Building A Brand

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By June Ramli

It is 5 am here in Sydney and I just finished a Zoom call with a venture analyst from Austin, Texas, USA. I won’t name the company just yet but the guy I spoke to found me on LinkedIn, messaged me and the rest as they say is history.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he had only been with the company for three months and the Zoom meet-up was recorded on his end.
He did not look like his profile picture at all. In fact, nine out of 10 times, I can safely say in all of these discovery calls, many of them do not look like the profile pictures.
Normally, these sorts of discovery calls last no more than 30 minutes.
I gave him an elevator pitch on my products and also my hair care line Blitz.
He asked me how much I have spent to date. I told him a ballpark figure and then he proceeded to check my business site while he was on the call with me.

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He asked me how much revenue I’ve clocked in since launching the site and I replied that the site is still a work in progress.
He then proceeded to advise me to start making sales – which I agreed on and then started asking him questions.
So, basically what this company does is that it helps you get funding to go to the next level in your business. But before they do that you would need to pay them about USD7,000 to USD10,000 in order for them to accept you into a program where they can groom you find suitable funders, backers or investors – you name it.
I knew there was a catch to this discovery call but I didn’t know that it was going to involve this much money.
While I said okay, that I would await their outcome to see if they would be interested in onboarding me in their program or not, the truth is I am no longer keen after being told me of the cost, and the whole program now sounds like a scam to me.
The program runs remotely for six months and in these kinds of scenarios, anything can happen – company can go bust, stop communicating with you and so much more and starts-ups such as myself would be in the losing end and thousands of dollars out of pocket.
But I still smiled and exchanged pleasantries with him before ending the call. In Malaysia, when I used to run my lingerie business, I never used get approached like this, but in Australia, this has happened twice already. Interesting. Till my next update.

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