As an entrepreneur trying to raise money, one often tries each and every hook possible to get through to as many investors. What if you are caught in a tough situation and can’t seem to get meetings?
From our experience of on boarding Investors one after another on ShotPitch, below are five ways:
Blogs: Most of the high profile investors write a blog of their own, write a contributory article on different platforms or if not anything are active on Facebook/Twitter. If they write their own blogs, tweet their articles and add your thought through opinions that can get them thinking. Do this for 3–4 articles and you can expect to get a response and spark a conversation.
Word of caution: Stay away from messaging directly on FB/Twitter that you want to get in touch for the next big thing being built. Most of the time it makes you look desperate and not someone who can innovate and think out of the box to reach out.
Events: Attending events most of the time is not a great idea,if you don’t know whom you want to meet. If not thought through properly it proves to be a classic waste of time, with out realizing that you lost extremely precious time. Track down every investor and which events they will be attending in the next one month. Make sure to attend them only to get a chance to talk.
You will not be the only one doing this, so be prepared to see a honeybee around sought after investors. The best way to catch them during events is to get hold of them while they are leaving/coming in or just bump into them at the airport/hotel.
LinkedIn: Although approaching investors directly is not advisable, there are situations in which an entrepreneur is not left with much option. LinkedIn is a sophisticated tool which if used properly can go a long way in you getting meetings. Don’t send messages blindly to each and everyone with the tag “Investor”. Everyone who has mentioned “Angel Investor” in their profiles on LinkedIn receive hundreds of messages everyday and most of the time they ignore it.
The way to do it right is not to ask for funding straightway, rather send them a paragraph about what you are doing and why it might be interesting for both of you to talk. The message has to be drafted in a way that it generates enough curiosity for them to write back.
Most of the entrepreneurs we talk to are sending one message to everyone without personalizing it and knowing more about a particular person.
No matter who the person is, if you appreciate their work honestly and write from your heart more often then not you will hear back. Everyone loves a bit of ego massage. Don’t cross the point where it looks made up and fake 🙂
Subset: A lot of times we hear from entrepreneurs that because they are first time entrepreneurs, they don’t have any kind of entrepreneur network. It is just an excuse you are giving to yourself. If you don’t have an entrepreneur circle already, build it!
There are tons of events/conferences that happen all round the year and you will have a lot of entrepreneurs attending them. When we say entrepreneur circles, it means entrepreneur circle and not wannabes.
Start from the smallest set of entrepreneurs you have and talk to them about you are building. Arrange for a get together? A lot of entrepreneurs believe that just sending a message and asking your friends to introduce will do the trick. It does not!
If you are busy, they are busy as well. You have to be able to sell your and get them excited enough to make introductions to their investors. Nothing happens on whims and fancies
Pitch to entrepreneurs: One of the things that we have always found to work is pitching to a lot of entrepreneurs consistently. It might sound counterintuitive but works. Visit different co-working spaces, startup cafes, startup events, mixers et all and talk to entrepreneurs about what you are doing. Follow up with them after the meeting and ask if there is someone in their network who will be relevant for you to talk to.
If you meet 50 good entrepreneurs and do this, you will get through to at least 15 investors easily.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that approaching via cold ways is for losers, if done properly it may just be the differentiator between a successful and a failed startup.
At ShotPitch we are hard at work to make sure that you as an entrepreneur don’t have to rely on so many unrelated ways to get through to investors, rather you can pitch to them directly in one touch. Follow us on Twitter here