Pitching to investors can be a nerve-wracking experience for new founders. Over the years, I’ve pitched to hundreds of investors, and have really enjoyed the process, pitching is exhilarating but it needs to be done right. With the ever-increasing competition for access to funds, now has never been more important to make your pitch perfect.
Raising investment is time-consuming and exhausting – both physically and mentally. From my experience raising and through interviews with other founders and investors, one of the most common problems is getting the investors’ attention. Crucially, you need to get their attention – and keep it. You need to make them feel as if your business is the ‘next big thing’ and in years to come, they’ll look back and regret not investing. By focusing on creating a ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), you’re holding the power of presenting it as an opportunity that they might lose out on.
Creating ‘FOMO’ is a vital strategy founders need to employ in order to succeed, stand out from the crowd and raise that all important cash. Investors may not remember every deal, but they will always tell you the deal they missed out on. So, how can companies create a sense of FOMO when pitching?
Build your network and create some buzz
Networking might seem like the obvious piece of advice, but a lot of founders forget its importance. By building your network and getting the name of your business out there and talked about will create that crucial buzz. If they’ve already heard about your business from someone else, they’ll naturally be more interested in learning more.
So where do you start? Do your research and build out a list of investors who you think will be interested in your business. This will take some time but it will be worth it and having a more targeted approach will help in the long term.
You will also need to raise your own personal profile to become an attractive asset for people to invest in. Start by making sure all your social profiles are updated consistently with relevant experience and personal interests. Engaging with others on social channels as well as posting industry-relevant content and articles on your profiles will help build up a rapport with the right groups, and potentially get you noticed by others. You will need to stand out as the expert in your field, knowing the industry inside-out. If you have the time, talk about your experiences and insights on podcasts, ask to join panels at events, or start writing blogs.
The average VC receives hundreds of thousands of applications a year, which means you need to make your startup stand out.
Think back to the reason you started your business – what makes your idea special and innovative? Does your company have something that no one else has, or how are you doing things differently? Through sharing what makes your company so unique, you can create an atmosphere of being ‘one in a million’ – the company that truly understands their industry and is at the forefront of disrupting it and the real innovators and leaders.
Passion is infectious
Your business was created from a passion or something, a desire to make change happen. People want to feel like they’re part of something exciting, and through sharing your passion and energy you can bring them into the fold. From my experience speaking to many investors, what they believe makes a great entrepreneur is being energetic.
Using storytelling is one way to share your enthusiasm for your startup. Storytelling is ascientifically-proven way to capture an investor’s attention and hold it. Investors are bored with spreadsheets, valuations and numbers. If they want that information, they can ask you for it after. Tell your story, convey your passion, and of course practise, practise, practise, all of which will help you to create a sense of energy and excitement.
Already establishing a pace
Finally, by showing how fast you are growing and everything that has already been put into motion, you give the impression to investors that you’re committed to the business and will have the energy and pace to keep on an upward trajectory. If they think you’re already on a roll and doing amazing things, you can help create a sense of FOMO.
Investors want to be ahead of the curb, helping them to make greater returns on their investments. To convey this, look to your market and target audience, is this an area that’s getting bigger and bigger? Or are there any growing trends in this sector?
When pitching, use stats to supplement your story, has there been an increase in customer growth, what’s your annual revenue rate? Creating a sense of urgency and pace to invest in your startup will make investors feel that they might miss out if they don’t invest now.
Raising money is hard work, time-consuming, and you will experience some rejections along the way. Don’t give up on your dreams, but maximise your chances of success by creating FOMO, the most powerful emotion when you are looking to raise investment. VCs will always say their biggest regret is the decision to miss out on an opportunity, not the ones they signed on for.
Stakester is the world’s first mobile-based gaming platform where players compete for prizes. From starting the company in March 2019, and launching May 2020, Stakester has seen incredible growth over the last year due to the pandemic, and now has over 25 employees.
Tom Fairey is the Founder of Stakester