Personal experience of a Russian immigrant: how to find investors or work in the US through LinkedIn

Blogger Ivan Dyakov gave valuable advice to startups that plan to attract investments in the United States, companies and entrepreneurs who want to enter the American market, as well as those who are planning to move to USA and want to find work before moving. He wrote about this in his blog on Vc.ru.

Личный опыт русскоязычного иммигранта: как найти инвесторов или работу в США через LinkedIn

Photo by the author

Hereinafter in the first person.

I will disassemble only the example of LinkedIn and his experience (one and a half years living in USA). A detailed guide is also suitable for Europe and Canada.

So, before you one of the tasks identified in the heading of the article. So you need to make a plan for the conquest of America and be sure to include the “conquering LinkedIn”. And this is no joke.

LinkedIn today — this is the largest professional network in the world. A total of over 575 million people from around the world and over 150 million of them live in the United States (statistics groups).

Attention: you need a year or at least six months since my recommendations were not character spam carpet-bombing on your potential partners, employers or investors. It is about careful cultivation of your network of contacts in the United States.

Here is my list of required tools and items which helped me to grow my networking just a year before 3500 targeted contacts:

  1. Well-written profile is your professional resume.
  2. List of scripts for the friend request, correspondences and the like.
  3. A minimum of one hour a day, five days a week to work on your profile.
  4. Desirable separate site with your portfolio.
  5. Any CRM where you will record interesting contacts.
  6. Any calendar service to a recipient to quickly negotiate with you about the call.
  7. VPN service, if your browser does not open LinkedIn.
  8. Having a goal — what you want to achieve by their actions and when.

Well-written profile is your professional resume

Register your profile short name in the link below to share your profile in the social network, if required. No need to write nicknames, year of birth and more.

The main profile language choose English. I didn’t know that then you cannot change the main language now, although all write in English, when you download profile headers remain in Russian. So to send partners their portfolio using a profile on angel.co.

Photos — from work, from school, in the professional setting, the shirt. Photos from parties, from Facebook, Instagram and Vkontakte leave for friends. Be sure to put a photo on the cover.

Summary does not mean that you are in a job search, it is your professional card. It is done almost the same way as summary. Therefore, the recommendations in common.

The main difference from the Russian summary — here you need to write, not what did and what did. Only numbers and facts. Positive dynamics. For example, during operation, the client base grew by 20% or CTR in the same ad project was 5%.

Title — should reflect either your current working status or what you do. It should also be specific. Not the “sales Manager” and “top 100 managers in Moscow.” If there is no merit direct, you can write “reduce business costs two times” or “work three times faster” and so on.

Any flight of fancy, which will allow the search for potential partners or recruiters to select you from the crowd. Incidentally, the profile is not very good the title is painted, so soon I will rule, based on its own recommendations.

Then the biggest difference — a summary. Here you tell about yourself, your professional life in a few sentences. The goal is that after reading the summary it became clear, and why you need a partner, investor or company.

Allowed everything about their achievements and advantages. Definitely a few key words (key words), which also helps in the results to bring your profile above others.

Lard key words, like duck with apples, your summary is not necessary. Also allowed a few words about you outside of work/business. For example, I wrote about children’s Hobbies (martial arts and books), which then I can use in the business (read more in my profile).

It is desirable to write without errors, I ran the text through Grammarly service (costs as an extension in the browser) and give to read the media, if you write very important text or a quotation.

Place of work — to write only about the relevant experience! Or one that shows your strengths and best achievements. Your contribution necessarily in numbers, the dynamics of growth. If you worked in different companies, projects, create a separate profile for these companies. And the choice of work place in search to find them. In the profile of the company post any detailed information.

If worked in the same company for several years and changed positions, then write it to indicate the dynamics of your professional growth and achievements.

The place of study, certificates, projects, languages, volunteer activity is mandatory. Especially volunteer work.

Skills, or skills— choose all (maximum of 50) that you actually own. The top three most important. Mainly on them and you will then judge. Including the number received endorsments (assessment of skills and other friends, is about it).

Connect to groups that interest you. If this group is closed, write the connection request.

All written, all indicated? Great, now try to download your profile and see how many of its pages.

If you expect this to look for a job, then a maximum of two sheets, taking into account the experience of over ten years. If you search for partners, investors and customers — a maximum of three sheets.

List of scripts for the friend request, correspondences, and other tasks

Why you need scripts:

  • to write an invitation or make contact;
  • to say “thank you” for the connection;
  • ask for an Intro or submit it;
  • to congratulate happy birthday and a professional event;
  • any other scripts follow-up.

In Google search for “LinkedIn templates” and depending on the purpose add connection, endorsement and so on.

Remember, LinkedIn is now very much spam, and write your unique selling proposition once you add in friends not worth it in any case!

A minimum of one hour a day, five days a week to work on my profile

This includes: sending greetings, comments, evaluation skills of other users, search for new contacts and send requests to be “friends”, writing feedback to those who asked questions or “thank you” to those who are connected to you. Edit the profile to perfection.

Add everyone you can in the beginning when you have zero networking. Next, write all the personalized query. Do not overdo by adding unknown contacts, you can block. That’s why one hour a day is enough to make you not “overworked”.

If you don’t know the person, who to contact, and write. Honestly, and immediately and why you want to be added. It works almost 100% of cases.

Endorsements, or the assessment of the skills of your contacts. I had thought about it, and it turns out it somehow affect the search results and the overall look of your profile.

My life hack: recently started all their “friends” to evaluate, not only the three skills that are immediately visible in the profile, but most of the others. It immediately attracted attention, as local have long known that it is necessary to assess the skills that you liked. Therefore, assessing more than necessary.

Desirable separate site with your portfolio

It does not necessarily possess programming skills, layout or know how to build a website on WordPress. One of the options — Tilda, other — create your blog from Google. Take ready-made forms — and forward.

Plus when you buy a domain to make a memorable title or hook up email that will only communicate with contacts from the USA.

I specially portfolio did not, as there are either projects under NDA or projects have been closed for various reasons. There is a little bit in my previous article and profile on LinkedIn.

Keep in mind that implemented in the Russian projects few people will care in the United States.

Any CRM where you will record interesting contacts

If you plan to later integrate your CRM with different foreign services, then keep in mind that CRM-type “Bitrix24” and amoCRM lot of things do not support. While migrating a large database to another CRM can greatly complicate the work. I use Pipedrive, but not necessarily for the first time enough Excel.

In CRM making all who in any way expressed to you, your project, product, or personal interest. Be sure to standardize the cards of those who are going to make.

For example, “partner VC”, “business-angel”, “how to make an Intro”, then it will be easier to do a quick search. Be sure to save in CRM important details of the correspondence. In CRM I have more than 1000 contacts and 450 different talks in five different projects, or funnels, so that only the account helps not to forget and to remain effective in every contact.

Create notes on General topics and conversations do not need. I write only when the contact became a lead for one of my projects.

Any calendar service to a recipient to quickly negotiate with you about the call

I use a free service Calendly to work with customers from Russia, which need project management in the United States. Short link and short description to your contact understand what it was about and he could choose a convenient time to call. An example in Russian.

For those who live in the United States, of course, everything should be in English. For the charity US Charity where I volunteer and co-founder, send everyone an invitation in English. An example in English — at the end of the article.

All versions of invitations for each project integrated with CRM and “Google Calendar” that helps when working in different time zones.

VPN service, if your browser does not opens LinkedIn

Living in Russia, I did not use LinkedIn, including due to the blocking of this resource. And it is not thought he will ever need until the fates were not in the United States.

I think that the “lock” Telegram all know about this term and why we need VPN, so to elaborate I won’t.

Having a goal — what you want to achieve by their actions and when

For example, you won a green card and do not know how to find a job in the United States. Your goal is to find as quickly as possible, for one to two months after moving to the United States, “a dream job”. Of course, even better to find a before moving. LinkedIn is now one of the most effective tools for this.

Start looking for any possible contacts in your area, using the filter to search, to understand how your experience is relevant and what requirements and market conditions. You will have just six months to a year since you were selected in the Diversity Visa Lottery before coming to the United States.

Once your network of contacts will be 300-400 people and your profile will be completely filled, start looking for recruiters and add them to friends. Again, using scripts for recruiters — and they should differ from conventional scripts for professional contacts.

If your goal is to get into the accelerator, start looking for alumni, partners and founders of the accelerator and gradually make contact with them. This will help you when you apply for participation in the accelerator and will need feedback or Intro for a partner who sits on incoming applications.

Also I recommend to use any tool product managers to plan and achieve their goals. I work in Trello, several different boards for different projects.

If you’re looking for customers in different projects or in different directions, it is very convenient and eliminates confusion. Plus, a knowledge base, as it will be a lot of new information in English.

If you are looking for a partner or want to open a branch in USA

Is more difficult, as sometimes you need as fast as possible and not six months to a year for a growing network of contacts. In this case, the options are not much:

  1. Apply, if not, go out in the field. But already there — as lucky.
  2. Looking for a management company or team to manage your project. There is now enough. You can also find on UpWork project Manager. Do the terms of reference and set KPIs — all standard.
  3. The best option — if someone you know recommends a team that already has a real market experience in the US, your networking and actual performance.

Remember, in the United States to sell the words more than in fact can do (“Fake it ’til you make it”), so “word of mouth” is the best option of finding a team.