How investors use a personal brand to win the best deals

November 29, 2022

Learn how investors can leverage a personal brand to edge out their competition and win the best deals.

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Investors receive hundreds of deals across their desks each year – but only end up investing in a handful of them. Like anything in life, quality beats quantity – and this is especially the case when it comes to deal flow.

Learn how investors can leverage a personal brand to access (and win) the best deals. 

The human element of investing.

What comes to mind when you think about the cast of sharks on Shark Tank? Kevin O’Leary (AKA Mr. Wonderful) relishes pointing out flaws in business models. Lori Grenier is a “nice” shark who enjoys incorporating charity elements into her deals. Mark Cuban invests in many businesses, whereas Barbara Corcoran often drops out of pitches early. 

The Sharks from Shark Tank, via ABC

Each of these sharks has a distinct personal brand – and founders entering the tank often prefer working with one over the other because of the network, reputation, and mentorship they provide in addition to capital.

That’s the human element of investing. Every investor knows how important this is to winning good deals, but not everyone is the owner of the Dallas Mavs or the founder of QVC. So they sit down with founders for coffee, lunches, and meetings and get to know each other. But there’s only so much time one can invest in such discussions. 

Scaling your reputation.

This is where a strong personal brand gives investors a competitive edge. Think of it as scaling those one-on-one interactions for a larger audience. When founders can simply look you up and read about your thoughts, advice, and work history, they’ll understand that you bring more to the table than just money – and therefore warm up to you before meeting you face-to-face. A personal brand scales your reputation.

By defining who you are as an investor online and offering up education via thoughtful content, you’re signaling to founders that you’re someone they can trust. You’re also showing them you care about the success of their businesses with or without your funding. At the end of the day, companies want to work with other people (in general) with a digital footprint. It helps if that digital footprint positions you as a guide in their success journey. 

The psychology of “brand names.” 

A well-defined personal brand attracts entrepreneurs simply because people react more emotionally to brand names. If multiple investors are interested in a deal, a founder will likely want to work with a “brand name” that validates their business. 

The person a founder chooses as their investor is an important signal to others in the market because it establishes an unspoken pedigree. Two investors with the same credentials and access to capital will be treated differently based on their brand and public perception. Not all money is made equal.

Flow worked with a successful investor who wanted to improve his already-lucrative deal flow. His internal rate of return (IRR) was 25-35%, which was enough to inspire him to start his own fund within the firm. While he had raised over a billion dollars and was successful by traditional measures, he didn’t have a reputation beyond his personal network. This meant he was out of the loop on certain deals he would have loved to win – simply because similar investors had a stronger brand and a library of online thought leadership.

We worked with this client to convey his unique experiences and expertise in educational content that introduced new concepts to founders getting ready to seek funding. With this content, he planted seeds in their minds so that his invite was already secured when it came time for capital rounds. 

Personal branding is matchmaking.

Just like dating apps have filters for preferences like political views and music, personal branding acts as a filter for deal flow. Investors who clearly convey their mission and niche will inherently attract like-minded founders and filter out ones who wouldn’t be a good match. This ultimately saves investors time and ensures only the best deals will come across their desks that are mutually beneficial.

Interested in scaling your reputation with a strong personal brand? Schedule a consultation with one of our brand strategists today.

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