What to write in an email to a potential mentor

Have you ever heard someone you admire speak and just immediately want to hear more? Maybe you hear them on a podcast, or worked with them on a project but you're not sure how to reach out to continue the conversation? Or maybe you would even like to have them as a mentor. We've definitely experienced this. That's why we put together a template that we use when reaching out in these situations:


Part 1:

Start with who you are, how you got their email and why you admire them. Keep it brief.


“Hi {Name},

I saw that you attended the Soundboard event on Thursday. I was really interested to see that you had experience working in [describe what it is in their profile that interests you]”


Part 2:

Get specific about what you want to learn and how you would like the info.


“(continued)

I was particularly curious about [be specific about the thing you would like to learn]. What skills do you think are necessary to complete that? Did you have any doubts throughout the process?”


Part 3:

Offer something in exchange - whether it's your skills, an introduction, or to be a Soundboard to them, this will increase your odds of getting a response.


“(continued)

Also, let me know if there is anything I can help you with - more than happy to [insert something you can offer - make intros/be a soundboard/offer up my time if you need an extra pair of hands.]”


Remember:

  • Get clear on what you would like to learn. And make sure you can’t find the answer on google.

  • Don’t ask if they will be your mentor up front - this rarely works, and is a lot of pressure, focus on building a relationship instead.

  • Make it an exchange - what can you give in exchange for the time you expect to get?