If you’re successful in raising capital, investors have jumped into the passenger seat with you, ready to go on a journey.
It’s probably a long journey, with the average timeline for a liquidity event being around five to seven years. Due to subsequent IPOs, this route is getting longer. On this long journey, investors want more than just generating a return at the end of the journey.
Investors want to get away and their own personal and professional networks along the way. They want a halo effect.
When they bring people together around a deal, they want the deal to make money. When they recommend a product, they want the product to be fantastic. Investors typically deeply understand the value of relationships, so they want to create positivity for themselves and others along the long journey.
Design your shareholder relations and communications around investors’ extensive personal networks. Investors will gladly be your advocates and serve as an essential extension of your growth marketing team.
Here’s how to help investors market your business.
Create shareable moments
New founders typically rush to send updates to shareholders when times are good and are filled with dread when times are tough. Shareholder updates should inform about traction, gains, losses, worries and risks, but their most important function is commitment. Remember that investors want to be part of the journey and tell others about it. A great shareholder update gives people something to talk about.
If you design your relationships and communications around investors’ personal networks, they will happily become your advocates.
Before you send out your next monthly email, look for ways to insert shareable moments into your update. Let’s say you’re building software for a new kind of smart home gym. Will your investors share that you have reached 500 users? It’s great for you, but not very interesting or beneficial for anyone else.
But maybe you have data that shows only 20% of adults can do a single pull-up — that’s a fun fact people could share with their networks. Maybe you have a unique discount code or a gift they can give to a family member or colleague, that’s even better. Include a shareable fact or exclusive offer and you’ll see them spreading the story.
Give them an experience
Good growth marketers often experiment, adjusting their content and even their products based on demand. Experiences are typically segmented by channel; for example, you can change the pace of social media updates to determine the optimal frequency and time. Good experiences can also be had with an intentionally small but representative sample size – consider walking up to the 15 people you share a WeWork space with and asking each if they would buy your new product.