The Global VC

The Power of Personal Branding: How Mac Conwell Used Twitter to Fuel his VC Career

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When Mac Conwell embarked on his journey into venture capital, his primary focus wasn’t on the branding of his fund. Instead, he dedicated most of his time and energy to crafting his personal brand. His commitment to building a powerful personal brand became the driving force behind RareBreed Ventures. 

So how did he do it? How did Mac grow his Twitter following of around 3,000 to over 90,000 in just 3 years? 

Crafting his Brand: “Mac the VC”

Prior to even considering starting his own fund, Mac prioritized using social platforms like Twitter and Medium to express his thoughts and perspectives.

He adopted the Twitter handle “Mac the VC,” strategically associating himself with the role of a venture capitalist even before delving into discussions about his investment experience. 

By consistently sharing valuable content, he provided startup founders with valuable insights into the mindset of venture capitalists. This dedication to offering helpful information enabled him to build a reputation as a knowledgeable resource within the entrepreneurial community.

Mac is a VC Unlocked: Silicon Valley 2019 Alum, leveraging the program to fine-tune his fundraising skills and investment thesis. Even as he focused on his education ramped up for his first fund, Mac remained committed to maintaining an active presence on Twitter.

As his online following grew on Twitter, Mac utilized the opportunity to establish connections. When VCs began following him, he proactively reached out to them. With a well-crafted introductory message and a Calendly link, he secured meetings with interested individuals, filling his calendar with networking opportunities.

In one of his first 25 calls, which lasted around 30 minutes each,- a GP committed $10,000 to his fund. 

“I didn’t know GPS could do that. And then it just clicked. The more I tweet, the more founders I help, the more other VCs start following me, the more people I can meet with to learn, and potentially get some funding from these folks,” Mac said in a recent conversation. 

Mac’s personal network got him his first $400k. But twitter helped him find the last 9.6MM. 

He didn’t plan on becoming a solo GP. He knew his deficiencies and was looking for a partner to complement his skills and support him in areas where he lacked. However, after spending three years honing in and sculpting his thesis, he truly believed in it. He was confident enough to go out on his own and felt he didn’t need to bring on a partner.

Unleashing an Authentic Voice 

Over the past few years, Mac encountered the inevitable challenges and lessons that come with a first fund, all while navigating personal milestones such as marriage and parenthood.  Even after successfully raising his first fund, he received pushback on a number of his perspectives including his approach as a generalist. Mac realized that no matter what he said or did, it was impossible to please everyone. 

“Through my Twitter rise, I realized that there are enough people that see my viewpoint in the world as not being crazy and I don’t need to make everybody happy. And the moment I realized that, I was so much more comfortable in my own voice,” Mac said. 

Discovering the freedom to express his hot takes and controversial opinions was a transformative experience for Mac. It granted him the greenlight to be his authentic self and share openly, which has been the most liberating lesson he has learned in the past three years.

As Mac embraced his genuine voice, he also discovered his superpower—the ability to evoke positive emotions. When founders and colleagues speak about him, they often describe him as a positive and generous individual. This emotional aspect forms the core of his personal branding. Mac wholeheartedly embraces his talent for making people feel comfortable and inspired, leveraging storytelling as a significant component of his brand identity.

Deal Flow and Fundraising

As his brand grew larger, his VC network grew stronger.  Mac’s efforts over the past five years have resulted in a network of over 4,000 other VCs. He often leverages these connections on behalf of the founders he supports. Utilizing his network and Twitter following, Mac effectively promotes his founders’ names and generates interest from other venture capitalists.

On top of that, Mac’s strong personal brand elevates his deal flow. Founders frequently approach him, wanting to include him on their cap table. They are drawn to his brand and the opportunity to diversify. Mac’s authenticity within his personal brand has attracted founders, leading them to actively seek him out and create deals tailored specifically for him. This alignment of his brand with founders’ interests has expanded his industry reach and influence.

Mac’s journey is unique. His authentic voice, ability to evoke emotions, and strong personal brand not only attracted VCs and founders but also led to networking opportunities, investments, and overall success in the industry.

Learn more about Mac and RareBreed Ventures

Mac is a VC Unlocked: Silicon Valley 2019 Alumni. VC Unlocked: Silicon Valley, offered in collaboration with the Stanford Center for Professional Development, is an invite-only, educational program for emerging leaders who want to shape the future of the venture capital industry. Learn more about our upcoming VC Unlocked: Silicon Valley program.