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Building a Financial Practice with a Focus on Teaching

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Most of us in the financial services industry don’t think of ourselves as educators. Sure, we’re ready to help our clients better understand how to invest, save, and budget, but not many of us put teaching at the core of our businesses — and we could be missing out. 

Ryan Ledden of Black Oak Asset Management, a former teacher turned financial professional, incorporates his teaching philosophy into his business practices to help build long-lasting relationships with his clients. He recently sat down on The Blueprint Podcast to share his story, unique perspective, and best tips for growing a financial practice. 

Growing your financial practice with a teaching focus 

Before transitioning into the financial industry, Ryan taught high school students the basics of finance and economics. It was something many of them struggled to understand, and as he spoke with colleagues and friends, he noticed many people outside of a high school classroom didn’t understand it either — and a lightbulb went off. 

He decided to make a career change to become a financial advisor, not just to help people make the most of their money, but to truly understand how to manage their personal finances. Here are some of the key things that helped Ryan make the transition and create a successful business: 

Focus on systems and processes. 

Creating and building off frameworks helped Ryan implement new processes and keep things running smoothly and opened up new opportunities for innovation, such as automating systems that free up time and reduce stress. 

Support clients in a way that works for them—and you. 

For Ryan, late night dinner seminars to sell a product or land a new client meant time away from his family and kids. So Ryan and his team focused instead on teaching prospects through virtual educational events like webinars that offer more flexibility and freedom while still providing lead nurture capabilities. 

Be ready to hear “no.” 

The idea that we constantly need new leads to create a successful business is pushed on us every day—but for Ryan, it’s not necessarily true. Finding and connecting with the right leads is what is most important. When a lead says “no,” they’re freeing up your time and energy to focus on people that better fit your business. 

Stay consistent. 

There is no magic pill for success as an entrepreneur or as a financial advisor. Ryan found that the best way to grow his business was with consistency. Keeping in touch with the right leads, supporting clients in a way that meets their needs, and focusing on following and refining your systems can build sustainable growth.

To hear our full conversation, check out Ryan’s episode of the Blueprint Podcast, A Teaching Focus with a Professional Process. If you’re looking for even more tips on how to grow your firm, get in touch with the team at Silver Oak.