The next part of the process is to actually connect with them. This can be done in a number of ways but it basically comes down to finding out where they are are and going to them. Where are they the most online and offline? What is their given method of communication?
Are they active on social media? LinkedIn? Events? Email? Do they have none of these and you need to contact their teams before you get to them? Do you have to visit one of their events or an event that they are going to be attending? Find the appropriate method of communication and keep following up. Sometimes it takes time to get a response, however if that is not working review your strategy, get creative and be proactive. Also know when you need to consider your next choice of mentor, everything happens for a reason.
Do You Know Them and Do They Know You
A lot of mentors would have public content, make sure that you do your research and know what they are currently doing. Be active on their platforms, like, comment, and share their content, it is give and take. This will allow you to become visible to them even before you make any direct contact with them.
Flattery Does Not Get You Everywhere
Mentors are used to people flattering them to get what they want, while compliments are nice be aware that your objective is to build an authentic relationship with them. Acknowledge their greatness to show why you want to work with them but not to impress them. Not all mentors agree to be one straight away, they are analysing you from the minute you make contact. They are evaluating you and your prerogative. Do your research on them and find out what is important to them and communicate this when you make contact. You have to align with them as much as they need to align with you.
The number one thing to remember is that there needs to be an exchange of value between both of you. It is not just about you gaining something from them, they are also needing to gain value from you. Remember the more you give, the more you get.
Find out what they want and what they need, offer them this in exchange for their mentorship. Some mentors advertise themselves as mentors and so will clearly outline what they are looking for in a mentee, so be sure to know what that criteria is before you approach them.
It Begins with You
A mentor wants to help a person based on who they are and the potential they see in them. The time and energy that they put into a person is worth more than the price, so they are not doing it just for the money. It is not about proving yourself, they want to know if you believe in yourself, are you willing to commit to the process, and will you see it through to the end. While the support and encouragement from them is very much needed at times they want to see that you are confident and have faith in yourself.
Be Authentic, Be Honest, Be humble
Most mentors have a wealth of experience. This includes working with a variety of people and most likely have had mentees before. They know that you are lacking in something hence why you are asking them for help, so don’t lie about who you are and where you are at as they will see through this and question your integrity. Any relationship is built on trust and understanding from both sides. Get rid of pride and ego, be willing to be vulnerable and truthful about your position.
Respect Them and Their Time
Mentors tend to be doing mentorship in addition to their professions so their time is even more limited. Whether you are initiating contact or you have got them as your mentor be sure to respect their time. In return they will also respect yours and take you more seriously.
Be Prepared – Don’t Assume or Guess
Anticipate questions about you and your business or subject matter that you are needing mentoring on. Before they consider mentoring you they will want to know these things so be ready for it.
We all need support, learn from the best and become the best at what you do.
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