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How to find high net worth investors?

I wanted to share with you some strategies to find wealthier clients, joint-venture partners, investors, financers, et cetera. I’m going to give you some specific things you can do, and then maybe, some more general ones to test. I’ll start with the specific.

Definitely, finding people on LinkedIn is a good strategy for approaching high-end net worth individuals, or at least getting them in your contacts. A strategy that doesn’t work in my opinion very well on LinkedIn, is, to go and add people carte blanche. Click, add and then immediately say “Hey, I’m Dave. I want a million quid.” Because you all know when you get pitched directly via direct message as soon as someone’s added you. That is not my play. I never do that. Here’s what you do. You strategically target people. Now, this is quite a clever little thing. But it’s easy to do. You can use this on Google and on LinkedIn.

You would maybe want to target one person. So, let’s say, I’ll just use my name as an example. Let’s say, you want to target and find me, to add me on LinkedIn. When you go onto my LinkedIn, on the right-hand side about one scroll down, it will show other people on LinkedIn that are like me. So, you’ll find Mark Homer, my business partner. You’ll find other people that LinkedIn deems. So, its algorithm is kind of like me or on my level.

All you actually need to do, is, get one name. You might just go on Property Rich List, UK. and you might just find 10 people. Then put them into LinkedIn. Now, getting connections with a billionaire might be hard. But you can still try and connect with them. If you’ve got 30,000 connections and they’re maxed, then you follow them. But then on the right-hand side underneath, you’ll have people like them. So, you then go on their profile, and try and connect, or follow them, if their connections are maxed.

A follow means you can see their content, but they can’t see yours. A connection means it’s two-way. Then you go down the side of their profile, and you reach the second, third, fourth and fifth stage. Before you know it, you’re building a LinkedIn connections black book of hundreds of high-net-worth individuals.

Then what you do, and this is the elegant bit, is, you start putting videos and content out on your LinkedIn, that speaks to that market. So, the kind of deals you’re doing. Instead of putting little single-let deals you’re doing, put the big shopping centres or the business parks. The kind of content you put out there speaks to someone who’s worth 5-50 million, or who’s got a million or 10 million to invest, instead of saying no money down or stuff like that. And you start curating your content to talk to that market. Then as long as you’re in connection with them, in their feed, they see your content. They watch your content. They go, ah, this guy looks like, he deals with high-net-worth investors. These are the kinds of deals I’m interested in. And then you start having that pull effect.

Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. I think it’s much better to do it that way, rather than to pitch to them. I’m in a fortunate position, where I mentor quite a lot of celebrities. I know a lot of big hitters. I could say to them, hey, I’d really like to get X for my podcast. Are you on, mate? but I can ask you that once. But if I’ve known you for a few months or even a year, and we’ve got a good relationship, but maybe, we’re not mega deep friends yet, and I say to you, ah, you know, you’re a billionaire, mate, introduce me to him. I’ve got one girl asking that. If I said to her, you’re going to go, no. You might be polite to me. But you just want to know me for my contact list.

I’m very careful about how I time when I ask for introductions. Because I feel like, if I do it early once, I could really break rapport. Like I said, when they’re hundred million, billion, or big mega celebrities, they must have people doing that all the time, just wanting them for their contacts.

I’d like to build a relationship over quite a long period of time. I like to put a lot of content out there, that they can see. So they can feel that they know me more than I know them. So, that’s the first thing, is, LinkedIn and properly curating a long-term strategy.

The next thing you can do, is, you can go to Business Angels events.There’s Angels Den. There’s London Business Angels. In most decent cities, there’s a Business Angels meeting, where you’ve got investors, Angels, Dragons, Vultures and people who’ve got investment requirements. So, you’ve got individuals, private money. You’ve got people who represent funds, so group money. You’ve got someone who might have made £100 million worth of investments. You’ve got people in pooled group investments. They have set up investment clubs.

Again, there’s 2 ways to play this. You, either go there, and you speak to the organiser. You say, I want to pitch for money, in which case you stand behind a lectern. You get brought out almost like, cattle or a horse being paraded. Then you go and do your 8-minute pitch. You, either get some interest, or you don’t. Then you’re, kind of, always positioned, ah, well, that guy runs start-up, and he’s looking for money.

I never pitched for money when I went to Business Angels and Angels Den, et cetera. I went and just network with everyone. I started talking to everyone. When they say, what do you do? I say, well, I’m an investor. When I first went, I wasn’t investing my own money as a business. I was a property investor. So, I was telling the truth. I’m an investor. But then, I guess, all thought, I was an investor. Investor? What do you invest in? Well, I’m mostly in property-related investment.

I kept what I do really generic. And then I just get them talking. What do you do? What do you invest in? How many investors you’ve met? Try and build a relationship with those individuals, and then get to know them. Try not to do the business in that room. Try and meet them in that room, and then do the business outside of that room. That definitely works really well.

The next thing you can do, is, people that you have got a good relationship within that you know, you can ask them who they know, or who they believe you should speak to. If I say to you, look, how many millionaires do you know? You’re going to be a bit defensive. If I say, look, I’ve got some shopping centre developments, who do you think I should be speaking to about investing in those? If you know someone, you’ve got the choice now to recommend them to me. And I’ve done it in a way that I haven’t asked you. I’ve kind of done it vicariously, if you like. If you don’t know anyone, you might say, well, I used to speak to Andreas Panayiotou. Or, I used to speak to John Hunt, or whoever. And they might mention a name. Then you can go and search that person. You can add them on LinkedIn.

Don’t be scared to reach out to your contacts. I said earlier, didn’t I, that a lot of people do networking, but they don’t really follow up. I definitely as a matter of cause, I have a little system. Maybe, get Sophia to help you with that. Every time you go to an event, and you get a business card, follow up the next day with a nice message: “Hi, it’s Steve. It was nice to meet you. I was the guy with the green tie. We had a little bit of a chat. I know you probably get loads of people. But you know, when we all network, and no one follows up, I’m not that kind of guy. Tell me, if this, you know, you don’t want to speak to me again. But I always like to follow up with my contacts, because I think that’s professional. I mostly do properties. I raise investments for bigger scale developments. What do you do? Tell me a bit more about yourself.”

If you get a reply, and most people reply to that. Then once, they reply, maybe say, it’s a good chat on the phone, or send them a WhatsApp voice memo, you know, like, we talked about before.

Don’t be scared to reach out to your existing contacts. I think, the problem with raising finance, is that, we think about raising finance when we need the money. But that’s like, dating when you haven’t been late for a few years. It’s probably a bit dangerous. I did just say that in the podcast. Everyone’s like, do you really just say that in the podcast?

But like, you’re probably best looking to raise money, before you need the money. Because no one gets that sense of desperation. No one wants to feel like, you’re wanted only for your money or your contacts. People want to feel like, they’re wanted for their business experience, or because you care about them. You trust them. They trust you.

You’re better off going for a few months to build connections to raise finance before you’ve got the deal, and you don’t have the need for money then so that you can build it on a more trusting platform. Because people can always sense when you need their money, because you sweat it. It’s something you can sense. The more desperation you have for a deal, the more that’s going to come through.

So, it’s a bit like, we talked earlier about the marketing, and setting the events a year in advance, and then doing the marketing plan for event 3 months before, and creating that timeline plan. You kind of want to have a little bit of a round of going out and meeting people, before you need the money.

Next thing then, charity balls, charity auctions and functions. You want to get yourself to that as much as you can. Now, first off, it’s a really cool thing. You know, at the first when I went to charity balls, I was a bit uh, this is just a bit of me. That was just me being grumpy so and so. I got invited to Justin Rose’s Charity Ball. That was fantastic. I met some great people there. Like the whole event raised a million quid for their charity, which is phenomenal. Honestly, there were some big hitters in that room. Kevin Pietersen was in the room. Olly Murs was in the room. Seb Coe was in the room. John Terry was in the room. Jamie Redknapp was in the room. There were billionaires in the room. Ah, I just could go on, and on, and on, and on.

I wasn’t sat on Justin’s table. But I sat on his family’s table. I was sat next to Suzanne Shaw who’s in Hear’Say who I know very well. I wasn’t going around with my T-shirt saying, JV finance wanted, you know, with my number on the back. I just went, because it was a great place to meet really interesting people. I met a lot of really interesting people.

Then Jake Wood, he invited me to his charity ball. We took 8 tables at Jake Woods Charity Ball. We’d halve took over the place. That was fantastic. In the midst, I met Theo Paphitis who was there. Nick Leeson was there. You remember him Barings Bank chap, he was there. I can’t remember some of the other names. There are some big names there.

So, I would go to as many of them as you can. You know, you’re a bubbly guy. You’re a chatty person. You’re probably not worried about going up and having a chat with someone. Chat to people. Take your business cards. Swap business cards. Everyone was there. You know like, when there are celebrities at these, everyone goes and gets a photo. Oh, Kenny Dalglish, he was at one of the ones that I was at. I actually didn’t dare talk to him, because he’s like one of my biggest heros ever, because I’m a Liverpool fan.

But you go there. Hi, I love what you do. Can we have a quick photo? Have a quick chat. Swap cards. They are a good source of meeting people. Now, if you go to a Charity Ball, and you know someone, and they can introduce you to someone, that’s better. So, when I went to Justin Rose’s one, we were able to go to the after-show party, where you’re not allowed to take your mobile phones out, where there’s a lot of massive celebrities in there that sort of unwritten rule that no one does selfies, or videos, or anything like that. So, they can all relaxed a bit, and get a bit pissed, and all that kind of stuff. So, any of those kind of functions, balls, et cetera, I would definitely try and get yourself to. So, these 4 ways to start with to meet high-net-worth individuals.

The next thing I would do, when you’re adding all of these names on LinkedIn, is, I’ll go on to Google and do the same thing. When you go onto Google, and you type in, let’s say, you type my name. It will in that there has related searches on the right-hand side, half way down. It will give you 5 other people, and a little thumbnail of them. Google a few names of people who you know are, either clients you dealt with before, who’ve have got good money, or people you know have got good money, or they’re the right kind of investor for you. Then Google them. Then follow them on all their social media, not just Facebook. Then start commenting on their posts so they see your name. Make sure you’ve got a photo, where they can see your face. Some people have photos you can’t really see what they look like, because you don’t really have that mind space. And some of these are influencers. Some of these are more private. Some of these are more public. But I guess, if you could find 100-200 of them, and follow them, and comment on their posts, in the end, you’re going to get quite well, seen by them. You can end up becoming a top fan or a follower. Then when the time is right, private message them.

Next thing then, is, you build all these contacts. And we’ve talked about this before, you start handwriting them letters. “Hi, it’s Steve. I’ve been following you for a few months. I love what you do. Forgive me for being so bold. But I think we’re in the same business. I think we see things the same way. I wonder, if you might want to meet up for a coffee, and talk about maybe how we can grow your property investments.” Because at some point, you’ve got to stop dancing and flirting, and you’ve got to start making some business moves. I just think you time that. And if they have a few touchpoints with you, then you’re probably ripe.

So, then if I think you approach them with a letter, because in your world, when you’re looking for millionaires, it’s worth taking a bit of time, and spending a fiver on really good paper, and taking that time to write those letters. And of course, you can get someone else to write the letters for you. I just know no one else is doing that. When was the last time, you got a handwritten letter through your letterbox. Yeah, there you go.


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