When it comes to promoting your mentoring program, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing solely on the benefits for mentees. However, to attract potential mentors, it’s important to have a comprehensive and clear promotional message that resonates with them. In this article, we’ll explore the power of Mentoring Champions and the five key pieces that are often missing from mentoring program promotional messages.
Connecting the Dots: Identifying What’s Missing in Your Promotional Message
Before making any changes to your mentoring program promotional message, it’s important to identify what’s missing. Start by looking at your current message and asking yourself if you’ve addressed all of the following points:
- Consider whether your message clearly communicates the benefits of your mentoring program. Are you highlighting how the program can help mentees achieve their goals, develop new skills, and build valuable connections? If not, you may be missing a key selling point that could attract potential mentees.
- Think about whether your message is tailored to your target audience. Are you using language and examples that resonate with the people you want to reach? If you’re promoting a mentoring program for women in tech, for example, you’ll want to use language and examples that speak to their unique experiences and challenges.
Making Sure Your Message Resonates with Your Target Audience
In order to attract potential mentors and mentees, your promotional message needs to resonate with them. This means highlighting benefits that are of interest to them and addressing any concerns they may have. For example, if you’re targeting working professionals, emphasize how mentoring can help them develop new skills and progress in their careers.
When crafting your message, consider the tone and language you use. It’s important to use language that is appropriate for your target audience and that they can relate to. Let’s say you’re targeting a younger demographic, using casual or more informal language may be more effective in capturing their attention.
Be clear and concise in your message – an underrated skill here is brevity. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to your target audience. Instead, use simple language and focus on the key benefits of mentoring that will resonate with them.
Using Storytelling to Attract Potential Mentors
One effective way to make your mentoring program’s promotional message more engaging is by using storytelling. Share success stories of previous mentees and mentors, and highlight how the mentoring relationship has benefited both parties. This will not only make your message more compelling but also help potential mentors see the value of the program.
If you’re using Mentorloop, you can easily surface stories from your Mentoring Champions in your Highlights and Sentiment dashboard. Filter for recent, five-star Mentoring Quality Scores and reach out to these people to share their feedback and stories. If you’re a Mentorloop Enterprise customer, you’ll have more in-depth mentoring stories collected by your Customer Success Manager.
Additionally, consider incorporating personal anecdotes from current mentors or mentees to further illustrate the impact of the program. These stories can showcase the growth and development that can occur through a mentoring relationship, and provide a more relatable and authentic perspective for potential mentors. By using storytelling in your promotional materials, you can effectively communicate the benefits of your mentoring program and attract more qualified mentors.
So, how do we shape our message from our high-performing mentors and mentees (a.k.a. Mentoring Champions) before we launch a program so that we can help inspire your people to get involved?
How do I actually use mentoring champions & mentoring stories?
To facilitate any change, whether in participation, attitude, or culture, a change agent—or Mentoring Champion—needs credibility.
To keep it simple, we’ve broken it down into five key messages your Mentoring Champion should touch on in order to ensure their message packs the most punch. These messages are designed to help your people feel ready to embrace and participate in your mentoring program.
These five key message domains—discrepancy, efficacy, appropriateness, principal support, and personal valence—were identified by Armenakis et al (1999) to help leaders successfully encourage adoption and change.
But what do they mean? Below, we’ll dive deeper into how each of these can be deployed by your Mentoring Champion and shift your mentoring program further toward success.
The 5 Things You’re Likely Missing in Your Promotional Message:
1. Discrepancy: Why is mentoring needed or necessary?
The first question you want to answer is “Why mentoring?” Armenakis et al identify that focusing your messaging on why mentoring is needed, necessary, or important can help would-be participants make that mental jump. Therefore, have Mentoring Champions share their own stories of personal development through mentoring. How has it enriched their lives? How has it helped them develop both personally and professionally?
Potential mentors need to understand why mentoring is necessary, and what role they can play in making a difference. This means addressing the discrepancy between the current situation and the desired outcome.
For example, if you’re targeting a particular industry, discuss the skills gap that exists and how mentoring can help close that gap.
It may include tapping into the fact many people may have the desire to improve themselves but lack the guidance and support to do so. Mentors can provide valuable feedback, advice, and resources to help individuals reach their goals.
Not to mention, mentoring can also have a positive impact on the mentor, as it provides an opportunity to give back and make a difference in someone’s life. Mentors can also gain new perspectives and insights from their mentees, which can help them grow and develop as well.
2. Appropriateness: Why is mentoring right for ‘us’?
This messaging should logically communicate why mentoring is right for your organization.
- Why have you, as an organization, decided to invest in a mentoring program in the first place?
- What are your organizational goals for the program?
- Where are you now and where do you need or want to be?
- What business and people benefits do you hope the program will bring?
It’s important to explain why mentoring is the right approach for your organization or industry. For example, if your organization values continuous learning and development, explain how mentoring can help support that goal.
Mentoring often assists in fostering a sense of community and collaboration within your organization. By pairing mentors with mentees who are eager to learn and grow, can result in the creation of a culture of mentoring, knowledge-sharing, and support – leading to increased employee engagement and retention, as well as improved overall performance and productivity.
3. Efficacy: How will mentoring help?
According to Armenakis et al, “efficacy refers to sentiments regarding confidence in one’s ability to succeed.” Therefore, provide confidence to would-be participants that when they participate in the mentoring program, they can acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully be a good mentor or mentee. That’s because Mentorloop has them covered with plenty of resources, tips, and tricks they can access along their mentoring journey.
Pro Tip: When promoting your mentoring program, describe to your participants what they can expect from joining the program – including the time commitment and the support they will receive. If your people are new to mentoring, this can be a daunting initiative to join. Giving your people context will help alleviate any fears.
Here’s where your Mentoring Champions and Mentoring Stories come in. Providing examples of how it has helped others in the past and highlighting how mentoring can help mentees develop new skills, increase their confidence, and become more effective in their roles.
4. Principal Support: Will this actually happen?
Employees may be skeptical of change efforts as they may have seen many of them stall in the past. Therefore, they need to see a clear demonstration of support—that’s where your Mentoring Champions really shine. Would-be participants need to see that the change agents (Mentoring Champions) are walking the talk. Who of your influential people are already participating in mentoring?
Pro Tip: Don’t just use your Mentoring Champions to promote your program when you’re recruiting participants; instead, why not use them throughout the program? Share their stories as they go, including any advice, challenges, and achievements. Prove to your people that mentoring is indeed a process.
Potential mentors need to feel confident that the mentoring program has the support of senior leaders within the organization. This means addressing the level of principal support for the program, and how this support will help ensure its success. For example, discuss how senior leaders will be involved in the program, and what role they will play in supporting mentors and mentees.
Principal support is not just about verbal agreement or endorsement of the program. It also involves providing necessary resources and funding to ensure the program’s success. This includes allocating time for mentors and mentees to meet, providing training for mentors, and creating a system for tracking progress and evaluating the program’s effectiveness. Using a platform such as Mentorloop solves this, however, without adequate support from senior leaders, your mentoring program may struggle to achieve its goals and may not be sustainable in the long run.
Learn more about the 7 Reasons Mentoring Programs Fail (And How You Can Avoid Them).
5. Valence: What’s in it for me?
Would-be participants must believe they will benefit extrinsically or intrinsically from embracing the change and participating in the mentoring program. Therefore, help them answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Thankfully, we’ve got some great resources to help you articulate this.
Here are 40 Mentoring Program Benefits You Won’t Want To Miss.
Pro Tip: Use Mentoring Stories to keep the momentum going. At various points of the mentoring journey, Mentorloop helps you surface positive mentoring experiences that you can share with others. This can be used to inspire, educate, or reassure them that wherever they are in their journey, success is waiting just around the corner.
By addressing all of these key pieces when promoting your mentoring program, you’ll be able to attract more (and more relevant) potential mentors and mentees to build a successful mentoring experience. Remember to keep your message clear, concise, and engaging, and use examples and success stories to bring it to life.
Remember, it’s important to highlight the impact that mentoring can have on both mentors and mentees. By emphasizing the positive impact that mentoring can have on both the mentor and mentee, you can create a more compelling case for potential mentors to get involved in your program.
Encouraging your Mentoring Champions to leverage these types of messages throughout your mentoring program, you won’t only get more participants to sign up but will keep them actively engaged throughout the program.
For more on promoting your program and encouraging engagement, head over to the Mentorloop Academy to get tips and best practice advice from our team of mentoring experts!
Or if you’re not yet running a mentoring program – start building your mentoring program now, in just 4 easy steps.