In this article, I will try to answer the questions related to advisors. First of all, let’s mark the questions. How and where advisors can be found? What kind of experience do they need? How to avoid ignorant (unskilled) expert? What should alert you to the adviser’s behavior and advice?
An advisors (ICO consultant) is rather new but exciting job. It goes without saying that projects have previously had consultants, supervisory board, etc. Anyway, the flourishing of the profession is related to the success of ICO fundraising. On the website people can see some well-known faces and decide to buy tokens immediately without reading Whitepaper.
An adviser is a person who gives advice, that can be understood within the context. He or she also helps the team with strategic advice, acting as a visionary. Every project affects his\her reputation.
Speaking about the institute of advisors, I can say that it’s just the beginning. Today advisors are divided into two types. First – people who really give advice. Second – people-images, who place their photo on the website of the ICO company, they really don’t delve into the details of the project. I am against the latter type of advisors as this approach erodes the confidence in the advising institution. Unfortunately, many teams began to abuse it. Once we have seen Vitaly Buterin and other famous advisors in dozens of projects without their consent. As a result, the demand for advisers tapered off, but the need remains.
I recommend to recruit advisors at least six months before the start of the campaign. Primarily, an adviser is a strategist, and it's much better to determine a strategy at the start-up stage when you don’t sell tokens.
It is preferable to find an adviser who is designed for specific tasks. These specialists may have different profiles: strategy adviser, blockchain adviser, marketing adviser, communications adviser, etc. Sometimes it's reasonable to emphasize the importance of the advisor’s presence in a project and mention his\her solid grounding and job involvement. The most experienced adviser can often be a recognized reputational human-brand. It's important because people love celebrities and trust them. Professional advisers can be at work upon two or three projects simultaneously, but this can have a negative impact on quality.
So what is a project advisor responsible for? First of all, it's a reputation. The team is mainly responsible for the project, but advisors are also interested in the project’s success. According to the U.S. legislation, advisors may be punished up to the penalty of imprisonment and fines. In Russia, it is almost impossible to bring an adviser to justice.
Speaking about the legal side, I can say that there is nothing fundamentally new for ICO from a legal point. I have been involved in the legality of projects in 2014, starting with advising startups, and then gradually began to work on ICO. From my personal experience I can say that If we are talking about scams, it is a deliberate crime. Both team and advisors are responsible for such crime. If the project failed, it’s not because of advisers’ fault. Although, the investigation will show.
In general, the team has about six or seven advisors. They must learn everything about the project to determine its viability. However, most people don’t pay attention to advising. According to published statistics, only 4% of 1,500 surveyed said that advisors play a crucial role in the project. The value of advisors has eroded because of people who just "sell a person” like a bargain. However, in my opinion, advising is an essential and necessary institution with great future.
Furthermore, an adviser gives advice directly: what things to improve, what things to change, who to communicate with, what conferences to go, etc. Some ICO independent consultants actively help with investing in the project or invest the money themselves. There is no monthly remuneration for advisers.
An adviser usually takes from 0.25 to 1% of the fundraised sum. The percentage depends on the popularity of the adviser and the time he spends on the project. If advisers don't have time to soak themselves in a project thoroughly, they ask for payment in fiat. In fact, if an advisor devotes a lot of time to the project, tokens can bring much more money after ICO than a reward in cryptocurrency. Sometimes advisers take $2500 for their services to make some profit. When the company launches ICO, everyone understands that there are many risks so many advisers ask for their share of the company. This way they can make a fortune thanks to the company.
However, today many advisers ask to pay the reward this way: a half in tokens and a half in cryptocurrency. The difference is that "cryptocurrency" is very volatile, but a liquid asset and token is just an internal tool when it's not traded on the market. There is an extreme stage when advisors even take their reward in the fiat currencies in advance. It is important to make sure that your adviser will perform his obligations and will get in touch regularly. It’s necessary to reach an agreement and then sign the contract with an adviser. It is also desirable to go to the conferences where your probable advisers participate.
Sometimes the success of advisers is determined by the ratings published on ICObench and by the number of projects and their collective estimates. Projects are rated on a scale of one to five.
I should say that you don’t have so many opportunities to find an adviser at all. The best way to it is visiting events and making acquaintances. Usually, advisers have references; you can find them on icobench.com and write to the adviser on Linkedin. I would recommend you to search advisers in your professional community. Try to choose ones who didn’t work on any project as advisers, and these specialists can make your project outstanding.