Covid-19 “Insider” tips on how to do proper marketing and fundraise successfully during pandemic times!
We are living in a period with no equivalent in our recent modern history. At the beginning of 2020 when most of us were writing the New Year Resolutions something was preparing to fight against our health, wealth, and happiness. Its name is Covid-19, a ruthless virus, extremely contagious and with no cure the moment this article is written. I trust that many of us had included in the resolutions the phrase “Let 2020 to be the best year yet”. And it seems that this phrase needs to be deleted and attached to the 2021 resolutions. This is wrong and in fact, I am writing this article around the idea of doing proper marketing and fundraise successfully during the current pandemic times so 2020 to be your best year no matter what.
First, you need to follow the guidelines of the authorities, stay safe, remain healthy, and alive. Without these nothing else can be achieved. Next, ignore most messages from gurus who suddenly became specialists in Covid-19, its source, implications in the economy, and what to do to be successful after this period will pass. Nobody knows exactly how the business world will change after this period will pass, and how fast everything will get back to a new kind of normality. But I would like to help you to become more focused, prepared, and do what is important starting right now to be prepared for any type of future.
I lived as an entrepreneur during the 2008–2010 crisis and back then I started to sell real estate and also the digital marketing agency I still own today — Mushbloom London Digital Marketing Agency. One thing I learned back then and it is applicable today — when many brands cut their marketing expenses and choose to become silent it’s much easier than before to stand out on a budget and spread positive messages which will cut through the overall negativity. The biggest mistake you can make is to stop communication, stop marketing, and embrace the silence. Instead, be more strategic and focus more than ever on the 20% of the actions generating 80% of the results (or the 10% generating 90% of the results). Next, what happens in such periods is that we all somehow come back to the idea of survival instinct. Why is that? The human brain is a two-millions-year-old reptilian type of brain and its primary purpose is to keep us alive in surviving mode, these are its default settings. So, when such global events occur, the fear triggers our surviving mechanism. This is one of the reasons-why in supermarkets the first products to be sold out were the toilet paper, flour, pasta, bread machines, beans, and cans. Of course, depending on the income level of your clients, some will consider purchasing gold or an amount of BTC as a necessity purchase. And here comes the “insider” tip — change your message so what you are selling to be perceived as a necessity, a survival thing, an essential element to the survival kit for the business, investment, and so on. During such a period it is more important than ever to have very clear the ideal buyer persona of your client and communicate about your product and service as a no-brainer to have not as an optional something. Don’t forget that humans buy what they want and not what they need so even if you are selling an investment opportunity you need to ethically persuade your clients to want what you are offering. And, of course, the most important element is to invest as much time and resources so all your products, services, and offerings to be stellar not just good so they will stand the test of any type of crisis. Look at the processes inside your business, digitalize anything which can be digitalized, be ruthless in monitoring the results of your marketing, embrace new platforms where your clients are spending time and day & night be one step ahead in knowing what they want.
There are many voices saying that the Venture Capital market is blocked which is far away from the truth. Nobody knows exactly if we are heading into a deep recession or from the economic point-of-view we are living just a period of corrections. Only the fact that many airlines have their passenger flights grounded is something which sends ripples to so many other industries and only in 1–2 years we will see the effects of what is happening now. Let me remind you that in an economic crisis the quantity of money in an economy stays the same (or it is bigger if more money is printed) but what really happens there is a big wealth transfer between markets and entities. This is one of the reasons why BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, CloudCoin, and other crypto and digital currencies will be perceived as refugees for value due to their finite supply and market adoption. The good VC’s have money to invest in your project right this moment when you are reading. And as an “insider” tip, most of them are working from home right now, you can find them on Linkedin.com and Angel.co, they will likely be more responsive during this period, you can have an online call with them without the need to book a physical meeting with them maybe thousands a kilometers away from your home. When do you remember having at your disposal such a context?
Again, look at your product, service, platform, pitch deck — are they stellar? Are they a must-have fundable asset in a difficult market? If the answer is yes — go on but if the answer is no, go back to the drawing board and leave binging on TV and Facebook. I would say to use that period to work as much possible, connect with as many target investors possible, seek mentors and smart advisory board members. If you have a working project which gets revenue during this period this is gold and besides focusing on fundraising get as many sales you can get, this will be music to the ears of the savvy VC’s. With a good revenue-generating project in the market looking for funds for development and expansion, you will start receiving inquiries for funds injected in the company. If the top guys are not responsive don’t give up! Connect also with the middle tier of VC’s and of course, take the discussions forward with the ones you feel that will be the most beneficial for your project. If nothing happens, don’t give up, and don’t forget to follow-up. Most of the sales (you are selling an investment opportunity) happen during the follow-up. Some people may miss your first message or on purpose will ignore it to see if they are dealing with somebody who trusts the project so much that will follow-up and enquire again. In the end, a project can be pivoted but you as a human being and professional will get the credited with the trust from the VC becoming your investor. And also attend as many online conferences possible which are cheaper than the physical ones and use their mix-matching apps to get in touch with the targeted potential investors.
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This article was originally published after editing in the April 2020 issue of the digital magazine Corporate Investment Times, you can download all issues for free at http://corporateinvestmenttimes.com