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How many people do you currently mentor? Is that number 1, 2 or 10? Whatever number you identify you have underestimated the impact of your mentorship program. As a personal brand you are a virtual mentor for many whether you realize it or not. You are inspiring, challenging, and helping those less experienced than you to develop by indirectly speaking into their life.
Wikipedia defines Mentorship as a developmental relationship in which a more experienced person helps a less experienced person, referred to as a protégé, apprentice, mentee, or (person) being mentored, develop in a specified capacity.
When was the last time you read a blog post or followed someone on Twitter and the light went on for you? When was the last time you saw a video that someone loaded into YouTube, or read a book and the light went on for you? When was the last time you received a DM from someone, or read a link that someone posted on Twitter and the light went on for you? These brief points of interaction can be as impactful as spending 3 or 4 hours with a person in a face-to-face mentoring session.
My Virtual Mentors
With the expansion of social networks, blogs, podcasting, teleseminars it is possible to mentor virtually millions without having a personal relationship with each mentee. As a personal brand strategist I am a virtual mentor with the goal of impacting the lives of 1 million people. So I thought it would be interesting to share with you some of my personal virtual mentors. Most of whom I have never met face-to-face, don’t have an in-depth business relationship with, or DM them 10-times a day, but have been impacted tremendously by their work.
o Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki): Author of Reality Check (and eight other books)/Founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures and Co-Founder of Alltop.com
o Seth Godin: Marketing Guru/Author of Tribes (and eleven other books)
o Hill Harper (@HillHarper): Actor on CSI/Author of Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest your Destiny
o Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan): Social Media Guru/President of New Marketing Labs/Author of ‘Trust Agents’ (Due in Fall 2009)
o Rohit Bhargava (@RohitBhargava): Author of Personality Not Included
o Kevin Carroll: Author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball & The Red Rubber Ball at Work.
o Malcolm Gladwell: Author of Blink/Tipping Point & Outliners
o Vincent Hunt (@Vincent Hunt): Creative Guru
o Nancy Duarte (@Nancy Duarte): Author of Slideology
o Wayne Sutton (@Wayne Sutton): Social Media Strategist
Basic Elements of a Virtual Mentor
o Have a product/service within their Niche: A book, audio content, workshops, or seminars that centers around your specific message.
o Blog/Social Network Presence: It allows people the opportunity to connect with you, get to know you, and humanizes your brand.
o Be Authentic: Be who you are. Be authentic. People follow interesting people.
o Have the right Associations: Following or friending the right people can create mutually benefital business relationships. Leaders attract leaders.
I want to thank my virtual mentors for the REALITY CHECK, that assisted be in developing my TRIBE, to MANifest my DESTINY, while being a TRUST AGENT, with my PERSONALITY INCLUDED, while playing with my RED RUBBER BALL @ WORK, presenting my brand with SLIDE:OLOGY, while BLINKing, in 140 or Less, and being SOCIAL like WAYNE.
Who do you mentor? And what do your mentee say about you?