Finding investors for your startup is not an easy task. There are many entrepreneurs out there, who are also looking, so you need to step up your game. To get one step ahead of anybody else, you need to get creative. Here are 7 tips that can help you reach out to investors that don’t include cold calling and cold emailing.
Networking is the most powerful way to reach out to investors. Many entrepreneurs say that they don’t have time to actively network, which is a crucial mistake. You need to get out there and connect with the entrepreneurial community, become part of it and actively participate in its growth. Even if you are not directly selling your business at every event, you are still putting it on the map. Networking is a great way to get visibility for your startup and to connect with investors.
Now, pitching is getting networking to the next level. Pitching events are a great way to reach a broad audience of investors and even potential customers. When you are on the stage, all the attention is on you. Make the most of it – show the business, the value, the potential. The investors are looking for the next big thing, use the minutes on the stage (at The Pitcher we give plenty of time – 5 minutes pitch and 5 minutes for Q&A) to prove that you got it!
Ask to be introduced
In the entrepreneurial world, everybody knows somebody. Use your connections to reach to investors. There is nothing wrong to ask to be introduced. Create a list of people you know (your old college classmate, your professor at the university, people that you worked for before, other entrepreneurs) and let them know that you would like to meet with some investors that might be interested in your company. You might be surprised by the people’s willingness to become a connector – in a positive way!
A great way to contribute to the entrepreneurial community is to create useful content. Write articles and blog posts that share valuable information. Be active and bring value to the community and you won’t stay unnoticed for long. Investors appreciate informative content online, so make the effort to be one of those people, who provide it to them.
As an entrepreneur, you probably have many things that you can share – from your inspiration through your entrepreneurial journey to the expertise you have in your field. Look for speaking opportunities like conferences, seminars, workshops and even small gatherings. It is a great way not only to share your knowledge but also to create a buzz around you as an entrepreneur and your business as a product of your efforts.
Find a mentor
Finding a mentor is one of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur. Someone, who can guide you and give you advice, someone, who has years of expertise in your field and many connections, will help you go through the startup world with more confidence and strength. Your mentor will also be happy to introduce you to his network, which is a great way to meet with investors.
Mobilize everybody on the team
Your team members should be your strongest brand advocates. Encourage them to be active in the entrepreneurial scene, to network and to contribute as well by creating content. Their networks are valuable. If they have been active in the startup scene for a while, they probably are connected with investors as well. Your team members also have interest in promoting the startup they work for (especially if they have equity), so encourage them to do so.