Mentorship is an undeniable part of any marketer’s career journey. It’s true that many of us have been lucky enough to experience both sides of the coin, even if our relationships haven’t officially been labelled that way. But what happens when we make a conscious effort to find a marketing mentor or seek out an opportunity to become a mentor for somebody in our industry? This article is going to take a deep dive into the benefits of mentorship and how you can begin your own mentoring journey.
Mentor vs mentee: What’s the difference
A mentee is a person who has identified a long term or short term goal and has enlisted a mentor to guide them and keep them accountable – think Mr Miyagi and the Karate Kid or Dumbledore and Harry Potter vibes.
A mentor is the guide, generally a person with direct experience in the area the mentee is aiming to succeed. A mentor shares wisdom, connections and mistakes they’ve made in their own journey to guide the mentee in decision making and goal setting.
The mentor/mentee relationship is professional and underpinned by trust, transparency, respect and empathy. In other words, a mentor tells it straight whilst staying compassionate and provides real support.
In marketing, a mentee gets to tap into an experienced and specialised expert who can offer guidance and coaching on their career, a specific project or general professional development.
A mentor gets to share their learnings, contribute to and help shape a person’s future and ensure marketing is recognised and valued for the professional discipline it is on a wider scale.
The benefits of mentoring
If you’re looking to be a marketing mentor or a mentee, the benefits are powerful. For a mentee, the opportunities for development through mentorship are never-ending. Aside from the guidance and support, there’s scope to increase networking opportunities, develop hard-skills in your specific specialism as well as increase so many soft skills such as:
- Goal setting and achieving goals
- Self-reflection and self-awareness
- A broader way of thinking
All of which are invaluable when it comes to smashing interviews, reviews and board meetings.
If you’re wondering, what does a mentor gain from mentoring, the relationship is also invaluable when it comes to their own personal and professional development. A mentor can:
- Increase leadership skills
- Gain recognition
- Develop feedback and management skills
- Grow their network
- Strengthen their communication skills
Not only this, but becoming a marketing mentor is your chance to pay it forward and have the exciting and rewarding experience of supporting an ambitious marketer to develop.
On both sides, mentorship brings the valuable benefit of broadening perspectives and new ways of thinking. Plus, from a business perspective, there are countless mentoring benefits in the workplace. Including a marketing mentorship programme is a great way to level up employee satisfaction, create a culture of learning, a motivated and driven workforce and all round more positive culture.
Where to find a marketing mentor
Finding a marketing mentor may seem easier for those in a large organisation with a senior team however there are a number of ways you can seek a mentor outside of where you work.
LinkedIn is a great place to find inspiration and connect with people in the industry you admire. Whether you’re looking for a mentor, or even a mentee, you can reach out directly to people you’d love to learn from.
Professional networking events (IRL or virtual) also provide a great opportunity to meet likeminded people who have exactly the knowledge and experience you want to leverage in mentor relationship. The Marketing Meetup are just one example of a wonderful community who deliver marketing specific networking events all over the UK – which is definitely one to tap into if you’re seeking out a mentorship opportunity.
You can also look to your existing network to find a mentor. Make a list of people who are already successful in the areas you’d like to succeed and reach out to them. People are generally very kind with their time so you may be surprised at how effective this approach is to find a marketing mentor.
How to get the most out of your marketing mentorship
1. Set clear goals
We often talk about how important it is to learn with purpose, the true is same when it comes to mentoring. Know what you want to achieve and make sure you explain it in detail to your mentor – they can only help you if they know what success looks like to you.
2. Always prepare
To get the most of your mentorship time, make sure you’re coming to meetings prepared. Create an agenda, collate everything you want to and take thorough notes each time. This will keep your relationship structured and will ensure you’ll leave the meeting with tangible action points to help you develop.
3. Be honest and open
Ensure you’re honest and realistic about your current situation when you start your mentorship journey. Hiding your weaknesses and concerns means your mentor won’t be able to support you to develop in those areas so it pays to be transparent. Likewise, give honest feedback to your mentor about how the relationship is working. This will enable them to be much more effective in the long run.
Being curious is a huge plus when it comes to getting to most out of mentorship, make sure you’re open to new perspectives and different ways of thinking, and you’ll be sure to see personal and professional growth.
4. Be committed
Lastly, make sure you’re fully committed. Mentorship is a two-way street and requires both the mentor and mentee to be dedicated to the cause.
Ensure you are reliable and available for regular catch up meetings and always deliver on your word. This means you’ll get the most out of your mentorship whilst staying respectful to your mentor for dedicating their time to help you grow.
Mentorship training courses
There are tonnes of mentorship training courses online dedicated to mentorship, we’ve outlined some of the best options below:
If you’re looking for a marketing specific mentorship programme, our 12-week marketing course guides through developing a marketing strategy from scratch with bespoke coaching and mentoring at every stage. Our industry experts have worked with marketers of all levels to develop their strategic skills and confidence to accelerate their careers. We also offer corporate training packages for marketing teams looking to access group mentorship training.
Ultimately, mentorship is a crucial aspect of any marketer's career and can provide amazing benefits from both sides. If you’re looking for more guidance on motivating your marketing team or becoming a marketing mentor, check out this blog.