How To Catch An Investor’s Attention On LinkedIn


Say, My

August 14, 2013

The following guest post is by Drew Hendricks, a writer, as well as a tech, social media and environmental enthusiast, living in San Francisco.

Most business owners agree that the most difficult step of creating a company is acquiring the initial seed funding. Today, there are numerous options for raising funds, ranging from family investors to business loans. However, LinkedIn is emerging as a key resource for finding potential investors.

Over the past few years, LinkedIn has become exceptionally popular, especially among CEOs. Professionals in every market sector use LinkedIn to locate new employees, job openings, partners, suppliers, and strengthen new relationships with colleagues and clients. Investors also use LinkedIn to evaluate potential investments.

“I use LinkedIn to research companies and teams, just to see what people are saying about the company. If a team doesn’t seem well put together, I won’t invest” says Neil Patel, founder and CEO of QuickSprout.

To maximize your chance for success in finding an investor on LinkedIn, it’s important to first understand how this business-oriented social networking website has evolved since it was founded in 2002 as well as how it’s best used today.

LinkedIn: The Basics

The evolution of LinkedIn as a social media platform and part of a new virtual culture has lead to the development of site-specific etiquette and processes – especially for those seeking to meet potential investors. Like Craigslist and other social media platforms, scam artists have made their way onto the site; this means that investors are more wary to write a check.

As a result, LinkedIn has become a means for investors to identify red flags and determine if their potential investment is wise. Investor Troy Osinoff adds, “As long as their references are from reputable sources – not just their buddies. If I see a company is looking for funding and their founder has worked for multiple companies for under a year…the concern is they’re either not efficient enough to keep their jobs or lack concentration and jump around.”

Since more CEOs and investors are beginning to use LinkedIn as a means to investigate those who approach them, make sure your profile is accurate and represents you professionally. Before considering looking for investors, take the time to perfect your profile.

Searching for Investors

Assuming you’ve already got a great personal profile and endorsements set up, it’s time to track down the correct investors. Luckily, LinkedIn makes that pretty easy. One unique advantage of this platform is that users can make their profiles easily searchable by including specific keywords about their profession or business. This means that a keyword search for terms like “private equity” or “impact investor” will generate targeted lists of potential contacts. However, before firing off personal messages and preaching the profitability of your business plan, be sure to thoroughly research who you’re contacting.

At the time of writing, a simple search for the term “angel investor” turns up 15,703 results. Sorting a list of results like this will take time, so be sure to fully understand the different options and sub-categories that can help you narrow the results. If you’re using LinkedIn as a primary means of finding investors, paying for the account upgrade may be worthwhile.

Public groups are another great way to make connections that don’t already exist. Joining Angel Investors, a public group with more than 41,000 members, is a great way to put yourself in contact with a group of potential investors as well as those in your same position. In addition to the potential for connections, groups like these are also great starting points for research, as there is also information on other networks frequented by group members.

A few other groups worth joining include Angel Investor Group which has more than 25,000 members, or smaller groups like the Impact Investing Group which only has 58 members, making it easier to build strong relationships with individuals within the group.

Ideally, you want to find investors with whom you have a mutual connection. If you can’t find any that meet these criteria,, you can reach out by upgrading your LinkedIn account to a Business, Business Plus, or Executive-level account. Doing so will allow you to find more prospects in your searches, directly message people who aren’t already a contact, request introductions via mutual connections, gain access to more search filters, and save search alerts which automatically notify you when new profiles fit your search criteria.

Making Successful Connections

Connecting with investors is the most difficult and pivotal step when securing an investment. There are several different ways to connect on LinkedIn. Personal messages are obviously an option, but another great method of making connections is to be active in group discussions. Find out what your potential investors are talking about, and where those discussions are taking place, and begin participating. Doing this will make you more accessible and build rapport, recognition, and credibility before you ask for an investment.

Once you feel comfortable with your contacts, begin a private conversation about your business. This can happen on or off LinkedIn. Communicate what about your idea or business is proprietary or makes it difficult to replicate. In the beginning, be sure to ask for time instead of money. Most importantly, communicate how much money you expect the investor will make as a result of their investment, and over what time period. Anyone who has ever watched Shark Tank knows that, in the end, it’s all about the money.

During this time, it will also be necessary to establish your reputation as a thought leader and authority in your field by maintaining a presence in forums, groups, and social media conversations. One great way to do this is by writing for media publications that are well-recognized and trusted in your industry.


Getting startup funding is difficult, but social media networks like LinkedIn are helping bring together buyers and sellers easier than ever before. LinkedIn provides solid opportunities at catching the attention of investors due to its focus on business connections and relationships. Have you successfully found an investor on LinkedIn? Do you have any other tips for finding investors on LinkedIn? Let us know in the comments below.

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