Creating An NFT Collection And Storytelling Community: Essential Strategies From NFT Founder Nifemi Aluko
In this episode of Web3TV, we speak with Nifemi Aluko, founder of Toffy’s Domes, about how to create an NFT collection and a storytelling community. Nifemi explains how he went about the entire process of creating an NFT collection, from minting to marketing. He suggests that learning by doing is a great way to get started.
It would be awesome if you could describe to the viewers the process of around building an NFT, an NFT collection, and then obviously a community that then supports that. How does that process work?
Definitely, and I think I said this in a previous interview, that a big part of me getting into this process was to learn, learning by doing. And I’m privileged enough to be able to have all these different tools to be able to build. So when I published, let’s say, Toffys Domes collection, I went through the entire process, including minting and or creating a collection myself. It all started as a side project, so I didn’t really want to put too much of a budget to hire a developer, to hire a marketer. So I was like, let me just create it all myself. So the process is there are different phrases. I’ll just go through it.
Each one, you create the digital assets. Right. Or let’s actually start before it’s just sitting down and thinking, what do you want your collection to be like? Right. That was easy for me. I was like, 405 tokens. Based on this book, we’re going to change 405 pages to 405 tokens. That’s first thing. The grand vision of what you want to do. Now, the second thing was to develop the digital assets. For us, it was just images similar to the book cover, but with different rarities, right? So different colors, different themes.
There were five different themes, and we created 405 unique digital assets for the collection. So that was step two. Now step three, you now had to store these 405 digital assets on a decentralized server or filing system to get technical. It was IPFs, which stands for Interplanetary filing system. There’s already a service out there. I used Pinata. So you go up there, upload your 405 digital assets.
Once you do that, it gives you the metadata for the collection and for each token, each 405. Once you have that, your next phase is to write the smart contract. Right? So there are already some templates for basic smart contracts. I found one by this South African guy on YouTube called Hashlibs. He literally has a two hour video of how to do this entire process. So you can literally watch this and do it yourself, which is very empowering.
It might have helped because I have an engineering background to not feel so intimidated to do it myself. So you write the smart contract and then what you want to do is now take the metadata from where you have uploaded the digital assets and put that into the smart contract. Once you’re done with that, you want to verify the smart contracts, make sure there are no bugs and anything. And then you publish the contract.
And once that is published, you’re almost there. I’ll say you’re two thirds way there, right? The next step is to create like a decentralized application. Some call it a Dapp. That allows people to interact with your contract. So your contract is already there. Literally anybody can go on. I did mine on Ethereum. Anybody can go to Ether Scan to interact with your contract. But most people are not going to go to Ether Scan. So you have to create something in between that acts like an intermediary to make that happen. A decentralized app. For me, it was a website page.
So you put that Dapp on your website, you can find mine at Mint Toffysdomes.com and that’s literally where people go to click the mint button. You can choose the amount that you want, you click the Mint button, you pay the amount for the token and you pay your gas fee. And within a few seconds, hopefully the network is not too busy, you have that token in your wallet.
That’s the process to get from collection in your mind to token in your community members wallets, create the collection, develop digital assets, upload that asset into a decentralized server, get the metadata, put that metadata in your smart contract. Publish the smart contract, create a decentralized application so that people can interact with the smart contract, and then have the mint button to get that into people’s wallets. Now I’ve said the process of actually creating and making it happen, that’s one part, it’s like writing a book. You wrote a beautiful story, you wrote everything, you put a nice cover on the book and everything and now it’s in the bookstore.
But that’s almost just 30% of the work. The biggest part of the work is actually selling this book. The biggest part of it is actually getting people to believe in what you’re trying to build. And that requires a lot of marketing and community building. And that’s the last part of the process. And once you build community, get people to buy your tokens, then you now have to keep delivering on the roadmap, delivering on the mission that you promised and then building with your community.
And Nifemi for you, storytelling is a massive part of that community building, isn’t it? So they’re buying into the message by reading the book. They then are empowered to want to own an NFT, but also become part of that community. So if someone does want to build a community to support that whether it’s a book or music or whatever it is that then creates an NFT or an NFT collection. Can you explain more about how that worked for you?
Yeah, so for us, we started out by onboarding people that were not, will I say, crypto natives, right. If you remember, one of the big missions for me is to get more people interested in the space, right? So I started off by convincing non crypto natives, my family members, my friends, to, hey, come support what I’m doing, use that to learn about how to get a wallet, how to buy cryptocurrency, how to mint an NFT.
And then now the next phase, which we’re currently in is now getting people that are already in the space, that want to write stories, that are interested in storytelling, that are interested in bringing more diversity into the space. And a lot of that is just building relationships. What we’re finding is people buy from other human beings, right. So it’s building community in terms of getting on Twitter. Twitter is one of the biggest places for the NFT space.
What I’m finding for myself is you want people to support your project, go out there and support other people’s projects, right. Buy some Nfts of people that you’re interested in and just kind of put it out there. And then you start to see other people kind of supporting your project, finding people that are storytellers, people that are trying to write. One thing I’ll say that cuts across, even though my project is really about this book and storytelling in general, I feel every NFT project is a storytelling project because at the end of the day, if you want to build traffic towards what you’re doing, you have to tell a story. You have to get people interested because stories is kind of what drives us as humans to kind of buy into like, this is important.
So part of that is being consistent in terms of what you’re putting out there to get people engaged in what you’re trying to achieve and just doing things like getting on Web3TV and talking to people kind of finding different communities that kind of interact with what you’re doing, different audiences and just putting yourself out there enough to kind of get the projects going. In my opinion, we’re getting to a more mature space with NFTs, where in 2021, it was more about release 10,000 tokens, get some hype, and then people just buy based on scarcity and fear of missing out.
But that also burnt a lot of people. So people are more apprehensive now. And I think the people that are building now are spending more time to educate people, to really communicate the value that they are bringing to the communities. And one strong way of communicating is by telling engaging stories.
It’s fascinating. So from me, having spoken to you, Nifemi, and viewers, if you haven’t seen it, I’ve done a fantastic interview with Nifemi about how he came, like the story of Toffy’s Divide the book to Toffy’s Domes, the NFT collection, and how, I guess, his whole journey too, into the Web 3.0 space. So if you haven’t seen it, we’ll put the link up there again for you. But what I found in that interview, Nifemi, and today, and for anyone else who’s out there trying to create an NFT or an NFT collection, is to me, what’s most important is that your people you’re trying to attract have the same purpose, same passions, and effectively all the same values. So when people are clear on that, obviously, as creators like Nifemi was, and on the receiving end of that, then it’s going to be easier to attract them, isn’t it, Nifemi? And then obviously, it’s just about, as you said, going on things like Web3TV and Twitter spaces.
Sure, there’s lots of discord groups, Facebook groups, Instagram, Tiktoks, whatever, and then putting your message out there.
So from your perspective, Nifemi, other than, say, Web3TV, what would you do on a regular basis that helps you project your message even more, other than just selling the book or selling the NFT collection?
Yeah, so I think my approach now is just building trust, right? The whole thing about the NFTs and blockchain is trust. So as a human, what can I do? I can build trust by talking to more people, being genuine in my intention to create value for those people, and also just being curious enough to be like, what are you trying to achieve? Right? And maybe some of that is my business background, where inherently a lot of us were, even while we’re scrolling through Twitter or we’re watching Web3TV, we’re looking like, what is in it for me in this moment? Right?
So I always try to I’m trying to get better at thinking, what is in it for Andrew? What is in it for Peter? And how can I then tie that back to what I’m trying to build? Because until I know that I can provide value for you, then once I know that, then it’s easier for me to say, hey, this is how you can use this to achieve. Go from point A to point B. And a lot of that is just being curious, being asking questions, and just being active in the community where you’re not always trying to sell your projects. It’s just you’re literally trying to find other people that want to write stories that you’re looking for other people that are interested in things you’re interested in. For me, it’s people interested in music and people interested in writing stories, getting better at communicating, improving their communication skills, and reducing economic inequality in the world. So the more I talk about these things, the more I get in spaces that are talking about these things, the more people know about me, the more people would start connecting to my message.
And then the NFT is almost a secondary thing to that. So when I look at my journey, I bought my first NFT because I’ve been following for a very long time. It wasn’t necessarily about all this beautiful artwork, it was more of, I trust what he’s doing, I trust his call on a lot of things, a lot of trends, so let me go with that. So if I use that as an example for myself, one thing I started doing this year is actually building more of my personal message and brand and getting clear on that.
So even on Twitter, I first started as an NFT account, but now I’ve even gone back to my personal account and said, okay, let me build that up. And then ever so often talk about my NFT project. And I find that to be, even just for myself, more beneficial, because I’m learning so much more about what people want and how I can provide value for them and then translate that to the value the NFT can provide.
I love that, mate. What I’m hearing is the key word there is trust. And if you look at the root word of that is probably true. I’m not a dictionary, but I’m assuming it’s true. So what I’m feeling from talking to you is you’re being true to yourself and all of your values. And as long as your actions are in alignment with that, that’s the integrity part. Others who value the same things will resonate with it and then it forms an attraction, doesn’t it? So the simple part about that is it’s not about trying, it’s just about being, isn’t it? Be yourself, who you are and what your cause is, what you stand for, and others will be drawn to that.
Exactly. Most of the projects I’ve been part of and tokens I’ve bought is mainly because of the person behind the project. So for anyone that’s trying to do that, just keep that in mind that people support other people, humans buy from other humans. So be as human as possible and put your message out there consistently so that you can attract the right people.
As always Nifemi, love what you’re doing. Love the fact that you’re helping people over and above what you’re doing. And really all you’re doing is being you. Right? It’s awesome.
Yeah, for sure. And to be honest, it has been a very interesting learning process for myself. When I think of the fact that I started a Twitter account in maybe 2011 and I never really used it. But then because of Nfts and debt being a central place for all these discussions over the last eight months, I’ve been very active and meeting so many interesting people. So you can also look at it as a way to build connections.
Besides it just being a project that you want to mint. You can look at it as a way to build yourself and learn more about yourself and find new people.
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