Kat Weaver, Founder and Coach of WBENC-Certified Power to Pitch, sheds light into mistakes you could be making in pitch competitions, part of her POWER Method™ coaching approach.
If you’ve positioned yourself for an opportunity in front of an investor, retailer, or to pitch at a business competition, you might only have one chance to make a lasting impression. I’ve seen the same mistakes made over and over, essentially costing great business ideas and their owners, funding, partnerships, and opportunities.
I started my first business, Locker Lifestyle in college after being a victim of theft. I had no money to start so I entered every pitch competition I could find, eventually winning all 22 of them.
After receiving hundreds of questions from individuals asking how I won six figures worth of equity-free funding, I founded my 2nd company, www.PowerToPitch.com to give entrepreneurs the confidence to pitch themselves to success.
Here are my top tips to get yourself ahead of the competition:
LEAD WITH YOUR STORY, WHY OR INSPIRATION.
I see most entrepreneurs lead with the explanation of their product or service which does not hook or emotionally connect with the audience. I coach every business owner I work with to start with their story. Whether it’s a grant judge, investor or retailer you’re looking to impress, think of the number of pitches they hear all day. What will stick out? Think – they’re investing in YOU as an individual before your business.
Most business owners are afraid to bring up their top competitors. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to put yourself ahead. I don’t recommend outright bashing who they are and what they do. Instead, talk about their core offerings, THEN lead into how you’re better. Be specific as possible to showcase that you’re aware of the market you serve.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE MONEY?
One of the biggest mistakes I see is the lack of specificity when talking about the allocation of funding. If you’re pitching for a grant or to an investor, they will want to know EXACTLY what you need the money for and how it will be used.
For example, if you’re applying for a $10k grant and you say “we need it for marketing, web development, and packaging,” you’ve already lost your audience. You need to be as specific as possible when describing your business needs. The more detail you can give, the more confidence they will have in you.
Instead, say something along the lines of “we need $2,500 for ad spend in Facebook marketing to reach X demographic in X time with a goal return on ad spend of X. We need $5,400 to hire a developer to optimize the homepage and checkout of our website to optimize our sales funnel for X amount of customers driven to our site each month.” and so on.
There is no EXACT formula to writing a pitch, but by avoiding these mistakes, you are already ahead of the competition!