Business leaders face a multitude of problems in today’s modern economy. However, it’s universally agreed upon that a lack of capital is one of the major barriers for small business growth across the board, no matter the industry you’re in. Small businesses drive innovation and local employment, so these barriers and disadvantages to smaller enterprises can have a negative effect on the overall economy.
Funding issues tend to be the largest hurdle for starting or expanding any business. Finding new, atypical channels for revenue becomes increasingly difficult year-after-year, and private investors are scrutinizing dollars spent- it’s difficult to find a venture capital firm that doesn’t want 10 years of established business paperwork before they’ll even hear your pitch.
So entrepreneurs must be ever more creative when they’re pursuing fundraising to acquire capital and grow their business. This means incorporating creative strategies to grab the attention of investors and firms that have the capital to help you grow.
Social media is a newer approach for young companies to enter in on a level playing field and interact with investors in an organic way to establish relationships and brand awareness among the people who can fund future growth.
Here are 5 creative tips to utilize when you’re pitching investors through social media:
1. Establish Social Proofing
Remember, you’re the new kid on the block- no one really knows what you’re capable of, yet. In order to obtain any funding, you must demonstrate social proof of your business concept. What better place to demonstrate social proof than with social media? This is a good platform to demonstrate traction, proof your concept, get a gauge on engagement, and so much more for an early brand.
2. Get on the Radar of your Key Targets for Investors
Again, you’re new. No one really knows what your business is about yet and you likely haven’t built the network or the relationships to support an early-on startup or you wouldn’t be reading an article about pitching to investors. Even busy investors and VC employees try to stay relatively active on social media. Email is the most popular, obviously, but next is almost always their social media channel of choice.
And most importantly?
Don’t get discouraged. When you can’t tap into their feed the first time, try to use some of the easier paths – look for mutual connection whom you know and can introduce you on LinkedIn. Do you see such connection to follow on Instagram? Can you link up with them and hopefully show up as a suggested profile to follow?
A more straight-forward approach can work too. Sponsored/promoted posts or ads are another way you can introduce your brand or business to an investor. Be careful, however, when utilizing paid ads. There’s more noise on these channels and click/traffic fraud is running rampant. Don’t spend your entire marketing budget on a whim- the organic route is much cheaper. Try that first.
Business ideas alone are worth very little. If you want to start a business and become successful with it, you need to solve meaningful problems. Execution is everything in business. #ThinkBig #Entrepreneur #Business
— PITCH Investors Live (@pitchliveapp) June 24, 2019
3. Be Present on a Consistent Basis
Once you establish yourself with a few key people, stay top of mind by consistent activity on the channels you’re engaging with investors on. All posts have your logo or picture which is a fantastic way to grow brand awareness- the exposure will drive your brand into their brains. Even if they aren’t reading everything, they’re being exposed to your brand.
Just don’t go overboard. If you’re posting more than 1-2x a day, it could be counterproductive to your efforts. Keep it consistent and focused.
You can absolutely cold pitch your target investor through DMs (direct messages). This absolutely can work. But the trick with social media- to make it really effective, you should be using it for the amazing inbound marketing tool it is to position your startup, drawing investors to you.
These channels give you the opportunity to share your story and your journey to date. Take a moment and share your achievements. Paint a picture of a startup they want to chase to fund and master the art of the story to capture this amazing spark in your pitch deck. Have your funding proposal template ready to go so you can wow investors on the spot.
5. Instill a Sense of Urgency
Social media is an incredibly fast way to spread information. Investors use this medium to capitalize on opportunities before they’re available on mainstream media outlets. Tap into this and create a sense of urgency by positioning your startup as a solution to mainstream problems- this is a dynamic strategy you can utilize to persuade investors to take action.
All in all, social is all about your narrative- brand storytelling is one of the most incredibly effective ways to differentiate yourself, connect with customers, increase your brand awareness and loyalty and sell your idea and business concept to investors. In order to be successful, it’s worth taking the time to craft a story that will be memorable and effective to drive your business forward.