What’s the value of a cup of coffee?
Ever bought a coffee at Starbucks? How much did it cost? 2, 4, 6 bucks?
Why did you pay a premium for something you can make at home for a few cents? Is the coffee better? Could you not be bothered to make it at home? Were you paying for the pleasant experience of having someone make it for you? Was it the muffin-on-the-side that got you?
There are lots of reasons why we pay for things we could in theory create ourselves and this brings me to the subject of your investor pitch deck.
As a startup entrepreneur or Founder, you’re passionate about your business and you believe you have the makings of success. What you lack right now is funding to catapult you into the next stage. This might be the MVP stage if you’re at the early stages, or it could be to conquer a new market if you’re more advanced. Yep, the only thing standing in your way is that small matter of $$$. Investors have tons of the stuff, but getting them to part with it demands that you get them more than just a bit excited about your product.
To add to the challenge of raising funds, we’re in the midst of a world pandemic. It’s probably not the best time to hop on a plane to Silicon Valley and set up a bunch of meetings. However, in case you didn’t notice, the world is managing pretty well over the internet. As we speak, ideas are germinating into products, and fortunes are being made over Zoom, in emails, and on Googledocs. This is great news for your startup because it means you can do the same. All you need is a rocking pitch deck. The kind that makes investors hit save and not the kind that has them hitting the trash icon!
Going back to the coffee question, the value of a cup of coffee is whatever the buyer wants to pay. As the person with the wallet, you get to choose what’s important to you and if a sweet frothy number with caramel sauce and whipped cream floats your boat, it’s your prerogative to pay 6 bucks (or more) for it!
But I have a pitch deck already!
Yes, I know. Sam in IT is great with computers. He hobbled together a pitch deck using a combination of sentences he pulled from your website. Limor from Marketing – who as it so happens, did her undergraduate degree in Boston – added a few flourishes too. The CEO stuck in some financials at the end.
You think it’s pretty good actually and here’s the best part – it cost you N-O-T-H-I-N-G!
Send. Send. Send.
In a few days, your bank account will be heaving under the weight of all that cash.
Well, that’s the idea anyway,
It rarely works out that way. (Trust us).
That’s because a bad pitch deck is like a bad cup of coffee. None one wants it. One look at that pale, watery concoction and it’s straight into the trash!
Why is this pitch deck so expensive?
Expense is a relative term. Think back to that grande caramel macchiato you’re prepared to sink 6 bucks into. Twice a week at that!
Is it expensive? Compared to the stuff you make with granules at home, it certainly is! Is it worth it? Well, it is to you or you wouldn’t be buying it. What are you getting for your $? A place to sit and work for a few hours. A pleasant experience that lights up your morning. Something you look forward to when you get out of bed. A few minutes saved by not having to make it yourself and the premium taste and flavor of something you couldn’t get at home.
You’re prepared to pay the money because the value you’re getting is worth it. To you.
Let’s think about that pitch deck again.
The homegrown version courtesy of Sam and Limor cost you nothing – great!
The professionally designed and expertly written version can cost you upwards of 5,000 dollars or a whole lot more. (If you’re lucky, you can get Purple Chia and Rubberband to do it for 10,000 Shekels – around 3,000 USD – but more on that later!)
You’re thinking that 3,000 USD for a few slides and some pretty words and pictures is a lot of money and yes it does sound like a lot to a bootstrapped startup but let’s think of the value you are getting. If your pitch deck hits the mark just once – that could mean 500,000 dollars in investment for your company. It could mean more or it could mean less. But it will certainly be a lot more than 3,000 USD. If it hits the mark twice… well, you do the math.
Yes, by sending out a shoddy pitch deck you’ve saved 10, 000 shekels but what will that pitch deck bring you?
If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
This is certainly true of that critical startup pitch deck. The process of writing the pitch deck in collaboration with a skilled copywriter and designer will give you crystal clear imaging, on-target language, and clean graphics that you can use again and again in all your communications. This is not something to be sniffed at for an early-stage startup that hasn’t done a branding exercise yet.
Call this pitch deck your mini-branding exercise. Professional designers and copywriters put in the legwork to understand your business, your customers, your market, and your competition on a deeper level than you believed possible. The result is clear messaging that speaks to your customer’s pain points and instantly shows both customers and investors why your product or solution is so epic! What’s more, it’s all you’ll need for a while yet. Forget the super-expensive branding process. Those star sentences, taglines, and graphic icons on your pitch deck can be repurposed into hundreds of brochures, sales one-pagers, email footers, web content, and more.
You can pay for top-notch branding when you’re a bit further down the line (if you still want/need to).
In conclusion, you get what you pay for. It’s one of the most elementary lessons in business.
The mistakes startups make
You’re still thinking you can just send out your homemade pitch deck. No one really cares about the deck, it’s what’s inside that counts.
Your business is incredible, anyone can see that. Who needs fancy words and pictures to prove it.
If that were true, it would be great but it isn’t.
Think of it this way. Did you ever get one of those emails that is trying to sell you something? Some of us are suckers for those and others are savvier. Either way, which email do you read to the end? Which one tempts you just a teeny little bit? I can bet it’s not the endless one full of dense text and boring jargony speak. It’s probably the one that’s concisely written, fun, and very clear about why this should matter to you!
It’s the same with the pitch deck. You have to serve up the information in the right format so that it’s appealing, clear, and very obvious why your reader should care.
In our work with tens of startups, we see the same mistakes cropping up over and over. Obvious mistakes that can be readily remedied to make your pitch that much more powerful and that much more attention-worthy to your investors.
Yes, the packaging counts!
It’s Christmas morning and you’re racing down the stairs to see what Santa left you under the tree. Do you pick up the mangy package wrapped in the Tesco bag or the shiny, glossy box-shaped one with a bow on top?
We might be sophisticated adults who should know better, but we’re still most attracted to things that look nice on the outside.
Your future investor is a person just like you. Why should they be any different?
Of course, if we analyze this, we can see there is a perfectly good reason for our attraction to shiny objects. The better-looking package looks like more effort went into it and we appreciate that fact. It also probably has something better inside. Or so we believe. Of course, we might be wrong.
Actually, it doesn’t even matter if the above is true or not. The chances of the prettier package being picked up are just higher than the shoddy package. Accept it.
Investors have inboxes full of pitch decks vying for their attention. Which one do you think they are going to pick up? The one that looks like your teenager did it for his school project or the one that looks slick and professional?
You already know the answer.
In this competitive market, you’ve just got to give the investor a reason to pick yours over someone else’s, and if only for that reason, you MUST get it professionally designed.
Of course, there are other reasons too. There’s much more to design than just glossy packaging. A stellar designer will use some pretty impressive psychological tricks to drive your brand message home strongly using design elements. Did you know that there are tried and tested psychological secrets dictating what we feel when we see certain colors, shapes, and even fonts. The way a slide is laid out influences what is read first, what is noticed most, and what stands out. A good designer can subtly or not so subtly influence the viewer’s opinion with a clever combination of design, layout, and color. They might not know why, but they will be drawn to what they see.
It’s kind of a shame to miss these things out of your deck especially in a world where competition is so fierce.
We can get it cheaper on Fiverr!!
Yes, you absolutely can and if you want to, go ahead. You can probably get one for around 10 bucks if you look hard enough. However, I would think that if you’ve read this far, you already know why that’s just not your best idea!
If you’re feeling inspired to get a professionally designed and written pitch deck for just 10,000 NIS, click here and grab our offer today (limited to the first 25 companies that apply)!
If you liked this blog, lookout for the next in this series:
- How to plan your topic family
- How to choose what to write about