Building utility NFTs - your ultimate guide to getting started

If you’re reading this, we’re betting you’re already on the utility bandwagon. You’ll know that, if you want to engage communities for the long term, then you have to make your NFTs more than ‘just a pretty picture’.

The good news is, you can get started NOW. With Tropee, building super-hot utilities which will keep your community engaged and loyal is just a few clicks away. 

And the even better news? ANYONE can create utilities, for any collection. You don’t have to be Gary Vee to join us in our mission to make NFTs more than ‘just’ a JPEG. (If you ARE Gary Vee, hi, we think you’re pretty great).

Need a bit of help? No worries. That’s what we’re here for. 

Strap in for our ultimate guide to developing great utilities for your communities. We’ll guide you towards success and are here to support you during every step.

Here we go.

Step 1: Know your options

First thing’s first, let’s have a look at what’s available. Short answer - plenty. In fact, there are so many options you might not know where to start. Lucky you, though, because we can help.

Broadly speaking, utilities fall into two categories - digital and physical. Physical utilities are things like IRL collectibles, events, tickets and even clothes. Anything you can get your hands on in the real world.

Digital utilities are (you guessed it) utilities you can experience online. Think digital avatars, goods in the metaverse and online chats with creators. Some clever creators - like Azuki - have also set up private Discord channels where only holders can hang out. 

Clear? Great. 

Next step - to decide how much $$ you want to spend. Some utilities are free - access to exclusive Discord channels, 1:1s with founders and AMAs with creators being great examples. But some, you’ve got to invest in. For example, if you want to provide cool merch - think hoodies, sneakers and t-shirts - that’s going to cost you. Decide what you can afford, how much you want to invest, and what’s going to make your community tick.

Step 2: Get some inspo

Some of the world’s leading brands - from Deadfellaz to Bored Ape Yacht Club - are already firmly aboard the utilities train. They know that the success of their collection relies on loyal, engaged, communities - who feel like they’re getting plenty of value from creators.

All this means that there’s loads of inspiration out there. So do your homework and see what’s working for others.

Want to know our favourites? Happy to oblige. You can’t go wrong if you start by checking out Gary Vee’s collection (hi again Gary!)

VeeFriends is a perfect example of trying to give physical utility to an NFT. The brand has managed to build a loyal community which converges during the VeeCon gathering, an annual event which gets everyone talking. The NFTs all give holders three years of access to VeeCon - which is essentially a huge networking opportunity, which has guaranteed the success of the brand. What’s more, Vee Friends keeps on innovating - delivering new utilities to holders. The latest - that the NFT brand is partnering with global eyewear brand, Vintage Frames on an exclusive pair of limited edition Forthright Flamingo sunglasses. Great stuff.

Digital utilities more your bag? Check out the Axie Infinity initiative - a super cool collection inspired by Pokemon and monster games. If you invest in this collection you’ll gain access into the Discord, Marketplace, and Mavis Hub Community. You’ll also get an ownership certificate to a digital object in the game, which without the tokens, might be expensive to buy for players. 

Want more? We also love the new collection from 257-year-old cognac maker Hennessy - which has launched alongside web3 collective Friends With Benefits. The $450 NFTs went on sale to the public in November, and grant users access to Café 11, a new initiative aimed at cultivating a Hennessy community with a mix of online and offline events. Only 1765 (a reference to the year Hennessy was founded) tokens have been sold, meaning that they’re likely to do a roaring trade on the secondary market too.

Step 3: Decide who gets what

Utilities aren’t ‘one size fits all’. In fact, using Tropee you can segment your community and reward holders in different ways depending on who they are and what they do.

For example, you might want to think about giving holders who own a certain number of your NFTs an exclusive utility which noone else can get. Make these loyal holders feel engaged and they’re likely not just to buy more - but to promote you to their communities too.

Or maybe you want to reward your community members who hold onto their tokens for a certain amount of time. It’s an excellent way to combat ‘paper hands’ - those holders who sell their tokens too quickly.

Want to know more about ‘rules-based’ utilities and how to target communities effectively? We’ve written a whole blog about it. Check it out here.

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Step 4: Have a plan

When you’re thinking about adding utilities to your collection, it pays to let holders know that there are more good things to come. The best collections also have great roadmaps - showing holders that you’re planning to keep delivering. Of course, the more utilities you can deliver, the better. Great collections are always delivering more, bigger and better things.

The good news? It’s pretty straightforward to do well. The best roadmaps are visual (show not tell wherever you can), achievable (you’ll need to deliver on what you offer) and exciting - what’s coming down the line that’s going to get your audiences really engaged?

Want a good example to learn from? Take a look at rock Legend Ozzy Osbourne, who got in on the NFT act last year when he co-created CryptoBatz. We think the CryproBatz roadmap is comprehensive and exciting (holders have the chance to own a limited edition piece of Ozzy’s art) and it also looks great. Check it out.

Step 5: Get online and get building

OK, so you’ve done the groundwork. You’ve checked out the market, learned from the best, and decided on the utilities you’d like to build. You’ve considered who gets what, and you’ve created a compelling roadmap to get your holders engaged and excited.

Now comes the hard bit. The actual building of the utilities. Right?

Actually, no - you might be surprised to hear that it’s actually really easy. Like, a couple of clicks easy. Just jump onto Tropee and we’ll take it from there - get inspired, pick a template, and build exclusive experiences for your communities with our ready-to-go utilities. Or create your own from scratch - it’s your call.

Tropee is the place for your community to discover and claim utilities - all in a great looking, easy and secure environment.

With Tropee, anyone can build utilities for any collection. Need inspo? Tropee has a template gallery, built by the community, to inspire you to build exciting utilities. 

Need MORE? We have a whole blog on super quick utilities you can design and deploy today. Check it out. 

Step 6: Promote the heck out of what you're doing

The chances are you’ll already be on Discord and Twitter, and you don’t have to be a genius to know your NFT holders are likely to be engaged and active social media users.

So if you want to promote your utilities, it’s time to get online. Show your users that you care about them. You can post regular updates, behind-the-scenes insight or even just have a chat with those who want to engage. Smart creators even put a Tropee logo on their website - showing their communities that they’re super committed to delivering great things.

We love it when creators put the power in their collector’s hands. Ask your holders what they want to see from you next - even giving them voting rights on the next utilities you launch.

Step 7: Keep going

If you’re in the NFT industry already, you’ll know that things move fast. So you need to be creative and keep innovating - now is not the time to put your feet up.

Check out the latest newsletters to get even more inspo (we even wrote a blog on it), talk to your peers, keep networking - and let Tropee help you, too.