As they say, communication is key. Never more is this so than during a fundraising process. Maybe even more so when not fundraising for startups.
First off, if you’re fundraising you should have a weekly update email. Start sending these out at least a month before you start fundraising. This should include anyone you’ve targeted as a potential investor, advisor, or key hire. Let’s call them “supporters”.
Make sure they have opted in. Email content should breakdown as follows:
- Specific asks (Help us crush it!)
- What we did last week (Here’s how much we are crushing it!)
- What we are going to do next week (We plan to continue crushing next week!)
- 3-4 KPIs (See! The data proves we are crushing it!)
Email lengths should not go below the “fold” of a laptop screen. Bullet points. This gives your supporters exactly what they need to know in a digestible form.
Post fundraising, make sure you continue to communicate with your “supporters”. Preferably via a monthly email – bcc’d of course!
The dirty little secret about your supporters is that they talk to each other about you behind your back. That’s kind of our job. They also travel and talk to other potential supporters. Your update emails provide the ammo your supporters need to brag and boast about your pending unicorn.
Trust me, nobody wants to receive the “We’re going to run out of money next month so please send money!!” email from a founder. This is bush league. Regular communication builds trust and will help grease the wheels for future support.
Finally, be transparent and really real in the emails. This isn’t a sales pitch. If you totally messed up everything last month, let it be known. Discussing real problems will produce real solutions.
George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion it has taken place.” Take control of the narrative of your company and your supporters will reward you.