If you’re a solopreneur and do business online, you’ve probably heard people talking about launching a group mastermind program. You may wonder what goes into a mastermind group, and you may also wonder if it could be a good source of additional revenue for you. Before exploring this idea, it’s worth noting the difference between a mastermind group and other group programs, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of hosting a mastermind group.
First, a mastermind group is different from other group programs because it is not intended to be educational, like group coaching or online classes and courses. A mastermind is designed to bring experienced, like-minded entrepreneurs together to share experiences and insight with the group in order to help group members up-level their business. This is not to say that the facilitator or host of the group isn’t sharing knowledge, but they aren’t there to teach lectures or topics in the traditional sense. They are simply there to facilitate and influence the direction of the group.
MASTERMINDS NEED TO BE CURATED TO BE EFFECTIVE
Also notice the emphasis on bringing together experienced members. Masterminds are not designed for new entrepreneurs, or people in the early stages of their business. Why? Because the value of a mastermind is the experience that each of the members bring to the table, which comes from past successes and failures from growing their business. For example, one member may be thinking about incorporating a new marketing strategy, and another member who has already implemented that strategy, can speak to the results of what happened from doing so. Members can learn from each other’s actual experiences, and not just share opinions of what they read somewhere, or their ideas about something.
Therefore, mastermind groups need to be highly curated in order to be effective. This is different from both group coaching and online courses. Online courses can be used by just about anyone in your target audience. Group coaching may need to have some similarities among the members, if member support is part of the program, but members can belong to different industries, be in different stages in their business, and can have different goals. However in a mastermind group, members need to have more in common.
For example, a business owner who is trying to build a retail shop is going to be very different from someone building a consulting business. Putting these two in the same mastermind would not be helpful for either one of them because their market, offerings, and lifestyle are all very different.
The need to be highly curated is both a benefit and a drawback of mastermind groups. It’s a benefit for several reasons. By taking the time to make sure the group members share commonalities, they are much more likely to be successful, and this will attract new members to the next cohort. You are also more likely to convert members to your other programs and offerings, including your higher-priced services. A drawback is that it can be more difficult to find members who can make the group work, meaning you will need to reach a wider audience, or spend more time focusing on the right audience for what you are trying to accomplish.
BENEFITS OF STARTING A MASTERMIND GROUP
There are many other benefits of starting a mastermind group over the other group formats. As the facilitator, the level of work you put into launching a mastermind group will be much less than the others, especially compared to creating an online course. You don’t need special software, tons of pre-written content, or a library of videos. You simply need an agenda, a platform for staying connected and organized, and a place to host your meetings. Of course, if you’re a good facilitator you will be making sure the group is active and working together, meeting accountability goals, and making progress, but all of this is ongoing without a lot of prep work.
Once you have a system down you can run a mastermind group again and again, continuing to bring in a worthwhile revenue stream. Rather than relying on you to do most, if not all of the work (such as with an online course), masterminds require most of the work be done by the members. They are the ones who actively participate in each meeting, make valuable contributions, and measure and track progress, holding each other accountable. Another benefit is income potential can be quite high depending on your market and the value provided. I’ve seen masterminds run for as low as a few hundred dollars to $10,000 or more per year.
DRAWBACKS OF STARTING A MASTERMIND GROUP
While the benefits outweigh the drawbacks (in my opinion), there are a few drawbacks worth noting. As previously mentioned, masterminds aren’t ideal if your target audience consists of new or recent business owners, or business owners who aren’t very profitable. You’ll need to make sure your network consists of entrepreneurs who have been in business for a while, are at least somewhat successful already, and are already profitable.
You’ll also need to put the time in to curate and create a group that will share similarities and have synergy. A difference between mastermind groups and other group programs is that they are typically by invite only, unlike group coaching and online courses where anyone can sign up. You’ll need to either invite people you already know will be a good fit, or ask people to apply, and then approve them to join the group. Lastly, while the group members will be doing their share of contributing, unlike an online course, you will need to be present, lead meetings, and/or facilitate the direction of the group. Therefore, there is a continuous time commitment.
IS STARTING A MASTERMIND FOR YOU?
Overall, if you’ve been looking for a way to create a new revenue stream for your business that has significant income potential, doesn’t require much of your time, and you’re willing to do some work in the beginning to curate a successful cohort, launching a mastermind group may be a good way to go.