How to Build Your Onchain Audience

How to Build Your Onchain Audience

May 13, 2024

You want to build a digital and IRL audience that will last a lifetime. You finally can.

First, let's give this conversation some context: Here are a few key dates in the history of the Internet: January 1, 1983 is considered the official birthday of the Internet. But people really started using it in 1993. Youtube was created in 2005. So we're about 20-30 years into a human experiment that is changing the way we interact with one another and the world.

We went from simply chatting with one another (email, instant messaging), to creating content and monetizing that. Internet is big business - for the corporate giants and for individuals.

One of the biggest pain points in all of this? We build a group of friends, a community, on one platform and have to start over if that platform goes out of style, or kicks us off. We can't carry our audience with us. The giants make the rules and own our accounts. And the trends are too trendy to keep up with: As soon as we take a few years to build an audience one on platform, another platform becomes popular and they migrate. It's painful.

That all changes with wallets.

A wallet is yours. It's user-centric. You can access it from anywhere in the world, provided you have the necessary keys. This portability also means you can interact with various networks and services without needing different identities or repeated verification processes. Your wallet serves as a universal passport to multiple services and platforms.

So, as a creator, how do you leverage wallets to build an audience that has a greater chance of sticking?

Here are some tips I crowdsourced from creators on Farcaster.

Step 1: Be Onchain

You have to be onchain and as Adrienne of GM Farcaster says, "hang out where other onchain people hang out." We're almost to a point where a web3 creator can forget web2 channels and just focus on web3 to build an onchain audience. Want to be social? Join Farcaster. Want to mint + follow? Join Zora. Want to live stream? Join Unlonley and Huddle01. You start with a web3 channel that has wallets embedded into the user experience already, no matter how small it is. In fact, the smaller, the better; it pays to be early.

Step 2: Be Unapologetically, Authentically You

As Brad Barrish says, "Be authentically and unapologetically you." If you're not yourself, and unapologetically so, your voice will simply not resonate. It will get lost in a sea of bots, users and replies. Try to add value where you can in meaningful discussions.

Samantha says, "Write everyday, even if you think it sounds bad." Be yourself, and be yourself consistently. Even on the days you don't want to go there. If posting doesn't feel right, then reply. The key to starting onchain relationships from scratch on Farcaster is "replyguy-ing." You need to engage around shared interests. Don't be shy or afraid to reply. Humble yourself, and put yourself out there. Real onchain people will take notice.

Step 3: Don't Be Boring

As Rileybeans.eth says, "Be smart/ funny/ dumb, just never boring." Humans, even ones that exist on the internet, like to be surprised. Especially when that surprise is coupled with delight. When Farcaster opened permissionless channels, it was very interesting to see the diverse set of interests people have--and want to connect and communicate around.

Step 4: Build a Real Following

As Cameron Armstrong says, "What matters more [about being an onchain creator] is I get to...gain a real following." By being yourself, putting in the reply work, and developing these real internet relationships, you're attracting people who truly resonate with what you're building, creating or delighting in. If you think back on all the social networks you have built in web2, how much of your audience felt "real"? How many of them actually shared your interests?

Step 5: Prepare To Get Frustrated

Onchain protocols and dapps still have a ways to go when it comes to UX. Anyone who has interacted with a wallet understands this. It is not easy to "try" all of these new dapps and build a community with them. Have patience. And don't be afraid to keep trying. Onchain creators are building and flying the plane at the same time. It's not easy.

Step 6: Communicate Directly

What's great about onchain relationships is you don't need anything else but the wallet address to communicate with the people who you're meaningfully building a relationship with. You don't need a traditional email address or personal details. And because that wallet is user-centric, your engagement strategy can be as well.

Take a look at Mailchain: It's multichain, which means you don't need to choose a chain to build an audience. You get to build an audience with all of them. And it's multiwallet: You can communicate with multiple wallets, 1:1 and group messaging.

With wallet communication, your engagement with your community is more than just marketing. It's real relationship-building, allowing for a one-on-one connection that feels personal and direct.

Final Thoughts

Building an onchain audience isn't necessarily easy; but as creators on Farcaster are showing, it's possible. And well worth the effort. Are you on onchain creator? Send me your thoughts here to let me know what tips I've missed.

Meet the writer

Meg is an avid writer, web3-er who also loves to travel with her dog Cozy. She leads community efforts at Mailchain.