Why Web Design Matters, Especially While Social Distancing

More and more customers are relying on the internet to obtain the goods and services they want and need during this time. The necessity of social distancing and limited face-to-face interaction due to the COVID-19 outbreak has only hastened this socioeconomic trend. Not surprisingly, study after study shows that if they only had 15 minutes to interact with content, the majority of internet users would rather view creative and tastefully designed web pages, as opposed to ones that are boring and generic, regardless of the content.

To catch the attention of your target audience, clean content is one step; however, an easy-to-navigate website that is visually appealing is a must. Your businesses’ site design is a key aspect of your online marketing efforts. To create a superior page, you first have to comprehend the integral aspects of web design.

Read on for a no-nonsense discussion of why web design is important, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as a handy reference detailing three essential design components that everyone in the private lending space should consider for their web page.

Why Smart Web Design is a Must

Before you start contemplating exactly how to go about revamping your website, here’s a quick look at why it’s such an important step in taking your business to the next level.

First Impressions Are Everything

When customers land on your site, it sets the tone as to how they perceive your entire business culture. This is a snap judgment that occurs over the course of just a few seconds—so you want to ensure that it’s a positive one. If your website is plain looking or outdated, potential customers will instantly be turned off, deterring them from completing any sort of transaction for your goods or services.

It Levels Up Your SEO Performance

There are all sorts of web design components and strategies that can impact how published content on your site appears, which subsequently affects how search engine algorithms analyze and categorize your website compared to the competition. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a catch-all term referring to a broad range of strategies and best practices that land your website at the top of internet search results. Simply put: If your on-page SEO game isn’t optimized, you’ll struggle to gain visibility on the internet and your bottom line will suffer as a result.  SEO is far from a straightforward process and can be daunting for even the most tech-savvy business owner to master. The good news is there’s no need to worry-Geraci Media specializes in perfecting SEO to maximize your visibility in a cost-efficient and hassle-free manner.

Consistency Matters

When you’re attempting to generate increased leads for your business, you want to establish your brand. That means acquainting your target audience with your company, so they pick you when they’re prepared to convert. Website designs are a key aspect of this process because they help produce consistency across your site. This consists of having identical fonts, styles, and formats across every individual page of your site. If you try and meld a bevy of different design components on each page, it will come across as scattered and unprofessional—hardly the image you want to convey to customers looking to trust you with their business needs.

Three Key Components of Successfully Designed Websites

Now that we’re all on the same page as to why web design matters for your business’s bottom line, here’s an overview of some essential web design elements you’ll want to integrate into your site.

1. Navigability

When potential customers land on your site, they’ll prefer quickly accessible information that’s clearly and efficiently organized. Your target audience—regardless of the specific demographic—doesn’t want to waste their time searching for what they want. If your web navigation isn’t optimized for a user-friendly experience, you’ll discourage them from completing the desired transaction. To combat online users’ short attention spans, try incorporating broad headings that cover several subtopics, so the site’s visitors can quickly get to the page they need.

2. Efficiency

With the advent of mobile technology, efficient web design is an absolute must. Your customer base will be accessing your webpage from a variety of devices, including cellphones, tablets and desktop modems. If you’re looking for these customers to stay on your site and actually purchase your products or services, you have to ensure that each and every one of them has a good experience. You can accomplish this in several ways. After you have leads on your site, you want to steer them towards conversion by using call-to-action (CTA) buttons. An optimally designed CTA link will be easy to spot and smoothly transition customers into the transaction phase of the purchase. You also want to ensure that your page speed is up-to-par. Audiences hate waiting for sluggish pages to load and could potentially lose interest if your page takes too long. You can spot check your page’s speed using Google PageSpeed Insights, then partner up with Geraci Media, who will make sure your site features instantaneous page loading while you focus on staying on top of your business affair. 

3. Content

Users access the internet for information, so it makes sense that featuring quality, insightful content on your page will give you a leg up in establishing your brand’s online presence—and ultimately generating more business leads. Publishing original, accurate content on a consistent basis builds trust with your customer base and increases the likelihood they’ll choose to purchase your goods or services in the future. 

Web Design + Geraci Media = A Winning Combo

Increased economic globalization will inevitably lead to a corresponding increase in online business operations. A key component of seamlessly transitioning to conducting internet transactions is web design.

Need help optimizing your site? Geraci Media has got you covered! Geraci Media Group is a full-service marketing, communications, and design agency created for the purpose of bringing brand awareness to your company. Our team of experts uses unique ideas and innovative techniques to create a branding campaign specific for your company. We understand that every company has different needs and goals, so we work with you to find the best approach to building and maintaining your brand.

Contact us today via phone (949) 379-2600 or visit our site to find out how we can assist you with all your web design needs.

How to Use Content and SEO to Your Advantage

Content and SEO are the peanut butter and jelly of the marketing industry—they just go together. When integrated correctly, they’re the ultimate dynamic duo when it comes to attracting potential customers.

What exactly is content? There are a ton of definitions out there, but from a marketer’s perspective, it is high quality information that is useful and relevant to a given topic. Unfortunately, all online content isn’t created equal. There’s a plethora of sub-par information out there on the internet.

So how do you ensure the content on your page is both high in quality and usefulness so that your SEO game performs optimally? Google handles upwards of three billion searches every single day, so it’s safe to say their content standards are a solid reference point. The undisputed king of search engines utilizes consistently evolving algorithmic applications to return the most relevant and useful search results in the blink of an eye.

Google’s Algorithm for Content

Google themselves have released content recommendations so that you can make sure that you have a chance of landing one of the coveted top spots on the search results lists. They advise your content to have:

Useful Information

If you’re building a website for a gym, you can list the address, hours of business, contact information, services, and a blog to highlight upcoming classes.

Valuable Directives

If you’re writing about how to grill the perfect steak, ensure your post offers more insight or a unique perspective compared to other articles about grilling.

Credibility

Solidify your page’s credibility by featuring original research, citations, links, reviews, and testimonials to enhance the trust and reputation of your business’s online presence.

Superior Quality

The content on your page should be highly specified and unique. It shouldn’t be an amalgamation of copy-and-pasted information from third-party sources.

Captivating Features

Inject energy and style into your page by incorporating pictures of your goods and services, your employees, or the owners—just don’t go overboard on this point to where customers are distracted from actively engaging in the transaction itself.

Optimizing Content for Your Target Audience

Ticking off the aforementioned steps, however, is only the starting point. To be truly effective, content must be optimized from an audience-centric perspective. How exactly to do you go about accomplishing this? Here are a few general rules of thumb to ensure your content is presented in a way that is highly palatable for your target audience and will maximize your chances they will purchase what you’re attempting to sell.

Research Keywords & Specify Your Topic

This action ensures that your content can be located via search engine algorithms. When you’re selecting your keywords and topic, try to use long-tail keywords, steer clear from overly generic keywords, and harmonize your topic and keywords.

Make Readability a Focal Point

Be sure to format your main content so that it’s separated into small, easily digestible sections. The modern-day online user has a notoriously short attention span. A good general rule is to keep paragraphs between one and two sentences and under 300 words.

Stay on Track

When you start drafting your content, remember that it is essential that you keep the content on topic and weave in the target keyword you settled on. Resist the urge of writing every single thing about a given topic in a single post and targeting tons of keywords.

Incorporate Backlinks

Google has made it explicitly clear that credibility matters in terms of SEO rating, so linking to on-point, credible and authoritative sources can enhance your content in the ‘eyes’ of search engine algorithms.

Optimize Title Tag, Meta Description

The title tag is the clickable title that they view at the top of every result. They’re important in that they could be an influencing factor for which result a user ultimately chooses. To optimize your tag, ensure that you make it less thank 60 characters, don’t overuse keywords, specific the topic of the content and focus your keywords at the start of the tag. The meta description is the short blip of text that is under the title tag and URL in the search results. Make sure it’s fewer than 160 characters and offers a brief, concise overview of what topic the content is about.

Need a hand on syncing up your content and SEO? Look no further. The experts at Geraci Media have you covered when it comes to upping your search engine ranking. We’re a full-service marketing, communications, and design agency created for the purpose of enhancing your company’s brand. Our dedicated team of experts will work with you to create the perfect SEO plan custom-fit for your business in a hassle-free, efficient manner. Get in touch with us today online or give us a call at 949-379-2600.

The Building Blocks of Winning SEO: Relevancy, Authority, and Trust

Before the internet existed, where would you go to find the kind of information that today—thanks to Google—is just a click away?

For example, assume you wanted to know the difference between the legal principles of actus reus and mens rea. If you were a student, you might have considered asking your parents, but that probably wouldn’t have been the best call—unless your father just so happened to be an attorney. If you had a law firm nearby, you might hunt down a seasoned lawyer for the answer. Conversely, you could head to a library and peruse the shelves for an introductory law book. In each of these examples, you’re weighing the credence of a given authority. The closer the connection of your knowledge source to an intimate understanding of the law, the more likely your answer is reliable—or, in other words ‘authoritative.’

Determining Authority—From a Search Engine’s Perspective

Fast forward to the modern day, where search engines do all of the aforementioned legwork for us nearly instantaneously for virtually any topic you can think of. They accomplish this herculean feat using intricate algorithms to locate, analyze, and evaluate the content of countless websites. They then match the most relevant—or authoritative—pages with users’ search queries.

Google and its competitors utilize numerous of independent data points when weighing authoritative quality and content relevance. The search engine’s software first reads and analyzes the content and associated features of a webpage and then associates relevant keywords with page and the underlying search term. Next, the search engine’s algorithm will review the page’s language, format, and structure to determine how close of a fit it is with the search before analyzing external signals it uses to validate and quantify the page’s level of authority on a certain topic. These external signals are called “links” and are the equivalent of scholarly citations when it comes to search engines—meaning the more links, the better.

Google got a leg up on the search engine competition by developing an efficient link analysis algorithm to establish a workable ranking system. The main principle behind this groundbreaking advancement was that the internet is premised on the idea of countless documents interlocked with each other by links. Theoretically, then, the more a given page is linked to by third-party sites, the search engine’s algorithm considers it more authoritative and lists it at the top of its search results.

Link Relevancy Carries Weight

But not all links carry the same weight. One of the primary factors that influence how big of an ‘endorsement’ a link carries is relevancy. Consider a page on a site that is selling running shoes. Imagine that it receives an external link from Runners World magazine. That link would be considered highly relevant and carry a lot of weight when it comes to search engine rankings. On the other hand, imagine a link to those running shoes from Food Network magazine. Is that a relevant link? Not so much. Accordingly, this link wouldn’t influence the running shoe’s site ranking factor nearly as much.

Anchor text also plays a big part when it comes to a given search engine’s evaluation of a site for the purposes of ranking it amongst results. Anchor text is the highlighted portion in a link that can be clicked on to open the target web page. It assists Google’s algorithm in confirming what topic the content on the page receiving the link concerns.

Trust is Earned—Not Bought  

In order to attract relevant links and thus increase your website’s ranking amongst potential search results, you need to garner trust from sources that will want to link to your website. You can accomplish this by assisting others on social media channels, responding to inquiries on your company’s social media posts, attending conferences, and providing informative presentations (not thinly veiled sales pitches).

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry—the experts at Geraci Media have you covered when it comes to upping your search engine ranking. We’re a full-service marketing, communications, and design agency created for the purpose of enhancing your company’s brand. Our dedicated team of experts will work with you to create the perfect SEO plan custom-fit for your business in a hassle-free, efficient manner. Get in touch with us today online or give us a call at 949-379-2600.

Does your fund really need a pitch deck?

In short, yes. A pitch deck is essential. Considering that 29 percent of small businesses fail because they run out of cash, and 14 percent fail because of poor marketing, a good pitch deck is key for raising capital and convincing business partners to work with you. Even huge companies like Facebook and Google started with a pitch deck.

Why bother with a pitch deck?

Think of your pitch deck as your business card that presents the essential information about your company to investors. Your pitch deck should be a short presentation of your business plan that outlines all the key elements of your business, including your business model, your team, and the purpose of your company.

Some startups prefer to pitch their business case over the phone. Although this might sound like a great way to share your ideas without giving confidential information to a stranger, big-time investors won’t take you seriously without a detailed pitch deck. Most investors don’t like lengthy phone calls. They want a quick explanation of your company that helps them decide whether it’s a good fit for their investment portfolio. They’d rather flip quickly through a deck and ask questions later, if they find the business idea interesting.

Put your best pitch forward

Now that you know a pitch deck is a necessary tool for raising capital for your fund or startup, follow through with a well-designed, structured deck. Relevant information should be laid out in a way that’s easy to understand, and a professional layout helps you stand out from other startups. If you want to raise money, spending time producing a great pitch deck is well worth the effort.

Keep in mind what information is most important to investors – the business case, market opportunity, and return on investment for them. Unfortunately, many startups pull their content together at the last minute, resulting in crowded slides and missed KPIs. If an investor or business angel needs to spend too much time finding the important information, your deck will probably get tossed.

Don’t let your deck end up in the waste bin! Not only is a professional pitch deck is a great asset for investor meetings, creating a deck forces the founder to systematically analyze every part of their startup’s business model. By combing through your ideas step-by-step, you can identify loopholes and defects before bringing the business to market, setting you and your company up for success. For more specifics on what should be included in your pitch deck, check out 5 Keys to a Great Pitch Deck.

Geraci Media is uniquely positioned to help fund managers succeed with a well-designed, compliant pitch deck. Check out our past work here, and reach out to us here to get started.

5 Keys to a Great Pitch Deck

Pitch decks are a vital part of any new fund manager’s toolkit. People retain 80 percent of what they see, 20 percent of what they read and 10 percent of what they hear, so pitching your business idea on paper or over the phone just isn’t going to cut it.

When meeting with investors, visual aids can bring cohesion, clarity and even entertainment. The best visual tool for communicating your business plan to angel investors and venture capitalists is a pitch deck. A well-prepared pitch deck helps fund managers present details in an organized and visually appealing package.

Now that we know why a good pitch deck is important, let’s jump into the 5 things you can do to create a killer presentation.

1. First impressions matter

Your opening slide is your first chance to catch your audience’s attention and pique their interest. Begin with a quick summary of what your startup is about. Some companies find it easiest to pose a comparison to a better-known company (e.g. Postmates for groceries). While this can help your audience grasp the concept quickly, if you use a comparison be sure it makes sense.

If there is no comparison that fits your business idea, a concise summary will also work. Imagine you’re writing a Twitter post or Instagram bio for your company. How would you describe it in 140 characters or less?

2. Present the problem and your solution

This is a concise and clear explanation of what your company does. To help your audience understand, provide scenarios where your product or service comes in to address a pain point.  Make sure the scenario captures what you’re trying to do and why.

3. Show the numbers

It doesn’t matter how great your idea is. At the end of the day, investors care about profit. If your business has already launched, bring out your data. Present number of early adopters, sales, paying users and any other relevant information. You should also show the size of your target market, particularly if you haven’t launched yet.

4. Do the math

Once you prove there is a market demand for your product, you need to exhibit how you earn money. This part of the pitch deck doesn’t need to be extremely detailed, but you need to be able to show who pays you and give a revenue projection based on your target market size – or current revenue increases based on the customers you’ve already secured.

5. Peel back the curtain

Investors know that a startup is only as good as the team running it. They’ll want to know who they’re giving their money to and that they’re qualified to handle it. Your pitch deck should include a slide with the quick background of each team member, or the management team if your company already has a good number of employees. This slide can include information like team members’ expertise, previous industry and other career-related relevant information. Keep it simple and elaborate during the meeting.

A good pitch deck is one of your most important tools when talking to investors. While the information it holds can vary depending on your startup’s stage of development, the deck should present important information in a tone that matches your company’s personality, and, in turn, your own!

Let Geraci Media help you reach your business goals through a well-designed pitch deck. Reach out to us here.

The Importance of a High-Quality Website

Why does website quality matter?

Think of your website as your digital storefront. Your website is often the first impression you give potential customers and in many cases your first point of contact with them. Before consumers see your store or your products they will see your website – so you want that first impression to be a good one.

The days of relying on phone books and word-of-mouth to find new businesses, products, and services are gone. In fact, 76 percent of consumers shop online, and 64 percent of consumers prefer the convenience of online shopping.

Customers will form an opinion about your business based on your website, which in turn affects their purchase decisions. When a customer searches for something you offer or specifically for your business, you want your website to be user-friendly, look great on mobile, and be well-maintained.

What makes a quality website?

Keep the users in mind

People want quick solutions to their problems and quick answers to their questions. Your website should make it easy for them to find the information they need, in a visually appealing package. Good websites are clean, well-organized, easy to navigate, clear and concise, modern, functional and branded. Key information like business hours, location and contact info should be easy to find. In short, your website should motivate the visitor to do business with you.

Make sure it’s mobile-friendly

A quality website looks good and functions well on a mobile device. U.S. customers spent roughly $177 billion in 2018 online shopping through their smartphones. Sales made directly through smartphones are expected to increase by 56 percent to hit $209 billion by 2022. You don’t want to miss out on those mobile spending dollars, so make sure your website is properly built and designed for optimal mobile use.

Professionalism is key

The best websites are also well-polished, meaning no spelling or grammatical errors, no outdated art or design, no pixelated images and no loose ends. Content should be complete and visually appealing, and fonts and colors match across the entire website.

Your website is a powerful tool. Geraci Media can help create or update your website to draw interested and engaged clients to your brand. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.

When to Use a Press Release (and when not to)

Reporters’ inboxes are flooded with press releases. As the market has become more saturated with low-quality releases, the high-quality news has gotten lost in the crowd. While press releases are still a viable marketing tactic, they have taken a backseat to some other digital tactics that are more measurable, targeted and cost effective. By coupling press releases with these new tactics, marketers can breathe new life into this old standby.

When a marketer creates a public relations strategy, the first order of business is often to publish press releases. However, the game is changing, and marketers should know when press releases benefit their strategy, and when they don’t. The following points will help you determine when a press release is the best course of action.

The Benefits of Press Releases

Other publications will pick it up

The purpose of a press release is to get as many eyeballs on your news as possible. Many companies achieve this by posting a press release to the wire, where it will be sent out to thousands of publications, and ultimately posted elsewhere online.

But how do you get attention this way? You can start by releasing quality content. For example, releases with data get picked up more. But you also need to time it right. Press releases are more likely to be viewed by both the media and consumers over the weekend and at the beginning and end of the week. For more views, avoid distributing during that humpday slump.

 Link building

One of the biggest benefits of public relations is the link building that comes with media coverage. Even though the press release itself doesn’t help with search engine optimization (SEO), the resulting editorial coverage does. Be sure your release includes key words that you want to rank for, so that when journalists see your release, they will use those words as well.

There is tremendous synergy between SEO and PR. The press garnered by press releases is a huge win for SEO managers everywhere. As a bonus, coverage often also comes with inbound links back to your website. All of this means you can’t depend on your release to do all the work. It is simply a way to communicate your story to the rest of the world, but you can use took slike keywords and helpful links to your advantage.

 They’re an important resource for journalists

A press release is an opportunity to deliver all of the information you want journalists to know in one package. Even external documents like earnings presentations and research documents, can be made available in a press release. This makes it easier for journalists to quickly find accurate information about your company.

An alternative to sending a release on the wire is to send your release directly to a journalist over email. This makes writing about your company easy for journalists and establishes a strong relationship that will help guarantee future coverage.

The Drawbacks of Press Releases

A release on its own will not improve your SEO

As stated above, press releases only help your SEO if there is additional content published as a result of your release distribution. Popular belief is that press releases help your SEO, but a recent article by a Google expert says otherwise.

This is because press releases are only syndicated for a certain amount of time before they are taken down. Even if they are packed with keywords and your company’s name, their temporary status does not lead to any progress in SEO rankings. Your PR strategy shouldn’t depend entirely on releases for SEO success.

 Press releases don’t reach consumers

Although they might get the attention of journalists, press releases alone are not an effective consumer communication strategy. Many consumers don’t know what press releases are, and they prefer to get their information in a way that is easy to understand and feels natural, like news articles. When thousands of stories are posted every hour, readers want to be able to understand them quickly.

What this means for marketers is that in addition to posting releases, you should make sure the content is somewhere else in a better format, like a blog post, so that your audience can access it. Rather than promoting your release through social channels and marketing emails, you can promote your blog post to achieve the same goals.

The effectiveness of press release is difficult to measure

Marketers measure success through data. However, unlike other marketing strategy components, press releases are extremely difficult to measure, making it hard to prove their success. Do not rely on press releases to prove that public relations efforts are necessary. Press can be measured in some ways, like how many news outlets post your release or referral traffic from the release, but it’s hard to track how many customers or prospects are generated as the result of a press release.

Press releases are expensive

Posting just one press release over the news wire can cost over a thousand dollars. Often, they are not picked up by journalists and are just reposted on other websites. Wire press release distributions have become outdated as public relations efforts rely increasingly on building relationships with the media rather than sending out hundreds of emails to journalists you don’t know.

Instead of spending money posting releases on the wire, spend time building connections with journalists, learning what stories they’re looking for and what topics they write about. Building these relationships with the media will continue to pay off.

If you have any questions about whether or not a press release is right for you, contact Geraci Media here.

Generating Leads with Email Marketing

Whether you started your career in marketing before the email boom or in the internet era, you are sure to remember a time when emails were the top marketing platform. It’s no secret that consumers’ inboxed are proliferated with the latest and greatest offers. As email campaigns grew, laws were passed to limit them and give customers more control over what lands in their inboxes.

This shift is great news for marketers, who now have added assurance that their email audience is interested in their content – or at least interested enough to not hit the unsubscribe button. Email marketing is a proven method for generating leads. In fact, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is a staggering 3,800% ROI, making it incredibly effective. (HubSpot)

In this post, we’ll discuss how Geraci Media can help you get a slice of the pie and craft email campaigns that help you meet your business goals.

Write for results

Think deeply about how your customer will perceive every component of your email. A good subject line is like a news headline – it grabs your attention and makes you want to read more. Stick to a simple design. A crisp, uncluttered email lets subscribers know how professional you are. Most email campaign platforms offer well-designed templates to help you get started.

Follow the inverted pyramid style of writing that journalists use. Give readers the most important information first, and then follow up with supporting details. Most people read email while they’re commuting or at work, so give them content that is easy to digest.

Write with a purpose, and keep content concise. Each email should have a goal, whether it’s to drive web traffic, educate, or generate leads. Reveal your purpose upfront, direct copy towards the call-to-action and make your emails easy for busy readers to scan. Choose large fonts that are easy to read at any size,. Make sure your readers have the experience your content in the same way, regardless of whether it is on their phones or on a desktop.

Customize your Campaigns

You probably get leads from an array of sources, including, blogs, events, salespeople, and referrals. Categorize your leads and build custom campaigns based on what they’re looking for. Many platforms allow you to build automated email chains that help move contacts through the sales funnel.

Use blogs to generate leads

A great blog positions you as an industry leader in your prospects’ eyes. Send your leads relevant articles to guide the conversation forward and prep them for sales calls.

Move leads through the sales funnel

Nurture your warm leads as much as your cold ones. Develop a special email to share when you’re moving emails from the cold to the warm list. Include a thoughtful touch like a testimonial to establish credibility.  Follow the warm email up with a second email asking if they’re still interested in what you have to offer. Often times, including a sales offer or coupon can help give the lead a little push to a sale.

Test, analyze, and try again

Don’t underestimate the power of A/B split testing. By testing your email campaigns, you can lower bounce rates, learn more about your customers, increase conversions, and reduce cost. The average email open rate is around 21%, while the average click rate hovers around 2.48% (MailChimp).

While it’s great to have these benchmarks, adjust your expectations based on your industry’s standard and your previous emails’ performance – don’t expect to see staggering results right away. Building an effective email marketing strategy takes time, combining proven methods with new ideas. Geraci Media can work with you to figure out what combination works best for you for maximum results.

Book a call with us to discover how we can help your company thrive!

What Not to Do When Building a Pitch Deck

What Not to Do When Building a Pitch Deck

A pitch deck is a slideshow or presentation – created on PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or a similar software – that presents your company, goods, and services to an audience. Creating an effective pitch deck that keeps investors engaged and helps you achieve your business goals takes time and effort.

Anyone can throw together some slides in a matter of hours, but consider this: for every 100 pitches an investor hears, he or she will fund only 10 of them, which means most pitches get lost in the crowd. We’ve told you how to design a perfect pitch deck; now, here are 10 things to avoid to ensure that your pitch deck is at the top of investors’ minds.

1. Overcomplicate the presentation

Chances are, your investor does not know the ins and outs of your business’s industry. Avoid using technical jargon that will confuse your audience. Stick to simple words, animations, and transitions to convey complicated ideas. Create your presentation so that even someone with little knowledge of your industry and company could understand it.

It is important to note, however, that there is a chance your audience may be knowledgeable about your industry. Preliminary research is paramount to this point, as oversimplifying your presentation may appear as though you are talking down to your audience.

2. Use old-fashioned design

You don’t need to be a professional designer, but you also don’t want to present plain white slides. Your deck should convey how forward-thinking and modern your ideas are. Take advantage of the templates that PowerPoint and other presentation-building tools offer, and be sure to add custom touches, like your company’s logo and simple graphics. If you want to go above and beyond, hire an agency who can make your pitch deck in a more advanced software, such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign.

3. Get off to a slow start

Even if your business idea is incredible, if you can’t capture your audience and keep them engaged, your deck will get lost in the crowd. A strong, memorable introduction will keep investors wanting to know more about your company and how they can benefit from their investment in you. After all, they’re trusting you with their money; hook them at the beginning to ensure they stay with you through the end of your presentation.

4. Give a lengthy pitch

Show respect for investors’ time by finishing your presentation well before your meeting time is up. You don’t want to make your audience antsy about missing their next appointment, and you’ll leave time for any follow-up questions. You can shorten your presentation time by shortening or altogether omitting your startup’s history or founders. Keep them wanting more – share details later.

5. Fudge the numbers

It can be tempting to bluff data in your pitch deck, but it’s important to resist this temptation. This is a very poor business practice that misleads investors and wastes everyone’s time. Getting caught exaggerating in your pitch can ruin your reputation and lead to lawsuits down the road. Before you even pursue funding from angel investors and venture capitalists, gather concrete data that supports your business case. They’ll come knocking at your door!

6. Leave out your mission

Many startups fail because investors can see that their ideas are great, but their founders lack a compelling vision. When pitching to investors, your goal is to convince them that they’re going to make it big by investing in you, and there’s no better way to do that than selling them on your mission. If you don’t get much traction at first, don’t be discouraged. Rethink your vision and make sure it’s grounded in reality.

7. Forget to mention your story

Everyone loves a good story, especially one with a happy ending. For investors, that happy ending is when their investment pays off! Make your business story relatable and weave it throughout your deck for a compelling presentation. However, be careful not to overdo it – make sure your story relates to your overall business model.

8. Involve disclosures and NDAs

You know your ideas are worth a lot, which is why you’re protective of them. Many people think that the best way to avoid having their ideas stolen is by asking investors to sign an NDA before pitch presentations. The hard truth is that investors have probably heard a variation your idea before. Legitimate investors who receive pitches all the time will rarely sign an NDA. For best practice, have an attorney who specializes in your space review your pitch deck to make sure it’s legally compliant.

Remember that investors aren’t your competition. They’re not going to invest in multiple competing businesses. So while you may be intimidated by the fact that they have the money and resources to build a better product than you, resist the urge to ask for an NDA.

9. Forget about your exit strategy

This one might be counterintuitive. Venture capitalists don’t want their money sitting in the bank. They want it to be used to create a high return on investment. One of the best ways to get their attention is to show them how high their ROI will be in a few years. When you present a good exit strategy, you’re showing investors that you’ve done your homework, you’re credible, and their money is in good hands.

10. Leave off your value proposition

At the end of your deck, your audience should be able to answer the following questions: Why are you better than your competitors? What makes you special? Why should they invest in your company?

Your value proposition should be relevant to your business’s market, present a clear solution to a problem, have tangible and specific benefits, and differentiate from your competition. Focus on your product’s benefits, not its features, and use your value proposition to craft your story.

As you’ve read, there’s a lot that goes into building a successful pitch deck. If you want to earn investors’ funding and respect, focus on your story, stick to the facts, and explain your value. If you are looking for a marketing team to help build your pitch deck, Geraci Media is your expert in the private lending space.

Schedule a call with Ruby today to discuss how Geraci Media can make you an outstanding pitch deck.