In this article I described a direct method for getting investors to meet with you. That approach works great, but an even better approach is to have investors seek you out because you’re perceived as the “deal to get.”
I was CFO of one particular startup where we raised over $30 million from angels, venture capital firms and strategic corporate investors. A key factor that allowed us to close those deals was a high degree of visibility from an ongoing series of stories in the industry press.
That visibility wasn’t by accident.
How did we achieve it?
By making it a priority to produce a steady stream of press releases, product announcements, customer wins and strategic alliances. After all, industry reporters are always looking for a good story, and we fed them what they wanted.
I’ll never forget one day when we walked into a VC’s office for our second or third meeting. The senior partner said to us, “Man, I can’t pick up an industry trade magazine or an industry analyst report without seeing your name on it!” If this is the kind of comment you’re getting from an investor, you should give your PR and marketing team a bonus.
This is important because it does two things.
- It makes it virtually impossible for key investors to ignore you. They almost have to take meetings with you, even if it’s just to find out if all the press is real or just a bunch of fluff.
- It makes it easier to get your deal approved. For VC’s and corporate investors, there are always other people in the organization that have to sign off on the deal before you get a term sheet.
The more visibility your company has in the industry trade press and analyst reports, the easier it is for your lead partner to sell your deal internally to other people in his or her organization that have to sign off on the deal. In a nutshell, this really helps set the stage.
I describe how to find the right investors in the SmartMoney Playbook. It’s free, and you can grab it here.
It creates an impression that you’re the deal to get. The VC is thinking, “I need to get this deal done before someone else snags it. This could be the next Google. I better not miss out on this deal.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you just pump the press with a bunch of meaningless fluff and press releases. Doing that can backfire and seriously damage your credibility. So be careful to produce real, relevant and newsworthy content.
The point is to create visibility for your company and demonstrate consistent progress towards milestones. This will create an upward inflection in your company’s valuation as well. That’s what will get investors excited about your deal and make them want to give you a term sheet.