The Business Funding Show: Day II

Old Billingsgate - London
Old Billingsgate - London

12.30: The psychology of pitching

Paul Grant from the Funding Game spoke about the psychology of pitching and the importance of developing a pitching framework.

Of all the books on psychology and pitching that Grant has read, and he assured the audience it was a great many, the one he recommended as being the most impactful was Influence, by Robert Cialdini. Grant outlined Cialdini’s six triggers of influence, and how they can be useful when pitching for funding for your business:

  • Social proof – you should have a lot of people validating that what you have is a good thing. You need to be able to demonstrate demand
  • Scarcity – put potential investors on the spot, tell people there is one chance to invest and the clock is ticking. Create a fear of losing out
  • Continuity/commitment – people like the feeling of following through on things. If you hand someone a pen at the end of a discussion you are more likely to close a deal. You need to suggest the next step and make it easy for them to follow through on it; this can be as simple as asking: “how much would you like to invest?” rather than “get back to me when you’re ready…”
  • Reciprocation – give products, show products, you go to see them rather than them going to you, help them out- they will be more likely to give something back
  • Likability – be yourself, don’t do a serious ‘I am extremely confident’ face, be free to talk about your mistakes. Just be enthusiastic and your authentic self – if they see any of themselves in you they will like you more
  • Authority – use the authority of other people. Get some well-respected people in your industry on your team, as an advisory board member or some similar role. Now it’s not just you, it’s you leveraging their authority. You will be more likely to get at least a meeting

Grant then laid out some simple points to remember when giving a 30-second pitch of your business. Be sure to cover the following points:

  • Establish your identity
  • Have a conversation, do not be afraid to ask them questions and interact as you go
  • Tell them your discovery moment – tell a story, it makes you more memorable
  • Once you have identified the problem, tell them how your product or service solves it
  • Tell them what milestones your business has reached
  • End with a call to action

2.00pm: The power of visual marketing

Marketing Monkey director Jayshree Badhan explained during her session at the Business Funding Show why visual marketing is more important than ever before…

Let the numbers speak for themselves:

  • 40% of people respond better to visuals than plain text – this is growing as social media grows
  • Infographics can improve your website traffic by 12%
  • 80% of what you see retained by the eye
  • 20% of words on a webpage are read by a user
  • Landing pages with videos are 40x more shareable

The conclusion: people share visual content more than content based on text

5 ways to engage people with visual communication:

  • A powerpoint presentation – text heavy slides get you nowhere
  • Image – we interact visually at all times on the internet
  • Video – YouTube is the second largest search engine today
  • Animation – makes your content more shareable
  • Memes and infographics – enables visitors to your site to more easily digest information

2016 is the year of visual marketing

Most likely your competitors are using visuals already and you do not want to get left behind. Most platforms you’ll be on will already have visuals – Facebook and Twitter etc.

3.30pm: Start, scale, sell

Serial entrepreneur Ketan Makwana offered his tips for starting up a business at the Business Funding Show…

The process for starting up a business:

  • Have an idea – there is no such thing as a bad idea, only poor execution. Ideas need to be shared, collaborated and developed
  • Validate – do not make assumptions. Market research is not enough. What are you offering, what problem are you offering the solution to?
  • Activate your idea – making it happen. Without action all you have is a plan, you need to test the market. Consider: does my idea work; is this what customers want; what is missing in my proposition?

The landscape around you will continuously change, so you need to continuously innovate to keep up.

Ask yourself, what is it that I’m not doing?

Your business needs to educate your customers on what services and products it offers. For example, Spotify’s free service utilises the ad breaks to remind users they can pay for the premium service. You should always be trying to move your customers forward.

Try to think about marketing campaigns as a conversation. Engage your potential market share to find out what they want from you.