I'm looking for a mentor - what is the best way to approach finding someone and asking them for their time?

I'm a marketing manager currently working in a B2B marketing agency, so would love to get the perspective and advice of someone more experienced than me in the marketing / creative agency space.


  • Hi Lynnsay,

    First of all I suggest you define very well what you want to be mentored on. I'm a mentor and a mentee and got 3 mentors who are people who I trust advice in specific areas I identified I want to improve on.

    Then you can select a range of meetups on the subject that matches what you're looking for. Talk to the speaker, talk to attendees. They may be the right person for you.

    Online, I recommend you go to LinkedIn and search for the topic. Through your research, you'll find people who are either connected with you or are 2nd tier connections. Be brave and reach out to them. If 2nd tier, ask for an introduction by the person you know in common.

    Lastly, mentorship is a two-way long term relationship. If after the first meeting you don't feel there's chemistry or one of you refrain from following up, you two may not be a good match anyway. And that's fine.

    I gave a few tips about how to find a mentor in one of my YouTube videos. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/0KGO2yDDFWI

    Good luck! :)

    Beta Lucca

  • Thank you everyone for your responses to this - it's been so helpful and I feel much more prepared to approach potential mentors now.

    @Clara Finnigan I have considered this before (I have a lot of freelancer friends!) and would totally understand if someone who I would see as a mentor would see it more as, well, work.

    I'm hoping that whoever I find would see some sort of benefit from it too, as @Joice Etutu said, and I would approach it as more of an exchange of advice/insights.
  • Most importantly, you need to do your due diligence and be very clear on what you need and in which area you need to improve. Then find a mentor who can help you with that - ideally the Serena Williams of what you're trying to achieve. Come to them correct with your homework in order and a clear purpose (point 1). Most senior profesionnals will be impressed by a strong, clear approach. And from there on, you earn their trust and time through each interaction. The best mentees I have had, have been driving the relationship and always had clear agendas for our interactions, thorough updates on progress and strong follow through.
  • Hi Lynnsay.

    I think that finding the best way to connect may vary from you and the people you'd like to connect with. However, as with @Joice Etutu and @Brendan McKnight, however method you find should be with the intention to enable you to ask them straight away.

    There will be instances where you absolutely have no direct link with a person you admire, so going the formal approach would be best. In instances where you have friends or a contact who might be able to drum up an introduction, better. You see, apart from being able to ask straight away, your next concern is to make sure you have a higher chance of being responded to. Having a contact linking you helps validate your credibility to the prospective mentor and makes the segue towards mentorship exploration smoother. If you have no choice but to do the first route, courteous persistence would be the key. As most seniors might be a bit busy and deem it critical to spend what's left of their time with a stranger.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  • I agree with @Joice Etutu, I think just asking is the best first step (tailor your email to be specifically about them - don't send a generic email), and don't be afraid to follow up if you don't hear back. Make it super easy for them – perhaps initially offer to take them out for a coffee during their lunch break at a cafe near their work. It sometimes helps to perhaps research who the 'next person down' is and approach them. For example, in a design agency, the Creative Director might get lots of requests to mentor and might not have the capacity for more, but perhaps one of the senior designers (who will still have incredible insights and advice to offer) might not get as many mentor requests. Also, once you've found a mentor, check out these tips on how to maintain your relationship and contact: https://the-dots.com/asks/many-of-us-have-had-excellent-mentors-how-do-you-guys-go-about-personally-maintaining-and-developing-these-relationships-2057
  • Hey I've got mentors and I've mentored - the best way is simply asking them! Start with an intro to who you are, why you like/admire their work and that you want them to be your mentor.

    Clearly state how often you'd like to meet and set yourelf clear goals on what you'd like ot gain from the relationship.

    The best mentorships are the ones where you learn from eachother!

    Good luck (:

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