ICO Marketing Advisor: Expectations vs Reality

5 min readSep 25, 2018

Startups, institutional investors, Accelerator Blockchain Organizations and ICO advisors have a common problem, and that is, how to connect together without making a mistake and this is getting harder with the current situation:

For an ICO Advisor perspective (someone who wants to make a real difference), the problem is how to get noticed when you begin your career and you are not well known… How to tell the startup at the early stage that running right away to investors is not enough and a good project needs to be well supported and guided by competent people.

Use a formula to make a right advisor selection:

Similar experience with your core business + Network + Strong global knowledge of blockchain + Online presence and activity = Normal results with normal conditions.

Be cautious of hiring advisors with just the “ title” and no serious past experience, as one CEO expert pointed out. I think that now the market thrill is over and startup owners will have to be pickier when they select ICO advisor. Startup owners who know the importance of a true Advisor will get more difficulties to find the right fit among the so-called jungle of ICO advisors…

I gathered some interesting bullet points to keep in mind before selecting any ICO advisors.

  • ICO Advisors are NOT salesmen: Please don’t ask a bounty hunter or hire a sales rep. The advisor is here to give you legitimacy, knowledge and experience
  • ICO Advisor Expert is “A few” with true experience: Just a few of them understand blockchain in depth. It is not because you see some ICO Advisor profile with a lot of customers that, that means it is a good sign. Some only use their name and network (investors) but does not do the real work. On the other hand, I can tell you that some really competent ICO Advisors exist. My experience tells me the true and real experts are humble, open and ready to give advice freely (and I can have also a long list of customer well balance in the time).
  • What does expertise really mean? The market is so young that most of the advisor has only 6 to 12 months of experience. Think about it. Things are changing too fast, and technologies are also constantly evolving. Of course, some individuals have in-depth knowledge, but this is by no means common.
  • ICO Advisor is not doer and not part of your startup: They do not have authority and responsibility of the last decision. It is the owners’ responsibility to approve the advice and recommendations of the selected advisor.

So how can a startup select a “good” ICO advisor or Business Blockchain Advisor?

Change your questions, change your perspectives and you will improve your selection power.

  • An expert on what and for what?

As seen above, expertise does not mean anything in such a market where technology is changing really fast, you need to find the experienced and the core business fit with the business leadership experience. Look for the past experience before the ICO advisor position. What the advisor do at the same time to understand his/her activities, culture, reputation., etc. A business consultant in an organization or a former startup owner could be more interesting than an improvised ICO advisor getting out from school (no offence to the school training quality). Scan closely the common expertise that could leverage your startup.

Ask yourself the question: What really makes the difference for my business? Improvised Advisor or someone with a good and strong experience and skills connected with my business. I don’t think you will get experts on blockchain but what matters is the global picture and enough knowledge to support successfully your project along the way.

  • What is his or her exposure?

International experience, especially in your market is definitely an asset. They developed adaptation, a way of seeing things differently (globally) and usually have greater skills and network. International exposure is always better!

You can use their network to market your project (visibility, contact with other advisors or facilitate the talent research). This is an important aspect to take into account your social media, audience and potential future investors.

  • What are the Referrals and/or top ranked advisor back?

Referral remains the best way to select a business leader. This is a challenge for the newcomers’ advisors who need to make their proof or enlighten their skills and offers in this new environment. Blockchain and cryptocurrency community and any personal connections will be the key.

Some ICO advisor, those who are clever and with high potential, get support from “senior” and top ranked expert. This is a question to ask and if it is the case a really good sign.

  • Any published content/Social Media presence?

A good business Leader or ICO Advisor writes helpful content to nurture and educate his/her audience. Look at their medium profile, where their content is released? It is interesting to see in which Crypto News or other specialized websites they contribute for. Do they contribute to other projects, research, organizations?

If you can get a positive answer to this question checklist, you will increase your chance to get the right support and avoid the increasing number of non-talented advisors.

If you are a ICO advisor, you can definitely assess your profile and make it better (there is alway room for improvement).

Hope this article will help both sides (business advisors and startup blockchain based at an early stage)

If you need more information or any question, send me an email at : hugo@bcimpact.com