I do this regularly, so here are my tips:
- Where possible, video call. It helps build the connection between mentor and mentee. Lots of options to do this: Skype, Hangouts, Facetime, web conferencing platforms, Whatsapp (if you're doing this internationally), and many more.
- I spend the first call or two getting to know each other both professionally and personally. As a mentor, I like to understand how the person learns best, preferred communication paths (email, phone, text, etc.). I also like to learn a bit about them - what are their favorite hobbies, etc. because I like to connect with people on a more personal level...and you never know, I've gotten some great recipes and other tips through these relationships.
- Keep a regular cadence. It's often easy to reschedule a virtual meeting and not prioritize it. Yes, there are always times where rescheduling is necessary, but make sure it's a reschedule and not a cancel.
I agree with what Stephanie Gaulding has already mentioned. In addition to that, I make sure that I am very clear, concise and logical during email communication. Sometimes we send out emails without thinking too much about it. The receiver can not understand it if we do not present our thoughts in a logical and clear passion. I also use meaningful subject for each conversation we have via email.
As Stephanie said, connection in both professional and personal level is key for a successful mentoring.