You’ve heard me say it many times: angel investing is all about networking.
Professional angels and venture capitalists don’t even need to try to find the best deals… they just go about their lives while world-class deals come to them.
Why? Because they’ve established themselves in the startup community.
Their glowing reputations make them a hot commodity for founders seeking funding.
In fact, building your reputation as an angel investor is one of the best ways to boost your deal flow.
That’s because the best startups are those led by experienced entrepreneurs.
And, to put it simply, a savvy CEO knows that not all money is created equal.
I’ve seen plenty of angel investors with perfectly good checks get elbowed out of the deals they wanted, all because of one sour grape along the vine.
Others spend months and months hitting the pavement, searching for opportunities… but hear so few pitches that they never end up liking one.
If this sounds all too familiar, don’t let it get you down.
Even today’s most famous angel investors started out the same way.
So how do you go from zero to deal flow?
1) Become an active participant in the startup community
The best way to get noticed as an angel investor is to show up to events and introduce yourself as such! Most cities and even some smaller communities have some kind of relevant network you can join. Look for startup-related Meetups, lectures, and events. Look up whether your area has any angel networks you can join, or startup incubators hosting demo days.
2) Keep your online profiles up-to-date
As a reasonably well-known angel investor, I receive messages from startup founders nearly every day on no less than 5 platforms. The vast majority of them aren’t worth more than a cursory look. Still, I’ll never turn my nose up at deal flow. Further, keeping your profiles current makes you seem more credible. Believe me – everyone, including CEOs, VCs, and other angels, will try to look you up online before doing business. Don’t be invisible.
3) Be the kind of person that other folks enjoy working with
Read: don’t be a pain. You have valuable advice to give the founders you support. Offer it, but don’t be pushy. If you’re the kind of angel who tries to run the business from the sidelines, word will spread – and your deal flow will suffer. Remember that the founders are the only ones who know how to run their business. You are not here to tell them what to do. By investing, you’re sending a message that you trust in their ability to execute – so let them do it.
Building your reputation in the angel investing space sounds tougher than it is. Really, it just takes time.
Believe me – I had to work at it, too. Actually, I still am. You’re never “done” branding yourself.
It’s not hard work… all you need to do is stay relevant and contribute value.
In short: just don’t piss anyone off.
And, if you need a little more help getting deals in the door…
Give my favorite angel investing strategy a shot. Click here to read more.
Until next time,