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So you’ve had a great first meeting with a mentor—now what? How do you thank your mentor and keep them engaged in the relationship?
When it comes to connecting with a mentor, standing out from the crowd is one of the most important things you can do. Here are three things you can do to make sure you stand out:
- Say thank you after your first meeting. Sending a thank you letter to a mentor can make all the difference
- Follow through on their advice. Mentors want to know that you are gaining value from the time they are sharing with you. Say “thank you” to your mentor by putting their advice into action.
- Think about how you can offer value to them. Is there a particular skill they are hoping to practice through mentoring? Maybe you can introduce your mentor to a helpful resource or connection. Think about different ways that you can offer value or support to your mentor to thank them for all that they do to help you.
Keep reading for more ideas on keeping your mentor feeling engaged and appreciated and find more tips for crafting the perfect initial message to your mentor here.
1. Follow up with an email to your mentor after your first meeting
The first thing you need to do after your meeting you a mentor is to send them a “thank you” email. Be specific in this message and don’t just thank them.
Tell your mentor exactly what you appreciated about their advice and how you plan to implement their feedback.
Here is an example of a follow-up message you can use to craft your own:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on Wednesday. I really appreciated your detailed and honest feedback about my marketing strategy.
As I mentioned to you in our previous messages and conversation, I have been struggling to expand my reach on social media and to turn those audiences into customers. I have already begun researching advertising on Instagram, as you suggested, and am working on a new budget to include advertising spend.
I would love to share with you some of the ideas for advertising and organic content that I have been working on and would love to share those with you and hear your feedback. Would be able to take a quick look at my ideas early next week?
Again, thank you so much for speaking with me. You gave me a lot to think about and I am so excited to start implementing some of these new ideas.
Mentors are often busy people and their time is valuable, and they want to know that it is being used wisely. Many people make the mistake of not putting much thought into this message and send a simple “thanks for meeting with me” or, even worse, they don’t send a message at all.
Not following up with a mentor is a sure way to make it seem like you don’t value the time that they gave you.
Regardless of whether you hear back from your mentor, send them an email to let them know how you have put their advice into action and how it is going. This is a great opportunity to share what you plan to do next and ask them for more guidance.
When you don’t follow up with a mentor, it can make it seem like you didn’t value the time they shared with you.
2. Follow through on your mentor’s advice
You’ve sought out mentoring for a reason: you are looking for advice to allow you to improve your business.
One of the easiest ways to say thank you to a mentor is to follow through on the advice they share.
A mentor’s role is not to do the work for you, but rather to provide you with the advice and feedback you need to make important business decisions and improvements.
Implementing your mentor’s advice also presents a great opportunity to follow up with your mentor. Ask them for feedback on your implementation or specific questions regarding the next steps.
3. Think about how you can offer value to your mentor
Mentors have different motivations for offering their expertise to you for free. They may be looking to give back and have a meaningful experience, or they may want to develop business and leadership skills.
As a mentee, you can offer a lot of value to a mentor.
For ongoing mentoring relationships, create a reminder for yourself to check in and see if you can offer anything to your mentor in return regularly.
Do you have a skill that could be useful to your mentor (i.e., photography, copywriting, logistics, etc…)? You can offer to share that skill to support their business.
Do you have an idea or feedback that might help their business or professional development?
Maybe you can introduce your mentor to someone who they want to know.
Carve out time to make your mentor feel appreciated and to help them find benefit in the mentoring relationship as well.
By taking the three steps above, you’ll set yourself apart from the crowd and position yourself well for building your mentoring relationship.
Note from MicroMentor: After reading enough support desk tickets from entrepreneurs expressing frustration that their first meeting with a mentor seemed strong, but then they were not able to get a hold of their mentor afterward, it seemed high time to say a word on keeping mentors engaged. A mentoring relationship is a two-way street. If a mentor starts to feel unappreciated or that they are no longer receiving value from an interaction, they’re going to move on to a mentee who appreciates their talents and reciprocates the value the mentor delivers. Inspired by this post from the Groove blog.