strategic consultant to:  

~ serial CEOs & CTOs in software, Internet, technology & digital media
~ experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices

I’ve been reviewing several pitches for capital written by some of my new clients who are Internet entrepreneurs.   These pitches are generally targeting venture capitalists who invest in new Internet companies.  We are working together to expand our capital strategy to reach beyond the venture community in these economic times.

When seeking funding in this broader capital market, the language of the pitch must become simpler, more direct and more explanatory.  Remember that old idea, “Explain it to me so my 8 year old can understand it.”  This is an excellent measure for clarity.

Some of the words we will explore in these blogs include:  aggregate, content, monetize, engine, leverage, solution, content, even social media.

 The current language of the pitch is full of buzzwords, understood only within our community, but not easily accepted in a broader funding market.  Let’s begin with “aggregate content.”

 Aggregate: now, those involved in distribution will easily understand this, but everyone else will nod and miss the significance of the word.  Try “gathered together” or “put into inventory” or “collected” for distribution. 

  • And the word immediately following the word for aggregation had better be the stuff that is being collected.
  • You must say “for distribution” immediately following this, to explain the importance of collecting all this stuff into your inventory.
  • And then you must specify to whom you will be distributing this stuff, so the reader understands your target market.
  • So we move from writing “aggregating X” to “collecting XXX into inventory for distribution to YYYY.”
  • To take this one step further, you might specify what that target market does with the stuff once it buys it from distribution.  This is especially true if you are distributing to resellers (one target market) who in turn resell or distribute your stuff to the end-user (customer) market.  If you are distributing direct to the end customer, then you are “distributing to YYYY to gain initial market share of Z%.”
  • So, instead of the shorthand that says “We are aggregating content” you will say “We are collecting online video into inventory on our website for automatic pay-per-use, downloaded distribution to advertising agencies, which will use it in projects with their clients.  We will also resell this inventory directly to websites that offer “stock videos,” at an XX% margin.”

Content:  This word, understood in broad strokes by industry insiders, can thoroughly confuse outsiders.  They struggle to understand how this word is used as a collective word for all kinds of content – text, photos, video, articles, short films, ebooks, and so on.

So be very careful, early in your presentation, to list the multiple kinds of content you will address in your pitch, and then to specify which kinds of content you are referring to for each example or channel.

Have examples?  Need a private review of your pitch?  Please share here.

Next:  monetize, leverage, social media, engine, tool, platform, solution, enabling technology