or you can work with someone who has already done it,” she said.
Help community managers
Join groups with good community managers and commit to scheduling 10-30 minutes of your time in them each day.
Good community managers moderate content, keep the quality high and create weekly programming. “If there isn't a solid community manager, you're gonna get lost in the fold,” said Emily. “There's just too much information.”
Once you get acquainted with the group, offer to take tasks off the community manager’s plate. Free them up to build their communities. You’ll earn trust with them by saying, "Do you need help staffing your next Twitter Space? Or promoting something new on your calendar? How can I help you?"
Micro-influencers are important in most marketing today, but even more so in web3, where people can be less trusting than other communities.
“A big behemoth brand that has hundreds of thousands of followers,” said Emily, “might not instill the same amount of trust as someone who has a thousand followers, [but] who's met three people you know."
To build interest in your project, Emily recommends having your audience hear about it from multiple trusted, micro-influencers. They might see it in their public feeds multiple times, then turn to their private Telegram chats and ask their more trusted networks about it before buying in.
Just because your project is good, doesn't mean anyone will care.
Emily's experience demonstrates the importance of creating a community around your web3 project. It's not enough to just send a tweet and hope for the best.
Your best use of time is building relationships and engaging with people on a personal level. When the trust is there, the results will follow.