How to recruit participants to your mentoring program
Mentoring programs obviously need participants. And getting those participants is something that doesn’t always come easy. We get asked about how to recruit participants into mentoring programs all the time, and that’s because this part of the journey can be a bit daunting, especially for first-time program coordinators.
Mentorloop has been part of tons of programs over the years, so we’ve got ideas that we think would help program coordinators who might be a bit overwhelmed with this aspect of managing a program, especially those of you who are new to this.
It’s time to introduce you to our good friend, AIDA. This super-simple model will help you get an idea of the journey you should be taking your would-be participants on throughout your recruitment campaign.
The AIDA Model
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. This model has long been used in marketing and it describes the steps a customer goes through in the process of making the decision to buy something. For our purposes – recruiting participants for mentoring programs – it looks like this:
Basically, tell your potential mentors and mentees what the program is all about. Cover all the basics – what’s the program called, when would sign-ups open, who is eligible to participate – that kind of thing, because potential participants can’t get interested in something they know nothing about.
Pro Tip: It helps to have a catchy/witty name, eye-catching materials to share, and the like. You want to catch people’s attention, after all!
This is the part where you make the program sound great to potential mentors and mentees! Tell them why they should check the program out.
What’s the program’s goal? Is it to increase diversity in your leadership? Is this an opportunity for them to learn from colleagues in a different market or department? Is this a chance for new graduates to learn from a professional in an industry they’d like to join?
Get them interested by telling them all about the benefits and what they’ll get out of it.
Make them want to get involved – lean into the benefits and make it real and accessible for potential participants. Make them see that actually, those benefits you told them about, they could absolutely experience for themselves.
Show them real-life examples of life-changing mentoring partnerships. Famous examples are great, but if you can find the Mentoring Champions in your organisation, that’s even better! Having familiar faces in your organisation speak to the benefits of mentoring and/or being mentored is powerful and can really inspire potential mentors and mentees to give the program a go.
Tell them how they can get involved! Here’s where you make sure that those who want to join your program find it easy to do so. Make your sign-up form or links easy to find, send some reminders, and plaster that information in places they’ll easily find it.
If your sign-up process has a few steps, don’t assume that the applicants can just figure it out – give them some instructions. If your sign-up form is on your website, make sure applicants can easily find it by sharing the direct link to the form via email, Slack, social media, or any other platform that makes sense for your organisation. Basically, make it effortless for them to join.
Download Our Program Marketing and Recruitment Guide
Obviously, this is all easier said than done. We’re very aware that this process can be daunting and overwhelming for some program coordinators, especially those running and managing one for the first time. So, we’ve created a more in-depth guide to marketing your mentoring program and recruiting participants! It’s full of helpful tips, real-life examples, and a bunch of templates ready for you to use.
Best of all, it’s free and you can download it via the link below! We hope you find it helpful in your journey.