Are you seeking out the Albus Dumbledore to your Harry Potter? The Genie to your Aladdin? The Rafiki to your Simba? While in movies mentors may beat their protégé over the head with a bakora staff and pop out of old oil lamps, in real life a mentor is simply someone more experienced than you in a particular field who is willing to share their knowledge and skills.
It’s quite common for entrepreneurs to seek out business mentors while negotiating the tricky start-up landscape, but this is usually for general business guidance. If you’ve recognised that you’re struggling in a specific area of your business, such as marketing, and want to learn practical skills that you can directly apply to your business, then it makes sense to look for a marketing mentor who has specialist knowledge.
If you’re still undecided about whether a marketing mentor will work for you, then you’re in the right place! In this blog, we’re going to highlight 4 reasons why marketing mentors are angels in disguise and why you should get one on your side if you want to grow your business.
4 great advantages of having a marketing mentor
1. A mentor helps you fast-track your marketing skills
If you’ve been doing all the marketing by yourself, it’s a safe guess that up until now, Google has been filling in as your marketing mentor! Anytime you’ve had a marketing question or been unsure of how to do something, you’ve simply typed your query into Google and then crawled through the results looking for an answer. This is a time-consuming way of learning, and it’s not very practical if you’re busy trying to run a business.
Although Google is undoubtedly an information trove, none of the advice is tailored to your business. You constantly have to read between the lines and adapt the suggestions you come across, never entirely sure if you’re on the right track. However, a marketing mentor can fast-track your learning by applying their experience and skills to your situation. When it comes to getting your marketing off the ground, it’s not about knowing everything but rather knowing how to match up the right marketing tactics with your product/service and market. A practised marketing mentor will help you to stop feeling swamped and give you greater clarity and focus.
2. Marketing mentors are cost-effective
Hiring a marketer to work permanently for a small business means paying a salary of anything between €25,000 and €80,000, depending on the breadth of their CV. Of course, there are also additional costs to take into consideration, such as their workspace, the hardware and software they require, bonuses, etc. If that commitment feels too far out of reach right now, then you might consider outsourced marketing. By working with a marketing agency, you can reap the benefits of high-quality content, SEO, online advertising, social media marketing and more at a price that fits your budget.
However, teaming up with a marketing mentor is a great step to take before you think about outsourcing or hiring your own marketing team. Many businesses fall into the trap of becoming “agency hoppers” because they don’t know what they want from their marketing and, in the end, a lot of time and money is wasted. Rather than making a big investment that you’re unsure about, you can instead find out exactly the kind of marketing resources your business needs by booking one-on-one mentoring sessions with an experienced marketer. At Engage Content, we provide marketing mentoring sessions for business owners who manage their own marketing but would appreciate an outside perspective.
3. Mentoring helps you develop a robust marketing plan
You may be bursting with great ideas as to what you imagine your marketing should look like and what it should achieve, but the trouble is every time you decide to get going on it you find roadblocks popping up left, right, and centre! Sound familiar? When you’re a business owner, you’re flying solo, which means if you want something done, it’s you who has to do it! When marketing is just one of the many projects you are juggling at any given time, it is easy to become frazzled. What you need is a well-considered marketing strategy!
A marketing mentor can assess your current marketing situation, analyse your needs and goals, and support you in creating a roadmap to where you want to be in a defined timeline. They can help you decide what marketing systems will best serve you along the way and set KPIs so you can get a clear understanding of how well you are performing and what improvements are needed. Your mentor will not simply hand you a marketing plan and send you on your way; instead, they are with you every step of the way as your motivator, your sounding board, and the person you are accountable to so you always stay on track.
4. Get a second opinion from an experienced marketer
If marketing isn’t your area of expertise, it’s only natural that you end up second-guessing yourself as you trek through this uncharted terrain. Your intuition can only take you so far, especially when the decisions you make will directly affect your business and your livelihood. Having an experienced marketing mentor at hand to bounce ideas off and get a second opinion from allows you to make more successful business decisions and avoid the risk of false starts.
Marketing mentors don’t tell you what to do – this is not an outsourced CMO situation. A good mentor is a little like a therapist, empowering you to find options, evaluate choices, and gain insights. They will discuss your options with you, determine how this course of action does or doesn’t align with your business goals, and provide the kind of objective advice that is hard to come by when you’re a business owner. It is easy to be swayed by your own emotions or assumptions when you’re passionate about your business; a marketing mentor is outside of your business, which makes them the perfect go-to for a fresh perspective.