Morgan Linton had a very good post today about finding a mentor in the domain industry. There are a few people who invest in domain names who have given me advice over the years, and it’s always been appreciated.
There is one thing you really should take to heart in Morgan’s article, “Of course not all Domainers will have the bandwidth to be a mentor, many of us are busy people so be respectful and ask early in the relationship about your interest in having a mentor.”
Many of the most visible domain investors are people with blogs. Frankly, for some people, having a blog is like a second job in addition to our domain businesses. Some bloggers have “real” jobs in addition to their blogs and domain investments. There aren’t a whole lot of people that are happy to share insight that also have the time to spare, and you can be sure that most of the bloggers are busy with their own businesses.
If you ask someone for some advice or for a favor and they don’t return your email promptly, don’t answer your question thoroughly, or don’t return your email at all, don’t be a jerk in return. Nobody is obligated to give you free advice, and nobody is obligated to return an email to you if they don’t choose to do so. Whatever the case is, a rude reply will not do you any good and will probably kill any chance of that person ever helping you or working with you.
I’ve always tried to reply to people and be helpful when I receive emails. In fact, I started DomainQuestions.com to help a larger audience of people when someone asked me a question. After not providing answers to a couple of people several months ago, I received a couple of nasty replies. Sadly, that got my guard up, and I don’t really offer advice to anyone I don’t know. There are many good domain consultants that would be happy to help, but I operate a private business and don’t do consulting.
I agree with Morgan that having a mentor can be helpful. I recommend only asking people you know for help and advice. After all, most of us are competing with each other when it comes to buying and selling domain names. If you want to meet people in the industry, you should probably make a point of attending a conference.