If you don’t know anyone personally or through a friend who can act as your mentor, you may need to go to social media. Thankfully, this is entirely possible and maybe even preferable to finding someone you know. The main reason is that it’s easier to have a mentor/mentee relationship with someone when it’s all business. To find someone using LinkedIn to be your mentor, follow these tips.
Perfect Your Profile
First things first. Make your profile stand out on LinkedIn. You want to put your best foot forward in terms of what you are doing now and where you want to go. It’s not the time to worry about your boss seeing your profile and worrying that you’re going to leave. If you really want to succeed in what you want to do, you need to show it through your actions, and setting up your profile is imperative.
Find People Doing What You Want to Do
Once your profile is perfected, start looking and searching for people who are doing what you want to do. It is helpful if you find people who are based closer to you if you want to meet in person. But today that isn’t always necessary because you can meet via Zoom.us, email only, or whatever works for you both in terms of working together.
Do Your Research
Once you find people, do some research. Make sure they really are who they say they are. Watch their discussions and look at their job’s websites. Get to know them from afar first. You want to be careful online. See if they update their profiles much and whether they have much of an online presence.
Connect with Them
Once you have determined they are real people, connect with them. Don’t use LinkedIn’s auto messages, though. Send a personal note to them but don’t ask them right away to be your mentor. Just explain that you really like something about them, and you would like to connect with them so you can learn more from them.
Give It Time
Once you connect with them, give it some time. Communicate with them via the platform, join the groups they’re in, and have real discussions. Post things of interest to try to get their response. Ask them to respond by tagging them in the share.
Once you’ve had some meaningful association with them and you’re sure you may be a good fit for a mentor/mentee relationship, ask them. Send a personalized letter to them. Explain why you want them to be your mentor, and what that would look like to you, and what you hope to get out of the relationship.
Set Up Communication Preferences
Once you get someone to accept, set up your communication preferences and times. You don’t want to take up too much of their time. Be proficient in the time usage and make the most of your time together - whether it’s email, conference call, or coffee in person.
You can essentially use this same method with other social media platforms too. The point is to connect in a meaningful way with people who are successfully doing what you want to do. Get to know them in a businesslike way and ask. Then set up your boundaries with each other before going forward, and it should work out great.