Social media is not the complete waste of time that many of you think it is. It’s likely the most effective tool an unknown founder has in warming up a fundraise.
Investor relations (IR) is something few startup founders actively think about. This is a mistake. If you run a startup that is or plans to be venture-backed, influencing how investors perceive your company is essential. This goes for both potential investors AND existing investors. Perception impacts how much investors help portfolio companies and how much they lean in to potential new deals.
We’ll cover all sides of IR extensively in the future, but I’m particularly excited about the social nature of this week’s focus! Read on…
Discovery via IR
Founders who are able to raise quickly often do so off the back of reputations and relationships built over years. Have you read investors’ posts about why they did investments that start with “I first met Sally…”
In those cases, investors had been waiting for years to have the most talented people in their network start companies so they could invest. But not every investor that gets excited about an opportunity needs to have been your childhood friend or the person you sat next to at your very first job.
To prep for a fundraise, your job from an IR perspective is to engage in efforts that help new investors discover you. The approach I took before my last fundraise was casual. I just existed within the tech ecosystem being helpful and (generally) likable. While extremely organic, effective, and well-received, this approach took a decade - likely 9 and ¾ years more than most have to devote to this.
Social Media & IR
Proactively engaging in IR can cut many trips around the moon while generating awareness for you and your company. While some cringe at the thought of posting about oneself on social media, there are few more powerful tools for manufacturing awareness than social media.
What founders don’t realize is that strategically using social media doesn’t always have to be a brag fest. There are subtle and far more understated ways to post on social media that in some cases drive ancillary value outside of just IR.
Not sure where to start? My team compiled this resource pack just for you. Here are the most effective ways to use social media to connect with potential investors: