The goal of a Test the Waters or TTW campaign is to gather interest from investors ahead of the date your campaign will go live. Gathering interest is critical for development of your offering to ensure investors don’t miss out on an important piece of the offering experience.
This article explores the factors that contribute to a successful test the waters launch, and also describes practical techniques you can use as a founder to spark interest in your company or brand.
Why Do You Need to Prep for Pre Launch?
Failing to plan is planning to fail
To ensure your brand and offerings are in order
To build and test strategies that will create buzz
To build and test strategies that will build an excited audience that wants to invest right out of the gates
If you have a startup, pre launch planning is a must. There’s plenty to plan for prior to the official launch date, and most founders are busy with tasks they already don’t have enough resources for.
Tip 1: Clarify Your Why and Build Your Brand’s Story
In a world of startups and early stage investing, you need everyone to understand your brand’s story. Without this foundation you run the risk of building a brand or company that lacks value.
Creating your brand’s story allows you to better speak to potential investors, giving them a clearer picture of what your company is about.
The best way to build a brand story is to create content that motivates potential investors to act on your information.
Tip 2: Build Your Personal Brand On LinkedIn
Investors will look for companies with clear vision, strong leadership, and a culture that encourages employees to take risks and think big. Founders must establish a personal brand on LinkedIn that can stand as their own. It needs to be something valuable, authentic, and unique.
The easiest way to build a personal brand is by posting great content that helps tell your brand story.
Here are some ways to build your personal brand:
Sync your personal branding with your company branding
Share your company’s content including major milestones and traction
Create white papers and articles around your business and promote them through LI
Engage with other thought leaders in your industry on LI by liking, commenting, and sharing their content
Optimize your LI page with recommendations. Give recommendations to help create social capital and inspire others to give you recommendations
Connect with investors through LinkedIn Sales Navigator and a LI outreach strategy
For LinkedIn Outreach Strategies Watch our Webinar, “Advanced LinkedIn Outreach Strategies.”
Tip 3: Nurture Your 1st Degree Connections
Connecting with your roots is good for business. An established network of trusted contacts helps you get projects done earlier and in more depth than if you were trying to do things on your own.
Having a network of relationships also makes it easier for you to build strong business relationships in the future, as well as expand your business globally.
Tip 4: Dial in Your Pitch Deck
Your pitch deck is your secret weapon. It’s what separates you from your competitors and what convinces investors to go with you over another company.
When you create a pitch deck, you should take into consideration what sort of knowledge you have to offer. You have to ensure your deck includes what your business does, why it’s successful, and why you’re the best at what you do and how you plan to build on that success.
Absolute musts for your pitch deck:
The Product/Business Roadmap
The Company’s Valuation and How It Was Determined
How Investment Capital Will Be Spent
Your Marketing Strategy
The key to pitching successfully is putting something together that will stand out from other offers in your space.
Tip 5: Define Your 8-Point Marketing Strategy & Create Your Content Calendar
Picking the right time to launch can be a challenge, especially when you have so many thoughts in your head about how to do it!
By setting some ground rules and spending time defining your 8-point marketing strategy, you’ll be better able to determine when it’s time to make the jump.
A content calendar helps you stay on top of the important details, from publishing dates to social media strategies, and more. It has been proven time and time again that one of the most effective ways to boost sales and investments is through content marketing.
Creating a content calendar is one of the simplest, yet most important ways you can leverage content marketing
Tip 6: Create Press Around Your Business
Press releases are the first wave of engagement and help you establish your brand. If you want to grow your business, you need to push the boundaries of what is possible.
To create this kind of buzz around a new product or service takes a lot of work and creativity.
Here are some tips to help get you started:
Create a list of all the publications / newsletters that would benefit your business and your raise
Reach out to relevant editors / writers on blogs in your niche and pitch your article idea
Pro Tip: Use LI sales navigator to find editors / writers and directly email them rather than go to firstname.lastname@example.org emails that typically get lost.
Purchase Press Releases through PR Newswire that will quickly get you published across various news platforms for a low cost.
Use Listen Notes to find relevant podcasts to be a guest on.
The Bottom Line
Most prelaunch activities focus on the community and it’s critical to have a wide audience base to help you get off the ground!
Watch the full discussion between CEO Jason Fishman and Partner Tim Martinez on YouTube here, and before you launch, reach out to us if you need help!