Seeking Investors

Stephen Yagielowicz
It's an increasingly common phenomena: 'unknown' folks wandering onto our boards and asking for financing for their project du jour. While it certainly isn't impossible to obtain capital this way, your chances of success can be greatly improved if you put a little effort into your pitch for payola. Let's take a closer look:

The latest such thread to catch my eye was entitled "Seeking Investor For Adult Video Production" – and as is typical for such pitches, was post number one for "prodman" who went on to say "Seeking investor, investor-partner for production of xxx adult video title, possibly all b/g interracial all Asian female title." He then left an email address, and waited for the checks to pour in...

My initial thoughts upon reading this (and similar posts) are "His use of the word 'possibly' to describe the content of his proposed project indicates that he hasn't developed a concrete plan about what he wants to do, other than raise money to shoot a porno movie." This quite lackadaisical approach to business, especially when an unknown entity is seeking investors, instantly puts him in my "not to be taken seriously" column. After all, if he went to his local bank manager and said "I need money to shoot a porno, possibly about..." he would be laughed out of the office.

Still, especially in this industry, many folks lack a formal education in business, with 'grading on a curve' being the rule rather than the exception; so perhaps immediately condemning this individual – and the others like him – is a bit premature. After all, "Content Is King" and the wider the variety, style, and context of that content on the market, the (arguably) better, and as such, someone might want to finance his project in exchange for the results.

Perhaps prodman is a film student or someone with experience in video production who possesses the technical skill to produce a competent video, but lacks the financing to hire models and makeup artists, obtain equipment rentals as necessary, pay for post production and audio sweetening if needed, and then secure an entry point into the adult content distribution chain.

Who knows? I don't, because he didn't tell us any of the specifics about why anyone should consider him or his project, or indeed provide any reason why anyone would even bother to send him an email for more information. For all anyone knows, prodman could be a scam artist trying to make off with investment capital, or a kid living in momma's basement who has big pimpin' dreams. Neither case would be a first...

While no one expects to see a business plan as post number one – or even on a message board, period – stating something more definite about your plans than "possibly" is a real plus, as is letting potentially interested parties know that you have a business and marketing plan available that would provide the necessary details about the project. This doesn't have to be a 1,000 page illustrated wonder, but showing investors that you have indeed considered all aspects of your project makes the financing process much easier.

Prodman did come back to the thread and posted details about himself and his plans, that might have attracted some serious interest, if he had started off with such a post in the first place. Unfortunately, he also attacked those that were trying to help him, and in doing so compounded his first board faux pas with bridge-burning flames that revealed a temperament that many potential investors would find to be a deal killer.

While I won't reprint the many fine and thoughtful posts on this thread, I will encourage all of you to read it (and add your comments) by following the link below. It will give you a crash course on how to approach strangers for money, and may help someone get their start.