Using LinkedIn to Find a Business Partner
LinkedIn is not just a social networking site. You can use it to find business partners, investors, and team members. Now it’s time to seek out a funding partner, or a business partner. LinkedIn is an excellent tool when used correctly.
Although this is not the exhaustive list of what you can do, here are some tips that can help you find that partner using LinkedIn:
Gather leads: Use LinkedIn Answers to post a question to either your network or the general community about the best firms or investors to consider.
Do research on your leads: Look up potential investors on LinkedIn and read their profiles. See what interests they have, what group affiliations they maintain, and what information they share or gather using LinkedIn Answers. Follow through on any websites, blogs, or profiles they link to from their profiles. See what you have in common or which benefit of your company might interest them the most.
Work your network and get them working: Do advanced searches to see how your network can connect you with the right person. Maybe someone in your network knows a VC or someone at the same firm as a VC or angel investor. Perhaps someone in one of your groups has the right connection in one of her other groups. Let your network know what you’re looking for and ask, respectfully, for help, advice, or a push in the right direction.
Get introduced or reach out yourself: If you have a second- or third-degree connection to a potential investor, use LinkedIn Introductions to ask your contacts to introduce you. If you have no direct connections, consider using InMail to make your own Introduction.
Do your homework before any meeting: Use LinkedIn to prepare before you meet any potential investor. Study their profile and check the LinkedIn Company Profiles for information about their company. If they are in your extended network, ask your connections (who know them) for advice and information on your potential investor. See what companies they have invested in and research those companies as well.