As remote work and digital marketing become more popular every day, entrepreneurs are having to find ways to entice investors in a virtual landscape. Getting the attention of investors through digital mediums requires different strategies than the in-person ones people have gotten used to using.
Whether you're running a fully remote business or are just looking to expand your investor base, many entrepreneurs can benefit from learning new ways to find investors virtually. Below, 16 members of Forbes Business Council share the best strategies they know for finding investors for business in a remote world.
1. Look Up The Investor And Check Their Fit With You
When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But when you're fundraising, not all investors are the same. My advice for entrepreneurs approaching investors is to be thoughtful and personal. Take a moment to look up the investor and check the initial fit with your stage, geo and sector. Found a fit? If you can't get a warm introduction, a personal email with context should suffice for an initial chat. - Eze Vidra, Remagine Ventures
2. Find Investors That Focus On Your Industry And Stage
Whether in person or virtual, do the research and look for investors that focus on your industry and stage of growth. Look at other companies that are in a similar stage to you and who their investors are. Particularly for early stage companies, look for an eco-system you can get involved with like pitch competitions, accelerators and work to develop relationships before you need them. - Victoria Lakers, Calibre One
3. Attach Your Financial Report To Focus On Revenue
Revenue comes first! Unless you are developing a drug, some revenue that is increasing over time is the best pitch you can have to investors. Focus on figuring out how to generate revenue. Make a short presentation describing the market size, the pain, and your team. Attach your financial report and just email it to investors. Given you show them the revenue, it will be easy for you to get a reply. - Faridun Nazarov, Fourstay Inc.
4. Be Absolutely Clear About What You Want Upfront
Get to the point and cut out all the fluff. Be absolutely clear about what you want upfront. Say, "I'm John Doe. I'm looking to raise $1.5M in seed financing for my business. Here is my deck and here's how to contact me if you're interested. You have two weeks to respond if you'd like to be included." Then, cast a really wide net. There's a lot of money out there and it's all green. - Demetri Themelis, Knock
5. Send Something Related To The Investment
Before meeting with an investor remotely, I would send them something important related to the investment I want them to make. I want them to have an opportunity to experience what I'm talking about and be able to relate. - Chad Wachter, Investcore, Inc.
6. Show The Relationships You've Built On Social Media
More often than not, the most influential factor people consider is their experience with a brand. Show your potential investors the relationship you have built with your customers on social media as well as other outlets. These are real assets to your business that can't be taken away from your brand. - Peter Pru, Ecommerce Empire Builders
7. Create Several Pitches Adjusted For Various Stages
Leveraging your network is the easy answer, but is your pitch "air time" ready? You need several pitches adjusted for where you are in the investor journey. Learn from the movies where they use "trailer" production companies, marketers, etc. to get the right message out at the right time. - Denise Sangster, Global Touch, Inc.
8. Use Modern AI Tools To Find Better Investors
View remote strategies as first-class, not second-class to in-person ones. The information you need to decide who to pitch to already exists in the digital ecosystem. Using modern AI tools, you can find a much better cadre of investor candidates than relying on traditional networks. Subscribe to services that bring you investor profiles. Make your digital brand as strong as possible. - Adam Chardukian, George Jon
9. Boost Online Visibility Through Social Engagement
In today’s predominately virtual world, entrepreneurs must be especially creative to stand out to investors. A key tip is to boost online visibility. This can be done through social media engagement as well as participation in virtual meetups and events as it is a key way to draw attention and interest from the investor community. - Anish Srivastava, Vinaj Ventures
10. Create A Community To Connect With Investors
Creating a community to connect with potential investors is one way to find investors remotely. If they have an environment to connect, see projects and get educated, they will be more likely to engage in your projects. - Melissa Johnson, webuyhousessanantoniotx.com
11. Present Your Results In A Stunning Way
There are plenty of ways to present and visualize your data in an online world. Make a compelling case for yourself by presenting your results in a stunning way. Always aim to have a video call alongside the presentation and you should be good to go. - Dimitri Akhrin, CRMDialer
12. Find Investors That Share The Same Values
One of the biggest pieces of advice I received when starting Realync was to find investors that share my values and vision for where I hope to take Realync. To truly understand alignment on those things, it takes some courting and relationship building. While a lot of fundraising is casting a wide net, I'd also recommend focusing on key funds or individuals and building deeper relationships. - Matt Weirich, Realync
13. Attend Virtual Funding Groups And Meetups
Join virtual funding groups and meetups. I regularly attend StrtupBoost Virtual Investor Night to hear pitches and Q&As. Being an active participant in a community of investing strengthens my business acumen. In addition to attending monthly free virtual workshops, I follow investors on social media to learn tips and tricks and see what papers to read and hot topics are on trend. - Libby Rothschild, Libby Rothschild
14. Participate In Industry-Related Webinars
Search for and participate in industry-related webinars that include VC and investors. That allows you a quick sense of who is seen as an investment leader and how they think. With that, the webinar is a natural, and expected, means for the entrepreneur to reach out to them via email or LinkedIn as examples. - Howard Rosen, LifeWIRE Corp
15. Give Walkthroughs And In-Person Demos
My experience is that VC and PE firms want to know that a business is "real." Walkthroughs and in-person demonstrations help to give that subjective feeling. Make virtual presentations come alive by including your leadership team and showing real products and office space. Remember that you are proving your legitimacy, and investors want confirmation of tangible results to provide funding. - James Langabeer, Yellowstone Research
16. Enhance LinkedIn Profile With Recommendations
Enhance their LinkedIn profile as it's the first thing that someone will see if they are Googled and it's the first impression that will be made. It's up to them if they wish to make it positive or negative but their LinkedIn profile will be viewed. Is it complete? Does it present that person as a thought leader? Do they have recommendations? All these points matter. - Chris J "Mohawk" Reed, Black Marketing
This second article in the series focuses on key characteristics to look for in a sponsor as you begin to build and implement your innovation organization.
Most company leaders understand that innovation is essential to maintain competitiveness and advance growth opportunities. To make a tangible difference to the overall success of the organization, however, innovation alone is not enough. Instead, it is important to embrace commercially viable innovation.
Employees are most productive and creative when they aren't afraid of failing or making mistakes at work. Below, 10 members of Forbes Business Council discuss the small things leaders can do to encourage more discussions about failure in their organizations, which will help everyone embrace the lessons that can be learned from mistakes.