I entered my career as a financial advisor after many years playing professional football. I am just starting to get my feet wet and gain some traction, but I feel as if I need to build a reputation and some credibility in the market. Can you provide any ideas on how I can do that?
Anonymous, Pitt, PA
I have known a few very successful advisors that have started out as something else in a previous life. Whether they had been professional athletes or CEOs, the challenges are often the same. You need to establish yourself in your local community as an expert in financial matters. To start, you should connect with all of your contacts using social media. This will start to build a community where you can share your insights and let others know what you are up to. Once you have established this connection, it takes work on your part to set up meetings and phone calls to let people know what you are doing now and what qualifies you for doing it.
You may want to consider pitching a story in your local newspaper about your journey (for instance, we wrote an article recently called "From Football to Finance" about an ex-football player). Getting exposure in your local community is key. It will take time for those that put you in one category to start thinking of you in a different capacity, but with some hard work, the results will pay off. What also helps is if you have aligned yourself with an existing financial advisory firm. Bringing that along with you in telling your story will create a deeper sense of confidence in your abilities vs. you going out on your own completely.
The great thing is that you probably already have a good reputation in your local community so extending that a bit should not be hard to do. But, it will take time and patience.