One of the hardest things for a new entrepreneur to do is keep a steady stream of contact with the outside world. It is just plain difficult — and understandably so. In the midst of trying to make miracles out of small amounts of money, overcoming hurdles left and right, and discovering the need to pivot at times, it is difficult to take time to sit down and write a message to people who may not have contributed to your project yet. However, it is important to remember that running a startup is a marathon, not a sprint. So it is important to not think about your immediate future, but your long-term one as well.
Investors, particularly angel investors, are interested in seeing companies who say they intend to do something — and then actually accomplish those goals. It projects a confidence that your team is an actual team that gets things done. They also want to hear about the struggles you come upon, because they want to see how you handle them.
The easiest way to stay in touch with investors is to create a mailing list. This mailing list should receive periodic messages about the progress of your company. Our messages typically have three key focuses:
(1) What has happened since the last message
(2) What we intend to do next, and
(3) How those on the list can help us.
The last part is important, because you want to give these investors an opportunity to provide advice, connections, or other things that are important to you right now. You want to be sure to stay consistent in your writings, so use something like Google Calendar to remind you when it is time to make another post. There are a couple of things you will notice over time: (1) your writing will get better, (2) there is great progress occurring with your project, and (3) you have a better understanding of what is important to investors.
So how often should you write?
Honestly, we are still trying to figure this out ourselves. We started with monthly messages. However, at a certain point we received requests for more frequent messaging, so we started sending out updates every week. This became difficult however, because it is not easy to share major updates on a weekly basis. In fact after a few months, people began telling us they don’t read our updates as much. At the same time, the weekly updates generated a ton of feedback for us that was helpful. Eventually, we sent out a poll asking people how often they wanted to receive our updates. Here was the feedback response:
As you can see, the vast majority of people thought that weekly updates were too often. While some suggested bi-weekly, most people preferred monthly updates. So as a result, we reverted back to monthly updates. What are your thoughts?