Crafting A Narrative for Investors
All stories are mercenaries; they work whether they're good or bad because they emotionally implore the audience to engage. This dynamic explains how many bad pitches can reliably raise capital. They do this through form, function and pattern recognition.
It’s why the stories of founders tend to propel the early years because we love the hero narrative. But in order to be truly successful it has to be the brand that drives the narrative, not a person.
Here is some practical advice on how to craft a narrative that effectively communicates your company's proposition to investors
A clear and compelling problem
The first step in creating a compelling story is identifying the problem that your company is solving; your dragon to slay. Like a dragon pillaging the land, the problem outlined should be significant and pressing.
A unique solution
Once you've identified the problem, you need to present a unique and innovative solution that sets your company apart from the competition.
Your company is the hero of the story; the knight in shining armour. There may be other knights out there, but you’re the one that will slay the dragon.
A relatable protagonist
It’s often useful to outline the problem in terms of an individual experience. This protagonist should be relatable to your audience, embodying the struggles and aspirations of your target market.People respond more effectively to stories about representative individuals than groups.
An emotional connection
Emotion plays a role in all decision making (even investments) so it's important to create that connection with your audience.
This can be done by highlighting the personal impact of the problem (as above) or by emphasising the potential benefits of your solution. Above all, they must want the hero to win.
Your pitch deck is a short story, not a novel
In creating your pitch deck, simplicity is key. There are a bunch of great templated resources out there, so we are not going to go too far down that rabbit hole. The classics are the Y Combinator guide, and the Sequoia template. Use your insights from your fundraising strategy to guide your key selling points.
The best meta advice is that you should keep it short. It’s a conversation starter, not a deal closer. Your natural inclination will be to include all the detail and justification for why your idea is the greatest. Remember, at this point you are only telling a story.
Getting good feedback
Finally, bear in mind that unlike a novel, your pitch is never really ready. Ship it early and use it as a tool to get feedback.Run some sessions with people you trust, capture their thoughts, and adapt accordingly. Think in terms of story points within a narrative arc and keep the ones that are resonating.
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