Strategies Entrepreneurs Can Use to Stand Out to Investors

Working Together

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Develop a Web Presence

“Become a contributor for several industry specific websites and publish content on a regular basis. You can also create a personal website that highlights your expertise and serves as a hub, pointing potential investors to all of your content online. A personal website ( will rank high in the organic search results with very minimal SEO, allowing you highlight your expertise.”

Marc Lobliner, and MTS Nutrition

2. Clarify the Problem You Solve

“The most important thing investors are looking for is a clear understanding of the problem you are offering solutions to, why you are the best solution out there, and how you are unique to your competitors. The biggest challenge entrepreneurs face is spending too much time focused on their solution and not enough time clarifying the scope of the problem.”

Justin Sachs, Motivational Press

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Showcase Your Strengths

“Has your business been featured in an article?  Were you quoted with other thought leaders in your industry? Share it! So many people are worried about over-posting that they forget to share the pieces that showcase who they are and the business they are building.”

Jennifer Mellon, Trustify

4. Let Others Vouch for You

“Having a positive reputation means there are others who think highly of you. Instead of talking yourself up to investors (or anyone else you’re trying to sell), let your professional network speak on your behalf. Leverage introductions and positive references from mutual connections to stand out. Investors will take an entrepreneur more seriously as a result.”

Roger Lee, Captain401

5. Thoroughly Complete Your LinkedIn Profile

“Every section of your LinkedIn profile should be complete. Investors will review your profile before making a decision, and your personal brand just may be what makes them wish to invest with you rather than a competitor.”

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

6. Get to Know the Investor

“Many entrepreneurs forget that a successful relationship has two sides. As such, they spend too much time on themselves and their accomplishments instead of learning what is important to the potential investor. If you want to appeal to a person, take the initiative to understand them and reach out with something that provides a genuine value. If you can’t add value, maybe it’s not the right fit.”

Jeff Jahn, DynamiX

7. Be Dependable

“Your investors don’t care about your personal brand other than you being a dependable entrepreneur that can deliver results. Showcase this dependability by reaching your milestones, being transparent, and keeping them closely informed on a monthly basis through a video or newsletter update. Real entrepreneurs deliver results and communicate them in a clear and consistent manner.”

Andy Karuza, FenSens

8. Don’t Try So Hard

“I hate when people spend the first 15 minutes of our meetings enumerating their bona fides. It stinks of insecurity and self-indulgence. The most impressive people begin meetings assuming that their “personal brand” is beyond question. Focus on the quality of what you do, and the personal brand will follow.”

Joel Butterly, InGenius Prep

9. Focus on Messaging That Shows Leadership and Execution

“Create messaging to tell investors the things about your business they care about, like what drives you to keep growing, vision, growth rates and financial metrics. Talk about the role of each principle forming a coherent team to achieve the near-term and long-term vision for the company. Savvy investors care more about the leadership team and execution than the original idea.”

Joshua Lee, StandOut Authority

10. Create a Video

“You can create video content of yourself as the leader of your brand, by showcasing how your brand adds value to your potential investor. This is a great way to help investors understand who you are and who the person behind the brand is. It is also a great way to showcase your company and help develop your brand to customers who may be interested in your goods or services.”

Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

11. Build and Implement a CEO Brand

“You can build a smart CEO brand by identifying the type of publications and conferences your target investors read/participate in. If you are getting coverage or speaking at these events, it makes you a clear thought leader and demonstrates to the investor that you are worth pursuing.  We’ve used this technique with pre-revenue and early-stage businesses on a number occasions.”

Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group

12. Speak Directly to the Investors as if You Already Have the Deal

“Most entrepreneurs create investor decks and memorize the delivery. While a flawless presentation is key to a successful investor pitch, what about your personal brand? You are a human speaking to other humans who just want to learn more about you and how you will execute the strategic vision of the company. Learn about the investors individually and speak to them as if you already have the deal.”

Nick Chasinov, Teknicks

13. Be Authentic

“It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of a “personal brand,” but the truth is that investors invest in people, not personal brands. Just focus on building a great business and being as authentic as you can. If you’re authentic in your relationships, you’ll get something far more valuable and lasting than a personal brand.”

Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

14. Build an Audience

“Community is the new currency. It’s equity. Building an authentic audience that loves you requires you to be able to flex some serious marketing chops and self-awareness.”

Alexander Mendeluk, theDisruptive & SpiritHoods