Online Mentorship Programs Let You Cash in
on Your Expertise
by Marcia Yudkin
Whether you're a former retail store owner known for your
creativity, a championship bridge player, or a psychotherapist with a long current waiting list for
openings, if you possess expertise that makes colleagues
and aficionados want your pearls of wisdom, you can create
a new income stream with an online mentorship program.
Such a program charges a fee for people to sit at your feet
and learn from you. The program would have a special focus
(not for everyone) and offer information, resources,
advice, insider tips and problem solving. While a
mentorship program could take place in the "real world," it
is especially easy to set it up, promote and run it online.
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Before I created my online mentorship program,
for More, in the fall of 2003, I did extensive
research on fees and features of other programs. I looked
most closely at seven examples whose fees ranged from $30 a
month to just less than $600 a month.
At the lower end of this spectrum, $30 a month didn't give
members very much personal access to the expert around whom
the program revolved, while at nearly $600 a month, a
member received just about unlimited private access to the
expert. Likewise, the program with the lowest fee accepted
anyone who applied, while the higher fees required
application, with no guarantee of acceptance.
Features in the online mentorship programs I looked at
included some or all of these:
Topical teleclasses or conference calls
Feedback and advice from the designated expert
Discounts on products and services
Free books, tapes or reports
Free in-person meetings
Group discussion board
You should do this research yourself to see who has a
program similar to yours, what they charge and what they
offer. Join a couple of mentorship programs and learn from
what you like and don't like in what they do.
When you decide to go ahead, you can either buy a readymade
software program for running such an online program or
create your own web site. Membergate is one
well-established, reliable such tool, with a one-time
licensing fee of $3,500 and up. Since my husband is a
programmer, we built our own site with a password-protected
area and an online application for prospective members to
However much or little you decide to charge, it's essential
for members to feel they're getting their money's worth,
and that means that you must offer quite a lot of
member-only content, with fresh material added often. I
not only quit one mentorship site but also asked for my
money back because it didn't live up to the promise of
listings that were updated daily and the site owner
appeared to be nowhere in evidence.
Be flexible in what you're willing to offer members. I
started off thinking that a member-only discussion board
was the best way for members to get feedback and advice
from me, but I learned that while some members loved that,
others preferred the exchange of ideas in a live conference
call. So I added those to my program.
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Because I thoroughly researched and planned before
launching my online mentorship program and have remained
determined to have members think they're getting an
unbelievable deal, Marketing for More got off to a
successful start and has continued to thrive. Good luck
cashing in on your expertise!
Copyright 2007 Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.
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