I’m creating a business plan for a project I’m executive producing as well as preparing for a workshop on alignment financing.
As we all know, the worlds of content, technology and branding are colliding to create new possibilities for financing, collaboration and potential equity in our businesses and our projects.
One of the major lessons – I’m learning it again, and again – is how powerful storytelling can be in finding investors. Stories are 22 times more memorable than facts alone.
But it’s more than the mind.
It’s the emotional connection people make to the subject. And that’s the advantage we have as content creators looking for finance: we know how to tell a good visual story and the more you can relate to a personal story, the better. This is especially true for the new crowd-sourcing equity platforms.
Here are some reminders about what motivates investors to dip into their pockets and invest in your project.
You as the storyteller
The passion you feel can’t be underestimated when it comes to looking for money. It’s your enthusiasm and trustworthiness that attracts investors to your business.
Investors want to know that you’d be creating, producing or working on your concept, no matter what. The fire within keeps you stoked and working hard. You’ll go to the wall for your idea and that’s why you created it in the first place.
Investors are just as susceptible to FOMO (fear of missing out). The momentum of seeing other investors getting excited prompts their colleagues to join the party. If Sally is putting in some cash and so is Rita, I better get on the bandwagon too.
Enthusiasm can get you in the door or at least get you some attention from investors. However, they are very interested in the problem you are solving or addressing.
Ideally it’s one they also experience every day which could mean the market is quite large. That’s why it’s a very good idea to segment your investor audience into interest groups which makes them easier to reach.
So, parents who are concerned about their children’s eating habits may see a great opportunity in the Ollie’s Edible Adventures brand; or the massive market Tinder presents to singles who only want 140 characters to meet their soulmate; or, for Vulpine, dedicated cyclists who don’t want to look like they’ve just pedalled the Tour de France on their way to work.
Every investor speaks of this special ingredient.
What is it that truly makes your project or business unique in the cluttered market place?
Ideally, you’ve already reached your market in some way through their engagement, through testimonials for your concept or the fact that there’s a huge market of lonely singles looking for love or whatever at the flick of a finger.
It helps if your concept or idea is ahead of the growing trend or catches onto the rise of another trend like the sharing community.
What is the missing piece in your business, project or career?
I love creatively fitting together those pieces of the puzzle. It could be attaching a brand or celebrity to projects (watch this space for an announcement soon) or finding financing in an alternative way or discovering the perfect show runner for your series. My database is large in Canada and the UK. I’m just a degree or two away with a solution to your challenge.