As an independent financial advisor, or an advisor who is transitioning to independence, networking is your jam. Or is it?
Putting yourself out there can be a chore for some of us, so try to remember it can help you work both on your independent business and in your independent business.
Then start exploring these opportunities:
1. Community Network
From Rotary Clubs to chambers of commerce, local networking helps you build your brand and reputation as an independent financial advisor and practice your communication skills. Sign up for a pro-bono event, rent a booth at the harvest festival or volunteer at the local food pantry to get involved and get your name out there.
2. Niche market events
You’ve identified your ideal clientele. If it’s a group you already have something in common with, it may be easier to build a relationship with them. For example, if you ride motorcycles and your niche is Harley-Davidson riders age 55 and up, check out the local dealer’s bike nights. Or join a running club if you’re targeting a younger crowd that’s likely to be fitness minded. The point is, every group has some type of meet-up event. Get them on your calendar.
3. Universities/local colleges
Some transitioning advisors might overlook these sources of potential interns. Their career days or job fairs can also be a good way to staff your independent practice once you’re established with enough work to support the extra hands.
Forming and maintaining relationships with registered investment advisors can be a huge asset to your new firm. When one of your former RIA peers has a prospect that doesn’t meet their company’s minimum balance requirement, it could spell a referral for you.
5. Peers times two
You now have two sets of peers to network with. Meet other financial advisors at association functions or industry conferences. They’re great for leads, support, trends and tips, not to mention a potential future business partner. Business owners offer support to you and your independent practice from the ownership angle, even if they’re fellow tenants in an office building commiserating over rent hikes or trash service.
Networks are important to build your client base and your independent practice. They’re also a reminder as you’re gaining your independence that you’re not alone.