How To Get In Touch With An Investor

How To Get In Touch With An Investor

Is your startup looking for an investment? Perfect! That means you’re probably wondering how to get in touch with an investor. Or more specifically: ‘how to get in touch with an angel investor’. See, there are several ways of getting an investment:

  • Venture capitalists
  • Private equity companies
  • Crowdfunding platforms
  • Angel investors

 

When you’re a startup and you don’t have a great track record yet, the first 2 options are dismissed. Venture capitalists won’t talk to you until you can show at least a 5-figure monthly revenue. Private equity companies won’t be bothered unless you’re making at least a few millions per year.

That brings us to the next option: crowdfunding. Although there are multiple crowdfunding success stories, the reality isn’t as great as it may seem. Over the past few years, I’ve talked to quite some crowdfunding platforms to research the opportunities.

They confessed, successfull crowdfunding campaigns usually start with an investment of 30% from their own network. This helps you to gain some momentum and boost your social proof. This makes sence, since I wouldn’t invest in a crowdfunding campaign if it’s only at 1% of their achieved goal. ‘Something bust be wrong with this company’.

30%. That means if you’re raising $250.000,- you already need a $75.000,- deposit from your own network. That’s quite a lot.

But let’s say you were able to cover the first 30% and you’re ready to conquer the world. I have some bad news for you: you’ll have to put in a LOT of work to get the other 70%. Again, crowdfunding companies confess you need to put in at least 2-3 months of fulltime work to activate and update potential investors. This means you’ll be out of business for 2-3 months. Unless you’re able to skip a 2 months of sleep, this means your current operations will suffer a lot.

That brings us to angel investors. Angel investors are usually former entrepreneurs who exited one (or several) of their companies. They know what it’s like to set up a business, and they can be of great value to your startup. Another benefit of angel investors is that they won’t be pushing you to exit your company quickly, they like to see you build it. Additionally they’re more than happy to open up their network and bring you a strategic advantage.

So we’re looking for angel investors. Where do we start?

How to get noticed by investors

There are many ways to get in touch with angel investors. There are pitch events, social drinks and of course your own network. However, there is a much quicker way which will save you a LOT of time and money.

It’s called the Dux-Soup method.

Dux-Soup you said?

Correct.

Dux-Soup is a tool which enables you to get massive attention from from angel investors. This tool automatically visits LinkedIn profiles of people of your choice. In the past, I’ve used this a lot to get in touch with Angel Investors. I would have Dux-Soup open the profiles of MANY angel investors at the same time.

It’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Download the Dux-Soup tool
  2. Open your LinkedIn account
  3. Search for ‘angel investor’
  4. Click the ‘Visit profiles’ button.

Click here to get the Dux-Soup tool.

 

What happens next is beautifull. Since LinkedIn notifies you whenever a person checked out your profile, these people will be aware of that. Now you get noticed by the angel investor, it’s time to get their attention.

 

How to get attention from investors

Simply having a notification ‘Person X checked out your profile’ isn’t enough. You have to make your profile stand out. To increase the impact of your ‘notification’, there are 3 things you should do:

  1. Change your LinkedIn Title

Below your name you’ll see an option to add a title. Make this title outstanding and interesting to potential investors. A great title which the founders of Uber could have used would be: ‘Booking Taxis with the touch of a button – We’re open for investments’

  1. Have a clear profile description

In your profile description it’s your job to Pitch your startup in a few sentences. Don’t make the mistake of telling everything, keep it to a few sentences followed up by an invitiation to get in touch with you such as: ‘Does this seem interesting to you? I love to talk to new people, feel free to send me an invitation!”

  1. Add a video pitch to your profile

Add a video pitch of your startup to the top of your LinkedIn profile. If you’re only going to do one of these 3 tips, I would recommend you to do this one (of course you should do all of them, but you get the point). Not only does this communicate your startup to potential investors, it also helps your own network to know what you’re looking for. 

They might see your video and know a person you should talk to. Having a video of your pitch on your LinkedIn profile is absolutely powerfull! Have a look at the ultimate pitch guide to create the perfect (video) pitch.

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How to get in touch with an investor

So now you have an optimized LinkedIn profile, and you have angel investors checking our your pitch, it’s time to make a move.

Connect with investors on LinkedIn

Of all the people who checked out your LinkedIn profile; add them on LinkedIn. Add a message to your invitiation which explains you came across their profile while browsing LinkedIn, and you thought they had an interesting profile. Once they accept your invitiation it’s time for the next step.

Send a message to your fresh connections. You’ll notice that after using the Dux-Soup tool on a high frequency, investors will start to add you on LinkedIn as well. Combined with the people you added on LinkedIn yourself you have quite some interesting people you can reach out to. Send them a personal message which shows that you actually studied their profile. An example:

‘Hi John,

Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. I came across your profile when I was browsing LinkedIn and I noticed you have quite the track record. Really interesting! I noticed you started quite some companies yourself and you’re doing really well. Especially your company XYZ seems like an amazing concept!

I’m currently launching a startup myself and I would be genuinly interested in your thoughts on this. I would love to get in touch with you and ask you a few questions.

Alongside, we’re currently raising an investment as well. Our helps people like you and me to [benefit]. We’re ready to launch and are looking for an investment to increase our sales & marketing power. If you like I can send you the pitch deck so you can have a look at it.

Have a great day John!

Best regards,

– Your Name’

 

Conclusion: Get in touch with angel investors

I’ve met many angel investors over the past few years. Often times this wasn’t even to raise an investment, but to learn from them. Even if an angel investor decides not to invest, they’ll be happy to leverage their network to bring you in touch with the right investor (or a potential partner). However, getting an angel investor to invest of your startup will be a big step towards succss.

Angel investors can be of great value to your business. They love discuss business opportunities and helping starting entrepreneurs. Get in touch with them!

 

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[VIDEO] This Is The Best 3 Minute Investor Pitch You Will Ever See

[VIDEO] This Is The Best 3 Minute Investor Pitch You Will Ever See

What is the best 3 minute investor pitch ever? That’s a tough question, since every pitcher has his own style. In this video you can see a pitch which can be described with one word: ‘Energy’. Although this pitching style isn’t applicable to every industry, it surely fits Willie’s personality and his company.

 A while ago I stumbled upon a Youtube video called “Big Willie G’s Startupfest Pitch”.

This video had over 80.000 views and after watching the first 10 seconds I understood why. This guy is brilliant. And I wasn’t the only one. If you read the comments you’ll see that many people mentioned this must be the best 3 minute investor pitch ever.

StartupFest is a pitching competition for startups. The startups compete with each other for investments. It’s their job to capture the attention of investors in the room. And boy, that’s what Willie G did.

Although I love the pitching style Willie G has, there are a few things which you can do different. From a technical point of view this isn’t necessarily the best 3 minute investor pitch ever, but we can learn a lot from it.

Let’s start with the good stuff.

AVOID THESE 30 PITCH MISTAKES

The 30 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Pitching To An Investor

Learn from the best 3 minute investor pitch

 

#1 He starts with a bold opening

As you can read in the article ‘How To Start Your Pitch,’ a bold statement is a good choice to start your pitch. It grabs everybody’s attention and makes the audience excited. Willie takes this statement to a whole new level. He screams in a cheerful way which definitely grabs the attention.

 

#2 He brings energy into the room

This one probably doesn’t need any explanation. Willie is full of energy and he likes to show it. Being energized is a good thing since it reflects on your audience. If you’re energized and happy, so is your audience.

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#3 He makes you imagine

Willie makes you experience the situation which requires ‘Party On Demand’. By using the impact of storytelling he makes his audience excited about his company.

 

#4 He knows his numbers

Now there’s a lot to say about Willie. He might not be formal enough to be the CEO of an investment fund, but he does know his numbers. Willie has no problems mentioning the expected profit and the cost of acquisition. He might be funny, but he knows what he is talking about.

#5 He has humor

Again, this one doesn’t need explanation. Willie uses a lot of humor which works out perfect. It lowers the guard of the jury and the audience. This makes the audience listen to what he has to say, which is crucial for a great pitch.

 

#6 He plays with intonation

Willie is well aware of the power of intonation. He varies a lot in tone height and volume. This is a great strategy since it keeps the audience excited. As long as you keep surprising the audience with what you have to say, they will keep on listening.

 

#7 He talks to you, not to a room full of people

Willie isn’t the most formal guy. The way he talks doesn’t give the feeling he is talking to a large audience, while in fact he is. The way Willie talks make it look like he is talking to a group of friends. Again, this is a great strategy because this makes him even more likeable.

 

#8 His style matches his product

Willie knows his own product and he loves it. Even better, his pitch reflects his product. Willie clearly sees his 3-minute pitch as a 3-minute party. And he’s right! His pitching style completely resonates with the subject.

Be well aware that you should pay attention to who you’re taling to. If you’re pitching a financial institute to a group of financial experts, you shouldn’t copy his style. Instead, apply the strategies which are applicable to your subject.

 

#9 He enjoys his own pitch

Right from the start you can tell Willie enjoys being on stage. He likes the attention but he also likes what he has to say. He is proud of his company and he isn’t afraid to show it. This helps the audience to believe in his company as well.

I mean, you aren’t proud of your company, why would we pay attention to your pitch?

 

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What you can improve to this best  3 minute investor pitch

 

 

Although I love Willie’s pithc, there is room for improvement. From a technical point of view, I’m not sure whether this is the actual best 3 minute investor pitch ever. However, there’s a lot we can learn from him.

I listed 3 things which would have improved Willie’s pitch.

 

#1 Use the power of a pause

Willie is excited about his company and makes him talk on full speed. A lot of energy in your pitch is good, but you should know when to hit the breaks.

Willie could have improved his pitch by pausing a few times after an important sentence. By giving your audience a bit of time to digest your words you increase the impact of your words.

 

#2 Mention the experience of you and your team

Willie didn’t talk about his experience or the experience of his team. Since investors usually care more about the team than the product, this is a missed opportunity. Being an investor, I would love to know why he (or his team) is making this to a success.

 

#3 Mention your revenue

During the Q&A Willie mentions that his company is already generating a serious amount of revenue. Amazing! This is such a big achievement; Willie should have mentioned during his pitch. That would have made his pitch even better.

 

Concluding thoughts on ‘the best 3 minute investor pitch’

Although I genuinely loved Willie’s pitch, you should not copy everything blindly. Please consider your industry and analyze who are in your audience.

I’m excited to hear what you think about Willie’s pitch. Did you like it as much as I did?

If you want to take your pitch to the next level, check out The Ultimate Pitch Guide.

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Are You Afraid Of Public Speaking? This Means You’re Brilliant.

Are You Afraid Of Public Speaking? This Means You’re Brilliant.

Are you afraid of public speaking?

Public speaking is public enemy number one. Research shows that we fear public speaking more than we fear death. This means that the person doing the speech at our funeral suffers more than the person who just died.

It’s not weird that many of us hate public speaking. The attention of a large audience staring at you can be daunting. Research by Statistic Brain shows that 74% of us are afraid of public speaking.

74%. That’s a lot of people.

 

 

Evolution made us afraid of public speaking

Researchers of Psychology Today states that our fear of public speaking goes back thousands of years. In the past, when humans were chased by large dinosaurs and other scary animals, living in a group was the only way to survive. If you would ever be separated from your group, this would be a guaranteed death.

Although nowadays we aren’t chased by predators anymore, this same theory still applies. Whenever you’re separated from a group, you feel left out. On a deeper level, we’re not afraid of public speaking, we’re afraid to get rejected by the group.

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Even the most brilliant people on earth are afraid of public speaking

I want you to know it’s okay to be afraid of public speaking. Heck, the most brilliant people on earth fear it!

Just to give you a few examples:

  • Warren Buffet
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Harrisson Ford

All these people have admitted that they are afraid of public speaking. Some of them did some form of public speaking every now and then, but they were terrified.

I bet you didn’t expect that.

 

It’s okay to be afraid of public speaking. It’s better to overcome it.

A study shows that people who aren’t afraid of public speaking:

  • Earn 10% more than people who are afraid of public speaking
  • Have 10% more chance to graduate college than people who are afraid of public speaking
  • Have 15% more chance to get promoted to a management position than people who are afraid of public speaking

If these people are so successful while being afraid of public speaking.

What if they would have loved public speaking?

 

I know you don’t believe me when I say: ‘you can learn to love public speaking’. But hear me out. I want to share a personal story with you.

When I was 12 years’ old there was a group of kids playing soccer right across the street. When my parents suggested to go play soccer with them, I wouldn’t. I never played soccer and I thought they would laugh and yell at me.

After seeing those kids playing soccer every day, I decided to ask them if I could join. They said yes! Even though I wasn’t good (I was terrible) they appreciated the fact that I still tried it. In fact, I even got a complement from one of them, he thought I was really brave for trying!

The next day I played again. And again. And again.

I lived in that town for 7 more years, and I played soccer with them almost every day. After a while I got pretty good and I started to enjoy the game. Initially I was afraid to try it, after a while I LOVED it.

 

I was afraid, but they appreciated my efforts. Eventually I got better and I loved it!

The same works with public speaking.

Have you ever seen a really nervous person doing a speech? What did you do? I imagine you didn’t yell at him. Instead of being mean, you understand why he/she is afraid. Since 74% of us is afraid of public speaking, we actually feel connected to that person.

 So go out there. Grab your stage.

Evolution made us afraid of public speaking. Research shows that there are a lot of benefits for those why try. Let’s stand up and expand our boundries. Let’s leave the comfort zone!

Is there an opportunity to do a pitch for your company? Do it!

Is there an opportunity to present a project to your boss? Do it!

You might be sweating the first time, but trust me, you’ll love it!

Give yourself a headstart and get The Ultimate Pitch Guide. It will help you to create the perfect pitch to convince an investor, your boss or your colleagues. Good luck!

 

 

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The 45 Best Startup Blogs Every Startup Founder Should Read

The 45 Best Startup Blogs Every Startup Founder Should Read

The best startup blogs help you to stay motivated.

The best startup blogs help you to growthhack your business.

The best startup blogs make you more efficient.

Here at PitchSkills, I help startup founders to design the perfect pitch.

Having your own startup can be a lot of fun. However, if you’re a startup founder, your life isn’t  all roses.  You’ll face many tough decisions, lots of stress and many sleepless nights. To get yourself going, you will need some inspiration every now and then. The best startup blogs out there are exactly what you need.

To help you hang in there, I’ve created an overview of the best blogs every startup founder should read. Turn on the coffee machine, brew a nice cup of coffee and enjoy these startup blogs. I’m 100% sure they’ll enrich you as a startup founder!

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The best startup blogs of 2017

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The 8 Pitch Strategies Donald Trump Used To Become The Most Powerful Man On Earth

The 8 Pitch Strategies Donald Trump Used To Become The Most Powerful Man On Earth

There are lots of things to say about Donald Trump. He is the president of the most powerful country in this world. However, he seems to attract a lot of hate at the same time.

Personally I’m not a big fan of his decisions and opinions. However, at the same time this man fascinates me. He is able to ‘penetrate’ his ideas into the minds of millions of people worldwide, all by using his words.

This article won’t discuss any (political) statements and actions made by Donald Trump. Instead, you will learn tips on pitching from the president himself.

“It’s safe to say that Donald Trump is one of the most experienced pitchers in the world”

 

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To become a president, Donald Trump had to do a lot of pitches. Donald Trump had to pitch to business men, politicians and eventually to the entire world. It’s safe to say that Donald Trump has a lot of pitching experience.

 

Analyzing Donald Trump’s Pitches

For the past few weeks I’ve been analyzing all the speeches/talks/pitches if Donald Trump I could find. In this article you can find the 8 things which we all can learn about Pitching from Donald Trump. Read all the 8 of them and decide for yourself. Personally, I think Donald Trump is one of the best pitchers there is.

 

Let’s start with the 8 pitch strategies we can learn from Donald Trump.

#1 He uses his emotions to show that he cares

Donald Trump is the king of using his emotions. When he gets on stage, it seems like he is angry all the time. Showing your emotion creates a connection with your audience. Additionally, this shows his audience he really cares about the subject he is pitching.

 

#2 He uses easy words to make you understand

Sometimes it seems like Donald Trump is talking to a bunch of 10-year-old children. The way he uses short sentences with simple words make it sincerely look like he is teaching on a junior school.

Funny as that may sound, this strategy works brilliant. Because it’s so easy to understand, it’s also easy to listen to, and afterwards it’s really easy to remember what he said.

 

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#3 He talks slow when he wants you to listen

Although Donald Trump doesn’t talk fast in general, he gets even slower when he wants you to listen. If he wants to emphasize the key message of his speech, he talks twice as slow as he would normally do.

Giving your audience time to process what you say is a smart move. A move that Donald Trump has mastered for sure.

 

#4 He repeats his statements if he wants you to remember them

Donald Trump loves to repeat things that matter to him. If Donald Trump wants to start a war, he will tell you 5 times. If Donald Trump wants to build a wall, he will let you know 5 times.

All his repetitions might look silly, but they are well planned ahead. By repeating a statement, you make your audience remember it.

 

#5 He opens his arms to show he isn’t lying

Donald Trump never lies. At least, that’s what his body language tells you. It’s clear that Donald Trump took lessons on body language, since his gestures show off the right things.

Donald frequently opens his arms wide to emphasize that he’s telling the truth. Alongside, he holds his index finger to his thumb to make himself look smart, goal orientated and sharp.

 

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#6 He keeps switching in tone height and volume to keep you listening

Donald constantly changes the way he talks, to keep the energy high. Changing the way you talk is pleasant to listen to, but also creates some curiosity. Since it’s almost impossible to predict what he’s going to say next, you’ll keep listening to what he has to say.

 

#7 He targets the doubters to maximize the effect of his pitch

Donald Trump doesn’t pitch to his biggest fans, they’re cheering for him anyway. He also doesn’t pitch to his haters, they won’t be cheering for him anyway.

Donald Trump focuses his pitch on the people who are not sure what to think of him. The people who doubt on what they’ll be doing (or voting) are the ones who can be convinced. Donald Trump addresses all his pitches to them, since this maximizes his potential effectiveness. Simply choosing who you’re targeting with your pitch increases the effectiveness significantly.

 

#8 He never doubts to show you he is determined

Donald Trump might change his opinion every now and then, but he will never do it during his pitch. Whenever he is on stage, he is well determined and he will show it.

This is a great strategy, since nobody likes to listen to somebody who isn’t secure about his or her words. If you’re making time to listen to a pitch, the pitcher better be sure about what he or her has to say.

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The Attention Builder – How to Get Your Audience to Pay Attention

The Attention Builder – How to Get Your Audience to Pay Attention

Bzzzz.

Bleep Bleep.

Ring Ring Ring.

These are the sounds I hate the most when I’m doing a pitch. It gets worse when people actually grab their phone and actually use it. In large audiences there will often be a few people who simply can’t resist the urge to check on their phone.

The average smartphone user taps his or her phone 2617 times a day. Needless to say, when you’re doing a pitch, you have to fight for the attention of your audience. A few statistics which will blow your mind:

  • Surveys show that 77% of all Americans own a smartphone
  • Research shows that people aren’t able to focus when there’s a smartphone nearby

Combine these 2 statistics and you’ll understand that it’s difficult to hold the attention of a large audience. When you’re an experienced or trained pitcher this problem can be tackled. However, how to get your audience to pay attention when you’re an unexperienced pitcher can be quite the challenge.

How to Get Your Audience to Pay Attention?

Since I started pitching, I discovered a technique which works really well. Since I discovered this technique, I even started using it in real life.

I call it the attention builder.

 

#1 What is an attention builder?

An attention builder is an introduction which emphasizes the importance of what you’re going to say. It’s a way of telling your audience that they probably should pay attention, or they’ll miss out on some very important information.

 

#2 Attention builder examples

‘I’m going to tell you something important’

‘But here’s the interesting part’

‘What comes next I’ll never forget’

‘It’s time for the next step’

‘What happened text is just crazy’

‘But wait, it becomes even better’

‘What I’m going to tell you next, will blow your mind’

 

#3 How does an attention builder work?

If you look at it from a marketing perspective, you use the pull technique.

Pull =  Getting the customer to come to you

In other words, you’re able to make your product so appealing, that the customer actively is looking for you.

Push = Taking the product to the customer

In other words, you keep shoving your product in the face of a customer until he buys.

 

The reason why an attention builder works so effective, is because it’s not directive. You don’t tell your audience they should listen. You don’t force them to be quiet. You don’t do any of that.

Making your audience curious for what you have to say is the only thing you do. It’s their decision to pay attention.

 

#4 When to use an attention builder

There are two ways you can use an attention builder.

  • You plan the attention builder ahead

I advise you to add an attention builder when you’re writing your pitch. If your pitch is 2 minutes, I recommend you to use 2 attention builders. Roughly one attention builder per minute should do the trick.

If you use too many attention builders, you create ‘inflation’ and your audience won’t take your attention builders seriously.

  • You add an attention builder during your pitch

When you’re doing a pitch and you notice your audience gets a little bit distracted, it’s time to add an attention builder. I advise you to write down a few potential attention builders before your pitch. This way you have them prepared for a case of ‘emergency’.

 

How to get your audience to pay attention in real life

I already mentioned it in the introduction. Since I discovered the attention builder, I started using them in real life. When you’re telling a story to your friends, when you’re telling your colleagues about your business idea, this technique really works.

Conclusion

In this article you learned how to get your audience to pay attention. By using an attention builder, you get your audience to actively listen to what you have to say.

If you want to be able to execute the perfect pitch, download The Ultimate Pitch Guide.

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