Going from a web2 creator to web3 (for non-crypto natives)

Welcome, creator. You’ve probably made it this far because you are dissatisfied with social media and current community-building platforms. You are not alone. While creators and fans do most of the work, it’s the platforms that get the biggest cut. Web2 creators like yourself are flocking to test out new ways to monetize and engage with their community. *Cues in Web3. *

As a creator in web3, you’ll have lots of new tools at your disposal - Airdrops, Bounties, Token-Gating, and many more that are yet to come. But your success in web3 will not only depend on your ability to use those tools but also to educate your web2 community. If your fans don’t understand why you’re exploring web3, they won’t value what you’re offering them as much, even if it’s a freebie. So the first step to getting started as a creator in web3 is to actually become a web3 student.

Keep in mind that as a non-crypto native creator, lots of guides may contain jargon and seem far too complex for your level of expertise. Embrace that discomfort and keep pushing. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into is necessary, but you don’t need to become a master in tokenomics when all you’re looking for is to align incentives around your preexisting community.

Becoming a web3 student

While jumping into web3 can feel intimidating, you will be in good hands. Everyone who is in the space is working towards the same goal of getting more people to understand and appreciate the potential for web3. So strangers online will be willing to answer questions and help you out, but first and foremost DYOR.

DYOR (Do Your Own Research), that means you should read articles, subscribe to newsletters, listen to podcasts, participate in Crypto Twitter and join discord servers focused on web3 onboarding and your interests. You’ll be overwhelmed at first, but go slowly and follow the communities that most resonate with you.

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Check out some of our favorite resources for creators.

Stay focused

By now you should have an idea of what’s going on in the space. So it’s time to think about how you can play a role in it.

Web3 can be a playground filled with new tools and ideas, so before overstretching yourself and giving all of it a shot, focus on one thing. Decide whether you’d want to sell your work as NFTs or launch your own social token. From there, devise a plan on what you’d like to be offering. Set goals and work backwards from there. Remember these assets are a means to an end. So start slow, walk before you run; set expectations with your community, and be upfront that you’re experimenting and aren’t sure where this all goes. It’ll be tempting to compare yourself to crypto-native web3 creators who have minted music, video, graphic NFTs and have a DAO governed by tokens but don’t get carried away while you’re starting out. Remember at each step of the way you’ll need to bring your community with you. And it’ll be much easier if you introduce one new concept at a time.

Now that you’ve chosen what you want to focus on (at least for now) it’s time to pick your tooling. This isn’t straightforward, especially if you're coming from a place with little to no technical knowledge. Whitepapers are not easy reads. Your safest bet, as someone who is not crypto-native, is to go for networks that are intentionally user-friendly. Rally and Mirror are good solutions if you are looking for simplicity when launching social tokens or NFTs. Specific to social tokens, Coinvise does a nice job at making minting and airdrops easy. For Music NFTs you should look at Sound, and for video NFTs check Glass. Zora, Opensea, and Rarible are other big NFT marketplaces making tooling easy.

The student becomes the teacher

Look at how far you’ve gotten! You’ve decided what you’re doing and where you’re doing it, but that doesn’t mean your fans will be ready to come onboard with you just yet. You’ve got to ease them into it. Put yourself in their shoes. They’ve never heard of social tokens, and crypto can get a bad rep, so you want to be very careful about how you start to introduce them to web3 concepts. Make sure to design for both the people who want to explore web3 with you, but also to be inclusive of those who aren’t quite ready to make that leap yet.

A few quick tips on getting them acquainted with web3:

  • Explain the problems you’re facing with web2 platforms
  • Don’t ask them to buy anything from you
  • Don’t promise them financial rewards
  • Use straightforward language
  • Don’t take their hesitation personally

Educating them will be a process that might take a couple of weeks or even months. You might even consider segmenting your audience so that only those who have shown some interest get more web3 content. Sprinkle it in your content calendar (don’t overdo it!) and involve your community in your web3 learnings. Share resources, ask questions, you can even be candid about your own hesitation. In web3, the well-being of your community is everything so you should embrace this moment as the jumping-off point for co-creation and collaboration.

Designing for incentives & rewards

Before you make any big moves, it’s time to think about incentives and rewards. While some fans might support you no matter what, the majority will want to know they’re getting something back before joining the party. A community that relies solely on speculation will be short-lived, so think about what you can offer the community, and what members can offer each other. While you are running the show, the beauty of web3 is that you’re now not running it alone. Here’s a good read on designing incentives for social tokens.

If you’ve followed the last few steps and communicated with your community about this new chapter, then you’ve done your market research. You know what most excites your community members and what incentives are likely to get them on board.

Popular incentives and use cases:

  • Access to exclusive content
  • Access to VIP online/IRL events
  • Promos on tickets or merch
  • Discord roles
  • more Bonfire use cases

Ready for launch

By now you’ve greased the wheels and can get a feel for how your web2 community genuinely feels about this new chapter. You’ll probably sense a mix of rejection and excitement, and that’s perfectly normal. Remember that you do not need to onboard all or even most of your community members into web3. Think quality over quantity. Only a few might join in, and that’s awesome because those are your True Fans.

So if you feel like you’ve gotten enough excitement or open-mindedness from a few, maybe it’s time to ramp up for launch! Regardless of whether you are launching an NFT collection or a creator coin, don’t expect your community members to dive into it ready to spend big bucks on digital assets. Instead, offer them something for free. Airdrops are a great way to start onboarding your community. But remember to teach them how to actually claim those drops and what makes them valuable. If you’re using Bonfire, you can use this as a guide.

A budding community

Once your fans start to understand that you're not taking anything away from them but are actually giving them free stuff and stronger ways to engage with you, then you might want to introduce them to more concepts.

Bounties can also be a great way to onboard more true fans. Think of it as engage-to-earn. You can discover your truest fans by having them contribute to the well-being of the community and actually reward them for it. For example, you can reward a member with creator coins for retweeting a big announcement, translating content to a different language, moderating your discord, or pretty much anything else.

If you or the community need something done, then ask that from the community itself and align it with incentives. And again, at every step of the way, remember to explain what these buzzwords mean. If you’re using Bonfire, you can share this guide with community members to get them to claim or submit bounties.

Token-gated community

Hopefully, you’ve managed to onboard some of your web2 community into web3 and can start token-gating content, events, merch, and anything else. This means only token-holders will have access to certain things. This will give you the flexibility to build different ‘plans’ or ‘tiers’. For example, if a member holds 50 creator coins they might get access to the community discord, but if they hold 500 coins they’ll get access to an exclusive channel with 10 other super-engaged members and you.

We’re so proud you’ve come so far. Now you’ve got to keep up the good work. Make your true fans feel special. Live up to your promise, keep bringing them value and encourage them to engage with one another.

This article is part of our Web3 Explorebook series is not meant to be a definitive source of truth or “Playbook”, but rather a source of guidance. Web3 is a quickly evolving space, and we are very much learning alongside creators. We hope you read this and make it yours.