Networking is by far one of the most important aspects of building and funding a business — especially when playing in the field of crowdfunding as I have. In determining how to prioritize my networking building, I’ve come to learn just how all networks are important.
First, I think a conversation around the best way to network and truly utilize the connections you’ve made to engage investors for your business is needed!
The key to networking goes beyond simply meeting the right people. You have to actively maintain the relationships you’ve built to benefit your brand on an on-going basis. So, let’s discuss the best way to network and truly utilize the connections you’ve made to engage investors for your business.
The following tips have helped me not only successfully grow my network but also effectively raise capital.
Don’t Be Scared to Be Direct
Building an email list is one of the most effective ways of developing your network. It’s always good to increase your follower base on various platforms, but having an email list is a more direct way to keep in contact with your connections. Not to mention, it has a more personal touch than a LinkedIn invite or Instagram post.
Use every opportunity to build that email list at your disposal. It is your PERSONAL email list, not your company’s and it will follow you throughout your career. When I first started out, I had a very limited network of investors. I knew I had to get my name out there so I attended every event possible where I could engage with people in the startup community. Don’t just limit your networking to start up events, collect emails and business cards when engaging with your alma mater, at events, conferences, meetings with other companies, and even social events you engage in with your community. If you are considering crowdfunding this means that everyone you come in contact with is a potential investor. After each event, take the time to do more than just follow them on social media, send a follow up email and ask to add them to your email list to stay in touch. I have never had a person say ‘no’ and in the end, they will appreciate your effort in personally reaching out.