The right words hold the power to move mountains – or, at least, to persuade others to move mountains for you. And this is never more true than when you’re pitching for investment. A strong pitch which succinctly and effectively communicates why your business is such a compelling opportunity can be the difference between securing funding and sinking into obscurity.
Crowdfunding sites may seem a less formal way of pitching your business than donning a suit and presenting a PowerPoint – but that doesn’t mean you can just wing it and hope for the best. You’re competing for funding and your application needs to contain all the high quality content and information that a traditional presentation would. So how can you structure and deliver an online pitch which will wet potential investors’ whistles?
1. Create a Clear Value Proposition
Crowdfunding sites, Crowd for Angels included, tend to structure pitch pages so that they have a short overview at the top of the page which is the first thing potential investors will see – and if you don’t get this right, the chances are, they won’t scroll down to read the rest.
This section should contain your (piercingly succinct and informative) value proposition – in other words, your written elevator pitch. Every single word of these two or three sentences should explain your business and its value: who you are, what you do, the solution you provide and why your business is going to be the biggest thing since cat videos on the internet. This is not the place to waffle or bluster.
2. Make Good Use of Rich Media
The informal environment of crowdfunding sites allows you to really grab and engage your investors – but it also gives them to opportunity to close your pitch as soon as they get bored. Integrating rich media into your pitch keeps people scrolling, and video is particularly effective in a situation where you don’t really want investors to be skimming over vital information. A video is an opportunity to show, not tell, and give potential investors a real understanding of how your brand comes across – again, sum up your business quickly in the
first fifteen seconds, and use the rest of your run-time (no more than a few minutes) to engage your audience with your story and demonstrate your successes.
3. Keep The Financials On Point
As anyone who has ever seen Dragons’ Den knows, having a realistic valuation of your company is crucial. Just because you reckon your company could be making big bucks in the future doesn’t mean that is what it’s worth now. And your business plan needs to be bang on – it should cover your concept, market and strategy, and don’t skimp on the details.
Presenting this part of the pitch as a Slideshare is a good way of getting investors to click through, but this is the place for the nitty gritty, so make sure you’re not missing anything out.
4. Check Your Language
It might sound obvious, but the quickest way to make investors lose confidence in your ability and professionalism is to post a pitch littered with typos and errors – you’ll either come across as unintelligent or too lazy to proofread your own pitch. And keep the language succinct, accessible and clear – using meaningless jargon is another instant turn-off.
Having a strong business idea is most of the battle, but it isn’t everything. You need to be able to communicate that idea to others, to get them excited about it as well. So follow these key tips to ensure your pitch is as bullet-proof as your business concept, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting investors.