A couple of days ago, we hosted Elisabeth Rosario at the Future Africa Collective Clubhouse, where we discussed how to tell your startup story better. Elisabeth is an independent communications strategist that works with venture capital firms and startups of all sizes. Most notably, she’s responsible for supporting Flutterwave’s storytelling efforts to raise its Series A round. We spoke about tactical ways to tell startups better during this session, and this article will spotlight essential lessons we learnt.
According to Crunchbase data, global venture investments reached $125 billion in the first quarter of 2021. While this is great news, there are fewer reporters in the media to cover this high volume of funding news and other industry news, and Because of this, reporters have to be selective in the articles they write and the news they provide.
How then can startups get the attention of these reporters with their stories?
Tip 1: Leverage on your business goals and success
One way to start telling your startup story better is to identify your business goals and success and align them with its relevance to the ecosystem.
According to Elisabeth, if one of your business goals is to attract global investors, you will need to focus your stories about your unique idea or an exciting statistic about your industry and why people should care about what you are doing.
Also, you have to stick to only your most vital points. Even if you have a compelling story, one dull moment may ruin the whole thing.
Tip 2: Build on what makes your product unique
Telling the tale of what you’re building, how it is solving a problem and who it is for is one of the most important stories you should tell – otherwise known as brand positioning.
In understanding your brand positioning, ask yourself these questions and be descriptive while answering them:
1.What is the problem your product is solving?
2.How does this product improve the lives of your customers?
3.How will you describe your product’s personality to someone who doesn’t know it?
Tip 3: Tailor your story based on the audience
Great stories have structure. For example, how you’ll tell your startup story to a potential customer will be completely different to how you tell it to a potential investor.
You have to ask yourself why this story is relevant to them.
For telling your story to a potential investor, you’ll have to emphasise details that will make them want to back your idea. These stories could be around exciting origin stories, unique or atypical business models and impressive growth metrics.
While stories crafted for potential customers will be about their current realities, the problems they are facing and how your product will help them solve those problems. You will also have to find ways to make an “emotional” connection.
Tip 4: Ask specific questions before engaging journalists
Before engaging journalists to share your story, you have to know and understand your business objectives. With this knowledge, you can prepare materials to give them a context of your company before they talk to you.
Some of these materials include:
1.A fact sheet.
2.An accomplishment sheet.
3.One sentence that explains what your company does.
That said, Elisabeth explained that journalists are more likely to publish an exciting and unique story that comes to them at the right time. Too often, companies don’t do a background check on these journalists. For example, do these journalists have experience working with startups? Are they covering similar industries? Ask as many questions that you can.
Tip 5: Use PR for more than funding coverage
Finally, great stories can have multiple uses, and you can use PR for more than funding coverage. Lately, reporters aren’t just interested in funding. They still want to hear about the unique approach to a company’s business models, exciting origin stories of the product and founders, and growth metrics, especially when companies can share numbers.
Funding story is not the only storytelling that founders should pursue. There are pivotal stories that every founder should be able to tell and share with the press. Some of these stories include :
2.What has been a success and a failure?
3.How relevant is your journey as an entrepreneur?
4.Why are you personally passionate about what you are building?