NFT Collab: How to Partner with Big Projects

14 Min Read

The impact of a great NFT collab

If you’re in the web3 space, it goes without saying that an NFT collab can be an incredible way to increase awareness about your project. A marketing strategy like this isn’t unique to web3, creators on all platforms leverage collabs to share their work with a brand new audience. 

If you’re at the stage where you’re thinking about NFT collabs, you’re probably thinking, “yes, I know NFT collabs are great – but HOW do I actually lock one in?” 

In today’s agenda:

  1. The best way to secure NFT collabs (spoiler: it’s Twitter)
  2. How to write an excellent outreach message 
  3. What to avoid when reaching out to bigger projects
  4. Screenshots of fantastic examples from real life
  5. A checklist that you can use when drafting your collab request

Twitter: The heart of web3 & the biggest NFT collab directory on the internet

A cute heart holding a heart

While you could use Discord or cold emails to reach out to projects you’re interested in collaborating with, Twitter is likely going to be your most valuable tool. Twitter makes it easy to find endless projects & evaluate which ones meet your criteria. You can easily look for shared values, similar project sizes, or common interests between you and the project builders.

Finding communities you like & respect isn’t necessarily the difficult part, though. The hard part is: how do you reach out & convince them to do an NFT collab with you?

Trust us, we know the struggle – we have experienced both sides of the story through launching our own NFT project, Curious Addys. We have been the one reaching out, and we’ve been the ones reading DMs asking for collabs.

We get 100+ DMs per day, and reply to 0.5% 

As a team that gets 100+ DMs a day, these are the messages we *actually* reply to. Included are screenshots of real DMs that got replies! 

We hope that by sharing insight about what makes us compelled to reply to Twitter DMs, you can apply these thoughts to any communities you’re DMing in hopes of NFT collabs, or even just connecting with cool new people in the space.  

An excellent Twitter DM is a bit of an art and a science

We’re not going to cover DMs that are clearly bad, like “hey bro” or “want to collab” or “can I give WL spots?”. You (hopefully) already know that DMs like that will be ignored. Instead, let’s discuss DMs that you THINK are good…but perhaps can be improved.

 If you are sending DMs to any community, ask yourself these questions:

Question #1: Is your DM clearly copy and pasted?

 Nobody wants to read a DM that makes them feel like they’re just one out of a dozen other people that got the same exact message. A lack of genuine authenticity really turns people off. When we read messages like this, our thought process is along the lines of “dang, they didn’t even put in the effort to write us a personal message…why should we reply?” 

We’re not saying templates are bad. In fact, templates are a wonderful way to save time. However, when you use a template, make sure to customize each message to each community thoroughly. “Thoroughly” is the key here. Why are you reaching out to them, specifically? What genuinely excites you about this potential conversation? Which of their values do you resonate with? 

Question #2: Does your message have enough context? 

If you just say “let’s collab”, the reader has no clue what you’re talking about, if you’re legit, or why they should reply. That’s gives the reader three reasons to skip over this message and forget it altogether. 

Your recipient should have ALL the information necessary to make a decision. You should be communicating:

  1. What makes you, or your project, credible? 
  2. What exactly are you asking for? 
  3. What do you bring to the table? (If they do a Twitter space or NFT collab with you, how do they benefit?)

Don’t make them go digging for the answer to these questions. Present them clearly, concisely, and leave the ball in their court to decide whether or not your message aligns with their values and interests too.

For example: if you’re asking to host a Twitter space, explain why exactly you feel they would be an amazing fit to talk about a particular subject. If you want to do a giveaway collab, explain why exactly you think this collab would be an awesome win-win.

If you need help with something, explain what exactly you’re trying to accomplish & why the reader may care (for ex: shared passions). 

Or, if you simply want to connect to start a new friendship, let them know what makes you a neat person to befriend and what you’d love to chat about together. 

If you don’t provide enough context from the start, it’s very unlikely the reader will feel compelled to continue a conversation. 

Question #3: Is your request reasonable?

Most DMs we receive are essentially saying “we want you to do X for us”. 

That “x” can be a lot of things: doing a giveaway together, checking out their project, helping with a smart contract need, giving advice.

If you’re asking for something, we suggest you take a gentle, honest step back and evaluate your request: is it reasonable to even ask? It is absolutely reasonable to connect with communities that share similar values and goals. It’s reasonable to initiate friendship over a specific shared interest. 

However, not all requests are reasonable. It’s NOT reasonable to ask a stranger, with no other context, to write your smart contract. Or shill your collection. Or do a collab. Requests like these need to be made with right information, so that the reader both feels valued AND sees the value in participating in your request.

Would YOU take a random meeting with a stranger you know absolutely nothing about online? Most likely not. But, what if that person communicated that they have an allowlist of 25k people, have raised $12M previously for a previous company,  and would love to get your thoughts on marketing their mint, in exchange for a percentage of revenue? I’m guessing you’d at least consider it. 

Question #4: WHY should the recipient reply? 

A figure not replying to a message

We understand that in most situations, people are initiating a conversation because they need something (that’s not inherently bad, we do it too!). But exchanging value should be a two way street. It should be a balance of giving and giving on both sides. 

As you’re reaching out to projects, ask yourself: is it clear to you (and the recipient) WHY they should even reply? Maybe you want to do a collab because you’re both incredibly passionate about a specific niche thing. Or, maybe hosting an event together would be an amazing opportunity for both communities to meet like minded people. Maybe you’re able to provide financial incentive like hiring them for consulting or freelance work

Regardless of what exactly your offer is, there should be some offer. In some meaningful way, the exchange should be a win-win. It can be a very clear win-win (like growth for both communities) or, a philanthropic win-win (like an experienced digital artist joining a Twitter space for newbies).

If you can’t think of a clear reason why the recipient should reply to you…that tells you that your request is a bit one sided.

Question #5: Are you writing for the right audience?

Does everything about your DM align with who you’re reaching out to? Does your offer align with this project’s values or needs? In essence, is this the right project to hear your request? 

A community centered around web3 education in elementary schools, probably isn’t going to appreciate a shill request from a NSFW NFT collection. A team led by women is probably not going to appreciate messages starting with “hey bro”.

When doing outreach, don’t just blast any big NFT project you see. That’s a waste of everybody’s valuable time. Instead, do enough research that you feel comfortable knowing a conversation even makes sense between your two communities. 

Follow their Twitter, read through their content and be a true consumer of what they put out into the world. Join their Discord community to see how they bond with their members, what kind of events they throw, or what kind of needs and interests they have. Even better: find a way to give value in their community channels! 

Real life examples

Here are some message we replied to, and why:

We received & replied to this email from @galverseNFT:

We loved that they pointed out our common interests: quite a few of our team members have a strong connection to Japan & we love celebrating women in tech!

Their reachout was so professional, well researched, very credible, and provided a great reason to partner. Their execution of everything (including reachouts!) was truly impressive. We ended up being the first project they partnered with.

We hosted allowlist giveaways & Twitter spaces…and to no surprise, they blew up.

Here’s a message from: @ClubKawaiiNFT:

Twitter DM example of a reachout we received from ClubKawaiiNFT

Why we loved their DM: we immediately felt a genuine & authentic vibe. We had aligned goals (making web3 more accessible), they made it clear they were familiar with our project,  & we loved that they wanted to support Ukraine during such a difficult time.

When somebody takes time to write such a thoughtful, clear message – it almost hurts NOT to reply. 

And lastly, here’s an example from another perspective: a message WE sent out to @cryptomom that got a reply. 

Email reachout example of a reachout we received from ClubKawaiiNFT

Not only did we get a reply…we’re great friends now that text, call each other, and hang out at every conference we go to ❤️

Here’s a little recipe that we think makes great DMs

A girl cooking in the kitchen

Include a personal touch. Do your research and be genuine. Find something in common: mutual friends, owning the same NFT, growing up in the same town, liking the same food.

Include legitimacy. Share what accomplishments make you worth talking to. This can be your previous career accomplishments, your advisors, something that’s gained traction, or anything you’re really proud of and why. Remember – they probably don’t know you yet: would you do an NFT collab with a stranger, or host a Twitter space, or buy their work?

Include benefits for the reader. Be a giver, not just a taker. Offer something that’s valuable to them. Don’t just think about what’s in it for you. Why should they consider an NFT collab with you?

End with a clear request: what action do you want them to take? Do you want them to set up a time to talk? Or add one another on Discord? Or exchange emails?

Reaching out to people can be difficult, but we’ve seen firsthand what kind of incredible NFT collabs & friendships come from reaching out.

Further Reading

An image of a quill and paper

How to Grow Your Discord Server: for Web3 & NFT Projects
An NFT Marketing Plan: Grow Your Twitter from 0-20k Followers
9 Things That Prevent You From Getting “Sad” as a Web3 Founder in a Bear Market
How On-Chain NFT Royalties Enforcement Works
NFT Scams: 10 Types You Need to Know

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