Finding funding to back your business is all about establishing connections with potential investors. And in today's digital world, what better place to make connections than on a popular social media platform?
But what platform is the most effective when it comes to meeting your future investor? LinkedIn is always a great place to start when looking for business connections who may be interested in an introduction. Facebook and Twitter allow you to share relevant brand content to show your followers (and potential venture capitalists) that your business is a worthwhile investment. There are even social networks like AngelList that are built specifically for angel and seed investors.
We asked 10 entrepreneurs from YEC to weigh in on the best social network to use when seeking out funding.
A big part of the fundraising process is the relationship component. Who can introduce you to this investor or that firm? "Warm" introductions to investors go a long way toward securing funding, and one of the easiest ways to secure those today is to find out how you are connected to your target investors on LinkedIn. Find those second- or third-degree connections that can help land that VC meeting. - David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
Check out peerbackers, a crowdfunding website that concentrates on funding for entrepreneurs and innovators. It funds projects around the world and even funds young entrepreneurs from ages 13 to 17 through student organizations. peerbackers is dedicated to offering education and support for entrepreneurs who want to crowdfund. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
Companies can apply to be listed on CircleUp. Then investors can try out the products, reach out to the CEO to ask questions and determine whether they are interested in investing. Entrepreneurs are evaluated thoroughly before being accepted on the platform. The vetting system is key, as not every company is accepted. - Marcela De Vivo, Gryffin
I've been on Gust for a while and it's been pretty interesting to see the quality of pitches that I receive. The best part about it is benefiting from seeing what others in your angel group are putting their money into — definitely a must for a serious angel investor. You get to leverage other people's experiences and detect new startup trends. - Cody McLain, SupportNinja
If you want to leverage the power of your social network, you want to raise money on Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a real equalizer when it comes to startups that don't traditionally gain access to money from Silicon Valley and similar locations. With Kickstarter, all you need is a compelling story and a willingness on behalf of your social network friends and followers to socialize the campaign. - Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com
Fundraising is about establishing that you are trustworthy in your working relationships. With 78 percent of those with $75,000 or more on the Facebook network, this has high ROI potential. Start with blogging and sharing content consistently, then target investors with ads promoting your content before reaching out personally. Never, ever pitch on social. - Kim Walsh-Phillips, Elite Digital Group
7. The One You Use Most
It’s not about the specific network as much as it is the one you’re using. Sure, you might find more business-oriented people on LinkedIn and more tech-oriented people on Google+. But you’re not going to find an investor on a network you don’t even use. Stick with the one you like and use most because that’s going to get you the best results. - Ismael Wrixen, FE International
Most people would recommend LinkedIn for anything related to business, but this also depends on the type of business you are starting. For anything mainstream, entertainment or PR-worthy, Twitter is definitely the way to go. Twitter allows for better options with paid advertising, retargeting, engagement and sharing, and for getting in touch with big news agencies and journalists. - Zac Johnson, Blogger
AngelList is a social network built for angel and seed stage investing. As a company, you can build out your profile, post business metrics, include current investors and employees and link to your product. It is the easiest platform to quickly find investors who would be interested in investing in your product or industry and find common connections to get an introduction. - Brian Bosche, Slope
10. A Combination
One size doesn't fit all. Ultimately, a combination of social networks including LinkedIn, AngelList, Facebook, Kickstarter and others provide value when fundraising. If you're expecting a platform to propel you forward, you may be in for a surprise. The value of each of these platforms is based on the relationships and connections you have on them. Sometimes your best social network is your circle of "real friends." - Robby Berthume, Bull & Beard