Are you wondering how to build a fundraising story for your business? In essence, you should never try fundraising for your startup without a great story.
If you want to rocket your chances of converting investors, secure the best terms when you do get and turn every contract into a brand ambassador, you need a strong story. Where do you start with creating one that will pave the way for you?
The Value of Storytelling for Startups
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Think about it. The story is what triggers so many people to donate to causes that nonprofits can pay their celebrity leaders like Al Sharpton $1M in a single year. The story is what makes the difference between McDonald’s only being able to sell a cup of coffee for $1, and Starbucks charging over 4x as much.
The story is all that really makes the difference between a $15 purse at Walmart, or $1,900 for a YSL bag, or paying $65,000 for an identical-looking The Row bag from Neiman Marcus. The story is why people can sell water they pulled out of the ground for free for $1,000 a bottle. You might not fathom why someone would pay so much or invest so much in the water you siphoned from your backyard.
Yet, Pepsi has recently launched two new bottled water brands in a $16B industry. Keurig Dr. Pepper recently made a $525M acquisition of another bottled water company. Though closed another after finding high levels of arsenic.
Value of any kind all comes down to the story. So get one. Tell a great one.
What a Good Story Should do for Your Startup
There are several important things when considering how to build a fundraising story for your business when you are about to go all out with the startup fundraising efforts.
The primary function of storytelling is to tell a story that resonates and builds affinity with your ideal audience. So, first, you really need to know who they are, intimately. Who are your ideal investors? What do they relate to?
The next factor is conveying the most important points about your business. You can give the reasons for your features and their tangible benefits in story form. It’s far more interesting and will keep their attention too.
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A good story adds value. It shows the value of what you are doing and your company.
Finally, it inspires emotions. Because emotions are what adds value and trigger action below you will find the key parts when you are thinking about how to build a fundraising story for your business.
The 6 Parts of Your Story
1. Set the stage
What’s your origin story? What is the scenario that your audience can relate to? What are your experience and background.
2. The problem
What’s your why? What problem did you encounter that triggered you to get the idea and go down the path of this startup? Try to convey it in relation to a problem they have personally encountered too.
3. The solution and purpose
What solution is your company in business to provide? How is it an improvement on what exists now? How is it at least 10x better?
4. Challenges & championing them
Anyone who has the capital to invest in your startup probably knows all too well that success doesn’t come that easy. There are going to be surprised, bumps in the road, hurdles, and adjustments to make. Demonstrate how you handle them and champion them. It will tell a lot about how you will ace them or not in the future.
5. Helping & extending that to others
What impact are your solutions and startup having on people and businesses out there? What makes it meaningful? How will you raise this money to amplify that good stuff?
6. How can they participate?
Know they are excited, and know and like you a little more, how can they participate in your success and mission as an investor
Crafting Your Story
If you feel confident in your story, start laying it out. Write it out.
You’ll need several versions of different lengths for various scenarios. You’ll need a very short elevator pitch version. One for the about page on your website. Another longer version for pitching live and speaking with investors. Plus, cop you can put in your pitch deck.
Practice it. It should become spontaneous and natural. How does it sound like a story? How does it sound to you in the mirror or playing it back on camera? How does it sound to your friends and family? Practice, practice, practice.
Many technical founders find it very hard to convey their stories. They don’t see one. Or they only see the code and the features and data. Bounce your story off of your fundraising advisor to get their input. Consider hiring a professional writer to interview you and pull your story out and convey it in an optimal way. T
his is their art and expertise. They can see the story when you can’t, and how to position it for investors and customers. With so much riding on this one factor, it’s worth investing in doing it well.
When fundraising is in order knowing how to build a fundraising story for your business is critical. Whether you get funded or not can all come down to your story. How valuable your business is can all be directly tied to how great your story is told. Know the elements of a winning story, and embrace outside help to champion this pivotal part of launching your startup venture.
Remember that storytelling plays a key role in fundraising. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.