There’s an old adage that Investing is like Dating. In fact, I’ve talked about the similarities both on meetings with investors, and dates with people who are qualified to be investors. So as a something of a tongue-in-cheek yet still (Mostly) safe for work post, here are 7 ways courting an investor is like dating.
1. Your goal is to see how compatible you are with the other person.
Most of the time, if you want to get into bed with someone, you want to be compatible with them first. Getting money from an investor isn’t like a one night stand. You don’t just get the check and then never hear from them again. Getting into bed with an investor is a long term deal, so making sure you two work well together is simply a must. Otherwise the break-up may not be pretty.
2. If you come of as Asking for too much the first time out, you probably won't get a second.
The first time you go out with an investor is kind of like that first coffee date. you’re both sizing each other up, and you want to see how you click. If you went into a first date trying to make out and take the partner back to your place, it’s probably not going to end well for you. Similarly, if you start asking an investor to whip out their checkbook on the first meeting, then you’re not likely to get a call back for a second.
In summation, the goal of your first date should always be to get a second. If you’re out with an investor, then the second meeting is the sole goal of the first meeting.
3. It Generally takes at least 3-5 meetings to jump into bed together.
4. Both Parties have something to gain, but generally speaking one has significantly more options than the other.
Just like women are generally more sought after than men in the dating scene, Investors are generally more sought after than entrepreneurs. This may sound crass, but the only pretty girl in the room is going to get a lot more offers than the 10 guys pursuing her. The ratio is similar for investors.
So sure, while everybody is looking for a mate, and every investor needs deal flow, generally one side has more options than the other. It’s important to remember that when attempting to court an investor.
5. They're Probably going to Google You.
Everybody does diligence in this day and age. If you didn’t think your date was going to check out your online presence, you should probably think again. Investors are going to look into your past history, and maybe even check your credit before they invest in you. Dates will do as much as they can on a similar level, but probably not check your credit.
Related: 5 Steps for Vetting your Investors
6. If you jump into bed on the first date, you're in for a wild ride.
One night stands can be fun and all, but if you jump into bed with the wrong person right after meeting them it can be a real nightmare. (Or so I’ve been told…) If you don’t take the time to get to know somebody before you get into a serious relationship with the, you’re going to be in for a nasty surprise. All investment deals are serious relationships. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
7. When you seal the deal, you might be stuck with that person for YEARS.
If you take money from someone you’ll be dealing with them until all investors somehow exit the company. This can be many years. The Series A Investors at Twitter didn’t exit until their IPO Years later, and a film generally takes 3-5 years to pay back their investors, if they ever do.
If you do get into bed with an angel investor to finance your feature film or webseries, they’re going to be a part of your business for a long time. It’s not just about finding independent film angel investors, it’s also about courting them, and making sure you’ve found the right investor, not just the first investor who makes you an offer.
Thanks so much for reading! If you want more advice on how to find and close angel investors for your film, you should consider setting up a FREE Strategy Session with me! I’ll help you figure out where you are, and how to get to where you’re going.
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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