Solid Water Marketing Agency Blog

This is what people do after reading your pitch deck

This is what investors do after reading your pitch deck:
They google your name.

Daria Partas, Strategic Communications Advisor and co-founder of Solid Water:
All founders need to accept that their digital footprint requires some good care. The importance of a founder’s reputation cannot be undervalued, hands down. For startups raising investor funds, it is absolutely critical because the first thing investors do when they see a pitch deck that triggers interest is google the founder(s) names.
There are already plenty of tips in respectable sources on how to build a founder’s reputation. However, the reality is such that the dilemma remains and each and every founder we meet and speak with is still puzzled as to how to make their name and credentials work for them without spending too much of their precious time.
There are two main principles to resolving this problem of scarce resources:
🔎 Be highly selective in your engagement.
🔎 Focus on SERM, or search engine reputation management.
Keeping focus on SERM is actually the answer to point number one.
If one thinks of their reputation through the lens of Googleability of one’s name, it becomes easy to prioritise, what to do as you are building your [digital] profile.
Without delving too deeply into the logic of Google’s search algorithms, here is what you need to do step by step to make sure your digital footprint is coherent, positive and leaves little room for judgments.
👩💻 LinkedIn (obviously)
Annoyingly, there is absolutely no way around LinkedIn. From experience, I know that taking control over one’s LinkedIn presence can be a daunting task because it is indeed time-consuming. If you are not yet in a position to hire a personal brand manager, the bare minimum that you have to do includes the following ⤵️
Your LinkedIn profile is not a CV, it is literally your profile as a founder of your business. So if you are building rockets today (as one of our clients does), it might be worth removing your job as a barista 25 years ago. There is nothing wrong with having been a barista, but unless you are the founder of Grind, it has no place on your business card (which LinkedIn sort of is the modern-day digital business card).
👩💻 Recommendations
Last but not least, do make an effort to ask people in your network for recommendations to add to your LinkedIn profile. It’s a great and subtle way to endorse your credibility before the investors.
Maria Tsarkova, Growth Marketer and co-founder of Solid Water:
We think a good example of a founder profile is Neil Tanna’s LinkedIn. Not ideally, the About section is empty, and Recommendations are scarce, but everything else looks pretty good and presents a consistent and coherent narrative.

👩💻 Personal website
It is not a vanity project. It is a great tool to secure a forever spot on Google’s top search results when your name is googled. The website should highlight your professional credentials and maybe shed light on your personality. So if you enjoy oil painting or photography, you can always dedicate a separate page to showcasing your works. A personal website is also the right place to talk about your charity and volunteer projects. You can also have a separate webpage for your thought leadership (blog).
Start the Quiz
Maria Tsarkova, Growth Marketer and co-founder of Solid Water:
A great example of an entrepreneur who has built a really cool personal website is Timothy Armoo, the founder of Fanbytes. Bookmark it as a reference point.

👩💻 Media coverage
Many think of media coverage as a marketing tool to get publicity for their business or product. In fact, it is much easier to secure media mentions for a person rather than a business. As a person you won’t write press releases about yourself (unless you are a celebrity but then you don’t need to read this article). But you can be featured in an editorial article of the tech or business trade media by offering a comment as an industry leader (or future leader). This doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Explore Basecamp service from FieldHouse Associates, a London-based tech PR firm, which is a great option for tech founders. Once you generate some media mentions, add links to the Blog on your personal website.
👩💻 Wikipedia
When you have at least one media mention, get yourself a Wikipedia article. It is not a joke. Wikipedia is one of the best-indexed internet sources. It can be risky if you have ‘baggage’. So if you previously had some undesirable publicity, Wikipedia writers will add it as a chapter to your story, but if your past is crystal clear and you have no skeletons in your closet, Wikipedia is absolutely the best way to boost your Google search results. However, you are not able to start a Wiki article unless you have third-party endorsement (aka media mentions).
❗️Here is a little trick for you. If you have zero ideas on how to break the wall of the UK media, think of any affiliation you might have to another country where the media market is less saturated and secure some coverage there. It may be cheaper and easier to generate publicity, but Wikipedia doesn’t care and will accept articles in any language as a reference.
👩💻 Thought leadership
I cannot help mentioning submitting expert articles to the trade media but if you are not quite there yet and nobody is inviting you to a podcast, think Medium. This is an open platform ‘where readers find dynamic thinking, and, where expert and undiscovered voices can share their writing on any topic’. Medium is a shortcut to being featured as a googlable expert.
Maria Tsarkova, Growth Marketer and co-founder of Solid Water:
See how a renowned Silicon Valley entrepreneur and mentor, Bret Waters, does it with his 4.5k followers.

👩💻 Photoshoot
Lastly, do not forget about a professional photoshoot to populate these digital platforms with pictures of yourself, which are not going to undermine all your profile-building efforts. It may seem like a nice-to-have rather than a necessity but it’s much more than that. People like to put a face to a name, so make sure that face looks professional.
Anna Naidich, Social Media and Content Manager:
Here is your checklist for the perfect profile photo:
📸 Use a high-resolution image with the ideal size of 400 x 400 pixels.
📸 Ensure your face is prominently visible, occupying at least 60% of the frame. Crop out any unnecessary elements to keep the focus on you.
📸 Wondering about your facial expression? Opt for a friendly smile to put users at ease. Maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera.
📸 Dress in neutral, casual attire. Avoid being overly formal — there's no need for a tie, cufflinks, and your best outfit all at once. Naturalness is key here.
📸 Utilize natural lighting for a more genuine look. Avoid excessive use of filters, although it can be tempting 😜
As you are gaining publicity and digital exposure and your name becomes a brand of its own, you will see more attention from the public to your past. People will be looking to explain your success. The media will do more due diligence when writing about your business. In some industries, these background checks may be quite sophisticated.
SERM is not just about boosting one’s online presence but also removing some search results altogether. Some rather successful founders have applied targeted effort to remove all information even remotely suggesting that the success of their brand is nothing but the result of their extraordinary business talents. These would include Olivia von Halle whose noble background is completely erased from her digital footprint.

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