I wanna start off by saying I was not paid to write this article, it’s not a sponsored post. I’ve spent the last few months learning about web3 and NFTs and recently sold some photos I took in Japan as NFTs on Foundation so I thought I’d share a bit of my experience. I know there are a bunch of you here who are interested in exploring the space but haven’t been able to get on this platform (it remains invite-only). Good news for you, I reached out to their team and they kindly gave me some invites to offer to our community. If you want an invite, follow the directions on this tweet and you and a friend could both get invites! You have until Monday evening to submit. I have 20 Foundation invite codes to give out.
Keep in mind there are other places you can sell your NFTs. OpenSea is another great option and it doesn’t require an invite. The general consensus seems to be that Foundation is good for 1/1 NFTs and OpenSea is good for larger collections. I may do a separate post about OpenSea in the future if there’s interest.
Keep in mind, this article is not meant to be a comprehensive introduction to NFTs! There are many resources out that do a great job of explaining what NFTs are. If you’re starting from zero, Google is your friend, put some time in. Come back here once you’ve at least setup a Metamask wallet and put some eth in it. Gas fees have been low lately so this is a nice window of opportunity to explore minting your work.
Okay, if you’ve gotten this far it means you have a wallet setup and you feel like you’re ready to start creating NFTs buuut you may not actually be ready quite yet. Below are some things I’ve learned.
Twitter > Instagram
- Before you mint your first NFT, create a Twitter account. Tweet to me when you do and I’ll follow you back. In the NFT world most of the action happens on Twitter and Discord, and almost NOTHING happens on Instagram. It’s still good to have an IG account though, especially if your Twitter is just getting started. Many collectors will look at your IG to get a better sense of your work and try to gauge how serious you are about what you’re making. Having said that, your goal should be to make your Twitter your most active social channel.
- Tweet an image of your work and say something interesting about it. Pin the tweet so that anyone who visits your profile can quickly see what you do.
- Spend time on Twitter connecting with creators who have found success with NFTs. Follow them, engage with their posts and get involved in conversations. People in this space are great about sharing things they’ve learned, soak it all up. I use the bookmark feature all the time to save good Twitter threads so I can come back to them later.
- Don’t ever spam your work on any tweets and only share work if someone is specifically asking to see what you make!
- From what I can tell, all active NFT collectors are active on Twitter so don’t just follow creators. Look around on platforms like Foundation and SuperRare to see who is buying work in the same realm as you. If you can find these collectors on Twitter, follow them and get to know them. Again, do not just start shilling these people your work. Show them the utmost respect, let them decide to check out your profile on their own.
- Your goal is to build a little following before you create your first NFT. It is not about harvesting followers for the sake of numbers, you want to have real conversations with people who are actually interested in NFTs and art or photography. These are the people you want to know about your releases in the future. To accomplish this solely through genuine interactions takes time! You can’t shortcut building relationships! Be patient.
- Once you’ve started following some relevant accounts you will see more and more Twitter Spaces pop up. If you’re brave enough, raise your hand in a discussion and ask a question or offer a thought. These live conversations can be an effective way to make great connections. It’s a lot easier to be part of the conversation and make connections when the spaces have less people in them.
- Use your Twitter account to help others! Retweet and share things you like.
Discord Communities Have the Answers
- Look for Discords to join. This is definitely effective for photographers (I haven’t done much exploration of art NFT Discords yet, let me know if you find good ones). NFTPhotographers.xyz is a great one! You should also follow the founder, Johan Lolos – he is always sharing brilliant insights.
- For your safety, make sure you TURN OFF DMs in your Discord settings.
- Every Discord has its own set of rules, make sure you carefully read them all. The last thing you wanna do is start flooding a peaceful Discord and annoy people with posts shilling your own work without realising you’re doing it. Respect the mods and look to give to the community rather than take.
- I always find it helpful to lurk for a bit and get a feel for how things work in a particular community before posting anything.
- Take full advantage of any channels where you are able to ask questions and seek advice from more experienced members.
Minting Your NFT
- As I mentioned earlier, gas fees are low these days so now is a great time to try minting an NFT. Remember, the less activity there is, the cheaper the gas. You may wanna use a Chrome extension like Txstreet so you can always see the current gas rate. Weekends and/or late at night is typically best.
- Keep in mind every action with Ethereum requires some amount of gas. At the minimum you will have to pay gas to mint your work and pay gas to list your work. And if someone purchases your work in an auction one of you will have to pay gas to settle (it is customary for the buyer to pay this). I put up 3 photo NFTs a week or so ago and was able to do everything for less than $20 USD per nft. It will not always be like this so take advantage of it!
- If you’ve already been buying NFTs you may want to create a separate wallet to be connected to Foundation and the things you create. I wish I’d known this ahead of time.
- The thought may cross your mind to choose something that isn’t as meaningful to you in case things don’t go as planned — saving your best work till later so you can demand more for it. I understand this thinking however I think there is a stronger case to be made for leading with your best work and sharing some of the story behind it. You may think differently about this if you are already very established but I am speaking mainly to emerging artists here. You want people to get excited about your entry into this space and it’s important to show that you’re committed to it for more than a couple days or weeks.
Pricing Your NFT
- On Foundation, you can choose whether you want to set a Buy Now price or a Reserve Auction price or offer both options. Reserve Auction means that when someone bids it triggers a 24-hour auction and the highest bidder wins. If you do set both a Buy Now and a Reserve price and the work happens to be featured it will only show the Buy Now Price on the main page, the viewer would have to click on the item to even know that you also set a lower Reserve price. I tested out a bunch of combinations of Buy Now and Reserve prices over a period of time. I would not recommend doing this because all these actions are visible to anyone who visits the page and price changes may actually ping people who follow you.
- You can setup a Private Sale for a particular buyer. Also, all NFTs you create can receive Offers whether they’re in an auction or not.
- The price you choose is going to be a personal decision. I initially set a Buy Now price of .75 eth because that’s what I felt I might sell something for in a gallery but after researching a bit about pricing I decided to set a much lower reserve price of .15 eth and remove the Buy Now price altogether. Being new to the space, I opted for what I felt was an accessible price point and one that would be a much smaller leap of faith for a collector to acquire one of my first photo NFTs.
- I was fortunate to sell 2 of the 3 pieces I put up. Big shoutout to @n_syps and @kvnbnntt for purchasing the work! It was such an amazing feeling, very motivating for me, I won’t forget it! *EDIT – the third image sold to an anonymous buyer so all 3 are now sold!
- Maybe I could have priced my work slightly higher but my plan is to continue to offer images in this first collection around this price point for now. Maybe it will be an incentive for collectors to invest in me early.
- After I have some more sales I will look at raising prices. I’m not in a rush and I would like to create steady/healthy growth.
- Scarcity is important. The worst thing for me to do on the heels of a couple sales is turn around and upload a hundred more images.
- I don’t want to do anything that will undermine the value of my work.
- When considering a price, keep in mind Foundation takes 5% of your sale.
- You get 95% of the sale and then 10% of any future secondary sale of the work.
And Then What?
- Share your newly minted NFT on Twitter. Try out some hashtags and look for tweets where people are asking to see what you got.
- Reach out to anyone who buys or expresses interest in your work! Make sure they know how much it means to you.
- Get creative. Experiment with ways you might generate more interest in future releases. Maybe you can offer some small reward for anyone who even bids on an item or come up with something special down the road for people who a piece from your first collection.
- Continue to produce work and show your collectors that you are taking this seriously! Just be careful about how quickly you add new work, especially if you still have works that haven’t sold yet.
- Don’t get down on yourself if something doesn’t sell, it can take time.
Good luck! Send me tweets about any progress you make! Love to hear about your wins and any insights/tips you may have as well.
Call to Submit: 2023 Booooooom Art & Photo Book Award
If you have a specific series or a cohesive selection of work that you want to turn into a book, we want to see it.Learn more