Networking for accountants is one of the most important things you can do to develop your professional brand and unlock new career opportunities. The more you connect with other individuals in your field, the more you’ll learn, and grow.
In today’s competitive marketplace, networking is also becoming increasingly important for accounting professionals. It ensures you can develop your reputation as an industry authority and impress potential recruiters.
According to the latest research data around 80% of professionals say networking is essential to their career success, and 41% say they want to invest more time into this practice. Developing your own networking strategy could be the best way to set yourself up for career success.
The Benefits of Networking for Accountants
Today’s business leaders are looking for more than just financial skills from their accounting professionals. They want to welcome specialists into their team who demonstrate excellent communication skills, intuition, and a commitment to consistent learning and growth.
While networking can seem like a challenging task for more introverted accountants, it’s one of the most powerful skills you can develop. Networking can:
- Help you build professional relationships: The relationships you build with industry professionals will help you to expand your understanding of the industry, and unlock new opportunities. You’ll become more confident showcasing skills in communication and collaboration, which can make you a more valuable part of any team.
- Deliver new clients: As an accountant, you may spend a significant amount of time looking for repeat clients to bolster your business. Networking is a chance to interact with people who are looking for your services and earn their trust.
- Help you stay current: The accounting industry is always evolving, with new rules and regulations to consider. Networking gives you a chance to discuss new trends and changes in your landscape with market professionals. You can attend events for industry insights, and learn from the marketplace from peers at other companies.
- Strengthens your brand: Your professional brand goes a long way toward defining how employers and clients see you. The people you know can help you to demonstrate credibility and authority in your field. You can even share their endorsements and feedback on your LinkedIn profile and other social networks.
Strategies for Successful Networking
While networking is extremely important to your finance career, it can often be a daunting prospect. As an accountant, you may spend more time behind a screen than you do interacting face-to-face with others, which can make building relationships more challenging.
However, there are some excellent ways you can strengthen your networking strategy.
1. Start with Internal Networking
Internal networking is the process of expanding your relationships with the existing people in your team. While you might interact with certain colleagues and stakeholders regularly, it’s worth expanding your circle and communicating with as many different professionals as possible.
Find opportunities to chat with managers and supervisors in your organisation. Consider joining a mentorship program which allows you to learn from one of the leaders in your field. It can even be helpful to volunteer for team-building exercises, corporate sporting groups, and similar events.
2. Take Advantage of Social Media
The digital world has made it much easier for accountants to start expanding their networks. According to a Forbes study, networking online saves time and money, while also ensuring professionals can reach out to people from a range of different businesses and countries.
Start by enhancing your LinkedIn presence, with a compelling bio and insights into your experiences. Reach out to professionals to share knowledge and join accounting groups to interact with like-minded experts on a regular basis.
3. Attend Industry Events
Industry events are an excellent way for accountants to learn more about their industry, stay up to date with current trends, and connect with professionals. They give you an opportunity to form deeper relationships through engaging in face-to-face interactions. You might even come across some new clients for your accounting business.
Alongside in-person events in your local area, you can even consider attending digital, virtual, or hybrid events, which give you the freedom to interact with people online in a structured setting. This could be a little easier for people who don’t have a lot of scope to travel.
4. Join Formal Groups
There are various professional associations and groups in the accounting landscape which offer professionals unique opportunities to network. Not only do these bodies hold regular events and conferences, but they can also provide access to training opportunities and informal meetings.
Check out some trade magazines in your industry to see whether any networking options are available. You can also look into reaching out to people you met during your accounting courses and certification process, to see if they have any great insights. Your professional accounting recruitment agency can also give you advice on where you look for opportunities.
- Develop Your Personal Brand
Personal branding is about communicating who you are, your values, and your experience on a regular basis where your market hangs out. People can’t connect with you if they don’t know who you are and how you can help.
Start by posting on LinkedIn and share your insights. You will be surprised what a difference this can make.
How to Master Your Networking Strategy
Networking skills are often developed over time, with regular practice. Whether you’re re-establishing your accountancy career after a break, or simply trying to expand your horizons, it’s worth creating a plan for your networking efforts.
- Prepare to make a great impression: Before attending any industry events, meetings, or conferences, online or offline, it’s important to be prepared. Dress for success, make sure you have a clear vision of your professional brand and practice your handshake.
- Stay active: Networks take consistent efforts to grow. It’s worth making sure you have a way to make a name for yourself in your industry. Post comments on forums, join online discussions and consider producing thought leadership articles on LinkedIn.
- Follow up: Maintaining and growing your network over time requires you to invest in preserving your connections. Reach out to the important people in your network regularly, even if it’s just to check in and see what’s going on in their world.
Don’t forget to work alongside a recruitment company like Rebus Recruitment to expand your network too. They’ll be able to provide you with behind-the-scenes insights into the most effective ways you can strengthen your connections and discover new contacts.
P.S. If we aren’t networking yet let’s connect on LinkedIn here.