“What do I need to get money for my startup idea?”
“Why am I not getting some of that unicorn money?”
“What presentation gets angels and VCs reaching for their checkbooks?”
Those are all good questions, asked often.
My response may surprise you, it is very simple: You have to be a great storyteller to get your startup money.
Sure, you need a good idea to begin with. And a plan to make money. Plus an able team to launch the business.
But without a great story, your efforts will be in vain.
I know that telling a story sounds simple, too simple. Yet in reality, telling a story that captivates listeners is quite a challenge.
Serial entrepreneurs agree. I’ve worked with them for days, weeks and months crafting their stories. All with a singular goal: Get the money.
Investors also agree about the importance of storytelling. For instance, just the other day Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures blogged on this issue. His message: “I’m talking about making your company memorable by describing it with a narrative that people will later remember.”
ACTION FOR YOU
Here are tips for crafting your story, things serial entrepreneurs use with success.
- Present a story rather than a plan. Stories excite, plans are boring. Think of being a kid when your mom says "How about a fun, exciting story?"
- Use emotions to color your story. Facts are important, so are numbers. But for you geeks, be sure to add emotions. Put your soul into the presentation, let your passion energize your story.
- Focus your message on what is WOW! about your startup. What is exciting about your idea? What makes it a game changer? That is the thing investors are looking for in your story.
- Ask “What is going to be memorable about what I am saying?” Aim to leave an indelible impression on the viewer. The single standout that makes you remarkable. It's very crowded, you have to work creatively to stand out and be remembered.
- Engage the viewer to build rapport. Believe it or not, investors are human. Grab their attention and keep it, from the first moment of contact. Mini stories, episodes, about you as a person, your struggles in life, goof-ups, stumbles, all make you a human.
- Be creative and bold, wisely. Use your imagination, apply those good wits in your head as you craft your story. Avoid the ridiculous, present what is remarkable, believable. Be confident, be bold, like a great storyteller.
- Have fun! Enjoy your time with your viewer. That makes the difference between a business presentation and a remarkable story told.
BOTTOM LINE: Thinking like a storyteller will boost your chances of getting the money. People like stories. Great ones engage the viewer, bring listeners into a rapport with the teller. Focus on delivering what is amazing about your idea -- That WOW! about your idea that is remarkable and worth investing in. And aim for delivering a takeaway that leaves a unique, recallable impression in the mind of the viewer. Then you’ll stand out from the crowd. You’ll be well on your way to building an unfair advantage.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!