how to start an ico

Raising money through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) using outside consultants may range from $200 to $500 thousand dollars.

Here are some steps that you need to go through before you launch an ICO for your project.

Step 1. Generate an idea

A project may not be successful at this point, as one of the most important things to invest in cryptocurrencies are crypto tokens. And if they have been needlessly used in your project, then frankly you will be sent to make investments somewhere else.

If you decided to launch the project you should use this sample and type in: “Project Name and Main Idea”, including a prefix [ANN] and post them on the forum.

Step 2. Team

If you save money on the outside consultants, but in any case, you spend your time. Besides, no one can really spend thousand working hours on the project by himself, therefore, you need a team of 5-10 people to launch the project effectively.

What kind of professionals will you need? Namely, they are content specialists, editors, PR specialists, SMM specialists, community managers, designers, software specialists, and targeted advertising specialists. They also need to know foreign languages, otherwise you will have to hire more language specialists.

Here are some payment methods you may use to pay your team:

  • Your own savings or borrowed money. Keep in mind that you need to have enough money to cover the first phase of the project, the preparation for an ICO, it usually takes from two to five months and the second one, an ICO project that takes about two to eight weeks.
  • Private pre-sale. For this, you need an MVP, a website or a presentation, and communication skills of the founders. You also need to generate $50 to $200 thousand of cryptocurrency, and then convert that into cash to cover your spending. Frankly, this is the riskiest stage for investors, so you will have to make a lot of efforts to persuade them.

Step 3. Conduct competitor analysis

Analyze the most recent successful ICO campaigns and projects. As we all know cryptocurrency startup firms want to raise money through an ICO, so they create projects. This is a great opportunity to learn a lot that will help you launch your own successful project.

Step 4. Register a company

If you do not have a company, then you need to register one. It will give you more chances to succeed.

Step 5. Present your product idea

Whitepaper is the main and most important document that states what the project is about. So, you should take the time and pay close attention to details when creating a plan on a whitepaper.

This whitepaper could be read by thousands of people, but only ten of them can read it carefully and create problems for you. Crypto enthusiasts are very popular and have good reputation in the forum community, thousands of people follow them. And if you make mistakes during your advertising campaign, more likely the crypto enthusiasts will criticize that.

Typical whitepaper structure:

  • Background – how it all started.
  • Introduction – a market description and the use of blockchain technology.
  • Market Analysis – a deeper assessment of a market and its growth potential, including competitors.
  • Introduction to product – what product, service or project you offer.
  • Product specific section – a more detailed product description, charts, tables, and calculations.
  • Technical – a more detailed product description, including the technical aspects.
  • Use cases – when and how to apply use cases to your project.
  • Pre-ICO – a preliminary attraction of investments for the project.
  • ICO – see the step 7, “Describe conditions for investors”.
  • Plan for development – what we have done so far and what we plan to do, a detailed schedule and timetable for the project.
  • Financial Projections – a spending plan for investments.
  • Team – a management staff, key employees and their skills, talent, and experience.
  • Conclusion – a final summation.

Step 6. Launch a website and an email marketing campaign

Right now, there is a paradigm shift happening in a website landing page, as it is a user-friendly design.

Website structure:

  • Subscription signup form
  • Video
  • Plan: what we intend to do and a detailed schedule through all its quarterly periods
  • ICO description
  • Team: high-quality photos, brief biographies and links to the social networks
  • Press release: like links to publications and videos of presentations and speeches
  • Product description
  • Working case examples
  • Documents: Terms and Whitepaper
  • Partners
  • Contacts and social media channels

What you can email to subscribers:

  • Newsletters – keep your subscribers updated on what’s happening in the project
  • Reminders for an investment date – on weekly, monthly, annually basis for 1 day prior to a start date
  • Reminder for an investment start date – just five minutes before the start
  • Security notifications and links to step by step guides

Step 7. Describe conditions for investors

At this point, you need to decide whether you want to run a pre-ICO. This step lets you to find bugs using users as well as master your campaign on social media channels.

Project checklist:

  • ICO start and end dates (recommended timeframe should not exceed four weeks)
  • What type of money is accepted (Bitcoins, Ethereum and others)
  • Are there any ICO’s that have a working product?
  • Is there any plan?
  • What blockchain will tokens be based on?
  • Tokens: What is the number of tokens issued? Is there any limit on the quantity of tokens issued? What will happen to unsold tokens?
  • Is there any Escrow (the backers that have access to raised money)?
  • Token distribution: how many tokens will go to a team, an ICO and bounty activity. Is this distribution an automatic or a manual?
  • Who are mentors, advisers and experts?
  • Who are terms of a bounty program?
  • Is there any hidden cap that stops raising money?
  • Can the US citizens and citizens from other countries invest in the ICO campaign?
  • Is there any motivation for investors like participation in profit, management, buyback, and in the exchange market? Is that a long-term or a short-term investment?
  • How much money is needed to raise to consider the ICO campaign successful? Is there any money return to the investors if the project doesn’t reach its funding goal?
  • If the ICO project was completed successfully: What will the raised money be used for? Are there any new schemes or ICO campaigns to run for?

Step 8: Create social media channels

For foreign users:

  • Blog for a website
  • Technical support
  • Reddit
  • Medium
  • Telegram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Slack
  • LinkedIn
  • If you have open source code, then add a link to GitHub
  • If you can afford, use YouTube and Instagram
  • If you know Chinese language, use Weibo

Step 9. Develop and launch a bounty campaign

A bounty is the reward to users for PR activities such as to sign up for forums, participate actively in foreign language discussions, translate documents into a local language, share blog posts on social networks, and so on.

Step 10. Add a project to a listing queue of ICO Tracker

Trackers carefully analyze your project and add it to a listing queue if it is not a scam. Some website platforms may charge fee up to $1 to $3 thousand dollars to analyze and add it to its list.

New trackers come up every month and want more money.

Step 11. Use media sources to place your materials

This is pure PR work that includes compiling a list of websites, preparation of materials, and work with website editors. You can get more PR materials on the Internet.

Step 12: Launch an ad campaign

You can use any traffic sources to achieve your goal. As the main task here to sell tokens out for the first day or even an hour.

Step 13. Create an account for investor

The main account options should be able to receive cryptocurrency, transfer issued tokens to a wallet and have settings.

Step 14. Translate your project into other languages

You yourself may translate it or use bounty campaigns. Here are the most popular languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, and French.

It is desirable to completely translate the site. Besides, it is a good idea to translate entire website. There is no need to translate a whitepaper entirely, keep in mind only a few geeks will read it to the end.

Step 15: Issue tokens

Unfortunately, there are not so many options: Ethereum tokens based upon the Ethereum blockchain, Waves platform tokens or you can simply create your own tokens.

Step 16. Launch an ICO

Finally, the most awaited day has come. It is preferable to control an ICO campaign around the clock. Keep an eye on process of raising money and stir up interest on social media channels, and try to make a fuss over it.


The price to launch an ICO is constantly growing. Many projects come up on the market every day and that makes more difficult to understand them. Investors are not happy with ICO’s projects anymore, as cryptocurrency becomes unstable and it is really hard to get 1,000% in ROI. Perhaps, year later $1 million dollars will not be enough to run a successful marketing campaign, and today’s expenses will seem ridiculous.

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