If you’re a startup CEO or founder, you already know it takes more than hard work or luck to turn an idea into a company.
So. Much. More.
Drive, great communication skills, the right connections, good people, endurance, incredible research and strategy, industry street smarts — and money.
Money — the acquisition of the right investors — is absolutely essential for starting and sustaining a thriving business.
As you’re researching and preparing your pitches, be sure to deploy the powerful — and free — tools LinkedIn offers to tell your story and attract the offers you need to move your business to the next level.
Use Your LinkedIn Profile as Your Personal Storytelling Platform
Investors are looking for companies led by experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate founders with skill sets that allow them to deliver on their vision. They also want to know the unique value proposition (UVP), that is, what makes you different from all the other companies vying for their investment dollars. And of course they want to know what problem your company solves and the size of the market for the solution.
About: If you bumped into your ideal, deep-pocketed investor at a friend’s party and got the opportunity to pitch your idea/product, what would you say?
Use the 2,600 characters of this top-of-the-profile section to say it. Share your founding story and the vision for the business. What inspired you? Where do you see it going? What problem do you solve and why is your way of solving it better than any other option?
Featured: Add credibility to your story by adding website links, news stories, marketing materials, newsletters, and other media to the Featured section. You can even link to posts on LinkedIn. This is a great place to share customer success stories and testimonials, case studies, announcements of significant milestones, and other strategic communications that show traction and momentum.
Experience: Use the job description for your current company to continue telling the story of why investors should take a risk with you. But make sure that the descriptions of your previous jobs reflect the experience and success that qualify you to lead this new venture — previous exits, IPOs, company/division turnarounds, etc.
Pro Tip: Don’t stop with your profile! Fully leverage the power of LinkedIn with a strong company page and optimized profiles for all key members of your leadership team. And of course, include links to your website on all the pages and profiles.
Build Credibility and Demonstrate Leadership with Posts & Blogs
If an interested investor searched the web to see what you were doing, what would they find? Nothing? Personal Facebook or Instagram posts? Maybe a great company website with updated news releases and events?
Or, would they be impressed to find a strategic, clear picture of who you are and what your company is doing through posts and articles on LinkedIn? Your LinkedIn profile is often one of the first results in a Google search, and as investors scroll the page, Activity is one of the first sections. Make it count.
Updates & Blogs: If you’re not already active, start posting on LinkedIn intentionally and regularly. Develop a strategic posting schedule — with content focus, format, and timing — and execute it consistently.
Make sure your posts tell investors exactly what you want them to know:
- Share wins and milestones
- Offer your perspective on industry news and trends
- Champion your customers and their successes
- Highlight your partnerships
- Demonstrate your products
- Celebrate your team
And do it all often.
Use updates (short and long) and blogs — with original content — to distribute the information and news that investors need to feel good about joining your venture. In longer posts, continue sharing the story of your company and give credibility to your vision with data and plans for growth or scaling the business. The more clearly someone can know you — before they even meet you — the more efficient and meaningful your interactions will be.
Start Conversations with Strategic Engagement
LinkedIn’s 900 million users come to the platform to do business, and one key to winning is strategic and authentic engagement that turns connections into conversations and referrals.
Connections: If you’ve done good research, you know which investors may be interested in your company. Find them on LinkedIn, follow them, and click the bell icon on their profile, so you will be notified when they are active.
Like and share their posts because people notice this kind of activity. But go further: Evaluate the people who are connected with your key investors. Follow them; like and share their posts, too.
Find the CEOs of portfolio companies and other businesses that are comparable to yours, and yes, like and share their posts, too.
All of this connecting, liking, and sharing will not only build a meaningful network for you, but it raises your visibility in the industry and among potential investors.
Conversations: How do you move from connection to conversation? You start talking — or commenting.
Move beyond liking and sharing people’s posts and start commenting on what they have posted. You can start by simply agreeing or thanking them for making a good point or congratulating them on an achievement. Then move to deeper and more meaningful conversation by sharing your perspective or adding to the original thought. You can comment directly on their post or share the post with an introductory comment.
Of course, be strategic — and positive — just as you would be if you were networking at an in-person event.
Invest in Your Own Success
Acquiring investors is a high-stakes treasure hunt, and the winner gets the funding and partners to make dreams become reality. Get ahead by investing in yourself — use LinkedIn to establish credibility and visibility for you, your team, and your company.
You can start by downloading our free LinkedIn profile checklist: Impress Investors. It’s an easy way to see what’s included in a compelling story for investors.
And if you’re serious about establishing a strong and powerful presence on LinkedIn, let’s do an audit of your LinkedIn profile and company presence and see how it could be stronger. From optimizing profiles to developing and executing strategic plans, our team specializes in helping CEOs and their companies use LinkedIn to reach their goals — faster. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or book a quick call.