How to Follow Up with Mentors You Meet in Labs

There are a lot of opportunities to meet amazing mentors in Labs: through workshops or talks they provide, through one-on-one office hours they host, at Labs networking events they attend, etc. When you meet a mentor that you’re interested in building a more robust relationship with, or even someone whose brain you’d love to pick for an hour or so, follow this advice from WeWork Labs head of platform Heather Leonard to connect with them over email and get an initial meeting scheduled (plus, a template you can use for your outreach.)

The do’s

  • Keep your email brief to avoid losing their interest. “No one reads beyond the first paragraph,” Leonard says.
  • Remind them of who you are, where you met or encountered them, and what your company does.
  • Tell them why you want to meet with them. If they led a session on marketing that opened your eyes to a new approach or strategy you hadn’t thought of, say exactly what and explain (briefly) that you’d like to discuss it further.
  • Include your company’s website and your LinkedIn in your email signature so they can easily check you and your company out.
  • “If you have some impressive people involved in your company,” whether they’re investors or advisors, “Name them,” Leonard says. “That validates you and your idea.”

The don’ts

  • Make sure you don’t ask for too much of their time and energy too quickly. You want to avoid coming off as overzealous. For example, you shouldn’t be proposing a weekly one-hour meeting in this email. You want to get that initial meeting, see how it goes, and if it seems like a beneficial relationship for you both, “then you start establishing the routine,” Leonard says.

The template

If you attended a mentor’s programming session but didn’t speak to the directly:

Hi [mentor name],
I’m [name, title, company]. I attended your [workshop/talk] at WeWork Labs [location], and [sentence about what you learned, what resonated with you, etc.]. I would love to set a time to discuss further and connect more specifically on [how the workshop relates to your business]. Based on your background and expertise, I think you’d be an excellent person for me to learn from.

Please let me know your availability or if there’s someone on your team I should connect with to schedule.

[Sign off],
[Your name]

If you spoke with a mentor at Labs:

Hi [mentor name],
I hope you’re well. It was such a pleasure to meet you at [event at WeWork Labs]. I really enjoyed your session about [topic and something you learned from it] / I really enjoyed speaking with you about [topic]. I would love to set a time to discuss further and connect more specifically on [aspect of your business this person could provide mentorship on]. Based on your background and expertise, I think you’d be an excellent person for me to learn from.

Please let me know your availability or if there’s someone on your team I should connect with to schedule.

[Sign off],
[Your name]

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