Many startup founders, ignited by their enthusiasm of the new crypto realm, decide to create a new blockchain project and fund it with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or Token Generation Event (TGEs).
These founders are often required to assemble a team and begin their project with limited or no funding. Such entrepreneurs would be (in most cases) terribly wrong to approach a Marketing company under such conditions.
Why should they wait before seeking an agency?
Many successful ICOs have raised a lot of money without the help of a Marketing agency because they have their networks, valuable skills, and can turn to freelancing sites to source people with experience for small areas where they lack knowledge. Some reputable companies, like International Blockchain Consulting, have used freelancing platforms to find high-quality people for their operations.
ParagonCoin, which raised more than 170 million USD, also used freelancers at around $30 dollars per hour for most of its day-to-day support needs. Super angels such as Fabrice Grinda use freelancers for his venture capital firm and related research projects. Even Secretary Generals of international organizations such as Interpol use freelancing sites! So, it can be a cool place to get started.
It is fine NOT to use an agency if you can properly select freelancers and create a team with limited resources, at first. A team that fits the founders culturally and professionally can do the job very well. Such a strategy can also help founders save money on labor and find people that will stick with them after their ICO hits the softcap.
If you are a bootstrapping your way to an ICO, then you probably won’t be able to afford a real ICO agency (unless you’re already very wealthy). But don’t get discouraged if you don’t have the sometimes-stellar budget required by leading ICO agencies. With the right team, culture, and sweat equity in place, many have worked miracles. If you have what it takes, you might do so as well!
So, do NOT contact an ICO marketing agency if…
You don’t have a proper budget (20k or 100k minimum depending on the agency).
You would be better off with internal teammates you can find online rather than through third-party companies.
You want to keep all the teammates on board after your ICO
If you have the contacts and know-how needed to raise the money yourself
Instead of wasting your time, and some agency’s time as well, you should work towards creating a compelling pitch of your project idea and yourself. Dig into your LinkedIn and alumni networks, turn to pitch-promising wantrepreneurs at universities, and join freelancing sites to assemble a cost-effective team that is good enough to get you started.
Agencies are built from people who produce more value together in synergy than individually. They are comprised of imperfect individuals striving for a perfect whole. That is why many agencies charge premiums, as they believe they’re offering more than any individual by themselves.
Agencies are also more required to abide by local and international laws. They have databases, networks, memberships in prestigious organizations, collective know-how that surpasses that of freelancing individuals, and setup procedures to optimize productivity and results (capitalist vaulters!). The only real issue is that they cost more!
That is the reason why bigger companies and high net-worth individuals (HNWI) who are doing ICOs usually contact agencies rather than freelancers. It saves time, guarantees higher quality, and allows usage of proprietary know-how, know-who, and tech. Also, they can rely on legal responsibilities if they want to deduct the investment expenses from their taxes, for example. All these factors make the choice of an agency more convenient for them.
So, when you should hire an ICO agency?
When you have the budget for a turnkey solution or a specific valuable service
When you don’t want to spend time and energy creating a separate team as you won’t need it post-ICO (some ICO team roles are temporary).
When it is convenient and easy from legal and technical standpoints
When you can benefit from the network, know-how and reputation of the agency
There is also a third option. You can download Telegram and join any open groups where you can ask for ICO services. This will result in hundreds of offers coming your way from entities that are half agencies, half freelancers, or some percentage of the two combined. Close your eyes, give it some thought and choose the ones that you think are best. This might be a question of luck! Beware of Telegram offers, however, as half of them (especially the YouTube reviews) are probably scams!