The BIG NFT Project Checklist
What you should consider when planning, preparing, and launching an NFT project.
What you should consider when planning, preparing, and launching an NFT project.
From the outside, NFT projects might seem like a mysterious blackbox. While successful projects make it look easy, understanding how they managed to create and execute their concept is very difficult. If you’re launching your first NFT collection, there’s a lot to consider, and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to get started.
But don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you into a series of small steps. Sure, there’s a lot to keep in mind, but it’s entirely manageable if you approach it methodically.
So we’ve made a step-by-step guide for what you should consider to successfully launch an NFT project. Here is a quick checklist for all of the topics we’ll be covering in more detail:
Now, let’s go through each of these areas in a bit more detail. Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of how to think about each aspect of launching your NFT project.
First, the big question: - WHY should anyone buy your NFT?
There are thousands of NFT projects out there, and long gone are the times when people bought NFTs simply as a novelty. Only the best of the best appreciate in value, and predicting which NFTs will be solid investments is a full-time job in and of itself.
So you have to convince people that you really have something to offer. Nobody can say for sure whether any given project will be the next big thing, but if you take the time to create a strong concept and value proposition, you might be able to turn some heads.
Ask yourself “Would I spend money on this NFT?” And be honest. If there’s any doubt in your mind as to whether you’d spend money on it, then you’ve got to do better. Consider the utility your project offers:
Once you’ve nailed down a solid concept, decide on a timeline:
Put it in writing, and you’ve got a roadmap!
Next, you’ve got to think about the business side of things. This brings up a whole new set of questions.
Take the time to figure out the project’s financials well before you start investing time and money into development. Really consider whether launching is too much of an investment or risk, and if so, figure out if there are anyways to reduce costs or mitigate the risk. Plan for multiple outcomes with regards to the mint, and be prepared for the best-case and worst-case scenarios. A little bit of foresight will save you a lot of headache later on down the line.
Artwork & Metadata
As part of your concept, you’ve already considered what it is you’re going to be selling. Now it’s time to think about the technical and legal side of your content.
First, where is the artwork, music, animation, video content coming from? Are you going to make it? If not, start searching for a company that can make the type of content that will make your project pop. Also, make sure to use the most widely accepted file formats for whatever content you are going to be using. More info on this in our article on NFT metadata formats.
Once you’ve gotten all the content, you’ll need a way to upload it to the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), or some other form of distributed storage. We use and recommend Filebase for their user-friendly interface and overall amazing service (and price point!). Check out our guide on how we use Filebase to upload gigabytes of metadata for our clients.
Next, you’ll need to prepare your json metadata schema and accurately map each uploaded file on IPFS to the correct token ID. For more on how to properly map metadata, check out this article.
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of Web3, but it’s something you’ll want to sort out in advance. Contrary to popular belief, intellectual property (IP) laws very much apply to the blockchain, and you’ll want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. And if you’re considering releasing your collection under a Creative Commons license (CC0), then you should definitely take the time to understand what that entails. Check out our article on CC0 here.
In terms of IP, there are two main components:
In addition, depending on the scope of your project, the industry it's in, the country in which you’re based, and a variety of other factors, you could run into a wide range of compliance issues, especially with regards to KYC and GDPR.
Make sure you carefully consider the following:
As for the first question, if there is any question as to whether or not you completely own the rights to what you are selling, you should consult with an IP specialist for legal advice. Read more about rights clearing and what you can and can’t do in terms of IP and NFTs, in this article on the topic.
The second question also requires legal consultation. If you don’t specify what owners of your NFTs can and can’t do with the content they are purchasing, there is a lot of gray area that is open to misinterpretation and misuse. The best way to protect yourself and your work is to include an NFT license. Find out more about why you will want one here.
As far as KYC and GDPR compliance goes, they are both more administrative tasks, but having the input of a trained legal professional can smooth out the whole process.
If you need help with anything mentioned above, get in touch with our Legal Team.
Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty blockchain stuff. If you’re a savvy programmer, then this shouldn’t be too much to take in. If you’re not, it might seem a bit confusing, but we’d highly recommend either having a programmer in your team or working with someone who knows what they’re doing. Security is crucial with NFT collections, and you’ll need yours to be rock solid. If you need any custom smart contract development, reach out, and we can help.
Right, so first things first, you’ll need to figure out what blockchain you’d like to mint your collection on. There are many contenders to consider for launching your collection, but these are three of the most popular and common blockchains for NFTs:
If you do choose Ethereum, please bear in mind that it has the most traffic, lowest throughput, and thus highest gas fees of any blockchain. This means you’ll pay more money for deploying your smart contract, invoking “write” methods, and airdropping NFTs to users. Adapt your strategy and roadmap accordingly so that you don’t end up with massive overheads for transaction fees.
Next, you’ll need to decide on the requirements of your collection and smart contract:
After you’ve specified what your smart contract needs to be able to do and how it should work, you should then consider what kind of smart contract you’ll be using. Here are three of the most common types of NFT smart contracts:
Once you’ve coded and compiled your smart contract, make sure to test it!
Deploy to the testnet of whatever blockchain you’re using. Ensure that it supports all of the necessary methods, test each one individually and repeatedly. Check for any potential vulnerabilities, double check, and then check again. And don’t forget to double check that you’ve set the price of your NFT correctly.
Finally, prepare a secure wallet to deploy and interact with the smart contract, and deploy to mainnet. Congratulations, you now have your very own NFT smart contract ready to go.
Leading up to your primary sale, you need to get the word out about your project. Twitter is the most popular platform for NFT projects, and your strategy for utilizing it will depend heavily on your project’s concept.
To help you think about your presale promo, ask yourself the following questions:
Also, bear in mind that while it is the primary platform for promotion, Twitter happens to have a lot of useless followers, giveaway hunters, and bots that will swarm you as soon as you start promoting your project on there. As a result, developing an effective promo strategy can be a bit tricky.
We would recommend testing the waters first with a smaller project/number of NFTs just to see what works and what doesn’t with online promotions. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the landscape, then you can invest more into serious promo for your main project.
If you need any help or advice on how to promote your project, please reach out to us, and our community building specialists will be happy to assist.
As far as the technical side of things, you’re going to want to make sure your minting site is deployed on scalable infrastructure. If your promo goes well and you see a spike in traffic, you need to make sure that your website can handle it.
Next, be ready to call the methods you will require when the time comes. Don’t wait for the mint counter to reach 0 before you think about preparing. Typical methods you’ll need to call are interacting with the allowlist, opening and closing the mint process, and withdrawing funds from the contract. You might also want to airdrop some tokens to your early supporters.
Make sure you consider the following questions well before your launch:
After your primary sale, people will (hopefully) start buying and selling NFTs from your collection on secondary NFT marketplaces like OpenSea or Rarible. There are a few things you’ll want to pay attention to here:
Now that everything has launched smoothly, it’s time to focus on the follow through. Start planning the next phases in your roadmap, figure out how you’ll keep the community you’ve built engaged and active, and, most importantly, deliver what you’ve promised.
If you’ve successfully built a sizable, active community, then this is an opportunity for perpetual growth through continuous interaction and improvement. Think about what additional value you can deliver to holders and how to sustain your thriving community. There are many ways to go, it’s all up to you, and the sky’s the limit!