You’re an introverted artist, singer, or writer with an amazing vision. Or you have an idea for an app or invention that will change the world. After years of dreaming, you’re ready to take the plunge and actually pursue your dream.
But cue a massive mind freeze that you only really experience when in the middle of a very crowded room.
Your venture is going to require money. Money you don’t have. Where do you start—and will it involve actually talking to people? Don’t panic. This article will help you identify different strategies you can use to collect start-up capital and how to, at the very least, make it through the social interactions that will be required.
Ask for tips and donations
This can be a lucrative strategy for artists, writers, and singers. Hundreds of Youtube sensations or fanfiction and internet writers post their finished masterpieces online and request tips. (This is a less painful, in my opinion, form of busking. Social interactions take place online and no eye contact is expected.) Sites like Patreon and Paypal can help you do this.
The premise of the pitch is if you fund me, I might be able to spend less time on my day job and more time creating masterpieces. This is a long-term strategy. In order to be truly productive, you will need to create a large and zealous fan base.
Most artists or writers either do that on the bio page of whatever writing website they use, ask for donations at the end of their Youtube videos, or create a website that people actually want to interact on and ask for donations there. A good example of an artist website can be found here.
Web shows, websites, and various other creative work can accumulate some extra funding by promoting a certain company, brand, or service on their website or web show. This strategy requires a high level of traffic or viewers. Of course, if you do choose to go down the advertisement avenue, you will want to do it tastefully. Too many advertisements can scare away fans.
Here are 5 different strategies to attract brands and company advertisements:
- If you build it, they will come. Wait until someone requests to endorse you. Accept if it makes sense.
- Sign up for Google AdSense. You decide where ads will appear on your site and what type of ads are best suited for the site. When the ads on your website are clicked or viewed, you get paid. Just make sure you carefully follow Adsense’s program policies.
- Identify potential brands and approach them. You should call rather than email your advertising pitch. (A pain, I know). You can check out some tips to conquer a phone pitch here.
- Sign up for an affiliate program. You promote their product and get paid for each new customer you create. Many big companies, such as Amazon, have affiliate program pages on their site with instructions on how to get started.
Crowdfunding is a more targeted form of requesting donations from a large pool of invested buyers. While the process of selling people on the idea can take place in person or over the mail, most crowdfunding campaigns these days take place on a crowdfunding site, like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Indiegogo. This is really good news for individuals who would like to steer clear of public speaking for just a bit longer.
Most successful crowdfunding campaigns use some of the following:
- A base goal that must be met for a successful crowdfunding campaign.
- Stretch goals that would allow you to increase the quality of the product.
- Different donation levels with various levels of compensation. For example, an individual who donates $15 might just get a game. Someone who donates $100 might get a game and some specialized signed artwork.
- Very in-depth explanation of the idea and product. (This can be in the form of pictures, videos, and written explanations.)
Seek equity investors (get your Shark Tank on)
Equity investment can be a good alternative to small business loans. Equity investors put money into a company and receive ownership shares in exchange. Unlike small business loans, business owners do not need to make monthly payments.
The individuals who invest in the business do not get their money investment back until the business is liquidated or the shares are sold. Business owners just need to be careful that they understand how much of the businesses shares they are selling. (Here’s an equity investment calculator to help with that.)
Here are a few different types of people and organizations to check out when considering equity investments:
- Friends and family. Make sure as you approach friends and family to invest, they understand that you cannot guarantee that the investment will be successful. Don’t accept the investment if they will be furious. And make sure, even if they are friends and family, you file the proper paperwork about every step of the investment.
- Venture capital firms or people. Think Shark Tank. These are firms or people who invest large sums of money for a large stake in the investment. They typically invest in the early stages of the business once the product or company has proven a little lucrative.
- Private equity firms. Can be approached to invest in a business once the company has proven itself to be successful.
In order to attract any of the types of equity investors, there’s no way around it, you will need to skillfully and articulately sell the potential investor on the business in person (or in rare cases over the phone). For broad tips on how to deliver a pitch, you should check out 7 Unconventional Ways For Introverts to Deliver Spellbinding Pitches.
What you need to know before approaching potential investors
Vincent Bradley, CEO and co-founder of an equity funding platform called FlashFunders, suggests in an interview that to create a successful pitch when raising capital, you will need to know what you are “raising capital for, how [you are] going to use it , and how [you are] going to get your business to the next level.”
You should know exactly how your business is doing. Here are some questions you should be able to answer before you approach any potential investors:
- Do you have a minimum viable product? (Most investors will want to see one).
- How many customers do you have?
- How much product have you sold?
- How much money did you need to spend to get there?
- What exactly will you spend the money on to improve the company?
- How will you improve your business with that capital?
- How many more people can you reach or product can you sell with more capital?
- What problems have your company run into? (Don’t expand too much on this part).
Make the pitch quick. Beyond demonstrating that you realize their time is valuable, Bradley explains, “the more time they have, the more likely they are to convince themselves or find something that they don’t like about what you’re doing. So get out of their way and allow them to diligence your business quickly and get the deal done.”
Receiving enough start-up capital can be a long process, but with a good idea or product, a solid game plan, and a little work on your speaking skills, you’ll be one step closer to fulfilling your dreams.
Intuitives see the world differently. They aren’t interested in the mundane or day-to-day. They ask, “What if?” They want to create, heal, inspire, or invent. They want to change the world. Only one in four people are intuitive. Are you one of them? Learn more about our partner Personality Hacker’s course just for intuitives.