(Disclaimer: Sometimes it isn’t always in your best interest to announce your seed round so give it a think before you move forward)
So, you’ve raised some money, that’s great! But now what?
I know just what you’re thinking. I don’t just want to be another seed announcement. With the acceleration of seed funding over the last few years, you don’t believe raising seed is news. Well, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.
Let’s get one thing straight, this is a massive achievement, a moment that will plant the seed for the beginning of your hard work and future business accomplishments, so announcing it is a must.
Well, this will help with recruiting, it will bring you, inbound partners, generate new fundraising opportunities, and will be the start as a means to move on with your content strategy.
Just remember, the biggest challenge for most seed-stage startups isn’t that the world is going to be paying too much attention to it, it’s that nobody is, so you should be taking every chance to fight for the number one commodity, attention.
This step-by-step guidewill take you through the entire process of nailing your announcement, from building your story to developing a strategy, to finding partners, to getting published, and finally capitalising on your seed announcement to maximise attention.
Step 1: Build out and understand your story and narrative
“Before approaching the media make sure to understand how to tell your brand story and narrative” - Katy French
Before even looking to announce your seed funding, your narrative and story should be clear and concise in your head first and you should be able to confidently explain it. Without reading on, try and fill out this picture below.
Building out a narrative and telling your story are key for startups, though often overlooked and misunderstood. A narrative helps to create a unified vision that involves a story about the founding, an introduction to the mission, vision, industry problem and its implications, and the product’s solution. Storytelling is the delivery of the agreed narrative.
It is important to remember that people buy into great stories. The key questions you should consider whilst building out your narrative and story for your seed announcement are as follows:
Hold a quick discovery session with a trusted group
Begin to fill out your company’s brand narrative google slide
Read over your final sheet and ask yourself the above five questions
Step 2: Strategy strategy strategy - Have a timeline and understand your why, when and how
The second step in your seed announcement campaign is nailing down a strategy. The first question you should be asking yourself is what is the objective of announcing your seed investment? Are you looking to bring new inbound partners, recruit top talent and even attract new investment?
You need to marry your objective (your why) of your seed announcement, with inflection points in your company’s trajectory — moments in time when exposure will create the most leverage for you.
Additionally, becoming media literate within your industry and understanding who will want to write about your story, the market for it, and what will resonate is all key in this second step.
Checklist before moving onto the next step:
Develop your strategy. Have an objective, an idea of when you would like to release the publication and who you should be contacting to publish it
Understand where your audience lives online
Become media literate. Learn who is writing within your space and set up Google Keyword alerts to automate this
Step 3: Contact journalists well in advance to your seed announcement and just like any sales pitch, provide value
“It might be too early to cover your story, but it’s never too early to start building a relationship.” - Amy Lewin
Founders often make the mistake of believing their own story should get published. Whilst it may be unique or explains the specific mission they’re on, it doesn’t provide value to journalists.
Journalists get hundreds of pitches from startups daily. Thus, connecting and building relationships with them early on, by providing deep industry insights via engaging with them on social media or email, will optimise your leverage and increase the possibility of publishing your seed announcement. This is especially important in the early stages where your company might not have obvious market potential to journalists.
Put together a list of journalists that cover your topic
Provide journalists value through insights, tips and links about your specific sector, in turn, becoming a trusted source
Step 4: Develop a press kit to get published
Now we have your story and your strategy. You’ve also made contacts and gained credibility. It’s now time for you to announce your seed investment. Keeping in mind that you want to do as much of the work as possible without actually writing the piece itself, put together a press kit.
Provide a simple one-page press release with a narrative, one or two key messages, some supporting data points, market insights, background story on the founders, your investors, including quotes from both yourself and them, and how much you’ve raised.
Step 5: Make sure your brand is consistent and capitalise
Before making a push, make sure all your externally facing materials are consistent and reaffirm your key messages consistently across all channels.
You can further amplify your seed announcement through company and founder posts, guerrilla marketing stunts targeting where your target audience live, and tapping into your personal network to maximise the reach of any posts or publications.
At Samaipata, we are always looking for ways to improve. Do not hesitate to send us your thoughts. We strive to partner with early-stage founders and to support them in taking their business to the next level. Check out more ways in which we can help here or for all our other content here.
And as always, if you’re a European digital business founder looking for Seed funding, please send us your deck here or subscribe to our Quarterly updates here.
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