Online professional networks can be rich in tips and information that can help us run our businesses. Websites like LinkedIn offer invaluable peer-to-peer resources on personal development, marketing, finance, HR and much more.
And, let’s face it, sometimes those communities are just a good place to have a moan about the world with like-minded professionals.
Novelists have Writers Online, hairdressers have Salon Geek and there’s even a network for professional magicians, called Talk Magic. But where do financial planners and paraplanners go for their work-based chat?
Okay, it wasn’t a scientific survey – but we put the question out on Twitter and here are some of the answers that came in.
NextGen Planners was formed by Adam Carolan and Rohan Sivajoti as a community for best practice for younger planners. It offers educational content, training, conferences and many other services. There’s a jobs board, a newsletter, a lively Facebook page and an often-amusing-always-informative podcast.
The VIP Slack group for Premium members has over 250 other NextGen members. More than 10,000 messages have been posted in the forum on everything to do with the profession and how planners can better themselves and their firms. (Nominations from Gretchen Betts and Jonny Stubbs.)
Paraplanners Powwow consists of, in the words of its Twitter bio, “Informal gatherings – designed by paraplanners for paraplanners – to exchange views, learn things, fix things and share things.” The theme is Western and its 6th National conference took place in teepees in the hills of the Northants countryside in September, with over 90 paraplanners attending. Traditionally, some Paraplanners at the events don warpaint to get into the spirit of the Powwow. Discussions and presentations in Northants included the Paraplanner Standard, the performance of professional bodies, how to get more people into the profession and whether compliance ruins reports.
The Big Tent is Paraplanner Powwow’s forum for online debate and discussion hosted at the website. It’s been going two and a half years and contains over 600 discussions on a wide range of topics including training, exams, recruiting and specific companies and financial products. (Nominations from Rebecca Tuck, Dan Atkinson and Nathan Fryer.)
Run by a team of volunteers and written entirely by contributors, The Adviser Lounge describes itself as “a fresh approach to financial services opinion & commentary for the adviser and related community.” Attracting contributors from across the world of financial advice, it has a significant reader-base. For example, a recent post by Chris Budd on the sale of his business to its employees attracted nearly 5,000 visits. There are typically two or three new articles posted every week, some providing useful business tips, others having a go at poor practice and others still provoking heated discussion. The website was given an overhaul in August and now boasts “a fresh new look, new comment functionality, less annoying login requirements and more of the same high quality comment, opinion and discussion that you’re used to”. (Nomination from Chris Budd).
Adviser Life Talk is a network for IFAs to network, share best practice, get answers to technical questions, exchange ideas, learn new marketing techniques and to provide help and support to one another. The 800-member Facebook page is particularly useful and, as the ‘About’ section says, as well as doing important networking, you’ll “have a laugh too…”.
What have we missed? Tweet us at @Advicefront with your nominations.