How To Leverage Press To Get Your Startup Funded

A key component to a successful equity crowdfunding campaign is to utilize the press to amplify your story and reach a much larger set of investors. Using the media to your advantage offers you the opportunity to tell a much larger story than just your fundraise that results in the perfect storm, which has the potential to have a massive impact on your fundraising efforts.

This article will touch on the 5 steps to take when doing an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Steps to Success:

  1. It’s All About the Story

  2. Create the Perfect Storm

  3. Fundraising Perks

  4. Leverage your Media Relations

  5. Distribute the Content

It’s All About the Story

Telling a story is one of the most critical pieces to getting your company funded. Investors invest in people. So if they aren’t moved by the story you’re telling or the problem you’re solving, they most likely won’t end up investing. Be clear and concise with your value proposition so potential investors reading your story instantly connect and want in.

This is especially true when it comes to press for your fundraise. The reality is that no media channels care that your fundraising. This means that it’s your job as the entrepreneur to leverage aspects of your business other than your current fundraise to create a compelling story that has mass appeal.

With any of your marketing efforts when using equity crowdfunding, the ultimate goal is to get dollars closed into your fundraise. So we are not saying that you should exclude your fundraise from your press release entirely, but instead have that as a line item in the larger context of your story.

If you nail your story and have an interesting and unique news hook, the press will pick it up and it will propel your equity crowdfunding campaign to the next level.

Create the Perfect Storm

When it comes to press for your equity crowdfunding campaign, timing is everything. It is critical that you time your press push around something notable happening in your company whether it be a big partnership, notable investor investing or launch of a new product. This will create the news hook we talked about and produce the buzz you are looking for.

It’s important to also think of different verticals to pitch your story too. Meaning if you are a technology company don’t just circulate your story to TechCrunch and Mashable but think outside the box and go after less traditional outlets that may have a connection to your particular story whether it be the local media or other relevant verticals.

A perfect example of creating the perfect storm was when Neil Young’s equity crowdfunding campaign for PonoMusic was promoted by Rolling Stone on their website and social, which generated millions in investment. The timing was perfect and the larger story resonated with the audience creating a perfect storm. This is what you are looking to achieve with your press push and it all comes down to being at the right place at the right time.

Fundraising Perks

Equity crowdfunding gives you the unique opportunity to provide perks to the investors that invest on top of the equity they receive. Perks can often be an interesting hook that appeals to the media and can lead to more interest from journalists. Look to provide once in a lifetime opportunities that money can’t buy when using perks to not only appeal to the media but to accredited investors who want those unique “money can’t buy” experiences.

Referring back to Neil Young’s PonoMusic they gave investors the opportunity to attend a private concert with Neil Young. These perks can boost your campaign and entice investors to invest extra for the perks offered. It’s also an excellent mechanism for closing investors once you’ve built momentum in your equity crowdfunding campaign. Always look to include perks to investors when using equity crowdfunding platforms like Crowdfunder to make your story and fundraise unique.

Leverage your Media Relations

Press releases are great but they won’t help you achieve meaningful coverage. The release is an asset, or a kind of fact sheet, to send to media who ask for more information. Or it can be used to post over BusinessWire so that when people Google your company they can see your recent news.

The best way to achieve meaningful coverage is to cherry pick three or so key publications that you believe your target audience read. TechCrunch is great – but if you are launching a new wine label – you might be better off reaching out to some wine trade publications about your story.

Research journalists at those publications that have written about similar topics in the past. Send them an articulate and simple pitch highlighting why this story is of interest to them. If you need a guide try and keep the pitch to about three, two sentence paragraphs.

Please note – telling an editor you want coverage is not a reason for them to cover your story. Try and tell them why their audience would find this story interesting – you can often do this by articulating what aspect of the story would truly excite their readers and have them coming back for more.

Distribute the Content

Once you’ve generated buzz in the press by building that larger story and timing it perfectly it’s important to distribute that content through various channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and newsletters. This is how you can achieve the viral effect that will ultimately complete your fundraise.

If you are working with influencers ask them to post a link to the Crowdfunder campaign with copy that would entice their fans to click through. With the copy, try to make it so enticing that people can’t help but click through and try and want to partake in the opportunity.

Facebook is now strictly pay for play. Even if you have 50,000 fans only 1-2% will see the post unless you boost it. Try and reserve some money to boost the post about your Crowdfunder campaign to ensure it reaches a wider audience.

Look to leverage 2nd and 3rd degree connections when using social media to ensure your campaign is achieves the highest reach possible.

Conclusion

Leveraging the power of press can sometimes be the difference between falling short and a successful fundraise. It is up to you to create that perfect storm which ends up yielding millions in dollars committed to your equity crowdfunding campaign.