Tuesday, March 09, 2021

PitchSolutions: Your source for pithy pitching advice

Does your startup have just too much information to jam into one short pitch? Let me help you nail it!

That's not really an ad. It's the premise of my new focused Twitter channel, PitchSolutions. (Which Twitter of course decided to call @SolutionsPitch.)

Follow PitchSolutions for regular content on developing your startup pitch: who you are, why your business exists, what it's trying to do, how it's gonna get there, who's helping you, and why you are all going to win.  That's a lot of stuff to cram into a five- or 10-minute pitch, but as a lifelong writer and editor (I was  helping my mom mark high-school English papers when I was 13), I know you can get it done.

My tweets draw on my own experience as well as popular experts, book and articles to bring you the most useful intel. To get you fully up to speed, here are some of PitchSolutions' pithiest tweets since its launch last month:

9 Top Pitching Errors 1 Have no plan. What will you do by when? 2 Exaggerate financials 3 Forecast growth without evidence 4 Say you have no competitors 5 Ignore gaps on your management team 6 Focus only on positives 7 Dwell on problems 8 Read your slides 9 Care only about money

An elevator pitch is a longer, multi-sentence version of your basic short value proposition. Seth Godin: "The purpose of an elevator pitch is to describe a situation or solution so compelling that the person you're with wants to hear more even after the elevator ride is over."

Solid thread on getting your positioning right. Read it all. "Your positioning should clearly define your differentiated value and your best-fit customers. Once you know that, you know how to frame the problem your product solves better than anyone else, for your ideal prospects."
Quote Tweet
April Dunford
Sometimes weak messaging comes from a poor framing of the problem you solve. If your definition of the problem isn't rooted in your differentiated value, then you are likely framing the problem incorrectly and could be playing directly to the strengths of your competitors. 1/

One of the most challenging parts of pitch-writing is clarity. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, emphasizes the importance of clarity: "If I can't get to an investment statement that's statable in 3-7 bullets, usually I won't invest."

From The Startup Pitch, by Chris Lipp

“Build a strong foundation for your presentation by asking three simple questions," says startup guru Guy Kawasaki.

* How much time do I have for my pitch?

* What are the three most important things I can explain?

* Can we hold all questions till the end?

Source: https://t.co/Hkj22IsZyb?amp=1

"Impress potential investors by coming well-armed with details about: * exactly how their money will be spent; * a complete budget of expenses; * and projections that include not only what return they can expect, but over what timeframe."

Be thorough.
Be rigorous. "The more you’re able to show you have a very well-thought-out business plan, the greater your chances of success."

Source: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/funding-financing/small-business-stand-out-pitches/

How to Pitch a Startup, by Martin Jones coxblue.com/17-things-you- Keep your pitch simple Manage the timing of your pitch Tell your story Stay focused Convey the unique value of your startup’s product or service Let potential investors experience your product first-hand (Part 1)

How to Pitch a Startup (part 2 of 3) Be clear on who your target audience is and why Know your numbers Be prepared to support any claims Be passionate and enthusiastic about your startup opportunity Make sure you have a strong close Present a solid startup pitch deck
How to Pitch a Startup (part 3 of 3): Understand how to market your startup’s social value Build a strong support team Practice, practice, practice Hire a professional to help you refine your startup pitch and presentation

The most effective pitches begin long before you start talking. Start by knowing everything you can about your prospect.

Who are they, what are t

heir goals, how fast and how boldly do they move? What kinds of questions do 

they ask? 
If you don't know all this, you're not ready.

PitchSolutions Retweeted
Fundraising? Make a doc for investors, organized by how VCs "de-risk" startups. In each section, derisk your startup! -Founder Risk -Market Risk -Competition Risk -Timing Risk -Financing Risk -Marketing Risk -Distribution Risk -Technology Risk -Product Risk -Hiring Risk

When pitching your startup, be truthful. Sometimes the questions from investors or juries are to assess your credibility, integrity and not your skill or product. Don’t lie. Even on what might seems like very small stuff.

The seven elements of a great pitch: * A plan. * An attention-getting introduction. * A story. * A testimonial. * A surprise! * A call to action. * A memorable finish. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

You have just one chance to make a great first impression.