If you’ve ever talked to Vickie Garcia, you know her enthusiasm is infectious. This is especially true when she talks about her newest marketing opportunities.
Garcia recently launched a local chapter of The W Source™ in her hometown, Scottsdale, Arizona. Formed last September in Santa Barbara, California, the national organization helps female professionals grow their business through a supportive networking group of 20-25 women from various industries in their area. In 2018, the W Source hopes to establish groups in 150 locations across the United States.
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner with NextBridge Wealth Advisors, Garcia held her first W Source group meeting in early March. When we spoke, she was interviewing certified public accountants, looking for a family law/divorce attorney and had recruited:
- A mortgage banker
- A high-end residential real estate agent
- A commercial real estate agent
- A corporate recruiter
- An estate attorney
- A home owners and auto insurance agent
- A relationship manager for a business bank
- An interior designer
- A high-end wedding coordinator
- A charitable events organizer
- A high-end caterer
- A concierge who serves executive women
The brainchild of financial professional Hannah Buschbom, The W Source requires each chapter head to work in the financial services industry. Leading a chapter has allowed Garcia to be highly selective about group members.
“Compared to traditional networking groups, like Business Network International, The W Source offers distinct advantages for female advisors,” Garcia said. “I’m able to focus on professionals who serve an affluent target audience and are committed to helping their tribe.”
The national organization supports local chapters by providing prewritten emails, press releases, documents, access to presentations and personal coaching for launching a chapter and running meetings.
The $999 annual membership cost includes a listing on The W Source’s website and the opportunity to attend an annual conference, which brings the chapters together to learn and grow.
The 90-minute monthly group meetings – held over breakfast or lunch – are scheduled down to the minute, thanks to resources from the national office. At each meeting, attendees draw business cards and schedule one-on-one get-togethers to connect on a deeper level.
Garcia reaped rewards of her efforts early on. She had not even held her first meeting when the real estate agent she had just recruited introduced her to several excellent prospective clients.
When it was time for Garcia’s launch meeting, Buschbom traveled to Phoenix and shared successes she has seen in other groups and described additional resources the organization plans to offer. She also helped Garcia create a value proposition training for the group, which will carry over to the next few meetings.
“It was great to see the women’s enthusiasm about belonging to a female-centric group of professionals who want to help each other grow our businesses by mentoring, providing networking opportunities and making introductions,” Garcia said. “I’m working to add members to the group and preparing for our next meeting. I am eager to learn about each member to see how we can support each other’s business.”
When Garcia shared her experiences with the W Source with Jaime Desmond, chief operating officer of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management and committee chair for the Ladenburg Institute of Women & Finance (LIWF), and me, we recognized the organization’s tremendous potential to help female advisors build their businesses. That’s why I am thrilled to announce we have formed a strategic partnership between LIWF and The W Source to offer this powerful turnkey program to women advisors across the Ladenburg community.
If you’re interested in forming your own chapter of The W Source, visit its website soon. The organization restricts the number of groups per city based on population to prevent oversaturation, so opportunities are limited.
by Janine Wertheim
President, Securities America Advisors, Inc.
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Securities America, Inc.