Startups should have investor relations before (and after) accepting capital. Luckily, clear communication with the investment community doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In this article, we list several ways to communicate with potential and current investors.
1. Establish reporting requirements upfront
It is helpful to establish reporting requirements upfront regardless of the type of investor (in fact, some government funding will actually require updates). This task shouldn't be hard as metrics and actions (from your updated business plan) should already be established.
2. Create good communication channels
Investors will expect you to keep them updated (both with good news and bad news). One of the ways to do this is sending them periodic email newsletters that include company updates, progress, and events. A good cadence of newsletters would be every month. If you have the structure of the newsletter down, it won’t take long to craft updates and send them.
If your investors are willing to meet every quarter or bi-annually, this can also be a great opportunity to directly communicate with your investors on strategies, milestones, developments, and/or obstacles face-to-face. Remember that investors’ mentorship (and not just capital) can make a massive contribution to your business. If they are willing to meet on at a regular occurrence, make sure to take advantage of this face time.
3. Provide updates before things are off track
Investors will want updates. While we recommend establishing an update cadence (monthly updates), do not wait until the end of the month if there is bad news. Give a heads up on trending information. Remember that the investor is invested in your success - perhaps they can refer you to some resources or provide insight.
4. Contribute to investor-friendly outlets
A great way to showcase your opinions and catch the eye of your current investors (and potential future investors) is to contribute to industry-specific blogs. Showcasing your thoughts in your industry can demonstrate your passion for your company, the service/product your provide, and your thought leadership.
LinkedIn is also a great place to catch the eyes of your investors. Publishing in industry-specific LinkedIn Groups or being active on your personal and company LinkedIn pages are easy ways to showcase your thought leadership. Utilizing specific hashtags can help increase your exposure to other potentially interested fans and investors. Also, don’t be afraid to connect with investors on LinkedIn. At the end of the day, investors want to invest in good business ideas and if your company fits with their portfolio, let them know.
Some investors may also be active on other media outlets such as Twitter, Clubhouse, or Instagram. Make sure to appear on the online outlets that they are most active in!
5. Contribute to other medias
Besides impressing investors, you want to improve your amplitude as an entrepreneur. Publishing in various online media sources such as Forbes, Fast Company, Inc.com, Medium, etc will help make your passion and mission known. Moreover, getting featured in these popular online media sources can help garner potential fans (and potential investors). Many of these online news outlet have sections for guest blogging, which can be a great way to expand your network and showcase your company.
How do you maintain effective investor relationships? Let us know!