Bringing a startup hedge fund online is a monumental task. As a result, in many startups, short shrift is given to marketing concerns. Too many managers view marketing as something that can wait, but experience suggests that hedge fund firms will enjoy greater success if marketing considerations are integrated into the fund from the beginning. Why? Because every hedge fund has two basic functions, which are investing capital and raising capital.
Other things the firm is focused upon, such as research, compliance and administration, are support functions of the two basic functions! When one of these two basic functions is raising capital, why would you ignore marketing?
Literally thousands of hedge funds are in competition with each other for capital investment, which makes marketing an extremely important focal point for any hedge fund, particularly startups, because they lack a record of performance.
First Things First
Absent a track record, aspiring managers must lay a foundation that establishes their personal reputations. They may choose to do this themselves, or in conjunction with their marketing managers. What follows is a checklist to assist in accomplishing this.
- Review Your Social Media Pages — This is a critical step that many overlook. A fund manager should ensure that he has a minimum of one presentable social media profile. It need not be rigorously professional—that may appear contrived. Personal photos and anecdotes sprinkled with professional tips and thoughtful opinions, not only show that you are human, but also enhance your reputation.
- Open Yourself to Interviews — Interviews provide a manager the opportunity to demonstrate his expertise. Free or paid, reach out to as many bloggers as necessary to secure 4 or 5 quality interviews. Make the interviews count by providing meaningful information and valuable tips.
- Get Published — Alright, this sounds a bit ambitious. However, you can hire a freelancer to ghostwrite an e-book. Even if it is only published on your website, it adds to your credibility and enhances your online reputation and prepares a path for you to reach out to journalists.
- Reach Out — An established online reputation makes it is feasible to connect with journalists. Perhaps the best way to accomplish this is by offering assistance to members of the media who frequently seek out experts to answer questions. Create an email campaign to let the them know you are available.
- Google Thyself — Verify the success of your efforts by researching your name and the name of your hedge fund firm. Confirm that there are sufficient links and satisfy yourself that they are trustworthy. Not happy? Then consider adding additional social media accounts for the organization, which will improve your rank in search engines. Even better…work on getting mentioned by other reputable websites.
Of course, these suggestions are very much geared to the early stages of launching a startup, but this fact makes these preparations no less important to the process. When this checklist is complete, it is possible to reach out to potential investors with a high degree of certainty that the outreach will yield positive results.