July 7, 2022 by Adam Hoeksema
Finding investors on LinkedIn can seem daunting, but with the right approach, it can be easy.
Like most entrepreneurs, you understand the importance of networking and building relationships with investors.
After all, these people can provide the financial backing needed to take your business to the next level. However, actually connecting with investors can be a challenge – especially if you don't know where to look.
If you're reading this, it's likely that you've already come to the realization that LinkedIn is a powerful platform not just for networking but for business opportunities as well. In fact, with over 830 million users around the world, LinkedIn is an extremely valuable tool for raising capital.
This article will provide a step-by-step guide to finding LinkedIn investors, from optimizing your profile to following up after the pitch. So, whether you're looking for angel investors or venture capitalists for your small business, read on for some tips that will help you get started.
What is an Angel Investor?
An angel investor is an individual that adds capital to a business venture in the hopes of making more money from the business’s success. This can be in equity, debt, or other investments. There are many different types of investors, each with its own goals and strategies.
What are their characteristics? They have an entrepreneurial mindset and are looking to invest in high-growth startups and get a return on their investment simultaneously. Besides, they're often involved in the startup industry, which is great to provide guidance.
Why LinkedIn is a Great Platform to Find Investors
LinkedIn is a great platform for entrepreneurs to find investors. First, it has a large pool of users, many of whom are wealthy individuals with a lot of disposable income.
Second, LinkedIn’s search engine is very effective, making it easy to find and connect with potential investors. So much so that the University of Massachusetts revealed that 87% of companies use LinkedIn to recruit new members of staff, putting social media in first place for business purposes.
Finally, LinkedIn provides a way to build relationships with potential investors before pitching them, increasing their chances of getting an investment.
All in all, LinkedIn is one of the best online platforms to find investors if used correctly, and here below, we will go through all the steps to find one.
How to Find Investors on LinkedIn Step by Step
LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool for finding potential investors. You can search for investors by keywords and then target those that are a good match for your business.
Once you've connected with them, it's important to transition smoothly to pitching and follow up appropriately. Let’s go deep into the details and understand how to find LinkedIn angel investors.
Optimize Your Profile as Much as Possible
Before anything else, you need to have an amazing profile if you want to attract investors to the platform. This means that your profile should:
- Update your latest experiences, education, and skills
- Include a well-written summary
- Highlight your achievements
- Be active and engage with your network.
- Have a professional photo as your profile picture - Inc. reports that photos with a profile attract 21x more visitors than those without
If investors think your connection will benefit them, they'll accept or reject your request, and your profile will be the decision-making factor.
Generally speaking, don’t expect investors to have spare time to waste on meetings or messages that won’t lead to anything - so take all your chances and optimize your skills and headline.
Work on Your Headline
Your headline is the title of your LinkedIn profile and the first element that investors (and everyone else) will see. It must be brief and to the point, yet it should also be appealing to investors.
The maximum limit on your LinkedIn headline is 220 characters. It must be catchy and simple enough that it stands out but not so complicated that it scares people away.
Write a Keyword in the Search Box to Find Investors
Just like with any other search engine, you can use LinkedIn's search bar to find potential investors. Simply type in keywords such as "Angel investors" or "Venture capitalists," and a list of relevant results will populate. You can filter your results by location, industry, and other criteria.
Alternatively, for a more accurate search, type in your industry. For instance, write the keyword “graphic design” and, once the results pop up, head over to “All Filters” and, in “Current Company,” type “Angel Investors.”
You can use LinkedIn's Advanced Search feature if you want to be even more specific in your search. This allows you to search by things like job title, company size, relationship (such as 2nd-degree connections), and more.
Target Matching Investors for Your Business
Now that you’ve researched potential investors for your startup and industry, it’s time to pick the best matching ones for your business. We recommend starting relatively small; choosing 15 to 20 investors is a good beginning.
You should choose the target angels and VCs based on their opportunity interest, industry, geography, and whether they are active on LinkedIn, which they should always be. In fact, despite most investors being on LinkedIn, not all of them are active on the platform.
You’ll know this by checking their activity and headline. For instance, if they haven’t reacted or commented on any post in the past three months, you know they might not get back to you. Also, their headline can be a source of information; for instance, if they leave their email address, you know they won’t be available on social media.
On top of that, finding the right investor also means knowing if they are interested in your business, and you can see clear clues on their activity. Check their profile and see their interactions on other posts - this will give you an idea of what they want, what they expect, and the type of industry or niche they ultimately want to trade-in.
Engage with Your Investors
Now that you have a list of 15 to 20 angel investors, it’s time to get noticed, and sending invitations is only the first step. First and foremost, connect using a personalized message - avoid the classic “I’d like to add you to my network” and, instead, type in something engaging such as:
“Hi, I noticed that we have a few mutual connections in the industry, and I think it would be great to connect with you too and expand our network together! Cheers”
After that, check their post and start engaging with them, whether by commenting on one or more posts or liking and reacting to them. Also, analyze their profile, who they follow, the business pages they like, their website and portfolio, and likes and dislikes.
This will give you the best possible idea about them and ultimately help you write a great pitch they will be interested in.
Lastly, once they connect, it’s the best time to send a teaser offer with all the information you previously gathered and the points below:
- The reasons why you want to connect
- The common points, follows, or relationships you have
- If you checked their website or saw them in an article online, make sure to mention it
- Keep it short, sweet, and straight to the point - walls of text are a no go.
Don’t Waste Your First Opportunity
When you leave a comment on a target investor's post, you must add value to the conversation and avoid useless comments such as "great" or "thank you for sharing."
It implies that you're adding relevant information or perspective to what the VC is discussing. It might be anything from a personal anecdote to a quote, a statistic, a fact, or even a case study you studied in business school.
Of course, you'll want to avoid aggressive sales pitches if that's the first time you interact with them, as they might get turned off quickly.
Apart from that, focus on posts with lots of likes and fewer comments. This will get you more traction and more interest from the investor, which is exactly what you need.
Send an Offer, Keep in Touch, and Send Updates
Your angel investor should know you a little bit more after interacting on a few posts and keeping in touch, and sending updates.
And if you want to succeed, there’s no better method than by having airtight financial projections to convince an investor. We at ProjectionHub can do just that. We offer more than 60 industry-specific templates that provide you with 5-year financial statement pro formas as well as we offer the ability to create custom projections with our CPA for your more complex business models.
With all that in mind, it’s worth noting that venture capital firms and angel investors receive comments and messages constantly, so you will have to stay on top of their thoughts for a while before sealing the deal.
Keep in Touch: One of the best ways to keep your name top-of-mind with LinkedIn angel investors is to stay in touch. This can be as easy as sending a quick update every week or so, letting them know what you’re up to. Not only will this help you stay top-of-mind, but it will also allow you to keep them updated on your progress.
Of course, you will want to monitor their profile to comment and like as fast as possible and gain visibility on LinkedIn.
Send Updates: Another great way to keep investors in the loop is to send periodic updates on your business. This could be anything from a monthly newsletter to a quarterly update email. Not only will this help keep them informed, but it will also show that you’re serious about keeping them up-to-date.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to building strong relationships with new LinkedIn angel investors.
Extra Tips to Keep in Mind When Looking for Investors
Other than the essential steps above, when you're looking for investors on social media, there are a few extra tips to keep in mind that can help you find and approach them with ease. Here are a few of our recommendations that will help you in the long run:
The process of finding and connecting with investors can take some time. Don't get discouraged if you don't find the perfect match right away. Keep searching and expanding your network, and you'll eventually find someone who's a good fit for your business.
Of course, while keeping in touch with your initial leads, make sure you continue your research and reach out to new investors. You should have a good understanding of their investment history and what type of companies they typically invest in.
No Matter What, Don’t Pitch Right Away
One of the worst things you can do when trying to connect with an investor on LinkedIn is to pitch them right away. This is a huge turn-off for most investors, and it will likely result in them ignoring you or blocking you from their account.
Instead, take the time to build a relationship with them first. Get to know them, interact on their posts and find out what their interests are, and only pitch them once you're sure they're interested in what you have to say.
Join Groups to Increase Your Chances
One great way to find investors is to join groups that they are likely to be a part of. There are a number of investor-focused groups on LinkedIn, so take some time to research and find the ones that would be most relevant to your business. When you're a member of these groups, you'll have more chances to connect with investors within your industry.
If you want to be found by investors, it's important to post regularly on LinkedIn. This will help you show up in their search results when they're looking for someone like you. And who knows, your post may even get viral, and you’ll find investors coming to you rather than vice versa.
It goes without saying that, as mentioned previously, joining groups and remaining active and posting in each of them is essential to get followers and add traction to your profile.
Remain Active on LinkedIn and Reply to Messages Quickly
If you want to attract investments from LinkedIn, you need to be active on the site. Post regular updates and blog articles (ideally from your own website), and join relevant groups. By being active, you’ll show potential investors that you’re serious about your business and engaged with your audience.
Moreover, it’s important to reply quickly to messages from potential investors. If you take too long to respond, they may lose interest in working with you. So, check your messages regularly and reply as soon as possible.
How to Write a Pitch for LinkedIn Investors
As discussed above, when researching investors, it's important to remember that your pitch needs to be short, sweet, and to the point. Here are the important points to mention in your pitch that will get the attention of LinkedIn investors:
Step 1 - First Impression
- Define your business and product
- The problem your company is solving
- State your purpose and your business role
- Investigate potential questions they could ask themselves
- Tell a story, be original, and don’t copy from other businesses
Step 2 - First Response After They Contact You
- Introduce your team and their role
- Determine and show your audience
- Be confident and show your motivation to succeed
- Show that you’re capable - no one would invest in a business with no experience
Lastly, in your final pitch, you should reply to all the remaining questions that weren’t discussed before, such as:
- Your marketing strategy
- Your existing customers and sales targets
- Your short and longer-term business plans
- Your competitors and why you stand out from them
- The financial data - investors need to know what they put themselves in
- How the funds will be used - expand the team, buy new equipment, etc.
How do I find investors?
One of the most powerful ways to find investors is using the LinkedIn search function. You can search for specific keywords or titles that relate to investors, such as "venture capitalist" or "angel investor." If you're not sure what keywords to use, try searching for groups that focus on investing, such as "startup investors" or "tech startup
Once you've found some potential investors, reach out and connect with them. Many investors are open to connecting with entrepreneurs, so don't be afraid to send a connection request and engage with their content. When you message an investor, keep it professional and brief. Explain who you are and why you're interested in connecting.
Why Use LinkedIn to Find Startup Investors?
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service that allows its users to create, connect, and share professional content. It is one of the most powerful online tools when it comes to building relationships and networking with other professionals.
Being a powerful networking social media, you can find many potential investors for your business on LinkedIn. By using the right keywords and search filters, you can quickly connect with people who may be interested in funding your venture.
In this complete guide, we went through the most powerful tips on getting started. Don’t forget to personalize your messages and ensure that you are professional and courteous when reaching out to potential investors. Stay positive and persistent; eventually, you will find the perfect investor for your business.