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Here on the Absolute Baller, we’ve covered many successful individuals like angel investor Anmol Singh and serial entrepreneur Bob Mangat. However, they’re the rare few. In reality, it takes a lot of work and capital to get a business venture off the ground. This is the reason why investment crowdfunding has revolutionized startups and small businesses in recent years.
Normally, crowdfunding involves sending money to help someone with a goal — say, paying for medical treatment or publishing a book — and crowd funders don’t really expect anything back. Investment crowdfunding similarly makes it easier for businesses to raise capital by allowing others to invest in said business, with expectations of a return. And while the law prevents investors from putting more than 5% of their annual income in crowdfunding sites, connecting with a large group of investors can help your business meet its financial goals.
So why network?
According to The Balance Small Business’s guide on business networking, the term simply means establishing a relationship beneficial for all business, clients, and customers involved. The most apparent benefit of this is that putting yourself out there through seminars and networking can put you into contact with potential clients, customers and valuable people who can support your vision. Even something as simple as attending a business lunch can make you visible and keep your business front and center.
Remember, the more people you have on board for your project, the better. And as an article on online business advertising by AskMoney notes, the digital age has allowed businesses to attain additional exposure. With an online presence, you can promote your investment crowdfunding efforts and reach more people for free. Email, social media or blogging platforms, Google My Business, and YouTube are all ways to expand a professional network significantly. By connecting with fellow businesses online, you can find potential investors for your work.
The best ways to do it
Of course, there are different things you must consider when trying to attract investors. Below are some things to keep in mind when networking.
Do communicate where you’re coming from
One of Entrepreneur’s many tips to successful crowdfunding is to share your story. This means detailing to potential investors not just how your product or service can benefit them, but also how you came up with the idea and why you’re passionate about it. This helps forge an emotional connection and reinforces the message that you’ve put thought into your idea, thereby lending the project additional legitimacy. Using visuals can be of great assistance here, but it’s important they’re appealing and crystal-clear.
Take the initiative to get what you want
Inc. writer Malak Saleh’s article on the best ways to make connections places emphasis on always being confident, operating with a sense of urgency and being cutthroat in what you want. This doesn’t mean pressuring your contacts, but rather not letting too much time pass before following up on them (48 hours is ideal). She also notes that it doesn’t pay to beat around the bush about what you want as entrepreneurs realize they could be doing the other person a disservice by not being upfront.
Give regular updates
Networking doesn’t stop when backers are on board. On the contrary, project backers need to be updated so that they don’t lose interest. This will also go a long way in preserving your reputation in the investor community, which can make it easier to attract financial backing later on. Above all though, you must be honest and transparent with your backers. Networking is at its most effective when you can actually deliver on your promises.