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Why you shouldn’t be afraid to brag when pitching to investors?

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It’s in human nature to want to share good news: getting a new job, buying a new house, a new baby on the way. The glow of all the good wishes from friends and family is an intrinsic reward.

So if you’re sharing good news when the stakes are as high as winning an investment, why not shout it from the rooftops?

I’ve gone through countless pitch decks over the years and seen too many founders focus on how great their idea is rather than how great their execution has been so far. If you’ve had any recent breakthroughs like closing big contracts or starting an exciting partnership, don’t wait until slide 17 to show it – some investors may have already lost interest by then.

Right after your title slide, you should immediately start with what I call the “bragger.” It’s about capturing the investor’s attention immediately and holding it throughout your pitch. You need to make a strong first impression, especially in circumstances where interest rates can rise and it will be harder to get money.

It’s doubly important if you’ve already raised your Series A or higher. By now you have had significant capital injections, so your results must be spectacular to convince investors to give you even more money. I am going to share with you how to create an effective bragger so that you can get the financing you desire.

Related: These 4 Pitch-Deck Essentials Can Help You Get the Meeting That Changes Your Life

Humility will not get you financing

I know some bragging rights might make you uncomfortable as some founders I’ve worked with don’t want to seem arrogant by listing their wins right off the bat – but this isn’t about stereotypical vanity stats, but sharing meaningful progress updates that are helpful to investors.

For example, investors don’t need to know how many followers you have on TikTok unless they convert to paid customers. I suggest you list your real achievements, the numbers you worked so hard for. This is your blood, sweat and tears – why not brag about it?

It’s okay not to explain the basics of your product first, as most investors will have at least done some homework on you before the meeting so they have an idea of ​​what you’re doing. If not, you will have the chance to immediately amaze and pique them. Once you hit them with big numbers, in the following slides they’ll be eager to know what your underlying case is to have generated such amazing results.

Disclaimer: Don’t call it “bragging” – that’s just our little secret. Call it a boastful slide can be a little, well, boastful.

Related: This Secret Weapon Will Convince Investors to Fund Your Startup

What investors really want to hear

There are three things investors are constantly listening to: credibility (how much you and your team really know about this space and your references to prove it), sympathy (how nice will it be to work with you as a long-term partner) and momentum (how far you’ve come in your quest so far). The show-off is a great way to touch this one from the get-go.

You should aim for about six to eight killer numbers on the slide that are relevant to your company’s financial success. Here are some ideas of what you can use:

  • Top-line revenue growth: Past growth is not an indicator of future growth, but you positively anchor investor expectations. Show them you know what you’re doing. You can use MoM (month-over-month), QoQ (quarter-over-quarter) or YoY (year-over-year), whichever is more impressive overall. And you can also show user growth, even if it’s not all paying yet.
  • ARR/MRR: For subscription-based businesses, strong annual or monthly recurring revenue shows stability and stickiness. Above all, tell investors about long-term or long-term deals – some business deals are signed for three to five years, which is great because it shows inherently sticky and predictable earnings.
  • Intellectual property: All patents approved or pending demonstrate that your company has a competitive advantage over others who want to do the same.
  • Major partnerships: When big brands treat you like a trusted partner, you benefit from credibility through association, so use it as leverage.
  • Pipeline: Will $17 million worth of contracts be signed next year? No investor doesn’t like a startup with a strong sales pipeline. Be sure to emphasize your future plans.
  • Current lenders: If you’ve already had commitments from major venture capitalists to invest in you this round, shout this from the rooftops. Investors often respect the opinion of their peers.

Related: How to Showcase VCs Your Business Provides Irreplaceable Value

You may have looked at the above list with a sense of dread. Maybe all those numbers look pretty ugly to you right now, and understandably so — it’s a tough economy out there. However, companies in this situation have even more reason to start on a positive note. In this case, don’t feel the need to start with a braggart as described in the previous section.

Your savior could be in the form of customer testimonials. For B2B companies, the more respected the review source, the better. Let’s say you had five customers last year, but only one lasted all year. For example, if this client is Slack, and they enjoy working with you, then a few investors don’t need to know much more.

A positive review from a valued customer demonstrates the suitability and stickiness of the product market. You prove that your product solves a real-world pain point, not just in theory. This can make a huge difference in how investors view your product, and you’ll want to catch these testimonials early in your pitch.

If you have a strong team with multiple exits, extensive industry experience, and strong logos from places they’re affiliated with, you can boost your team’s credibility by creating your second slide about them. Take pride in how capable they are and show your audience that this is a powerful team that can execute the vision you sell.

Related: Think You’re Ready to Raise Money? Your company must first meet these 3 milestones.

summarized

The bragging slide will get you out of the blocks quickly, but you need to maintain this momentum throughout your pitch. You need to load up front all the information that makes you or your business unique. Investors know they need to work with you and your team when investing, so try to appear as sympathetic and trustworthy as possible.

While the idea of ​​bragging rights may put you on edge, it’s your responsibility to make sure every investor knows the good news so you can make a successful round.

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