By Karyn Greenstreet
There are three philosophies about setting your membership fee for your mastermind group.
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.
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.
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?
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.
How does fee-setting work if your mastermind group is inside an organization, such as a Chamber of Commerce or professional association? I see two ways organizations deal with this:
There is a cost to running mastermind groups for your organization’s members, so consider your budget (both time and money) when selecting which structure you’ll use. You might consider partnering with an outside consultant or coach to run your groups for you so that you can offer the benefit of a mastermind group to your members without incurring overhead expenses.
Also consider charging NOTHING for your mastermind group.
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.
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.