In my earlier article I wrote about the importance of the investor´s visibility in getting a good deal flow. However, most angel investors conduct their startup investment activities as any other investment activities, at least when it comes to visibility. In other words, they are not keeping a lot of noise about their activities. In order to make good investments an investor needs to be found by the great startups. And this is hard if the investor is invisible.
In this article we take a look at increasing angel investor's visibility through angel branding.
Do Angel Investors Need Branding?
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, most of the angel investors are very modest. Many of us do not introduce ourselves as investors. Go to look at the LinkedIn profile of some of your fellow angel investors: Is investor mentioned or not? (How about your own profile?)
Why businesses do branding? They want to make themselves stand out from the crowd, making it easier for their customers to find them, understand their unique offering and develop brand loyalty.
Most the angel investors have background as entrepreneurs. And as entrepreneurs they have seen the importance of branding and have branded their own company and products. Thus, if angel investing is done as seriously as running any other business – and it should be if you want to make profits and not just have fun and gamble – branding should be given the same importance as in any other business.
I have addressed the benefits of angel branding in my previous article about increasing the quantity and quality of the deal flow, but just to summarize one more time: The more visible as an investor you are, the more cases, and especially good cases, you are likely to access. And the easier it becomes for the startups and other investors to recognize the value you can bring into the startup as an investor, the more likely you are on getting into those deals where you have a competitive edge based on your value.
A Simple Guide on Angel Branding
Now basics of branding are not rocket science (not talking about consumer branding, which is Greek to me, here), and angel branding is no different. It is about being recognized as an angel investor with certain focus and certain value proposition. As there is not huge competition between angel investors on the visibility side, it is more just about being visible.
Make it public that you are an angel investor. At a minimum, state it in your LinkedIn profile. It is good to include your investment focus (stage, vertical, area) as well. On a more serious level, you can build up a web site for your angel investment activities.
Publish the companies you are involved with. This can be done via LinkedIn or through the website. This way the potential startups can check what kind of companies you invest in, and see if there are any mutual connections that can make introductions. Also, this tells that you are a serious investor.
Be active. Whether participating in events, tweeting, blogging (like this one), holding keynotes, mentors, etc. everything increases your recognition in the startup ecosystem. And that will help you to build your brand.
Network. Know the people in the startup ecosystem and make it easy for them to know you.
Be helpful. Investing in people to people business. So if you develop a reputation that you can help startups, you are likely to have more people reaching out for you.