Brent Hoberman

People Love a Story, so what is yours?

How you can be ready to share your ideas at events, conference, networking, face-to-face then promote this online? I attended the UK Business Angels Association UKBAA Summit at Canada House in Trafalgar Square a year or so ago: there was a real buzz to the UKBAA Summit event. This was a terrific event because each speaker really knew their stuff, the content was relevant and speakers first rate. Many speakers had a great story to tell on investing success and even failures, but still fascinating and helpful to the audience. There were entrepreneurs, people interested in investing, finance and the whole angel, VC and crowdfunding area which is booming in the UK, and in fact globally. Speaker after speaker, individually and in panels gave very focused insights. And in networking sessions everyone wanted to know who was who, and might they help with a deal. Money talks. People love a story so what is yours?

It got me thinking, when I saw speakers such as Brent Hoberman, co-founder of lastminute.com, and Founders Factory; Gerard Grech CEO of Tech City, and Lara Morgan all crackling with energy: people were on the edge of their seats listening to these guys and totally engaged. What I was thinking was how a top performer in their field exudes a confidence and class that is just obvious to the audience? This is similar to higher levels people have associated with certain top sportsmen such as Lionel Messi or Roger Federer. The latter two and the top performers at the conference share a focus, total belief, incredible competence (sure!), but must have worked harder than most and combined skill with honed methods to be good at capturing our imagination.

The Story

Even so, it could be that great conference speakers and succesful business people have just been lucky. Would we have listened to their story or anything they had to say when they first started out? I actually think we would. Not necessarily on the topics they speak about now, but it is pretty well established now in business-thinking, that a strong vision is based on a firm set of values or a clear “why” (see Simon Sinek’s video Ted Talk), which drives a leader’s passion. So an Alan Sugar or Richard Branson would  have been able to deliver a rousing “stump speech” even early on in their careers. People love a story and if you are clear about what is important to you, your company and vision, then it is worth having your stump speech ready.

In the USA they call it a a stump speech is a standard campaign speech used by someone running for public office. The term derives from the early American custom in which candidates campaigned from town to town and stood upon a sawed off tree stump to deliver their speech.

And if you are able to prove to people and to yourself you make happen, it isn’t just words. That is powerful.

Clear Pitch, Story and Offer

Why are you doing this? Your reason. And why  should people choose you? What does the market say about your product? And here are a few key marketing questions I always ask myself about a pitch:
  • What is the problem to solve, what is the solution?
  • Who suffers from this/benefits from this? A profile of your target customer “a persona“.
  • Elevator Pitch – overarching message, “one line” + 4 subpoints. Here is a great video to support this.
  • How is it differentiated? cheaper, better, different – or possibly a combination.

If “pitch” is a word you are not used to then, change this for “offer”. What is it you are offering to people.

Support your Story Online

So when you or any of us go off to an event, conference or to meet people face-to-face, have we got something about our story online for people to look at? A website page, case study, or at least some contact details. You need a website, social media business pages ready – LinkedIn, Twitter and perhaps Facebook, these are probably the minimum online resources you need to share your story. Plus of course some protocols and basic company rules of what is and is not going to be posted – words and design guidelines. A blog is ideal to start sharing your story, articles and helpful content. The picture can be built up with a little thought ahead of any event you attend. Then taking a few photos and posting them online will get you noticed.
Contact us if you have any questions
Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited
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