Category Archives: Starting Your Mastermind Group

A 90-Day Mastermind Group: What An Idea!

Most mastermind groups last at least six months, and many last for years. But some people have concerns about starting or committing to a long-term mastermind group. After all, how long should your mastermind group live?

Here’s an antidote to the commitment problem: start your mastermind group and limit it to 90 days. In this way, members can get to know one another, mastermind and brainstorm together, and see if it’s a good “fit” for everyone. After the 90 days are up, the group can vote whether to continue or not.

I just finished leading a 90-day mastermind group that ran from June to August. One mastermind group member wrote, “The group support really helped me to look at my business differently and to think through my business strategy to attain a better approach to marketing and to fine tune the services that I offer to my clients!” All in 90 days.

Here are some key points to consider:

  1.  How often you meet. Because you’re only going to be meeting for 90 days, you have a shortened horizon for people to get to know, like and respect each other. Consider meeting every week or every two weeks during those first 90 days so that people have the maximum exposure to one another and have a chance to connect as a group. In my Leap Year group, we met twice a month for three months.
  2. Extreme commitment. Since your mastermind group will be of short duration, everyone must attend every meeting and you need written guidelines about the rules of membership. As the mastermind group facilitator, it’s your job to schedule the meetings and post the dates and times, and ask everyone to block those times out of their calendar in advance. In this way, people are agreeing to attend every meeting and participate fully in every meeting.
  3. Length of meetings and Hot Seats. There’s always a toss-up between the value of shorter mastermind meetings versus longer ones. However, when you’re trying to provide great value in a short amount of time, consider lengthening the meeting time to longer than you might normally offer. A good rule of thumb: allow 15-30 minutes per member, per month. In our mastermind group, meetings were 90 minutes long and everyone rotated in the Hot Seat (most Hot Seats were 20 minutes). It was my job as the Facilitator to make sure everyone got equal chance to be in the Hot Seat.
  4. Decide if you’ll have an online message forum. Because the group is only meeting for 90 days, there’s a lot of energy and activity among the group members. An online message forum allows the members to communicate with each other between meetings, so that brainstorming, action planning, and implementation support occurs 24/7 throughout the 90 day mastermind group.

A 90-day mastermind group can kick-start the members, gain rapid connection, and show fast results. This keeps members coming back for more!

How to Set Membership Fees for Your Mastermind Group

There are three philosophies about setting your membership fee for your mastermind group.

Hour-based Fees

The first way is to simply calculate the total number of hours you’ll spend each month working with the group (in meetings, on message forums, and with group administrative tasks), and charge the group for your time and your staff’s time.

For instance, in one mastermind group that I run, we spend about 5 hours a month in meeting time and administrative work. If our billable rate is $300 per hour, the total revenue goal is $1,500.  If there are 5 members per group, each member would pay $300 per month to get to the $1,500 a month in total revenue (per group).

This is great for the members, as they get to work with you in a mastermind group setting at a reduced rate compared to the cost of working privately, one-on-one with you.

Low Monthly Fee

The second way is to charge a low monthly fee ($14 – $49 per person per month) and have larger groups.  My experience tells me that large mastermind groups are a poor investment on the part of the member. The beauty of a mastermind group is that everyone gets time to bring forward their personal challenges, decisions and situations. This can’t happen in a large group because you simply run out of time. What’s the point of a mastermind group unless all members get to give and receive in each meeting?

One option is to have a large group, then have people breakout into smaller groups for masterminding without a facilitator leading each discussion. The value won’t be as high for the members if you’re not part of each group, but then again, they’re getting a lower fee to compensate for that.

If your goal is to have as many people as possible in your mastermind group, then setting the fee low will attract more members.

Value-based Fee

The third way is to charge based on your value and the value of the group. There are some mastermind groups that charge $15,000 – $30,000 a year, and include one or two weekend events that are free as part of the fee, plus weekly phone meetings, special guest speakers, discounts on the mastermind group facilitator’s products/classes, etc.

If you have guru status and are an expert in your topic, you can charge more for your mastermind group. If you add more valuable features to the group (like live weekend events, free training classes), then you can increase the fee accordingly. And if someone is going to invest $15,000 a year and get $100,000 in additional revenue to their business, it’s worth the investment to them.

Ask yourself: what would make your mastermind group worth it to them?

Deciding Which Fee Structure

Do a cost-benefit analysis, factoring in your time, expertise, and the value of the services and products you are offering. Remember to include your marketing, administrative, room rentals, and other costs into the equation.  Then choose a price that is best for what you’re offering the members.

When Offering a Free Mastermind Groups Works for You

Also consider charging NOTHING for your mastermind group.

Nothing??? Yes.

If you want to do a pilot “beta test” group where you will ask for in-depth feedback, consider charging nothing for the first one, and limit the group size to four or six members. It takes a lot of pressure off you to do it perfectly, and members love the opportunity to be involved with the birth of a new group.

Also, if you are doing the group as a way to get in front of your target audience and market your other services or products, a free group works wonders! The last time I did a free group, over 50 people signed up and committed to the monthly meetings.

Should You Charge for Your Mastermind Group?

The short answer is Yes.

Mastermind group facilitation is a skill and it takes a lot of work to run a successful group. Check out my blog post, Can I Charge For My Mastermind Group? It outlines the pros and cons to help you make the decision.

How to Invite People to Your Mastermind Group

You’re ready to invite your audience to join your mastermind group, or you’ve hand-selected people you want to be in your group.

What do you say to them and how do you approach them?

Be clear about the purpose of your group.

Prospective members will want to know if the purpose of the group matches what they need at this point in their personal and professional lives. Is it a group for professional reasons, or personal? Or both?

Be clear about the benefits.

  • What is a mastermind group?
  • What topics will be covered?
  • What outcomes can people expect?
  • Why do people join a mastermind group?

You need well thought-out and well-written answers to these basic questions, because your prospective members are going to ask. It would be helpful if you had a page on your website that answers these questions, and definitely helpful that you can verbally answer these questions as well.

Be clear about the commitment.

Mastermind groups are not for weenies or the feint of heart, because your group relies upon you showing up and participating. Your group relies upon you being willing to give and take advice. Your group will ask you to grow, which means you have to be ready to take on challenges to achieve the success you want.

Explain to your prospective mastermind group members that they will be asked to commit to the mastermind group and the process.

Be clear about the logistics.

Nothing will scare away prospective group members faster than not having the details.

  • Determine how often you’ll meet, where you’ll meet, and for how long.
  • Describe how the Hot Seats will be constructed.
  • Tell them how many members will be in the group.
  • Explain to them how to register for the group. Make sure they have all the facts.

Invite them.

Now that you’ve gathered all the information to share with a prospective group member, invite people to join your group.

If you have a short list of hand-selected people, call them. Mastermind groups are all about personal relationships, so an email will not suffice as an introduction to a group when you have hand-selected the people you want to invite. It helps to create a bullet-point list of how you want to approach the conversation so that you don’t forget what you want to say.

If you haven’t hand-selected prospective members, an introductory email to your list might be the best place to start.

If it’s a long-term mastermind group with a big commitment (say, a 12-month group), consider meeting your prospect in person, if possible. Discussing your mastermind group over lunch or dinner could be helpful, as it gives each of you time to talk about it and answer any questions.

Then follow-up with an email and a link to your website.

People rarely make the decision to join a mastermind group immediately, and you wouldn’t want them to. You want them to consider the commitment level required before they say “yes.”

While they’re thinking about it, it’s helpful if they have something in writing to use as a reference and a guide. If you have a website, add a page that describes the mastermind group. If you don’t have a website, follow up with an email listing all the pertinent information and benefits.

As you can see, it’s helpful to plan ahead. If you want your mastermind group to start in January, you will need to approach people in November. This means your script and your website need to be updated in October. Plan for at least a three-month marketing cycle to get your marketing materials ready and implement your marketing…that way, you’ll fill your groups!