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You need to make your startup appealing to investors

You have been thinking about it.  How cool would it be if people actually invested in you?  You are the beloved CEO of your own company (which technically, you already are), but now people are scrambling to make money and you are piling it in as the CEO.

Wouldn’t that be a dream come true?

Before we answer the question of investment in your online company, we have to differentiate on one characteristic of your company.

Is your company private or public?  What I mean, is are you at a place where you have stocks available for people to purchase on the stock market?  That would be a public company.

Usually, online companies are simply private companies, but that is ok.  Some of the things that we are going to talk about in this article can loosely apply to you, as well.  This is especially true if you are getting your online company ready to go public.

Analyzing your company

In the case of a public company, with stocks available for purchase, those investment firms who are considering purchasing your stock have to do what is called developing a fundamental analysis definition of your company.

We throw around the term stock and purchase stock, but really, if you have a public company, the investment is in shares.  An easy way to think of it is that you are sharing a portion of your company and as a result of the input of money; there is the share of the profits (when the market goes up, with your stock value going up) with those who have invested in your company.  They are called the shareholders.

You want your shareholders to be happy.  And, you definitely want your potential shareholders happy enough to invest.

The first one means that you need to maintain the success that garnered their attention in the first place, and not only that but improve your success.

To encourage future shareholders, you need to have a solid company that demonstrates the potential for profit growth.  This also means that your company should steer clear of scandal and other things that could affect your value.  Of course, if you are a reality show, that may be something different and scandal may improve the value of your shares.

This is why it is so important for investment firms to utilize analysts to put together a profile of your company and whether you are worth the investment.  Many times a lower level analyst begins that process (sometimes highly trained interns), but once all of the data is compiled (and that is a lot of data on your company, as they dig through the good and the bad), it is handed over to a financial analyst.  That analyst is a higher-level employer in the investment firm and it is his or her job to make sure the investment firm is making good investments.  In other words, it is his or her butt that is called into the CEO’s office if a mistake is made in the selection of shares to purchase and more importantly, the company they are considering.

So, you see, there is a lot that goes into evaluating a company to be included in a portfolio.  And, these portfolios (if you are selected) are often shared with the investment firm’s clients, showing what their money will be invested in, so you definitely want to be a company that shines and does not scare off the clients of the investment firm.

This is where it is difficult as an online company because you really have to pop out of that “online” definition to be noticed.  For example, if you are amazon.com or WalMart.com, you are likely to be one that could be considered.  In the first case (amazon.com) they built an empire online system.  In the second case (WalMart.com) it is an offline entity that has created an online presence.  So, if you are the second (like WalMart.com), you probably have a fair chance.  If you are the first (like amazon.com) you may have a few bridges to cross, but you can get there.  Start getting your name out there and start being a company that cannot be ignored.

Personal investment strategy using LinkedIn

Let’s go through a mock step-by-step in developing our own personal investment strategy using LinkedIn. So, put on your best investment analyst hat and kick back and let’s see what we can come up with on our end.

  1. Find an investor – if you already know an investor, great. You could approach that investor, even if it is a “dry run” to practice your presentation on him or her. The technique that I use is to search for investors to whom I am already connected on LinkedIn. You can search in their profiles, to see if they advertise that they are an investor, like my friend, Tai Lopez. You can also look to see if they belong to groups who discuss investment strategies (find them by interest on LinkedIn). Here is an example of how that works. We will use project management instead of investment. So, if you are connected to my Deborah Anderson LinkedIn profile and looking for project management, you will likely find me because I list it (no I am not an investor). That is an example of finding people by interest on LinkedIn.
  2. Prepare NOT to connect with the investor on Linkedin – The first rule of communication on LinkedIn is not to just willy-nilly connect with people because they have the word, “investor,” in their LinkedIn profile. That is a great way to identify them, but only to find that they are an investor and not to SPAM them or any other unsavory method. So, now you have them as a potential lead. That is it, until the next step.
  3. The next step is to actually connect with them. You will want to keep notes, or simply use the LinkedIn Messaging system and that will log your communications. You want to prepare a personalized communication strategy with that particular investor and each investor. Again, this is not mass messaging time. Ask yourself what you know about your investor friend or associate and connect with them on that level. Eventually, work your conversation toward the possibility of investment in your well-designed website. You may want to keep a journal of the communication strategies and maybe a spreadsheet of when you connected with each investor. It is not unusual to have a different strategy with each investor.

Alternative solutions

In the meantime, all is not lost.  There is no reason why you cannot find personal investors who will invest in your success.  Possibly you have a rich uncle who wants to see you become a public company and he is willing to invest the money into your online business to help you get there.  Also, there are sites like Kickstarter and gofundme to help others invest a small amount to help you reach the next plateau.  So, there are options for you, even today!  Just make sure that site is ready for the investor (i.e. hosting, WordPress, plugins, and more) and you are on your way…

Internet Advertising 101: How To Make Magic Online

If you have realized that taking your company online and appealing to investors can push your organization forward, it’s time to begin incorporating internet advertising strategies into your marketing plan. In some cases, business owners lack experience in the digital marketing sector and need assistance with the process of getting acclimated to the ecommerce world. Here are some tips and ideas to get things going and growing online:

  1. Take target market research seriously.

Corporate leaders and small business owners who have decided that they’re serious about making their organizations thrive online should be sure to take target market research seriously. Good target market research is the foundation of an effective online advertising campaign because it ensures that you’re sharing your brand in a manner that will really resonate with your audience. Luckily, there are some helpful questions that you can ask to learn more about your target market. Some of them might include:

  • What are the primary hobbies of your potential clients?
  • What is the education level of your audience?
  • What types of work do the people in your target market do?
  • When are the clients most likely to make their purchases? Do they prefer maintaining subscriptions, purchasing seasonally, or buying things on a whim?
  • When is the best time to contact your prospects?
  • Are there specific mediums or locations that would be more likely to catch the client’s attention?

Remember, since your objective is to find some investors, you need to be able to present a website that is making money, that is where ecommerce comes into the picture.

  1. Find software that will optimize your ecommerce efforts.

Although many business owners are aware that software can make their companies function more effectively, not all of them are cognizant of the fact that there are software products which can be used to optimize efficacy in the online sector. Yet there are! An example would be shopping cart software products that make it easier for your prospects and current clients to select the items they want and check out when they come to your website. Before you buy any software products from anyone, make sure that you go back and do research on the retailer in question. Taking this step will increase your likelihood of selecting a retailer who will offer you the excellent customer service and stellar products you need and deserve.

In addition to seeking out software that will enhance the quality of your website, be sure to consider the value of attaining professional ecommerce web hosting services. We mentioned plugin hosting above, but be sure that you are also finding appropriate ecommerce hosting, as well. These ecommerce services provided by quality ecommerce hosting providers will help ensure that you obtain excellent assistance with key processes like website security, file transfers, and FTP access. Companies such as Network Solutions are excellent examples of companies pleased to provide clients with these services, along with the ecommerce functionality.

  1. Make social media optimization (SMO) a part of your advertising process.

One final technique you can implement to really make magic online is incorporating social media optimization (SMO) strategies into your advertising process. This strategy will expand your business’s dimension of influence while simultaneously providing you with a medium through which you can interface with prospects in a casual way. Note that there are multiple SMO techniques you can utilize to realize the objective. One is blogging. Another is tweeting interesting or information-rich content that is highly shareable. A third option is running weekly Twitter polls. Of course, this also provides exposure and proves viability for your future investor(s).

Start making magic with your startup site now!

If you’re ready to start making magic online and eventually find your investor, it’s important to know that there are multiple strategies that can help you do so. Three of them are outlined above, but there are others, as well. That is where this Kikolani blog can help you, so we encourage you to keep reading!

By Deborah Anderson

When Deborah Anderson is not busy writing articles for popular, influential internet sites (yes, ghostwriting on behalf of some of your favorite thought leaders), she is finishing up on her dissertation on white-collar crime in the Los Angeles financial district, while completing her doctorate in Psychology.