Investing is a relationship-building business.
Surrounding yourself with great founders and LPs is how you win.
This is why building a large network is important.
But let’s face it while connecting with people and conversing is fun, managing your network is challenging.
In this blog, we will explore strategies for managing your network of founders and LPs for long-term success.
Challenges VCs Are Facing With Their Network
The biggest challenge VCs are facing is keeping track of all the individuals in their network.
Founders, LPs, partners… different industries, investment stages…
Combine this with all the other people you are keeping track of and it’s a recipe for disaster.
As your portfolio grows, it becomes increasingly harder to remember who is working on what, who you were interested in, and who is interested in investment opportunities.
This all leads to you missing the top opportunities in your network.
Whether it was because you didn’t reach out in time as you didn’t notice the founder/LP was open for investments, or because you didn’t have a good system for keeping track of your conversations and opportunities.
With the constantly changing landscape of the startup world, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date with your network and how it’s shifting.
But there are solutions to these challenges.
Overcoming The Challenges
To overcome these challenges you don’t need to cut people out of your network, you just need a better strategy for managing them.
Here are four strategies you can implement today.
Find Who You Need At The Right Moment
After spending years building your LinkedIn network you will be stumped at how many investment opportunities there are in it.
And the first step to getting to them is narrowing down on the right people.
The best way of doing this is to filter your network by the industry you are planning to invest in or a specific company that caught your eye.
Or if you are doing a broader search for let’s say all founders in your network, you can search them by their headline as most founders display their role on LinkedIn.
Combinations of these filters can narrow your search down to specific connections that you can start conversations with.
Structure Your Network
You are working with founders, LPs, partners, and professionals in different industries.
Add Founder/LP investment pipelines into the mix and the different funding stages that they are in and it’s almost impossible to keep track of so many groups of people.
This will only lead to confusion, spending hours looking for the right connections, and missing out on important deals.
You need a simple structure for your network.
By using Tags you can categorize your connections into different groups based on their role.
With LeadDelta Tags, you can split founders, LPs, and partners… into groups.
Going a step further, you can create custom pipelines for each group.
Why is this useful?
You can easily recognize who is who, and filter your network and inbox for the tags you assigned to your connections.
Structuring your connections in this way will help you get on top of your network and always have in mind who are your top founders/LPs, who you are interested in, or in the talks for investing.
Cancel The Noise
Being in a VC position means everyone wants a piece of you, and that means hundreds of messages every day.
From salespeople to people that are worth investing in.
All this noise makes it almost impossible to focus on important founders and LPs in your network.
But what if you could Pin them to the top of your inbox?
By pinning conversations you won’t have to scroll through your LinkedIn inbox just to find important people you want to talk to, they will always be on top.
Going a step further, you can use all those Tags you created and filter your inbox even more precisely.
Looking to talk to founders you closed a deal with?
Filter by the “Founders – Closed” Tag.
And don’t forget to take Notes on anything interesting or important you talked about. (Straight from the inbox.)
What’s not written will be forgotten.
By employing all of these inbox management strategies you will eliminate distractions and focus on what matters the most.
Never Forget To Reach Out
With a busy life and so many people to keep tabs on you will inevitably forget to check up on your founders/LPs or send them important information.
Instead of relying on your memory or a notebook to remind yourself who you need to check up on, it’s more effective to do it on the fly while you are talking, through your inbox.
With Zapier integrations, you can connect LeadDelta and Google tasks and create custom reminder Tags.
Create a “Check Up” Tag and set it to one month.
Once you tag someone with it you will be reminded to check up on them in exactly one month.
Your founders and LPs will be glad that you are checking how they are doing, improving your relationships which will lead to new investment opportunities.
And if you are using another CRM like Affinity to manage your Founder/LP pipelines, you can connect it with LeadDelta.
With this integration, every time you Tag a connection in LeadDelta with “Founder”, “LP”, “Partner”… or any other Tag you set up they will automatically be exported into your CRM (Affinity in this example).
Being a VC is hard work and you shouldn’t have to worry about your network getting the better of you.
It will only lead to a loss of opportunities and you focusing on the wrong people.
That’s why you need to build strategies and systems that will help you manage your network effectively.
Thankfully, there are tools like LeadDelta that can help you do just that.
Download LeadDelta and start managing your network the right way.