Partnering with local institutions can help build a practice, as advisors dispense financial advice and the firm hopefully gains clients.

Most firms are probably doing some form of this already, but conducting workshops and seminars for local employers should be a regular practice to attract clients.

Just ask Simply Money Advisors, a registered investment advisor in Cincinnati, with $650 million in assets under management. The firm has practiced this strategy successfully in its local area for nearly two decades.

“We’ve built the Simply Money Advisors business by partnering with trusted institutions to bring financial education, planning and investment services to their customers, employees, listeners, viewers and readers,” says Ed Finke, co-founder and president of the firm, which was formerly called Financial Network Group. “We have successfully positioned Simply Money Advisors as the ‘go-to’ source for trusted advice.”

The firm delivers financial advice through a daily radio show, regular expert guest appearances on the major radio station in the region, features on local television and a weekly column in the “Cincinnati Enquirer,” Finke says.

In addition, the firm works closely with local credit unions to provide financial services to members and gives financial workshops for many local employers.

“Our positioning as the trusted local resource for financial information and assistance has resulted in a steady flow of new clients to Simply Money Advisors,” Finke says. “This has been a huge plus for our business in a time when most advisors struggle to attract new clients.”

Sometimes the payoff is unexpected.

For Journey Financial Services, an advisory based in Ammon, Idaho, it was a seminar it gave at its local library that resulted in a mutually rewarding relationship with the largest employer in the region.

“We offered a free public course at our library, and the HR department at the company found out about it and asked us to present it to their employees,” says Jordan Anderson, an advisor and operations manager at the firm.

The connection has yielded a steady stream of clients, Anderson says.

“We do the same thing with radio spots and have become the local ‘go-to’ resource for local TV and radio shows,” he says. “Our original intent was education, but as a result of our knowledge and expertise, we’ve been able to gain clients.”

The firm now regularly offers education events to clients and the public, Anderson says.

Typical topics include Social Security, investing strategies, lowering taxes and retirement planning.

“Aside from referrals, these education courses are our largest source of new clients,” Anderson says.

“We do this through personal invitations, as well as postings on community calendars,” he says. “We have found we have a much better pull at community centers, libraries and the local university.”

Bruce W. Fraser, a New York financial writer, contributes to Financial Planning and On Wall Street magazines.

This story is part of a 30-day series on smart ways to grow your practice.

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