Recently, I saw someone share a tweet from a young, aspiring VC who posed a GIF on Twitter depicting an irreverent character in an effort to share his frustration that investors aren’t keen to invest in first time managers. My first reaction was to chuckle as it was indeed pretty funny. My second reaction was to think, “kid, you don’t get it yet and you probably need a mentor.”
There are two short takeaways for entrepreneurs from this. First, that young VC was partially right; LPs don’t invest in first time managers, that is until until they do (they just don’t do it very often). There’s been thousands of venture firms created over the last fifty years and I’ll bet there’s been a hundred started in the last two years. Somebody’s gotta be funding those first time managers, right? Create a compelling enough opportunity and someone’s going to invest.
The second takeaway is very simple. Every single LP I know tracks new and emerging managers on social media. What do you think happened to this young VC’s stock when they saw that post? Think they said to themselves “hmm, here’s someone I want to track?” Nope, me either. I’m sure some LPs probably stopped following him then and there. Always remember that all investors (angels, VCs & LPs) use social media to try and get a better feel for people they’re interested in potentially investing in and if you don’t think they’re they’re paying attention to what you’re posting in your various streams, you’re not just naive, you’re dumb.
Founders, rest assured that investors are paying attention to your social behavior. Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to them in a meeting. Social media represents an incredible tool to allow people to get to know you better. Use it wisely. One of the top LPs in the country recently told me that he seeks to invest in people “who are better versions of himself.” Investors want to invest in others that they trust and believe will be good stewards of their money. As the immortal Vince Lombardi one said, “When you get in the end zone, act like you’ve been there before.”