How to Write Genuinely Helpful Investor Updates (That Don’t Suck)
For those unfamiliar with Investor Updates they’re simply an email (or sometimes a Notion page) that gets sent round to your investors every few weeks, letting them know how things are going. While this may feel like a chore to some, it’s a great way of keeping your company at the top of your investors (and advisors) minds. Let’s say you’re looking to hire a great designer for instance. There’s a good chance one of the recipients of your update may know somebody who’s recently come on the market and would be perfect for the role. They may even be having lunch with them the next day, so getting on their RADAR can be super helpful. The question then comes down to how to write these updates so they have the maximum impact.
Make Your Updates Succinct and Easy to Scan
Running a start-up is fun, and a million things are likely to have happened since your last update. However, while it’s tempting to add every last detail to your updates, nobody wants to read a copy of War and Peace every few weeks. As such, it makes sense to keep your updates succinct and easy to scan. This means breaking the update into clear sections with well written headlines, making liberal use of lists rather than long sections of prose, and highlighting specific issues you need help with, or calls to action.
While there’s probably no perfect structure, most investors will want to see some version of the following information.
Start with the Big Wins
It makes sense to start your update with your big ticket items. So have you made any major product releases, landed a key client, hired a killer CMO or been featured in a major publication? This not only gets you readers excited, but will pique their interest in the rest of your update and keep them reading. It’s probably also worth including a few important KPIs in this section, including how much runway you have left, just to give folks a general idea of the current trends.
Journalists talk about using an “ Inverted Pyramid “ where you start with the most noteworthy information focussing on things like what, who, how, why, where and where, before delving into the details and background. This means that casual readers will be able…