With the increasing competition and levels of marketing sophistication in the financial advisory industry, no financial advisor can afford to go it alone. Therefore, professional networking is not merely a luxury but a key element of success. This lifeline can guide financial professionals to connect with other professionals for knowledge exchange, client referrals, and joint delivery of services, enriching the advisors and the Centers of Influence (COI) businesses.

But what if you’re an independent financial professional?  How can you network with other professionals if you run your own business as a sole practitioner?   This is where an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) can play a big part. An OSJ can help to create the time to network with other professionals.

Read our popular Quick Guide, “Why Independent Financial Professionals Partner with OSJs.” 

The article will explore ways an OSJ can help you expand your professional network as an independent financial advisor

Why is Professional Networking Important for Independent Financial Advisors? 

In the financial services industry, networking is vital because the business environment is largely based on credibility, trust, and personal relationships. As a financial professional, you must deal with these marketing issues – while helping clients achieve their financial goals. 

You already know your best leads are referrals from other professionals who investors already trust. That trust can help you convert more leads into revenue-producing clients. The bigger your network, the more referrals you may receive.  

For financial advisors, creating your professional network should go beyond exchanging business cards at events or adding connections on LinkedIn. It is about establishing meaningful relationships with professionals who provide advice and services that do not compete with yours. 

A strong professional network can also connect you with other professionals who can provide different services that benefit clients you have in common – for example, tax and legal. 

How Professional Networks Can Influence Career Growth, Client Retention, and New Client Growth

Professional networking is a critical component of success in the financial services industry. For financial advisors, investing time and energy in building a robust professional network can yield significant benefits, including client retention and new client growth.

  • Active networking helps increase visibility within your community. It allows you to demonstrate your expertise, build your brand, and enhance your reputation, making you a go-to resource for financial advice.
  • Networking can directly influence a financial advisor’s business growth by providing opportunities for new clients, mentorships, collaborations, and merger/acquisition opportunities. 
  • Networking can help you stay abreast of industry developments, regulations, and innovative financial products. This knowledge empowers you to provide the best possible advice to your clients, increasing satisfaction and loyalty, and client retention.
  • A strong professional network can be a significant source of new clients. Referrals from satisfied clients or other professionals within the network are frequently a financial advisor’s highest-quality leads. Because these referrals already come with a level of trust and confidence based on the referring relationship, they are more likely to convert into clients.

Connecting the Dots: OSJ and Professional Networking

In addition to providing back-office support, an OSJ can provide a network that fosters networking among professionals in different disciplines. 

The inherent structure of an OSJ includes numerous financial professionals working under a single umbrella, which provides a platform for them to interact, share ideas, and forge business relationships. Although independent financial professionals have their own independent business models and brands, the OSJ structure encourages financial advisors to share client experiences, investment strategies, and industry trends with the other advisors associated with the OSJ. 

Affiliation through an OSJ promotes inter-professional dialogues, stimulates creativity, and contributes to forming a cohesive professional community that thrives on shared insights and collaboration. For example, an OSJ advisor in one city may refer another OSJ member to networking opportunities in other cities.

This frequent interaction with like-minded professionals ultimately leads to formal and informal networking, which can open new avenues for new ideas, business practices, professional growth, adding new clients, and other business opportunities.

How an OSJ Can Provide Mentorship and Peer Learning to Independent Financial Professionals

An OSJ can also play a vital role in mentorship and peer learning within the network of financial professionals it supports. Experienced advisors, often the OSJ’s principal, provide guidance and support and share their wealth of knowledge with financial advisors who do not have a lot of networking experience.

This mentorship accelerates the learning process for less experienced advisors and equips them with practical skills and industry insights that are critical for their success. 

Additionally, the collaborative nature of an OSJ allows for peer-to-peer learning and demonstrations to enhance understanding and utilization of technology or other practice management tools which can be done on virtual calls or in-person meetings. 

Often times, these sessions may include a panel of industry experts, seasoned practitioners, and tech gurus to facilitate discussions, share insights, and present innovative solutions. The panels might conduct live demonstrations of cutting-edge technology or practice management tools, outlining their usage, benefits, and potential challenges. They guide peers through the intricacies of the software, revealing how it can streamline tasks, increase productivity, and enhance client experience. 

This gives independent financial professionals the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their concerns directly with the panel, promoting an interactive, learning-friendly environment. This method serves as a powerful way for the OSJ to stay at the forefront of technological advancements and promote best practices within their sphere of influence.

By encouraging a culture of continuous learning and sharing best practices, an OSJ can help financial professionals enhance their services, comply with industry standards, and stay ahead of the curve in building networks of professionals. 

If you are looking for a collaborative environment to enhance your professional network, consider talking with the team at Evolution Financial Advisors. At EFA, we firmly believe in the power of networking as a vital contributor to the success of our financial professionals. 

The effectiveness of our organization significantly influences the outcomes achieved by you and your team.  We regularly organize social and professional events to foster your team-building and networking efforts. 
These events give our financial advisors opportunities to connect with the EFA team, our strategic associates, and thought leaders in the industry. Connect with us to learn more about our comprehensive services for independent financial professionals.

Large Enterprise/OSJ
Chris Virgil

More about the author: Chris Virgil

Chris is the assistant vice president at Evolution Financial Advisors. He works to help advisors grow their businesses and gain a sense of freedom. Chris is a business and behavioral coach working with existing EFA financial professionals to create a more fulfilling practice, streamline operations, and enhance client experience.