Daymond here.

Everyday investors are more powerful than the biggest venture capital institutions on the block.

It may sound silly. After all, firms like Sequoia and Andreesen Horowitz are legends in the private equity arena, worth billions of dollars each.

But I firmly believe that you have much more power than you think you do, even if you’re not writing the same million-dollar checks.

Your secret weapon? Value add. In short, that’s the idea that you can add much more to a startup than simply capital. Your skills, your expertise, and your community can ultimately help launch an early-stage venture into a multibillion-dollar unicorn… more so than a team of 1%-er VCs.

How to get started? Let’s talk about it. Here are three of my favorite value-add strategies for all startup investors… even if you’re writing a $50 check.

1. Test the product and provide feedback.

If you’re investing in a startup, it’s a good idea to test the company’s product or service to get an idea of what it is you’re adding to your portfolio.

Investors are often a company’s best customers and most helpful critics. By testing the product, you can identify areas of strength, pain points, and anything else worth mentioning to the founding team… all from the perspective of a third-party who can give a more objective opinion.

I’d suggest testing out the product before you invest, and continuing to test it out as the company develops. Your feedback can go a long way in assessing product/market fit and making sure the company is well set up for success when its product officially launches.

2. Spread the word.

Social media is a startup company’s best friend when they’re trying to gain traction. And with an army of everyday investors on their cap tables, startups have an even better shot at getting attention on the internet.

As an investor, even just sharing a company on social media can be a tremendous help. Keep up with the latest news from your portfolio companies, tell your friends and family about your investment, and keep the conversations going online.

Ultimately, it’s every startup’s goal to get in front of as many people as possible to better their chances of maxing out their raise. It’s all about marketing… and just by spreading the word, your portfolio’s founding teams will thank you.

3. Harness your power.

The beauty of angel investing is that you have a more direct line of contact with a startup’s founding team. Where traditional stock investors are detached from their portfolio companies’ founders, you’re not. You can use that to your advantage.

Chances are, you have something to offer your portfolio companies outside of capital, whether it’s a special skillset, an area of expertise, some useful connections, or more. Figure out what it is your portfolio company needs, and exactly how you can help them achieve unicorn status one day.

Even a couple of hundred dollars can go a long way in helping to turn a startup into a multibillion-dollar venture. You have the power to directly impact a real business – right at the start of its journey – and take a shot at building your own generational wealth along the way.

But even more than that, your community is power. You are a part of a Network that is tens of thousands of people strong. Each member of this community has their own skills, connections, expertise, and more. And brought together, that type of community (and the value it can bring an early stage company) is revolutionary.

And at the end of the day, it’s much more powerful than just one venture firm sitting on a pile of cash.

Together, we can identify the next greatest visionaries to take the startup stage, back them with our own capital and value, and hopefully create hundreds and thousands of jobs for hardworking folks across the country.

It’s the American Dream… and it starts with Main Street angel investors, just like you. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us, so stay tuned for even more.

In the meantime, we’ve been chatting for a couple of months now, and I’m curious…

Do you have any questions? Is there anything you’d like me to cover?

Drop me a line in the comments below. As any good entrepreneur or investor knows, feedback is invaluable, and I want to make sure I’m covering topics you want to hear most. Let me know, and I’ll work them into a future blog post.

With that, have a great rest of your day. We’ll talk soon.

Daymond John