Asking investors for cash is often necessary to take your mobile app to a stage of rapid growth and profitability. But, there’s a right way, and a wrong way to pitch your product.
Read on to learn how to pitch your mobile app to investors in 5 simple steps... For more helpful programming career tips, news and job listings make sure you subscribe to codeslaw, here.
1. Know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the main source of value that your mobile app provides.
Ideally, you should be able to explain your USP using just a sentence or two. But, some people choose to create a full ‘elevator pitch’ which can last about 30 seconds.
Either way, you have to know your USP by heart, so that you can clearly explain to investors how your mobile app provides people with value.
Here are some examples of mobile app USPs:
- Instagram helps you capture, edit, and share photos and videos with friends and family
- Genius Scan is a scanner in your pocket that helps you instantly digitize documents
- Spotify lets you stream your favorite music on-the-go
To determine your mobile app’s USP, you can ask yourself questions like:
- What makes your mobile app valuable?
- What differentiates your mobile app from the millions of other apps?
- What’s the main benefit of using your mobile app?
Keep your USP simple, and you’ll make life easier for yourself and investors.
2. Create a winning pitch deck
A pitch deck is a presentation that serves as a visual aid for the benefit of you and your investors.
By creating a great pitch deck, you’ll make it easier for investors to understand your mobile app’s features, benefits, target audience, market opportunity, finances, risks, and more.
Some investors are visual learners, and expect to see a great presentation along with your mobile app pitch.
And, pitch decks are especially useful when it comes time to present your “ask” - or the amount of money that you’re requesting in exchange for company equity.
To create a winning pitch deck, you can put together a classic PowerPoint presentation, use Prezi, or come up with your own unique version of a pitch deck.
3. Present a great product
If you’re asking investors for financial backing, then it helps to have a great finished product that you can physically show them.
In your case, you’ll hand over a smartphone or tablet to the investors, and allow them to get a feel for the User Experience (UX) of your app.
This is where it really helps to comb over every little detail of your app (beforehand), and ensure that your app has a great design, color scheme, layout, navigation, icon, and more.
Better yet, put yourself in the shoes of your investors…
If you were an investor, and you were being pitched that same mobile app, would you invest in it?
Hopefully, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
4. Build rapport with investors and tell a compelling story
It’s true that investors are almost entirely interested in earning a healthy Return on Investment (ROI) - and that’s the bottom line.
But at the same time, investors are only human, and investors respond positively to charisma, storytelling, and general likeability.
Especially if you’re in the early stages of a mobile app business, then you’ll need to leverage every single advantage that you have available.
So, sales techniques like rapport building and persuasion can really come in handy here, since you’ll essentially be “selling” investors on your mobile product.
You can also read the book Influence by Robert Cialdini to improve your persuasion skills, if you’d like. Influence is one of the best uncommon books that every programmer should read.
Investors ultimately want to feel that you’re 100% committed to your mission. So, it can definitely help to touch up on your public speaking skills, be conscious of your tone of voice, create a compelling story around your product, and pay attention to other subtleties during your pitch.
Every advantage helps.
5. Focus on the numbers (cash flow)
At the end of the day, investors invest in mobile apps (and other businesses) to earn a healthy profit.
Good investors are constantly looking for “home runs” that will earn a significant ROI over time.
So, if your mobile app is profitable, has a steady track record of user growth, and has plenty of Daily Active Users (DAUs) - then you need to clearly present these numbers to investors, and reassure your investors that you’re going to make them money.
Of course, many investors also like to invest in world-changing innovations and philanthropic causes.
But, investing is ultimately a business, and you have to convince investors that your app is going to “pay out” some day.
If you have a great mobile app, then pitching your mobile app to investors shouldn’t be too difficult.
You’ll simply need to:
- Know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- Create a winning pitch deck
- Present a great product
- Build rapport
- Focus on the numbers
If you can do these things, then you should have a good shot at getting the investment that you’re asking for.