When you’re in the business of business, asking for money is an unavoidable hurdle. From negotiating your salary, to seeking investment, or simply trying to get people to buy what you’re selling, it’s inherently anxiety inducing to put yourself out there and ask for what you or your product/service is worth. But in a time where women are only receiving 2% of venture capital dollars, we can’t let fear hold us back.
Easier said than done, right? Well, at iFundWomen, our team has logged many (wo)man hours fielding the trials and tribulations that are associated with asking for money, and we have had the privilege of watching female entrepreneurs overcome that fear by internalizing some essential and practical tips. So, next time you’re preparing to make the ask, remember these facts:
1. Women are better storytellers.
When raising capital through alternative funding sources (as opposed to traditional VC where the odds are stacked against female founders), women outperform men, and are able to tap into their strengths of storytelling to get funded. In fact, when it comes to crowdfunding campaigns, studies show that women are 32% more successful than their male counterparts, with higher total raises and average contributions.
2. If you are truly adding value, people will pay for it.
If you don’t value your work and time, no one else will. People pay for things every day. Luxuries like grocery subscription services have seen success because consumers are willing to spend money on products and services that enhance their lives.
The challenge is determining your product or service’s value-add, and crowdfunding is the perfect tool for that. Not only will you get more comfortable asking for money, but you’ll also have the opportunity to ensure there is demand for your product or service early on, further validating that you’re on the right track.
3. You can’t have success without failure.
Rarely do we hear the stories of failure from the most well-known, successful startups. Every unicorn has stepped in a poop emoji (or three) along the way. These founders heard “No” countless times before they got a single “Yes.” It’s a matter of how you process and move past those failures and rejections that will inform your future success. As one of our favorite female founders, Ellevest's Sallie Krawcheck says, “If you only have one or two things go right, you can have a brilliant career.”
Now that you’ve got the facts, it’s a matter of getting out there. Make sure you’re clear on your messaging and then get your reps in. The more you practice, the less scary it will feel to make the ask. The confidence gap is real and women can overcome it by crafting a powerful, succinct pitch and practicing it on anyone who will listen.
Need help crafting your pitch? We’ve got you covered.