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Visuals
$ 1,500 
Three Weeks
Arrange compelling on-brand visuals
Arrange compelling on-brand visuals
Write copy based on brand messaging
Write copy based on brand messaging
Light research for supporting stats and facts
Light research for supporting stats and facts
Develop the story flow and order of information
Develop the story flow and order of information
Optimize style, emphasis, and timing performance
Optimize style, emphasis, and timing performance
Continue
Coming Soon
Story
$ 1,500 
Three Weeks
Arrange compelling on-brand visuals
Arrange compelling on-brand visuals
Write copy based on brand messaging
Write copy based on brand messaging
Light research for supporting stats and facts
Light research for supporting stats and facts
Develop the story flow and order of information
Develop the story flow and order of information
Optimize style, emphasis, and timing performance
Optimize style, emphasis, and timing performance
Continue
Coming Soon
Visuals + Story
$ 2,550 
Five Weeks
Arrange compelling on-brand visuals
Arrange compelling on-brand visuals
Write copy based on brand messaging
Write copy based on brand messaging
Light research for supporting stats and facts
Light research for supporting stats and facts
Develop the story flow and order of information
Develop the story flow and order of information
Optimize style, emphasis, and timing performance
Optimize style, emphasis, and timing performance
Continue
Coming Soon
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Here’s what happened in July at Trulytell. Prep work leading up to launch, project management, website, financial recap, and all about Startup Resources.
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A brief overview of the Trulytell design and development process, from wireframing in Octopus, to designing in Figma, and developing in Webflow.
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Hey there, I'm Joshua, owner of Absurdity, a small-but-mighty agency specializing in Webflow websites. We focus on delivering unique web experiences that are accessible, responsive, and easy to edit. This post is a brief overview of the Trulytell design and development process. Need help with a new or existing Webflow project? See Absurdity’s website at absurdity.design or reach out at hello@absurdity.design.

All hail the wireframe gods

When we create a website, step one is always a detailed wireframe. We love octopus.do, but you do you. Getting outlined and organized up front gives us a roadmap for the whole project. Trulytell doesn’t have too many pages but has a lot to say. If we didn’t stay organized, it would’ve been a mess.

A few homepage options

Want to see a few early explorations of the Trulytell Home page? Fine, but don’t tell anyone. Created in Figma, these were ultimately revised into the Trulytell Home design you know and love.

The initial chaos of the hero sections were distilled down to a more restrained, controlled design, but still retained the color, texture, and fun.

Accessibility is a necessity

Not much to say here. Good design is accessible. Check your colors, people. We like to use abc.useallfive.com.

Animation makes everything fun

We’re always searching for ways to elevate web experiences. Animation is a fun way to not only add visual interest and sometimes, interactivity. We used a combination of Icon Scout and custom-made Lottie animations. For those unfamiliar, Lottie is a fantastic .json file-format that is used for super lightweight, high quality vector animation. Think gif, but a fraction of the file size, and higher quality. We used Lottie files throughout the homepage, and linked the call to action animation to user scroll, just for fun.

Nested CMS collections: why Webflow, why?!

At Absurdity, we love Webflow. We have and will continue to support the product and the community. So we say this with love and respect: Webflow, please allow more than a single nested Collection per page. This is going to get a little technical, so if you’re not a Webflow nerd, you might want to skip this section.

Here’s what happened… The Pricing section popup on every page of the site is a CMS-driven element. The features within are Multi-reference Collection item within that CMS section, which means we have created a nested CMS Collection. No big deal. That is, until we needed to use another one on the Resources page for tag filtering to be completely CMS driven as well. That meant that there were two nested Collections on the Resources page, which Webflow does not allow.

This situation forced us into a solution where we removed the nested Collection from the Resources tag system, requiring a manual adjustment every time a Resources tag is added going forward. It’s a relatively easy add, but could be completely automated with a nested Collection, if multiple were allowed on a single page. We can dream.

We’re live!

Every project has highs, lows, bugs, and things that finally worked after two hours of trial and error. Trulytell had it’s tricky parts – we even ran up against a Webflow limitation. After workarounds, problem solving, and other such trickery, though, we got the site live! It’s beautiful, fun, functional, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

Need help with a new or existing Webflow project? See Absurdity’s website at absurdity.design or reach out at hello@absurdity.design.

Our step-by-step process on how to find journalists at massive publications and win them over to feature your startup so you can grab investor attention and win new customers.
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We all know the startup space can be highly competitive, and getting eyes on your business can be challenging. As a founder, you'll need to grab attention and build brand recognition fast, but where should you start? Of course, anyone can create an Instagram or a Facebook page and start posting, but how do you get your business into national publications? Trulytell has some tips to get you started and create a focused and organized plan to get the press talking about your startup. 

This article will focus on getting your business featured in prominent press outlets and how to work with journalists. But before we jump into "how," let's get clear on the "why." Why do you want to focus on getting press? At Trulytell, we think that press is a great tool because it instantly creates credibility for your startup. Being featured in TechCrunch or Business Insider is a sign of market validation for your business and helps your startup look bigger than it may be at the moment. This credibility will cause investors and potential clients to take you more seriously and set your business apart as an industry leader and trusted voice in your space. 

Now that we know "why," let's talk through the "how." Getting in contact with journalists and news outlets may seem out of reach for most early stage startup founders, but we promise, it's easier than you think. We have four steps to getting your startup in the press. Here is our tried and true way of garnering press for your startup:

  1. Identify Publications 
  2. Isolate Articles  
  3. Gather Information
  4. Email Journalists 

Identify Publications 

To start your process of getting press for your business, think through what kind of press you want for your business and make a list of publications you would like your company to be featured in. When making this list, think about your target audience. Who do you want to read an article about your business? What market are you trying to target? 

If you have a financial product, select publications like Financial Times, Money, and Forbes. Are you looking to target a Gen Z market, check out magazines like Teen Vogue, Vice, or i-D. Have an app centered around fashion, don't forget about The New York Times Style section or trade publications like WWD, Vogue Business, and BoF. Specifically looking for investors or trying to target other business owners, look at Entrepreneur, Fortune, CNN, and The Street. Don't underestimate the little publications either. This is a catch-all list, so include everywhere and anywhere you would like your business featured. “All press is good press”, as they say. 

Isolate Articles 

Once you have your list of publications, it's time to do some reading. This is your in-depth research stage. The goal is to create a database of articles (teaser to step 4, you'll be contacting the writers of these article). Review all the publications and begin isolating pieces similar to what you would want to be written about your business. Subscribe to publications' newsletters and skim their new articles daily for like-minded stories. Finally, start by saving article links in a spreadsheet. When you see something, copy/paste it in — if it looks relevant, just save it.

If you have trouble finding articles that resonate with you and your business, do a targeted search on google.com/news. You can use keyword searches and set up Google Alerts to monitor the web for interesting new and relevant content, see what press other startups are getting and save the articles you'd like to see emulated for your business.

Pro tip: Try to focus on articles written and published within the last 6 months; many reporters work on contract and frequently jump from publication to publication.  

Gather Information

Once you have a solid list (we recommend at least 50 articles as not every reporter will respond), you can create a rolodex of reporters to reach out to. Now add five more columns to your spreadsheet (in addition to the article URL): article headline, publication and the reporter's first name, last name, and email. It may seem like overkill, but we promise the extra work is worth it in the following steps when you mass-send personalized emails based on these spreadsheet cells. It’s also good to keep your contacts organized so that you're not confused when a reporter responds (sometimes weeks later).

Use the Trulytell template here

To find a reporters email is usually pretty easy, but sometimes you have to play detective. The first place to look is by clicking into their bio usually linked on the article itself. If you are having trouble finding a reporter’s email in their bio, try searching for their Twitter or LinkedIn, as most reporters have their email listed publicly. As a last resort, you can always guess. Google the name of the publication and the words "email format" and use that to guess the reporters' email addresses based on what format comes up in the results. 

If you have access to budget, we recommend looking into resources like Zirtual or RocketReach to help source articles and gather contact reporter emails, but dedicating a few hours to the cause is free if you’re bootstrapped.

Pro tip: It’s usually not worth it writing to general catch-all inboxes like tips@xyz.com. Always try to focus your outreach on specific people.

Email Journalists 

The final sprint is making contact with the journalists that you've researched. There are two ways you can approach this, either manually copy/paste their emails and your contact template (we will talk more about this in a second), or you can automate the process. For sanity's sake, we recommend going the automated route. You can use a mail merge system like HubSpot or YAMM to mass-send personalized emails. 

Once you know how you're going to send it, you can begin creating your template. The email should be concise, polite, and direct. Include links to your webpage and any other additional information but be careful to not over-explain. No one likes opening an email that is a wall of text, so make sure your messaging, formatting, and purpose are all clear.

Tips for your email template: 

  • Your goal is to build connection and provide value. If you come from any other angle, it will reek of desperation.
  • Use human language. Anything too jargony and your email could feel insincere or get intercepted by a spam blocker.
  • Hyperlink your company and avoid writing out too much information. Let your site do the talking.
  • 15-second skim time for the whole email. Journalists are just as busy as you are and get pitch A LOT.
  • Don't include unsubscribe options (as tempting and familiar as Mailchimp is)

You'll want to create three separate emails to reach out to journalists. There is a chance that your first email gets lost in the shuffle or intercepted by a spam filter. In our experience, email #2 is usually when you'll get responses from a journalist. 

Email #1:

Hi [ReporterFirst],

My name is Tom and I am founding ABC Widgets. I read your piece "[ArticleName]" and thought I’d reach out since we’re in the robotics space too. ABC Widgets has developed a fully-automated farm of alien robots that will take over the world.

I’d love to be considered for [Publication] — let me know if there’s any interest.

All the best,

Tom Jones
Co-Founder & CEO
ABC Widgets

Email #2 — 4 Business Days Later

Hi [ReporterFirst],

Quick follow-up — I wanted to see if what we’re building at ABC Widgets makes sense for [Publication]. I look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Tom Jones
Co-Founder & CEO
ABC Widgets

Email #3: — 4 Business Days Later

Pinging one last time — let me know if you would like to connect.

Best,

Tom Jones
Co-Founder & CEO
ABC Widgets

If you do indeed go down an automated path, take advantage of a sequence or drip-campaign setting in your mail-merge system. If you are sending your emails manually, be sure to keep track of what number of the emails you've sent to which reporter. 

Pro-tips:

  • Avoid sending on Mondays and Fridays. It's best to send in the morning (between 7-11am PT) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • Email servers usually limit the amount of emails one can send in a day. Usually that number is between 500-1000 emails. You will know you hit the limit when your email account gets frozen. Not the end of the world, but try to avoid it.

Looking for paid PR support? Check out our friends at Pear dedicated to supporting early stage startups in creating winning press strategies.

This post explains exactly how to navigate what to do when investors request your pitch deck before you’ve had a chance to walk them through it.
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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. 

Voice

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.  

Content

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? 

Style

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. 

Source: Untold Content

Trulytell can help you define your story to plug into your one-pager. Check out our Services & Pricing or chat with us down below.

Here’s what happened in June at Trulytell. Adopted proven deck methodology, created a pricing structure, and wrote a video script based on founder pain points.
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Here’s what happened in May at Trulytell. Founder, Joshua Brueckner, began meeting with startup founders, created a brand style guide, and identified a web design agency.
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