Twitter Spaces: How the Pros Bill Starkov & Sammy Arriaga Sell Out NFT Collections

If you’re an NFT founder, collector, investor, or even curious observer, then you most likely allocate sporadic moments of your day to hop into Twitter Spaces. Twitter’s reimagined version of audio app Clubhouse has become the prime place for NFT communities to come together, share their stories, connect with one another, learn from experts firsthand, hear about new projects as they’re happening, and promote their own.

Bill Starkov (also known as ‘Fity Eth’ on Twitter) is the founder of Apocalyptic Apes and a familiar voice in Web3 Twitter Spaces. The Los Angeles-based NFT founder’s Apocalyptic Apes genesis collection sold out Christmas Day 2021, and his second Queen Apes collection sold out in less than three hours of public sale in April, raising over $1.5M at the time, all while supporters were live in Twitter Spaces.

A familiar singing voice who can be found serenading Web3 Twitter Space audiences is Sammy Arriaga, a Nashville-based NFT music artist and singer-songwriter. Arriaga sold out his METAGIRL Digital Heart NFT collection earlier this year, raising over $250,000 as an independent artist, and is currently minting and holding Twitter Spaces for his second Web3 love song and digital art collection, PIXELATED.

Starkov and Arriaga shared with Blockster how they utilize Twitter Spaces to grow their communities, connect with their supporters and ultimately sell out their NFT projects.

Why are Twitter Spaces so beneficial for NFT founders, artists and music artists?

Starkov: Twitter Spaces are a direct form of communication where people can engage, talk, and really be asked questions and get into the NFT space. They can understand the project, understand the music, understand the licensing. It’s not like Web2 where the content is out there, it’s a place where you can actually communicate and interact.

Arriaga: It’s a great way to connect with leaders and founders in the space that you probably never would have been able to do IRL. The fact that everybody has front row access to these incredible alpha chats and just be able to be on the same level as so many successful people in the world and all over the globe. It’s such a great audio tool to be able to ask questions and have a moment and connect with the fans in a way you would have never been able to do in Web2.

For NFT founders who are building a community and working to sell out a collection, what tips do you have for them to go about using Twitter Spaces?

Starkov: You shouldn’t just be using Twitter. When you’re introducing your project, it should be everything and anything: Instagram, Twitter, Clubhouse, Discord. Call your mom, call your friends, and introduce it to the world. Don’t just look for one source to be your winner.

Arriaga: I see Twitter spaces as a good opportunity to show transparency throughout a whole mint. I feel like a lot of projects will just announce a mint and their leaders are nowhere to be found. I see it as a way to build that organic community before the whole project even sells out. You’re offering education, you’re building relationships along the way.

The Apocalyptic Apes is the perfect example of that. They took a while to mint out with their very first drop, but nobody forgot that buildup, nobody forgot what they went through then they showed up at the second sellout point. You’re creating moments in real time on Twitter Spaces and on other platforms as well.

What tips do you have when it comes to joining Twitter Spaces versus hosting your own?

Arriaga: As a music artist, it’s good to venture down both. I think it’s healthy to have a good balance of hosting your own space so you can bring your own community together. And then when you’re not hosting your own spaces, it’s good to pop into different communities and make organic relationships and learn about other projects as well, that could potentially end up being part of your collaborations with a community down the road.

Starkov: It’s really important to support other people’s projects going into their spaces. Not only to get their support, but it’s important to be engaged in other people’s communities. Part of it is to understand the space and join people’s communities, and really make yourself present.

How do you get the right people to come together as a part of your Twitter Spaces community?

Starkov: It takes a while to figure out who the right people are, who the wrong people are. I feel like you just got to get people in initially. As you’re in there for a while, you’ll figure out the good players, the bad players, the people that are loyal, the people that are not loyal.

You can look at this like college or high school and understand that you want everybody to attend your assembly, but at the end of the day you’ll know who the right person is to stick around. But in the beginning, you just need momentum and that’s when you need a lot of people. It really makes no difference who comes. Unless they’re trolls.

Arriaga: Before even starting a collection, I would suggest any founder or any leader that’s thinking about getting into the Web3 space in some way or form, they should immerse themselves into other communities beforehand, and build those organic relationships. But like Fity said, invest in the host’s collections and give them that digital handshake before even asking to speak.

It’s kind of a form of respect before entering the village — bringing a piece of meat to the tribe. When starting a Twitter Space for the first time, having those pre-built relationships in place will organically bring all of those communities together as one whenever it comes time to share that space or hit up those DM’s to tell people to join you for at least an hour or two to tell them about your project.

How often would you say you’re in Twitter Spaces?

Starkov: Me and Sammy live in Spaces. We don’t eat, we don’t exercise, we don’t take care of ourselves, we don’t change our clothes, we don’t shower. (laughs) If you want your project to do well, move into Spaces.

Arriaga: When I was in New York last week for NFT NYC, I was barely in Spaces — I was popping in just to say hello and see how people were doing. But the fact that my community kept my Twitter Spaces going while I was busy and working hard for the community was incredible. That alone speaks highly of Spaces and all those hours that I’ve put in to build those organic relationships with all the people all over the world. They had my back the whole time.

You say you ‘live’ in Twitter Spaces, but when you are offline, how often are Spaces being run for your project by your community members without you being there?

Starkov: I am very lucky and blessed because I have people who support me who run Spaces pretty much 24/7 organically. We don’t pay people. People support our community, love our community, love our project. They’re very loyal and faithful. So it’s been like this since the first week after our first mint because I built relationships with my people in Spaces. I didn’t just come in here talking about my project. I could tell you what people’s favorite foods are, what schools their kids go to… We really got to know the people in our community and it’s really paid back.

What is the longest Twitter Space you’ve ever seen or been a part of?

Starkov: 24 to 48 hours.

Arriaga:  It’s crazy there’s situations where people I’ve never even met, they just love my music  and the vibe the community provides. They’ll be like, “Hey if you’re tired man just go to sleep, I’ll cohost and I’ll keep pumping your mints while you’re in la la land.” And that’s the kind of connection that you can build with people all over the world. They’re willing to take the lead for you and take the reins for the founder to get back on their feet. I love that kind of stuff, it’s cool.

Do you multitask while hosting Twitter Spaces?

Starkov: I try to stay focused and be engaged in the conversation because that has led to more success in our spaces. I see people very distracted, they’re doing 25 things at once. So when I’m on Spaces, I’m 100% there. I will talk, I will listen, I will engage, I will pay attention, I will focus. I know a lot of people do multitask, but not in our project.

Arriaga: Fity took the words right out of my mouth.

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