One of my favorite things about early-stage investing is that the companies are small enough that investors actually have a chance to make a meaningful impact.
In the VC/angel world, this is known as being a “value-add investor.” As online startup investors, we can certainly add value as well. But we have to realize that we can’t help every company in our portfolio. So it’s best to focus on the ones where our expertise can truly make a difference.
I typically offer to add value in the following ways:
- Advice on building a newsletter
- Website copy recommendations
- Introductions when possible
These are the areas where I can help most. And since I have 100+ startup investments, I typically only make the offer when I truly believe they can use my help.
Adding value to your investments can be a rewarding experience. And sometimes if the founders truly appreciate it, they’ll offer you advisory shares or some other form of compensation. In one instance, this has worked out really well for me.
But you shouldn’t go into adding value expecting to be rewarded with advisory shares. It’s more about helping out your investments and expanding your personal network. The non-monetary rewards that come with helping a company you believe in find success are one of the unique perks that startup investing offers. And we all have some skill or connection we can bring to the table.