Rocking Out Your AngelList Profile
AngelList is awesome. In fact, we encourage all of our startups to use AngelList to raise money – it’s clearly useful to both founders and investors. Two-way transparency FTW!
First things first, don’t make your startup profile public immediately — take a few minutes to check out the tips below. It’s better to spend an extra hour up front to polish things up, first impressions count.
- Start with a little bit of research. AngelList makes it so easy to browse through the different tags that can be associated with your profile. If you’ve picked a tag that doesn’t have a lot of investors following it, ask yourself whether it’s better to pick a slightly broader tag instead. You should also be looking at the startups that seem to be getting the most followers/activity within those tags. Check out their profiles and identify why the startup is particularly appealing – it’ll make the next few bullet points easier for you to knock out as well.
- You should always be updating your AngelList profile, not just when you’re fundraising. If you’re not fundraising now, you’re trying to get investors to follow your startup. If you *are* raising money, you’re trying to get investors to request an intro to you. It’s not rocket surgery, update your profile at least once a month – the more investors that are following your profile, the better off you’re going to be in the long run.
- Pay attention to what you put above the fold. That real estate is precious, don’t fuck it up. Everything above the fold should be designed to (a) encourage the investor to click the follow/intro button or (b) scroll/click around your profile. Make no mistake though, the goal is to get them to request an intro – you’re raising money, right?
- Pick the right product images/videos for your product. Humans are visual, spend an extra few minutes capturing the right screenshot or cropping the image to help clarify what you’re trying to show. Bonus points if you use shading or other techniques to draw the eye to the exact part of the image you want the visitor to look at. If you decide to use video, please be careful – you need to capture the visitor’s attention in <30 seconds. So uploading a three minute video is usually not a good idea.
- Don’t tell people what you do, tell them why you’re awesome. Your readers are busy, so opening your product description with some vague statement about being the “X for Y” is lame. Explain your startup like you’d explain it to your non-startup friends. Or, better yet, as if you were explaining it to my mother. If you’ve received press mentions from recognizable places, I often recommend you lead with “As featured in the NYT, WaPo, and TechCrunch and on NBC, ABC, CBS…” and then leave one line of whitespace before you continue.
- Speaking of whitespace, please use it. Paragraphs in your profile should not be more than 3-4 sentences. Make it super easy for the visitor to skim the profile. (And no, leaving the whitespace out isn’t going to “force” me to do anything. If your profile is hard to read, I’m probably going to move on to the next thing on my todo list.)
- Sweat the details. I hate seeing profiles with unconfirmed team members. Seriously? These people are on your team, ask them to spend 100milliseconds to click the confirmation link that AngelList sent them – it seriously can’t get easier than that. Ask your investors and advisors to confirm their roles as well. (I’m guilty of taking a little while to confirm my investor roles with some companies but I’ll ask that you cut me some slack — our investment pace is, to put it lightly, on the aggressive side.)
- It’s all about the faces. When I see the default avatar on AngelList, I die a little bit inside. SHOW ME YOUR FACE. Investors want to give money to real people, spend 30 seconds finding an image to upload. Once you’re done with that, make sure every other person on your profile has a face associated with their account as well.
- Tell people how much you’re raising, but don’t share too many details. It’s important to mention the total amount of your fundraise and, optionally, how much of that is committed/closed already. However, I’d recommend that you avoid posting the actual terms of the round. IMHO, the goal of the AngelList profile isn’t to get me to make the funding decision on the spot — it’s to get me to request an intro and actually talk to you. You want to avoid the scenario where you may potentially lose interested investors because they simply don’t like your terms.
When in doubt, just remember that short and crisp is much better than the alternative. Show me enough to want to speak with you – not more, not less.