Email FacebookTwitterMenu burgerClose thin

How to Network as a Financial Advisor


As a financial advisor, networking can be a great way to build your professional contacts list and engage with prospective clients. After all, you’ve likely heard that it’s who you know, not what you know, that matters in business. And that’s true to some extent since making the right connections at the right time could help open doors. Knowing how to network as a financial advisor can be key to growing your business.

Are you looking to expand the marketing of your financial advisor practice? Try SmartAsset AMP, a holistic client prospecting and marketing automation platform.

Why Is Networking Important for Financial Advisors?

Your network can be a pipeline for opportunities and if you’re not tending it regularly, it could be at risk of running dry. Networking can help you establish your reputation in the finance space, which may be helpful if you’re looking for opportunities to advance your career. It’s also easier to position yourself as an expert in your specific niche if your name is recognizable to other advisors or industry leaders.

If you’re new to the advisory space, networking can be a good way to find a mentor if that’s something you’re looking for. A mentor can be invaluable if they’re willing to offer guidance and advice as you work on building your business. The larger your professional circle, the greater the possibility of connecting with someone who may be comfortable assuming that role.

Networking is also a chance to meet with prospective clients in an informal setting. You may be leveraging digital marketing and social media to promote your business, but networking events can bring you together face-to-face. That’s a chance for you to showcase what it is that makes you and your business unique.

How to Network as a Financial Advisor

SmartAsset: How to network as a financial advisor

There are different ways to expand your professional network, and some may be more attractive than others. Before you get too far along in the process, it helps to consider what your goals are for networking. That can determine where you focus your time and energy.

With that in mind, here are three of the best options for networking as a financial advisor.

1. Join a Professional Association

Professional associations can be a great place to start with networking, as they may facilitate connections between members. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), for example, has a Community feature that allows member advisors to join in open discussions. Advisors can also network in person at NAPFA’s annual spring and fall conference events.

You can also look for local associations to join that are specific to your area. That can include professional associations as well as community associations, such as a Rotary Club or Kiwanis Club chapter. These types of associations can provide opportunities for networking as well as a chance to give back to your community.

2. Participate in Community Events

Local events may yield opportunities to meet other advisors or increase your visibility in the community. There may be an advisor meetup group you could join that gets together for networking once a month, for instance. Or you may attend a local small business fair sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

If those types of events are few and far between in your area, you could take the lead and create one yourself. For example, you might establish a meetup group and invite other advisors in a similar niche. Or you may approach the chamber of commerce or a local college about hosting a free financial workshop that’s targeted toward your ideal client.

3. Don’t Neglect Social Media

Social media and digital marketing can be powerful tools for networking and elevating your advisory business. LinkedIn, for example, can be an excellent resource for building professional connections with advisors and other individuals in the finance industry.

You can also use social media to network with prospective clients informally. For example, if your target audience spends a lot of time on TikTok, then it might be worth your while to learn how to make short clips that are packed with valuable tips. Or you might opt to spend time on Twitter or YouTube if that’s where the followers you’d most like to attract hang out.

4. Meet Regularly With Other Financial Advisors

Most financial advisors aren’t willing to just serve anyone who reaches out to them. Most have very specific criteria for potential clients that they are looking for. It’s important for these potential clients to meet criteria such as how much money they have to invest, the types of investments they want to focus on or even the stage of life they are at.

Meeting with financial advisors who focus on areas that are different from yours can be advantageous because it can help you gain new clients as you can send business back and forth to each other. Those relationships can be a great source of potential leads and help provide you with some support in your local area as you meet with like-minded professionals.

5. Stay in Touch With Recruiters in the Industry

There is a great opportunity for you to network with executive recruiters who specialize in the industry, if you’re looking to rapidly grow your firm. These professionals will have the best viewpoint for those who are looking to move to a new firm in the industry, which could give you a leg up when you’re ready to hire new financial advisors to meet your anticipated growth.

You can typically stay in touch with them by having a networking chat every few months when you’re not looking to hire and then holding regular meetings when you’re actively recruiting. Holding a breakfast or coffee meeting to talk about the industry and who’s moving could be a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the advisor job market.

Tips for Networking as a Financial Advisor

SmartAsset: How to network as a financial advisor

Knowing where to position yourself for networking is important, but that’s only part of the equation. If you want to know how to network as a financial advisor successfully, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind.

  • Ask questions: When you meet someone new, that person is essentially a blank page. Asking questions can help you to fill in the blanks. The best kinds of questions to ask are ones that leave room for an open-ended answer versus a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. That can make it easier to keep the conversation going and develop a back-and-forth discussion.
  • Listen: Once you start asking questions, take time to listen to the answers and absorb what the other person is saying. That can give you insight into their thought patterns and guide you as to what questions to ask next. And if they’re the ones asking the questions, try to answer without rambling or going too far off-topic.
  • Have a Pitch Ready: You will want to have a quick pitch ready that you can deliver on a moment’s notice once you’ve spent some time with others. You’ll want to sound casual while getting across your point and gaining interest in your firm or services, or a potential partnership. Your pitch should include a quick overview of what you do, who you serve and how you can help the person you’re speaking with.
  • Be a Facilitator: Networking isn’t a one-way street and it’s possible that you might be in a position to make an introduction for someone else. Doing so could help you get in the good books of both parties. The key is to make sure the connection is a good one and that both people will benefit from becoming acquainted with the other. If one party ends up dissatisfied, that could reflect negatively on you.
  • Follow up: Once you make a new connection you’ll need to do a little more work to maintain it. That might be as simple as a monthly phone call or email just to say hello. And if someone you’ve networked with reaches out to you, don’t leave them hanging. A short, sweet reply to an email or a quick 5-minute chat may be all that’s needed to let that person know you haven’t forgotten about them.

Once you’ve put in all of this work to help you network, make sure you have an end goal in mind. If what you want to accomplish is to gain more client leads then you need to develop a good strategy for asking for those leads at some point in the relationship. The more you network, the better you can become at closing the deal on your end goal.

If you find that your networking opportunities aren’t producing enough leads to grow at the rate you desire, you may want to try adding another type of lead generation. For example, online lead generation could provide you with a steady flow of potential clients to supplement your networking efforts. SmartAsset’s Advisor Marketing Platform offers financial advisors services like client lead generation, automated marketing and more. Learn about SmartAsset AMP today.

Bottom Line

Networking is an important part of what you do as an advisor and it can be critical to scaling your business. There’s more than one way to build a network effectively and it may be helpful to experiment with different ideas to see what yields the biggest payoff. Ultimately, what works for you could be radically different from another advisor, even if you live in the same area or focus on the same part of the industry.

Financial Advisor Marketing Tips

  • SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is a holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Sign up for a free demo to explore how SmartAsset AMP can help you expand your practice’s marketing operation. Get started today.
  • Vet prospects online. If you don’t have a lot of time to focus on networking, there’s a simpler solution. You could use a service that connects you directly with prospective clients online. SmartAdvisor, our lead generation platform, allows you to connect with local prospects directly. You pay only for investors that fit your ideal client profile, saving your business money and time.
  • Expand your digital footprint. More people are increasingly turning to search engines to find financial advisors to work with. If you’re not leveraging the power of search yet with a website, blog or social media, using an online lead generation service like SmartAsset can help you scale your business as you work on establishing your online presence.

Photo credit: ©, ©, ©