The last few years have made it difficult to meet up with peers and trying to maintain business and widen your network as a finance broker has been challenging. Today, many of the limitations posed by the restrictions of COVID-19 have been removed and life is starting to look a bit more normal.
Working life however has changed for many people. We have become resourceful and skilful at remote working, using Zoom and other online platforms for connecting with our peers and now realising that we don’t always have to attend meetings in person. The outcome of this is we have become more flexible; we have freed up time that was previously spent travelling to conferences and summits and so for many this will be an exciting time - especially in the world of finance and for brokers who work remotely.
There are some challenges however and in order to be competitive in the financial industry, having a strong broker network is important. You need to constantly look for new relationships so that you can keep new and current business flowing.
If you are finding that you no longer can or want to attend events and meetings physically, we have come up with 5 ways to make sure you can stay in the loop and ensure you are still able to make yourself known and to carry on networking effectively:
1. Find places to forge relationships virtually
Look for professional online networks as these can be a very useful way to find individuals working in the financial sector who can offer a mutually beneficial line of support. There are many forums that can be particularly helpful, enabling you to interact and share information from the world of finance and to establish useful contacts that will help build and grow your business.
2. Be present online
Though meeting up in person is now back on the agenda, working practices have changed forever and online sessions are going to continue to be very much a part of working life.
Register for finance-based events and those that offer other useful sessions around business and leadership that will help you grow and develop as a remote financial broker. When you attend these sessions, make sure to get yourself noticed by getting involved in discussions and be prepared to interact by talking to the presenters and lenders. Use these opportunities to network - don’t mute or hide yourself, switch your cameras on and engage!
Provide feedback if necessary. The beauty of an online session is its ability to be adaptable as change can happen quickly - which makes online sessions extremely effective and useful.
3. Produce quality content
Have a presence on social media as it’s the perfect place for creating a community in the finance field and for sharing ideas. People often feel comfortable interacting on social media platforms; you can take advantage of this by ensuring you produce good quality content that will inspire interaction with current and potential customers.
Creating blogs on topics in your field of expertise is also a great way to inform and to build up a feeling of trust and community amongst your readers.
4. Be prepared
Check out the most common financial concerns. If you can anticipate a client’s frequently asked questions, you will be more informed to respond online with useful financial advice and this will strengthen your client relations, ensuring that the online interactions you have are of benefit to them.
5. Nurture old relationships
Reconnect with colleagues and clients that you have lost touch with. Find out how they are and how they are coping; keep your conversations pleasant and positive as this will make it easier for them to engage with you in the future. If a conversation leaves people feeling good, they are more likely to stay in touch and this way you are more likely to be able to expand your finance broker network.
We all know the importance of having a strong network of people around us both in our personal and professional lives; people who we can go to for support and advice. Sharing experiences in an honest way with people can help foster good quality relationships.
Industry events can be great ways to network but as we have all discovered, there are now many other alternatives. The 5 points outlined above will hopefully help you to create opportunities whilst working remotely, as well as build up partnerships and relationships that will help your business grow.