Contributing Writer: Diana Jordan
You’re excited. You’ve prepared for this moment for months, maybe even years. The market is oversaturated with bad ideas waiting to fail but yours isn’t one of them. Your concept is innovative, your passion is contagious, and your gumption to transform it all into tangible success is unstoppable.
Now, you just need to convince investors to believe it too. ‘Just’.
No question, a potent pitch is the bridge between dream and reality. Without seed money from crowdfunding, even the best ideas suffocate.
Here’s how to get your first pitch right.
Be Transparent: Answer all the 5 Ws and keep it concise. Investors are smart and busy; they’ll see filler-fluff for what it is. Don’t inflate results or forecast what you can’t deliver. Elaine Pofeldt writes on CNBC, "To ace a pitch, by all accounts, it is essential to build trust with investors right out of the starting gate."
Make it Easy: Offer the big picture explanation in user-friendly terms. Intricate technical specs can be a sidebar for those who want them. Your pitch isn’t the platform for it; don’t be cryptic and overcomplicate things. Problem -- solution (AKA your product) -- result.
It’s Personal: Not every investor will champion something because its good. In fact, most want to support a Startup that’s relevant to their values. Don’t skimp on establishing the human connection for them.
Spotlight the Innovation: Your idea is unique/different/better from ‘the other guy’ because (your answer here). It’s imperative that you create a clear and piercing differentiator for potential investors.
Show the Evidence: People love facts and figures because they want proof and reassurance. Statistics are extremely convincing and powerful. Weaponize your research to anchor your purpose.
A recent post from HIPGive states, "A few objective facts or statistics will please the rational thinkers in your audience. They’re also a useful way of anticipating objections and/or answering concerns that people have about whether your approach really works."
Tell a Story: Take the five points above and deliver them in an eloquent narrative. Words are electric, and the right combination will carry a lot of voltage. Persuasive, sticky language will engage your audience.
A Strong Ask: It’s called ‘closing’ for a reason. Wrap it up with a compelling call to action. Make investors feel the time to act is now. If you lose them down the rabbit hole of contemplation, they may not resurface.
The Visual Resources: Yep, a picture is still worth 1000 words. Use colorful, quality images that vividly compliment your story. Charts, infographics, and campaign cards can quickly and effectively illustrate large amounts of data.
The Video: Aim for 120 seconds. Yoav Hornung explains in his article on The Next Web, "One minute videos are usually too short while five-minute videos are too long, even for the engaged audience. An optimal length of a crowdfunding video would be around two to three minutes.”
Finally, and it’s easier said than done but try and relax. Confidence (or lack of it) will seep through into your communication. Be approachable and present yourself and your brand with pride and conviction.
Remember, investors that frequent crowdfunding sites do so because they want to give. It’s up to you to grab their attention, persuasively convey your message, and gain their support. Your pitch is the X-Factor. Do yourself justice and bring it home.
"Don't worry about failure; you only have to be right once." - Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox
Article by Diana Jordan https://dianajordan.ca