Finding A Marketing Idea

How VCs Can Find Their First Content Marketing Idea

One big challenge for venture capital and private equity investors who want to publish is deciding what to share. They are stumped by either a) the sheer number of swirling ideas, or b) self doubt. The latter surfaces a nasty little lie that says this isn’t a good idea, you’re not an expert, and no will care.

The solution to both is to write. And the easiest (and likely, most valuable) place to start is by sharing something you repeatedly do or teach. 

I’ve never met an investor who doesn’t have a go-to process, skill, tool, or coaching topic. Everyone has something that they routinely share.

  • What’s the last thing that you coached a founder on?
  • What topic do others ask your advice on?
  • On what podcast topics do you think, “I could talk for an hour on this.”
  • What’s the last workshop you led at a retreat?
  • What tweak (leadership, operational, fundraising, etc) are you advising startups on?

Make your first piece of content capture this. You’re already sharing a honed take in a one-to-one or one-to-few setting. Turn it into a one-to-many offering. Plus, you’ve validated the topic. There’s already market fit, meaning: the likelihood that your stuff gets shared is high.

Here are three examples of investors doing this –

Paul Stansik, Principal, ParkerGale

Paul recently published a guide to using scouting reports – those competitive intel pieces popularized by sports teams – in a corporate team setting.

Starting at Bain, and now with portfolio company executive teams, Paul found that when teams understood who was ‘on the field’ with them, performance improved. For his recent thought piece, Paul just put pen to paper on a training experience he often leads.

Keith Teares, US Managing Partner, Accelerated Digital Ventures

One of Keith’s job functions  is “to help founders figure out fund raise readiness and storytelling.” He shares how he spends weeks – often hours each week – working with founders on these.

Keith turned this one-on-one coaching into a shareable resource. Shortly after, Crunchbase featured his 28 minute video on the topic. From there, he created add on freebies: a fundraising deck structure (in public Google Doc form) and a slide deck taking founders through the question: Are we prepared for fundraising?

Stephen Millard, Chief Platform Officer, Notion Capital

Stephen leads Notion’s founder platform–the firm’s networking, content, and training arm. His team regularly surveys portfolio company founders to assess their biggest challenges. They organize these by theme, and Millard runs meetups to support breakthroughs in each arena. He debates issues like pricing on value, creating categories, internationalization, raising capital and exiteering. 

These trainings moved Millard to create the Pain of Scale podcast. Now, the firm has nearly forty episodes and is generating content at scale with topics refined by in-person workshops. Notion’s publishing engine reinforces the founders’ mission to be “the VCs we never had.”   

Your experience, your story, helping at scale.

Every investor has a differentiating story and skill. Describe these and you’ll uncover a connected series of activities you are already doing. They need sharing. Start your content and publishing journey here.