How to Develop Blog Content That Can Be Used for PR
Seed funding isn’t easy to come by, especially when most founders handicap themselves from the get-go.
Despite the wealth of knowledge online and platforms like Angel List and Gust, I hear that founders still make the same mistakes over and over. So, I asked several experienced investors from around the United States:
And here’s what I heard from these seed investors: most entrepreneurs make similar mistakes (and all can be avoided). Read the expert-investor responses below, and follow these 3 strategies to mistake-proof your next pitch. Be sure the read the “Seed Funding Action Items” at the end of each section…
And Feld isn’t alone. Most investors also find the lack of prep from entrepreneurs a bit frustrating.
Perhaps the biggest mistake is they way that an entrepreneur approaches. I get numerous requests where an entrepreneur reaches out to me cold. I read email so its not that I skip over these emails. But instead in almost all of these cases, I can tell that the entrepreneur has put ZERO effort into reaching out to me. They don’t customize the request. They don’t take time to read about The Brandery. And they don’t look into my connections or background to see what we have in common. Take the time to get to know an entrepreneur and target the people that are a great fit. If you spend the time to learn more about the investor, it will do wonders to your success rate.
We’ve talked before about how to get seed funding and this first important step: build a real relationship with your potential investor. And this one sounds simple but executes hard.
Ting Gootee, Partner at Elevate Ventures says, “Seeking outside investors is no different from establishing a long-term relationship where both parties hope to realize certain benefits.”
Ask any investor out there, and I’ll bet that anyone with a heart would agree.
The first number one is that the entrepreneurs try to close the deal on the very first contact or pitch. When really they should be trying to point out the problem, share their story and get us to take the next step. It’s kind of like dating -you don’t ask to get married on the first date. Most investors want to invest in the entrepreneurs, not necessarily the idea because start-ups pivot all the time. So don’t try to get married the first time you approach an investor.
Every seed investor has his or her own interests and qualities they look for in a seed investment.
One of the biggest mistakes are entrepreneurs who focus the majority of their time/energy on explaining market sizes or revenue models or other ethereal subjects. We will spend our time researching your market and drawing our own conclusions. We care about how an entrepreneur executes and want to hear data points on accomplishments, growth, and traction, whether those take the form of revenue, users, or team. But more than bullets, we care about how those accomplishments happened – because, again, the focus is on executional ability
There are a ton of great products out there that no one knows or cares about. You have to show that you understand your market and the demand for a solution to a big problem. Then you can show off your really cool tool.
The most important thing is to keep improving your pitch for seed funding. If you a potential investor decides to pass, follow up and ask why. It’s ok to request feedback on your pitch and presentation, too.
So, when you venture out to raise seed capital, don’t pass up the opportunity to learn something.
Have you made your own mistakes in your quest for seed funding? What lessons have you learned?