To be successful in an equity crowdfunding campaign, it is not enough to have a winning idea, but it is essential to know how to tell it in the best possible way in order to convince our potential investors.
Storytelling means telling the story of a project, arousing emotion and involvement in those who listen, but to do this we need the right mix of narrative skills, marketing expertise and perfect knowledge of all the languages that digital technology makes available to us.
Storytelling as a business story
When we talk about storytelling, we are referring to a way of communicating through stories that connect us to others.
Ultimately, storytelling means creating textual, visual and perceptual representations in the broadest sense to establish a relationship with your interlocutors.
The construction of a business story that is credible, solid and coherent is therefore fundamental because, nowadays, narrative aspects often prevail over purely functional ones and emotions win over utility.
This clearly does not mean that the concrete aspects of a business are not important, but that what makes the difference is the level of identification that each of our potential backers manages to develop with the project we are telling them about.
If we think about it, it is the same for every story we were told as children and which has remained in our hearts, or for each of our favourite films: being struck by a story means finding an aspect of ourselves and therefore identifying with it.
Equity crowdfunding storytelling: emotional storytelling and changing point of view
As we have seen, storytelling is about emotion. Storytelling for crowdfunding, however, also means trying to change perspective. It is important not to dwell on what necessarily moves us, but to try to identify the elements of our story that can develop emotions in our potential investors.
After all, this is a lesson we have learned from marketing: today’s offer revolves around desires, not needs.
This is why storytelling is used to involve our investors, arousing emotions in them to the point where they identify with our project and feel involved in it.
But how to tell such a story?
So, what are the fundamental ingredients that cannot be missing in a good storytelling strategy to make an equity crowdfunding campaign successful?
The tone of voice
Your startup has a personality, which must emerge from the story you tell your audience.
Your company’s character traits are not explicit, but they come through in the tone you use.
In creating your business story, you must strive to speak in the expressive register of your audience, using words that evoke images in their minds that will make them see your project as something they can identify with.
The tone of voice means the way you speak as a company, which translates into the words you use, the register you use and the situation you are in. You can choose to be more informal or more austere, more playful or more serious, but the important thing is that you always appear authentic and that the way you tell your story says something about you that makes your interlocutor ‘let his guard down’.
Big companies have long understood that stories are the perfect vehicle to get into the hearts of consumers. It’s no coincidence that sportswear brands tell us how their products help us become the athletes we’ve always wanted to be, or that banks tell us about life plans rather than yields, interest rates and family budgets.
For companies targeting the consumer audience, storytelling is about appealing to desires, stimulating ambitions, turning everyday life into a place where everyone can feel special, the hero of a contemporary fairy tale. The effectiveness of this mechanism is so proven that rather than storytelling, we increasingly tend to speak of storytelling.
So, what lessons can we learn from marketing to tell our story?
Unique selling proposition: make your business unique
The communication challenge for any company is to identify and bring out the differentiating elements that will make it preferable to its competitors.
In marketing, a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the unique selling proposition that will make your business stand out from the competition.
The storytelling should therefore be functional to bring out your specificity by highlighting the value of your products or services, not so much because you will tell them as better than others, but because you will have to make them perceived as able to satisfy a demand by offering a unique, innovative and strongly recognisable solution.
Identifying and communicating your USP is about letting your audience know that you are unique and have strengths that make you different. Having a clear idea of the elements that differentiate your company allows you to present yourself to your potential investors as the horse to bet on because you have been able to identify the problem of a specific target or market niche and you have understood how your products or services can intercept that type of demand or even open up hitherto unexplored markets.
An effective USP is able to win new customers, is what makes you invaluable and enables you and your company to achieve results. You need to communicate to investors what makes you unique because it will be the reason why your target audience will listen to you and choose you.
Storytelling and the communication funnel
There is another concept borrowed from the world of marketing that can help us in the construction of our storytelling. We are talking about the funnel concept.
With the term funnel we mean an ideal path that takes the user from a general knowledge of the product to the maturation of a purchase decision.
In the field of equity crowdfunding, we can adapt this concept by imagining using the various levers that will lead our audience to become our investors.
According to Enzymes, the path through which the funnel of an equity crowdfunding project develops can be summarised in these three macro phases
- traffic building & short presentation: once published on an equity crowdfunding platform your business project will compete with all the other proposals. At this stage equity portals generally make available to users a short presentation of projects from which key information can be gleaned. At this level of the funnel the business proposal is visible to all users registered on the platform. At this stage, the sector in which the company operates or the technology it uses may be an initial filter, and it will then be necessary for the information material to clearly intercept those users who may be potentially interested in funding the project.
- Video social channels & team evaluation: if we have succeeded in stimulating the attention of our target audience, it is likely that our interlocutors will begin a more in-depth evaluation of our proposal. In this phase, a presentation video could be decisive: in a couple of minutes, we need to condense all the key information about the project and convey the transport and motivation necessary for our audience to decide to fund us. Often, especially for start-ups, the real factor in determining a positive attitude on the part of the platform user is the team. It is therefore essential that the team presents itself in the best possible way, highlighting its skills and motivation, so that it can be evaluated as a fundamental asset of the proposal itself.
- Business plan & Due Diligence: it is only after having considered the sector of activity, evaluated the product/service and appreciated the qualities of the entrepreneurial team that the user normally decides to want to understand the strategies and development possibilities of the team. In this phase it will be fundamental to present a business plan that can illustrate in a clear, punctual way and with verifiable information the solidity of one’s project and an analysis of the feasibility of the business. In this phase it is also important to be ready to present a series of documents on how to participate in the share capital, such as the type of shares or quotas that can be acquired and the relative patrimonial and administrative rights.
Telling a story for an equity crowdfunding project can be a challenging task and only an adequate strategy, optimal planning of the contents, and the choice of the correct narrative register will ensure that we reach the heart of our investors and make them become our partners.
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