Ask the expert: your questions on growing the business answered
FinTech Futures is introducing a new fortnightly column, Ask The Expert! The column is designed to provide readers with practical advice on how to grow their businesses.
Greg Watts is our resident expert. He is the founder of Demand Creation Partners, a London-based growth consultancy that helps fintechs and payment firms to scale. He was previously head of market acceleration at Visa Europe.
QUESTION: How can I generate awareness of my fintech among potential investors and target clients with limited resources?
It’s a common misunderstanding that generating awareness of your business will cost a lot of money, particularly in the fintech industry. That doesn’t need to be the case.
Many businesses I’ve worked with have seen a surge in interest as a result of undertaking small yet focussed activities – with little financial investment, if any.
Here are some tips to raise awareness of your fintech without the need for significant investment:
- Understand your target audience
In previous columns, I’ve stressed the need to define and understand your target audience. The same process applies when considering communications strategies for potential investors or prospects. For example, what do they look like? Which events do they attend? What groups or forums are they part of? What subjects are they interested in and engage with?
Once you’ve built a picture of your target audience, you can identify cost-effective channels and mechanics though which to connect with them.
Active participation on LinkedIn, speaking at targeted events, getting involved in forums and writing about your area of expertise are all great ways to identify, reach and engage with potential investors and prospects.
- Become a LinkedIn expert
In my opinion, LinkedIn is the most important communications channel for fintechs. This is because:
- Most business people are active LinkedIn users. This means you can reach prospective investors and potential partners simultaneously with relatively low effort.
- It costs nothing to connect with people on LinkedIn (albeit you may have a monthly limit based on your package). Start with a free account. As you build momentum, it may make sense for you to buy a premium package which will provide you with more insights and ways to connect.
- LinkedIn provides an opportunity to participate in relevant discussions and share your point of view. Add questions to your LinkedIn posts to invite engagement; and comment on wider conversations by responding to a relevant question or theme.
- You can create targeted, low-cost demand generation campaigns to attract and engage with target audiences. Advanced analytics allows you to see click-through rates, engagement rates and other insights that can help you hone and sharpen your approach.
- Finally, if you haven’t done so already, start a LinkedIn company page and post relevant content regularly. I suggest you try an underused feature through which you can invite personal connections to follow your page. This option can be found in your admin settings.
- Start speaking and writing
Industry publications, events and forums are always on the lookout for interesting and engaging speakers or contributors. With a little effort and a well-considered presentation, article or quote, you can quickly raise your profile amongst target audiences for zero cost. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Identify journalists who write about your area and approach them on LinkedIn. Pitch yourself as an industry expert who can provide quotes and insights for relevant articles.
- Consider joining a networking group or club focussed on helping fintech entrepreneurs and business owners pitch their ideas and connect with potential investors. Home Grown in London is one example of a club that has sprung up to foster and cultivate British businesses.
- Research industry events and approach the organisers offering yourself as a speaker or panellist.
As an added bonus, the content you produce from your speaking and writing can be used throughout your marketing channels to amplify your messages. All of a sudden, you’ll have an engaged group of followers who consider you a thought leader in your space.
Bringing it all together
Raising awareness of your business doesn’t need to cost the earth. In fact, with careful planning and the use of effective tools and channels, it can cost virtually nothing.
The key is to understand your target audience, ensure you have a presence where they engage, and create content that resonates. By following these tips, you’ll quickly see results.