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How to Get Started Using NFTs in Your Own Business

How to Get Started Using NFTs in Your Own Business

The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) industry can be traced back to the early days of the internet. The first NFTs were digital collectibles created on forums and message boards. These tokens were simply images or text used to represent a unique asset.

However, it wasn't until the development of blockchain technology that NFTs really began to take off. Blockchain provided a way to securely and permanently store data on a decentralized ledger. This made NFTs much more secure and trustworthy than traditional digital collectibles.

Since then, the NFT industry has exploded in popularity. Millions of dollars worth of NFTs have been sold, and the market is only getting bigger. With the help of blockchain, the NFT industry is revolutionizing the way we think about digital ownership.

This article discusses NFTs, including where they came from, important milestones, and what to expect in the future.

The Origin of NFTs

The first-ever known non-fungible token (NFT) was created in 2014 by Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash. It was called Quantum and consisted of a video clip of digital art created by McCoy’s wife, Jennifer. Originally, the technology was called “monetized graphics,” and Quantum was registered on the Namecoin blockchain and sold to Dash for $4. Today, it’s on sale for $7M.

In October of 2015, three months after the launch of the Ethereum blockchain, the first NFT project, Ehteria, was launched and demonstrated at DEVCON 1 in London. Most of the 457 NFTs went unsold for more than five years until March 13, 2021, as interest in NFTs was renewed. These remaining pieces sold out in 24 hours for a total of $1.4M. At the time of their launch in 2015, their cost was only $0.43 each.

Increased public awareness began in 2017 when an online game CryptoKitties monetized cat NFTs. During 2020, the value of the NFT market exploded, tripling to $250M. During the first quarter of 2021, more than $200M was spent on NFTs.

Or Was the Origin in 2012?

There is another origin story out there on NFTs worth discussing, known as Colored Coins. Colored Coins, created in 2012-2013, are made of small bitcoin denominations–known as a single satoshi–which can be used to represent a multitude of assets and have multiple uses, including:

  • Coupons
  • Property
  • Issue shares of a company
  • Ability to issue your own cryptocurrency
  • Digital collectibles
  • Access tokens

Unfortunately, the whole Colored Coin system carries several flaws. But, they played a significant role in laying the groundwork for NFTs. You can learn more about them here in the “Overview of Colored Coins.” 

Counterpoint: “Counterparty”

Another early consideration for the creation of NFTs is Counterparty. Counterparty is a peer-to-peer financial platform and distributed, open-source Internet protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It allowed asset creation and even included a trading card game and meme trading, where Rare Pepes originated.

Rare Pepes

In October 2016, “rare pepes” were issued along the Counterparty platform. A rare pepe is a meme featuring a frog character that has developed an intense fanbase. Besides being incredibly quirky, the uniqueness of these images makes them such desirable NFTs. 

How the NFT space has evolved

In simple terms, an NFT is a unit of data stored on a variety of digital ledgers called a blockchain, which can be sold and traded. But, what started as a simple video clip has evolved into many use cases across various industries. But, perhaps none is more compelling than the art industry.

The History of NFT Art

Art is perhaps the most common way to use NFTs, as auctions from high-profile NFTs have made the biggest splash in public attention. Currently, the most expensive NFT ever sold was at an auction price of $91.8M–work by artist Pak, entitled The Merge.

The merge

The Merge is both a single piece of artwork and a series of artworks. When it launched, buyers could purchase an NFT, called a mass, for a set amount of money ($575). However, for buyers who purchased more than one mass, instead of receiving another NFT, their current mass actually increased in size. The price of a mass NFT grew throughout the sale, and buyers who bought a lot of mass were rewarded with free mass. 

It sounds a little confusing, but if you can picture a tiny ball of mercury as one mass, then add other tiny balls of mercury to it, you can see how each comes together to get bigger and bigger. That’s what The Merge is and was before the sale was brought to a close. Now, even though the launch is over, buyers and traders can still sell or trade their NFTs to grow their mass bigger, making their NFT more valuable. 

In the end, more than 28,000 buyers spent over $91M on what has been one of the most compelling NFT art concepts to date.

Everydays: The first 5000 days

The second most expensive (at $69M) was a piece of artwork by Michael Winkelmann–known as Beeple–called Everydays: the First 5000 Days.

Beeple is a graphic designer and motion artist from South Carolina who is well-renowned in the digital art world. However, his rise to fame reached a new height with his NFT collage created from 5,000 images created daily for 13 years. The images were put together and formed one NFT unit that sold for almost $70M making it the third-most-expensive piece of art ever sold.

CryptoPunks

Perhaps, the most well-known NFT digital art pieces are the collection of CryptoPunks, which is credited with starting the NFT craze of 2021.  

CryptoPunks is a series of 10,000 unique collectible characters stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Each character is created using an algorithm and no two are identical. The images are 24x24 pixels and feature some combination of guys, girls, apes, zombies, and aliens. While some of the images share attributes, the rarest ones feature the fewest attributes. For example, on the current marketplace, CryptoPunk 5822 is on sale by the owner for $34.89M. It features one attribute–a bandana–which is only shared by 481 punks. 

Perhaps the wildest part of CryptoPunks is that initially, they were all free. One simply had to claim them. Now they sell for hundreds of thousands to multi-millions of dollars.

CryptoKitties

In the 90s, we had Tomagotchi–a handheld digital pet that you could feed, love, and–if neglected–kill. In the 2020s, we have CryptoKitties! CryptoKitties are digitally created breedable and collectible cats. Each is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated, taken away, or destroyed.

It turns out that breeding digital pets is big business for at least a short period of time. While CryptoKitties was the first widely recognized blockchain game and featured astronomical growth, the popularity was short-lived. In fact, it reached its peak on December 10th, 2017. But, by the beginning of 2018, the game’s popularity fell by 90% of users. However, for those that were fortunate during that short time. One CryptoKitty fetched $1.3M, another $566,000, and the third most expensive CryptoKitty was sold for $107,000.

Bored Ape Yatch Club

Similar to CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a collection of 10,000 unique, algorithm-created images. Except instead of aliens, zombies, and humans, BAYC features images of–you guessed it–apes. In March of 2022, sales of BAYC made up more than a third of total NFT sales. In January of 2022, BAYC surpassed $1B in total sales.

Who Can Create & Purchase NFTs?

The easy answer is that anyone can create or purchase NFTs. Some companies help guide you through the process of creation, connecting your content through blockchain, and getting the proper paperwork done to develop your own NFTs. Purchasing is also as easy as connecting with an online marketplace and working with vendors to purchase or acquire the NFTs you want.

You can launch your NFT collection in seconds with Mantial. We assist everyone, from entrepreneurs to celebrities and large companies throughout the whole process of conception, sales, and management of NFT collections.

In Conclusion

The future is wide-open for the NFT industry. As it becomes more and more popular, creators and even NFT experts are still exploring the possibilities of this technology and how it collides with our everyday lives. While the exact future of NFTs is uncertain, the market is expected to continue growing, and NFTs worth millions of dollars today could be worth billions in the future. 

And, when money like that is involved, everyone will want a piece of the action.

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The Walking Dead

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Rick’s NFT

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The Walking Dead

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Michonne’s NFT

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Build Your Community

Adopting NFTs with an established community makes the process easier, but you still need to work hard to gain some traction. Building your community in the NFT sphere isn’t as difficult as you may think—you can use a lot of the same techniques you would use for your business. 

Look to Connect with Influencers

No matter what your industry is, there are some influencers in it. Most brands should look to connect with micro-influencers (those with 1,000-10,000 followers) to get the best results. These influencers have higher engagement rates, and their followers are more likely to purchase products theyrecommend. However, some industry’s influencers may be reluctant to advertise NFTs, working with  other brands or are working on their own NFT products. If that’s the case, look to connect with smaller NFT-based accounts, such as Sean, a tattoo artist who advertises various NFTs on his Twitter page. These accounts will connect you directly with people who are looking to purchase NFTs, leading to more sales. If you’re worried about cost, remember that most influencers are willing to advertise your business for less than you’d probably expect. Whether you decide to pay their fee with an NFT, products or by exchanging fiat currency is up to you and the influencer. If your business is able to go with a bigger influencer, look to connect with people like Brett Malinowski, who has worked with companies of various sizes while providing tips to his followers.

Email Marketing is Your Friend

A lot of people are under the false impression that email marketing has gone the way of the dinosaurs; however, this couldn’t be falser. Email marketing is an excellent tool to keep your community engaged. Whether you decide to announce new releases through a newsletter, offer discounts to established customers, or give customers the option to suggest your latest designs is up to you; however, email marketing is an excellent way to gain traction. Begin simply by utilizing your pre-existing marketing list to announce your NFT portfolio. Most likely, you’ll have at least one established customer who purchases NFTs. For those who visit your site, make sure an email collection form pops-up. Look to grow your email list as much as possible in an effort to connect with potential customers.

Monetize Your Community

Your first goal after building your community is likely to monetize it. Follow these tips to get your community paying you for your NFT content in no time at all.

Sell Wherever You Go

After creating your NFTs, you need to place them in a portfolio. A portfolio will help customers view all of your work, so make sure there’s some consistency in its appearance. Once your portfolio is made, it will go on a site like OpenSea. However, OpenSea has an assortment of NFTs available for nearly any topic you can imagine, such as Givenchy’s special edition NFTs from artist Chito. To make yourself stand out and attract more customers, link your portfolio to your social media profiles and website. You can even get it printed on your business cards. By advertising your portfolio wherever you are, you’ll be able to attract more customers while showcasing your work at all times. For a great example of a brand attracting NFT buyers, check out Evian’s experience with Sara Shakeel that let people purchase directly from Evian’s site.

Create Scarcity

The thing people love about NFTs is their scarcity. People simply aren’t going to hold a lot of interest for an NFT with a million copies roaming the web. In order to drum up interest in your NFTs, you need to provide a scarce amount (think of the supply and demand chain). For some people, this may mean destroying physical copies of an artwork, creating a singular object no one else will own. For bigger brands, it might be a limited edition (think of a set of eight) collection that makes people want to own them all. Regardless of how you decide to cultivate scarcity for your NFTs, you’ll be able to raise the price. A perfect example of scarcity working for a brand was Pringles’ release last year. With only 50 NFTs, the price started at $2.99, the cost of a regular can. Today, these NFTs are going for over $16,000 apiece.

Drum Up New Releases

One of the best ways to get people involved is by drumming up publicity when you have a new release, such as Samsung’s new partnership with Nifty Gateway. The only real limit for announcing is your imagination (and budget). Whether you decide to connect with social media ads, send out emails to your followers, advertise on your site, or even post something in-store, getting people excited about your new launch is an excellent tool to get them to make a purchase. The main thing to remember is to make your announcements lively and engaging. Remember that engaged and excited people are much more likely to make a purchase from you. 

Build your community

Engage Your Community

If you’ve built a community and are making sales, you probably think you’re good to go. However, this couldn’t be more untrue. In order to keep your community, you need to continue engaging with them.

Participate in AMA

AMAs (ask me anything) are a great way to connect with people who may be considering making a purchase from you or getting into the NFT industry. They’re relatively self-explanatory as well; people will simply ask you anything. Popular platforms for this Q-and-A forum include Reddit or YouTube, although more people are also turning to sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to have these discussions. You can choose to Livestream (although, this can be difficult to keep up with) or respond to comments with text. An AMA allows people to get to know you while learning more about your company or NFTs, creating an engaged community that wants to interact with you. AMAs on NFTs are popular enough to garner several hundred thousand likes on YouTube (remember, this is still niche content, so anything above a couple thousand is huge), depending on who is participating in the AMA, like the creators of MetaGods.

Use Social Media

Social media is a major part of most people’s lives, and it’s an excellent way to communicate with people. Create engaging posts centered around your business and NFTs by asking people for their thoughts or opinions on a certain topic. If your audience is very engaged with your content, you can create polls asking them what your next NFT piece should showcase or what they’d be interested in purchasing. By regularly communicating with your followers, you’re showing you value their input as well as want to create products they’re interested in. One of the best examples of a brand using social media to promote their NFTs? Taco Bell’s Twitter announcement in 2021 which generated a lot of buzz for the fast-food giant.

Produce SEO Content

SEO-oriented content on your website is integral to getting people to your business, and it can work very well when you’re selling NFTs as well. In-between posts about your products/services, make sure to include some information about NFTs. This will help you in several ways. First, by writing about NFTs you’ll come up sooner in search results, meaning your business and NFTs get more exposure. Second, you’ll be able to connect with both NFT collectors and those looking to get into NFTs. While they may not decide to purchase an NFT from you, they may purchase one of your products or services. Finally, SEO-oriented content establishes you as a thought leader. For example, if you own a plumbing company, you may not have a lot of competition (yet) who also sells NFTs. By keeping ahead of the curve and using SEO to get there, you’ll establish yourself as a major player in your industry.

Great for In-Person and Digital Businesses

There are numerous ways you can connect NFTs with your business. We’ve selected several industries that are perfect for working with NFTs. Keep reading to get ideas on how you can incorporate NFTs into your business model. 

In-Person

In-person businesses may have a tough time thinking of ways they can sell their products and NFTs; however, a variety of industries can benefit from producing NFTs, including:

Fashion

The fashion industry is quickly accepting NFTs, with Dolce and Gabbana recently selling an NFT collection that made nearly $6 million.  What makes this unique is that in addition to the NFT, the buyer also received the physical item. Nike has followed suit as well, announcing that buyers could soon purchase digital sneaker NFTs for their online avatars partially to combat counterfeiters. However, these brands aren’t limited just to creating NFTs either. Some are even partnering with established NFT creators to produce merchandise.

Event Venue

Event venues are an excellent industry for NFTs due to digital tickets. Event Industry News recently announced their idea to move tickets to Ethereum to create tickets as NFTs, making them collectible themselves. This tokenized system will also help improve security as well as open up the door for organizers to sell exclusive merchandise. Brands that have already begun to work with the NFT ticketing system Oveit include Visa, Microsoft and TED.

Health Care

NFTs aren’t simply pictures or videos; they’re also un-hackable systems thanks to blockchains. One of the best ways this technology is getting utilized is through blood banks. The system works with donors getting marked with a specific token that is then followed through the healthcare system. Blood is also being registered into digital blood banks to determine where it’s needed the most.

Food

Restaurants around the world are jumping on the NFT trend like never before. Some of our favorite examples include, Pizza Hut releasing 8-bit versions of their popular pizza flavors (with images selling for over $8,000 apiece), Burger King’s Real Meal NFTs that were printed on fast food bags via QR codes that allowed people to collect multiple NFTs with each purchase to unlock new ones, and McDonalds releasing their limited edition McRib NFT to celebrate the sandwich’s 40th anniversary. All of these were solid money makers for the brands that generated hype quickly.

Digital

Gaming

We’ve already talked about Nike’s foray into gaming, but that’s not the only gaming venture with NFTs. One of the most popular examples of NFT gaming is Axie Infinity. The Vietnamese game works by players collecting, trading and battling Axies. Each Axie is an NFT, and powerups for them are NFTs as well. Players can also earn cryptocurrency on the game as well, meaning they’re expanding their digital wallets while playing.

Music

The music industry is one of the most contentious on the business with limited funds from streaming constantly in the news. NFTs are changing how the business works. Artists are releasing their music on NFTs to cut streaming services out, allowing both the artist and the record company to take home larger percentages while connecting directly with fans. Probably the widest reported group to use this method is Kings of Leon. However, it’s not strictly about profits either. Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl released a loop of “Easy Sleazy” to raise money for small, independent venues.

Videos

Have you created a viral video? What if you could sell that? Luckily, your dream is now a reality as more companies look to sell videos. While the idea may sound futuristic, the NBA is quickly adopting this technology, with a video of LeBron James dunking recently selling for over $200,000. Other videos that have sold recently include “Charlie Bit My Finger” and Antonio Brown’s walk-off video.

Launch with Mantial

Now that you know how to incorporate NFTs into your business model, you need a safe and effective launcher to get you there. We provide you with the ability to launch no-code instantly, choose how to mint your NFTs, display your collection on any site that runs with Ethereum (i.e. OpenSea, Coinbase, and  Mintable), manage your drops with our easy-to-use and understand dashboard and engage with your community. With Mantial on your side, you can get into the world of creating NFTs in no time at all. Simply choose the plan that best fits your needs and let us do all the work. Contact us today to learn which plan is right for your business’ needs to launch your own NFT collection.