How entrepreneurs, investors, professionals and clients meet
Having worked with many clients who are either entrepreneurs or investors (or both!), I appreciate the need to raise your profile and find strategies to connect with the people you are looking for in business – it’s a thrill to be able to find these solutions for my clients!
How do you find an opportunity to work with a promising startup before they hit the market… if you can’t find them online yet?
What I’m finding with entrepreneurs and investors is that the way to connect with each other online is not always as obvious as you might think. For example, how do you find the best quality LinkedIn discussion groups that truly hold your target market or your peers, when there are a multitude of wide-ranging groups labelled ‘entrepreneur’? And how do you find an opportunity to work with a promising startup before they hit the market… if you can’t find them online yet? This is where clients need some support via thorough research, creative brainstorming and a tailored plan.
The other thing I’m finding with a lot of my clients who are established in business or are in senior executive positions is that they are time-poor – they need some online strategies to support and extend the business networks they are growing face-to-face, at work and on their travels – but they need it to be quick and easy to do.
With the range of online tools to promote your profile and make connections, there are always choices that can be tailored to the individual’s needs and time restraints. It’s not good enough to have a solid LinkedIn profile and post something once a month – but you don’t have to be on there every day if you have a highly focused strategy in place.
Here’s an outline of the strategies I use with clients to raise their profiles and get them connected with their target audience – whether they are investors looking for opportunities, entrepreneurs looking for capital, or professionals looking to work with either.
1. Be found easily
If you’ve crafted an up-to-date, accurate description of yourself, the work you do and with whom, keeping in mind the sorts of key words people search for when they are looking for you, you are off to a solid start. It’s worth extending your description beyond the ‘About us’ page of your company website; major online communities like LinkedIn and Google Plus are very Google-friendly, meaning you’ll be more easily found.
2. Draw them to you
It’s not always possible to find or connect with the exact person you are looking for, so let them find you. Entrepreneurs, did you know investors want to be found? Investors, how are you making sure that happens? Relying solely on face-to-face meetings and events is a very slow way to reach your goals. They are important – but you’ll need a strategy to draw people to you in the online space. Besides making sure you are findable, think of ways you can raise your profile and spread your reach.
3. Discover and connect with the right people
This is where it gets exciting. I love using LinkedIn’s tools to delve deep into an industry and its culture. Part of my research involves starting outside of LinkedIn: with agencies, databases and major organisations in the client’s particular field, and then looking for them within LinkedIn – then seeing who my client can connect to there. There are many advanced tools you can use on LinkedIn to really take the pulse of your industry or target market and connect with the best people.
4. Keep top of mind
This is all about consistency. You don’t necessarily have to do a lot, but you have to be consistent in your message and work on building it regularly. With my clients, I identify the top priority tasks they can do to build their profile and make connections, and then I help them schedule them for regular attention.