Connecting Dots to Tell Your Story

Mike Preuss
Business Storytelling
Unlock your investor relationships. Try Visible for free for 14 days.
Start your free trial

Business Storytelling

Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Keep reading!

Storytelling in business has become a clear competitive advantage over the past decade. Customers, investors and talent have more choices than ever and are armed with more information than ever. Companies that can effectively tell their story will create emotional engagement with their stakeholders, cut through the noise and ultimately drive growth.

In relation to fundraising, storytelling is a crucial component of driving interest and ultimately term sheets. This is especially true in the early stages as checks are written more on vision than traction.

There are a lot of great resources for storytelling in relation to fundraising so check back for Part II next week for storytelling specifics.

Today I wanted to focus on one often overlooked part of fundraising & storytelling and that is “connecting the dots”. Simply put, how do you create a cadence with potential investors and consistently drip information so that when you are fundraising trust is established and momentum can be created.

As with my things in life, what you invest in is what you’ll get out. Fundraising is no different. Investing in stakeholder relationships early on and putting in the effort will pay dividends down the line. While fundraising is legally a “transaction” it is far from one to actually get there.

(Sidenote: fundraising is a funny thing isn’t it? Investors tell you are fundraising 24/7/365 but they also tell you to tell investors you are not fundraising.)

Seasoned investors won’t invest on their first interaction. They invest in lines & trends. They want as many data points as possible before make a decision. Afterall trends tell a story. Mark Suster penned this perfectly over 7 years ago in, “Invest in Lines, Not Dots”.

“Most importantly tell them what you plan to achieve by the next time you see them. Hopefully by then you’ve made good progress. You’ll be able to give them an update on key hires, pilot customers, key tech innovations — whatever. Keep these interactions low-key and short. Quick coffees, whatever. Swing by their offices to make it easy for them to say yes and promise not to take up more than 30 minutes for the update (and stick to it).”

Your interactions with stakeholders might look like this before you are officially fundraising:

Each one of these dots represents an interaction and the chance to further tell your story. Over time you’ll build the trend and establish a rapport. You’ll be surprised how your entire fundraising process will change for the better. This doesn’t relate to just fundraising. It can be applied to key hires, potential acquirers and other key partners.

Want to put your marketing hat on? Utilize Visible Updates + Lists to drip updates to potential investors in between your in-person interactions. Sign up here!

Want to maximize your round competition and decrease decision marking time? Make sure to check out Part II.

Up & To the right,

Mike & The Visible Team

You may also enjoy:
Product Updates
Product Update: Turn Emails Into Insights With Visible AI Inbox
Structured data. The holy grail of business intelligence. Structured data unlocks a realm of possibilities, from setting benchmarks to enhancing decision-making processes. Yet, in the venture capital landscape, accessing reliable, structured data remains a formidable challenge. This is precisely why we created the Visible AI Inbox. With unique features like automated metric detection and file parsing, the Visible AI Inbox stands out as a pioneering solution for portfolio monitoring. Discover how it can transform your data strategy by meeting with our team. Turning email into insights We believe that investors should spend time sourcing new deals and helping founders, not manually copying and pasting data from email 🙂. The AI Inbox helps aggregate insights that exist siloed in data, files, and updates across a venture firm. Updates from founders often stay stuck in one team member's inbox because it's too time-consuming to extract and enter the data and files into a more centralized repository. Visible AI Inbox makes this possible within seconds. Requests + AI Inbox = A Complete Picture The addition of the AI Inbox continues to advance our market-leading portfolio monitoring solution. The pairing of Requests + the AI Inbox will give investors a holistic view of portfolio company performance across a fund. Visible continues to be the most founder-friendly tool on the market. We’ll continue to build tools in existing workflows where both founders and investors live every day. How Does it Work? Visible AI Inbox works in three simple steps. Forward emails to a custom AI inbox email address Visible AI automatically maps data and files to portfolio companies Investors can review and approve content before it is saved From there, dashboards, tear sheets, and reports are all automatically updated on Visible. Learn more about how Visible AI Inbox can streamline workflows at your firm by meeting with our team. FAQ Will this be available on all plans? Visible AI Inbox is only available on certain plans. Get in touch with your dedicated Investor Success Manager if you want to explore adding this to your account. How is Visible addressing privacy and security with Visible AI Inbox? No data submitted through the OpenAI API is used to train OpenAI models or improve OpenAI’s service offering. Visible AI Inbox leverages OpenAI GPT 4 and proprietary prompts to extract data in a structured way and import it into Visible. If you’re uncomfortable with utilizing OpenAI to optimize your account, you can choose not to utilize this feature. Please feel free to reach out to our team with any further questions. These processes adhere to the guidelines outlined in Visible’s privacy policy and SOC 2 certification. Visible AI Inbox Best Practices We'll be sharing best practices for how investors are leveraging Visible AI Inbox in our bi-weekly newsletter, the Visible Edge. Stay in the loop with best practices and product updates by subscribing below:
Metrics and data
[Webinar] VC Portfolio Data Collection Best Practices
Customer Stories
Case Study: How Moxxie Ventures uses Visible to increase operational efficiency at their VC firm
How to Start and Operate a Successful SaaS Company