You might think a great product can shine through a not-so-great video pitch. If you wanted to be a videographer you’d go into cinema, right? But the truth is first impressions matter in equity crowdfunding, as does understanding the psychology at play in the early relationship between you and your potential investor.
Whether online or on a screen in a boardroom, if the video’s second-rate, they’ll be left wondering what else you’ve cut corners on. Now is not the time for technophobia - with all the resources, editing tools and technology at your fingertips, there’s no excuse not to knock it out of the park.
1. Select your tools
In terms of hardware, quality of lighting, sound and picture are no areas for compromise. A small studio can be relatively inexpensive to hire, but allocating a portion of your marketing budget to hire a videographer to manage the project is undoubtedly the best way to go. A video pitch produced by an experienced videographer conveys professionalism, inspires confidence and is likely to pay dividends. A professional videographer will cover all the bases for you, from script writing and production management to visual and audio editing. When time is money, it’s money well spent.
2. Get comfortable looking down the lens
Many of us hate having our photo taken, but the camera is something you can’t afford to have a bad relationship with. Eye contact is number one in business meetings, sales transactions, and all human relationship-building.
When you’re on screen, it’s no different. Holding the camera’s gaze naturally builds the trust of your audience, as does projecting your voice. For the camera-shy, baptism of fire is the way to go.
Spend as much time practicing in front of the camera as you can, and if you have limited studio time, practice at home in the mirror. Get plenty of takes, watch them back, and get some more. Remember, public speaking is like a muscle - it can be trained.
3. Who, what, why, and how
Anyone who’s been close to a product or project will know how easy it is to miss out the absolute basics when presenting. To you, they’re what you live and breathe.
But your investors will want the who, what, why and how answered as a priority: who are your customers? What is your offer? Why are you doing it? And how do you operate?
No matter how obvious these points might seem, they should be stated aloud for total transparency, and certainty in the minds of your audience. A strong presentation gets to the point straight away, so you might consider using the WWWH model as your introduction.
4. Cover the 3 tenses
Three essential points should be covered in every single investment pitch: that’s the past, present, and future. Where have you come from? Where are you now? And what do you plan to do?
This will give your audience a holistic picture of your status, progress, and ambition. It gives depth to your journey, and is an opportunity to inject a little personality. Put most of your focus on your future, and let your ambition and conviction shine through.
5. Infographics, not animations
As tempting as it is to dust off those PowerPoint transition skills, animations have fallen out of fashion in modern presenting. They can be gimmicky at best and distracting at worst. Infographics are your new best friend. They’re a great way to add colour, creativity and a break from text to your pitch. They’re also an excellent visual learning aid, making complex stats and figures much easier to digest.
Investors watch a lot of presentations. They may well be more au fait with presenting trends than you are. Unless you’re naturally techie or have prior experience with pitches, you might consider investing in a digital agency or professional editor to ensure a glossy, hyper-current aesthetic.
6. Don’t forget the CTA
Whilst the ABC (Always Be Selling) ethos doesn’t quite apply to a video pitch, as the function is geared more towards introduction and information rather than hard selling, it shouldn’t be forgotten. Finishing with a Call To Action isn’t just essential, it’s expected. If you don’t ask for investment, they might not offer!
7. Get it subtitled
The growing mobile-feed environment of social media is changing the way people view and absorb information. Adding subtitles to your video means that it will be that much more digestible and relatable. If that isn’t enough, we know that you’ll see an increase in your social media watch time by up to 25% – all the more opportunity to entice investors!
With online services like Rev offering subtitles for about A$1.60/minute, you'd be silly not to add 'em to your shiny new pitch video.
Remember - when pitching for equity crowdfunding, you get one shot
Don’t wing it. Countless start-ups make the mistake of thinking their personality or their product will shine through a budget pitch video. But in this arena, polish and professionalism are sacrosanct. Still undecided about DIY vs. professional production?
Talk to us about our network of digital agencies, PR firms, designers, videographers, and consultants that can help you here. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.