A Web3 agency will help you get up and running with Web3. Here's a rundown of how to find the right one, plus 6 things you should consider.
Web3 has been top of mind for many big brands over the last couple of years. Household names like Adidas, Red Bull and Clinique have started using Web3 applications, like non-fungible tokens and the metaverse, as extensions of their customer experience.
It’s all well and good that companies with huge marketing budgets are able to experiment with Web3 and all, but if your company doesn’t have the in-house skills or resources to support a Web3 project, where the heck do you start?
Perhaps you are looking to take your product roadmap to the next level? Extend your customer loyalty program with reward tokens? Or simply get up-to-speed on what’s possible?
Although the world of Web3 is still relatively new – and weird and wonderful – there’s no need to approach it alone. Web3 experts, consultancies and agencies have emerged in the last two years and are ready to get you onboarded with all things Web3.
This post will cover what Web3 agencies do, plus what to look for when selecting one to buddy up with.
What do Web3 agencies do?
Broadly speaking, Web3 agencies and consultancies provide variations of the following services:
- Web3 go-to-market strategy
- Web3 onboarding and coaching
- Designing, building and deploying Web3 products and applications
What are Web3 products?
What are Web3 products and applications involve any of the following:
- Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and tokenization
- Decentralized finance (DeFi)
- Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)
- Decentralized apps (dApps)
How could a Web3 agency help?
If you were interested in seeing how NFTs could be used to create and increase customer loyalty by building a community, a Web3 agency could help you to:
- Create and launch an NFT collection
- Create a white-label marketplace for your NFT collection to live
- Add real-world benefits to your NFTs (aka utility)
- Guide you through the community-building process
The services you’ll need from a Web3 agency will largely depend on your goals and constraints.
What to consider in your Web3 agency search
1. Goals and constraints
This stage might feel like a nuisance, especially if your understanding of Web3 is somewhat hazy and you’re eager to get started already. But it’s important not to underestimate the importance of this step. If nothing else, it will bring awareness to what you don’t know so you can do a bit more research.
Take some time to answer the following questions:
- Why are you interested in a Web3 project? Why now?
- What problems do you think Web3 could solve for your business and why?
- How much experience do you or your team have in this space?
- How much budget can you put towards the engagement?
- How long do you expect this project to take?
- How much time can you allocate to this project on an ongoing basis?
- Who is the target audience for this project? Why will they care about it?
- What results do you wish to see? Can you put any metrics towards this?
Your answers will help to guide your conversations with a potential agency. For example, if you know that the project could be resource heavy but you are short-staffed, you might need someone to act as a project manager. Or if you expect to see a 250% increase in Twitter followers in three months, the consultancy could tell you whether this seems ludicrous, or not.
2. Specialization areas
At the outset, the path towards Web3 competency seems steep and filled with jargon. But that’s where experts help. The right specialists make the complex simple.
The three knowledge areas you should look for in an agency are:
- Web3 expertise
- Industry vertical expertise
- Complementary expertise (e.g. project management or social media marketing)
Based on your goals and constraints, do you know which areas of Web3 the consultancy should specialize in? Some of the key skills to look out for are:
- Strategy for Web3 applications (e.g. metaverse, NFTs, and DAOs)
- Web3 and blockchain development
- NFT collection launch
- NFT marketplace development
- Smart contract development
- Web3 legal consulting
- Web3 education and training
Is there a certain industry that your product or service relates to (e.g. retail or fashion)? If so, try to find a Web3 consultancy that has experience or knowledge in that area. They may be able to provide you with behind-the-scenes insights about how other companies have overcome similar challenges.
Are there any other soft skills or specialities that the Web3 agency should have? For example, if you are the Head of Marketing at an events company and want to see how Web3 tokens could be used as digital tickets, you might want to look for an agency that also has experience in some of the following areas:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Event planning
- Email marketing
3. Track record
When it comes to a brand’s track record, customers are the biggest mouthpieces. That’s probably why 92% of B2B customers are more likely to buy after reading a positive review. And almost 90% of consumers hesitate to buy from companies with negative reviews.
As with any purchase, look for customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Bear in mind that quality case studies can be hard to come by. Some companies, especially bigger ones, prefer to keep who they work with hush-hush. Plus, the Web3 space is still relatively new and people have only just started to experiment in the last couple of years.
If nothing is openly published, you can request proof of work. The agency might be able to show you anonymized case studies or results.
Learn about the previous projects they have worked on and ask them to talk through the results. It is crucial to verify that the company is legit, whatever way you choose to do it.
4. Budget vs pricing
Speak to a few Web3 agencies to gauge how their pricing structure works and find out what is possible with your budget. It will take longer than just looking at a pricing page, but it’s worth it because you'll have a better understanding of what you need and why.
Like most agencies and consultancies, Web3-specific ones don’t tend to publish pricing because prices vary wildly based on the complexity of your project. If a consultancy provides pricing based on estimated hours, a blockchain developer, for instance, is likely to cost less per hour than a Web3 strategy consultant. So, a development-heavy project could cost far less than a strategy or coaching-heavy project.
What matters most is the quality of the service provided. Competing on price alone is usually a race to the bottom – a race no one wants to run.
What tools will your consultancy use to get the job done? It can seem like a trivial point, but if you can’t find common ground, communications will be strained.
If you expect them to use Microsoft Teams and the MS Office Suite to collaborate, but they insist that you use Slack and Google Docs, you might be incompatible.
Lots of agencies will have their comms expectations built into their terms and conditions. Check them out. They may be unable, or unwilling, to compromise.
Before committing to work with any agency, or consultancy, find out who you will actually be Slacking and Zooming on a regular basis. Some agencies will put their A-team of highly experienced consultants on your initial calls and then pull a bait and switch, giving you the less knowledgeable B-team once you’ve signed on the dotted line.
This approach always ends in distrust and dissatisfaction. Nobody wants to feel hoodwinked, especially throughout the duration of a 12-month retainer.
It’s people that will ultimately determine the success, or failure, of your Web3 project. Get the team chemistry right and working together will be heavenly!
Are you Web3 ready?
Web3 doesn’t need to feel like a dark art. Whether you're a creator looking to expand your audience with NFTs, or a brand wanting to create a Web3 strategy, there’s no need to go it alone.