How female creators can encourage more women to invest in NFTs
Just over a year ago, in March 2021, graphic designer Beeple (real name Mike Winklemann) sold his Daily: first 5,000 days NFTs on sale in a single lot at Christie’s for over $69 million. Just a month later, the Bored Ape Yacht Club presale – a collection of 10,000 algorithmically created cartoon monkeys – went live and sold out within 12 hours. Back then, a single Bored Ape would have cost you 0.08 ETH (valued at around $120). As of April 2022, the cheapest available for purchase had a list price of 129ETH – approximately $429,000 – which means the value has increased by 332,458%.
Although this is due to the rise in value of Ethereum and Bored Apes, no one needs me to tell them that there is money to be made in NFTs. That’s an understatement. What cannot be overestimated, however, is the share of this money that is earned by men.
According to a report published by ArtTactic in November 2021, women make up only 16% of the NFT art market and despite claims that the metaverse intends to increase diversity and become more inclusive, the only women Well-known names on the NFT Top 10 Artists of All Time list are Nadia Squarci (one half of Hackatao – the other artist is male) and Monica Rizzolli.
It is not only as creators that women have been largely excluded from the market, as they also account for only 4% of total NFT sales globally since February 2020.
Obviously, this is a self-perpetuating problem. Men dominate the market as buyers and sellers, so women feel they have less room to get involved.
What we really need to get to the bottom of this is…why?
The answer to this question is somewhat complex, but perhaps the best place to start is to examine the culture surrounding Web3. All it takes is a quick scroll through dedicated Reddit threads or Discord communities to glean how much space is taken up by “bro” culture. The language often used is masculine and brusque, with jokes and acronyms exchanged to the exclusion of anyone not already literate in NFT.
In fact, a survey of 500 women by The Drum, Luminary and Perksy found that 82% felt that NFT campaigns disproportionately target men.
That was artist Jodie King’s experience when she first dove into the world of NFTs. An abstract expressionist artist and art business educator, Jodie made the decision to become a creator of NFT in 2021, but found her initial search for answers somewhat confusing.
“During my research, I seemed to go from one rabbit hole to another. Cryptography was a language I didn’t understand,” she recalls. “I felt inadequate and overwhelmed for a long time, until ‘to realize that the one thing a 25-year-old had that I didn’t have was an open mind to embrace this new technology.”
It’s the language of exclusion, the feeling that this is really a space for young men, that seems to be one of the biggest barriers for women. And when we’re left out of the conversation, it’s much harder for us to feel comfortable enough to invest. In fact, this is backed up by The Drum’s survey, which found that 36% of respondents did not trust the crypto market enough to buy into it.
Because here’s the thing. Women are generally more aware of the risks when it comes to investing than men and it’s easy to see why. Since money is harder to come by for women (the gender pay gap is proof of that), it makes sense for them to be more careful about how and where they invest it.
“Women tend to be more cautious than men in terms of investments, but once they have their questions answered and they’ve done their due diligence, they feel more comfortable” , confirms Glen Hardwick Bruce, director of education at Christie’s in London, which manages a one-year program of courses around art, including one on NFT.
It was in creating a safer space for women to join the conversation that Glen noticed a change. When the auction house held the Beeple sale in 2021, Glen observed a huge turnout in the NFT course, with over 400 people in attendance. At first, it was mostly men. However, as NFTs have become more common, the prevalence of women has also increased – when they last ran in February 2022, there was roughly a “50/50 split”.
What this highlighted, he told me, was the fundamental difference between the needs of female and male investors. “Women like talking to other women or having a counselor.”
Perhaps this is what will make the opening of The NFT Gallery – the first and only physical gallery founded by women in London – in June 2022 a success. Led by entrepreneurs Lynn Rosenberger and Lilien Hornurg-Mary, it focuses primarily on accessibility:
“Having founded two other start-ups in the past year, we were surprised by the underrepresentation of female investors,” they said. “We hope that by sharing our stories and creating a physical space for existing and emerging collectors to buy and learn about NFTs, we will ensure that this new art form is accessible to all players. of the artistic ecosystem.
“We hope that more women will feel emboldened to attempt to create their own [project] or invest in others.
For me, it’s a cycle – the more women are educated and encouraged to invest, the more space will be created for female creators in the industry.
That being said, how can these creators build a space that encourages more women to invest?
Jodie, who then launched her first NFT project earlier this year, created a digital course to help other female artists do the same. “It really ties into my overall mission to empower and help creatives grow a thriving artistic business,” she explains. “Artists are entrepreneurs. I’ve never bought into the starving artist cliché and the potential revenue this industry can generate for artists, especially women, has really inspired me.
“I knew that if I educated myself and surrounded myself with experts in the field, I could create a step-by-step guide for other artists, so they would feel less intimidated about how to get started. involve in the NFT game.”
Here, she shares her advice on how designers can market their projects in a way that more women want to join.
Excitement is contagious
Something Jodie has noticed is that entering the world of NFT can be anxiety-provoking for artists, especially because it can feel like such a huge risk. But hesitation in what you do can end up showing up in your communication and ultimately making your target market nervous too. “NFTs are exciting things, so try to embrace that,” she says. “The excitement is contagious – Nike wouldn’t release a shoe without telling its customers all the good things about it and why they need it, right? So it’s exactly the same when you launch an NFT project.
For women investors, it’s especially important to create a strong community that makes them feel like a safe and supportive space where they can ask questions and rely on each other.
Education is everything
That goes for artists and collectors alike, Jodie believes, and reflects the work the founders of Glen and the NFT Gallery are also doing to educate as many people as possible. “It’s new to everyone, so it’s important to educate your community about NFTs so they feel equipped enough to join you on the journey.” For women in particular, evidence has shown that they are more likely to invest in things aimed at them, so make sure your communication specifically addresses their needs and wants.
Make sure your buyer feels seen
Rather than hoping that because your NFT project is something you like the look of that others will want to buy it, Jodie strongly advises targeting your message to your specific audience. “You have to differentiate your product to make it more appealing to your audience and be able to explain to them what makes it so exclusive,” she says.
Just as The Drop’s findings showed that 56% of women would be more likely to consider buying an NFT if it was launched by a brand they trusted, artists need to build on the relationship and the trust they have already developed with their collectors.
Make it unique
Well, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but Jodie advises artists to generate a buzz of exclusivity around their NFTs. “Women are demanding. They want to get involved in projects that feel unique and special to them.
“Diversity is hugely important to the growth of any industry, but beyond that, women bring a unique approach to everything we get involved in,” concludes Jodie.
“We add a soul to everything we touch; we make things more personal and we enjoy link building. By involving more women in the NFT game, we are able to transform this seemingly cold and disconnected space into something relatable – something that is inclusive of all demographics and genders.