Telling Investors How You’ll Acquire Customers, Advice from Donna Griffit

Donna Griffit is a professional pitch coach who has helped hundreds of startups and VC’s around the world raise hundreds of millions of dollars. In this post, she gives entrepreneurs advice on how to talk to investors about customer acquisition. Donna quotes Monica Ohara from the DataScore team for a tip about growth hacking. This piece originally appeared on Donna Griffin’s blog.

Once you have determined your Market Size and your Initial Target Market you have to figure out how you will reach your market and acquire customers. “Go to Market Strategy” is the strategy of penetration your market. What strategies will you use and how much will it cost you to get each customer to use your product — or your “Customer Acquisition Cost” (CAC) using these strategies. Show that you have done your homework, that you are familiar with your market and know the best strategies to get to them at minimum cost.

Here are a few tips:

  • “Viral” is not a Strategy — By saying “oh our product will go viral” you are basically saying nothing. Videos go viral — some by luck and some by lots of money invested into getting it seen. If you show that you have elements of virality in your product (Incentivizing shares — i.e. share with 10 friends to get a free month) that makes more sense. But there’s a fine balance of not being too pushy when getting users to share
  • A Strategy for Every Phase — Obviously you will have less resources starting out so show that you will maximize the early phases with lower cost/higher yield strategies such as social and then later in the game, go for the more expensive strategies like a Sales Team, Trade Show presence, etc. So plot out your phases, your target market for each phase and the strategies you intend to use for each phase.
  • Content is King — A great strategy is blogging, putting valuable content out to your followers that spreads your name in a positive way and leaves them wanting more is a great way to gain their trust and loyalty. It’s also relatively cheap.
  • Share the Love — How do you get your content out there? Open a blog on Medium and start posting on all social channels. You can pay for sponsored posts or ads on Facebook which is highly targeted and relatively inexpensive. Facebook Ads are another great way to experiment and get to know your audience.
  • Your Secret Weapon — If you can find a strategy, a twist that is unique to your product that not everyone has tried, you can sweep the market and fascinate investors. Get Creative… For example — if you have 2 types of users — Businesses and Consumers — if you can show that you will turn the businesses into your ambassadors, bringing on their existing customers — that’s a neat strategy.
  • Partner Up — Who needs your services or had complimentary services and can partner with you to do cross offerings, recommend your services to their customers and be your biggest ambassador? If the partnership is right, this doesn’t have to cost you anything and can bring amazing results!
  • Hack it — Growth Hacking has become a popular buzzword, and like many other buzzwords, it’s important to know what’s behind the buzz so that you can provide investors with an in-depth picture of the strategy. I turned to Monica V. Ohara of DataScore, Growth Hacker Extraordinaire for her best tip on Growth Hacking for my readers:

“Finding smart avenues of growth all begins with brainstorming where your target customer ‘hangs out’ online. Do they read certain websites? Are they active on any social media channels or forums? Once you identify where they are, you can put a plan together about how to engage with them. There are some tools out there like ListBuilder.io that can help speed up your outreach process. ListBuilder.io is one of our growth hacking tools that helps speed up the collection of email addresses, twitter handles, and other contact information with just a few clicks.”

So in conclusion, know your strategies, make sure that they align with the amount you’re asking for and show Investors that you have a clear, attainable path to reach your market. -DG

DataScore’s Bottom line:

If you’re an entrepreneur in need of help with improving your pitch, we highly recommend you talk to Donna. You can learn more from Donna at www.donnagrif.com

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