When startup founders think about their pitch, most of them are thinking of accomplishing one thing, and that is to secure funds. Actually, a pitch does not have to be just about fundraising. Before deciding on your pitch, you should have a clear target of what you want to accomplish, and that can be anything from raising funds, to establishing a solid relationship, to raising awareness of your startup brand, or even to just test the waters for your budding idea. By having a clear goal in mind, your pitch will have a direction and course to stay on and not meander all over the place, which can confuse and exasperate investors. A well-presented pitch is a good way to form long-lasting, organic relationships with people as well. Besides, you never know when they will decide to step in and help you out, as some partners and friends may turn into investors without you ever needing to pitch to them about raising funds.
Creative ideas are literally everywhere. The reason why most of them don’t come to fruition is because of poor execution or implementation. What this means is that instead of focusing on your idea for your pitch, investors are more likely to pay attention to what you can bring to the table. It falls on you to demonstrate that you are capable of delivering concrete results. While other factors such as the market and economy are also important, ultimately it is you and your team that is going to deliver, and smart investors can pick that up from your pitch. Another thing that investors look out for to gauge whether your startup succeeds is your social network. If you have well-established connections with industry players and thought leaders, chances are your pitch will be even more well-received by investors. Having prior experience in your area of business helps a lot too.
People love a good story, and the same goes for a good pitch. When presenting your pitch, be sure to focus more on the human element and make it as personable as possible. Tell a story about the challenge or problem that your startup is going to offer a solution to. Make it relatable to your audience. Unless your audience is already quite familiar with your industry or business, you should not use too much technical jargon or specific lingo to avoid confusing them. Instead, put more focus on telling a compelling story that can connect with your audience on an emotional level so that they feel invested.
Sometimes, it doesn’t even take a proper pitch to sell your idea! It’s a common mistake to think that investors will only listen to you when you’re formally presenting a pitch in front of them. In fact, casual, organic conversations are also great starting points to launch your idea and engage with investors. At the very least, normal chatting is a great way to determine whether you are a good fit for each other and to just connect. These informal connections can prove to be valuable later on when your startup starts to gain traction.
One last thing: When pitching your idea or startup, be confident about it. Confidence here is not sheer bravado, but a firm conviction that is the result of proper preparation and trust in your mission. After all, if you don’t believe in your own idea or startup, who else is going to?