In this interview, Johnny, Head of partnerships at Lunar Strategy, shares insight on how to embark on crypto collaborations and discusses all his latest tips and tricks on how you can successfully grow a project and build strategic partnerships in the WEB3 world.
What is a strategic partnership, and why is it so important in the crypto world?
“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
Strategic Partnerships play a vital factor in the success of any project within the crypto sphere. With the modern-day business world evolving so rapidly and business longevity decreasing, it’s more important than ever to be engaging in mutually beneficial collaborations. Strategic partnerships allow for a more effective dynamic that increases the chance for both projects to become more established and have an edge in growing their community, leading to long term success.
It’s important to understand where a project fits in the current market; once discovered, you will have a better grasp of the broader crypto ecosystem surrounding it. Within this wider circle, you will find symbiotic projects. Creating mutualistic relationships with those projects rather than working against one another offers each project time to focus on their strengths and collaborate their strongest attributes with their partner. This dynamic makes for powerful strategic partnerships and opens doors to greater opportunities with big players in the field. It’s truly a win-win for every project involved!
What are the biggest challenges in collaboration building?
One of the biggest challenges of collaboration comes prior to any engagement; ensuring that your project is in the position to begin considering partnership is sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcome. Initially, it’s paramount to have devised the robust principles of your Product / Project. This will then allow you to research the ecosystem of your project and take the time to understand the values of the other potential collaborators’ projects and how well your USPs (unique selling points) complement one another. Doing this should offer you clear insight into your desired outcomes and objectives for your project. From there, you’ll undoubtedly have a strong project foundation and will be ready to begin networking for that perfect collaboration.
Now that you are past the hard part and ready to begin collaborating, there are three key points to consider; they can make or break the successfulness of a partnership and, subsequently, the projects involved, so take the time to plan your approach each step.
1, Partnering up with the right projects
It is expected that with collaboration comes compromise, so it’s crucial to partner with the right project where you can both establish a balance that suits the aspirations of your individual and shared project. There are a few key things to consider in order to establish if a project would be the right fit for you and offer the best ROI for your project. Firstly, how much time can the other project commit? Are they able to work on their own initiative, and does this align with your current efforts and expectations? Secondly, although some partnerships may be casual in nature, it’s important not to lose sight that you’re still in association with that project, does their team have a strong rapport, are they doxxed, professional, and share in your ethical values.
2, Crafting an attractive Collaboration Pitchdeck
Once you propose a collaboration, it’s then in the hands of the other project to decide whether to enter a partnership with you, which is why creating an attractive proposition will optimise your chances for a successful collaboration.
It’s imperative that the value proposition is created with the potential partner in mind.
Step into their shoes and think about what attribute of a proposition appeals to them. Having a clear and concise action plan that appeals to their strengths will pique their interest and allow space for a more in-depth discussion around the logistics of the collaboration. In addition, the partner will want to understand how they are able to benefit from your project, so having a thorough understanding of your USPs will help you recognise where your project positively differentiates from the competition and how your project will innovate the crypto field.
These variables give grounds to pipelining your resources and connections and should be the leading factors in creating an attractive proposition.
Having crafted an attractive proposal, there should be a strong interest in collaboration. This is when conversations around tangible solutions & activities such as social media cross-promotion, and long-term partnerships resulting in a limited NFT collection, can occur, and collaboration can begin.
3, A branding strategy
With new projects entering the market every day, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd, so making your first impression count is essential.
Connections can be made across a whole host of platforms, from social media direct messages to networking and emails project should have cohesive and appropriate branding to enhance the initial appeal and boost conversion.
Being aware of a project’s “social status” credibility is vital for engaging in meaningful connections from possible projects. Studying the size of your competitors and projects’ traffic will be invaluable knowledge into how your project plan would be perceived amongst its competition, giving you the unique opportunity to design a proposal that stands out and is without a doubt going to capture attention.
When designing a project’s proposal, it should be realistic and depict what the project can provide. The positive influence and undoubtedly the possible financial growth will be incurred. It is essential that in this first engagement, you never ask for more than you’re willing to give. Always take into consideration how beneficial it will be for them rather than how much work will be for you. A great way to do this is to open with a personal introduction and share some media, whether an article or social media mention. The primary motivation behind this is to establish a good impression and let them know you’re open to collaborating.
What are your best three tips for succeeding with partnerships?
1, Use Loom videos
Loom videos allow you to add a personal touch to your value proposition, adding further insight to the information shared in your proposal whilst avoiding miscommunications that can usually be flagged when corresponding via email. Beyond the USPs, partnership solutions and projected ROIs, partners are keen to see the faces and get to know the people behind the project. Loom shows the potential partner that you are willing to go the extra mile which is critical for a successful collaboration.
2, Work smarter, not harder
A whole host of dynamic variables must be considered to make partnerships successful. Attempting to manage every aspect alone could leave some of your USPs not fully explored due to time restraints which could negatively impact your value proposition. Considering delegating tasks to a freelancer with experience in the field whilst curating a directory of potential projects, you can focus your core tasks that allow your project to be in a position for successful strategic partnerships that offer the best ROI possible. Then when the time arrives to begin considering potential partners, you will have developed an efficient workflow that has provided you with the luxury of having all your possible partnership options at your fingertips, ready to engage.
3, Lead by giving
If there’s one lesson you take from this interview, never blend in with the crowd. Projects will receive hundreds of emails from smaller projects asking for a social mention, PR exchange, investments or whitelist exchanges. The likelihood of projects receiving any engagement back is slim to none. Building relationships with other players in the crypto space is the first step for future strategic partnerships, so make your initial interaction refreshing, offer a suggestion, a social media mention or even a freebie; the possibilities are endless. What’s important is that you engage with an innovative approach that will ensure your project has a lasting impression.
Now that you have planted the seed for collaboration in a way that stands out, you can expect to reap the benefits in the near future.
What are your future plans in the crypto & NFT industry over the coming years?
Since joining Lunar Strategy, my new home, I have had the opportunity to establish myself within the crypto space whilst receiving invaluable support and guidance from the other members of the lunar strategy team. I feel as though I am in an environment where I can professionally develop and expand my network as I share in the company’s values to create a close professional relationship with clients dedicating time and energy to produce successful projects.
In the near future, I would like to work towards further developing connections between the music industry and Web3. In recent years we have seen well-established projects such as Audius and Opulous & Afterparty break into the music industry via streaming, royalties, and events. Still, there is so much potential yet to be discovered. I believe that with my previous first-hand experiences in the music industry, I could further develop the connections and bring innovative collaborations to the forefront.
The Crypto world can be a daunting place to venture into, and misinformation is something we see far too commonly. I am passionate about making a positive impact and sharing my ever-growing knowledge through educational guides, speaking at blockchain conferences as well as on social media in hopes of allowing those who are just starting to feel confident as they are well informed and encourage others to take a chance and discover the wonderful world of Crypto.