One of the most common questions we get from founders in the fundraising process is, “What do I send an investor who asks for my pitch deck before we’ve even had the chance to meet?”
We've seen it happen plenty of times; you send your deck to an investor, and for one reason or another, the meeting never happens. We can explain why this happens and what to do to pique their interest enough to land the meeting, ultimately leading you to securing funding to get back to business.
Why do investors ask for your deck before a meeting?
A pitch deck is a tool to introduce your business to investors in a pitch meeting. Many founders design their pitch decks to be delivered in person as a visual aid while they pitch. So why do so many investors ask for pitch decks prior to the meeting?
Investors ask for your deck for two reasons; to decide whether they should meet with you, or if they have agreed to meet with you, to get additional information on your company to prepare for the discussion. Either way, beware.
Giving an investor too much information before a meeting opens up the opportunity for them to build speculation around your business and make up their minds without you in the room to drive the narrative. Even if you end up meeting with the investor, if they’ve already reviewed your deck, it will rob you of the chance to make a strong impression during the meeting. Most (if not all) of the information you present will be duplicative, which can make it hard to keep the investor’s attention and doesn’t allow the investors to emotionally invest in your pitch.
What to send instead of your deck
How do you get a meeting and hook an investor without sending a deck? If you're not getting results from sending your pitch deck before a meeting, try something different. We love a one-pager to communicate a business’ purpose, goals, and business model. One-pagers are great tools to use when you are in the initial stages of meeting investors because they don’t rely on your narrative to get the point across.
Your one-pager is your ultimate hype tool and your new best friend. A one-pager aims to present enough information to investors so they can learn about your company without overwhelming them with too much information. An effective one-pager will give an investor the confidence that you have a strong, well-thought out business. This will pique their interest enough to follow through with the meeting and better engage during it.
Create a one-pager
When creating your one-pager, we’ve found breaking it down into manageable sections is the best approach to get started. We like to think about the three main components as your voice, your content, and your style.
The goal of your one-pager is to grab the attention of investors and make them want to learn more about your business. The “voice” of your one-pager will help you do just that. You can think of the “voice” as how you want investors to read your one-pager; the tone of your writing will determine how you are perceived.
You want your content written in an easily digestible, clear, and concise way. A one-pager is not the place to deep dive into any aspect of your startup, as the one-pager acts as your startup's TL;DR.
Now that you know how you want your one-pager to sound, it’s time to write it. It can be overwhelming to try to distill all of your company's work and goals into a page or less, but there are a few sections that all one-pagers should include:
Problem - What is your company solving and why is it important to solve?
Solution - How is your business uniquely positioned to tackle this problem?
Market - Who are you solving the problem for?
Vision - Where do you see your company going in the long term?
Milestones - What are the major steps it will take to get you there?
Business Model - How will your company operate?
The Raise - What do you need from investors to get you there?
Once you have all your information, you need to make it look good. While here at Trulytell, we never advocate for style over substance, we also acknowledge the importance of a polished presentation.
Organization and branding are key here. Creating clear headers, footers, and sidebar sections can help you get a lot of information into your one-pager without visually overstimulating your audience. We recommend using your existing branding to bring personality and make your one-pager stand out. No one will remember a plain Word document, so don’t be afraid to be true to your startup’s brand. If you need a little inspiration for organization, here’s an example we found online.
Trulytell can help you define your story to plug into your one-pager. Check out our Services & Pricing or chat with us down below.
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