There are many reasons to consider making use of LinkedIn. Networking with accredited investors, financiers or venture capitalists can be done through numerous digital resources. However, when disregarding personal preferences, it can be argued that LinkedIn as a premier business networking platform is a superior choice for initiating contact.
A LinkedIn study showed that 97% of institutional investors use digital media sources for professional purposes, 61% of institutional investors who use social media utilise LinkedIn as a source, and 98% of those institutional investors who use LinkedIn for professional purposes do so at least monthly.
Experts anticipate that since the pandemic, the amount of engagement with LinkedIn from investors and successors has increased significantly, although updated figures have yet to be released.
Prior to divulging your pitch or needs to investors, networking and examining both your and their LinkedIn profile is advisable. You can pre-sell your brand to them, creating a sense of trust before disclosing your intellectual property to them.
Investors these days almost always look at your LinkedIn profile when evaluating an investment opportunity. Most sites that link investors with businesses require that your profile be included in the user summary they provide.
Think out of the box—networking with wealth managers, family offices, bankers, accounting firms, fund managers, prospective impact investors, and business owners is also possible. By joining a shared LinkedIn Group, such as The Family Office Club, you can make use of the direct messaging service to unlimited individuals without being connected to them.
Raising funds can be a daunting task, especially if one is just starting out. Here are a few tips to help an entrepreneur at the start of their journey locate potential investors:
Research: Do your homework when it comes to researching potential investors. Look into the backgrounds of different companies and investors and learn as much as you can about them before reaching out. What do they post? What posts do they react to?
Network: Targeted networking is key to finding investors. People will be more open to accepting your invitation to connect if you name a genuine connection you both have, rather than the generic “I see we have mutual connections…”
Pitch: Once you have identified potential investors, be sure to prepare a well-crafted pitch. Explain the value of your project and why it is the perfect fit for investors. If you’re doing this via cold LinkedIn Inmails, do follow up. Investors may not respond right away, and it’s important to show your persistence. Send a friendly reminder and be sure to thank them for their time.
This process typically consists of a multi-faceted approach, which includes:
Exploring them in-depth: The search bar at the top of your LinkedIn page can be used to find a broad range of investors, including those unlisted and inactive. A quick search for “Angel investor” can open a search results page with recommended investors based on the connections you already have
Additionally, the results page can supply you with filter options such as location, connections, previous employers, years of experience and whether they are active on LinkedIn.
The jobs tab: At first glance, you may not think to look in the jobs tab, however, checking the job description of a recruitment post could give a clue as to what kind of diversification an investor is hoping to make.
For instance, if a tech investor is looking to expand into real estate or the other way around, their hiring strategy could be a good indicator of their goals.
Boolean searches: Similarly, you can use the Boolean search tool to look for exact terms such as VC OR investor OR venture capitalist OR impact investor AND NOT (philanthropist OR intern) to devise an optimal strategy.
Enhance your “findability,” exposure and SEO: Investors may be on the hunt for a business like yours so why not make it easier for them to find you?
a. Customise your URL
b. Turn on “creator mode” and add five relevant hashtags eg. #sustainability #technology #seedfunding under your headline
c. Include statements that show off your leadership abilities eg. add Recommendations
d. Upgrade to a premium account and add a custom link button to your headline
e. Implement a content marketing strategy that makes use of relevant keywords, hashtags and nametags that invite engagement from mutual connections and key influencers.
Crafting a personalised invitation to connect is the final step. Consider mentioning any prior interactions that you may have had; explain why you want to establish a relationship with the person. Keep the invitation to connect short and to the point. You are limited to just 300 characters, so make them count.
If they connect, thank them for connecting and send a few enticing words…
“Thank you for connecting with me this morning, Elaine. FYI, I help luxury boutiques raise money and find retail opportunities for investors. If there is anything I can help you with, let me know.”
Follow these tips to ensure you build a robust network of investors and VCs who can not only help you fund your business but also provide you with critical life and business lessons that will help you and your business grow, exponentially.