Sponsor vs Mentor: Where the Lines Get Blurred

Sponsor vs Mentor: Where the Lines Get Blurred

If you have ever been a member of an affiliate program or MLM, when it comes to sponsor vs mentor, this is where the lines get blurred.

Anyone in my fan following base who truly knows me knows how positive and giving of a person I am and how I’ve always been committed to helping others in every community have been a member in.


I love to help others unconditionally and I make it my business to answer EVERY question and comment to the best of my ability.

Heck, I hate to write even one negative post Ladies and Gents, but even I occasionally have to get things off my chest.

So here is one of my rare rants.

The truth is I Get No Help from My Sponsor.

In one of the entrepreneurial programs I became involved in, during the 30+ months that I'd been a premium member there my referrer never helped me even once.. And I don't expect he ever will.

Despite reaching out to him many times with a variety of questions under all different types of circumstances, he never answers me.

Yet HE continues to make a recurring income off me. Constantly. A nice recurring commission every year guaranteed, as I am their referral and am on the yearly premium plan.

There are affiliate links within this post. What this means is that if you decide to purchase anything through one of my links, I'll be rewarded with a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. This small commission helps me run and maintain my website.

sponsor vs mentor, what are the differences?

Sponsor vs Mentor: Are There Differences?

What’s the difference between a sponsor vs mentor, and do they share the same responsibilities to their referrals?

Well, that depends on the program you sign up for.

In this one particular program I signed up for as a premium member for, there was a certain expectation as espoused by the company Founders that whomever signed you up (the referrer) was responsible to “pay-it-forward” and help you (the referral) along your journey even after you singed up to the program.

This is how they would justify earning their recurring commission by signing you up.

Most of the members in the program emphatically agreed with me when I posed this question in the community forum, although there were a few who opposed this notion.

Sponsors are Welcome

Here are some of the comments from the members who agreed with me, they provide a glimpse into the feelings about the relationship between being a sponsor vs mentor:

I really feel for you, Kaju. My referrer is certainly not a "sponsor" either. She has totally ignored me for 4 years but still collects the money every year when I renew my membership.

I'm absolutely disgusted that your sponsor, who is ranked so highly here at WA, does not help his referrals. Yes, I know who he is. He takes arrogance to the extreme. He's much too important to help you or any other of his referrals and does not answer questions posed to him by ANYONE.

If I can be of any help to you, just reach out to me. – Anonymous

That's pretty sad and a bad reflection on whoever it is.
But the positive side of it is you are self-sufficient and in all probabilities could mentor your mentor.- Anonymous

Here are some of the comments from the members who disagreed, followed by other members who “pushed” back:

Why do you think that a referring affiliate should perform customer care duties as well as the marketing and promotion of a product?

Do you know of any other product or merchant that requires or obliges that? – Anonymous

In the affiliate bootcamp, the founder says he wants affiliates to help out those they refer, so there is some added responsibility to the affiliates here. It's also why we get 40% recurring commissions as compensation for that. I think it should be enforced and a clear expectation should be set.

Some people are wanting a mentor/leader, and that's a specific skillset not all affiliates will have, so that bubble needs to be busted. On the flip side, the affiliates should help out as best they can and not ignore people--that's what the affiliate commission pays you for--otherwise, I'm sure they'd just pay a one-time commission for the sale. – Anonymous

sponsor vs mentor, what are the voluntary responsibilities?

I think mentoring is on a voluntary basis and your "mentor" has no formal responsibility regarding you. You are a (program) customer. If people buy some Amazon stuff through my link I feel no responsibility, buying is a personal decision based or not-based on what a visitor reads in my review. They are Amazon customers. I do not see any difference with the referral system here at WA.

But contrary to your experience, I did have lots of help from the person who brought me here, although I have never expected him to do so as a matter of duty. His help has always been appreciated though. – Anonymous

But if a person brings you in and promises to help you if you sign up with them, then they should honor that promise. If they don't then it's no different than the scammers that are out there and the ones we try to protect everyone against. – Anonymous

Wow. As you can see some of the dialogue was quite divergent, and even began bordering on contentious.



To be clear, that is supposedly the role of the person who I signed up to the program through their affiliate link, or the person whose link from their website led me to the opt-in page of that program.

Technically, that person is my mentor.

In other words, my sponsor is my mentor.

Or are they?

According to the company culture and program mission statement, should be.

Except it doesn't always quite work out that way.

Some have been lucky in the program, unfortunately I was not.

sponsor vs mentor

And I was a rare catch indeed, as I signed up as a premium member practically immediately after clicking on their link. In other words, after reading all the background info on the program, I joined directly to premium and never looked back, without ever becoming a free member.

Other than never getting help from my sponsor, I have zero regrets. I turned into one of the Top Ambassadors and helper of others in the community.

I will not name the person who is my sponsor, I refuse to disrespect anyone on this platform regardless of how often my questions and comments have been ignored. I'm sure they know who they are.

All I will say is that they are a high ranking member, they are NOT the Founders, who to their great credit have always been as prompt as possible to answer my questions and address my concerns.

Regretfully, not one time in 20 months has "my mentor" ever answered any question I've asked them in a PM, nor have they ever responded to any of my comments I've made on their posts or trainings, all phrased respectfully, whether it was a question or a comment.

And there were many important questions I needed answers to from the beginning and still into the present.

sponsor vs mentor, either way one needs to be self-sufficient

Sponsor vs Mentor: Learn to Be Self-Sufficient

But I guess I did alright anyway, I learned to be very self-sufficient on the platform, by asking a wide variety of questions to GREAT members of the community. Both my followers and non-followers.

I learned to find out who were those "go to" specialists "in-the-know" very early on, and sought out those members. Whenever I had a question about the training, I knew exactly where to go.

Therefore, I suppose you can say in a way you ALL are my mentors, as your feedback and engagement speak volumes, and I get volumes more helpful attention and information from EVERY ONE of you in one day, more than my actual referrer has ever given me during my full tenure here.

I refuse to follow the lead of my referrer.

You can bet your bottom dollar as long as I am here I will always help this community. And if I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to send you to someone who does.

That said, no regrets whatsoever.

Everything turned out pretty well for me.

I am your mentor, and I am here for my referrals

To All My Referrals…..

You can ask me ANYTHING at any time, and you will always get an answer pronto from me.

Please NEVER hesitate to reach out to me and ask me ANYTHING related to online business and your journey here in this great community.

Feel free to reach out to me via PM, or ask a question or make a comment on any of my combined 600+ posts, questions, and trainings

sponsor vs mentor, what are your thoughts?

Rant over. Thanks for listening about my ideas about Sponsor vs Mentor.

Back to positive and more productive endeavors, my friends.

In closing….

What are your thoughts about this subject?

Should a sponsor who earns recurring yearly commissions off you in a program, be obliged to be your Mentor?

Feel free to leave your comments below.

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!