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How is investor branding like exercising? Simple. To begin and sustain the effort effectively, you must have a fundamental mentality shift. Investors must alter their mindset from perceiving branding and investing in separate categories to seeing the two activities as synergistic and complimentary. So how does this work and how is this like exercise.
1.) Muscle: Successful athletes have built their physical muscles through continuous use and practice. Writing is no different, everyone has a ‘writing muscle’, when starting, it can be challenging because the muscle is untrained. The more one practices the stronger the muscles becomes and the easier it is to write. The likes of Tom Tunguz prove this with his ability to produce daily posts centred around the data of SaaS.
2.) Habit Forming: To be successful in both exercise and branding one must bake the new activity (branding or exercise) into their existing day in order to create a routine. Not only will this make the exercise less arduous but will also implement consistency to your efforts, key to branding success.
3.) Focus: Like any athletic pursuit, to be successful in investor branding, strict focus must be applied in one form or another. This can be in the form of geographic focus, sector focus, stage focus etc. Examples of this include the incredible success Jason Lemkin has achieved in building SaaStr into the world’s largest SaaS community.
4.) Goal Setting: This is crucial to stay enthusiastic and mission driven. Many people find exercise with no end goal challenging. The same can be applied to branding, set clear and definable milestones that you would like to it. Then map out the content strategy you believe will allow you to achieve those milestones. Make them realistic but challenging. If they are too unrealistic, you will become disheartened when they are not hit and if they are too easy, there will be a lack of drive to really push the boundaries.
5.) Equipment: Like the world of sport, the world of writing now has fantastic tools to enhance your activity. The likes of Hemingway and Grammarly, are my go to for all things grammar related (sorry for the terrible grammar!). Then on the note taking side, I always have Evernote as the extension of my brain, allowing me to do brain dumps on content ideas as and when they happen. On that note, I always have a notepad beside my bed, often night time is the best time for content creation ideas. Day or night, always write them down the minute they arise. Finally, on the content distribution side, always use bit.ly links to determine which platform has the highest conversion. This will allow you to iterate and optimise based on the data and then double down on the highest converting platforms and disregard the alternatives.
At the end of the day, like most things, in order to be successful, you have to be fully committed. Start today, do not worry about the product, at the beginning it is the core action of completing the task that is the goal. To ensure the activity is sustained bake in rewards and incentives for the tasks, anything from food to time off. However, the main thing is branding and investing cannot be viewed in isolation and they are synergistic on all levels from LP sourcing, to enhancing dealflow to providing personal clarity to one’s own thought process.