The Seasonal Tokens Podcast — Episode 5: Crypto Marketing & Investing From The Marketing Expert — Tim Haldorsson
Hello, crypto community,
In this episode of The Seasonal Tokens Podcast, we are talking with the CEO and top marketing expert from Lunar Strategy — Tim Haldorsson. This time we are doing something different, we talk about crypto investing but also about marketing in web 3.0. We discuss the difference between web 2.0 and crypto marketing, retention or acquisition, the importance of the story, and many important aspects of advertising. In the second part of the podcast, Tim will share with you his investing strategies during bear markets and what his experience has taught him. He will also tell his point of view on how to do more investing and less gambling. So if you are looking to start a project in the crypto world or to start investing in web 3.0, this episode is for you. Enjoy:
“Polar: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Seasonal Token’s podcast. Today we have another special guest, Tim Holderson from one of the top crypto marketing agency’s Lunar strategies. Welcome, Tim.
Tim: Thank you so much. Happy to be here.
Polar: Yeah, it is my pleasure. I have prepared a lot of interesting questions, and because you are doing a lot of crypto and NFT marketing, I’m thinking of actually splitting the episode of two parts. Like, we’ll talk first about marketing, then about crypto investing, because I suppose that some of our listeners are also looking to do marketing for their own project. So, I’m sure that you’re going to give a lot of value on those topics. Are you good with that?
Tim: Sounds good to me.
Polar: Perfect. So, let’s start with my favorite question, which is, can you introduce yourself?
Tim: Yes. So, myself, I started with crypto back in 2017. More on the investing side. Got some Bitcoin Ethereum. Was going through the whole learning process. Actually, I bought a mining rig that kind of turned like a room into a sauna because it got so hot. And then my normal job back then was working in marketing. Then it was marketing as my job and then crypto as like a hobby. And then back in 2019, that’s when I was like, maybe I can combine the two to combine the marketing with the crypto. And yeah, then for the last three years, I’ve been running a crypto marketing agency. In the beginning, I was working more as a consultant and now over the last three years, we have grown into a team of 16 people, and we have helped hundreds of crypto companies with their growth and marketing strategies. As well, I currently write for Coin Telegraph, NFC Plazas, Crypto Banter, and then a few other publications about crypto marketing and growth marketing strategies in the crypto world.
Polar: Amazing background, Tim. Thank you very much for this. Like, what has actually attracted you to crypto first?
Tim: In the beginning, it was more the investment side, but then I was living in Asia for quite some time. I was living in Vietnam for six months, and there I saw what they could use for it. Because in Asia, there’s a lot of countries that, where basically, it’s not allowed to send money abroad. So, in Vietnam, as an example, banks are only a one-way street. You can only get money into Vietnam, but to get out and you need to seek special approval to even send out your own money from the country. So, there I was working at an OTC Bitcoin Cafe where they were trading crypto for bank transfers and so on. And kind of what really drew me into it was the freedom to own your money, to be able to use your money in a way that you want without having a bank in the middle that controls it a bit. And, then of course the technology side when it comes to NFTs, what they can do and so on as well, but on the more fundamental level that you own your own money, so to speak.
Polar: That’s very interesting, I didn’t know that. So, is it the same way right now in Vietnam or they have changed something about that?
Tim: This was around five years ago so I would imagine because a lot of countries are very strict with their monetary policies where it’s very hard to send money out of the country and the banks have very strict rules and that’s a quite common thing in a lot of places and that their only option is to use these places like Western Union and similar like MoneyGram. But these charge like 10% and then it takes a few days and it’s a lot of processes around.
Polar: Yeah, I have used Western Union and I can definitely admit that it’s very pricey. You are definitely losing a good amount of your money when you are sending it. But before crypto, I don’t think that there haven’t been many options for that. So, if your family needs money abroad, this is your only option. So, I’m also thankful for the crypto and I hope that a lot of countries will be able to adopt it and use its main benefits but I’m definitely with you that this will help out the world. So, let’s get back to the topic of crypto marketing before we talk more about crypto investing because I’m sure that you are currently an active crypto investor, but I suppose the audience will be very interested to find out what are the main differences between crypto and Web 2.0 marketing.
Tim: Marketing overall is the art of getting attention as well as getting a person to learn more about the project. In the more traditional Web 2.0 marketing, the goal is often, for example, making a sale. So, like getting a sale, getting a lead, getting a person to sign up on your website. If you use the same approach for an NFT or a crypto project and you actually manage to sell out the collection or the ICO or the fundraising that you’re doing, if you’re using traditional marketing, then what will happen right away after the launch is it will all slowly but surely collapse. Why? Because people don’t have a reason why they should stay. Because you have only focused on acquiring a customer. But a customer is not the same as an NFT holder or a token holder. And that’s what you can see with a lot of projects that are using more traditional marketing is that maybe they sell out 10,000, but as soon as they’re launched, then the first day people start selling, the second day people start selling and the floor price basically goes down to close to zero and the whole project is dead. Then when you come to the crypto, the three-marketing approach, the goal is not to sell out as the primary goal. The primary goal is to build a community of people, that kind of work as shareholders or are part of the company’s success. Because then when you have launched, they might even buy more. They might even buy another NFT. They might even get more tokens in your project. Why? Because they are part of your company and they’re part of the vision forward. So, the biggest difference, I would say, is the mindset. Are you acquiring customers or are you building a community?
Polar: Okay, yeah, it definitely makes sense as a marketer, I can definitely agree with you on this one that in the standard Web 2.0 marketing, we have been always focused on acquiring, acquiring, and acquiring. And not many of the companies are actually doing something about retention. But in Web 3.0, we can definitely see that if you’re not doing something about the retention, you are collapsing very fast. And if you focus on this retention part even before launching your project, like you said, focusing more on the community, you definitely have higher chance of not losing all your holders immediately after launch. Because we know that when people see that there are a lot of sales after this, a lot of sales, they are mainly a lot of sales if you don’t have core believers in your project. So, in that case, they will buy the dip, and this will keep the situation and don’t make other holders to feel the fear of missing out and selling also. So, you’re definitely right. One of the main things is building a community and after that, selling whatever it is.
Tim: Yeah. And another part of it is also to shift the whole dynamic there from still. When you talk about retention, then you viewed the people in your project as clients. The thing in the crypto world is that everybody that owns an NFT or a Token, they are kind of like a shareholder in the project and they vote with their money. So, it’s kind of like you also need to partly include them in some of the processes depending a little bit on what kind of product you are offering. But generally, you need to view them more as shareholders or as part of the company because without them it will be very hard to succeed with the project.
Polar: Yeah, absolutely, you are definitely right. But like in the end you have to do something to retain your investors. Like people in the standard investment world are writing letters to the shareholders to keep them as part of the company by sharing their vision, ideas for the future goals and things like that. So, I definitely believe that retention will be also important as part of the Web 3.0 world. Right?
Tim: Of course. It’s back to also being consistent in planning in the long term instead of just in the short term. And of course, that’s part of any marketing strategy needs to be focused on more long-term objectives and making sure that everybody in the community is happy with the direction or at least the majority is happy, and that you’re moving forward and achieving what you set out to do.
Polar: Absolutely. Especially if you are not a project that is designed to be a pump and dump. So, you’re definitely right about that. So, let’s say that we have a person that wants to start his or her first crypto project. What would you advise him or her about the first or main steps that he or she should take in order to make its launch and project successful.
Tim: So, I will take two examples. One that is more bootstrapped and one that is more with an investment. The goal is always to find a way that you can provide value you to the users in some sort of a way. And here you need some unique value and then you also need to be able to tell it. And you will quite quickly realize if the story that you’re telling is resonating with people by starting to get, for example, organic growth or so on. So, if you want to start out, what I would say is the first thing is to get out some press releases or articles in the media as well as start building up your discord or telegram as well as social media and then seeing a little bit how it goes, as well as what does your first community members want to know? Why are they in it? Maybe you can chat with them, and interview them to see why they joined you so that you understand more, why people join your community. If you have no, like, large budget to go into, there are a lot of really good YouTube videos, articles, and blog posts, as well as other creators that share free content so you can Google and find some very good initial strategies. On the company side, it’s important to have a long-term vision in place, but if you want to grow fast, then it will require quite some investments into PR influencers. Maybe hire a community manager or a little bit, depending on what your goals are. But if it’s just one thing, get some initial community members to understand why they joined your project and what they want to and why they join your project and what they want to achieve and then build on top of that.
Polar: Okay, so this is mainly if you are bootstrapping your project, right?
Polar: Okay, and based on your experience, have you found one exact marketing strategy that gives the best results during all markets? Because we know that there are different marketing strategies in bull markets and bear markets. Like people tend to not spend much money during a bear market. Some are spending a lot during it, but with not so good results. Some say that this is the strategy to go for. What’s your opinion about that?
Tim: So, a bear market also has opportunities because for example, collaborating with an influencer, you can often get discounts of up to 50, 60 some even 80%. So, there are a lot of discounts, but you need to frame it in another way. For example, even in a bear market, some strategies that we have seen working really well are building up authority through press releases, and articles as well as focusing more on building up strategic partnerships and maybe not focusing so much on getting new holders or getting new people to join the community and instead focusing the marketing around building up strategic partnerships. I can see if I can share an example. So, if you are a gaming company, like a game fight business right now it’s a very hard time because the trading volumes are down. A lot of people have lost a lot of money in like XC, Infinity and these big projects. Then what we have seen working well in these markets is focusing the marketing not on the actual holders but instead of raising funds, building collaboration with Gaming Guilds, building collaboration with key partners that will still be there regardless of what happens right now, but getting your project ready for when we see a new inflow of new users to the market.
Polar: Okay, so you’re saying that a bear market and I suppose that this is valid also for bull markets. It’s very important to continue doing collaborations and also doing a lot of content, right?
Tim: Yes. On the content side, I can just say, for example, from my own company, we are doing as well as ever and we are producing content articles, releasing new things on Twitter, LinkedIn, on all platforms, also TikTok and YouTube. And we have more companies that are contacting us at the top of the bull market. And we also work with some companies that are doing really well in these markets. However, then we also had some companies that went under because their business models were based around either royalties from NFT sales, which are down like 98% in a lot of cases, or they were relying on investment from investors and the investors just pulled the funds and then they went under. So, I think that you need to be very clear about what your goals are. But in these markets, it’s less noise and it’s easier to build relationships as well as it’s easier to strengthen your current community as well, building strong supporters that are there even in the tougher times. So sometimes you have to shift your objectives a bit and say maybe right now is not the best time to try to find a lot of new clients, but to build these strategic partnerships as well as build up the internal community for some projects. But for some other projects, it could be a good time to invest heavily in influencers or PR where you can get a discount on the investments that are needed in those channels.
Polar: Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. Content will always be king, even in the short term. Sometimes it can help you to reach the right audience or the right person that can push your project even in bad times like that. So, I definitely stand behind your words that content will be always important. So, we have been talking about content in different forms like press releases, articles, blog posts, also about influencers. I know that you have a very interesting Web 3.0 marketing course called Lunar Academy. So, can you tell me more about it? Can people find information about the topics that we mentioned and the strategies in them?
Tim: Yes, so initially one of the biggest challenges that we had was to educate new team members about crypto marketing, and what we were doing. So, we had pretty used a lot of content within our company and then what we saw was that actually, it was another company that started to do web 3.0 marketing course, but it was a quite basic one that we’re not covering too many topics so what we decided to do was to launch our own veteran Academy Marketing academy that is mostly targeted at traditional marketers that want to understand the differences to the Web 3.0 world and there it’s all topics from influencer marketing, social media, public relations, building partnerships, community management, paid ads and how that works in the Web 3.0 world because it’s still a valuable channel but there is a lot of new challenges like policies, disapproved accounts and so on. So yeah, it’s a full Web 3.0 marketing course. We also have a lot of free content on our blog, regards to marketing strategies and so on. And it’s called Lunar Academy. You can follow us on Twitter and get updates and content there.
Polar: Yeah, we’ll definitely put the links related to the course and its Twitter and official website as part of the show notes so people will be able to check it out if they are interested in this. So, we’re definitely doing a lot of stuff to introduce people to the crypto world. So, as we have started talking in the beginning, you are probably doing a lot of investing in crypto also. So, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re actively investing in crypto. Right?
Tim: yes, I’m actively investing both personally and then on a company basis where we hold part of our company reserves in crypto and one or two NFTs.
Polar: Okay, that’s great. And you’re giving a very great example, I would say. I haven’t heard someone else talking about keeping some of their financial reserves in crypto, but I believe that this is the future for Web 3.0 companies if they’re going to call themselves a Web 3.0 company. So based on your experience, I’m sure that you have gone through different cycles and crypto and you have seen the good and the bad and the worst. So why do you think people should start investing in crypto when it is such a volatile market and people can lose all their holdings in just a second?
Tim: What you can see right now is, for example, people like Ronaldo and big influencers start to join the space. Why? Because generally, investors’ companies view when the market has gone down a lot, has a lower risk when it’s something that they believe in the long term. Why? Because when you get in at the top, that’s at the time where most people want to buy. But it’s the riskiest. If you believe in it in the long term to go in, it’s very hard to say exactly when. But right now, in a few weeks, in a few months, by a little bit over time, if you can save the money for another three to five years, then it can be a very good investment. However, as a company, it is always very important to also hold stable coins as a part of a portfolio.
Polar: Okay. Yeah, we mentioned this in our conversation before we started the recording of the podcast that you are very much about investing in crypto and stable coins also. So, can you tell us more about your strategy related to that?
Tim: So, when we have a customer, then most of them pay with crypto and then they pay with USDT, USDC or BUSD. And this is after we have done, like they have submitted their passports, fill out forms, and done all of the regulatory things that are needed on us as a company. With these funds, more or less, all of our expenses as a company are always in fiat. In euros, dollars, or in fiat money. However, some parts of the profits we also hold in crypto. What you see right now is that this is starting into becoming a more common strategy. But then in the bull market, what people do is that they start to leverage up. So, they start to hold bitcoin with like a leverage of two and then when it all goes up and the market continues to rise, then it’s very good. You make a lot of money, and you believe that you’re invincible and then you leverage up even more and more. But when it goes down, then it usually doesn’t work out too well. So, I think on a company basis we held maybe around 20% to 30% of our company reserves in Bitcoin and Ethereum and 70% in stablecoins. And that has served us very well because now we are in a very good opportunity to start investing more. So now we are closer to 50–50 because we have gotten into some more Ethereum especially. Very excited to see what will happen with the new merge because we want to have some Ethereum nodes where you can stake 32 Ether and then you get, I think it’s around 5% a year for staking Ether.
Polar: Yeah, that’s a very, very interesting strategy. I would say so, based on what you’re saying, I believe that this gives you a very great potential when the time comes to invest more in the things that the company needs in order to scale and expand more. So, I think that every company should adopt what you’re doing, especially if they’re in the Web 3.0 world or they want to transition from web 2.0 to web 3.0. I think that this is a very wise idea. So, you have done a great job doing that. As we have already talked about, you have been during bull and bear markets, and you have seen people doing different things in both markets. So, what do you think a person should do during a market like the one that we are currently in a bear market?
Tim: The best investment that you can do, that you will never lose money on is education. And if you play it right then it will give the best return on any investment that you can make. In markets like this on YouTube, you can find hundreds and hundreds of videos. If you go to Udemy you can find hundreds of other web 3.0 crypto courses. So, I think that the best investment to do right now is in educating yourself. If you have some extra funds, to use, I am always going back to Bitcoin and Ethereum because they have kind of proven themselves as much as you can in the crypto market as well as are relatively lower risk than jumping into the hottest new thing. When you’ve been in the crypto market for around and five years then I probably heard five or six different currencies that were supposed to be the new bitcoin and so much better, so much faster, so much less. Most of them are barely in the top hundred anymore and they never will be. Why? Because I think in the beginning, I underestimated branding and focus more on the specs, like fast transactions, and low transaction fees. But a lot of these that promise us to do everything super-duper fast at no cost, don’t work or are very centralized. Or it’s like one whale that holds 40% of the coins and we’ll just start to dump it as soon as the price goes up. So that’s kind of why Bitcoin and Ethereum are the ones that I would go for.
Polar: Okay, so, that’s if you are in a bear market, what if you have decided to jump in during a bear market, so what do you think a person should do if he has the chance and the opportunity to jump in during a bull market?
Tim: In the bull market, I think that you probably can get a very good job at the company and then start to earn money that you then can invest instead of just believing that it will continue forever and that you can live on your profits because living on the profit if the price goes up is always a scary thing. I quite enjoy these accounts on Twitter called Coinfessions and Direct Guy. It is basically people that are submitting anonymous quotes about how their crypto career worked out. And you can hear quite a few of them that talk about like, okay, so I was trading crypto in the bull market, made a lot of money. Now I had to apply for a job because it’s starting to go down. So, I think in a bull market be happy with what you do. Do some sort of a job that brings in new money that is not coming only from the investments that you’re making, because that amount you want to reinvest. But I think you should have some external source that is bringing more and more money into, let’s say your investment career.
Polar: Absolutely. It’s definitely a trend to see a lot of people being like, we’re going to the moon, we’re going to drive Lambos, and things like that during a bull market. And after that, when the bear market comes, because it always comes, it’s part of the nature. Like, these guys, they just disappear, delete their accounts, or start writing very scary tweets. What they’re going to do, how they’re going to live now when they have lost everything. So, it’s funny, but at the same time, it’s tragic to watch people like that, advising people to follow them and do what are they doing. And after that, when everything collapses, they just can’t do anything to help their followers.
Tim: And that’s also another thing in the bear market, building connections is also something that I would recommend everybody to invest in. Talk with people. And it is less noise because everybody that is here is the people that believe in it or have more skin in the game, are actually successful, or are actually doing something. So, to go back to what you should do in a bear market yeah, networking. Talk with people. Talk with people on Twitter and focus on building up the connections. Because in a bull market, everybody is so focused on just making money so that people lose out on building the valuable connections on the network.
Polar: Absolutely. Networking is very very important no matter if we’re talking about web 2.0 or web 3.0 even though I believe that right now there is good potential to build amazing relationships ships in the Web 3.0 world I have been able to build some great relations in the crypto and NFT world much faster than in the web 2.0 world. I don’t know what’s the reason behind this, maybe there is a very simple explanation, but it’s obvious that there are some people that really want to help in web 3.0 but also there are a lot of people that want to help you just to make a quick buck. So, I believe a person should be able to build skills in order to be able to make the difference between these two. So, there is a question that I believe everyone should ask themselves, especially if they are doing crypto investing or NFT investing or things like that. So, what do you think? Like how a person can do more investing rather than gambling in crypto?
Tim: Gambling is something where you are trying to just make money from putting in some money to it. Then there are investments that are a little bit too good to be true. You saw what happened with Luna because you got 70%, a lot of people would call that investing. If you stake your UST supposed to be a dollar, people will call that investing. Why? Because you are taking a lower risk. But the risk was actually super high and most of them lost 100% because they were trying to chase 17% in interest in Stablecoins. I would say that gambling is if you’re trying to get 10 X in a token to be happy, we’re in the crypto to be happy. I think that how you do it as an investment is for example, dollar cost average into Bitcoin and Ethereum or every month invest in different tokens. But having investment, how I view it is that you have external money that is some source of revenue either from a job or outside the job or from something and then you reinvest it back into different tokens on a monthly basis, I would say is more investing. And as soon as you jump into these meme coins and follow the list, like here are the ten most promising ten baggers that will go up 10 X in the coming months. As soon as you go into those it’s gambling. If you buy Bitcoin and Ethereum on a monthly basis with funds that you’re getting from an external source, like a job, then I say that we call that more investing.
Polar: Okay. Yeah, it definitely makes sense. So, in that case, if a person is just starting out and he has not much money to invest, but let’s say $100 and let’s say that this is you, what your investment strategy would be based on your experience?
Tim: I would invest that in joining a small NFT community, being very active in the community, trying to get a community manager role in the community, and then focusing on education, because $100 will not really take you anywhere. So, I would put it into joining some sort of a community and then investing in skills and skills. In the beginning, I would say community management because it’s a very basic role. For example, when we hire community managers for our projects or for ourselves, then kind of the only requirement is that you speak and write English well, as well as have a huge interest in crypto. So, you can start out on a very basic level and then go into it. And the longer you stay in it, the more you can earn.
Polar: Absolutely. So, you are suggesting people to actually invest in their skills more than just buying crypto and wait to become a millionaire after investing $100?
Tim: Yeah. Or you could also buy some projects so that you feel that you’re a holder of a project, maybe an NFT project, where the NFT cost just $50, $100, and then join their community and then learn from it so that you can use the $100 as a ticket into a community, I would say is the best, because otherwise, you will have to gamble. And then you will have to be lucky maybe two times or three times, because first, let’s say you manage to be lucky and you hit 10X coin, you have a thousand. Okay, you’re lucky again, you hit another 10X coin and you’re at 10,000. But now when you’re here, it’s still like, okay, so do you think that you can be lucky again? Probably not. And most likely, if you invest that again, you’re quite likely to lose 50, 60, 70, or 80%, because it’s very hard to be lucky. So, it’s hard to get above 10,000 starting there. And you have to be very very lucky and to get to 10,000, earning money from working in crypto is much much easier as well as a lower risk because you have also gotten the skills of something that is valuable to the market.
Polar: I totally agree with you. The thing is that what we see almost everywhere is that people are advised more on doing this type of gambling that you just said. And investing in themselves or in long-term projects that have proven themselves over time. So, we have been talking a lot about crypto. NFTs investing and things like that. But we still know that there are a lot of people that don’t believe in crypto, and they believe that this is just a trend that will die very soon even though it’s a trillion-dollar market and it’s growing and things like that. A lot of companies are using it in their everyday systems but what makes you think that the future of crypto is bright?
Tim: What makes me the most optimistic is that the number of bitcoin wallets are just going up. The number of bitcoin transactions are being used more and you can see that even though the price goes down, the usage of the network and of course the mining has gone down a little bit as well. But most of the metrics within the ecosystems are still pointing in a good direction. Right now, you see billion-dollar funds investing heavily. You see I think that was a few months ago when traditional tech software funds are putting billions and billions into banks. We are starting to see more regulatory clarity in the US. And when you meet people in the crypto community, even in a bear market, they are as optimistic as ever. You can see a lot of the price metric is pointing down, but a lot of the usage metrics are pointing upwards as well as you see a lot of smart money coming into it. And when some of the biggest use cases of bitcoin where it’s actually needed and where it’s growing the fastest, it’s in Turkey, hyperinflation in Venezuela, also hyperinflation in Argentina. They also have hyperinflation, and these are the places where it’s growing the fastest, as well as in a lot of African countries. And you will always see that the amount in these places that will eventually drive it upwards. Of course, these are countries with weaker economies overall, but you see the use cases all over the place and yeah, that makes me very optimistic.
Polar: And it’s just going up and up. So, I’m also very surprised that there are still a lot of smart people that don’t believe crypto will be us in the next 10 20, 50 00 years. But it’s up to them. So, it has been a really nice talk so far with you, but I think that we have talked almost about everything that people need to know if they are starting out in the crypto where people can find more about your team.
Tim: Twitter and LinkedIn are the places where I’m the most active and I share the articles I write, the content I write, and a lot of valuable marketing strategies. So, I think either on Twitter, Tim Halderson or on LinkedIn also Tim Halderson are the two best options.
Polar: Perfect. I’ll make sure to include them in the show notes. If people want to reach you or to your agency, they can easily find you. So, do you have any final words for our listeners?
Tim: In the crypto world I always hear a lot of people that they say, like, yeah, it’s not going to be anything. It’s going down. I think that a lot of people would be very wise in investing half a day, let’s say 4 hours, downloading a wallet, buying a little bit of Bitcoin, sending it to family members wallet, understanding how it works and the possibilities. And I think that could probably be, for a lot of people, the best 4 hours you can ever use. And then overall, people don’t have to like bitcoin, people don’t have to like web 3.0, but they will have to learn how to live with it. And if they want to thrive in the next economy, they will need to learn how to love it.
Polar: Amazing. Thank you very much, Tim, for all your answers. You have been an amazing guest. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and expertise with our listeners.
Tim: Thank you so much. Always happy to talk with other fellow people in the crypto industry.
Polar: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, everybody. This was all for this episode. If you like what you have heard, make sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. I’m Polar and I’ll talk to you in the next episode. Have a great day. Bye.”