START MY FREE TRIAL NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED

Startup Pitch: How to Highlight What Makes Your Business Unique

  • 2
  • June 13, 2017

startup-pitch

The moment you decided to start your own business, you became both an entrepreneur and a marketer, whether you like it or not. The life of a startup founder is filled with pitching to various audiences – from potential investors to potential customers.

Though the audience you’ll be pitching to will change based on the stage of your startup, one thing never wavers – you must highlight what makes you unique however you can.

Even if no else you know has taken the entrepreneur’s route through life, you are not alone. Startups and other small businesses make up roughly 62% of all businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Likewise, the number of small businesses in the country has increased an incredible 49% since 1982. Approximately 500,000 adults in the U.S. started businesses, either incorporated or unincorporated, each month in 2014 alone, according to a report from The Kauffman Index.

While numbers like these should encourage you that “this can be done,” the flip side of the equation is you’ve got competition – a lot of it.

Therefore, your marketing message needs to be built on three very simple, yet essential ideas:

  1. Here is what I can do.

  2. Here is what makes me unique.

  3. Here is why you should care.

Remember Why You Began Your Startup

Think back to the moment you first had your idea for your startup. It probably wasn’t the first – or even the hundredth – idea you ever had. I’m guessing it isn’t even the first idea that you considered building a business around.

But there was something different about this one. Something that gave you the motivation to move to the next step. Something that made you take that step, and the ones after that. This was the idea that had legs!

And so, there was a moment in your startup journey that made you feel like:

[via GIPHY]

THAT is the feeling you must communicate to every audience you talk to about your business.

After all, many remarkable things were born from that moment.

It ignited your passion and enthusiasm – the drive that keeps you moving forward. It also cemented in YOUR mind what makes the idea so special; the reason it’s the right idea for the right market at the right time.

Everything you needed to convince your most important audience and harshest critic (you) to begin the entrepreneur’s journey came out of that one moment of inspiration. Not only should you never let go of that feeling, you must learn to help others have a similar moment of clarity, too.

Marketing is the tool you’ll use to accomplish that.

Make Your Passion Infectious

Again, you’re not just running a business anymore. You’re also a marketer. And part of a marketer’s job is to communicate why your audience should care.

You have a passion for your idea, but you need that passion to be infectious. Talk to people in a way that, when you’re done, they can’t help but hop on board your  proverbial train.

Want to get noticed? Make your passion for your #startup infectious!Click To Tweet

The key is to communicate what makes your startup unique, but also what makes it relevant to your audience. Essentially, you must:

  • Answer “why is this startup different from all others?”

  • Answer “why does that actually matter to others, personally?”

  • Answer “how does that make others’ lives better?”

This can be as simple as creating a Venn Diagram. Break down the benefits your product or service is designed to provide into a series of circles.

startup pitch venn diagram

That part in the center where they overlap is the ultimate solution with all those benefits – your product or service. This is what makes you special.

Let’s look at a couple of mature companies and how they fit into this model.

Sumo is an excellent example. Check out their home page:

sumo-home-page-start-up-pitch

Sumo’s Venn Diagram might look like this:

startup pitch sumo

Now let’s examine Agorapulse’s homepage.

start-up-pitch-agora-pulse-home-page

So, their Venn Diagram could be:

startup pitch agora pulse

Also, always market your startup in terms of: “here is why this will benefit YOU.”

Take another look at the copy on Sumo’s home page. Not once do you see a pronoun like “our” or “we” – because who cares about them?! People care about themselves and how your product or service can help them.

What you do see is the pronouns “you” and “your” again and again. It’s not an accident.

sumo-home-page-start-up-pitch-you-copy

The message and/or medium you use to make this point may change, but the point will not. For some, the Venn Diagram will be more than enough. For others, you’ll need to dive deeper with something like a presentation created with a tool like Visme.

Still, never take the focus off the user. “Here’s what we can do that nobody else can” just isn’t enough to get this job done. Always remember: “here is what we can do that nobody else can and HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD CARE” is the message you want to get across.

Wrapping Up

Remember, playing to your strengths and selling what makes your startup unique is a two-part process.

It’s true that you must separate yourself from the pack and highlight the unique aspects of your startup.

After all, you’re doing something else nobody else is (or, at the very least, in a way nobody else is doing it). Your audience needs to know that.

But marketing success is all about context, and you need to also make clear why your offering is suited for them. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to potential investors, your end users, or someone in the middle. Unique is great…but it’s not enough to get the job done.

Take what makes you unique and sharpen your focus on why that matters to your audience.

startup pitch pinterest

Author Payman Taei

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland based digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.

More posts by Payman Taei
  • Great article! I loved the part about taking what YOU offer and keeping it about THEM being critical to success. Unless you are an “Apple” and everyone knows you, nobody actually cares about you. They care about the great things that will happen to them or about staying safe from the bad things that could happen!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Eric! Great takeaway – human nature is “what’s in it for me” so tell people that, right? Cheers!

  • Fantastic post and strategy of marketing however I was wanting to know if you could write a little more
    on the strategy.

  • I liked the benefits highlighted. I will make sure to incorporate these in my website content to drive more business and highlight my unique areas of business. Thank you sharing your thoughts.

686 Shares
Tweet612
Share25
Pin15
Share30
+14
Email
Get Started Now!

Thank you for signing up. You need to authorize Social Quant, Inc. to access the account. We need this access in order to be able to manage your following.

This application will be able to:

See who you follow.
Follow in accordance with your keywords.
Unfollow in accordance with your keywords.

This application will not be able to:

Update your profile.
Post Tweets for you.
Access your direct messages.

Authorize App »
 
“Since we started using Social Quant on our Twitter profile, our follower count has skyrocketed 40% in 40 days!! And most importantly, engagement on our tweets has risen by the same amount — which means Social Quant is finding exactly the right followers for our brand.”
— Andrew Warner, Mixergy
Get Started Now!
Complete Sign Up » « Back
 
“Since we started using Social Quant on our Twitter profile, our follower count has skyrocketed 40% in 40 days!! And most importantly, engagement on our tweets has risen by the same amount — which means Social Quant is finding exactly the right followers for our brand.”
— Andrew Warner, Mixergy