Your campaign profile is your opportunity to make a memorable impression on potential investors. Your profile should strive to promote your company’s unique personality. As easy as this sounds, it’s also easy to lose touch with the brand and tone of your company throughout the process of fact checking and due diligence. No two companies are the same, unfortunately meaning that there is no clear cut formula to preserving brand in a profile.
These are some universal best practices that can facilitate the marketing process, helping you spend less time writing, and more time building your business. Here are the general tips to improve your writing and profile:
- Keep it simple. Assume your grandmother is trying to understand your product.
- Be authentic. You want investors to trust your product or service.
- Stay consistent. Choose either the first or third person, and stick with it.
- Have fun. You’re developing an exciting new company! Make your readers excited too.
- Always double check. Look over grammar and spelling to ensure clarity and professionalism.
In order to achieve and maintain these 5 general tips, we need to analyze the structure of your content, while keeping your company’s personality present. Let’s jump right in!
It is not about making sentences as short as possible or including the most basic information. It is about strategic word choice, using proper grammar, preserving your own brand voice, and knowing that an investor will feel a sense of trust and success when reading about your product.
On your profile, the ideal sentence is snappy, informative and concise. Long, complicated sentences make it difficult for readers to focus and digest main points. To preserve reader understanding and attention, here are some tips for constructing clear and concise sentences that will effectively showcase your brand.
Sticking to a single sentence length is bound to make your writing monotonous and hard to read. Varying sentence length is an easy way to make sure your writing reads smoothly and is easy to understand.
Bad: “SeedInvest is an online platform. SeedInvest helps early-stage companies raise capital. It allows accredited and non-accredited investors to browse offerings to invest.”
Good: “SeedInvest is an online platform for early stage companies to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors.”
Organizing blocks of text into sections and subsections will help investors understand each part of your story. In hierarchically organized paragraphs, the white space and varied text size clarifies meaning and keeps reader interest. The most important information should be placed towards the beginning of paragraphs and the top of the page to highlight information before readers begin to scroll. This will make it easier for investors and readers to understand your main point.
Within subsections, keep paragraphs short. People lose interest when reading long blocks of text. Quality over quantity is a general rule of thumb. Try not to add content for the sake of filling your profile, but rather be thoughtful about what you add and don’t add.
Bad: “The company’s net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $322. Net revenues consist of all sales, less discounts and returns. The company’s revenues were primarily derived from product sales commissions through the Amazon Associates affiliate program. Cost of revenues primarily consists of subcontractor costs. Cost of revenues in 2016 was $879. Gross loss (revenues less the cost of producing those revenues) in 2014 was $557. The company’s operating expenses consist of general and administrative, sales and marketing, and research and development expenses. Operating expenses in 2016 amounted to $43,957 as a result of the foregoing factors, the company’s net loss from operations was $43,912 in 2016.Other expenses consist of provisions for income taxes, which amounted to $45 in 2016. As a result of the foregoing factors, the company’s net loss for 2016 was $43,957 since the end of the period covered…”
“Here’s a breakdown of the company’s expenses:
- Net Revenues: $322 as of 12/31/16
- Cost of Revenue: $879 in 2016
- Operating Expenses: $43,957
- Net Loss from Operations: $43,912 in 2016”
Readability Of Content
It’s important to make sure your profile is understood by your readers. The first question you should ask yourself when evaluating the readability of your content is: “Does my campaign profile meet the readability expectations of my target audience?” To find the answer to this question educators and other institutions use key scores, such as Flesh-Kincaid grade level scores, to determine the level of difficulty a piece of content is.
A study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found the average reading level of American adults is about 7th to 8th grade level. That being said, if your content is too difficult for your readers to understand, they will leave your profile. In addition, if your content is over simplified, your readers may not find value in your content.
Bad: “We integrate with enterprise systems to obtain a knowledge base both in structured and unstructured formats, historical user call data, user information like account details, and other internal relevant data to create comprehensive conversational data.”
Good: “Companies like IBM can use our artificial intelligence software to parse through unorganized information, like call histories or account details, and format it into a customer service robot for their users.”
The purpose of your profile is persuasion. Investors need to understand your product in order to believe that your product will be successful. This way, they are more likely to be engaged and invest in your business. You can clarify your writing without being patronizing or overly simple. Tell a story to hook investors to come back to make an investment.
What is “Voice”?
The voice is the personality of your business. It is represented by adjectives that define your personality and turn your product into a recognizable brand. Voice engages and motivates your audience to take action.
As your profile is a marketing exercise, it is important to preserve voice. A unique and compelling voice is what turns your company from an idea to a brand. The items below will help you find and maintain your company’s voice:
- Describe the brand in three adjectives. Be creative, maybe a little witty, and find ways to engage your audience.
- Think about who the brand sounds like. What kind of language will you use to show your value?
- Describe your audience in three words. Understand how your audience communicates about your product.
- Look at your competition. Understand what makes your product unique.
Companies that have strongly developed voices and brands are Coca Cola, Apple, Microsoft, and Google. It can be helpful to take a look at the websites of these companies and pay attention to the character of these brands. Doing so will help you critically think about your own brand. If your SeedInvest profile is written in your company’s unique voice, you will be able to utilize what you created going forward.
The Three C’s of Branding Voice
Here are three more categories to frame the way you think about your brand.
- Culture: Think about what your brand stands for, what makes your company unique. This is the culture of your brand; the foundation of what you highlight in your profile.
- Community: This ties into listening to your audience and understanding how your audience interacts with your product.
- Conversation: This is your voice. Take it beyond your understanding of the brand and think broadly of what you’re adding to the conversation.
As with any writing exercise, proper grammar and punctuation are imperative on your SeedInvest profile. The easiest ways to improve punctuation is to read your writing out loud, have a friend or family member read it, or draft up a few versions of your profile.
Proper and thoughtful grammar will make your profile read professionally. This is an important quality to show investors your company’s stability and trustworthiness.
Although there are still many practices to be explored, keeping these basic guidelines in mind will help you organize your thoughts. We know that writing effectively is challenging, especially when trying to synthesize descriptive and legal information. But by simply improving sentence structure, paragraph structure, and word choice, your profile can be transformed.
This post was written by Eva McLafferty on August 15, 2017
What’s Your Company’s Personality?