In our blog Seven Steps: Creating Compelling and Credible Crowdfunding Plans, we introduced the concept of the elevator pitch and described the attributes of your business that you must convey in that pitch.  By way of review:

The elevator pitch is your foot in the door, highlighting why investors should take a closer look. It should contain the core of the seven steps touched on: What is the opportunity? Why is your company the one to seize it? What is in it for investors? What action are you seeking?

We focused on the content of the elevator pitch, but just as important in successfully conveying your message is style.  The words you choose and the structure of the pitch are as important as what you say.  We provide some general guidance in Persuasive Communications for a Successful Campaign:

  • Your investment pitch must resonate.  It must sing.  Your passion, enthusiasm, and commitment must be evident.  Investors will not get excited if you are not.  Test your pitch, hone it, seek help in crafting your message.
  • The story that you tell must come alive.  It must be so vivid that people can readily picture how customers will react and benefit from your concept.
  • People love buying things, and they love investing in good ideas, but they just hate being sold to.
  • People buy from people they like.  People do business with people they like.  People invest with people they like.  Use your investment pitch, especially your video to get people to genuinely like you.

But how do you do all that?  Some much content, so many requirements, so little time.  To help you, we’ve turned to the seven deadly sins.  Your pitch must be structured and delivered in a way that inflames the passions of your audience.

  1. Wrath.  Captivate listeners by channeling their anger. What are their frustrations? What problems will you solve? If they’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, show how you will make things right. You might start with a concept like, “Do you remember how you felt when the electric company left you powerless for days? You never have to feel that way again.” Capture frustrations to illustrate why your solution solves something important in people’s lives.
  2. Gluttony.  Accentuate the positive aspects of your proposal and leave the listener excited about the prospects.  Give them all of the critical information that they need, acknowledge the risks, make sure the important questions are answered, but leave them asking for more.
  3. Lust.  The passion you have for your business must be embraced by your audience. By the end of your pitch, you want the listener to have an intense desire to know what you know and feel what you feel.  Your pitch must be part of a total package: investors must have both the intellectual appreciation for your business and the emotional connection to what you offer.
  4. Sloth.  Assume that investors have a difficult time connecting the dots.  Make your pitch simple to understand.  It must be clearly stated without overuse of jargon or buzzwords.  Rather than saying:  “Our SaaS cloud-centric approach…,” tell the listener what you are doing in easy to understand terms.  Make no assumptions about their level of knowledge.  This is especially true in Investment Crowdfunding where many potential investors will not be versed in your industry, technology, or products.
  5. Envy.  You bring something unique. Your pitch should inspire your audience to want what you have and participate as you work to capture the opportunity you envision.
  6. Greed.  Investors will need to know how you will earn a return for them. Even as you paint a balanced picture, you will need to describe how your business can benefit them. This can only be achieved if you have properly described and quantified your business’s opportunity, shown how your company and management team are uniquely positioned to seize it, and then translated that into a potential for financial return.
  7. Pride.  Encourage your audience to be a part of your team. Remember, Investment Crowdfunding offers investors a chance to make an impact with their funding choices.  When you show them how, you strengthen your connection with them. Demonstrate to investors how their involvement (through investing, providing advice, or becoming an advocate for the business) puts them in a special position of importance.  Make your passion contagious.

Remember: keep the pitch short.  After all, the elevator is rapidly approaching your floor…

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