By Kelley Weaver, the CEO of Melrose PR, a leading Web3 PR and communications agency.
There’s no question that bear markets are the best time for founders to tuck their heads down and build. Right now, Web3 leaders have a unique opportunity to create something truly revolutionary—not just market share, but mindshare.
Mindshare refers to awareness of a product, brand or phenomenon. It’s an essential component of a successful project because when people think of one type of product or market category, usually only one or two brands come to mind. For example, when you think of smartphones, your next thought is likely “Apple.” When you think about electric cars, “Tesla” probably comes to mind next. Being one of those few lucky brands that occupy the minds of people everywhere can make or break what you’re trying to build. That’s because once one project establishes a significant amount of mindshare, it’s nearly impossible for another project to compete and capture attention in the same way.
However, what most people don’t know is that mindshare and thought leadership go hand and hand: If you’re able to position yourself as an expert in your field and as a resource for journalists who are dedicated to exploring relevant topics in the space, over time, your name and project will be increasingly correlated with those subject areas. As a result, you’ll be able to build thought leadership that contributes to the public awareness and validation of your project—as well as meaningful mindshare.
Right now, there are unmatched opportunities to use this bear market to establish yourself as a thought leader. Here’s what those look like.
Offer Advice On Where Projects Should Focus As They Build
Thought leadership includes quotes in articles, podcast interviews, YouTube and broadcast appearances, events and panels, and opinion pieces. Each of these channels presents a chance for Web3 leaders to make their voices known and offer advice to up-and-coming projects.
Helping other individuals find their place in the space is a powerful way to establish a personal brand because it will position you as a true visionary who others look up to. For example, right now, there are many crypto-curious builders who are looking to decentralized finance, and they need meaningful guidance when it comes to improvements that can be made in user experience and onboarding, creating interoperability solutions and maintaining true decentralization.
By providing thoughtful narratives around how other founders can think about building in the space, Web3 leaders will be able to create the kind of thought leadership that allows them to truly be influential—and establish the kind of mindshare that will put their projects on the map.
Unpack The Errors Of The Past And Elucidate What Went Wrong
After the cryptocurrency market spiraled into a devastating crash this past May, a number of companies in the space quickly followed suit. Centralized finance platforms also crumbled, exposing the weaknesses of multiple businesses that were built like houses of cards.
Right now, there’s a distinct opportunity for Web3 leaders in the DeFi space to dissect exactly what led to this most recent crash and explain what went wrong so it can be avoided in the future. After 2021’s euphoric crypto high, the market desperately needs voices of reason. There are ample opportunities to build thought leadership around the necessities like clear regulations and how entrepreneurs and government officials can work together to thoughtfully design them. At the same time, there’s a very real gap when it comes to discussions around the hurdles to institutional onboarding and how they can be avoided.
For those aiming to become thought leaders in the Web3 space, it’s essential to establish a sense of long-term vision that can guide the next wave of DeFi: one that is built on first principles and strong business models and that’s designed to work in tandem with those pushing for regulations and institutions that are ready to delve into DeFi and the benefits it offers.
Look To The Future And Offer Predictions For What Is To Come
Another way to become a meaningful thought leader is to discuss what the future looks like for Web3 as a whole and for different Web3 spaces.
For example, the most recent crypto crash has left many would-be DeFi enthusiasts in a state of frustration or apathy; now what’s needed are new thought leaders who can offer insights into what’s still to come for that space. While DeFi is relatively new, there is enough data to provide insights into market trends and use those insights to predict what’s coming next in the space and how we should prepare. At the same time, it’s also vital to spend time illustrating how Web3 can be used as a tool to enhance both traditional finance and Web2. Thought leaders who can discern what our current financial system needs and how DeFi can uniquely improve it are set to establish a name for themselves and gain a true following in the coming months.
The individuals who are able to become thought leaders now will have a leg up when the next bull run hits. By creating an audience today and connecting with other builders in the space, you will be able to capture the market and create the kind of mindshare for your projects that catapults them to the stratosphere—and cements them in the minds of decision-makers across the globe.