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Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center: How to Pitch Investors, Grow Teams & ‘Best-Friend’ Your Customers

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Entrepreneurs don’t start companies because it’s good for anxiety. They do it because they believe in something, often for powerful & deeply personal reasons. Their vision inspires the best talent to swap golden handcuffs for startups no one’s heard of & VCs to invest millions in single ideas.

Then, VCs say no.
Star performers leave.
Partners under-deliver.
Customers churn.

Such events often indicate entrepreneurs aren’t yet storytelling like the badasses they are.

This session helps entrepreneurs distill & integrate their personal ‘why’ into company branding, messaging, and positioning—and practice a proven storytelling framework that inspires humans wired for purpose, in ways that scale with the company.

This session is for:
- Pre-launch to launched (idea to prototype)
- Launch (product/service being used by customers)
- Growth (scaling customers, products/services and markets)

This session will cover:
- How to distill your personal purpose into 3 core company values, mission/vision statements, and a tagline
- How to design an ‘umbrella narrative’ that reflects the above (often called category creation)
- How to teach your team to consistently share the same inspired story

Publicado en: Marketing
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Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center: How to Pitch Investors, Grow Teams & ‘Best-Friend’ Your Customers

  1. 1. Caitlin Roberson cr@clearww.com HOWTO PITCH INVESTORS, INSPIRETEAMS & ‘BEST-FRIEND’ YOUR CUSTOMERS
  2. 2. StakeholderResults Company Growth Category creation FOUNDERS START COMPANIES TO IMPROVE SOMETHING
  3. 3. THEIRVISION INSPIRES ACTION. 1.Why the company exists 2.What’s different/better 3.What action to take 4.Why now
  4. 4. BUT BUILDING COMPANIES CREATES PRESSURE. Investors Partners Media Customers Board Team ProspectsCompetitors ?*#! !#?* Conflicting priorities d i l u t e results. #?!*
  5. 5. INCONSISTENT RESULTS INDICATE… Seed Storytellingeffectiveness Growth Venture Pre-seed Company growth Maturity
  6. 6. Sales Marketing Ops Product HR Engineering …A METHODOLOGY PROBLEM.
  7. 7. STORY GONE WRONG - VCs say no -Star performers leave -Low morale -Poor Glassdoor reviews -Partners under-deliver -Customers churn -G2Crowd says what?! Leading Indicator How consistently does your team describe vision & mission?
  8. 8. Results CXO buyers at odds New tagline, Analyst category Gartner Magic Quadrant Master asset IPO Year 1 2 3 SALESVS. FINANCE Enterprise software, Series F
  9. 9. REIMAGINEYOUR APPROACH Start with founders Have customer convos Build scalable architecture
  10. 10. WHAT IS STORY? Point A Point B Help, wolf! I’ll never lie again! x
  11. 11. BUSINESS STORYTELLING Point A Point B ??? 6.8 people!
  12. 12. 3 STEPS: HOWYOU CAN… • Distill your personal purpose into company values, vision & mission, and tagline • Design an category creating narrative • Build lasting relationships withVCs and customers • Teach your team to tell the same inspired story
  13. 13. PHASE 1: DEFINE PURPOSE START WITH THE FOUNDERS
  14. 14. Consumer product, pre-seed ATALE OFTWO SISTERS
  15. 15. Taran Ghatrora, CEO
  16. 16. Bunny Ghatrora, COO
  17. 17. Organic tampons
  18. 18. VALUES EXERCISE 1. What do you remember most about childhood? 2. What events shaped you in adolescence? 3. What were your family’s happiest times? 4. What are your most painful memories? 5. What experiences shaped you in college 6. Early career?
  19. 19. VALUES EXERCISE 1. It is important for me be BE… 2. It is important for me to be KNOWN AS… 3. It is important for me to DO… 4. It is important for me to HAVE…
  20. 20. WHAT WORDS STAND OUT?
  21. 21. DISTILL RECURRENTTHEMES
  22. 22. HALLMARKS OF INSPIREDVALUES • Limit to <3-5 • Use surprising words & pairings • Offer tangible concepts that people visualize • Form the character fabric of your company • Can be used as evergreen, guiding principles
  23. 23. —Jon Miller, Cofounder & CEO “Consider couplets.” “After Marketo:10 Things I’m Doing Better The Second Time” Presented @ SaaSter Annual 2017: ScaleTogether With Doug Pepper, Managing Director @ ShastaVentures
  24. 24. NEXT STEPS • For ~7 days, record when you experienced [your word] • Compare notes with cofounders, execs, family • Flesh out values by describing experiences • Cut word count to 25% (1-3 sentences) • Same principles apply from previous slide
  25. 25. PHASE 2: VERIFY ‘WHY’ HAVE CUSTOMER CONVOS
  26. 26. — Zig Ziglar “Logic tells, emotion sells.”
  27. 27. SELECT CUSTOMERS • Pareto Principle applies • So does Account-Based Marketing • Understand “jobs to be done” • Ask standard questions & improvise (Record & transcribe)
  28. 28. MATCH PRODUCTS & PROOF POINTS
  29. 29. Email cr@clearww.com for template. MESH & DOCUMENT ‘VOICE’ • Addresses tone, grammar logistics, content UX, variance by content type, and more
  30. 30. EXERCISE • Vision: Timeless statement of the world you see • Mission: Timely statement of what you do to deliver on your vision • Brand Promise: Indicates vision & what you do (eg: mission) for customers • Positioning: Articulates where you fit into market, general guidelines, not industry specific like GTM
  31. 31. MARQUISTAGLINES Just do it Think different No software
  32. 32. TAGLINE BEST PRACTICES • Short: 2-3 words, excise adjectives • Thinks: Start with a command verb • Feels: Imply purpose with noun Seriously, this is going to take a while.
  33. 33. Care on purpose.
  34. 34. PHASE 3: REFINE CORE NARRATIVE BUILD SCALABLE ARCHITECTURE
  35. 35. 6 COMMON MISTAKES 1. No purpose… on purpose? (Values) 2. All about you & your features (Hero) 3. Immediately pitches a solution (Sequence) 4. Lacks third-party proof (Proof) 5. Inconsistent journey, relationship (Scalable) 6. Leaves listeners hanging (Actionable)
  36. 36. MESSAGING BEST PRACTICES • 5 Feels • 10% Rule • Real people language (usually from customers) • Consistent story and tone (3-7X to trust)
  37. 37. STORYTELLINGTHAT SELLS 1. (Who are you/your company?) 2. (Who is your audience?) 3. How does s/he current understand, approach what she needs to do? 4. Where & why do existing approaches fail? 5. What data, anecdotes, proof points back that up? (Impact) 6. What are requirements for a new approach? 7. How can s/he execute a new approach? (Crawl, walk, run) 8. What milestones & outcomes can s/he expect? When? 9. What proof of benefits exist? 10. What can s/he do next?
  38. 38. PITCH DECK Intro As-Is Why existing approach fails New Requirements Solution How it works Proof Next steps (AUDIENCE PROFILE) DIFFERENTIATORS PRODUCT [CATEGORY] MATURITY CUSTOMER STORIES Proof STATS, QUOTES
  39. 39. STORYTELLING PROGRAM CXOs Formal sharing Culture Incorporate in process Certification Measure personalization • Assets already mentioned + bios and 25, 50, 100 word value statements • Source materials: Company overview, one pager, customer stories
  40. 40. DESIGN MASTER ASSETS
  41. 41. MEASURETHE JOURNEY
  42. 42. Proof this works?
  43. 43. WHAT DOES AMAZONVALUE? Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
  44. 44. WHAT DOES AMAZONVALUE? Relentless customer focus Thinking longterm Bold investments Measurement Lean culture Stock > cash
  45. 45. SUMMARY: STORY SWAGGER 1. Define purpose (Values) 2. Target an audience (Hero) 3. Educate, solve a problem (Sequence) 4. Provide proof (Proof) 5. Create relationship (Scalable) 6. Offer a clear next step (Actionable)
  46. 46. TIPPING POINTSStorytellingeffectiveness Company growth Visionary founders, new approach Purpose Customers Scalable architecture Business outcomes
  47. 47. Caitlin Roberson: cr@clearww.com Thanks! & Conversation

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