How to Build a Thriving NFT Membership Community
A look at three of the best: VeeFriends, Moonbirds, and Meta Angels
In my last post, I wrote about why creators and communities will shift rapidly to NFT memberships that they own. What’s great about this trend is that:
The NFT is just a tool - the utility is up to the creator and their community.
I believe that NFT memberships are how 1,000 true fans will be realized. Let’s take a look at how you can build a thriving NFT membership community by examining three of the best:
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VeeFriends is a collection of 10,255 NFTs featuring 268 characters drawn by Gary Vaynerchuk. Each NFT has a trait that Gary believes in like “Passionate Parrot” (yes this sounds ridiculous but keep reading).
The collection launched at 2.5 eth in May 2021 and now has a floor of 8 eth. Here’s why I think VeeFriends succeeded:
“Love or hate Gary, you can’t deny that he’s a great marketer.” - VeeFriends holder
Gary can sometimes be polarizing but he’s undeniably great at promotion. He has a huge audience and a proven track record of launching successful businesses. A bet on VeeFriends is a bet on Gary.
Gary is committed to building a strong community for VeeFriends. He created educational content to help his audience buy NFTs for the first time. He also continues to engage daily in the Discord, which now has 375K members.
“In the worst case, I can attend a conference. In the best case, VeeFriends becomes a valuable IP.” - asf.eth (Veefriends holder)
One of the best ways to create a strong community is to bring them together in real life (IRL). All VeeFriends holders get a free 3-year pass to VeeCon. The first conference kicks off this month with Snoop Dog, Beeple, and other top speakers.
In addition, 555 VeeFriends holders get random gifts from Gary’s team (e.g., art prints) and 300 holders get to interact with Gary himself through group and 1:1 sessions.
To recap, VeeFriends succeeded because Gary onboarded his massive audience through great education and IRL benefits like VeeCon.
The collection launched in April 2022 at 2.5 eth and now has a floor of 24 eth. Here’s why I think Moonbirds succeeded:
Kevin is a well-known entrepreneur who also hosts Modern Finance, a popular crypto podcast. Kevin interviewed top NFT collectors and founders for a year through the podcast before launching his first…
"I didn't bat an eye at spending $7,500 [for a Moonbird] because of Kevin's rep and the success of the OG proof collection." - Moonbirds holder
Before Moonbirds, Kevin dropped 1,000 NFT passes for the Proof Collective community. Many top NFT collectors from his podcast and network bought these passes, bringing the floor to over 85 eth.
Because Proof Collective is private and only has 1,000 passes, people felt FOMO to be part of the community. Kevin and the team also gave Proof holders:
Grails (NFTs from 21 top artists)
Two Moonbird slots for each holder
This showed people that the team cared about…
Moonbirds holders are incentivized to hold onto their bird long-term through nesting. The longer you nest the bird, the more likely you are to reach higher tiers that unlock rewards. For example, holders who nest their hoodie birds will get a hoodie IRL after reaching a specific tier.
Other Moonbirds benefits include Proof community access, IRL events, and upcoming drops. Holders trust Kevin and team to deliver given his personal reputation and success at building the Proof community.
To recap, Moonbirds succeeded because Kevin and team proved that they can build a strong community that can deliver utility and appreciate in value long-term.
The collection launched in February 2022 at 0.125 eth and now has a floor around the same price. I’ve spoken to several Meta Angels members and they all love being part of the community. Here’s why:
All three founders had access to exclusive groups which helped their careers (e.g., YCombinator). As a result, they wanted to start Meta Angels to build an NFT community where members helped each other land real-life opportunities.
Instead of growing the community through “like, follow, and retweet for NFTs”, the team focused on “intention, not hype” by building:
Partnerships and joint events with similar communities
Personal onboarding to create a welcoming community
Allow lists to let community members mint first vs. bots or traders
“I brought a few friends into the community. One got a fulltime job in web3. The other started a DAO with me. Now I loan my NFT out to new friends and am onboarding a few women a week.” - Cheryl (Meta Angels holder)
Three Meta Angels holder benefits stand out:
Members can make a wish or offer to help each other out in the community. This has led to members landing full-time jobs, getting advice, and starting projects together. The community itself is the utility.
Members can lend their NFT to a friend without giving up ownership. This brings new people into the community, many of whom then buy their own Metal Angels NFT, thus growing the overall value of the project.
Angel Labs is a web3 accelerator started by the core team to support new NFT projects. Meta Angels holders get special access to the companies selected in each cohort.
To recap, Meta Angels succeeded because the founders took careful steps to build an inclusive community defined by core values like generosity from the very start.
To wrap up, all three projects built thriving NFT membership communities through:
Creators who were committed to providing long-term value for holders.
Community that prioritized people who care about utility vs. the quick flip.
Utility that brought people together and encouraged them to hold long-term.
To see other examples of how creators are providing utility to their NFT community, just check out the countless replies to my tweet below:
If you’re building an NFT community that provides utility to your members, consider filling out this quick form. I’ll share the full list with all respondents to highlight all the different ways that creators are providing utility.