How having a mentor can help you

two men sitting at computers in office with one man standing
Photo: iStock

When you are working independently, having a mentor to guide you is such a help.

I have recently started freelancing as a writer, editor, and translator. I hope to use my editorial skills to help nonprofits, small businesses, and entrepreneurs sell their services. There are many ways for me to secure clients, but I am quickly being reminded how important it is to have great mentors. Whether the goal is to achieve personal or professional growth, having a mentor can make a significant difference.

How do I find mentors to help me?

In my new journey, I am finding mentors the same way a lot of people meet their future spouses these days – on social media. I am convinced there is a Facebook private group for everything. Before I started seeking clients, I never thought to look for groups for authors or editors. I didn’t even belong to a translators’ group, even though that is something I have been doing for over 10 years. Suddenly, I belong to groups of people who do everything I want to do.

Professional growth for freelancers

As a result, I have access to the insight of hundreds of people who take the same steps I am taking now. My fellow group members have a range of experience. Some have been freelancing for a year while others have more than 25 years of experience. In addition, others are freelancers. Others work in-house with small or large publishers. All of them have a particular experience and knowledge that I don’t have. Fortunately, they are more than willing to share their knowledge with beginners like me. 

As I mentioned earlier, I have done translation work for years. Companies and organizations have always reached out for my services. What is new for me is the fact that I am actually seeking clients and throwing writing and editing into the mix. I am finding that having a mentor who has done this before is very helpful. My questions, which I am free to ask any time in my groups, get responses that are constructive.

The truth about freelancing business

When freelancing, knowing what services you are providing is only a first step. Freelancers also have to learn how to market and sell services, set rates, secure and maintain clients. In addition, you learn technical tools needed for the work and do a bit of finance. All of these require time to learn the ropes. Having a mentor helps to manage all of these tasks without losing sight of the end goal. Having mentors for me has reduced the time I spend asking questions and increased the time I spend doing the work.

Why you need a mentor to grow your freelancing business

If you are starting out as a freelancer, look for the people you admire in your field. Get in touch. Use social media for more than sharing a photo of the day. Join networking groups or connect with your dream mentors on LinkedIn. I recently connected with a copywriter who lives in the United Kingdom. He has been freelancing for a little over a year, but he has already shared several ideas that I did not think about before. People are willing to help. You just have to do your part and reach out to them. The knowledge you get will help you grow. Hopefully, you will pay it forward one day.

Les opinions exprimées et les conseils donnés dans les blogs Hello et Voices d'USAHello sont ceux des auteurs. USAHello propose des informations impartiales et des cours en ligne pour aider les nouveaux arrivants aux États-Unis.