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By Jeremy Liddle, CapitalPitch
The hardest part of getting funded is finding that first investor. With so many other startups out there clamoring for attention, you need your company to stand out from the crowd.
Your pitch is the most crucial tool in your arsenal. A good pitch will inspire the investor and perhaps result in more funding than you could ever have dared imagine; a bad pitch will net you only crickets.
The elements of a good pitch are not necessarily obvious to those founders who are looking for investors for the first time. That's why we here at CapitalPitch have put together this list of 5 tips that you can use for developing a flawless startup pitch that perfectly sells the listener on your company and its product and values.
The longer it takes for you to convey the core of your message, the less likely an investor will have the time to stick around and listen. This isn't because of a lack of attention span, but merely a consequence of the sheer volume of startups that an experienced investor must analyze.
That doesn't mean you need to fit the entirety of your pitch within the span of a minute. Get it down to a sweet spot of about 15 minutes, and you'll stand a much better chance of making a good impression on busy investors.
Novels, symphonies and movies all share one thing in common: a beginning, middle and end. Just as no good essay writer begins without crafting an outline, so should you utilize the tools of the narrative to create an arresting story of your company's growth and its future. This is the 'secret ingredient' that many founders use to keep an investor awake, interested and focused during a pitch.
The meat of your pitch will be how you plan on using the investor's money, and what return on their investment they should expect. You will need to lay out the facts on your target market, revenue model and sales performance.
Above all, don't forget to address the exit strategy. This is how the investor will make their money back, and is often the key determining factor as to whether they close on the deal or not.
An experienced investor may have been involved in dozens of startups. Consequentially, they can be a great source of information on what to do and what to avoid when it comes to running a successful business.
The questions that such an investor asks tend to be non-trivial and cut to the heart of just what you're trying to achieve. You need to be able to answer unexpected queries, but also be able to understand what such questions are telling you about the mindset of investors when confronted with your startup.
Conversely, the investors in the room aren't just listening to your words. Your body language speaks volumes to them as to your trustworthiness, performance under pressure, and ability as a founder.
The more forthcoming you are about the innards of your startup, the more investors will believe in you to act responsibly when entrusted with their money. The more you believe in your idea, the brighter your enthusiasm will shine and the more confidence investors will have in your willingness to do what it takes to make your dreams for your company a reality.
Looking for more great tips on grabbing investors' hearts and minds? Check out CapitalPitch's free pitch deck template. Use it as a base for crafting that perfect pitch, or improving on a pitch deck that you've already developed.
Get the very best insights from successful crowdfunders from around the world. My book "Equity Crowdfunding" is out now on Amazon.
Need results fast? You can work with me one-on-one. Whatever stage you are at - investigating crowdfunding as an option, forming your strategy, or even if your campaign is already live, there's a package to suit you and supercharge your results.