How To Find A Copywriting Mentor (& The #1 Question You Should NEVER Ask)

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Alright, now before I get into my five tips on how to find a mentor, I need to share something with you and that is the number one thing you should absolutely 100% never ask when you’re looking for a mentor… 

Can you guess what it is? 

Hey guys, it’s Alex. And this week I am making an insanely important PSA for those of you who are looking to become a copywriter. 

To fast track your way to high paid copywriter status, you need the three E’s, Education, Experience and Expert advice. And there is no doubt that one of the best ways to do this is through finding a mentor. Your mentor could be someone who you learn from online whose work becomes your guiding voice and inspiration. 

They could be past teachers, employers or friends that you look up to. Or a mentor could be someone from a completely different industry who inspires you about leadership and accountability. 

I myself learned marketing and copywriting from a handful of incredible mentors like Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of MindValley where I worked for three and a half years. Frank Kern whose events I attended and courses I fiercely studied and Marie Forleo, whose work I have followed for over a decade, including attending her very first event in New York City and joining her programs. 

So if you’re now looking for a mentor to get started on your copywriting journey, I have some tips that I’m gonna share with you in today’s article. 

Now, the good news is you’re already on the right track, you’re here you’re reading my post. My blog is 100% dedicated to copywriters and business owners who are out there looking to start and scale your businesses with crazy good copy. 

You guys, I spend hours every single week producing a free tutorial just for you. Yes, free mentorship that offers education, experience and expert advice. So if you’re not already part of the global Copy Posse, go ahead and hit subscribe over on my YouTube Channel and remember to ring that little bell to be notified when my next video goes live. 

Now, do I have your permission to be like 10,000 million percent real with you guys? You know that I’m a no BS kind of gal. So if you’re ready for some straight and maybe a little bit sassy talk then let’s get started. 

Alright now before I get into my five tips on how to find a mentor, I need to share something with you and that is the number one thing you should absolutely 100% never ask when you’re looking for a mentor. 

Can you guess what it is? 

You should never ask, “will you be my mentor?” 

Now I get this question all the time from my followers and subscribers. So while you may feel like you’re special and unique when asking this question, you’re literally one of hundreds and I know I’m not the only one who gets these messages all the time. I’ve gotten this question countless times from complete strangers, people who have never taken the time to even have a conversation with me, let alone say “hi” or comment on my work. 

I’m sorry, but WTF. Who out there is actually telling you that this is okay? It is not, by asking a complete stranger to be your mentor without first offering any sort of acknowledgement, value or introduction, you’re essentially saying, “Hi, your time is invaluable and you should just give it to me for free.” Um, how about a hard no

After number 923, I simply stopped responding to these types of messages and instead decided to put out this post. Because there is something you need to understand. The experts who you wanna get access to have put years, thousands of hours and countless dollars into growing their careers. They’ve learned that in order to be successful, they need to protect their time and energy, and give it to those who are willing to offer something in return

The best mentors and coaches are not gonna hold your hand and tell you what to do, and do it for free. Mentorship requires an energy and value exchange and I’m not just talking monetary value. There are plenty of ways to find a mentor for free, but there are some ground rules and that’s what I’m here to talk about today. 

So here are my five tips to help you get started on the right path to finding a mentor.

Tip #1. Be Resourceful, Not Helpless

Guys, unless you were somehow raised by aliens and are just making your way down to planet earth where there’s this magical oracle called the internet, you know that in order to get specific help, you need to ask specific questions. 

You don’t type please, please, please help me into Google, do you? No, there is nothing more frustrating than when a stranger DMs me with a generic plea for help. And it’s frustrating because I want to help you, but how am I supposed to know how to help you when you don’t ask a specific question? 

So here’s my advice. If you’re looking for guidance from a mentor, do your research first, investigate and study all the information they already have available for free. Then if you still need clarification, or have a specific question, go ahead and ask. You’re 100% more likely to get a response that way. Remember, the goal here is to be resourceful, not helpless.

According to Tim Ferriss, multi best selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek,Tools of Titans and yep, a Tribe of Mentors, anyone who just tells you what to do without encouraging you first to think for yourself, isn’t a very good mentor at all. 

The mentors who are the most helpful are those who don’t necessarily give you the answer, but give you a way of finding the answer. They mentor through inspiration, education, and yes, a little bit of tough love. 

Moving along…

Tip #2. Nurture Your Advocates

So, this tip is inspired by my friend and founder of Freelancing School, Jay Clouse

The idea is to assess and nurture your existing network and the people you already know to find a mentor. In other words, reach out to the people who are already familiar with you and therefore more personally motivated to advocate for your success. Whether it’s someone you’ve worked with before, or a colleague who has seen your work and is aware of your goals or a family friend that you’ve helped before.

These advocates are a great place to seek advice. They could be a great mentor for you, or at the very least they could be your ambassador who will vouch for you and refer you to someone who could be a great mentor. You want to be the first person that pops into your advocate’s minds when they’re talking to potential mentors for you. So your first job is to build awareness about what you’re hoping to achieve and how you can add value. 

In the words of author Robin Dreeke in his book, The Code of Trust, he says that people are hardwired to enjoy offering assistance, not only as a mechanism to receive assistance themselves, but to satisfy the innate human drive for altruism. People want to help people, so make it easy for them to do so by showing up and adding value

Alright, next…

Tip #3. Offer Your Time, Don’t Demand Time

In an interview on entrepreneur.com, Tim Ferriss also firmly stated whatever you do, do not ask people to be your mentor, which guess what? Was advice given to him by his mentor. Tim agrees that people you actually want advice from likely don’t have time for yet another responsibility that they’re not getting paid for. 

And the people who are quick to say yes to becoming your mentor with just asking the question, “will you be my mentor?” Are probably disqualifying themselves from being the kind of mentor you actually want. 

In fact, one of Tim’s best mentorship experiences happened unintentionally. It was when he decided to volunteer for an event for business startups. He showed up at the event and was willing to do whatever it took to be noticed as a dedicated team member, rather than simply do the bare minimum work required of the volunteers. 

Well guess what? He stood out and as a result, he started getting invited to important team meetings and was involved in some decision making with the event leaders. In the end, it was that volunteer experience and the connections he made at that event that gave him the guidance and stepping stone he needed to propel his career forward. 

And eventually he got introduced to the right people to secure his book deal for “The 4-Hour Workweek”. That is pretty amazing. So when looking for a mentor, instead of demanding their time, offer yours, ask how can I serve, rather than what can you give to me? Now an important lesson here is that Tim didn’t just go around asking everyone, “what can I do for free?” Because when you ask this, even though the intent is pure to offer value, it actually puts the onus back on the mentor to try to figure out what you can do for them. 

It’s like having another team member to manage. So when you’re looking for ways to offer your time, don’t wait to be told what to do, look for opportunities to help and take them.

Alright, now onto…

Tip #4. Build Relationships

Would the first message you send to someone on a dating app after swiping right be, “will you marry me?” No, well, the same thing applies here. You can’t go from zero to hero in one DM or email, you have to build awareness about who you are before demanding action. 

The mentors you want are likely insanely busy people with busy lives and have existing work relationships they’re already investing loads of time and energy in. So, when approaching mentors, you really need to ask yourself, why am I someone that they should invest their time in? And that’s time away from their families and their businesses and their other commitments. 

Hmm, if you can’t confidently answer that question, no wonder you’re getting ghosted. In order to be considered by a potential mentor, you first need to create a relationship with them. To do that they first need to know who you are. Then they need to be interested in mentoring you. And then they need to want to be your mentor. And that’s a lot of steps that take time and energy. 

So start by introducing yourself and engage with them without expectation and before you think you won’t stand a chance, and that’s why you feel the need to cut to the chase and just ask them to be a mentor right away, I’m gonna go ahead and debunk that belief. I have plenty of followers who comment on my work regularly and send me messages to thank me or ask genuine questions about copywriting on my videos and posts. 

And guess what? I always write back to them and I remember them for it. I absolutely love receiving messages like that because it makes me feel appreciated for all this work that I put into creating this content for you guys. 

Yes, building relationships is the long game but it makes you memorable and valuable to your mentor as a supporter and fan. And even if they don’t end up becoming your mentor, you might even learn a thing or two from investing that time and energy. 

Now of course, one of the best ways to fast track this whole process is to join a paid coaching or a mentorship program like my Copy Posse Launch Pad. Not only do my students walk away with completed portfolios and Copy Posse Launch Pad certificates, but they have me as an advocate and mentor. 

Alright, moving right along…

Tip #5. Offer Your Skills, Pay Their Bills

Yes, I will say it again, mentorship is not meant to be a one way street. Have you ever stopped to consider what you bring to the table as a mentee? Beyond your desire to become a copywriter, of course, which doesn’t exactly make for an epic prodigy story. 

So while taking into account all the tips I’ve already shared in this article, another crucial step to becoming a worthy mentee is to have the right mindset. So do you focus on growth and challenge or are you just after quick results? Are you a dedicated student or are you just out to earn money? Are you looking to solve problems and help where you can or get a handout? Remember, mentorship is about value exchange. Chances are you have past experience and skills and knowledge that you can share with a potential mentor to help them propel their business forward. 

Perhaps you have design skills or video editing skills or social media knowledge or customer service experience, by offering to provide a service for free in exchange for mentorship, you’re honoring your mentor’s time by leading with value, but you’re also potentially saving them a lot of money that they might have to pay to get that skill elsewhere. 

So offer your skills, pay their bills and you have a win-win relationship that can ignite your copywriting business. 

Watch this Instead:

 
So there you have it guys, the Copy Posse guide to finding a mentor through integrity, humility, and authenticity.

Thank you so much for letting me give you a little bit of tough love in this one, leave me a comment below if you found this article helpful. 

Your support means a lot to me and I love, love, love hearing from you guys. 

Thank you so much for reading and subscribing to my YouTube Channel and I will see you next week with a brand new post. 

Until then, I’m Alex, ciao for now.

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