Career Improvement Through Networking

We know that networking is the name of the game as a financial advisor. However, it is a skill all professionals should build even if you are not seeking clients or a career change. Networking allows you to also acquire new thinking and perspective. Non owner, non-advisor wealth management professionals should still get intentional with their networking plan.

Below are a few tips we have found helpful from experience and from our candidate’s experiences:

Here are a few ways to think about networking:

Strong Ties Audit: What are your strongest 50 relationships? These are often contacts you have known for a long time or have done something significant together. When you evaluate your strongest relationships, what do the majority have in common? What is “missing” (if anything) from your strongest ties in terms of thinking, industry, or other demographics that will help you learn or think differently to get to where you want to go?

Weak Ties: Weak ties are the connections you know but aren’t as close with or don’t interact with as frequently as your strong ties. It’s easier than ever to “stay connected” to these weaker ties. It is your weaker ties that may have the best chance to introduce you to new networks and new perspective, over time.

Gamify: Make a game of your networking efforts. Set a monthly mark to get introduced to X amount people that may have more knowledge or connections in a focus area.

Professional Communities: Professional communities come in all shapes in sizes. They can be broken down into networking groups (ex: BNI) , credential societies (ex: CFP) or more general business groups (chamber of commerce).

Study Group/ Mastermind Groups: We have seen candidates create their own groups, centered around a credentialed professionals with a subset to stay sharp and share ideas:

  • If you are a CFP instead of just looking to join the FPA, can you start a small group with people in a similar position as yours that is serving a certain client profile. [ex: paraplanners who’s practice deals mostly with physicians].

(In Person) Social Communities: How do you volunteer? How do you turn your hobbies into a social community (sports leagues, clubs, investment clubs). These should be centered around a passion, cause or hobby first.


Networking Mistakes:

· Expecting immediate results: If you think by attending a couple networking events or by joining a new group it will lead to new business opportunities, gaining mentorship, or some massive revelation early on, you’re mistaken. Relationships are built over time and trust is earned, so make sure to have realistic expectations and think long term.

· Not offering value: If you’re only seeking to gain something by networking others will quickly catch on. Make an effort to add value to your relationships by sharing knowledge and making introductions and you’ll be rewarded in the same way.

· Not following through or keeping in touch: If you told someone you’d make an introduction or share something they might find valuable, make sure to do it in a timely manner. If you meet people you’d like to stay connected with, set reminders for creative outreach every so often to develop the relationship further.

· Not being yourself: Don’t put on act. Don’t pretend to know more than you actually do. Don’t do all the talking. Listen, ask questions, and be genuine. Others can tell when someone is trying to be something they’re not and long-lasting relationships are built on authentic connections.