How did you begin your startup’s journey on LinkedIn? Did you have a specific goal in mind or did you just want to claim your business page? For any startup, the biggest challenge is always ‘getting investors’. To find investors on LinkedIn is tricky but the points mentioned here can definitely help you.
If you’re new to the scenario of finding investors for your startup’s concept, let me tell you that it isn’t as simple as ‘start and they will come.’ Getting even a small amount of success in finding investors is a feat on its own. Suffice to say, most of your investor-searching problems can be solved through quality networking and being connected to the right people.
Fortunate for you, LinkedIn is a platform where you can do just that. LinkedIn is the most powerful asset a startup can invest in. With the world’s largest online community for forming professional relationships, LinkedIn is a valuable but often overlooked tool to find investors for your business.
Building an investor pipeline includes finding investors, researching, and prioritizing them. The purpose is to create a pool of targets who can either provide finance to your startup or at the very least, introduce you to other investors.
Here are a few tips to help you find investors on LinkedIn:
1. Create a strong, cohesive LinkedIn profile
What does your venture offer? The first step to finding investors on LinkedIn is having a top-notch profile page with an accurate description of your offerings. Your public page acts as your online resume, business card, and pitching deck that other people can view and interact with. You’ll find that a lot of the times investors themselves look for businesses to invest in through LinkedIn. Your key points should include a professional, all-showing headline, a short summary describing your startup’s offerings, and the key problems it addresses. You should also include about yourself and why you have the skills needed to make your startup a success, and your contact information.
2. Search and Research
Conduct a LinkedIn search with companies related to your venture. Choose 2nd or 3rd connections and select your city of residence. Under All Filters, within company type in ‘Capital,’ ‘Venture,’ ‘Holdings,’ or ‘Investor.’ Most venture capital firms use these terms in their headline, whereas, private investors and Angels use the term ‘Investors.’
Research on all the leads you believe are worthy of your time, and prepare for approach. Like any social media, LinkedIn too has its fair share of fake profiles and businesses. It is highly imperative that you do your thorough research and find out important information about the person you’re going to pitch to. Before you begin pitching to an individual, you need to learn their investment priorities and history of past investments.
3. Connect first, Don’t pitch directly
Why is it important to connect first, you ask? Because it’s like meeting someone for the first time and asking them to move in with you. It’s creepy, needy and too much, too soon.
The problem here is that if any investors look at your profile and find out that you do not have a good number of connections or affiliates, they will most likely ignore your connection request. The need to see you’re a credible person and are an entrepreneur affiliated with other entrepreneurs. They will research all about you and have a thorough look at all your 3 levels of connections. And, if you happen to have common connections with a potential investor you wish to target, they will be more receptive to your connection request.
If you don’t have common connections with a potential investor, you’ll have to come up with a valid reason to make a connection. You can learn best practices for building a strong network on LinkedIn at Fast Company.
4. Join LinkedIn Groups
The ‘Groups’ feature is a golden opportunity for connecting with credible investors on LinkedIn. Don’t just target investors, but research your prospects and join public industry-related groups to which they belong.
Here are a few pointers to help you in pitching investors:
- Make a strategy: Don’t just connect, be strategic with your connection requests. Investors usually get a lot of connection requests and pitches, so give them a valid reason to get connected with you. Also, keep in mind that LinkedIn will freeze your ability to connect if you keep sending connection requests to random people.
- Build integrity with posting: Once you’ve joined a LinkedIn group, don’t go off about promoting your startup. This will notable give you the status of a spammer and make you come across as uninformed.
- Patience is key: Finding investors and building an investor pipeline is a time-consuming task. Take it easy if you want to build quality relationships. The short-term and long-term benefits are always worth it if you’re patient with your process.
- Give respect, get respect: If you’re not respectful to the people you’re trying to connect with, you won’t be taken seriously. Start by sending them a ‘thank you-note’ and build the relationship from there. Being respectful also consists of asking them for permission before sending a pitch deck or other information about your startup.
5. Keep in touch
Once you’ve established a respectful relationship and they’ve shared their email, send them an email with updates or company information. Even if they do not reply to your email or you don’t get a meeting with them – 90% of deals are made after making the first connection.
Show that you are building momentum by sending investors specific metrics and milestones. This will lead them to believe that your startup is a credible one. Make sure your email’s headline is catchy and the body copy is brief and informational.
We highly recommend using LinkedIn as an investor lead tool. Start your investor outreach with a campaign likes Sales and Marketing Process. Create and build your profile, make connections and maintain them, join groups, and send informational emails. Keep improving on your results by A/B testing your text.
We hope you were able to take in some valuable tips to find investors on LinkedIn.
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