How to find startup investors via LinkedIn? Start-ups and investors go hand in hand. Funding your entrepreneurial ventures, investors are the most critical factor in making your dreams come true.
However, the search for the right investor is not that easy.
Someone willing to provide his hard-earned money to give life to your tech start-up will not come easy. Entrepreneurs and business founders find it very challenging and difficult to attract angel investors for their upcoming entities.
In most cases, they do not rely on one potential investor. Rather, they build up a significantly sized list of willing investors before they can secure their first round of monetary funds from them.
The size and the number of the list may vary according to your tech start-up feasibility, requirements, industry, and lucrativeness.
But even before this list and numbers, finding the target investors is the most difficult part. Who do you contact and how?
Social networking and corporate connections have a strong role to play in this quest for investment. Successful entrepreneurs from around the world also emphasize the need for capitalizing on these professional relationships to channelize the right investment to your projects.
Finding a Digital Resource for Start-Up Funding
Fortunately, in the digital era of today, maintaining and nourishing these professional and corporate relationships have been made easier and faster through social media and the internet.
LinkedIn is one of the largest and most effective online platforms in the world that is aimed at creating and maintaining professional connections of various types.
Many people often overlook LinkedIn as a source for finding investors because of lesser know-how. But the reality is different from imagination.
Providing an opportunity to meet and connect with professionals and experts one to one, LinkedIn offers a great platform where you not only get access to a large pool of skilled and qualified individuals but also get a chance to find potential investors that you can target for your start-up funding needs.
The process is simple and convenient. The online tools help you search, locate and list down potential investors to target according to your priorities.
Many times you may even get more investment prospects from these potential investors.
With hundreds of thousands of investor profiles from all over the world, there are a very huge number of entrepreneurial success stories of people and companies which raised their start-up or seed money from using LinkedIn as an investor resource.
The question that remains is how to go about it in the first place? How to find start-up investors via LinkedIn?
Here are some effective tips and guidelines that can help you find potentially strong investors and build a progressive corporate relationship with them through LinkedIn.
Tips for Finding Start-Up Investors Via LinkedIn
1. Create a Great Profile
This is where it all starts. Creation of a strong and attractive LinkedIn profile. It is like your business card that showcases your personal and professional credentials to the public.
It is not uncommon to see investors searching for attractive and profitable start-up ventures using LinkedIn.
Acting as a pitch deck or resume, your LinkedIn public profile is what is available to all the users to view openly. And this is where your potential investor will get a first impression of you.
So, you must create a strong, innovative, and compelling profile that highlights your start-up project and its attractiveness.
It should be professional but not too technical to comprehend. Your profile should be able to provide the basic information and knowledge about you and your project that the investor might be looking for.
It should necessarily include a recent professional photograph, a summary of your start-up venture, and the problem it promises to solve.
There should be basic personal information about you, the entrepreneur, especially the critical qualifications and skills needed to make this potential project a success.
And lastly, do not forget to add your contact information.
2. Develop A Network
Among all the social media platforms on the internet, LinkedIn is undoubtedly the largest and most effective business and professional social network. With millions of users, the potential for finding a good investor is huge. This is why you would want to understand how to find startup investors via LinkedIn.
All you need to do is search for the keyword “investors” and voila! You can get hundreds of thousands of results in a second or two.
For the entrepreneur, the finding is easy, but making that investor work for you, can be a little tricky. When a potential investor is contacted, he or she is going to reciprocate by looking at your profile.
Finding a friends list that is small and insignificant can create a problem. A profile with little or no affiliate networks can make you look less professional and somewhat inept.
Having a large network of people on your LinkedIn profile gives a bit of authenticity and legitimacy to you as an entrepreneur. You need to showcase your corporate and professional connections with other entrepreneurs and industry experts through this platform.
Savvy investors even run through your timelines and complete their due diligence by scanning your 3 levels of connections. Obviously, entrepreneurs with stronger networks have greater chances of being selected.
3. Do Your Research
The concept of scamming and fraudulent activities is quite common on social media. The same is true for LinkedIn. Among the millions of options you have, there are fair chances of some of them being fake, illegitimate, or fraudulent.
With false credentials and incorrect information, they might scam you into criminal and unlawful frauds.
So, it is essential that once you come with a list of potential investors, do your own due diligence and actively research their personal and professional credentials.
Checking for references and validating their information from authorized and credible sources is essential. An entrepreneur should also gather information about a potential investor’s past projects, investment primacies, and industry successes.
4. Become Part of Groups
Like many other social media platforms, LinkedIn too offers a feature called groups. This allows you to be part of a group of members who share similar interests, likes, professions, and expertise.
Joining groups helps you in finding potential investors in a given industry. The key is to broaden your options by joining a larger number of groups with diverse backgrounds and categories. And, the best way to do that would be to learn how to find startup investors via LinkedIn.
5. Create a Story
There are two ways of getting startup investment through LinkedIn, either you do an active search yourself or let the investor find you.
Either way, once you two get in touch, you as an entrepreneur must have a story to tell.
Your project story should be relatable for the potential investor. It should be unique and should be able to generate significant interest for the listener.
Your messages should be tailored according to the personality of the target. Use the background information and due diligence that you have collected and use it to highlight yourself and your project as a lucrative opportunity for investment.
Be personal, be clear, and be comprehendible. Avoid creating confusion and using big technical jargon to impress others.
If an investor is unable to understand what you are talking about, he or she is more likely to move on to another option.
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
6. Go For Risk Takers
With so many popular LinkedIn angel investors making waves in the corporate sector, the number of new entrants is also on the rise. Most start-up founders and entrepreneurs want their projects funded by these popular names.
They may seem to be safe, secure, and mature for the project but they cannot fund all the start-up ventures in the industry.
They also have a lot of money to invest but very little time to listen to your ideas and concepts.
The wiser and innovative option is to go for new people and firms who are working to build their repute and brand in the investment sector and are willing to take bigger risks.
They may lack the experience but they do have the motivation and ambition needed to make a difference in the status quo. If you can display your zeal and craziness to achieve something big, you can make them feel more comfortable and ensure their readiness to invest in your dream project.
Keep them under consideration when figuring out how to find startup investors via LinkedIn.
7. Post Wisely
Your LinkedIn timeline is a display of what you feel or what your start-up is all about. Potential investors will go through your posts and evaluate your company based on the information provided.
It is therefore important that you build credibility with your posts by giving out authentic and related information.
When you join groups do not start posting about your venture instantly. Be patient and build informational credibility before jumping on the bandwagon of investment hunting.
Read what others have to say and post. Be wise and meaningful in your responses to other’s posts.
8. Capitalize on References
Investors in general and especially on LinkedIn are often connected. Finding one investor means that you have tapped on to a cluster.
If for some reason, one investor is unable to meet your funding needs, look out for references that he or she can provide. Potential investors often get you in touch with other investors if they find there are high prospects of profitability in your project.
The key is to be bold and confident and do not hesitate to ask for fruitful references from them.
9. Use the Power of Keywords
Like any other thing on the internet, keywords play a vital role in the success of your online investment search. Incorporating the right relatable keywords and phrases in your LinkedIn bio helps develop the interest of the potential investor in your company.
Appropriate keywords help investors land on your profile and respond effectively to generate a potential lead. For a start-up founder or entrepreneur, you need to come up with a list of innovative and simple keywords that are related to your project and can get you the attention that you are looking for on LinkedIn.
You can take ideas from similar projects and companies and make a list of what people are searching for. Evaluate your options and narrow down your selection to the most reliable and effective ones.
10. Keep Updating and Remain Active
Last but not the least, always keep your LinkedIn profile and account updated. An investor will only be interested in your start-up venture if it is up to date with the market and the industry.
An active user on social media is gauged as an equally energetic individual in real life. If your account is inactive for a long period or you are late to respond to investor queries or information requests, then you can say goodbye to your investor search.
Don’t let that happen. Learn how to find startup investors via LinkedIn, and tap into this valuable source of finance.
These were some of the key tips on how to find startup investors via LinkedIn. The aim of any startup founder or entrepreneur should be to remain strategically aware.
Instead of randomly adding new connections to your LinkedIn profile, you should remain calculated with your requests. Like any other social media platform, investors on LinkedIn get bundles of requests on a daily basis. Your specific request should have a strong reason for them to accept your request and consider your start-up for funding.
Technically too, your ability to add new connections could be withheld by the LinkedIn website, if you add too many people in random order.
Another very important consideration to remember is always to be respectful to the people you are trying to connect with. Do not be hasty in pitching out funding requests to your new connections. Move wisely and patiently.
Always communicate using basic courtesy phrases like thank you and please. If you are going to send them a pitch deck, the right way is to seek their permission first.
In all the search and communication processes, you should always remain patient. Learning how to find startup investors via LinkedIn may seem simple and quick, but in reality, it is a sequential process that requires careful consideration and effort on each step of the way. So, do not rush in.
Work on building quality networks and strong long-term relationships rather than one-time conversations. These will help you not just in meeting your start-up funding requirements smoothly but also help raise money for growth and future expansion projects.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.
In the video below How To Find Startup Investors Via Linkedin you will be able to see this topic that I cover in detail.
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS VIDEO:
Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to find startup investors via LinkedIn. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that Subscribe button, and this way, you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week. Finding startup investors is essential. For any company that is looking to grow and to build meaningful, you’re going to need great people. It’s not about the money; it’s about the people that can give you access to their networks, their skill set, and expertise to take things to the next level.
In a sense, you want to have a well-researched target list of people that you’re going to go after, and LinkedIn, without a doubt, is a great tool that you can use to get access to the best people and get in front of them so that you can get access to that money that you need in order to grow. In today’s video, we’re going to be breaking it down for you, giving you the step-by-step on how to use LinkedIn and take it to the next level. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
So how do you find LinkedIn, or what is LinkedIn all about? Ultimately, LinkedIn, as we all know, is a great professional network. Every single professional that you can think of, most likely, they have a profile on LinkedIn. So, ultimately, you could use LinkedIn and use different keywords to come across the specific person that you want to go after.
LinkedIn, again, is the tool where every single person that is active right now in making investments in companies is going to have a profile there. It’s all about knowing how to use LinkedIn, how to use keywords, and how to use certain types of filters to get access to the person that you want to go after.
It’s very important to mention here that you’re going to have different types of access or exposure depending on the scope or the size of your own network. Obviously, the smaller the network, the less access to people that you’re going to have, but you can always get the Premium account on LinkedIn, which is going to give you greater access to the people that you want to get in front of.
The first thing that you want is to have a great profile. On the profile, what you want is to make sure that you’re putting a bio about yourself, that you’re putting in every single company that you’ve worked for, all the skill sets, any diplomas, any certificates, the universities that you attended. Think of this as your CV.
Also, you want to put the bio at the top, as I mentioned, so they don’t have to go through all of your profile because when you’re messaging an investor, or you’re trying to get exposure to them, the first thing that they’re going to do is go to your profile. The last thing that you want is to showcase a profile that is not professional, that is not serious because if you’re not serious about yourself, they’re not going to be serious about placing an investment in your business.
Another thing that you should do is definitely build your network, so you want to have as big of a network as possible on LinkedIn because the bigger that your network is, the more exposure you’re going to have. All your connections are going to allow you to have exposure to their connections.
Typically, on LinkedIn, you have a good degree of exposure and visibility when we’re talking about first-degree connections, which are the people you’re connected with, second-degree connections, which are the connections that you have in between yourself and your own network. Then the third-degree connections are probably the ones where you have less visibility. And, obviously, the fourth-degree connections don’t even exist. Again, the more contacts that you have in your own network on LinkedIn, the greater the exposure and greater visibility that you’re going to have.
Then you want to do your research. You want to make sure that some of the credentials that people are putting out there, too, that you can actually validate those, and you can verify those because there are a lot of scammers and con artists out there. Whoever is putting whatever, and you’re thinking about doing a deal with them or thinking about reaching out, make sure that is true. You have no idea how many poachers I’ve actually encountered in the journey of building and scaling companies, so with that being said, make sure that you’re verifying some of those claims. Especially if they’re making big statements, that’s something where you can do a public search on Google or whatever that is, to make sure that whatever is being said is actually true.
On LinkedIn, one thing that you can do is become part of groups. You can go into groups of angel investors, groups of venture capital firms, groups of private equity firms, or groups that are specifically oriented to your own segment or your industry because there, you’re going to have a ton of investors that you can tap into and that are going to have a specific interest in what you’re doing. You could either comment on some of their posts.
You can put posts that are relevant to them about the industry and about your company so that they can see that you have a great thought leadership approach on whatever you are doing. You want to be top-of-mind with people. You don’t want to spam. You want to add value, and that’s why you would be using some of those groups.
Then you want to create a story, and, obviously, the story is on your own profile. But, again, the way that you’re using certain keywords on your own profile is going to allow investors to find you when they want to find founders that are in your specific sector or your company. Here, you’re going to be using certain targeted keywords to your own profile, to your own expertise and skill set, and then also to whatever your company is doing. If your company is all about – just to put an example, your company is about agriculture and agriculture technology, you will be using those keywords left and right because the more that you use them in a way that is not spamming, by the way, the more that the algorithm of LinkedIn is going to push you up to the top when people are conducting searches on the search bar of LinkedIn.
Then you want to go for risk-takers. The risk-takers are typically not the ones that are doing the 9:00 to 5:00 type of job. They’re not the ones that are calling themselves angel investors on LinkedIn because those are going to give you absolutely nothing. They’re going to be the ones that are going to be a pain in the neck and a ton of due diligence for a very little amount of money that they’re going to be giving you.
Typically, the risk-takers are the ones that are the CEOs that have built a business, that have a fund, as well, to invest in companies like yours. So, people that are not doing the 9:00 to 5:00, but basically, people that are working on their own terms that are great leaders and people that you could learn from and that you also respect and admire.
When you’re creating your network, and you’re on LinkedIn, you always want to be top of mind. Obviously, what you want to be doing is posting on your own account: articles that have to do with your company, blog posts that you’ve created, you can use articles on LinkedIn itself that you can create to distribute amongst your network.
Again, what you’re doing is being top of mind by having a lot of content being pushed there – not a lot of content. Maybe you can create one post a day, one post a week; whatever that is, you are essentially getting it in front of your network. If your network clicks a Like, or puts a comment, or shares it on their own account, then that means that you’re now getting access to their own second and third-degree connections, and that is giving you even more exposure. Again, being able to post is going to give you great access to others.
Also, remember that the algorithm of LinkedIn is going to track your level of popularity, so if you’re posting stuff and nobody cares, nobody is liking it, commenting, or sharing, that could affect you negatively. So, whatever you’re doing, always do it not from a spamming-type approach, but always from an approach of adding value, being top of mind, and coming across as someone that has done their homework and has that great level of thought leadership.
Another thing that you could do is to capitalize on references. You can use the references. People can write testimonials on your own profile. They can talk about their experience when they worked with you at a previous company or when they were in school with you. That’s going to be social proof for other people that are actually going into your profile.
Then other people can endorse you for certain skills. So you should absolutely use your network to give you that type of social proof, those references, those testimonials, and those endorsements that are going to be pushing you to the top and increasing your credibility toward others that are going to be landing on your profile for the very first time.
Next, you want to keep updating your profile and remain active. Obviously, anything that is new about your business, accomplishments, milestones, you want to make sure that you’re putting it on your profile so that it’s up-to-date because every time you’re putting an update, it’s going to be shown to your own network, and that’s going to be a plus. Again, this goes back to being top of mind. You absolutely want to be top of mind.
Keep in mind, as well, that LinkedIn limits your connections. You can only have up to 30,000 connections. That’s the cap right now. Also, if they see that you’re sending a lot of friend requests out to people, they can ban you from the platform. Be very careful, be very mindful, establish meaningful connections with the people that you’re bringing to your own network, and don’t do anything that can put you in trouble. This way, you’re going to get access to great people. You may get your investors this way and get the money that your company needs to actually thrive.
So hit a Like on this video. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to. Also, Subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week. And if you’re raising money, send me an email at email@example.com. I would love to help you out with your fundraising efforts. Thank you so much for watching.