As you launch your Internet marketing career, you find that you have to rely on others to provide you with a lot of information to help get you started. Unless you have unlimited funds or deep pockets, it's not feasible to buy eBooks on everything you need to know.
Another drawback to going it alone is the vast amount of hours it takes to educate yourself on every detail, trying to ensure that you don't miss a single step toward furthering your success.
One solution is to find someone willing to mentor you, whether it's a subscription with a goldmine of training or an individual who just likes to see others succeed. You may also find deals like a one-time offer of help by giving you free access to a tool or forwarding you a link to an article.
Giving Back What You Took
Once you acquire the knowledge you need to put into action to succeed and your success begins to transform your business, it's beneficial for you to pay it forward and mentor others who have less knowledge and experience than you have.
There's a stubborn mentality in some net marketers to keep everything they learn to themselves. They fear someone will steal an idea, steal their niche, outperform them in customer service or product development, or just make more money than they do.
But the most successful online marketers are those who take a different approach. They continually reach out to the community and give back, whether it's a free step-by-step product they create on a topic or undertaking an apprentice to teach them the ropes.
It's simply not ethical to do a lot of taking without considering your obligation to give back to someone who needs your help. Successful businesses are built on the premise that we all can learn from one another and that each one of our success stories stems from the fact that we have an inherent desire to help each other when we can.
How Mentoring Can Help Boost Your Business
When you put yourself out there, contribute your time, your know-how, and your patience, it speaks volumes about what kind of business ethics you have. You are essentially branding your business as one that is more concerned about its customers than its bottom line. That's a rare breed in today's world, but it seems to attract all the attention.
What happens is that your customers start telling others about your kindness. They look upon you and your giving nature with respect, admiration, and loyalty. When and if you ever need a favor or help from that person, they will likely remember what you did for them and return the favor.
Learning While You Teach Others
Mentoring others gives you a unique opportunity to learn new ideas, strategies, and techniques along the way. Let's look at an example. An Internet marketer develops a course teaching others how to make money online with eBay.
She takes a newbie under her wing and helps him launch an online auction business. This is an "all-inclusive" training, so the mentor must ensure that the apprentice gets everything done so that it's a viable success.
The apprentice absorbs the information taught to him, puts the lessons into action, but suddenly hits a stumbling block. There's something he doesn't understand, so he turns to his mentor.
His problem has to do with driving more off-site traffic to their auctions. The online marketer focused on the basic setup details of launching an online auction business, but didn't take into consideration the aspect of off-site traffic techniques.
Instead of leaving the apprentice to fend for himself, it's the perfect opportunity for the mentor to learn the best ways to increase off-site â and teach what she learns to her student.
She may learn that pay-per-click ads work well. Or maybe a lens on Squidoo using an eBay module is how she will drive more traffic to the site. Articles that review the product could be the way to go.
As the mentor compiles this new lesson, she is not only helping the person being mentored, but helping herself and her existing product, too. The techniques learned in this lesson can help drive traffic to her own info product.
It also gives the mentor a unique insight into what issues her target audience may encounter that weren't originally covered within the product on how to set up an online auction business. With this newfound information, the mentor can update her current product for future sales so that customers never encounter a gap of knowledge. She can also compile the missing details and use it as a free supplement when she contacts her list in the next auto-responder series.
Targeting Your Own Niche
You don't have to mentor a competitor. Just because you're a successful Internet marketer doesn't mean you have to teach someone else all of your secrets to success â especially if they're in a similar niche. You can choose one or two of your customers, as in the eBay example above, and get the person's feedback to use as a testimonial on your product and its massive benefits.
As a mentor, you want to become more than just a teacher spouting the task list to your apprentice. You want to become a friend and advisor â someone they can share their experience with openly, without feeling inferior or embarrassed that they can't figure something out.
Networking to Find a Mentoring Partner
Sometimes mentoring can be a twoway agreement. For instance, let's say you're a writer who has the talent to put together an information product. You know how to nail down a niche, how to conduct research, and how to map and flesh out your creation.
Another person may not be adept at handling those things, but he knows how to market on the 'net â selling other people's products for a smaller share in the profits because he can't create a good product on his own.
You both need each other's knowledge and you can mentor each other.
You can contact someone who has what you need and offer to mentor them by teamting them what you know in exchange for tutorials on how to do what it is they know. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Charging for Your Online Business Mentoring Services
Becoming an online business mentor can sometimes be time consuming. You may get someone who acts on your advice as you dole it out, or someone who emails you every 30 minutes asking the next question in a long list of things they want to know.
If your mentorships are in high demand, or you have a vast amount of knowledge to share, then you might consider mentoring for a fee. There's nothing unethical in charging for access to your brain and your time if you're truly helping someone further his or her success.
You need to have boundaries in place and milestones set up so that each of you knows whether or not the relationship is proceeding the way it should be. Have a scheduled time when you'll be available to the apprentice via phone, email, or live chat.
Find out what your apprentice needs to learn and then develop a plan to help him or her reach their goals. You will want to revisit the arrangement from time to time to see if both of you are getting what you wanted from the mentorship.