5 Tips for Finding a Business Mentor Online

Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, investor, professional, or aspiring to be any of those things, you can get excellent guidance on carving the right path to reach your goals by having a business mentor.
These experienced professionals are key players in your professional network. They help you seek out the best opportunities, prepare yourself with the skills and tools you need to succeed, and overcome the challenges you’ll have along the way. They’re also there to be your sounding board and give you advice when you get lost or stuck. They can even tell you about the mistakes they’ve made so you can avoid them. And, they’re your biggest fan cheering you at every step.
Everyone can (and should) have a business mentor to get honest feedback about their career or investment journey and get direction from someone who’s been doing it right for a long time. But, how do you find one of these awesomely experienced and knowledgeable professionals?
Harness the power of the internet and find a business mentor online using these five steps.

1. Know your goals and expectations ahead of time

Before you start searching for a business mentor (or two), make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. That way, you don’t waste anyone’s time, neither yours nor the time of any prospective mentors you talk to.
Outline the goals you have overall, such as the kinds of investments you want to make, the type of money you want to earn through your portfolio, or the career goal you’d like to reach. Know what these general milestones are to find a mentor with the experience and knowledge to help you on that specific journey. You wouldn’t want someone who’s made it big with ETFs to help you build a real estate portfolio, right?
Another thing to prepare is what you expect (or hope) to get out of having this mentor relationship. Do you want someone who can give you advice when you come to a fork in the road? Or do you want someone who can give you a rough estimate of what you should do to reach your goals? One is more hands-on than the other, so know what you want from them before jumping in. Both you and your mentor need to know to prepare for the commitment.

2. Get active in digital networking spaces for your industry or interest

One of the quickest ways to find someone who might be a suitable mentor is to go where they’re probably hanging out online. Find the forums, social media groups, and online pages where these experienced people post their insights, articles they’ve read, and resources they trust.
After some time reading posts and replying in comment threads with the people in these spaces, you’ll be able to find the ones who have the knowledge and experience you’re looking for in a mentor. Be on the lookout for people who talk from experience, share authentic and trustworthy resources, and have the credentials to back up what they’re saying.

3. Follow people who are your ideal mentors

If you’ve already been thinking about getting a business mentor or want some tips to reach your goals sooner, you probably already follow some influencers in your industry or of your particular interest. But if you don’t already follow these people, do it now! Be sure you follow them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms. This is where they post content and connect with others in the community.
When you follow these people on social media, you’re able to garner some wisdom through their posts and maybe even find ways to connect or meet with them. Some may post about seminars they’re hosting or digital events they’re attending, and if you attend those things, too, you have something to talk about.
But if you already follow them, how do you get their attention without seeming too aggressive or pushy? Start by commenting on posts regularly, conversing with others in the comment thread, and being helpful and kind to everyone when you comment. This is a great way to get noticed by the poster, who may recognize you as a supportive and helpful addition to the community, and other followers who have the experience or knowledge you’re looking for in a mentor.
It’s important to note that even if an influencer doesn’t become your mentor, this is still an excellent way to grow your network and make more intentional friendships.

4. Build an intentional friendship first

Finding a mentor is all about networking, and networking is all about establishing professional friendships with people who share the same interests or goals as you. So, when you find people who have the experience you want in a mentor, focus on first building an intentional friendship with them.
Start by sending them a message to forge a network connection. But focus the message on something they’ve done to help or impress you, such as that you appreciated a resource they shared on their page. By focusing on them and how they’ve positively impacted you, you can better grab their attention and make them more likely to want to start a conversation with you.
Plus, having even casual professional conversations with people can lead to strong professional relationships and other opportunities like mentorships. A 2017 LinkedIn study showed that roughly 35% of participants reported securing some new opportunity by starting up a convo on LinkedIn.

5. Use a mentor-matching program

Maybe social media isn’t entirely cutting it for you. In that case, you can also try any of the helpful mentor-matching programs online. You can sign up with these services to connect with mentors who have the skills, qualifications, and interests that you’re looking for in a mentor. All you have to do is fill out your mentee profile, outline your goals and expectations, and get matched to local professionals that meet your needs. Some programs match you to mentors that you can connect and chat with only online, too.
If you’re a small business owner, consider SCORE Mentoring, and if you’re in tech, business, or design, you can try MentorCruise. There are many more that specialize in specific industries and interests, too.
With these tips, you can work toward finding and securing a mentor who can take your investing, career, or life to the next level. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just one mentor. You can have one for your job, another to help you improve your investment strategy, and another to help you further develop your passions. That way, you get the guidance you need in multiple facets of your life.

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