What is a Mastermind Group? Plus, How To Start One

A mastermind group is a collection of like-minded individuals with the expressed goal of obtaining success within their desired industries.

In a lot of ways, it’s a circle of friends that has each other’s’ back when the time is needed.

A mastermind group fulfills a variety of purposes:

  • Aid in the promotion and marketing of each other’s brands
  • Feedback and quality control
  • Guidance and motivation
  • Joint business ventures & opportunities

The mastermind group you form, often with other individuals within your existing network, aims to help one another in reaching goals; in return for each individual’s effort to aid another, you return the favor.

These individuals may even be your competitors, in some fashion or another, but the overall goal of the group is to increase the overall chances of success for the members and once one of you reaches that new level – the rest go along for the ride.

You often hear the idea of a mastermind group in different terms:

  • Clubs
  • Tribes
  • Circles
  • Guilds

Whatever you want to call them, they comprise of individuals that, in some way, has a strong bond between one another within their respective industries.

For example, a fellow affiliate marketer focused on CPA advertising may give you advice and guidance for your campaigns using the platform; in return, you share your latest tips and tricks for increasing conversions on particular promotions. In all, both of you are in a win/win situation.

Increase this group to a dozen (or more) and you expand your reach and ability to distribute your message through the following means:

  • Cross promotion of campaigns
  • Email list exchanges
  • Content promotions and interlinking
  • Interviews and teaming up on premium products

Each member of the mastermind group pulls their own weight and it’s through the collective activities of the group that all members will develop a larger presence, online.

Who Should Join Mastermind Groups?

It’s a tricky question because it truly depends on your current position within your business.

There are newcomers, veterans, weekend warriors, and the like.

A Diverse Group

A diverse group of individuals allows you to explore a variety of opportunities because each person brings a unique outlook on the industry. However, too much diversity could cause hurdles due to the constant need to keep everyone on the same page whether it’s keeping up to date with the latest trends, educating one another about different platforms, or ensuring an equal value trade among the group.

An Equal Group

The alternative is to form a group that is comprised of marketers on your same level; these individuals are at the same position within their business. Forming the group with these types will allow you to directly affect the other because everything you share can be used by another (and vice versa). There isn’t a huge jump in experience between the members so everyone can aid another at an appropriate level.

The Benefits of a Mastermind Group

There is no black and white when it comes to forming the mastermind group; you can have as many as you need.

For example:

  • A group about sharing and contributing content
  • A group about discussing strategies and promotions
  • A select few for business opportunities

You could create various “tiers” within the mastermind group for individuals to fill a much-needed role.

Everyone wins because there is a value exchange for specific needs but there are tighter groups within the group, at large, that presents their own expressed goals.

Action Steps: Take a few moments to reflect and consider who the closest individuals within your business network are. List the individuals that readily share content, exchange emails, and aid in providing feedback for your work.

How to Create a Mastermind Group

Two items about this section:

  • Recruiting
  • Communication

Before anything is decided, you should think about how large you’d like to build your mastermind group. Consider the management required handling a large group of individuals, 10+, and if it’s something you can add to your daily list of activities. You may discover a smaller group, around 5 – 10 people, to be prime for your group.

Recruiting People to Your Mastermind Group

You’ve got plenty of options for getting the word out about your new plans for a mastermind group:

  • Post it to your blog
  • Send it out to your email list
  • Contact select individuals (email, Skype, phone, etc)
  • Talk about it in the real world

These are the same actions you take when building a community, really.

Use the action step from the previous section to mull over your list of potential individuals. Set a “score” with each individual in the recruitment process (as if you’re hiring them). Find their strong and weak points, how active they are in social media, their level of success, how well their site and campaigns are performing, and what new items they can bring to the table.

Reach out to these individuals and present the unique opportunity to aid one another in the promotion and marketing of their brand. Explain your ideas and goals with the group and how everyone can benefit from their addition to the group. Don’t fret if someone declines – they may be too busy – but keep at it until you reached your quota of members.

How to Run the Mastermind Group

There are many options for handling the “bulk” of a mastermind group:

  • Private video chats (Google+ will work)
  • A small email list to members
  • Membership sections on a website (or new web property)
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Services like Twitter lists, Facebook pages, or Triberr
  • A simple Google document
  • Private forums

Social media is your friend in these situations; you’re by no means limited to the platform. In fact, a combination of all of these will be most beneficial to the active participation of your group.

Since the overall goal is to aid in feedback, support, and marketing, you’ll want to cover some of the basics for running the group:

  • What’s getting shared on the social sphere
  • How to provide feedback to one another
  • A separate page/post/email for news and opportunities
  • Chat mediums for instant communication
  • Rules of conduct

Everyone should be doing their part to add value to the group; someone that doesn’t should be put on probation within the group to increase their performance – after all, it’s about achieving success and someone not doing their end of the bargain is merely dragging everyone else down – it’s no hard feelings.

The other all-important aspect of the group: timing.

  • When will you meet to chat?
  • Who will be the moderator to keep everyone on target?
  • To what level does your feedback become “attacking”?

Since it’s your mastermind group, you call the shots but you have to allow people to stretch their wings and contribute in their own ways. You should encourage individuals to seek new and exciting news, strategies, and opportunities to build to the group’s collective idea bank.

Ideally, you should “meet” at least once a week to discuss current strategies, ideas, and to provide feedback.

A video conference call does the trick for getting everyone on the same page. One at a time, take turns discussing the topic at hand. Recap the meeting with an email to the members summarizing the ideas and strategies. Ask and provide feedback about current projects.

Action Steps: Setup a separate membership website, FB fan page, or whatever preferred platform area exclusive to the members of the group. Draw up the “rules” of the group and set a standard for discussion. Schedule the meet ups, send it to the list, and use the initial gathering as an introduction; from there, focus on just one or two topics per session with the group.

Growing the Mastermind Group, Growing Together

The goal is to grow, together.

You’re a team. Individually, you may only have the ability to push your business to certain boundaries but collectively you can go far.

The group may spawn “star players” within the industry; these are the individuals that slowly become authority figures and because the group aided in their accession to success – they should contribute back into the group through honorable mentions, additions within upcoming projects, and cross promotion.

The ego must be left at the door when working with the group. People shouldn’t take their success and forget where they’ve come from because it was the collective work of the group that made it possible.

Together, you will grow new opportunities with one another. New business ventures may flourish through the collective work on premium products. The core marketing message for each individual will spread due to cross-promotion on social mediums and interlinking within each website. Business ideas will be validated through the feedback of the group (preventing the member from spending wasteful time and resources on a dead-in-the-water project).

The mastermind group may not last forever – people move on – but, for now, you can greatly increase your chances of success by teaming up with others with the same, common goal. It can’t hurt.

Action Steps: Form a mastermind group with a handful of your most die-hard followers, community members, and business associates. Give the group a test run and form a real team with a common goal. Work together and help with each business. You’re in it together – you’ll win it together.