How to Celebrate Women's History Month as a Financial Services Firm
By: Laura Landergott, Principal, Whole Growth Partners
Women’s History Month in March 2021 is a great time to honor women within your practice, client base and communities by celebrating their histories and highlighting their accomplishments.
How can you celebrate Women’s History Month as a financial services firm? Even without a pandemic, prospecting can be the most challenging aspect of the business. And it seems every financial services company out there is taking the initiative to recruit, prospect, and do business with more women – with good reason. In 2019, women owned 11.6 million firms, accounting for 1.7 trillion in sales, according to the National Association of Women Business owners. Additionally, one in five firms valued at over $1 million were women-owned.
So, don’t miss opportunities presented by Women’s History Month for reaching out. Below are six ideas that make it fun and easy to open doors, make introductions, and get referrals.
1.) Select Social Quotables.
Throughout American history, women have provided empowering words to motivate and inspire us. Sharing the best of those quotes is a great way to keep the momentum going and connect with others.
Invite employees, business associates and clients to share favorite quotes from famous women. Post them on social media to build an ethos of empowerment.
Pay attention to who is viewing the quotes and encourage others to provide quotes of their own. Raising the level of engagement offers a sure way to cultivate a sense of community with little effort.
2.) Practice Passionate Philanthropy.
Few things are more rewarding than coming together with others to volunteer for a good cause. Why not invite other women, clients, business associates and friends to join you? You can consider organizations within your local sphere, but if you need help identifying a cause that serves women, visit https://www.guidestar.org.
Women’s History month is a good time to formally announce your commitment to begin volunteering. You can decide your level of involvement throughout the year, whether that includes periodic volunteer efforts with an existing service organization or establishing your own not-for-profit.
3.) Tell Her-story not His-tory.
We’ve all heard numerous accounts of daring male war veterans, but what about the nurse who served on the frontlines of battle and ended up founding a local nursing school? Or what about the woman who took over her family’s failing trucking business and turned it into a multi-million-dollar operation?
Take some time to identify clients and associates willing to share accounts of their efforts to build their businesses. You can also select someone special from your own team.
Spotlighting “her story” on social media, or even in local news media, can help you advance your affiliation with female community leaders and influencers.
4.) Create A Coffee Circle.
Making connections to expand your business base used to be as easy as inviting someone for a cup of coffee. Even in a pandemic, you can still reach out with a coffee gift card, a handwritten note and a phone call.
The first step is to identify women you would like to get to know. Then explain why you are reaching out and what you admire about them and their work. After making contact and exchanging ideas, continue building your coffee circle. Ask each coffee contact who they know who might consider joining your circle.
5.) Pack a Powerhouse Panel.
Think of three business mavens willing to share their knowledge, how they got started and how they managed to build their enterprises. Ask them to share their insights and their stories. Host a virtual powerhouse panel.
Setting this up involves effort and planning, but the results will be worthwhile.
You can approach influencers and community leaders or tap organizations that will lead to new contacts and new points of view.
This needn’t be a one-time event. You can create a series of powerhouse panels or individual presentations. Once you’ve made contacts for one event, continue to expand your reach. Ask who else might be interested in participating.
6.) Network with a Wine, Women & Wealth Workshop
Before COVID-19, it was easy to set up a Wine, Women & Wealth workshop. You’d invite a few female clients to your home, have them each bring a friend or two, open a bottle of wine, and chat about finances. Now, it’s still easy – it just might take place virtually.
We’re willing to bet you have women clients who want to take charge of their personal finances and wealth-building. They, in turn, probably also have friends who want to do the same. Inviting them into an open, friendly, jargon-free conversation about finances in a relaxing home environment (in-person, socially distanced, or virtual) is a great way to gain a couple of new intros and clients. Come up with a few facilitation questions and let the conversation flow freely.
And, just like the pre-pandemic gatherings of yore, you can encourage good will and intimacy by arranging for the delivery of a bottle of quality wine to the home of each participant. If not wine, try other beverages known to encourage conviviality such as special teas and gourmet coffees.
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