How to Pitch Your Social Venture In 3 Steps
As a social entrepreneur, it is best to understand how you can sell your mission. You need to know how to gain followers, how to encourage thought on your idea, and most importantly, how to explain your mission to an audience. Before pitching your social venture, ask yourself these three questions:
1. What prompted you to develop the initiative in question?
Translation: What is the problem you’re trying to solve? How big is it?
There are a many ways to answer this question incorrectly. You do not want to say, “We wanted to try something new and this sounded cool.” This phrase gives no context, gives no passion for your social mission, and doesn’t provide a plan of action. Here are a few examples of how you can answer this question with specificity.
“We were getting so many requests to help other organizations that the market for our expertise had become clear…”
“We had X resource going to waste and knew we could find a smart way to put it to use…”
“We were hitting roadblocks with our traditional model, so we tried X and figured out that we could serve Y number of people at an average cost of $Z with revenue of $Z+2.”
“Now that we’re ready to scale, here is what we’ve learned about the size of this market…”
2) What makes your solution unique or innovative? How will this solution help your organization reach your desired Community Result?
Translation: Why is your solution the best answer to this problem?
Anyone can say, “Everyone loves it! We get so many requests and thank you notes!” But are you really answering the question? NO! You need to explain your solution and give the audience something to indulge in without giving away too much.
“Our solution has three key layers of impact. First...Second...Third…”
“Our solution has the potential to scale to other communities/target groups in a way that is self-sustaining. This model feeds on its own success without the need for a heavy reliance on additional outside funding down the road. Here’s how it works…”
3) What is your business model and how do you plan to scale it?
Translation: How will you go from X to Y? How fast do you plan to get there?
You shouldn’t rely on your website to answer all of your planning questions; you should know this by heart, because it is your mission. Don’t say, “We think this could be really big.” Instead, respond with explaining your product or service and key customer base with specificity and clarity.
“Our product or service is…”
“Our clients/customers are…”
“Our product or service is… Our clients/customers are… Here is why they are willing to pay for our service/product… Here are our results to date… Here is where we want to take this project… Here is how we’re going to get there…”
It is better to be more specific than broad, because no one can read your mind. People need to understand your mission in your words -- i.e. the way you see it. Likewise, an audience needs to understand the details of your mission before they will fully support it and buy your product or service.
These are important keys to pitching your business that will help you get off the ground as you’re starting up or scaling your social venture.