For all of the attention flowing toward NFTs in recent months, a lot of the focus has been on the massive amount of money in the space — and for good reason. A million sale for Beeple. A 4,205 cartoon of an ape. billion in NFT sales during the last week of August. As exciting as big numbers are, the multitude of headlines about how big the space has gotten lend a perception that financial gain is the only reason to enter the world of NFTs. While that’s certainly the case for many collectors, who find projects they’re passionate about and expect a giant ROI on their initial investment, for many, the thrill of NFT collecting has much more to do with the emotional connection to the artwork itself.
Art collector Jean-Baptiste Costa de Beauregard and his wife recently made the foray into NFTs, purchasing their first piece after watching for two years.
However you choose to connect with collectors, know that the value your work provides extends beyond financial investment opportunities (though, with NFTs, that benefits you too). Instead, focus on the story behind you and your work. That will always break through the noise.
It was when they saw a project by Kenny Schachter, whom he follows on Twitter to garner insights about NFTs, that the moment felt right to become collectors in the space. As for what comes next, they’ll be eyeing up projects by individuals whose works they admire, with an eye on continuing to learn more about the NFT world.
“First I looked at the NFT space with the interest of an observer, watching a community emerge and structure itself, feeling a bit like a sociology researcher,” says Jean-Baptiste. “Then I started wanting to have one myself, partly to ‘be part of it’ and partly to continue to learn.”
However, there are new and interesting levers to be pulled, like connecting a physical piece to the purchase of your NFT, or providing exclusive access to a community to incentivize sales. Some artists strategically promote rarity, while others focus on the sense of togetherness formed when buying one of a larger collection.
We may be entering an era where NFTs represent an entry point into the art world for many — especially with the ease of purchasing emerging with new platforms like Voice. As with any purchase, there’s an inherent emotional connection formed when the decision to click ‘buy’ is made. The best way to appeal to collectors is to produce work that triggers a connection, which aligns with someone’s values and aesthetic preferences — identical advice to the traditional art world.
Looking to turn your supporters into collectors? Build your collection on Voice, which provides the easiest user experience in the NFT space
Forming a relationship with an artist is highly valuable to collectors in the NFT space, who may be able to garner backstories to works they’ve supported that in the traditional art world are often lost in transition. What better way to cherish a piece of art than to understand its origin and the artist’s story? Collectors who value these relationships will look for NFTs with unique narratives and creation processes. Linking those additional elements to your NFT in the marketplace will signify your interest in remaining a part of your work’s entire life cycle.
When it comes to pricing art in the NFT world, it’s a matter of patient exploration, says artist Nicole Ruggiero. “It will take patience and time to grow your community and understand what pricing works best for your work.”
NFTs represent a range of new opportunities for artists. For some, it’s the opportunity to stay connected with their creation past the initial sale that’s enticing. With many platforms, original creators of an NFT will earn on the appreciation value of their work automatically — and in perpetuity — thanks to the blockchain on which the work lives. But it’s not just financially beneficial. The transparency of the blockchain allows artists to follow the trajectory of their work as it passes between collectors, providing opportunities to connect with supporters, which previously required significant effort.