Why You Should Grow Your Audience Before Raising Investment (And How to Do It)

James Church
7 min readJan 31, 2024

Raising investment for your startup is never an easy task, especially if you’re at the early stage. Investors will want to know there is a strong demand and a need for your product. One of the most effective ways to convince investors to back you is to build an audience. Building a database of potential customers shows investors that your business has early momentum, which is a really positive sign.

Why investors care about the size of your audience

It goes without saying, but investors need to feel that they’re giving their money to a business with a high chance of succeeding. That’s where a large audience comes into play!

  • Interest — Investors want to know there are plenty of people who already care about your product or service. So, if they see a sizeable following or audience, they’re much more likely to believe that you have plenty of potential buyers.
  • Testing — A large audience can act as a test group, too. They’ll give you honest feedback and, if necessary, help you perfect your idea before going all in. That’s extremely reassuring for a potential investor.
  • Marketing — Your investors also need to believe in your ability to grow an audience. It doesn’t matter how good you think your product is: if you can’t build an audience of interested people, investors will have concerns. But if you pitch your potential investors when you already have a strong following and some relevant data, they’ll be a lot more confident.
  • Credibility — If plenty of people are interested in your idea, it’ll be easier for investors to believe in it and trust you as the founder.
  • Data — Understanding your audience more and the problems they are facing will help you create the perfect product. Depending on how you grow your audience, you can collect valuable data that will help you further down the line.

At this point, you may have already put a lot of hard work into your new business. So, don’t run the risk of sabotaging everything by not building a solid foundation and audience first!

How to grow your audience quickly before raising investment

Growing an audience will not only increase your chances of raising investment, it will also help your business become more successful. Here’s how you can build a large audience quickly…

Create a quiz or survey to grow your audience

The more you know and understand about your target market, the more confident you will be when pitching to investors.

Investors care about the size of your audience, but they also care about the quality of your audience too and the amount of data you have about them.

That’s one of the many reasons why you would benefit from a strategic quiz or survey.

Unlike other audience-building tools, quizzes are particularly valuable if you want to collect key data or ask specific questions. This information can help you understand the pain points of your audience and how to help them.

Benefits of using a quiz as a lead magnet

Creating a lead generation quiz also has lots of other benefits for you and your audience, such as:

  • Higher conversion rates — Quizzes and surveys perform really well. They convert at 30–50% if you’re using them for lead generation, which makes them one of the best lead magnets.
  • Quizzes are fun — Thanks to the gamification element of quizzes, your audience will be more likely to complete them as opposed to downloading yet another boring PDF lead magnet.
  • Personalisation — A quiz or survey allows you to segment your audience and provide more relevant content based on their answers.
  • Pre-qualification — You can include certain questions within your quiz that will show you how serious those prospects are about buying from you .
  • Research and Data — Knowing more information about your audience will give you valuable insights that you can use to create the perfect product and impress potential investors.

Launching a quiz to grow your audience is the perfect way to provide value to your audience and collect vital information at the same time.

Tempt your audience to take your quiz

If you want more people to take your quiz or survey, consider adding a relevant gift as an extra incentive. People are much more likely to complete it if they get something in return, such as:

  • Early access to your product or service
  • A discount when you launch
  • A free gift (digital or physical)
  • Group Q&A call on Zoom

Depending on which quiz software you use, you can include information about the free gift on the thank you page after someone has taken the quiz. That way, they can access it easily or find out where to get it when you make it available.

Promote your quiz/survey

Don’t just create your quiz or survey and forget about it. Promote it whenever and wherever you can!

Think of it as your main call to action. Ideally, every time someone finds out about your start-up or business idea, they should be prompted to complete this quiz.

  • Promote your quiz on social media — explain that you are launching a new product and you’re giving an incentive to anyone who takes part.
  • Write blog posts about it — and use it as the main call to action for most of your other articles.
  • Showcase it on your website — For example, you could have the quiz in the hero section, as a call-to-action button and even as a pop-up.

You can also promote your quiz to other people’s audiences too.

For example, use your quiz as a call to action when you:

  • are a podcast guest
  • run an online webinar for someone else
  • write a guest post for another website

Maximise your efforts and results by focusing on relevant media and platforms where your target customers are already lurking.

In other words: at this stage, your goal shouldn’t be to look for investors (yet). It’s to get as many people as you can to complete your quiz — and give you lots of data and a strong following before you start pitching.

Examples of quizzes

To help you visualise what kind of quiz you could create for your startup, here are three examples along with some questions you could include:

Startup Business: AllGreen, an eco-friendly packaging startup

Quiz Title: “How Eco-Friendly is Your Business?”

Quiz Questions:

“What type of packaging does your business currently use?”

“How often does your business generate waste?”

“What sustainable initiatives are you currently implementing?”

“What is your company’s primary motivation for seeking eco-friendly packaging solutions?”

Startup Business: Fitness360, an online platform offering personalised workout routines and dietary plans

Quiz Title: “What’s Your Ideal Fitness Plan?”

Quiz Questions:

“What is your current fitness level?”

“What are your fitness goals?”

“What type of exercises do you enjoy the most?”

“What is your main motivation for wanting a personalised fitness plan?”

Startup Business: CodeKids, an educational startup teaching coding to kids

Quiz Title: “Is Your Child Ready to Learn Coding?”

Quiz Questions:

“How often does your child interact with technology?”

“What interests your child about technology or coding?”

“What kind of problem-solving activities does your child engage in?”

“How ready are you, as a parent, to support your child’s coding journey?”

Each of these quizzes can be used to segment and understand the target audience, gauge interest in the product or service, and collect valuable data to show potential investors.

Then, impress your investors with your juicy data and following

Once you’ve been promoting your quiz for a few months, you’ll have plenty of answers and valuable data.

So, you can approach investors and impress them with:

  • The size of your audience
  • The insightful data you’ve collected
  • Your strong marketing & audience-building skills
  • The level of trust and credibility you have built

After all, put yourself in the shoes of your potential investors: who would you be more likely to give your money to?

Business owner A — with a compelling idea but a scarce social media presence and no email list — or business owner B — with a tried-and-tested idea backed up by loads of data, a large following and an eager email list?

If you want to build a quiz for your startup, try out ScoreApp. You can sign up for a free account, and you can use their pre-made quiz templates to build your quiz in less than 5 minutes.

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James Church

Author of the best-selling book Investable Entrepreneur and COO of leading pitch agency Robot Mascot: www.robotmascot.co.uk