The First 6 Things To Think About When Marketing Your Fund

If you’re thinking of launching a new fund, or already have one but aren’t doing any marketing around it, the following checklist has been pulled together for you from years of experience with working with managers across AUM sizes.

Here are the first 6 things that you have to consider:

1. Value Proposition

a. Your strategy is not your value proposition.

That generally isn’t the case. Your value proposition is a strong, clear message that people remember – one that differentiates you from other managers. To refine it, spend time developing and honing your elevator pitch.

b. It’s the start to everything else.

It makes the next 5 items much easier to go through.

2. Name and Logo

It may seem obvious, but is often overlooked.

a. Pick a name that is simple, memorable, and unambiguous.

Unambiguous? Get friends and family to tell you what they think of the name over the phone and ask them to spell it back to you. If a decent chunk of people get the spelling wrong, it might be worth re-thinking your firm’s name. Once done, move on to peers, former colleagues, former bosses, etc. who are likelier to give you more honest, objective feedback.

b. Consider not naming your firm after your own first/ last name.

It gets the word out initially, and creates immediate connection between you and the firm. But you’re ambitious and forward-thinking. Not long from now, you’ll have several employees at the firm but no matter what you do, people will want to speak only to you if it’s named after yourself.

c. Make sure it’s “available”.

Are you able to get a URL with the company name, a LinkedIn firm page, and other social media accounts? When we say URL, we mean one ending with ‘.com’ and not the new ‘.biz’ or ‘.me’ type URLs that GoDaddy have added for sale.

d. Put effort into building a nice logo.

Your logo is the visual cornerstone of your fund’s brand.

Aristotle said: “the soul cannot think without an image”.

But before a logo can represent your brand you first have to develop that brand. And of course, the fund still must perform first.

[SEE RELATED: The importance of building a brand]

3. Website

a. Make yourself exist.

Prospective LPs need a website to ‘check you out’. When you hear about the hottest product in town, you go online to learn more about why people are talking about it. In the past, people looked for phone numbers in the yellow pages. Today, search engines have replaced phone books as the place most go to for research and information.

b. It’s ‘you’ in an online, living and breathing form.

Even if your existing website isn’t a source of new business, it says a lot about the sophistication of your firm. If your website is listed on your business card, prospective LPs are already checking it out. In many cases it provides the first impression for your firm – so it’s worth spending some time and money to make that first impression a good one.

Note: It’s crucial to do more than ‘check the box’ with a website. Your website needs a solid user interface, a contemporary design, and most of all, has to be a aligned with your brand attributes.

4. Blog

a. Stop finding an excuse not to write.

People who run for President write books. Famous people write books and blogs to establish themselves as experts in their field. Think Robert Kiyosaki. Think Malcolm Gladwell. Then think again: for these two aforementioned people, what came first? Their works, or their fame? It can go both ways.

If writing doesn’t come easily to you, remember, it gets easier with practice.

b. Give yourself SEO authority.

Web crawlers (i.e. Google) look for fresh, new information on websites which match keyword searches. It’s a tall order to update your ‘How To Invest’ or ‘Who We Are’ page monthly, but having a blog – even if you’re only updating it 1x/ month – gives you extra opportunity to earn those SEO stripes.

c. Draw traffic to your website.

Much like the above, people won’t come back to your website to read the same ‘Who We Are’ page every month. But having new content gives you an excuse to send people back to your website, which in turn puts you on top of their minds.

d. Hold people’s hands and show them the way. Draw more traffic to your website.

There are singers in the world with voices as good as Frank Sinatra’s but they’re only singing in their showers because no one has ever heard of them. Send out a monthly email with a clickable link to your database of contacts and direct them to your website.

Note: Again, don’t just ‘check the box’. Obtain guidance in how to craft emails, set up campaigns, and how to measure results.

[SEE RELATED: Content Is Still King]

5. Video

a. 1 minute of video > 1 minute of reading text.

According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the value of 1 minute of video = 1.8 million words.

b. It’s not that hard.

A 3-minute video is a good enough. You might think, “that seems short?”. But that’s all you need for an audience that is busy, moving fast, and hard to captivate. Studies show that the majority of viewers tune out if a video exceeds 2-3 minutes anyway.

6. Web Analytics

After all the effort of identifying prospects, writing content, and then delivering that content to those prospects, it’s vital to track which prospective LPs are spending time on your website. Let technology identify prospective investors with the highest level of interest automatically so that you can spend quality time with those people who have the highest likelihood of investing with you.

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By Alan Chu