So, you have decided you want to launch your own NFT collection. Congratulations! As a project founder, your first idea may be to create a PFP (profile picture) collection. PFP projects can be incredibly lucrative and rose to popularity in mid 2021, as the Bored Ape Yacht Club began rapidly reaching mainstream media.
The digital identity of a PFP project can generate a lot of support from people that relate to the art and the brand it stands for. However, recently we have seen many PFP projects fall short due to the massive influx of supply, and it immediately puts your project in harsh competition with the rest of the market.
This begs the question: are PFP collections dead?
I don't think so. However, I do believe that many founders make the mistake of launching a PFP collection much to early, and set themselves up to fail from the start. In this post, I will discuss five factors to consider before launching your NFT project, and ultimately, if a PFP project is right for you and your community.
What are you trying to accomplish with your NFT project? There are so many use cases still to be discovered in Web3 - as we are still very early in the development of this industry. It is important to sit down and consider what your short, and long-term purpose is - and WHY you need NFT's as a vehicle to make that a possibility.
For some project founders, they are artists that are using Web3 as a way to create a more intimate and interactive community with their artwork. For others, they may be using NFT's as a way to crowdsource a new video game, clothing line, or business.
Blair, the artist and founder behind the NFT project 1989 Sisters, discussed this in my recent interview with her. While she sees a lot of talk around "utility", she has been adamant in making her project primarily about the art. Having a vast experience in the Web2 and fashion world before venturing into Web3.
She saw this as an avenue to better connect with her audience, and hopes that they see value in her first ever NFT project as she continues to break through in the art industry.
It is important to be clear on your purpose, as this will help you determine what kind of funding you will need, and how to go about marketing your project. Blair was very clear on her purpose and goals in the NFT space, and it has allowed her to set the right expectations with her community.
Having decided your goals, and the journey you want to take. The next question to ask yourself: ‘Who do I want to join me for this journey?’
This can be a tough question for some, as they may feel that their project is for everyone. However, it is important to be as specific as possible when determining your target audience, or else you end up watering down your brand, and what you are looking to accomplish. Think of your audience as your first true fans - people getting in at the ground level of something truly incredible. If you can drill down the tendencies of these individuals, what they like, what gets them excited, you can begin to market to them in a much more effective way.
- Collection Size
Once understanding the target audience for your project, you will need to decide on the size of your collection. How many people do you feel would relate to your vision and value proposition? How many people in the current market are willing to embark on this journey with you? Back in the peak NFT market, most founders could sell out a 10k collection in minutes, and raise enough money to run their project for years. However, we are now in a different market.
Recently, we have seen have greater success in starting a smaller collection (1-2k supply). Grow as tight-knit of a community as possible, and then increase this community over time, when appropriate. It is important to remember that the larger the community, the harder it is to manage and keep everyone engaged over time. By starting small, you have increased flexibility with how you can run your project - and develop real super fans that can back your vision through the ups and downs.
If you decide to create a PFP project right off the bat, this can be a painstaking and expensive process. Depending on the collection size, this can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in art, smart contract development, and time. If the market ends up not liking the art, that can be money down the drain. If instead, you create a well-crafted access pass, or basic box that can be "exchanged" or "burned" for an art piece or utility down the line, you are creating a unique segment in the market that is not competing with the hundreds of thousands of other PFPs.
NO, I don't think that PFP projects are dead. However, it can no longer be considered a no-brainer to launch a one right off the bat with the hundreds of thousands of other PFP's currently in the market.
By first evaluating your purpose for the project, and then seeing who and how many people would be willing to follow you on your journey, you can effectively determine whether or not a PFP makes sense for you!