Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Trying to Raise Money? Thinking About Gust for Startup Fundraising?

How to Make Your Gust Account Stand Out to Investors

Before you read any further, I want you to know that I’ve personally used Gust to raise money for my first tech startup. I know a lot of other entrepreneurs who use or have used Gust to seek funds, but their profiles don’t always get attention from investors. Below are my recommendations on how to help your company profile stand out on Gust, so you can successfully grab attention and raise money.

By the way, Gust is free to sign-up for, so you have no excuse for not setting up an account and sharing your business opportunity with their thousands of angel investor members from all over the globe. You never know where, when or how your company will get funded.

Here are three tips for helping your business opportunity stand out to investors on Gust:

1. Include the right kind of video pitch

Your Gust profile allows you to upload a video on your profile page. The content and quality of this video are important. Here are some tips:

  • Keep it under 60 seconds
  • Don’t repeat what the investors can read in your Gust account or in your business plan. A lot of entrepreneurs make this mistake. The video I made was of my customers talking about why they loved our website. We also included the successes we had already accomplished, and intermingled them with the customer testimonials.
  • Include a call to action at the end of your video. For example: “We are raising $500,000, and we’ve already had $300,000 committed. Give me a call if you’d like to join us and [insert what the purpose of your company is here].” This also shows them that you know how to sell.

You don’t need to hire a professional to create the video. As a matter of fact, that may leave investors feeling like you’ve spent unnecessary money creating the video. It can be scrappy, but it must have quality content. Including some music can help create a feel for the culture of your company, too.

2. Let angels know about your opportunity

Once you get your Gust profile all buttoned up, it’s time to share it with the angel investor groups on Gust. You’ll want to do some research before inviting the angel groups to view your profile. Don’t just blanket all of the groups—it’s not only rude, it’s obvious to the investors that you’ve “blanket-invited” them and it may turn them off from considering you. You want to tailor your outreach to each group based on that group’s particular interests and expertise.

Gust has two great tools for reaching out to investors. Founders can “Share their Profile” with prospective investors via email. Sharing your company profile grants prospective investors access to private information such as business details, financials, and documents pages. Entrepreneurs can additionally “Apply for Funding” where you can check-out all of the angel investor groups who are seeking to invest in startups.

You can learn more about each group through Gust as well. This is a great feature because it saves a ton of time. Be sure not to share your business opportunity with an angel group that does not invest in your industry. Many angel groups list all of the industries they invest in, the locations they invest, what stage of company they are seeking, capital requirements, etc.

3. Beef up your Gust account

One of the things I really like about Gust is that they give you a section of your account to upload supplemental documents. If an investor is really interested in your company, he or she will want to dig a little deeper into your plan. They’ll want to see your financial assumptions, your go-to-market strategy, your understanding of the competitive landscape and what credentials you and your team have to lead and launch your company.

Those details are typically included in your full business plan. When creating your full business plan, there are services like LivePlan that can help. LivePlan is the easiest business pitching, planning and tracking tool for startups and small businesses. Here is a sample Pitch page from LivePlan.

Best of luck to you in your search for angel funding. I’ve also recently published an eBook called How to Pitch and Get Funded—in it, I share the tools and techniques I’ve used to raise close to $1 million for my previous startups. It’s yours for free!

This post originally appeared on Bplans.com.

Written by Caroline Cummings

user Caroline Cummings

Caroline is a two-time technology entrepreneur. She’s co-founded and held the CEO position for two internet companies, OsoEco (social bookmarking/shopping site) and RealLead (mobile marketing for the real estate industry).

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