Establish credibility. Position yourself as an expert in the community. Consider writing articles for local journals, the Web, other local media outlets. The process can generate name recognition and demonstrate your expertise to other professionals.

Be creative. An example: Three years ago Helen Modly’s firm, Focus Wealth Management Ltd., created “lunch and learn” seminars that she presents at local CPA firms. The topics are technical and approved by the Virginia Board of Accountancy for one hour of continuing professional education (CPE) for the firm’s staff, who attend during their lunch hour and bring their own lunches. Ideas like these keep the creative juices flowing and keep you in contact with fresh faces and new opportunities.

Look to existing relationships. Often, the best alliances can come from mutual clients. For instance, if you have a solid relationship with a client, you may also come to know their accountant, with whom you could build rapport.

Link up. Take stock of your online presence. Are you making an effort to become familiar with current social networking trends? Though they may seem like fleeting fads, these networking tools are here to stay. Get connected or risk missing out on new partnerships.

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On another note: there’s big industry news brewing concerning SEC Rule 151A and a legislative fly-in taking place Wed., March 17. To learn more about the fly-in go to: www.lifeandhealthinsurancenews.com/rule151a