I Raised $1.3 Million for My Startup From a Single LinkedIn Post
This isn’t an exaggeration, this really happened. Let me give you some context: The $1.3 million was an investment check. The post was an image. The investment came from someone I’d never spoken to but who sent me a DM. Since this happened, I’ve had time to reflect on what made it possible, and there are some distinct lessons I learned.
But first, a little background. I run a startup called Stakester. We’re two years old, we’re in e-sports, so it’s a cool sector, and we’re experiencing some great user growth. I have just over 7k connections on LinkedIn.
I wasn’t aiming to raise any money at this stage; we’d just closed a funding round. But we’re a startup, and the truth is we’re always raising, just maybe not formally. We’d dried up a little on the attention so I wanted to get noticed.
I’d learned a valuable lesson during our last funding round: that when it comes to getting money, the opportunity for investors to make a huge return is everything, so I needed to grab their attention with something that proved our potential.
With that in mind, here were the priorities;
- Show growth.
- Show that it’s happening quickly.
- Get lots of people to see it.
- Get lots of the right people to see it.
Here’s how I did it:
- Pick a metric. Doesn’t really matter which, as long as it’s meaningful and growing. Make this the highlight of the post. I made the image a simple graph showing a steep curve.
- Mention a timeframe in the post that seems short. For example, instead of 4 weeks, use 1 month. The reader will see the number, not the period.
- Keep all the data on LinkedIn. If you need a link, put it in the comments. LinkedIn prioritizes posts that keep people on the site. Also, add a relevant hashtag. TOP TIP: the picture is prime real estate, but so is your first line, so make it attention-grabbing. Mine, “WARNING. HUGE BRAG BELOW,” was an invitation to click “read more.”
- This is the magic: If you add someone into a post, as people are generally polite, they will almost certainly like it. This means it will show up on their feed. Therefore, tag people who are either in the sector you want to reach or who are associated with people that are. I tagged everyone who has invested in my business or raised investment themselves because they all will have relevant networks.
Here is what I learned from this post:
Lesson 1: Shapes Sell
It doesn’t matter what the graph shows, just the shape of it. It gives an instant emotional response. We see the Covid curve bending upward, we panic; we see it sloping down, we relax. Do we look at the numbers and what they represent? Rarely. It’s the same here, show an attractive curve, people are going to get excited.
Lesson 2: Don’t Ask
The second you ask for money, the tables turn, you lose the power. Instead, make them come to you. Feed that FOMO and they’ll start reaching out.
Lesson 3: Put in The Groundwork
The probability of one post getting $1 million is, well, one in a million. I was extremely lucky, I know this. But I made myself more likely to be lucky by putting in the groundwork first. I grew my LinkedIn community, I commented on other people’s posts so they are likely to reciprocate. Your profile can be the making of your business. Invest time and energy into growing it and your chances of being lucky will be exponentially increased.
And finally, here’s the post: