How I Helped My Friends Make $150K In Two Weeks
Have you ever heard of a really amazing opportunity you could apply for but don’t feel like you have what it takes to get it?
That’s what happened to my friends, Josh & Jenine, the creators of the hit Instagram comic, Tubby Nugget.
One day, Josh’s uncle called him and told him about an opportunity at Snapchat for creatives to win a $150,000 investment.
The problem was that the applications were due the NEXT day.
They managed to scramble together all the information needed to apply and then found out they made the cut to try and pitch the investors.
But the problem was they’ve never made a pitch before.
This was an event where a whole group of creatives had to pitch their business idea to the investors on why they should give them their money. Just like they do on the show Shark Tank.
I’ve had experience business coaching over 50 entrepreneurs and counting by then, so I asked them if they needed help with their pitch.
They accepted my help so I got to work on figuring out how we can make sure they maximize their chances of winning.
We spent a couple of hours that following week organizing and brainstorming how to make their pitch.
After we finished putting everything together, they headed over to Snapchat headquarters in Venice Beach, CA the next day.
On their way over, they were rehearsing the pitch over and over again. A bit of panic kicked in as they bickered occasionally on which order they needed to say things in.
Josh was trying to memorize the pitch verbatim by reading their script over and over again, but when he looked over, he noticed Jenine wasn’t even reading anything.
Josh panicked further because he was worried Jenine wouldn’t remember her lines. Jenine reassured him that this is how she processes and memorizes information so he didn’t need to worry.
Nervous, Josh took Jenine for her word and rehearsed one final time. Then they headed into the hip-looking headquarters of the Snapchat building and found their way into the room in which they would wait to be brought in front of the panel of investors.
After much anticipation, they were called in and now had to make their pitch.
Before I tell you what happens, I want to first share how I helped them craft their pitch.
The Number One Rule To Winning Someone Over When Making A Pitch
Before ever starting their instagram comic, Josh and Jenine were aspiring filmmakers that had no business experience whatsoever.
It all began as a little side project where Josh would doodle Tubby Nugget for Jenine to cheer her up on days she was down.
This is an important element to have to have a successful business. The product always needs to be something of service that provides value.
Where most pitches go wrong is when they focus too much on their own accomplishments.
Investors will eventually ask you about your accomplishments, so save most of that information for that time to avoid sounding arrogant.
It’s important to use your accomplishments like salt where you just sprinkle a little bit of that information in when it’s necessary.
With that said, the number one rule when pitching is to keep the focus on the people you will be helping and the problem you solve for them.
Josh made the comics to help cheer Jenine up. And that is extremely valuable if it works. And because it did, it turned out it cheered a ton of other people up who stumbled upon the comic online.
This helped us clarify the problem that the comic is solving. So we tied the origin story in with how they wanted to help improve people’s mental health struggle as a result since this was a big problem that currently exists especially in our digital age.
Once you have clarity around the core problem you are solving, the rest of the process becomes more clear.
So what I did next was simply apply a framework I’ve developed to help people develop a winning pitch.
The DESTINY Framework
For many years, I leveraged my healthcare background to research neuroscience and apply it to help businesses grow. And one thing I’ve realized is that there is a certain order of information that needs to be given to prospects in order to help them clearly understand your request and maximize the chances of cooperation.
That’s when I developed my DESTINY Framework. It applies core neuroscience principles to a marketing message that effectively persuades the right people. And I saw a lot of success with my clients. It’s also exactly the process I brought Josh and Jenine through for their pitch.
Here’s what each letter stands for in the framework:
This is the most important thing to address in the beginning of the pitch. What is the deepest inner dilemma that the product solves for the customer? Josh & Jenine were big advocates for improving mental health so we worked on addressing the statistics of depression cases and suicide cases going on in the world. In addition to that, a lot of content on social media heightened peoples anxieties and insecurities because of the self-comparison that occurs online. So we introduced the mission of providing more wholesome content on the internet that creates a positive response. These facts made it clear on why the investors should care about what they’re doing, which helps them feel the dilemma as well.
When being pitched one of the most important elements isn’t just for you to get logically persuaded, but also to get EMOTIONALLY persuaded. That’s why once the inner dilemma is communicated, we need to be cognizant of the emotion it is likely to produce in the investors and express it when you’re pitching. This helps you connect with the people you are pitching to so that you start to win them over. The way you do that is simply express how you personally feel about this dilemma. Does it break your heart? Does it anger you? Whichever it is, make sure to state it at this point. This is not meant to be manipulative. It’s meant to create a connection, so be sure to go into it with that intention.
Now that you’re synced up in the same emotions with the investors, this is your moment to share he story around how you have come across the solution. This is where Josh and Jenine shared their origin story of him drawing the comic to cheer Jenine up. They also related their story to the dilemma they introduced by having Jenine share about her own big struggles with mental health.
Once the dilemma, emotion, and story are introduced, you’ve set up the investor now to be more invested (pun intended) to want to know the results you have come across. This is where you start sharing the cool results your solution has provided. For Josh & Jenine, the major first transition that occurred was when they attracted over 100,000 followers on Instagram in a little over 12 months. They had fans sending them messages on how much their content made them laugh or smile especially during tough moments. And because of all these fans, Josh & Jenine were even able to generate revenue by creating a plushie doll of the Tubby Nugget character and put it up for sale. Notice how you don’t talk about your accomplishments until later at this point in the pitch. You also want to keep it to one or two major accomplishments that are worthy of mentioning.
Note: If you don’t have major transitions of your own that show promising results yet, then you can always use case studies and research of other people’s work to make your case on why your product or service will be valuable. And if this is the case for you, make sure you do mention why you are uniquely qualified to be the person that does this work. Whether it’s your experience, credentials, or network, be sure to mention something that makes it relative to you.
After you share about the major transition that occurred, now is the time to initiate the ask you are making of the investors. For Josh and Jenine, this was for the $150,000 investment that was put on the table. Instead of something cheesy like “Your investment would mean so much to us” you make an ask that will make them want to invest in you. The way to do this is by explaining specifically what you plan to do with the investment and why it’s important to help you. I had Josh and Jenine break down what they were going to use the money for and why. Because they’ve already garnered a following and even managed to produce and sell their doll products, I had them break down what it would cost to produce more product since the demand was still there and how much more they can project would get purchase. In addition to that, I had them share their plans on how they will grow the brand even bigger. So the funds would also be used for qualified consultants in addition to hiring a part time operations employee so that it free the owners up to work more on the business instead of in the business.
Now that you’ve made the ask, this is where you want to proactively address as many possible objections that may come up. You want to ask yourself, what might a skeptical investor ask of you? In Josh & Jenine’s case, a classic question might be “Why would this work enough to gain a return on investment?”. (This is the moment in Shark Tank where the sharks start asking for revenue produced so far to gauge how well the business has been performing.) So what you do is give those answers before they even ask. This helps the investor feel like you read their mind already and shows that you came prepared by taking this initiation. In addition to their first batch of product selling out, Josh and Jenine shared the pace of how many followers per day were coming in, which helps project that there will be plenty more new customers. This ensures a high chance of the business continuing to grow, which is what investors love to see.
If you’ve proactively addressed the objections effectively, this should create a yearning in the investor to want to work with you. And to put the nail in the coffin, this is the part of the pitch where you share the mission you are on and the vision you see yourself creating. It’s extremely powerful to have the investors imagine what change would look like if your product or service becomes successful. And if they do, then you’ve succeed in winning them over and making the investment in you. Jenine closed the talk by sharing how before Tubby Nugget, she was told by her physician she couldn’t work full-time for the next year due to health conditions. Being stuck at home, the growth of Tubby Nugget was the one thing that cheered her up when she was feeling depressed. This transformed her life and solidified her purpose to help others like her who struggle with mental health. Then she stated the vision on what she would like to see change in the world as a result of their work. (Tears came out here, which makes it more powerful. You don’t need to force them though.)
The Moment They Pitched Their Idea
Josh and Jenine stepped up to the panel of investors. They took a breath and then started their pitch.
They handed out a free Tubby Nugget doll to all the investors, which already put a smile on their faces. And then just like you remember how to ride a bike again after years of not riding, they were able to make the pitch from memory.
Jenine was completing Josh’s sentences like planned and the timing was exactly the way they intended. Jenine ended the pitch with a powerful story around her own mental health struggles and why this work was so important to her and Josh.
The investors seemed to receive the pitch well. Josh and Jenine walked away that moment knowing inside that they nailed it.
And they did.
In fact, the investors were so impressed that the head investor called them personally to tell them they won the investment.
And the rest was history.
Today, Tubby Nugget has over 425K raving fans on instagram, and that investment has helped them grow their business large enough to quit their day jobs and now work full time on their business. They continue to receive all sorts of encouraging messages on how the comic has been a source of joy especially during times of deep struggles. Especially during the COVID pandemic. And thousands of Tubby Nugget Dolls have been shipped all over the world.
How You Can Change The World With Your Gifts
More often than not, many heart driven entrepreneurs have great ideas that can be developed, but they have trouble communicating the value of that idea to get the necessary support for it.
Using the DESTINY framework, this will help you significantly communicate your ideas and offers to get the commitment and buy in from the people you need support from.
Take a moment to use the framework to apply it to your own pitch, presentation, or any other form of marketing.
And feel free to share your results in the comments below.
Here’s to your success!
Interested in Learning About How Else Basic Neuroscience Can Help You Maximize Your Business Results?
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In it, we will go over the following:
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