The startup Commsanalyst helps young companies turn their digital marketing into a commercial crowdfunding lever. The success of a business project also depends on digital communication. This is the message Alethia Lyriotakis wants to convey to young entrepreneurs.
“Most of the key areas of a company’s management – HR, finance, sales, customer care and service, investor relations, etc. – are digital. Most of the key areas of a company’s management – HR, finance, sales, customer care and service, investor relations, etc. require a minimum level of communication,” Lyriotakis says. “Especially in these times of crisis, where the digital space has become ubiquitous, companies can no longer ignore marketing, as they need to be visible in order to survive and grow.
In this field, the startup knows what she is talking about: a former communications manager for North American banks and international telecommunications groups, she has, in other professional lives, set up real estate and hotel companies in Spain with her husband.
When she separated from her husband, this mother of three no longer wanted to return to the workforce, but instead wanted to capitalize on what she does best: entrepreneurship and communications.
“I was at a point in my career where I needed to do something constructive and help entrepreneurs whose activities had a positive impact on society,” she explains. “These societal and sustainable projects give me more energy and inspiration, and I want to help them.
At the end of January, she launched her own company. Specialising in digital communication and mentoring startups, Commsanalyst is primarily aimed at young entrepreneurs who have neither the time, experience nor the means to take care of their own marketing.
“Many of them do not necessarily master this field. And if they can’t do it well themselves, they are wasting their time and money. A specialized service provider could therefore guide them in this task, and free up time for them to devote to their core business,” explains Lyriotakis.
However, the services of more ‘traditional’ communication agencies are expensive. And they don’t necessarily understand the real needs and challenges of startups.
“My idea is to offer them personalized and local support in the implementation and development of a digital strategy, with services dedicated to the card at an affordable price,” she explains.
Together with its client, it identifies and chooses the social media best suited to the messages it wishes to disseminate; it then defines the types of content, media and digital communication channels that best match its brand, sales and growth objectives; and then implements the strategy on the web, with targeted actions and multimedia communication content.
“Crowdfunding fundraising campaigns fail primarily because of a lack of social capital.”
All this according to a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach, based on learning and practice: “Because most of these young entrepreneurs still want to take their marketing in hand and do their own communication”, says the consultant. “They therefore keep control of the day-to-day management of their websites and social networks. However, I stay in the background, and intervene if necessary, to guide and advise them”.
But communicating naturally is not always easy for everyone. That’s why Commsanalyst offers personalised coaching: especially on public speaking – for pitching, webinars, speeches, conferences – as well as media training, to be more at ease in contacts and relations with the press.
However, good marketing is not only about capturing more customers and keeping them; it can also become a serious lever for fundraising.
Telling your story
But how can you ask for money, especially from people who don’t know you? The mentor therefore helps companies seeking participatory financing to target and address their crowdfunding campaign: “Participatory fundraising fails above all because of a lack of social capital,” laments the digital communications specialist.
“Statistics have shown that failure to raise 30% of the funding goal in the first 2 days of a crowdfunding campaign results in a 65% failure,” says Commsanalyst’s founder.
For Lyriotakis, crowdfunding is therefore a long process (about 3 to 4 months), which requires an upstream strategy: “I help them to identify the right crowdfunding platforms, according to their activities, then to find potential investors via the social network ticket (friends, family, donors), and then define the mode of intervention of the latter in the project (pure donation or donation against incentive)”.
“You need to make as much noise as possible before you start your fundraising.”
According to her, investors are very often passionate. So the idea is to find the right people, who will be sensitive to the project, and then encourage them to contribute to its development.
In this approach, the personal branding of the entrepreneur is important: “Donors are more willing to give when the founder is active on social networks,” says the consultant. “It is therefore necessary to create a bond with investors.
But most important of all is the story: “To want to give money, you have to be convinced of the product and the values of the company,” she insists. “So you’re going to reach people through personal branding and storytelling to tell a story – your story! – and the story of your business project. You need to make as much noise as possible before you start your fundraising. Because as many people need to know that something is going on, the goal is to get as many donors as possible on board right from the start: because the first few weeks of your campaign are always the most crucial!”.