Last month, I ran a live training session for our program members called Network Mastery.
Over an hour, we unpacked why networking is key for practice growth, how to do it, and what to focus on. It reminded me of how important a strong personal and professional network can be, so I wanted to share some of the insights more widely.
The True Purpose of Networking
If it reminded me of one thing, it’s not only about building a network. Networking is about connection. A strong professional network is absolutely an accelerator of growth, and it can:
- Facilitate traction on social media through increased sharing and engagement.
- Simplify partnership building.
- Generate non-client referrals.
- Allow for better leverage of skills and activities.
- Introduce learning and growth opportunities you might otherwise not have known existed.
However, networking can’t just be about collecting contacts, shaking hands, exchanging business cards, or pitching relentlessly.
Building Genuine Relationships
Meeting people is important, but becoming someone others want to meet is crucial.
Networking has to be about building genuine relationships – people you like and who like you – that will help you grow your practice and achieve your goals, and vice versa. A connection that can only come by listening, learning, and ultimately helping others.
Networking as an Ongoing Process
Networking is not something that ever stops.
For new advice firms, those first clients usually come directly from your established network. Client referrals, partnerships, digital – that all comes later.
But it’s not just for new businesses; it remains important even for established businesses and when new advisors are joining the team.
Regularly assess the quality of your network and seek ways to improve it and add value. Ask yourself:
- Who are you currently learning from?
- Who are you helping?
The Difference Between Connections and Being Genuinely “Connected”
Understanding the difference between having connections and being genuinely “connected” is vital.
- Who do you know?
- Who can you call for advice?
- Who calls you?
Evaluate how well you are connected and strive to improve your network to ensure long-term practice growth and personal development.