Tell a better product story – Part I

Published in Jul 14, 2020

In a previous article, we learned about what to focus on when pitching a product to investors.

Indeed, what began as a way of speaking with very busy individuals who needed to make a decision in a short period of time, now has become a very important part of the entrepreneurial journey, assisting startups in raising capital, applying and competing in startup competitions, establishing partnerships, giving keynotes, selling products, applying for accelerator and incubator programs, and many more.

Pitching has become the standard means for communicating information to entrepreneurs. So this time we are going to go further into this topic and explore some of its main aspects. To begin with: storytelling.

In the article named above, we mentioned that storytelling helps. And yes, it does!

Today, storytelling can be perceived as art and all there is to do is take it into consideration when crafting your pitch. Your startup’s needs go hand in hand with a story. In one of his books (All marketers are liars), Seth Godin wrote about the power of storytelling in marketing and the impact it has on the buyers. He underlines the fact that in order to make things work out between brands and customers, marketers tell the stories, and consumers believe them. Moreover, according to a 2017 research entitled “The Science of storytelling”, 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story.

Likewise, the intersection between entrepreneurship and storytelling can no longer be a surprise. Because we are more intended to buy or pay attention to something if it has a story behind it. Just take a second to think about it.

In this article, we are not talking about what to put into your pitch, but how to actually deliver it. Based on the premise that facts tell, but stories sell, here are some steps to take into account when preparing a pitch:

1. The Setup/ The Struggle/ The Solution
2. Take Your Investors on a Journey
3. Get Inside Investor’s Minds

The Setup/ The Struggle/ The Solution

Based on Dave Bailey’s article, influential stories consist of: the setup, the struggle, the solution. As such, in order to create a story, there is always a setup, a culminating point and the happy ending. The same structure is also right for a pitch.

The setup provides the investors with a context that sets the scene. So, start by sparking some curiosity: ask your audience questions. Continue by placing your audience in the scene to fire up their imagination.

The struggle describes the conflict and confrontation among the characters, here your startup, the needs on the market and the obstacle it faces, let’s say. There’s always a culminating point in a good story, so make sure you put your point on it in your pitch.
And the solution is your startup idea, or product that helps the characters overcome the struggle. Take that into consideration and don’t forget to underline the benefits the startup or product brings to the market.

Take Your Investors on a Journey

To get more to the point let’s approach the investors matter. It is very important to present the problem, create tension, and then present the solution in your pitch. And to create a more personal environment, build a journey and make your investors the spectators.

How to create the journey?
Start with the problem, how did you discover it, and try to introduce the investors into a picture where they have the same problem. Make them think how their life would be like living with that problem and what will change if they would use your solution.

Get Inside Investor’s Minds

Once you’ve narrowed down all these steps above and built a clear story around your startup idea or product, it’s time to think like an investor.

How so? By getting inside their minds and trying to think like one.

This way you’ll be able to write your story in a manner that addresses their immediate concerns and overcomes potential objections. What to keep in mind when doing so:

● What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?
● Who will benefit from the solution?
● What’s your growth rate and can your product or service scale with the demand?
● What’s your business model?
● Do you have any expansion plans?
● How do you attract customers and how do you plan to market your product or startup idea?

And the most important:
● How much are trying to raise and how will you spend the investment?

Ready to start writing your pitch deck?