Ask the expert Finovate special: I’m a new fintech
Greg Watts is our resident expert. He is the founder of Demand Creation Partners, a London-based growth consultancy that helps fintechs and paytechs to scale. A visiting lecturer at the American University in Paris and regular industry speaker, he was previously head of market acceleration at Visa Europe.
QUESTION: I’m a new fintech – how can I generate awareness of my business 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 we’ve worked with have seen a surge in interest as a result of undertaking small yet focused activities with little financial investment, if any.
Here are some tips to raise awareness of your fintech without significant investment.
- Refine your pitch, sharpen your message.
Too many fintechs make the mistake of not articulating their business in a way that resonates with target investors or customers.
If your target audience doesn’t understand what you’re offering in a sentence or two – and the benefits it will bring them or the problems it will fix – you’ve wasted an opportunity.
By spending time early on creating a strong messaging guide, you’ll see a step-change in how your business is seen by potential investors and partners. Here’s a simple framework you can use:
|Description||Example – SME banking fintech|
|FOR||Your customer or audience||FOR new businesses that need help managing their finances and cashflow|
|WHO||Your customer’s problem||WHO want to focus on growing their business without being frustrated or held back by legacy banking systems|
|PROVIDES||The solution your company, product or service provides||PROVIDES a bank account for SMEs that allows them to sign-up, issue invoices on-the-go and get access to loans and funding – in minutes and a couple of clicks|
|UNLIKE||Alternative or existing solutions||UNLIKE traditional, legacy high street banks|
|ONLY||What makes your company, product or service unique||ONLY ABC Bank has built a business bank account that gives time back to people who work for themselves
Creating a messaging guide will lay the foundation for how you communicate and articulate your business externally. And, by undertaking the exercise as a team, you’ll create a healthy platform for discussion about what your business actually is, who it’s for and why people should use it.
- Understand your target audience.
In my Ask The Expert column, I’ve often 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 and participating at targeted fintech events such as Finovate, 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. Why?
- 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, try a premium package that 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 lead generation campaigns to attract and engage 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 (note: this feature is often switched on/off by LinkedIn, so you’ll need to check when it’s available).
- Start speaking and writing.
Industry publications such as FinTech Futures, 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 focused 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 to offer yourself as an insightful speaker or panellist.
As a 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.
This article is also featured in the FinovateEurope 2020 supplement.
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