How to Support Your ICO Using Different Styles of White Paper

When deciding how to write your ICO white paper and supporting literature to present to the community, it’s important to know your audience and position yourself in a way that suits their expectations.

Your prospective investors represent a diverse group of people with differing needs, time limitations and knowledge. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the various styles and supporting documents you could produce in order to maximise reach and appeal to a broader audience.

White paper

The most common and widely used type of paper when presenting a project or proposal. An ICO white paper typically consists of 25-50  pages of written content, technical schematics, infographics, relevant market insights and projections.

This document is intended, for the most part, to present how the business will operate, generate revenue and function within its market. It also works as a means to introduce any new or proprietary technologies and the team members and advisors.

While it’s unlikely for a potential contributor to read your entire white paper in one sitting, the availability and validity of information must be strong.

You need to make sure you preemptively answer any questions that may arise and are able to convert any investors sitting on the fence on a second or third viewing.

For this reason, it’s super important to ensure extensive research and triple fact checking is conducted by your team.

Pro Tip:

It’s worth taking extra care with your executive overview, as it is arguably one of the most important aspects of this document. It provides the reader with an outline of what the paper is trying to represent, right at the beginning of the proposal. Everything else within the paper expands and builds upon this section, giving the audience context and understanding from the get-go.

Yellow paper

This is more focused on the technical framework behind your project. It is typically intended for those with a developer or tech-savvy mindset, who want to look deeper into the functionality of the project and its mechanics.

This will often include information on the exact technical processes, algorithms and mathematical proofs. Obviously, this requires collaboration with your technical team to put together and we don’t recommend trying to do this alone. Unless, of course, you have developed the project yourself – even still, it’s good practice to have a second pair of eyes look over such complex concepts in a written format.

Pro Tip:

Make sure to include details of your smart contract. Use graphics, schematics and flow diagrams as much as possible and try to simplify complex concepts when presenting this information.

Although the yellow paper is technical in nature, it’s extremely important to make it easy to digest and alleviate some of the brain strain on your reader. Structure your content well and avoid repetition of points to ensure your audience has access to the answers they need.

learn how to write your ICO white paper

One Pager

This is an excellent option for busy professionals, or in support of your pitch when presenting on the fly when introduced to potential investors. As the name suggests, the short and sweet nature of the layout provides readers with an ‘extended business card’ that outlines the core mission, key figures, features and contact details.

Many teams produce the initial white paper and then create their one-pager as an additional resource for quick referencing – or as an introduction to the project. Those that are interested can then seek further clarification by reading in-depth details within the white or yellow paper you have waiting in the wings.

Pro Tip:

Make sure the branding and design of this piece is spot on. It’s important to avoid trying to cram too much onto this one page. Instead, prioritise only the key highlights information. Your one-pager needs to be clear, concise and very easy to follow.

We typically design two versions of this – one that fits comfortably on a single A4 page, and a taller digital copy with added extras such as roadmap, graphs and charts. Both versions can be useful for social sharing and in support of any pitch or event you attend.

Giving investors something to hold and take away is a useful tool in reaffirming the brand and core mission, plus – they are more likely to return or show the document to others as a result.

Light paper

This document sits somewhere between a one-pager and a white paper. Typically 5-10 pages long, it offers the reader the opportunity to gain a little more insight into the viability of your project, as well as confirm your industry and market awareness – without the bells and whistles.

A light paper is a huge time saver and provides readers with a quick summary of the main aspects of your project. It can be a great tool in your arsenal when dealing with an investor who wants to learn more quickly, demonstrating that you’re well prepared and thorough in your research.

Pro Tip:

This is a great opportunity to highlight what you feel are the most important aspects of your project and get across the key concepts you want investors to take note of. It’s a good idea to brainstorm the specific pointers with your team and work around those. Make sure to include a project overview, description of the opportunity, features, benefits and strong justification of why your team and business are well positioned to tackle your market.

Author: Joanna Davidson
Jo is a seasoned content creator with a passion for small business marketing and the blockchain industry.

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