China is soon to become the new Venture Capital market leader, the world’s largest startup ecosystem, and therefore surpassing the US market and its famous Silicon Valley.
When reading news online or this good old boy newspaper, its easy to understand what’s up in the global economic system and VC.
But the real question here, a practical case for anybody willing to take its chance in the “Chinese dream” is:
How can I get access to Chinese investors and convince them to invest in my project?
- What do Chinese investors want?
- What strategy to implement?
- What result to expect?
- What should you avoid?
First of all, let’s try to understand our target here.
1. What do they want from you?
An example is better than thousands of words, so let’s make up something here.
Imagine, someone called ‘Bob’ is contacting you. You don’t know him but apparently, he managed to get your contact. Bob is not here to make friends, but talking about business instead. That’s fine, you love business. You even succeed yourself in the past, you’re now the new Self-made man of the moment.
But Bob is actually the #247 guy contacting you this week to talk about business… another one with the best idea in the world. And another one who needs your money to start something up.
You’re busy but a nice guy, so why not. Let’s talk.
Bob tells you about its project. Indeed, he gets a great idea. He even gets a great business plan. But like the #246 previous candidates, its just another project on paper…
“That’s nice Bob, great plan! But tell me, what did you achieve so far?”
“A great BP! I promise you it will works”.
END OF THE STORY.
Nobody will invest in ideas. People invest in facts, in figures, in goals to be reached.
If you want to get a chance to be funded in China, you need to show a valuable project which is already working. We are talking here about investments, not charity fund or business angels.
2. How to raise more money than you could ever imagine?
China is a very profitable market. Business-friendly with healthy public finance and growing parsimony from Asian families. Want to take advantage of this market? Here’s how to do:
A. Connect with your market
If nobody knows you, nobody will invest on you. As simple as that.
You’ll need to develop a Chinese website or maybe an official account on Weibo, in order to be visible on Chinese search engines such as Baidu. SEO optimization will be a must-do. The basics of your Chinese adventure. And we’re not talking here about doing translations on google and copy/paste. By optimization, we mean a real Chinese version of your websites with performance improvements for Chinese public, with its tastes, its peculiarities, its weaknesses, etc. Your site have to be designed SEO-Baidu friendly and match with Chinese features, which will be different from your home country with very specific cultural and technical aspects absent from your mother tongue’s translators.
Video content on the home page and links to an official WeChat page are considered as the norm here. And regarding the back end, Chinese characters references will be needed as much as hosting a Chinese server.
B. PR campaign, a step to the fame
Public & Press Relations is THE tool that makes the difference. Everybody needs it to make their brand well known among all the news and activities flooding the web. It will allow you to gain in visibility, which is here again a must-do to succeed in China.
No visibility and no reputation mean no trust. No trust means no business.
SEO and paid campaigns won’t be enough to make you visible; you need very specific communication techniques.
We can help you here to develop continuous public relations campaigns through interpersonal contacts and social media campaigns. A process that can later on initiate a positive word of mouth, be measured and improved if needed.
Chinese people are connected, and so do we. Internally and through a strong network of partners, we can organize promotional and relationship events of various levels.
C. SEA: Pay per click & online ads
With search engine marketing you can buy keywords relating to your market and industry. A paid system that enables your product ad to appear at the top of the search results page. Advertiser only pays when an ad is clicked on by users.
With 70% market share on the Chinese internet, Baidu will enable you to quickly gain visibility to potential investors interested in venture capital. A strong presence based on Mandarin character keywords searches will complete your SEO efforts.
D. The power of Social Media
Social media are everything in China. Whether its WeChat, Douyin, Sohu, QQ or other, they are all using social media and spend few hours per day on it minimum. These platforms take literally a dominant place in the lives of individuals, but also in B2B trade.
SM(social media) is the best way to build and grow your reputation. If you can make a buzz, you may even consider the jackpot!
We have created official accounts operating as mini website in which one you can offer customer service to your page’s subscribers for example. We can implement storytelling, about your company or products, that will generate hundreds of “likes” and shares. A good way to involve your users in the most human sense of the term. We all love a good story.
3. What result should you expect?
You have both your product/service and your company ready?
You built your Chinese website or opened an account on Weibo?
You use Wechat, Douyin and other social media for several months? You start having many followers and people commenting/reviewing your product?
Well done. You apparently started attracting clients and Chinese consumers are already buying your brand. If so, it means they trust you.
And if they trust you, business will start.
Distributors may contact you, and investors will be willing to bet on you.
4. What should you avoid?
- Don’t trust sweet words. Trust facts.
- They’ll pretend to know more than you about your project or industry, but its false. Trust yourself. You got the power. And if you developed your reputation enough, you’ll find plenty of investors.
- It’s a basic, but need to be reminded: Don’t show all details of your Business Model. They’ll ask for it, but you don’t want to see a copy of your project happening a month after your meeting.
- Everything needs to be on paper. Oral contract is non-sense in China. Just like a delightful fresh breeze. You like it on the moment, but it’s gone as fast as it arrived.
We are an agency specialized in digital marketing based in Shanghai which aims to facilitate your growth in this lucrative market. We can be your partner. We can represent you and grow your business from the ground.
We are the Gentlemen Agency.
- Expert on the Chinese market
- Digital Marketing Specialist
- Leads Generation
- Reputation & Community development
You have an ambitious and innovative project? Contact us. Free advice. And for more information, you can check on our case studies and local expertise.