Building momentum on a budget (tips for launching)

Daniel Rajkumar

Getting your p2p lending platform busy with activity is a challenge, after investing several months getting live and online, its easy to think that visitors will beat a path to your registration page.

Build it & they will come… after some gentle persuasion

We have various international partners who are working hard on their launch to promote their new platform.  Here are lessons from our experiences on how we got started:

  • It took us 4 months post launch to fund our first loan.
  • Despite lining up various investors and offering various incentives, lenders wanted choice. – Strange as is may sound, it’s harder to get 1 large loan funded than 3 or 4 smaller ones.
  • Our first loan was for just £5000, for the translation of an ebook, see our very first listing: 
  • Our second loan defaulted, within 18 months. Unfortunately they took a turn for the worst when their banking facilities were withdrawn. The honorable Directors intend to compensate the lenders to stave off bankruptcy, but we’d be toast if we’d not taken adequate security to protect lenders!
  • Our first unassociated lender credited just £100, -she remains one of our most prolific lenders.

Tips on marketing:

  • PR the success! – Make sure the press know about businesses with access to finance. Most entrepreneurs have been through a journey.
  • Use new media, we launched a podcast, but have not kept it up, not it serves as a good training resource, but at the time it was a good way to connect with the borrowers and communicate their pitch in a way that gained trust with the lenders.
  • Use an automated enewsletter service to market your blog posts to your existing user base.

Be persuasive & be patient

We found that some lenders were getting ‘stuck’ in the process, many would take the time to register, but then converting interest to action wasn’t easy, we needed to combine our online marketing efforts, with a traditional approach. Once lenders started receiving letters and calls from us, their confidence grew and so too did their participation.

Nick Moules was my first employee, introduced by my Marketing Director Julian Wells, – they have always made a great team and achieved a lot in our first year.

While our rate of growth hasn’t set any records, we’ve developed a sustainable model by focusing on efficiency  and automation wherever possible.  Our team may be small, but our capacity is large.

The last 3 years have been an exciting journey for us and we can certainly help others to learn the lessons.  Soon we’ll be offering a suite of marketing resources to get partner trading profitably quickly.  With the experience we have, we should be able to achieve the same (~ £5m of loans) for our partners within 6 months.

For more information, just ask Nick Newton for details on what we can do to help you grow.