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 vastly different from the 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 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 vast number of entrepreneurial success stories of people and companies which raised their start-up or seed money from using LinkedIn as an investor resource. Here are some effective tips and guidelines that can help you find potentially strong investors and build a relationship with them through LinkedIn.
1. Create a Great Profile
This is where it all starts. Creation of a strong and attractive LinkedIn profile that is optimized for investors. 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. Your investor-optimized profile acts 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 immense. 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 on the 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 fraud.
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.
4. Become Part of Groups
Like many other social media platforms, LinkedIn 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 fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard, you are going to need a winning pitch deck.
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 reputation 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 onto 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 does not hesitate to ask for references from them.
9. Use the Power of Keywords
Like any other activity 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
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.
Key LinkedIn Investor Strategies
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.
LinkedIn Request Limits
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. For more information on how to find investors using LinkedIn please visit Crowd-Max.com.