One of the most impactful actions that I’ve taken to grow my brand actually happened accidentally. I attended a personal finance conference in 2013 (or was it in 2014?) anyway, one of those years I attended and was invited to join a free mastermind group so that we could grow our blogs. There were 7 of us in the group and to this day I considered these ladies and one gentleman to be friends and basically family. Out of this group of 7 several became millionaires, all have constant national media attention and ALL of our lives and businesses have grown significantly throughout the years. I’ve since been part of 4 other mastermind groups sometimes concurrently and I thought I would share some insight into why a mastermind group is such an important part of building your online brand, how to do it and why free groups are just as impactful as paid for communities.
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What is a Mastermind Group?
- Put in simple terms, a mastermind group is designed with the needs of the members in mind. A mastermind does the following:
- Acts as an accountability group
- Shares industry specific tips and information
- Acts as a sounding board for ideas and feedback
- Can be a testing space for products and services both in discussions with other members or in front of their communities.
- A judgement free space to talk about pricing
- An advising space on negotiating sponsorships/brand partnerships/freelance projects
- How to find a mastermind group? There are a couple of different ways that you can find a group.
- Be invited into a group by people that you already know. This would normally happen during a conference or even after a conversation where some says in passing “Hey, I’m looking for a mastermind group for XYZ”
- Create your own group-If you’re finding that you haven’t been invited into a group, create your own. I’ll give some tips on how to do that.
- Join an in-person or digital space designed as a Mastermind group. Usually the larger the group the more likely that you’ll be directed to smaller paid communities-just something to keep in mind.
How Does a Mastermind Group Work?
First, let’s talk about finding the right mix of members. A mastermind should have a maximum of 10 members but 7 members has always been the sweet spot. You’ll want to really narrow down what the mastermind is focused on. I’m currently in 4 groups and I’ll share how they work.
- My oldest group is the original one that I joined years ago and now it’s super chill. We touch base, share business strategies and just support one another. This group is in the personal finance space.
- I’m a member of the BIPOC Podcast Creators Facebook group which is geared towards supporting podcasters who are really focused on upleveling their podcast business and brand. It’s ideal for podcasters transitioning into monetization, brand partnerships, sponsorships and products that leverage their podcast.
- Freelance Writing Mastermind-this group is comprised of writers making 100k-350k with freelance writing and adjacent products. I love this group because I learned the behind the scenes strategies that high earning freelance writers use to make money and to grow their brands.
- A Mastermind for POC women in the digital space from CO and AZ. This is a small group and it’s comprised of friends that I’ve made in real life. I especially love this group because the majority of the members are women of Colorado from Denver so I get to hang out with them in person.
The right mix of members should include the following:
- Each member should have Intermediate-Advanced knowledge in their area of interest and the areas adjacent to it. For example: I have extensive podcasting knowledge, brand building and SEO that I use to build my brand. Other folks may be better at monetization, brand negotiations and community building.
- Each member MUST contribute to the group. That may include, but not limited to the following.
- Sharing business leads
- Making strategic connections
- Participating on panels together at conferences and other events
- Potentially develop products and services together
- Sharing communities when it makes sense
- Show up 95% of the meetings.
- It’s likely that you already have an idea of who you want in your mastermind already.
- Members of your group should be positioned primarily in the same area of interest. This makes it easier to share tips, ideas and communities.
- Once you’ve found your members the next step is to figure out how your group will work? Ask yourself the following questions:
- How often should your group meet?
- What rules govern the group?
- Talk about non-disclosures and trust. I trust implicitly the members of the groups that I’m in. But, I also happen to know them personally.
- What is the purpose of the group?
- Grounds for removal from the group?
How My Mastermind Groups are Run
I thought I would share how my different mastermind groups work. They’re all fairly similar in structure.
- All of my groups have a private FB group so that we can drop in questions, comments, resources, etc.
- Members typically have removed themselves from a group for whatever reason. There have NEVER been hard feelings about this and these members are welcome to come back.
- Meet once a month for 1-2 hours. I have one group that meets usually for 1.5 hours the last Monday of each month. Another group meets for 45 minutes-1 hour (my oldest group) at the beginning of the month.
- My freelance writing group doesn’t have monthly meetups but it has the most active Facebook group. They are adding leads to the group, asking for negotiating feedback and making jokes daily.
- The BIPOC Podcast Creators group functions like a semi-private Facebook does and offers weekly livestreams by the group founders, content specific webinars, etc.
- We also set when we’re taking breaks from meetings, etc. Most of my groups stop meeting during the summer and at the beginning of December.
A mastermind is an important part of an entrepreneur’s success tool kit. Free groups can be incredibly impactful and useful to building your brand. Stop waiting and get started on creating a Mastermind that helps your business grow.