Design Domination Podcast Episode #43: 10 Ways a Design Mentor Can Help You

Designers, do you need to take your skills to the next level so you can charge more and get more respect? Want to go out on your own but not sure what’s involved? Need help with a freelancing issue? Here are 10 ways a design mentor could help you.

There are many ways to learn and improve your skills. You can buy a book, watch a video, take a course, join a community on- or offline, or search online until you’re blue in the face. These are all great and can help tremendously. But they are good if you already know what you need help with. You may not even know what you need help with, or you may be focusing on the wrong thing and not know it. That’s where one-on-one design mentoring is especially valuable. Here are 10 ways a design mentor can help you.

1. Improve your portfolio.

When you need to improve your portfolio and find out what areas you might need to improve upon, a design mentor can provide constructive critique and feedback on your design work, so that you can improve your skills.

2. Challenge yourself creatively.

When you’re stuck in a creative rut, a design mentor can challenge you to help you improve your creative skills.

3. Build confidence.

When you need to become more confident about your work and presenting it, a design mentor can help you learn how to interpret what a client needs and then how to present it to them, so you present with confidence and get less pushback on your work.

4. Get to the next level.

When you have a mental hurdle to break through, a design mentor can help you realize—even if you don’t—that you might have a mindset issue preventing you from getting to the next level with your work or freelancing business.

5. Share business insights.

When you want to become a full-time freelancer, a design mentor can help you understand what’s involved in the process, from starting your own business to helping you get more clients.

6. Deal with a freelancing issue.

When you’re unsure how to deal with a business- or client-related issue, a design mentor can help you work through it, whether it’s coming up with what to say or crafting a better process to prevent these problem in the future.

7. Reach your goals faster.

When you want to reach your goals faster, a design mentor can provide insight from their years of experience. Sure, you can try something and make your own mistakes and learn from them. But it can be easy to get discouraged quickly when you don’t see results. A mentor with a proven track record can route you in the right direction and help you get there faster.

8. Create processes.

When you need to create better processes with your workflow and with clients, a design mentor can help you create or streamline your processes, so clients find it easier to work with you and to help you become more efficient.

9. Help you make connections.

When you need to build up your network, a design mentor can help you do that by directing you how to do that or even sharing their own connections with you, which may open up doors for you.

10. Provide moral support.

When you need to vent about an issue—because we all do!—a design mentor can provide moral support to help pick you up and get back on track.

Is design mentoring for you?

If you want to find out if design mentoring is right for you, find someone with a proven track record, who’s been there, done that. Lots of designers—myself included—choose to work with a mentor at various stages in their career.

If you’re interested in mentoring with me, find out more at

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