How This Business Coach Is Helping Shape Young Entrepreneurs

“Social Media Mentorship” has emerged as an easy-access alternative to a costly traditional marketing education.

(Joe McCarthy)

Presented by Corine Werner

There’s been a recent decline in the number of MBA application submissions, with the top 10 US business schools reporting an average decrease of 4.9%; Harvard recorded a 15% drop in 2022. While the cause could be related to any number of things (the pandemic, financial woes, general government uncertainty), many have attributed this to a change in learning.

Specifically, students no longer want to spend hours in a lecture hall listening to a teacher when they can learn the same thing online with a popular influencer or mentor.

“Social Media Mentorship” has emerged as an easier-to-access alternative. Even college professors are taking part in the trend, transitioning their value to social media.

According to business coach Joe McCarthy, social media is becoming increasingly important for entrepreneurs, especially Millennial and Gen Z entrepreneurs, who are using it to generate sales and as a platform for learning more about business.

At the age of 14, Joe McCarthy started his own farm business and quickly realized the potential of leveraging social media for increased sales. Drawing from his own experience, he set out to help other entrepreneurs and personal brands create a presence on social media and start growing their businesses.

This work eventually led him to establish JEM Social in partnership with Grow With Us Agency—together they have helped thousands achieve success in business.

In the past 12 months alone, there has been an explosion of business gurus on social media providing mentorship and advice to the younger generations. While they all share valuable business tips and strategies that help young entrepreneurs succeed in their ventures, McCarthy believes many are missing one key thing: quality content.

Recent data shows that “59% of the world’s population is on social media,” McCarthy says, “and 76% of these people use social media to find products they need from brands whose social media content they identify with.”

He says this is why it’s imperative that content is targeted and customized to reach a greater audience, as “that’s how you build influence and make an impact in today’s world.”

“Short-form content such as reels, shorts, and stories have become more popular in response to the demand for bite-sized pieces of content,” he says.

This has led some influencers to focus on more sensational aspects of content creation instead of providing meaningful information.

McCarthy is dedicated to continuing to provide high-value content even in the short forms, but it is by no means an easy task. Capturing years’ worth of valuable knowledge into a few seconds is proving to be quite a challenge.

“The goal is to give as much value in as little time as possible and this demands quite a bit of creativity,” he says.

But it would be ignorant not to notice the advantages as well.

“If young entrepreneurs were to depend on a traditional MBA to get all their business knowledge, they would probably have to be subjected to hours of content per time and this would likely result in diminishing returns for a number of these young people.

“But with short-form content, they tend to consume more knowledge over time, and can often be seen binging on value-laden content. For example, an average social media user can binge-watch my business content for an hour or more but won’t spend time listening to a 30-minute lecture.”

And studies support McCarthy’s theories, showing that young people tend to consume more information over time when it is broken down into concise forms.

“Our minds work in such a way that we believe we are spending less time when we watch five two-minute videos than when we watch one 10-minute video.”

Beneficially, social media influencers and mentors provide their followers with easy access to them via direct messages, comment engagements, and inner circles/mastermind groups. This level of accessibility offers unique opportunity for education and mentorship not available in traditional settings.

However, McCarthy warns that this also carries a lot of responsibility for influencers, as they are now tasked with being a mentor on an intimate level.

“In many cases, we make claims to our followers and these claims often relate to their business outcomes—not just to giving business knowledge. So, we become responsible for guiding them to business success with the knowledge we share. We have to walk the walk.”

And McCarthy does that. He says his business aims to provide more than just valuable information to next-generation entrepreneurs.

“We project ourselves in such a way that people can rely on our agency for mentorship. And we help people come up with ideas, bring such ideas to life, brand those ideas and grow them to the point of fulfillment.”

In the end, there’s no doubt social media has brought about a paradigm shift in the way we engage with audiences. It has also opened doors to new opportunities and created a more accessible platform for learning and growth.

Given this constant evolution, it is essential for individuals and organizations to adapt and stay ahead of the curve.

“Social media is a very powerful tool for making a difference, not just for your brand and business endeavors but for others as well. It is well worth exploring,” McCarthy says.