In this article, I will describe what an SEO mentorship looked like based on my experience. I will also discuss what I learned, how the mentorship benefited me, and where you can find your own SEO mentor.
What is an SEO mentorship?
A mentor is a person who invests their time and energy to share their experience and insights with you. In an ideal case, that person had similar life and professional experiences to you and found ways to overcome obstacles. Now, that person is helping others overcome the same obstacles, gain clarity, or meet certain goals.
In the SEO world, an SEO mentor is usually an independent SEO consultant or specialist with numerous years of relevant industry experience under their belt. SEO mentor has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience and therefore, can inspire others who are on the same career path.
The importance of SEO mentorship
Online service providers struggle to find clients, scale and form genuine SEO partnerships. That’s why an SEO mentorship is important. Having an SEO mentor can help you feel seen and heard. More importantly, it shows that you’re not alone in the somewhat unpredictable journey. I had the opportunity to be a mentee of a wonderful Alizée Baudez, a freelance SEO consultant and small business owner helping others with her unique skill set. Here is my experience.
Mentorship areas of work
SEO mentorships can be focused on teaching hard or soft skills. However, since hard SEO skills can be learned from different sources (and one most important source is your own experimenting and trial and error), mentors can be irreplaceable in teaching you the soft skills related to the SEO field. Those skills include: negotiation, prioritizing, networking, creating your unique service packages, and most importantly, managing your workflow, productivity and energy, so it can align with your life goals.
Usually, you should define the areas of improvement you’d like to work on and try to connect with mentors that were once in your place. Some common areas of SEO mentorship would be:
- Negotiating with clients
- Developing technical skills
- Niching down
- Pricing and packages
- Managing the workflow
- Networking and developing a strong SEO brand
Benefits from SEO mentorships
From my own experience, the benefits of this mentorship program were huge. It’s hard to list all, but I will try:
- Feeling seen and heard
- Developing a genuine connection with another SEO professional
- Sharing useful experiences and insights you can incorporate into your business
- Learning so much beyond the hard skills, and developing a new mindset
- Learning to track and follow your energy flow so that you can create a work-life balance that works for you
Not only do you validate your issues and see that you’re not the only one struggling, but you also meet other people on the same journey with similar challenges. Also, you gain lots of value from sharing experiences, feelings, and insights.
My Story about the mentorship
I was so lucky to gain all those insights from my amazing mentor, Alizée. We have discussed countless topics, starting from motivation and life goals, to pricing and day-to-day organization when working on different projects (including dealing with difficult clients). I tend to neglect the fact that being a freelance business consultant is so much more than actually doing the work for clients. There are numerous other little nuances and tasks that you don’t have as an employee, but you have as a self-employed person. And those things are very important, too.
Being a freelance SEO consultant, when you are a one-man band, might be lonely at times. You are in charge of all SEO work for your clients, you don’t have other members in the team to reach out to, and the SEO success of your clients entirely depends on you. Connecting to another business owner can reduce the anxiety, and can create a sense of companionship that I certainly had with Alizée.
I felt understood from the very first meeting and realized that my struggles and concerns are valid and that it’s a normal part of our journey and personal growth. We don’t need to have all the answers right away, but what we need to do is take more liberty and manage the workload the way it suits us, since we’re the ones who left the rigid 9 to 5 routine to enjoy more flexibility in life.
How it started and how it ended
When I applied to the Women in Tech SEO program, I didn’t know what to expect, and if I would be matched with a mentor at all. However, soon I found out that they matched me with Alizée, a self-employed SEO consultant with more than 6 years of experience as a small business owner.
We had bi-weekly meetings, and each of them was filled with great ideas, encouragements and insights. In the end, she noticed that I made remarkable progress, which meant a lot to me, as we usually don’t easily notice changes in our own behaviour and mindset.
I could say it was an amazing mentorship and realized I should be networking more, as there are lots of awesome people in the SEO community willing to share their experiences.
How to get the most out of your SEO mentorship?
If you are lucky enough to find your SEO mentor, don’t take that opportunity for granted. My advice is to be vigilant and dedicated to the meetings. Do not hesitate to ask, explore insights and opportunities, share all your concerns, and be really invested in the conversations you have with your mentor. Always be aware of the goals you want to achieve and issues you’re facing, so try to direct the conversation and mentorship towards your goal setting and resolving your issues.
Where to find your SEO mentor?
SEO mentors can usually be found in online groups and communities where SEO people hang out: Twitter, Slack groups, Facebook SEO groups, and LinkedIn. I found my mentor in the Women in tech SEO group, as I am their Slack member who carefully reads announcements and posts there. In fact, I applied to their SEO mentorship program, and they did a really extraordinary job by matching me with Alizée.
If you want to find your SEO mentor, I guess you need to keep searching, networking, and sharing your desire to be mentored in the relevant SEO community.