Effective Investor Relations (IR) advice has a lot in common with all good, healthy relationship advice: You need to invest in clear, open, and regular communication. Your communications should build credibility and trust, and reward enthusiasm and a sense of potential. First impressions count — most investor decisions are made within the first 30-seconds of the investor presentation — but so does your follow-through and ability to show your own investment in the relationship beyond the “ask.”
At this point, strong, well-designed communications campaigns and materials are no longer value adds, but table stakes for any growth-minded business. But while getting the design right is of paramount importance to the success of a business, many companies don’t often invest the time and resources needed to create compelling, digestible, and impactful investor relations presentations.
The question becomes: how can you expect anyone to invest in your company if you don’t invest in your pitch, and in your relationships? Investors play such a vital role in the success and growth of a company, and the health of those relationships is itself a measure of your credibility.
To capitalize on this investment and ensure investors see you in the best possible light we recommend the following:
Tell a compelling story. While numbers are important to your audience, the human brain is wired to relate to stories. Tell the story of your evolution and capture their attention. This gives you an opportunity to align your company values with those of your investors, and get them excited. People like working with people like them—period.
Arouse interest immediately. Your deck doesn’t need to be the complete guide to your business, but it needs to generate interest, and strike a distinctive profile with clear differentiation of the company’s story from competing investment opportunities.
Build trust by validating your professionalism. Design plays a major role in communicating to people with no prior knowledge or experience with your business that you do great work. Just as wearing the right suit shows you are serious about yourself, innovative and consistent branding communicates integrity, market standing, and vision. It also shows that you can be both focused and genuine at the same time, both promising and trustworthy.
Conclude with a call to action. Otherwise, what is the point? Some companies miss this critical step because the ask seems obvious. If you ask for something concise and actionable, you will be more likely to get it.
Prepare and Practice. Don’t go in cold, especially on your first attempts. Know your pitch inside and out, and be prepared to answer many, many questions. You are speaking and listening to the market with your pitch, and doing so can be a real trick built as much on preparation and practice as on soft skills.
Make sure your deck stands alone without your presentation. If you’ve made it through your presentation successfully, and really connected with your audience through good storytelling, your deck will be passed around to colleagues who did not have the benefit of watching you walk through the deck. It will need to stand on its own, build trust and confidence in management, and make clear asks. This requires a keen eye for taking large concepts and distilling them down to a few key images and messages.
And finally…invest in good design. Your company has unique value it can provide to potential investors. Credibility and trust are reinforced by the quality of your overtures, but communicating in concise, logical, digestible and substantive presentations is no easy task. As a potential investor’s first impression of your company, you should put time and effort into developing a visually captivating pitchbook. Rather than viewing a well-designed presentation as simply a marketing tool, consider your pitchbook as a source of differentiation and route to higher profits.
The bottom line is, investing in good design is a good business decision. Indeed, it’s one of the most important: good presentation design creates meaningful first impressions, helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors, boosts brand awareness, and fortifies your identity and profile.
If you would like to see any use cases or case studies, please reach out. We are always open to sharing our insights, and working with you to deliver on meaningful, memorable branding.