1. What is Strategic Communications?
It is hugely important to keep your partners and supporters updated on your progress and impact (in good times and bad), and we have invited our Springboard alumni - iFarmer to share first-hand on how this has transformed their growth strategy and raised their latest investment round of $500k.
iFarmer enables the farmer to access funding by selling the farm assets as they grow on their farm to investors for cash to cover the initial capital required. The farmer continues to look after the farm assets harvest. At harvest, iFarmer enables the sale of the farm produce through its B2B supply chain model which ensures a healtHy return for the farmer and the farm investor. By leveraging technology and data, they are also enabling banks and insurance companies to finance key market actors across the value chain including input retailers, farmers and traders.
- Q: Why is keeping your stakeholders informed about your progress important?
We have been operating for quite some time now, and during this tenure, we got the chance to interact with a lot of potential individuals or institutions (investors/ sponsors/ well-wishers/ influencers/potential partners, etc). From our experience, we have seen, the conversion process of a Lead to Client/ Investor/ Partner is a continuous process that is based on the gradual development of relationships, discussions and to feed that it's always important to keep them posted regarding our progress and actions aligning to the broader vision.
We usually send weekly progress focusing on our last week's key achievements, milestones, publications and also our offerings. We have already received some leads from these updates and already got converted few as a client also some also reached out to us to explore potential ground to collaborate.
- Q: How do you keep track of what to update to your potential partners/ customers?
We usually follow a standard format for sending updates and throughout the week we structure and track the necessary data, but sometimes it's random when we want to focus on something specific.
- Q: How do you curate the list of the recipient? What are some of your tips in putting together a strategic audience list?
We maintain different clusters of contacts for communication-based on the tentative opportunity and agenda. Such as - Farm Funders, Potential Partners or investors.
Generally, we send updates focusing on our marketing perspective to aware of potential Farm Funders, on the other hand, we often sent updates emphasising on our milestones from the investment and partnership perspective.
- What tools do you use for CRM and to draft/send the updates?
Initially, we used to use basic MS Excel and Google Sheets to keep track, but for the last 3 months as we have been receiving more queries and generating more potential leads and now we are using the widely used CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tool Hubspot for tracking as well as for sending updates.
2. Making Your Own
Monthly company updates will benefit your startup in both the short term and long term. This is because the practice is rooted in two core beliefs - Communication and Transparency.
When you send out your regular updates, a few things may happen…
- Build relationships and create trust.
- Maintain top of the mind of friends of the company.
- Stakeholders get to know, where, when, and how to help when you need it.
- Help investors to feel that this is a "moving train", and the best time to invest is now.
Step 1: Download the Email Template and draft your monthly update.
Step 2: Use the Recipient Tracker template to curate a list of supporters.
Step 3: Send your email update to at least 10 people in the recipient list.
We have included the Youth Co:Lab Startup Support team too - be sure to keep us posted! :)
3. How to Submit?
- You only need to submit your email draft, the recipient tracker is for you to keep track of your audience.
- Click on the "Submit" button below and follow the upload form instructions.
- English language is preferred for the regional audience, please kindly seek translation assistance from your local UNDP staff if this is a challenge.
- Please submit an editable file format (e.g. .docx, Google Docs).
- Submit by 15th May, 2020.
Resources For The Curious :)
Email Editing Tools to Make Your Email More Attractive
- Mailchimp - All‑in‑one Marketing Platform
- Stripo - Build and validate dynamic AMP emails for better interaction with your customers in literally no time.
- ListShine - Create emails compatible with every device using modern drag 'n' drop editor
- Mailforge - Create any email or newsletter you want with our professional email editor
Example Update From Alumni iFarmer