Your business plan is bullet proof. Your pitch has been perfected. So what’s the next step to financing your next big project? Attracting investors who are willing to put their money on the line to help you reach your goals. Angel Investors are the perfect choice for both fledgling startups that need cash to get their product to the masses and entrepreneur rising stars who need a leg-up to take their brand to the next level. Here are a few tips to help your appeal to both angel investors and venture capitalists alike.
Some of the most famous entrepreneurs started out with nothing more than a great idea and the courage to stand up to the big boys. Bill Ready of the now explosive startup payment site Braintree recently stated that going up against heavy weight contenders helped him to work harder, be more innovative, and seek funding relentlessly. It was Ready’s competitive nature and calm in the face of opposition that helped him successfully garner the attention he needed from investors across the globe.
Your passion, brand culture, and personal transparency cannot be ignored by even the savviest investor. You must remember that when you’re starting out, you may not have the financials to back up your claim to possible absolute market domination. Therefore, your perseverance and foundational honesty must show in everything you do and say. Your brand truth should be apparent within your marketing tactics, through your social media campaigns, and in your community. Building trust is the key to attracting worthy investors.
Know Your Audience
Know your niche. Determining both your customer and investor demographic can help you relate uniquely to each. When you know and understand your intended audience, you can custom tailor your pitch approach. A generic pitch could spell disaster, leaving you dead in the water before you even begin; use your niche market to help you understand what type of investor may take notice of your efforts and ideas.
Make Sure Your Team is on Board
Angel investors look less at financials and more at your brand, company culture, and ideas. They aren’t the type to simply hand out cash, sit in the shadows, and wait for a return. They want you to succeed and, more often than not, they want to be involved in the process of your success. Your team has to have the same dedication and drive you possess in order to solidify your brand culture and message. These are core traits and beliefs an angel investor will look for to determine if you and your team have the spark needed to bring your ideas to fruition successfully.
Invest in Yourself
Investors want to see that you are as invested in your idea as they are. This does not always mean financially; investing in yourself means you are willing to do what it takes to succeed. Show investors you are "all in" by taking some risks; a leap of faith may be all it takes to prove you are willing to go the extra mile when faced with rough seas.
One of the most important things to remember when trying to appeal to angel investors is to truly and whole heartedly believe in your idea. You can create your own buzz around your brand, and once this buzz grows, investors cannot help but take a first - even a second - look.
Image via Dominik Meissner