Ask, Ask, Ask, then Ask again.
Here is $10,000 worth of information for free and in a nutshell.
Concentrate on the 3 M's. There are actually 7, but 3 will do for now. These are Market, Message, and Media. They come in that order.
Who is your target market (customer, clients, buyers, users, etc.)?
Tailor your laser focused message for this target market.
What is the best media mix to get your message to that market?
Here's what you do...first, make it an offer that is so incredible that they cannot resist. Secondly, do all the work for them. Make it so easy to make the purchase now that they can do it virtually without effort. Thirdly, give them an incentive to act right now. Fourthly, offer an almost unbelievable guarantee. Fifth, offer a bonus for acting now. There are many other incredible steps, but these steps should help the novice to the professional sell anything.
Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you have to focus on selling to only one person. You can actually sell to one person at a time while selling to millions at a time. They are one and the same. Don't get off track, what we call digital marketing selling is just selling in print. And that has not changed since Cluade Hopkins wrote "Scientific Advertising." Really long before he wrote the book.
The secret to success: I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with some of the biggest names in business, celebrities, actors, entrepreneurs, business people, and companies from startup to billion dollar operations. The number one reason for their success is doing what they know and love while doing it in new, creative, and innovative ways.
Ask, Ask, Ask. Have thick skin and learn from each "mistake." In a short while, the market will tell you what you need to do and who and what you need to ask. But get started now even if that just means asking a contact on LinkedIn.
While you are thinking, think big and think of something at least 1% better, newer, or different. And being cheaper is not a winning strategy.
Make decisions quickly and change decisions slowly..unless you are actually going off a cliff.
Remember these two 11 letter words...persistence and consistency. They are two of the most important tools ever invented.
Treat everybody you talk to and everybody you meet (including yourself) like each is your number one million dollar customer.
Best of luck,
Take massive action and never give up.
Michael Irvin, MBA, RN
That's a very broad question, but I'd say to look for the best players in your field. Of course, it sounds easier than it is, but then again, startups are not easy.
I don't believe it's a good idea to have many boards, the executive board should be the entity that should be advising you, you won't have time for much more. Also, remember to keep the number of the board members controlled. Ideally, if you're at an early stage, three members are more than enough (one seat for the Founder/CEO, one investor, and one independent expert... And if none of the investors are asking for a seat, then two experts).
Your board will be growing with time, so you don't want to have a board with 15 members by the time you get to series B.
Find experts whose intentions *already* align with yours. Minimize the need to convince anyone of anything.
Appeal to how awesome they are, what a contribution they will make, how big they are and how they will have such a huge impact on your idea.
Show them how their involvement in your idea will noticeably impact the progression of their own goals (which, as above, should be aligned with yours.)
Notice something? You have to SELL. This is still a sales job. You can pre-qualify to make the job easier, but there still has to be a good sense of exchange for their time. Nobody wants to sit on a board that does nothing.
High-caliber professionals receive endless requests for their time through boards, meeting groups, talks, conferences, and the individual requests from colleagues/friends. So what makes your request stand out? There are two key ways in which to approach this:
1. Identify the people who find your organizations cause/mission incredibly compelling. For instance if you are working in food insecurity focus on people with a passion for food, sustainability, or both. An ideal example would be an executive at KIND, Aramark, Terracycles. This takes a lot of in-depth research, the more specific you can be in how your organization aligns with their interests and goals the more likely they are to join. Furthermore this is not a cold email ask
Before I list a procedure - here is the second focus.
2. Ensure that you are able to clearly define what distinguishes your organizations from others in the space and how their experience will be relevant but will also push/challenge them since they are charting new territory.
1. identify the appropiate individuals 2. understand how to position the ask 3. find a mutual connection for an introduction 4. connect with potential board member in person and build a personal connection 5. continue to correspond with them and essentially showcase what makes your business/organization unique 6. Make the ask
- Clearly this isn't a 1 day or week process so be prepared to spend more time in direct correlation with how high caliber members you are looking to recruit
My background: Over the past few years I co-founded a non-profit which uses tech to rescue ensure extra food from events goes to supporting communities in need. I then transitioned to a chairman of the board role and recruited a strong advisor board. At LinkedIn i spent a significant amount of time helping non-profits fill executive level roles by curating and screening candidates. Additionally we worked to help organizations fill board seats.
Happy to set up a follow up call to dive into specific tactics and further explain the process, workshop your org.