There are a lot of misconceptions and a lack of understanding about cryptocurrencies these days, which makes people think NFTs and other forms of cryptocurrencies are nothing but a scam. Joe Pulizzi had the same thought until he discovered the distinct properties of FTs and NFTs. This resulted in the creation of Tilt Coins, FTs whose value has increased over time and has provided value to his audience through exclusive content. You may be wondering: what is an NFT?
In this episode, Joe shares what you need to know about NFTs, their definition, value, and how it benefits creators and fans alike. He also gives some pointers and advice on creating FTs and NFTs — you can even begin minting NFTs yourself! Finally, he discusses the downsides of these crypto tokens and gives us great resources for brushing up on NFT technology.
Tune in to this episode to learn more about NFTs!
Click here to read transcript
[4:25] A lot has changed in your world. For the folks in my audience who may not be familiar with you by name, let’s start off with just a little bit of your background. What was the thing you built before you became popular, and what are you working on now?
- I’ve been in the content marketing industry for over 20 years now. We probably popularized the term content marketing when we started Content Marketing Institute in 2007. We then created what became the largest in-person content marketing event — 4000 people going to Cleveland, Ohio. And then, we had a very successful exit. My wife and I, we left the business in 2016. I wrote some books on content marketing, written a novel called The Will to Die. I took a sabbatical year in 2018.
Now, I’m back. I started a new business called the Tilt. Instead of Content Marketing Institute, where we were focusing on education and training for enterprise marketers, the Tilt is focused on the other side, helping small content creators understand how to build a business out of a content-first mentality. So, I’m back at it again, like it or not. I started another business and really going down the rabbit hole of web3, and NFTs, and creator coins, and all kinds of interesting new business models that I didn’t even think existed two years ago.
[5:46] And, there it is! That’s why we’re doing this episode, because Joe and I, in the pre-interview… I have been a pooh-pooher of NFTs because they’ve done a horrible job of marketing. For folks who are not, I guess, early adopters, I don’t know that they did the best job of explaining what an NFT really is. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in the show. Because as Joe explained to me in the pre-interview, my eyes were opened, and I was like, “Wow, that’s why everybody’s getting so excited about these things!” So, let’s start off, Joe.
Everyone has heard the phrase “NFT.” It’s everywhere in the press these days. So, let’s start with the simple definition, and then maybe explain why it’s not all about the images and that kind of stuff. And then, we’ll dive into why it’s such a big deal.
- Let me just take you back. I’ll give you two minutes on my journey because I think it’s important. I mean, in 2017, I fell down the crypto rabbit hole, got into Bitcoin, Ethereum, believed in the idea of decentralized finance, figured there was something more there for content creators, but didn’t know, really, what it was. And then in 2020, I saw this thing called an NFT. I also saw these things called social tokens or creator coins, and I’ll talk about both of them in a second because they both have something to do with each other with the business model.
So, in October 2020, I found out “Okay, well, there’s these things called social tokens or community coins.” Basically, if somebody can have their own cryptocurrency, and I’m like, “Is that real? Is that like a scam? Like, what’s going on? Is this something…” Then, I look more into it, and I’m like, “Wow, this could really be something! This is where a content creator can build their own little mini economy.” And we got into it, and we launched our own coin in March called $TILT coin. And that is a fungible token. That’s an FT. So, a fungible token, that’s just like a $1 bill. If I give you $1, Trent, we’ll trade dollars. They’re all the same. It’s all good anywhere. There’s no differentiation. Same thing when somebody buys $TILT coins, same thing if somebody buys a Bitcoin — it’s all the same; nobody cares.
NFT, non-fungible token, you’re right — worst marketing in the world, right, that they’ve done with that? It’s a unique token. They’re still tokens, just like dollars are technically tokens, but they’re unique in their own way. And there’s an underlying agreement under there — a contract, it’s called a smart contract that sits underneath an NFT. So, when you think about NFTs, everybody’s looking at the art world. And that’s sort of the first application of NFT, becomes popularized on a marketplace like OpenSea, which is like the eBay for NFTs. Somebody might say, “Oh, I’m going to sell my piece of art and just a JPEG, and somebody might pay $10 for it, or a couple million dollars.” And in cases, there are very popular NFT collections like CryptoPunks, or Bored Apes that you’ll be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for.
But where a light bulb came out for me Trent, was, it’s not the image; it’s what the image represents. Underneath the image can be anything. You can have an agreement, a social contract with somebody for any type of services or experience. So, what you’re seeing now is, you’re seeing a lot of organizations, they’re launching tickets. So you can get a ticket that’s an NFT. “Well, why should I do a ticket as an NFT and why just not a regular ticket?” Well, if I am the event provider, and I want to give you a ticket, Trent, to go to an event, if I just sell you a regular ticket, that ticket is done. After you use it, I can’t do anything special with it. I can’t deliver any unique experiences. If you resell that ticket to somebody else, you get all that money. I don’t get any of it. You’ve done your deal, that’s fine.
With an NFT, automatically programmable by computer underneath it, you can do all sorts of things as the creator of that. So if I sell you that NFT and you resell that, I get a royalty. I can sit that royalty for whatever it is, 5%? 10%? That’s why you’ll see NFTs happen in the sports and entertainment industry like crazy because underlying, they can go ahead and resell those and control that transaction.
But it’s not even a one-time thing! That’s an ongoing experience. So, I sell you the ticket, Trent. Well, after the event, I can AirDrop you another ticket to another event. I can AirDrop you something that’s unique — a unique content experience, a VIP event box seat somewhere else. It’s like the greatest opt-in subscription that’s ever been, and we can do that because of the token or the technology behind the token. Because it’s on the blockchain, it’s publicly viewable and verifiable, and it’s very easy for now, the creator to control their own environment.
So, we can get down the rabbit hole with some of this, but the really interesting change in the business model now is a content creator cannot control the supply chain. Financially, that’s the big dealer. Because if I’m a YouTube creator, and I have 100 million followers or subscribers on YouTube, YouTube takes their money, their 50%, 45%. They can change their rules anytime. They can change their algorithm, and I’m at the whim of whatever YouTube does, and I’m basically renting land. But, what if I build an audience, and these super fans that want access to unique experiences can buy directly from me, my NFT? Or they can invest in my token, and I can set up the rules for that however I want to. Basically, I am now in control of my own financial destiny.
So you’ve seen this first with artists. Artists went from no business model — the gallery business model — and now, they can sell directly to art fans. So that’s the art. You’re seeing it with music. You’ve got music groups like Kings of Leon, where they could go through the regular tour and have all the middle layers, take all the different profits in the event locators and the distributors, and they get all the profits, and then at the end of the day, maybe they’ll get something. Or they launched an album directly to fans, made millions of dollars just off the sale directly to fans that were willing to pay a little bit more money. At the same time, fans can make money on it. Fans can say, “Oh, I bought this Kings of Leon album for $1,000. It was 1 of 300. And I can resell it!”
[12:14] Let me interrupt you there for a minute because I wanna make sure people understand this. With regular album sales, back in waydays when we had CDs, or your traditional digital download, it’s an unlimited quantity.
- That’s right.
[12:25] But you need built-in scarcity, just like a rare coin, in the old days, you only go to a coin collector. There’s only so many of them, so this one’s worth this much. Talk about how scarcity can… We talked about GaryVee in the pre-interview, and you can stick on the counting or the Kings of Leon on if you want to. But talk about how creators are leveraging the scarcity element of NFTs and how that’s driving value, why that is important for the secondary market, and then, why that’s important for the creator as the flywheel starts going around.
- So, it’s interesting. The GaryVee model is interesting, and I’ve been learning a lot from it, from what he’s done. Gary Vaynerchuk, content creator, started with Wine Library TV back 15–20 years ago. Made a name for himself, built an audience. But again, he’s at the whim of all these other centralized platforms like Facebook and YouTube, and there’s not great business models there. But he comes around with this idea and this project, and this happened about six months ago called VeeFriends. He created 10,255 individual tokens, NFTs, non-fungible tokens, that all had different aspects of the benefits that Gary was going to give. Some of them were called gift—
By the way, he drew every one of them. First of all, it’s his own art. Like it or not, it’s his own art. And then, each one of these pictures that somebody bought as a token that he priced at a couple $100 each had different access points on one of them. Gary would send you something in the mail that he thought was interesting every month. If you bought that NFT, you got that every month. He’s holding an event called Vee Con in May of next year. And if you have one of these 10,255 tokens, you get three-year admission to his event. Depending on the type of ticket, you get different access. Some will be front row access. Some will be going to all the VIP parties. Some will just be general seating. Everyone has a little bit different flavor to it, and he’s probably made in the… It’s got to be well over $30 or $40 million, just from this one little program because he sold them initially. And then, every time somebody resells that, he gets, I think, a 5% royalty every time. And by the way, some of these sell for upwards of $500,000.
So it’s nuts! It’s like nuts, nuts! Some of the stuff’s going on… Now, a lot of it is new. A lot of it’s because Gary has millions and millions of followers around the world, and they want to be part of this exclusive club. But the interesting thing is, you don’t have to have a huge audience! A musician could do this with 200 followers that want to pay a premium to access a content experience, music that’s never been heard before, a meet and greet. And the musician, the creator, the artist holds the keys now to their own business model, and that’s what’s fascinating for me.
I’m an event person, as you know, I think it’s going to revolutionize the event industry. I think we don’t even know the different use cases that are going to happen for NFT’s. But basically, anything and everything that has some kind of a handshake agreement, that has some kind of a promise for services, I think underlying will have a smart contract on top of that because the computer can regulate the rules, and it can be resold, and somebody gets ownership. As a fan, you’ve never had the ability to own something from the musician, from the creator. I just experienced their music. I just go to the concert. Now, I own something that has value, and I can keep that for myself as my own digital property. Or I can sell that to somebody else who wants it for their digital property.
[16:07] For the creators among us, let’s just hypothetically say, I want to launch a Mastermind group, instead of charging 10,15, 20 grand a year, whatever. I’m going to sell it in an NFT. And I’m going to sell… I’m going to do like GaryVee did and certain tickets get this benefit. And then, some people who buy the other ones, they get a premium retreat at the house. And then, wilder they’re ones, we’re going to go skiing together, and somebody gets a one-on-one dinner or whatever.
The people that are buying this, one, they’re getting the immediate benefit of just whatever experience it is that they’re purchased into, which they would get if they bought a regular ticket. But they’re getting a secondary benefit in that if I was to become wildly popular over the next few years, which hopefully that will happen. Then my “stock” has gone up. Now, the owner of these tokens can say, “Well, I’m going to keep going to try and stuff or on the other hand, man, he’s got so popular now. Maybe, I’m just going to sell my NFT, take all the profits, and I’m going to go buy myself a lakehouse or whatever that I want to do.”
- That’s exactly right. Think about it in GaryVee’s situation. Let’s say that Vee Con is amazing. Let’s say, it becomes the next South by Southwest, and everyone wants to go. Maybe the price, the value of that will go up because you’re going to have 50,000 people that want to go to the 2023 event, but there’s only 10,000 tickets! So, I got to go get those. And then, who wins out on that, the creator who owns all the IP around it… It’s just, the business models are fascinating. And then, we tried that same model. Your same example you’re just giving, we did it with the new business called the Tilt. We had our own social token creator coin called $TILT coin. So instead of the NFT, we use fungible tokens, and we set up those membership levels by how many $TILT coin you have. So, if you have 20, $TILT coin track, you get VIP access to me at all times. You get to ask me questions. We send you content drops every month that’s exclusive that no one else gets. And we launched at 36 cents in March of 2021. As of today, it’s $53. So you can do the math on how the people who invested very early are really happy! They’ve gotten these benefits all along. They continue to get these benefits. But they’ve also appreciated in value quite a bit. So we’ve got a very happy community right now.
[18:25] That is actually a great segue to my next question. So, somebody is listening, or I’ve decided I want to do this. I want to create either an FT or an NFT for my event, my Mastermind, my whatever, for Flowster even. How do I actually do that?
- So, there’s a couple of different ways. Let’s start with the social token side. I am not a technologist. I’m not a computer scientist. I don’t know anything about how to build on the blockchain. You either go with an organization that knows how to do it and coordinate some of their marketing juice, as well, with you, or you go ahead and find a contractor to do it for you or a technologist to do it for you.
We decided to work with rally.io. They have about 270 creators on their platform. We happen to be one of them. I think we were number 74. So, we had to apply. They basically set up the whole thing on the blockchain as a side chain of their own coin. It gets a little bit technical. But you can go with an organization that will set the whole thing up for you, and they have the trading platform all set up. So if you go to rally.io, you could buy or sell or whatever point you want…
[19:31] How much did you have to pay them to do this?
- It’s basically a coin chair. It was actually free. And then, they give you basically what’s called Genesis coins and say, “Okay, because we were helping them market, because we’re bringing our audience to the table,” they’re saying, “Okay, Joe, $TILT coin, you get these thousands of coins.” And then, there’s coins for everyone to trade, buy, and sell.
There’s also another great organization called Roll. They do the same thing. There’s another organization called Coin Vise. They do a similar thing. So, there’s lots of organizations out there. I would say that if you’re not tech-savvy, you look at something like that. And then, if you could go out to all sorts of platform marketplaces out there, where there are technologists that will say, “Look, I will do this for you.” I’m not familiar with that model, but there are a lot of computer science persons, crypto people that understand the blockchain, who will go ahead and do it for you. You would just pay those like a paid content creator or something like that.
You do the same thing with NFTs as well. You could go to an OpenSea. You can go to a foundation. They will walk you through how to mint your own NFTs. And you can put underlying, what’s in the contract, what the royalty is, all those things. If you have one or two, very easy to do. If you have 10,000, you probably want to work with somebody that knows what they’re doing because each one of them are individualized, each one of them have their own traits. There’s a backend, huge spreadsheet that you have to upload. It’s connected to all these images and rights. You probably want to outsource that. There’s a lot of smart blockchain people that can help you with that as well. But basically, so you have your do-it-yourself model, or you have to go find it and outsource it.
[21:16] Now, I want to put my devil’s… not devil’s advocate — I’m forgetting the right term. I want to consider the downside of this. In the world of the stock market, there’s a thing called the pump-and-dump scheme. It has been around for decades and decades and decades. When a crafty promoter comes up with this idea, they get a lot of hype. They raise a lot of money. They sell a lot of stock. That’s the pump. And then, the promoter, who had all these shares at a penny apiece, now has all these shares at $4 apiece, and they do the dump. So, they walk away with bags of money. Everybody else is left with worthless stock. What’s to stop you from liquidating everything at your $53 a share — that’s the dump — and leaving everybody hanging?
- So, there’s a couple of things. It’s a great example, by the way. If you understand history of crypto, you’ll know 2017 was the year of the ICO: initial coin offering. And everybody was offering these coins and making these big promises, and there were these shell companies that didn’t exist, and they pump up their prices. And then, they would go. There was a lot of regulation that happened around that industry, and it was like big no-no! Well, now, we’re coming back the second time around, and there’s a couple things.
First of all, what’s different with a token like $TILT, if you go on the rally.io network, you see my name, my picture — it’s my reputation. We build our audience over the years, a lot of different places. I could absolutely dump the whole thing. I would also ruin my reputation at the same time. I would be done. I mean, where am I gonna go? It’s my name. Everything’s attached to me. That’s where it’s a little bit different. We’re not talking about it as, “Oh, get rich quick!” We’re talking about, we’re trying to build an economy. We’re trying to set it up so that if you invest, you do things, you get $TILT coin. If you buy it, you can buy merchandise. You can get training. You can get access to all these different goods and services. So it’s a little bit different. The price does appreciate, but it’s absolutely different.
I’ll give you a really good example that happened a couple of days ago. There were two people — we don’t really know who they are. They created a coin called SQUID coin that they took off from Squid Games, which is popular on Netflix, and they pumped this thing up. It went up like 3000, 5000%. The creators made a couple million dollars and they’re gone. So, buyer beware. There’s absolutely some horrible bad actors out there.
That’s why I like the creator-coin method because it’s generally somebody you trust. Like the people that hold $TILT coin, I’ve known most of them for a very long time. They’ve been part of our audience, and they feel really good about being part of a community in this way. But if you are new to a community… And the same thing goes for NFTs.
I’ve talked to somebody the other day, was really upset because they paid a lot of money for an NFT, and I don’t know what it was. It was a giraffe, or a pig, or whatever they bought on OpenSea. And they said they spent a couple thousand for it. Now, it’s worthless. And I’m like, “Well, what did you know about that? Did you do research? Did you join the Discord? Did you know they…?” No, they didn’t! They just… They heard it from somebody else just like a stock tip, and they went all in, and it’s gambling.
If you’re going to invest in any of these types of tokens, you need to do your homework first. Just like I don’t expect somebody to go invest in Tesla tomorrow if they’ve never heard of what Tesla does or who it is, and they just got a stock tip from their cousin. Please, don’t! Please do your research. Follow along with these people. If you want to be part of the community, and you want to add to that community, then there’s an opportunity for FT or a social token.
[24:58] The other thing that people need to understand is even if you didn’t have a nefarious intent, you could die. You get hit by a bus! And then, you as the creator, are no longer able to create because you’re not alive anymore. And that is also a risk.
- It is absolutely a risk. It’s funny because when I first applied to rally for the coin, they were surprised that I went with $TILT because Tilt was the name of the company, and most creators go with their own name. You have the Annie coin and the Jim coin or whatever, and we went with the company. A lot of cases for that reason, I said, “Yes, you’re following me. You’re part. You’re one of our fans. That’s great!” But it’s not just me. We’re a whole organization here.
It’s almost the same thing when I started Content Marketing Institute. And when we sold in 2016, they’re like, “Joe, CMI is you!” I’m like, “No, no, no, it’s not!” I’m just one part of this thing. That’s why we were able to sell it and have a successful exit. So, I like that strategy. If somebody’s thinking about doing this, I like it, focusing on a content brand, instead of the individual because I think it’s a little bit safer from the token holder’s side.
[26:09] Yeah, I would agree with you. I’ve read this is the ground for money laundering. And there’s all sorts of other types of nefarious activity. It’s always, “Buyer, beware!” What are some sources?
So, let’s say, somebody is interested, they’re like, “I want to learn more about this. I’m not going to bet the farm.” We’re not encouraging you to bet the farm. “I want to learn more. I want to make some measured bets. I need to learn, and I need a place to make transactions.” What are some great resources that you can recommend for that?
- There’s some amazing podcasts, and some of these, I just listened to. I’m going to rattle through some of these. They were incredibly helpful to me. So the first one is the Bankless Podcast. The Bankless Podcast. They just had a guest. The guest was Chris Dixon. And if you don’t know Chris Dixon, Chris is at a16z and does an amazing job following crypto. He has an idea of what web3 is. He talks all about tokenization. He talks all about NFTs, and he paints the picture of why he thinks the future is going to be tokenized and decentralized. It is a great eye-opening experience for anyone. It’s about an hour and 30 minutes long. I recommend the whole thing. So, Bankless and Chris Dixon.
The second podcast is Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferriss has his own podcast. He just had Chris Dixon on and Naval. Both of them, too, are very successful in the crypto space. But that is about a two and a half hour exposé. Again, it’s very long, but it goes through basically, why an NFT? And Tim Ferriss talks about his own NFT project, and why he’s doing it, and the rationalization, and the business model, and all the objections. So that one I really like.
There’s a third one — is Tom Bilyeu. Tom Bilyeu’s podcast is called Impact Theory. I believe the episode is called ‘The Philosophy of Money’. And this is just eye-opening because then, you start to realize, “How did we get on the gold standard? And why did we start using dollars? And then, why are we now moving to things like Bitcoin and Ethereum? From that one, I’m like… It just blew my mind.
So, you can see the progression and why we’ve gotten here. Because a lot of people, I don’t know if you talk to the same people, I do, Trent, but they think that this whole thing is a bunch of made up. They’re like, “What is this beta vape digital money? And this is a thing, and it’s all a scam and whatever.” But when you go through and you say, “Okay, well, we’re not on the gold standard anymore. We’re on the dollar, and we’re pumping more and more dollars into this environment, which means that every dollar that you and I have are worth less because more and more are being printed. We’ve got more inflation than ever before. But here we are; we got a monetary standard, specifically Bitcoin, where only 21 million have ever been created, will ever be created.”
And the scarcity rule, like you brought up before, Trent, I think is a big deal. I think people don’t realize that you’ll never get more of them. It’s divisible a million times. You can break it into a million pieces, so it doesn’t matter how much it’s worth. I think that’s one of the reasons why you’re seeing a lot of these coins and many economies flourish. Not because, necessarily, that value is going crazy but because the dollar is worth less. Those things are going up in price, and that’s why you’re seeing the stock market take off. It’s asset inflation.
We’re going to see a whole new financial environment in the next 10 years. I don’t know where it’s gonna go. I don’t know where regulation is gonna go. So, don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Protect yourself. But I’m really excited about the future because I think there’s a whole bunch of new business models for entrepreneurs out there that never existed before.
[29:56] Yeah, I’m inclined to agree that there’s a lot of opportunity, and I want to thank you very much for coming and sharing what you have. Before we wrap up, if you were interviewing yourself, because you know far more about this topic than I do, is there anything else that you think would round out this interview that we haven’t talked about yet?
- I think it depends on where you’re coming from. So I’ve talked to a lot of my friends about this. And at first, they thought I was crazy. This is years ago, right? I’m getting them into it. And now, they can’t believe the performance of some of the things they’ve had. I’m like, “Hey, this is the long game. Don’t look at it day to day.” Whether they’re in whatever, creator coins, NFTs, or Bitcoin, or whatever, my recommendation is, it’s very hard for someone to understand what we’re talking about unless you try it yourself. So, if you’ve never done this before, if you think we’re crazy, just do these couple things.
First of all, get a digital wallet. Go to MetaMask. It’s a free digital wallet, and go ahead and sign up. It’s your own account with your own private keys. These are private keys you don’t share with anybody else. They’ll take you through the process. They will take you through the dos and don’ts.
So, now you have a digital wallet. You have to have something like a coin base or something that you can buy. Ethereum is sort of the currency of the Internet right now. If you are going to buy an NFT, in 99% of cases, you need Ethereum to do it.So go to Coinbase. Set up an account. Buy $50 worth. Put it in your MetaMask account, and then go to something like an OpenSea. Find some NFT for $5, and buy it. Then, it doesn’t matter if you lose it. But go through the process and see what’s happening.
I think you’ll start to get the feel that this is something different. You don’t have a bank in the middle. You are your own bank.You’re basically hooking up directly with the creator on this. This is pretty much peer-to-peer. You’ve got places like OpenSea and Foundation helping. You get to find those people. But otherwise, you’re dealing directly with the creator. This hasn’t happened before.
And this is why a lot of people are concerned because if somebody had 100 Bitcoin, which is now worth $6 million, and they lose their private keys, they don’t remember their account, there’s no call to the bank for help. You’re done! This is very libertarian. It’s all on the individual. So, you have to take a lot of responsibility. There’s some people that don’t want that responsibility. You can live in that bank world, or you can say, “Hey, there’s this new thing. So my recommendation is experiment.
I’m glad that I listened to a lot of podcasts that told me just go ahead and try it out. And I did. And I didn’t get it. I made a couple mistakes. But when you’re new, you have a little bit of money to do it. It’s no big deal. You figure it out. Once you figure it out, then you can start being serious about it.
[32:54] Alright, Joe. I want to thank you so much for coming, being on the show, and helping me and my audience to understand the opportunity of NFTs, and Bitcoin, and Ethereum and all that. It’s been an enlightening episode, unlike one I’ve ever done before. So, it’s been a pleasure to have you back on. If anybody wants to learn more about $TILT coin, it’s tiltcoin.org.
- Just go to thetilt.com. If you go to thetilt.com, just click on our symbol. We’ve got a little ticker symbol up at the top of all the pages, and it will take you right to the page, and we’ll explain what is $TILT coin. We go through it step by step. So, we can onboard a lot. Most of the people in our audience, they don’t know anything about this. They’ve never done it before. So, we do a lot of education around it.
[33:37] Wonderful. Alright, Joe, thank you so much for being on the show. Appreciate it!
Thank you so much for listening. To get to the show notes for today’s episode, go to bright ideas.co/382. And if you enjoyed this episode, I’d be super grateful if you would take a moment on your favorite podcast-listening app, and like, rate, and review the show because that is the number one way that the existing audience can help people who have not yet heard of the show to come and listen to an episode. Again, you would have my extreme gratitude for doing that.
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Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas Podcast. Check us out on the web at brightideas.co. All right. Show’s over. I’m tired.
Joe Pulizzi’s Bright Ideas
- Understand What You Can Do with NFTs
- Leverage the Scarcity Element
- Do Your Research Before Investing
- Focus on the Brand, Not the Individual
- Study and Experiment on NFTs
Understand What You Can Do with NFTs
It’s impossible to use something without first understanding it. In the case of NFTs, their complexities can be overwhelming.
However, with proper knowledge, you’ll be able to use it to benefit both yourself and your audience.
While fungible tokens (FTs) are primarily for trading dollars, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique tokens, usually in the form of images, with an underlying contract. But the images aren’t the main dish — they’ve become increasingly popular for trading more than just money. Joe states, “It’s not the image — it’s what the image represents. And underneath the image can be anything.”
There are many different benefits to NFTs as opposed to regular digital tickets or products:
- It gives unique experiences to audiences by giving them premium access to exclusive content, such as content drops, event tickets, Q&A with the creator, etc.
- If someone decides to sell NFTs, the creator receives royalties that they set themselves.
- NFTs are not just a one-time thing but an ongoing experience — after an event, a creator could send a ticket to another event.
- The creator has total control over their business model and environment.
- Fans get the opportunity to own something from the creator.
Leverage the Scarcity Element
Joe mentions VeeFriends, which are 10,255 individual NFTs by Gary Vaynerchuk. These NFTs had different access points and provided his audience with perks such as mails and separate ticket admissions for his upcoming VeeCon event. Despite the limited amount of NFTs, he has made millions of dollars — every resell earned him royalties.
But you don’t need millions of followers like Gary. No matter the size of your audience, Joe points out, “… basically, anything and everything that has some kind of a handshake agreement, that has some kind of a promise for services, I think underlying will have a smart contract.”
It’s also appealing to audiences because they get the chance to own something unique from a creator — kind of like an autographed print. It then provides them with something of value that they can either keep for themselves as their digital property or resell it.
Do Your Research Before Investing
Despite the incredible potential of NFTs, there are also risks. For example, creators could pump up their prices and then disappear, leaving the audience hanging. An example would be Squid Coin, whose creators made millions before dumping it.
But with the creator coin method, there’s already a level of trust. Joe knows the majority of the Tilt Coin community, and they are generally pleased with the value they are receiving. Besides that, if he dumps Tilt Coin, he risks ruining his reputation because his name is attached to everything.
Going all-in on investing in NFTs is a foolish gamble. Joe advises, “So if you’re going to invest in any of these types of tokens, you need to do your homework first, just like I don’t expect somebody to go invest in Tesla tomorrow if they’ve never heard of what Tesla does or who it is…”
Focus on the Brand, Not the Individual
When Joe applied for rally.io to create Tilt Coin, they were surprised he went with the brand name instead of his name. But Joe insists that The Tilt is not just him; it’s everyone making up the organization.
Moreover, Joe says, “If somebody’s thinking about doing this, […] focusing on a content brand instead of the individual because I think it’s a little bit safer from the token holder’s side.” There is always the risk of the creator becoming ill or dying, rendering them unable to create content.
Study and Experiment on NFTs
Joe recommends three podcasts to help you understand NFTs and the Bitcoin transition: The Bankless Podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, and Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu. These shows have episodes that might make learning more about bitcoin or other crypto assets easier for people who are just getting started in this space.
On the future of NFTs, he says, “… don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Protect yourself. But I’m really excited about the future because I think there’s a whole bunch of new business models for entrepreneurs out there that never existed before.”
Lastly, after studying up on it, he suggests trying out NFTs by:
- Set up an account on MetaMask to create a digital wallet.
- Go to Coinbase and load up on Ethereum.
- Buy $50 worth and put it into your MetaMask account.
- Purchase an NFT for $5.
It doesn’t matter if you lose it. What matters is getting a feel on NFTs, and Joe guarantees that it will feel different — primarily because there’s no bank acting as a middleman.
Many of the concerns revolve around losing their private keys and having no way to retrieve them. If you don’t want that responsibility, that’s fine. But there’s no harm in trying out NFTs and figuring out if it’s right for you.
What Did We Learn from This Episode?
- Get a good grasp on NFTs and cryptocurrency.
- Think about the unique experiences you can offer to your audience.
- Don’t invest blindly in an NFT.
- It’s much safer for your audience if you focus on the brand, not the individual.
- Before getting serious about NFTs, experiment with them to see whether it suits you.
[4:38] — Joe’s Journey in Content Marketing
- Joe has been in the content marketing industry for over 20 years.
- They popularized the term “content marketing” and held the largest content marketing event in Cleveland, Ohio, with 4,000 attendees.
- After leaving the business in 2016 with his wife, he wrote books on content marketing and a novel called The Will to Die.
- He has started a new business called The Tilt, which focuses on helping small content creators learn to build a business using a “content first” mentality.
- He dabbled with business models, such as Web 3 and NFTs, that didn’t exist before.
[6:32] — What is an NFT? (Non Fungible Token)
- After getting into crypto and discovering NFTs in 2020, Joe realized that content creators could build their own mini economy. He then launched Tilt Coin.
- A fungible token is primarily for trading dollars; conversely, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique, and have an underlying contract.
- Listen to the full episode to find out how one of a kind NFTs allow creators to set the rules for what happens when the tokens are bought and sold online and give their audience access to unique experiences!
[12:54] — Leveraging the Scarcity Element of NFTs
- Joe mentions that he learned a lot from the Gary Vee model.
- Gary Vaynerchuk was a huge content creator but was still subject to the whims of more centralized platforms, so he created 10,255 individual NFTs called VeeFriends.
- NFTs consisted of his art, and each digital artwork had different access points and perks, such as exclusive mail and different levels of admission for his VeeCon.
- You don’t need a large audience. The NFT market is limited; you can provide premium access to your audience regardless of size while also controlling your own business model.
- Fans also get the chance to own something from the creator and resell it.
[17:05] — The Benefits of NFTs for Creators and Fans
- If an event becomes successful, the pricing for NFTs could go up. The creator will benefit, being the IP owner.
- With The Tilt, they created Tilt Coin and set membership levels by the number of Tilt Coins someone had.
- Among the perks that come with the Tilt Coins are VIP access to ask Joe questions and monthly content drops.
- Launching at 36 cents in March 2021, Tilt Coins are currently priced at $53, which shows that the people who invested are satisfied with it.
[18:42] — How to Create an FT or NFT
- For social tokens, it helps to find an organization that can show you how to do it, or you can look for a contractor or technologist to do it for you.
- The Tilt worked with rally.io to set up the whole thing on the blockchain as a side chain of their own Genesis coin.
- Other organizations you could check out are Roll and Coinvise.
- Outsourcing the creation of NFTs by finding foundations to help you set up underlying contracts and deciding on the royalties would be helpful.
[22:05] — The Downsides of NFTs
- In 2017, initial coin offering (ICO) boomed, and many shell companies would pump up their prices and leave everyone hanging.
- While it’s possible to dump Tilt Coins, it would ruin his reputation. It’s not about getting rich quickly but building an economy.
- Two people recently created Squid Coin based on Netflix’s Squid Game, which went up around 5,000%, and the creators made millions before disappearing.
- Do your homework before investing in any social tokens.
[26:42] — Resources for Studying NFTs
- The Bankless Podcast had an episode with Chris Dixon where he discusses NFTs and paints a picture about why he thinks the future will be tokenized and decentralized.
- Tim Ferriss’ podcast had a more than 2-hour talk with Chris Dixon about NFTs.
- Another one would be Tom Bilyeu’s Impact Theory episode about the gold standard, the usage of dollars, and the transition to Bitcoin.
- Some people might think non fungible tokens are a scam, especially in the digital art world. However, you’ll find value in its scarcity element and asset inflation as you learn more about it.
- The future is exciting because new business models are emerging.
[30:15] — Get Started Owning NFTs
- It’s hard for someone to understand what they’re talking about unless they try it.
- Try getting a digital wallet by going to MetaMask.
- You’ll need Coinbase to buy $50 worth of Ethereum and deposit it into your MetaMask account.
- After that, find some NFTs worth $5 and buy it regardless of whether you’ll lose it.
- This gives you a taste of NFTs. You can figure out if you want to explore it or continue living in the banking world through experimentation.
Joe Pulizzi (he/him) is founder of multiple startups including content creator education site, The Tilt ($TILT coin on Rally.io) and is the bestselling author of seven books including Content Inc. and Epic Content Marketing, which was named a “Must-Read Business Book” by Fortune Magazine.
Joe is best known for his work in content marketing, first using the term in 2001, then launching Content Marketing Institute and the Content Marketing World event. In 2014, he received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Content Council. He successfully exited CMI in 2016 and consequently wrote an award-winning mystery novel, The Will to Die.
His foundation, The Orange Effect, delivers speech therapy and technology services to over 200 children in 34 states.
Joe and his family live in Cleveland, Ohio.