Reach out today to three potential investors and or fellow entrepreneurs in your startups domain. No matter how far along your startup is, if you’re the only member on the team, or if you haven’t had any sales yet. You need to reach outside of your network to meet new people who have social credibility and tell them about your business. Every day could be better than the worlds best networking event and all you have to do is organize your communication strategy yourself. Here’s an example, lets say your startup is a B2B mobile payment solution provider. Search AngelList for other B2B companies (not within payments) and document who their founders, amount raised, and investors into your CRM. Use the tag ‘Influencers’ and ‘B2B Entrepreneurs” to their entries. Search for these individuals emails by using LinkedIn first, checking the contact info button and if it is not there scroll to the bottom and search if they added something under additional information like preferred contact method. If this doesn’t work, search on Google for their email with this format “@dropbox.com” and see the format of the companies emails.
Now the fun begins. Time to reach out to these individuals you have sourced and see if you can find a time to chat with them. If you’re building an AngelList profile, you’re going to have build out your profile to showcase to potential investors. Many of these conversations will allow you to move things forward with the individual and potentially add them as an Advisor, Referrer, Reference or Investor. These types of influencers will not reach out to you randomly. You will need to hustle as a startup founder and make these connections. In order to have any pull on your angel profile, you will need to build these relationships with influencers to display the social proof of what you’re working on. Using tools like AngelList is an easy and free way to market your company. You have no excuse to not do this if your startup is ready for it.
Until you reach out and have a few conversations with these influencers, you will never be able to get an intro to a group of investors. Assuming your network is small within the startup community, this is so crucial to reach out to people and tell them about your story. People will make time for you to chat 15-20 minutes if you don’t know them and you can make it an engaging conversation.
So much of being a successful entrepreneur boils down to being a great salesman. You need to create funnels for different aspects of your business and be able to execute on each opportunity. Being a great salesman comes down to having a high level of accountability, enthusiasm, persistence, and product/market understanding. Funny how these traits are what an investor looks for in an entrepreneur, isn’t it? Just remember, “Always Be Closing”.