“My ghost mentors have no idea who I am,” says April Lovett, Co-Creator and Host of the Success in Black and White Podcast. “I follow almost everything they do in order to stay current, get ideas, and get inspired; but no…they don’t know me.” The concept of ghost mentors is a newer trend, emerging from a fast-growing social media influencer field. As more people share and divulge resources and content online, the concept of “expert” – and with it, the concept of “mentor”- is changing.
Traditional mentorship, while still relevant and necessary, requires intentional interaction between the mentor and the mentee. The new trend of ghost mentorship doesn’t require an interactive relationship, making ghost mentors accessible to anybody, anywhere.
If you have a ghost mentor, you’re still going to want to be intentional and strategic as you pursue their wisdom and resources:
1. Find the right ones. “I use different ghost mentors for different things. A few people I follow and look up to are purely motivational,” explains April. “One mentor I consider to be an expert at podcasting, so I follow her, listen to her podcast, take in her resources, and use all of it to make me a better podcaster. Another person I consider to be a voice of reason and critical thinking around hot-take issues, so I flock to her to get inspired to write about interracial relationships, diversity, and my family,” April says. “The only caution I have is to really peruse all of that person’s resources, their brand, and their image (i.e. comb through their social media and website thoroughly!) before deciding that they are the right mentor to follow. Their beliefs and values should be in line with yours to maximize your own takeaways.”
2. Observe & replicate. “Walter Bond is a mentor of mine,” says Darryl Lovett, Co-Creator and Host of Success in Black and White, The Podcast. “I watch his videos, I absorb his content, I replicate what makes sense for me and use it in my own way,” he explains. “I think it’s important to take the content shared and really make it your own. Copying word-for-word is always a bad idea. But reflecting on their concepts and infusing them into your own work can really enrich the things you then are putting out into the world.”
3. Stay connected and plugged in. “Staying ‘connected’ to a ghost mentor and keeping up with them is one of the most important things you can do,” states Darryl. “As your mentor evolves and their services and resources improve, you will find yourself and your own content improving as well.”
Want more of this conversation? Tune in to the episode of the podcast below to hear Darryl & April’s conversation on “Don’t Be Stupid: Tips for Self-Growth”