How To Successfully Pitch Your Business To New Partners + Investors
In our series Selfmade U, we’ll tackle the most common questions and pain points that come up for business owners with tips and tricks from Selfmade, a virtual business coaching program, founded by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and sponsored by Office Depot OfficeMax. We’ll hear from Selfmade members and business coaches on what it takes to run a successful business and make it as an entrepreneur.
Whether you’re looking to partner with another brand, earn new clients, or attract investors, you’ll need a great business pitch. “The first thing you need to think about when creating your pitch is what is the goal you want to achieve?,” says Selfmade founding coach Emily Merrell in her Pitching 101 workshop. “A strategic partnership is a great way to create brand awareness, client acquisition, product sales, and build authority,” she adds
Photo: Ruthless Images
When Kara Kaufmann, an elementary school teacher and mom of four, wanted to find a way to make it in the music industry and build her YouTube channel, she looked to Selfmade.
“I used to think if something was meant to happen it just magically would, but that is not the case!,” she says. “The music industry is a tough one and it takes a lot of grit. I had the grit, I just didn’t have a mentor who said, ‘You just have to keep pushing through.’ Now I have mentors through Selfmade who say just that.”
Kara got her start when her kids were searching for dinosaur songs but didn’t quite find what they were looking for. She pulled up to her piano and started her first couple of songs. “Each song is brimming with dinosaur facts and weaving in a storyline about childhood wonder, resilience, and growth. But the songs are also written with parents in mind.”
Kara received an Office Depot OfficeMax scholarship to Selfmade, where she entered the pitch competition. “The Office Depot scholarship is such an important program because finance is usually the biggest hurdle,” she says.
What did she learn from pitching her music channel to potential investors? “Keep it clear and concise! Wishy-washy isn’t going to cut it,” she says. “I have someone’s attention for a quick second – and I need to grab it as soon as I can. And, I need to get right to the point with what makes me different, what makes me stand out. What am I doing that the world needs?”
Here are more tips to keep in mind when pitching your business:
Evoke emotion: Start with a compelling hook. Highlight a problem or opportunity your business addresses and pique their curiosity with a strong opening statement. “Be clear about your mission and make sure they can relate to what you’re offering,” says Merrell.
Share a snapshot of your customer: Highlight the size and potential of your target market. Show that you understand your target audience and can provide a unique solution. Show your business stats like your social following, email subscribers, and sales, too. “This helps show relevance,” says Merrell.
Keep it concise and engaging: You want to hold your audience’s attention so keep your pitch to the point and avoid unnecessary jargon. Use visuals, storytelling and compelling anecdotes to make your pitch memorable.
Be authentic and passionate: Show enthusiasm and conviction when presenting your ideas. Investors and partners are investing in you as much as your business. Let your passion shine through and convey why you are the one to make this business a success.
“Selfmade is what has given me confidence, knowledge, guidance, and the most incredible community of female entrepreneurs to journey along with,” says Kauffman.
For entering the Selfmade pitch competition, Kauffman earned a gift card from Office Depot OfficeMax. “I generally find myself sitting at the kids’ table in a kids’ chair (not kidding) to work, so it’s been good to build out my big girl office,” she says. “I also love the organization supplies from Office Depot – I am a big fan of Emily Ley and Russell + Hazel products, and Office Depot carries a great selection of both.”
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Illustrated by Daniela Jordan-Villaveces
Pitching your business takes a concise, engaging, and visually stunning presentation. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. Office Depot OfficeMax can help you organize & save time with a suite of business services & solutions to help you accomplish more.