With over 1,000 subscribers to the community, Maker Mentors is rapidly expanding its reach to connect newly minted makers, creatives and artists to their more established peers. And its intent to stitch together an intricate web of talent has paid off for both maker and mentor.
First time visitors to MakerMentors.org immediately recognize that the “We’ve made it and we’ll tell you how” hook is much more than just a quick way to catch your attention. For countless individuals around the world, there’s a burning passion to take what they love to do or turn their hobby into a business. While the craft or art may come naturally, the business end of things doesn’t always materialize so easily.
Founder Cassie Boorn explains to PEN how Maker Mentors is connecting those people who are just in the idea stages of starting a business to entrepreneurs that have figured out the tricks of the trade and are willing to share. This digital learning environment platform spans the globe providing the people and the tools to make it easier for you no matter what stage in the process you are at.
How does Maker Mentors work?
It’s very easy. You start by going to the site and subscribing. Every Monday you’ll receive an email notifying you of upcoming events, conferences and free tools. Then you can pick what’s of interest to you based on where you’re at with your business. There are things that help you get started like a mock business plan and 12 month marketing plan templates.
What was the inspiration to create a platform like Maker Mentors?
Maker Mentors was created to serve as the sister to Modern Thrive. It first started by 200 people attending an offline event. That spawned a movement because there were so many follow up questions and people trying to connect with those they just met. What we’ve experienced with Modern Thrive is that there are all of these makers with products, but they had no idea how to sell or market them.
How many mentors are involved at any given point and what do they mentor you on?
There are around 50-70 mentors at each conference. Each attendee gets paired up with a mentor who has a business in a similar niche.
What else is in it for Maker Mentors subscribers?
Access to a network of other makers and artists on a business-level. There are many educational resources to help someone who subscribes get connected to experts. In addition to everything we have right now, we’ll be coming out with an e-book soon that has a lot of helpful information included in it.
I like to say, “We start with the people and what questions they personally have and try to help them. We don’t have a building that they might not have access to and aren’t creating resources that they don’t need.”
Where do you see the future of Maker Mentors going in 2016 and beyond?
This year we’ll be focusing on creating even more workshops for artists, illustrators and freelance creatives. We’ll also be expanding in photography, writing and other niches. The goal is to launch 100 courses this year!
How can people connect with you or Maker Mentors to get started making?
They should definitely subscribe to the weekly newsletter that will immediately get them into the community.