I have always been a little unorthodox in the way that I have gone about things. It’s not a habit that I’m particularly proud of, but it seems to be the way I get things done. By profession I am a teacher, and the standard route has always been to attend a suitable course, take advice from a tutor or mentor, and make mistakes in the first placements rather than the first permanent teaching post.
The standard route is not one that I followed. Having been an undergraduate and then a postgraduate, I chose to bypass the teacher-training colleges and I applied for my first teaching position with no training or mentoring.
Somehow I was successful in my application, and for the next three years I struggled to establish myself as a successful teacher, and I made every mistake imaginable. Eventually I passed all of my probationary periods and within a short space of time I progressed to managing my own department and I acquired the status of Advanced Skills Teacher.
My route into the teaching profession was not one that I would advise anybody else to follow. It was tough, and I could have avoided many of the mistakes if I had listened to an experienced mentor.
The same has been true of my internet marketing experience. I have worked hard to learn the necessary skills to be successful in the business, but I have generally made insufficient use of advice given, and I have therefore probably taken much longer than I should have done to get to my present position.
My advice to would-be internet marketers is therefore very simple – find a suitable mentor. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. There are thousands of individuals in the world of internet marketing who have set themselves up as ‘experts’. I have come across many of these, and have been stung on numerous occasions. So how do I recommend that you find a suitable mentor? There are a number of steps that you should follow:
1. Listen to recommendations. Visit the discussion forums – who is everybody talking about?
2. Visit websites and blogs – which names constantly appear?
3. When you’ve found a potential mentor, investigate their site. What do they provide for newbies? Is it just a website, or do they produce additional resources such as regular newsletters?
4. Try contacting the potential mentor. Communication is key to any mentor / mentee relationship. If your emails are not returned within a reasonable time scale then this doesn’t bode well for the future.
5. Expect to pay something for the mentoring. Remember what you get if you pay peanuts! Is the mentoring payment plan within your anticipated budget?
6. Discuss with your potential mentor what you can expect from them. Ask for testimonials and read what other people have to say.
7. If you’re not convinced by what a mentor is offering, then don’t be afraid to walk away.
8. Expect regular communication with your mentor – you’re paying for a service, so expect to be treated with courtesy and timely respect.
My advice to anybody considering getting involved with internet marketing is to find a suitable mentor. Clear guidance and support can help you avoid many potential pitfalls. Follow the steps I have outlined above, and endeavour to find a mentor you feel comfortable with. Hopefully your relationship with your mentor will last a long time, so it’s worth choosing carefully as you embark upon your internet marketing journey.