Crypto and Blockchain Marketing [Interview]
Robert Plank: We are here with Katharina from LunaVision.io, and after falling into the blockchain rabbit hole in 2017, Katharina worked in academic blockchain research and education before she entered the crypto marketing space. And after realizing that many startups in this field, were struggling with getting traction, she founded Luna vision, which is a blockchain marketin agency. Focused solely on crypto startups. So Katharina, I’m glad to be talking to you.
Katharina Zeuch: I’m Katharina and I’m the founder of Luna vision and we are doing crypto marketing.
Robert Plank: And so what does that mean exactly? What is crypto marketing and why should we pay very close attention to it?
Katharina Zeuch: Crypto marketing means basically that we are marketing agency. Who’s doing marketing only for crypto. Startups and companies like startups in the web three and crypto space who use blockchain, who are involved with blockchain technology, stuff like this. And this is a little bit different than traditional marketing because the blockchain space is super, super fast and still very young. So if you think back, the blockchain was invented only in 2008. So it’s basically only 14 years now. There’s a lot of educational work to do there. There’s also a lot of new things coming up every day. And this is why we are a little bit different and we understand our clients because we. Are from the blockchain ecosystem ourselves. So like you said, I’m, I’ve been in there for a couple of years now and we are also super enthusiastic about the technology. So our clients don’t have to explain to us how the blockchain works itself. They just have to tell us why their product is special.
Robert Plank: And so there’s all these special product products out there. And is there anyone in particular that has you really excited to give us an idea of what’s a typical, week or month for you and your company?
Katharina Zeuch: Like a typical week would be starting with the social media marketing that we do for our clients. So we start preparing content, the content, we start creating the graphics and putting this all in a nice way for the social media of our clients. We also take care of the email, so we prepare them in advance for our clients. And of course we are. Close contact with our clients. We’re always talking to them. We are discussing with them what to good what to put on social media, where they are also attending, for example, some conferences or podcasts like this one here. And the rest is basically checking that it’s all running and seeing what is going on in the market and how we can use this in the best way for our.
Robert Plank: Great. And you’re reminding me of something that I forget all the time, which is that if you’re not talking about what it is that you’re doing over and over on repeat, then no one else will notice and it’s easy to fall. So in love with your product and say, but everyone will use this. Everyone will find out about it, but unless you’re like, just always getting the word out, then you need to make that effort. And especially. All these new fun technologies and, blockchain, crypto, NFT. It’s really easy to get so far down the rabbit hole and just get super in love with the idea and just think oh won’t this catch on everywhere, but it’s so competitive. It’s so fast paced. Of course we need companies like you. So you do those emails and do those social posts. And so how did you get into blockchain in general?
Katharina Zeuch: For me, the journey started back when I was in university. I was research associate at the university and as such, I started to investigate in blockchain and one of my first tasks then was to create actually lecture series was students explaining blockchain technology. And this is how I first started to. Learned from myself, what it is about. And once you entered the rabbit hole you don’t get out of there anymore. I stuck there and I’m pretty happy about it. And from that on, I started getting deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. And afterwards when I left university, I started working as a venture developer for a blockchain incubator. And in there, I realized that basically every blockchain startup needs marketing and many of the people there either don’t have the time to. Do the marketing, or they don’t want to learn about marketing or they are just, like you said, so deep into their product and into what they are doing. They’re just not taking the step back to see, okay. That’s what we should say. That’s what we should explain to our clients or to our customers. That’s when I started to think about, okay let’s do this. And that’s how I founded Luna vision in the end. Because we are basically depart taking the step back and then translating from the founders, from the teams of the startups who are so deep in there to the people outside of the bubble, to the people who probably don’t yet know that they will need the product and that they will laugh it and also explaining them how it works, explaining the technology itself, like doing lots of educational stuff.
Robert Plank: Because there’s different levels of awareness. There’s. If they’re like about to buy or about to use this technology or about to adopt it, then maybe they just wanna know about one or two minor details, little features, but then like you mentioned about stepping back and how they might be maybe comparing similar products on the market and you might take a step back and they might not even, I might be looking to solve a problem and you take a step back and they might not even know about the problem. And it’s, and you alluded to, it’s hard to. Put yourself in all those mindsets when you’re inside of it. And there are so many times that I’m sure that you’ve come across as cat in like your academic career et cetera, where where like someone comes to you with a beginner question, like a dummy question. Someone doesn’t know anything about this yet. And you have to like, Really simplify it and use analogies and make it fun. And like even, and it’s it hurts your brain so I can see how how some, how this is needed for this marketing company, such as yours to look at it from the perspective of someone who might not even know about the problem that this ends up solving. And then it also seems. How, when you first came across this, when you did your academia and did your presentation, it can be a lot of fun, right? It can take on a life of its own. It’s one thing to read up and study on something. But when you make a presentation and you make something that’s like unique to you and you make something that kind of differentiates from the ways other people explain blockchain, explain these concepts, it can be fun and like a way of self-expression for yourself.
Katharina Zeuch: It is, and this is also something where you learn a lot. So if you try to put your thoughts down into written sentences, this it’s a completely different level of understanding than before. When you just try to just understand it in your mind you will underst. But putting it into sentences is a different level of understanding and a different level of difficulty. And also something that you said was that’s one of the major challenges of crypto marketing is to define this problem. Like you. Start a product. You started start up, have an idea to solve one’s problems, but maybe the people that you’re targeting today do not necessarily know that they have this problem because blockchain is in this early stage and it still has to be come adopted. You probably also have to teach the people you want to use your product. About why they need your product. You have to do a lot of research to get to the point where you really understand the problem of your clients. And then you have to make your clients aware of this problem, and then you can solve, but this is a long process.
Robert Plank: And do any specific problems come to mind that you’ve had to make the internet aware.
Katharina Zeuch: Yeah. So example, we are working with a client who’s enabling in freelancers, for example, or small SMEs or Dows to write crypto invoices. So the basic point about this is to say, okay, we want to foster financial inclusion. We want to also Enable people to get borderless payments and to not wait for bank transfers with three to five days delay, we don’t want to have high fees. We don’t want to be relayed like we don’t want to need swift or Ivan systems because there are still current countries where you can’t use this. So the problem is you can overcome this problem with crypto payments, for example. But therefore you need to understand that this is possible. You need to understand how it works. You need to understand what a wallet is, how to write an invoice in crypto, how to get a crypto invoice paid all this journey. You still have to understand before you can write your first invoice in crypto, right? So this is what we are currently doing in this with this client, for example, we try to make people aware of the solution to this problem that they have, that they are underbanked due to this restrictions of the banking.
Robert Plank: It seems like a lot to navigate and it like the mind picture that came into my head is if there’s the dot where they’re at, and there’s like a point where they understand what the solution is, and you’re having to weave around and say things like Here’s what you’ve tried. Here’s what your problem is. Here are some of the building blocks, right? Here are the things that, that you can’t do, because maybe you’re in this country where this regulation is not allowed. You say here’s this concept called the wallet. So I, it can make sense how you might have to. Figure out what they know or figure out kind of the step by step strategy. So that way it all is in a logical order and it all makes sense there. And so in general, what are the dos and don’ts of crypto marketing? Cause it seems like just a lot a mess seems like it scary if you don’t know what you’re doing. So what are those dos and don’t. Yeah.
Katharina Zeuch: So for the due, try to really understand your target group. So in the beginning, you can, for example, do interviews and really ask them what do you want? And if you have an idea how to solve a problem, ask them if there is this problem. If they don’t understand the idea yet, that’s fine. That’s where you come in and explain them later when you have the product, but in the beginning, start to make them understand and to understand them and their problems. And for example, then. If you take a look at the gaming fields. There was the problem that you had your gaming assets and you could lose them when your account was hacked or stuff like this. So then there came the NFT world. For example, if AXI, infinity, it’s a an NFT. You can’t lose them anymore your in-game assets because they are stored on the blockchain in your wallet. So you can now not lose anymore. Your little monster thing is called X axis. So definitely try to, to deep dive into your target group. Also try to make it about a person, because there are lots of like startups, or there are lots of ideas. And what you should try is to stand out from the crowd. By putting yourself in this game. Like I am here for Luna vision right now. This is also some kind of mixing up my personal brand with the company brand. And this is important because it’s supporting the trust into a brand. So if you want to create a brand around your product, put a face on it so that people know it’s not just a ghost company, but it’s actually someone who believes in it. This will definitely support your case.
Robert Plank: Yes. And and do you come across any kind of resistance with that when you consult with some of these blockchain companies and maybe they’re more like tech oriented or they’re like developers and they say, oh, we, we just wanna be the brand. Is there any kind of having to talk that, talk them into this idea that they have to be a person as well as a company? Yes.
Katharina Zeuch: Totally. Especially like you said, for the techies down there, it’s a, sometimes a lot of talking to make them understand that it’s important. And then also there’s the question like, okay, how do I do this? So to overcome this obstacles, for example, We like Luna vision in cooperation with the blockchain founders group and future invented the influences by DNA program, which is targeting exactly those people who understand that they need to create this personal brand to support their company or to support their journey. But who just don’t know yet exactly how to get there. So we created this program to. And to mentor startup founders thought leaders to be to get into the space to learn how to create good content with possibly the, at least not that much effort for it. This is also about community building. We we talk about all this parts of a personal brand and the journey in this program because also the techies, for example, for them, it’s difficult to translate, like I said before, translate from their knowledge to the non-technical word. Of course, if you have a brand and a personal brand that is deep into the T niche that’s not a problem, but if you want to reach people outside the techy world, you have to translate a little bit. And yeah, we have to talk about this a lot and we try to help our clients and to coach them on how to do this properly and how to get started. Of course, no one expects you to. I don’t know, get the viral post when you first try it’s a journey and we try to help our clients go it.
Robert Plank: Yeah. It’s need to have that patience and the persistence and do the work and have a plan. And it seems like there’s a lot of what we’re talking about at the moment is just this idea. Many other people need to be involved. As far as the collaborating the mentoring things going viral, you need to get people talking about your idea. And that’s a really simple lesson, but it’s easy to forget again, especially with these developers. And because I think one time someone told me like, Every developer has some weird side project. That’s probably 90% complete. And like they’re we’ve all tinkered with something. We all have some kind of thing. It’s 90% there, but it doesn’t exist in real life. And no one’s really using it, but we’ve coded some kind of fun tool, but it’s just sitting there and it’s really easy to forget. People need to like widely adopt these technologies in order for them to catch on, right? It’s not just, you put out this program yet you click publish and it works. And that’s one thing, but many people need to be using it and needs to make sense. If there’s a user interface, needs to be refined, people need to be talking about it and all the sorts of things. And and. Cryptocurrency you and I have seen so much of that, right? Like the, how many thousands or millions of different like cryptos are there and some of them are flashing the pan and some of them just completely collapsed, but it’s unless so many people are using these sorts of tools then they’ll just be forgotten and they won’t be used. And. Like this seems to be like a really important kind of marketing reminder to get this in use. And so you mentioned before about networking and there’s a little bit of, I think you mentioned of influencers email marketing, social posting. Is there anything that is really like fun for you or outside the box? As far as some of the, these marketing I don’t know, marketing adventures you’ve had with these clients. You’ve.
Katharina Zeuch: Fun for me of course is also going to the real life networking events. And I would always advise this to my clients too, because remote, you can do so much, but it does not be the same, like actually meeting people in person out there. We, we, haven’t seen this so much in the last two years, but it’s possible now again, and we should definitely do this and Yeah. Another thing that I really enjoy is like seeing my clients evolve and getting there where they want to go. And for example, we are also doing taking care of the podcast of our clients, if they have some or doing online events for them. And I really enjoy Organizing events for them and then attending the event and seeing the great discussions that evolved there, because with every discussion you, and as a participant, but also me as like the listener in the background, you can learn so much. And it’s just great to see this and to see how this forms, not only the company brand, but also the personal brand of every participant in, in the discussion. And also it’s. Yeah,
Robert Plank: I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but you, you mentioning about these offline events and things like that. And do you have any advice about how to make the most of these events? Because like you mentioned a little bit here about, like podcasting and I like to go to events. And then if I meet someone and if I connect, I’m like let me have you on my podcast. But do you have any advice along those lines? As far as again, it’s the tech world, there might be some introverts or people who are are more comfortable just staying in their circle and it’s it’s tough to branch out and then there’s and an event there’s so many people to talk to and you might talk to someone, but then like never see them again. So as someone who. Extroverted enough to be on podcasts, such as with me. What advice do you have to maximize the use of these event?
Katharina Zeuch: Make sure that you recognize the people that you were talking about too. So if you meet someone, make sure you either get their cart or connect to them on LinkedIn. And also do some wrap up for yourself after the event. If you’re on the car going home, like in the taxi don’t if you don’t do this, if you’re driving yourself, but just take some notes on your phone maybe to write down, okay. I was talking to this person about this and that, and then you can. Just check this couple of days later and connect to them again, or just get in touch with them when you come across a topic that might be interesting to them. So just make sure that the networking is not a one time touch point, because what you actually want to get from those events as you want to create your network, because some people say your net is your net worth. Make sure that this is a. Real communication. And that, that it’s something that both of you, so the person you met and yourself get some value out of it by for example, nice content that you just share or meeting again on another event, stuff like this. And of course in case you’re really in for person like you just described. Overcome this introvertness and get out there and don’t stick to your group that you came with to the event, but meet new people. That’s one really important thing. You won’t get any value out of networking events. If you don’t talk to new people you should definitely do this. And then, Continue. No, there are some events where you have more of the introvert person and then you have to actually actively approach them to get into communication and to, to conversation. This is possible. It’s just a little bit more difficult than on events where you have all the extroverts who are happy and eager to talk to you. But in both cases, you should try to create new. New networking points. And to also start again with talking with the people that you already met before, because a network is only valuable if it’s active and if you get in touch with the people and they recognize you.
Robert Plank: Great. So the way that I’m digesting that into my brain is that first of all like someone might be more introverted or extroverted. So that just means it’s a matter of how much effort are you going to make, versus if you yourself introverted or extroverted or like that, I don’t know if Target’s the right word, but like that person that you would just happen to meet that you just start up that conversation with, maybe they’re more or less introverted. Extrover just a matter of like how much more to apply. and it almost sounds like dating where it’s you don’t wanna force it. And then you don’t wanna call them immediately after. But also if you don’t write down a few little notes, you’ll forget because you met so many people at that event. So that’s great that you meet someone, have a genuine conversation, ask questions, find out about them and then. Has made the initial contact. And then later on, like you said, when you’re in the taxi, just take your phone and write a quick little note that way, not immediately, but also not too far in the future, but at a, shortly after then follow up. And then, because you made that note, which you would’ve forgot if you didn’t write it down right. Then, because you made that note. Then if something happens to come across, like some news article, then you can work that relationship. And it seems like a numbers game, or like almost a way to like gamify. That you’re building this list of leads. You’re building your network. And so you meet some people and it might not go anywhere, but then other relationships you build up and then some of these connections you made might later on pay off. And it seems like it all just at least to me, the understanding your answer here. It’s just a matter of thinking about what the goal is, right? The goal is to have those people who can support you or be part of your project, or just knowing these people in your network and. The only the, this really effective way is to show up at these offline events. And there are people out there who are just too afraid to go to the events too afraid to talk to someone. And that’s fine, but you won’t get to the goal unless you just make that little effort and it might seem unnatural. And it might be like a few steps to get from where you are now to having a few people in your inner circle, but take those steps, even if it’s scary or awkward and just do it, don’t think about it right.
Katharina Zeuch: Yes, don’t be shy and go out there, but don’t get dream wrong. I don’t mean to just connect with people because you want something from them on those events, even if you will never get anything out of it. If you had a good conversation and you learn something, for example, that’s worth it. I would never advise anyone to just target people where you think, okay, this person might lead me to X, Y, Z. No, just go. The natural flow of a conversation and talk to basically everyone on those events, because you will never know what chances you lose by sorting people out. For some reasons that you think are reasonable.
Robert Plank: Yes. And I agree completely. It’s a tricky situation and you don’t know how it will how it will evolve, right? Like that person that you meet just might be like a trusted friend or someone who you can introduce to someone else or vice versa. You have no way to predict this. And in the same way that. That say you’re about to talk with someone and you play that in your head, how the whole conversation will go and ne never goes that way. Not once in your entire life. So you meet that person and you might think, oh, I might use them for this or that. It will never work out that way. So why drive yourself crazy trying to do all this? These chess moves just make these relationships, make these connections a and that’s great. And so in all. Connections that you’ve made and all the things you’ve seen over these last few years with blockchain technology, what do you think is the most important thing being done with blockchain or what’s your favorite thing that’s being accomplished with it these days?
Katharina Zeuch: So I think the most important feature of blockchain technology is the decentralization. So what I really admire about the blockchain technology is that we can build systems where we do not rely on one central authority. We do not rely on one. Institution or one person to decide, but whether it be money related, like the Bitcoin approach or just decision related, like in a Dow a decentralized autonomous organization with decentralized system systems, we do not have to trust one entity, but we can trust either the code, which is open source. And if you would be up to it, you could just check it. Or the community decision and this is something that is that I really like about the block.
Robert Plank: Yeah, that there’s amazing things happening. And and it takes a long time for some of these ideas to soak in, right? Like when you first hear that, oh it’s decentralized and you can’t, you can never shut it down, even if you wanted to, because it’s in all these little places, it takes a while for these concepts to really make sense. And then years later, once you really embedded. These ideas in, into your mind. It’s easy to take for granted that there was a time when you didn’t know these things, or maybe you weren’t, maybe you knew it, but you weren’t sold on the idea. And there are so many people out there who are not yet quite trusting, or maybe they trust like the blockchain or they heard little bits, but maybe they don’t trust like this particular product or this company or this brand. And they need some of this market. To make it happen. And so what is coming in the future? What’s on the horizon. What has you excited about what’s coming up in crypto and blockchain?
Katharina Zeuch: So obviously as probably everyone in the crypto ecosystem, I am looking forward to the next bull run. Everyone’s getting tired of crypto winter currently. But I’m really looking forward to. The broader crypto adoption that I expect to happen in the next couple of years to enable people to actually use blockchain without realizing they do it. As we did with the internet in the beginning, you had to actually understand the T C P I P protocol today. No one does anymore. Or at least really few number of people. I’m looking forward to be living in a world where blockchain is. Backbone technology that is just used without recognizing it. And then there are second layer solutions built up on upon it. But by this we create a more decentralized and also more secure system for us out there.
Robert Plank: That’s interesting to think about is that like that, even back when you got on the internet, you had to get to a computer, you had to dial up and hear all the screeching, but now you don’t think about it, right? You grab your phone, you’re on wifi. Maybe your TV’s using the internet. It’s it’s just there. And so that, that’s really interesting to think about that. We’re getting closer to that point where. Blockchain technology is just part of life. It is just there. It’s just the way to to, to check in or to get a ticket for some kind of concert or to use it for money, things like that. If it just is something that is just built in soaked in, and we don’t even have to think about it, that seems like an exciting place to be. And. If there are these these blockchain technologies that want this kind of adoption that, they wanna succeed, but they know, and they know that it’s an exciting time and we know that people are excited for them, but there might be these new challenges including to market it. Then what can Luna vision do specifically? I know we talked a little bit about some of the techniques that you did, but if some went out there has a blockchain company and they say I don’t need marketing. I know how to post to a Twitter and LinkedIn, what do I need help from you for? What would you say? What do you bring to the table and how can you help them in a way that they’re currently suck?
Katharina Zeuch: So basically if they want to do it themselves, then they should start thinking about what we just talked about it. Who’s your target audience? How should they ever understand what you’re doing and know about it, if you’re not talking about it anywhere. And where did do you meet people who are currently up to date with the tech it’s basically on social media? What we could help with is creating their social media presence, doing the content creation for all the social media. Taking care of their community management doing their email marketing, organizing events for them organizing their podcasts. If they want to do one helping them with their personal branding by coaching them in the right direction. And my definite advice would be, do marketing. No one will know about you. If you don’t do marketing. And then why are you doing what you’re doing at. A great message. And what I’m hearing from you is consistency, right?
Robert Plank: Yes. If you, if, we think about the first time that, that you had to send an email or create a graphic, or even post a social media, it was so awkward and it took so long just to figure out how to maybe even send more than one email per month or had to like posts on social media. Very regular. I definitely see the value with Luna vision, where you do this all day, every day, you eat, sleep and breathe, social media and marketing and blockchain. So that way, instead of spent, instead of some companies spending all these months and maybe just a post on social, sometimes here and there or sending the email, but they haven’t really. Built a list and they, maybe they have some kind of a community, but the community doesn’t hear from them very consist consistently. If they use a marketing company such as yours, where you know what you’re doing, this is all you do. So you’re focused and you can maybe tap into many of these aspects that they are not currently in, or haven’t thought of such as the podcasting that you mentioned. And so how does a company. Know if they’re the right fit and the right size. Because as sometimes company might be like too big or too small. So how do they know if they’re the right sort of organization for you and your team? So the easiest way to find this out is to just write new message or to reach out to us and we will get on a call and discuss this the right fit is if you are related with blockchain in any case. Crypto web three blockchain because this is where our expertise is and if we are doing content creation we need to stay in the field of our expertise. And then just send us a message, for example, on LinkedIn, reach out to our, to via our website. Send me a direct email, anything like this, and we will discuss how we can help in. Fantastic. And that website is Luna, vision.io. And as we’re beginning to get to the end of our conversation here at cat, do you think there’s anything that we left out or anything that you feel like mentioning that you wanna sneak into our conversation? Now you got me ah, put you on the spot. That’s okay. And so I guess in that case, I’m going through and recapping in my head of all these very helpful lessons that you’ve delivered here today. You’ve said that you need to be always talking about what you’re doing and marketing a multiple channels, email, social podcasting, you’ve reminded. How important it is to go to offline events. And I’ve forgotten that myself. I’m going to one in, in a couple of weeks, a after many years of not doing it because there was that period when offline events are weird are shut down. And then you’re reminding us that when you do go to those offline events to make that the maybe five or 10% more effort. To break out of your comfort zone just temporarily. When you go back home to your basement and you go back to coding, then you can go back to the safe zone. But while you’re at these events, be a superstar, be a superhero and talk to people that you normally would not have spoken to because that’s the whole point of going to these offline events. Don’t have a sinister agenda, just curiously strike up a conversation because you don’t know who you might meet. And then when you do meet them, then actively listen to what they have going on. And then later on, write down some notes. So that way, to follow up and find them on social media and do whatever networking happens.
Robert Plank: But in general, it’s so important. Keep up with the times and remind the world about what it is that we do. And also, especially to think of it from where they’re at, where they might not necessarily know about all of your features and concepts and unique benefits and all these things. So it helps to remind and to the, do the branding and branding to me means like repetition and the messaging and getting the right phrases dialed in. Ask for outside help from Luna vision. That way you can have those people that look at your company from the outside and say, oh yeah, someone else is doing something similar, but they’re not really getting the messaging out the way they should. And you could really outdo them and you can do a lot better, or some other company has some other feature and you can do this. And so I can see how it can help by having your company jump in and say, here’s how you should market it. But you never know unless you, you have that initial conversation. So the place to have that conversation is Luna, vision.io, and go there and out to find out all about Katharina’s company and how you can have that initial conversation. And as we’re closing up our conversation here at cat, do you have. Final parting words of advice. Do you have any, like in general, like life or business or strategic lessons that we all just need to implement right away, based on your experience?
Katharina Zeuch: If you’re into blockchain, talk about it and talk about why you love it, because there’s so many people out there it’s such a big crowd and you want to stand out of it. And we all want to foster blockchain adoption, I think. And crypto adoption. Just go for it. And then we will all see far more crypto adoption in the future.
Robert Plank: I love it. If you’re passionate about blockchain, talk about it, go for it. And the place to go now is Luna vision.io, and we will see you there.
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