TBC: Pro Tip for VC's - The Personal Newsletter

By Jason Yeh
May 9, 2024
Listen on Apple Podcasts

In this episode, the host shares the power of personal newsletters for VC's, shedding light on investor psychology and fundraising strategies.

Drawing from anecdotes from his personal life and interactions with VC's, he highlights the importance of staying top of mind in the competitive landscape of deal flow.

By sharing stories of missed opportunities and the dynamics of VC interactions, he underscores the significance of personal branding through newsletters.

Ultimately, the episode offers a pro tip for VC's to leverage personal newsletters as a means to enhance deal flow and foster lasting connections while simultaneously teaching founders about investor psychology.

TBC: Pro Tip for VC's - The Personal Newsletter

In this episode, the host shares the power of personal newsletters for VC's, shedding light on investor psychology and fundraising strategies.

Episode Transcript


I'm going to give some game-changing advice for VCs on how to get more deal flow. And that's the personal newsletter. Now before any of you founders start tuning out and rolling your eyes, realize that as I go through the nuance of this, you'll get some insight into investor psychology. I could really help you supercharge the way you fundraise. And for VCs that heard this and they're like newsletter old news, too easy.

I'm going to go through some real detailed nuance. That'll really unlock a lot of value. So stay tuned. Before I get into it. How did I get to this topic? Well, there's a story that I often tell whenever I'm chatting with VCs and as a story about a friend of mine who are. Came up with, on the junior VC circuit, [00:01:00] we did a lot of work together.

He even invested in one of my companies. Um, In order to keep him anonymous. I'll just call him. John. For short, John sends a newsletter, a personal newsletter. Every once in a while. And I'm often telling him whenever I catch up with him that. Of all the things he does of the dinners he hosts of the speaking engagements he has. Of the good work that he does.

One of the most valuable assets he has as a venture capitalist is this newsletter. It does an amazing job of getting into my inbox, reminding me of who he is. Um, and just really thinking about him, which is so key in a venture capitalist job. Now. before I jumped into this, let's all consider the job of a venture capitalist. The job of the venture capitalist is to do great deals. In order to do great deals, you need to find great deals. And one of the best sources for great deals for, for VCs is referrals. They need [00:02:00] people. To send good deals to them.

Now This leads me to another story, which is I was going on a VC date with a friend VC dates happen all the time. It's, you know, you've heard of a VC. You've never met them before. You've never spent time with them.

Let's get a coffee. Let's hang out, let's get to know each other and let's create a relationship. Maybe there will be opportunities to collaborate in the future. So I was going on this VC date. Um, and this VC, this particular VC ed starts talking about a deal that he's doing. And it sounds super interesting.

A repeat founder or someone who had hard-earned unique insight, went down one path and then went to start another company. And I'm like, that sounds great. How did you find out about it? It turns out. He heard about it. He got it sent to him. Uh, by my close friend, Paul, Brico the founder of amplify, the pre-seed fund out of LA.

That's done a lot of amazing deals. Paul and I were colleagues at Greycroft. Uh, he's angel invested in [00:03:00] my companies. Uh, we become personal friends. I'm close with his wife. A great friend. And yet I didn't hear about this deal. And I said, Yeah. That's one of those deals that I would have liked to have heard of. From Paul. So why does that happen?

Well, it happens because the way VCs operate, even with the best in class CRM systems and note taking devices on who's in their network and who might like to see deals at the end of the day, VC's operate on LIFO That's last in first out. That means. Whoever they're thinking about at the time whoever's top of mind That's one of the first five people that they'll send a deal to.

So there'll be like, oh, you know, I just got coffee with ed. I'll send them this deal right. And it doesn't also, it doesn't only pertain to the people that they will send deals to, but it also pertains to the deals that they'll share with VCs So when they're going on these coffee [00:04:00] dates, or when they're catching up with friends who are VCs. They're often sharing deals. And they'll share deals within their portfolio.

They'll share deals that they've heard about. But the deals they share, whether or not they're in, in their portfolio are the deals that they've been thinking about the deals that are top of mind Which is a big insight for, for founders of companies. That being top of mind, having an awareness for your company is extremely important when it comes to things like fundraising.

[00:05:00] Okay, so back. Two levels up inception style will go out of the story of ed and Paul back into the story of John. So let's talk about that story of John and his newsletter. So. Obviously you can tell that the point of the story of John is that. His newsletter helps keep him top of mind with [00:06:00] people in his network.

Sure. And before you roll your eyes and say, ah, the idea of a VC newsletter. Is obvious. Let me be a little bit more specific. You're thinking about a VC newsletter as in the gray craft newsletter, the newsletter that shares. All the deals that we recently did recently did updates on the portfolio and that's good and all, but the thing that I really like about John's newsletter is, is that it's a personal newsletter.

It's a newsletter about him. Not necessarily his firm. And because of that, he can be much more personal in the newsletter. It doesn't only have to be about. Deals and deal flow and provide this value. It only has to be about him. So in his newsletter, he opens it. He always opens it with a photo of his family, his kids, as they're growing up. Uh, and like one or two sentences about what's been happening in their world.

And then he adds some really simple things like what I'm [00:07:00] reading and some thoughts. Some articles that he's enjoyed. And maybe a closing statement. It's a really short newsletter that gets me to understand what's going on. Is life kind of makes me smile and then I move on. The main jobs to be done for this newsletter are one. To land in the inbox and remind me that John exists. Too. It needs to be. Interesting enough, just interesting enough. So that I stay subscribed. And then too, it can't be so annoying. It can't be every day.

Can't be like in my face. And like so dense that when I open it, I'm like, I don't want to see this. That I don't unsubscribe as well. So it's this. Really basic, simple format that will allow him to every time he sends it. Get bumped to the top of the list. Remind people that he exists. So whenever his newsletter comes into your inbox, You can be like, oh, John. Maybe I'll send a deal to [00:08:00] John. So think about that. Think about creating a personal newsletter, something that you can own independent of the firm that you're at, that can follow you from wherever you go and whatever you're doing. And think of a very simple format, something that lightly makes people smile, reminds them of who you are. And then moves on that's all it needs to do.

So that's the pro tip around generating more deal flow as a venture capitalist. And maybe some insights into investor psychology and what they need to do to stay top of mind for all you founders out there. All right. That's this episode of the back channel. We'll see you next time.

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