Creating a compelling pitch
A version of this blog post was originally written for and published on the Crowdcube website.
Can you tell me what your business proposition is in 10 seconds or less? It is said that 10 seconds is roughly how much time potential investors will give to your crowdfunding pitch before deciding to carry on reading it or move on.
The quality of your crowdfunding pitch is likely to make or break your campaign. Written well, it should inspire potential investors to learn more about the opportunity. Written poorly, it could turn them away.
We spend hours reviewing our clients’ pitches and over the years, we have seen people make some common mistakes. Here is our list of top tips for writing a compelling pitch:
1. Remember who your audience is
While equity crowdfunding campaigns offer the unique opportunity to open up a share of your business to your customers, friends, family and broader network, it is crucial to remember that in this context, you are trying to attract investors, not customers; you are presenting a business opportunity, not promoting your product or service. Investors big or small may want to know things like how long you've been trading, substantial achievements to date, what experience your team has and your future goals. In particular, they will want to see that there is a potential for a return on their investment, so spell it out for them.
2. Use Plain English
You are not a game changer; you're not the best, the fastest, the smoothest or the most intuitive unless you can prove it, which you probably can't. So leave the hyperbole and superlative adjectives out of your pitch. Speak plainly, be clear, concise, fair, and not misleading. Your audience will thank you for making sure every sentence makes a compelling point and delivers some useful information, free of buzzwords, marketing speak and general fluff! If your gran doesn't get it, then you're not there yet!
As you only have seconds to grab people’s attention, it is important to structure your pitch in the right way. Vital information about your investment proposition should come first. Then you can elaborate by adding background and context. Finally, make sure you end your pitch with a clear call to action.
4. Stick to the basics
Clear concise sentences with no unnecessary adjectives are best. Back up your claims with facts and figures.
You have other opportunities to expand on the information on your pitch page. The first being your supporting documents, which allow you to go into greater detail around your business proposition, your vision, strategy and financial forecasts and assumptions. Secondly, you also have the opportunity to provide your crowd with regular updates throughout your campaign. These updates form an incredibly important section of your pitch (more on that in a later blog) and are a good place to highlight certain areas opportunity and go into greater detail.
5. Remember people buy into why you do what you do
When investing, your crowd will want to believe that you can deliver on your ambitions and the best way to demonstrate that is to show them what drives you. Why are you passionate about this business? What are your corporate values? Make sure these shine through across your pitch.
What happens when you have finally written a pitch that you are proud of? Get a second opinion. Ask select friends, family and trusted connections (and your lead investor(s)) to cast their eyes over it.