NFT from an Artist’s view: Pricing and Marketing Strategies – Nanu Berks Part 2

How much for an NFT & Effective Marketing strategies

Following on from Part 1 in this series, NFT from an Artist’s view, Nanu talks about how she goes about pricing her NFTs and her marketing strategy for her artwork.

Bridget Greenwood: What’s your preferred platform?

Ether is where the original NFT is and it has the smart contract. You’ve got the ERC token that is designed for NFTs. But of course we have huge issues when it comes to the cost of the fees. What’s your experience in terms of using Ethereum? What other platforms are you looking at?

Nanu Berks: Ethereum is the best one so far because most people are there. It has gotten quite complicated now. In a lot of platforms, you have to use wrapped ETH and not really ETH. The fees have gotten crazy so I started minting on Rarible because I really like their smart contracts, though they’re always changing. I sold my first real collection recently, three months ago.

But it started on there because I really wanted to push for artists advocating for a percentage of their secondary market sales. That’s one of the best functionalities of NFTs in just in building the culture, artists should have control over what comes back to them. And every time a collector makes money on their art they should make money and collectors and artists should rise together. It shouldn’t be people exploiting the artists. It should be people helping the artists build time and space so they can create their masterpieces and better art. And we can all evolve together.

It’s a win-win.

When the prices got really crazy and everything started getting glitchy (about March 2021), I started switching to Opensea. There’s a lot of technicalities. I can mint something on Rarible and relist it for sale on Opensea. Opensea pulls the art from all these different places so it shows up anyway on Opensea. But the difference is with Opensea you can do do half minting, fake minting, where I post a piece of art and I have minted it. And then it finishes minting when it sells. It doesn’t charge me anything upfront, but the fees do get crazy.

Right now I’m advising, this could change tomorrow, but right now I’m advising people to not list anything for under $600 because you would most likely get $300 in fees. If you want to mint your first drawing and it’s something as simple as a still image, and you want to sell it for the minimum version just to play, get your money back and get more to reinvest, sell for $600.

I would say sell it for $600.

You have probably a $100 – $150 in selling fees and probably $50 converting the Wrap ETH to ETH. And these things change sometimes at two in the morning, it’s $15 to mint something, but most of the time now it’s between $50 and $100.

It really depends, Foundation for example, charges you up to $600 to mint something. And then there’s other things to keep in mind, for example,  do they give you the option to have a reserve price, a minimum price? On Foundation, I can put something there, but then once it gets one bid, it opens for 24 hours. What if I’m asleep when it gets the first bid and then I lose 20 hours of promotion? That’s a horrible, horrible way to do business in my opinion, for the artists, especially.

I’ve definitely undersold my first piece there, sold for two ETH and it was supposed to be much more, but it was a good learning experience.

I made that mistake and now we can help people not make that mistake. On Opensea, you can set a reserve price and you can set a minimum bid. Let’s say you set a minimum bid of a hundred bucks, but the piece won’t actually sell and the token won’t transfer, unless it hits $30,000. There’s a lot of learning and little best practices going on.

For example, at first I was setting my minimum bid out at $2,000 for a piece that would sell for $10k. But then I realised that collectors want to have a chance to bid and play. And also other people that might not eventually buy the artwork, want to be able to bid and play as well. And there’s a fine line with integrity there. Not collecting fake bids just to hype your piece, but also allowing people in the community to play with it. And maybe you go purchase another piece and also show their support because at the end of the day, this whole auction and who wins, it also has an element that has been true from the beginning of culture; “I was a part of this”, “I helped this artist create this”, or “I bought this piece”  and that’s part of the fun part of the art world that I don’t want to miss out on.

How we get to support each other and show support, however we can is important.

There are so many details on this. Creating the NFT course, I swear I’ve never had so much trouble creating a course before because as I’m helping somebody mint and zoom record it live, 10 new issues come up that weren’t in there the week before, and I’m just trying to edit it and make sure it makes sense, but it’s just so crazy.

Bridget Greenwood: How do you go about selling your artwork? How do you go about getting the recognition? Not just the technical side of things you’ve sort of addressed for us a little bit already, but how do you get to become known?

What does that marketing machine look like?

Nanu Berks: Yeah, it’s a fun one because it doesn’t exist. And I started asking questions to people recently, “Hey guys, what’s going on? We’ve done this and this clubhouse and this and this. Why can’t I get a straight answer from anyone about how to market this?” And then somebody said to me, “Nanu nobody knows how to do it.” And it hit me that I’ve been doing this for six years. I know it’s A plus B plus C, and then you do this and this.” But it keeps shifting. Right now the best advice I can give:

Be your genuine self, because that really, really shines through.

And this is a community particularly that is decentralising and disrupting the fakeness of the art world and the fakeness of Instagram. We’re all over this cookie cutter, perfect persona. The more raw you are, and the more real you are, and of course you’ve got to be business savvy with that as well, but the more raw you are, people will respond to that.

Posting on Twitter and on Instagram, as you learn, “Hey guys, I just minted my first beats. I have no f**king idea what’s going to happen with this.” or, “Hey, I just made a mistake and lost $300.” and ask for help.

The other one is to play with your audiences and your media presence and see what is most useful to you. What’s more natural to you and what brings in more numbers. I hated Twitter, so I wasn’t using it very well. And then after years of learning to love Twitter, now I get it. You can do polls, you can do contests, you can engage people and it’s actually fun. You can develop pretty genuine connections with people.

Instagram is more visual, so it’s more fun for me, but it feels like screaming into an empty void of nothingness.

I don’t even think my content is being shown to people that don’t follow me. I think you have to go find me because I was shadow banned for posting about crypto in 2016, 2017, whenever. There’s YouTube and LinkedIn and all these places, but maybe for you is going to a local meetup or maybe for you is doing your own zoom group. You’ve got to figure out where you have two way engagement.

If you enjoy it, that’s going to show through. If you hate it, that’s going to show through. That will attract the quality of people you interact with, and it’s better to have way less and quality engagement to have 20 people that you really vibe with than to be posting and promoting a tweet or a post or on Instagram or Facebook to 5 million people who don’t even scan it through.

For me right now it’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Clubhouse, Zoom calls, interviews, podcasts, doing my own podcasts. I’m doing 10 to 15 things a month usually to get my art artwork out there. And then you start to see your workflow. At one point I realised I was doing about 15 podcasts a month and I was just working for free a bunch, it’s hours and hours and hours of content that does bring you promotion.

But I was pretty much giving all my content away for free. That’s why I made the course. You learn as you go, try everything and see what feels best for you.

Bridget Greenwood: If you’re an artist who has successfully marketed their traditional artwork, does that transfer across into this or are we talking about a whole new audience that we’re in?

Nanu Berks: It does and it doesn’t.

If you already have an audience, talk to them in their language

If you have an audience and you want to sell NFTs, you don’t really need to explain to them what the NFT does and you can slowly start merging the crypto audience or the technology audience. You can put a piece, let’s say you you go to your Instagram, you can post “Hey guys, I just finished a new painting.” It’s up. And then there’s a note about it that says, “this is logged on the blockchain it has an NFT smart contract. If you want to know more, ask me”. You can slowly start seeing which of the people that already follow you, get it. And which ones are interested and start talking to that audience a bit more.

If it’s the opposite way, if you’re new in the crypto space, but you have recognition and you want to tell your collectors in the crypto space, that you already have a valuable brand to invest in. You’ve got to position yourself and you’ve got to ‘shill’ your stuff. Shill is a term that means to just promote your stuff.

And it’s uncomfortable. Even for me I don’t like it, but I was advised to put in my bio, “I was one of the original co-founders of this movement.”

I was a crypto art OG from 2016. I don’t like saying those things, but it’s business after all, you’ve got to promote it. A lot of people new to Twitter, for example, are putting in their bio, “I have 125,000 Instagram followers”.

The people that see your 500 person Twitter account can understand that  your brand has been building for 10 years and that you already have a 100K audience or whatever. Bring in whatever that is, whether it’s your LinkedIn, that you have 2000 people that follow you, whether it’s that you’ve done three keynote speeches, your main thing is, put it in your bio and just say, I’ve been doing this for a while.

Bridget Greenwood: Wonderful. You said that you’re doing 10 to 20 things a month. Can you walk us through maybe one or two examples of, do you have actual campaigns that you do if you’ve got a piece coming up, do you do a campaign around that? How does it work?

Nanu Berks: They vary a lot, but usually if I have a piece I will post about it and pin it on my Twitter. And also this is the other thing, a lot of people ask these questions and I say, go study the artists that you think are doing things well, I do this every day.

I go to other artists profiles that I think have their act together and are doing well. And I try to learn from their techniques. And one of them we’re seeing all these crypto OG artists blast and promote that they’ve been here since the beginning. I’m like, “okay, I guess I’ll do more of that.” I thought I was done with that, but I’ll do more of that.

And it keeps on making sense. I’ll post something on Twitter. I’ll come up with an idea. I’ll mint it. I’ll put it on the blockchain or finish it or whatever your version of that is. I will set a clubhouse event for three days in the future. And once I have the link to my artwork, the link to my clubhouse, and I know when everything is happening, then I promote and pin it on my Twitter. Then you have to choose which links are you going to feature. Is it going to be the clubhouse link or is it going to be the main piece? I’ve been trying a lot of these different things.

What seems to work best for me right now is I will pin a message that says new collection dropping or dropped, it’ll have the link to the piece to purchase a piece, everything else I put in the thread, and I try to empower that one thread as much as I can. I ask people to retweet without a quote, so they can retweet the same one. I ask people to, comment and like, and run campaigns through their run promos, talk to people, retweet, follow, like, and you’ll win an NFT and we’ve been doing a lot of those campaigns. Those are fun for everyone it seems.

As the days go, this is what’s hard about it. I’m doing an event three days in the future and I post something that now has a hundred retweets, then I want to post the clubhouse link because that’s what’s happening today. It’s been three days, now today’s the clubhouse party. I’ve been posting a tweet with the invite to Clubhouse in the original thread, then also the same exact tweet, just copy paste it as a new tweet. It’s just crazy maths, crazy weirdness to try to keep everything in one thread. But that has been helping a lot and give people an easy way to find everything that you’re doing.

I use linktree, for all my bios, there’s six links.

But it’s an ongoing, constant learning technique and things are changing all the time. Use the hashtags.

It’s not all about followers and exposure.

Be open to living miracle to miracle because crazy stuff happens. Siddhi connecting us. I love her. I met her years ago. We’d stayed in touch. You’re amazing. I didn’t even know this whole group existed and that’s not necessarily for my followers.

It’s just an awesome, genuine human connection they made years ago.

Bridget Greenwood: That’s wonderful. Thank you Siddhi for making the connection.

If you’d like to purchase Nanu’s course you can discover more about it here: https://podcastfarm.mykajabi.com/sales-page-f22627c0-2fe0-49e5-826a-8726bccb411b