In my first year of business, most of my revenue came from 1-1 mentoring. I knew I wanted to create group programs, both to scale my business and to be able to serve more clients. But first I needed to crack the code on how to make the transition. If you’ve been wanting to scale this way, this post is for you.
I’m sharing how I sold out my first group program and how I’ve been able to transition my business to having most of my revenue coming from group programs. If this is what you want to do too, read on.
What is a Mastermind?
A mastermind is a peer-mentoring group of individuals who meet on a regular basis (in-person or virtually) to push each other to work to their highest potential and hold each other accountable. Most successful entrepreneurs today use masterminds to grow their business and work on their personal development.
One of Jim Rohn’s quotes is my favorite: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Are the people you’re spending the most time with helping you with your personal development and business’ growth? If not, then this is where participating in and being part of a mastermind group can not just help you but also dramatically improve your life and business.
If you haven’t joined one yet, I highly recommend that you do because it’s important for entrepreneurs, especially those who work from home – like myself – to be in a mastermind group.
Joining one yourself is key in accelerating your business. Besides, by joining a mastermind you’ll learn so much about how to run and be a participant in a mastermind group before you launch one yourself.
I prefer to teach what I’ve actually done myself. I had been a part of several free mastermind groups before I decided to create my paid mastermind groups. This year I was a part of a paid mastermind group for the first time and next year I’m a part of an even higher level paid mastermind group.
Why a Mastermind?
I’ve researched why people want to join mastermind and also asked my own group participants and the main reasons are:
It can also be lonely being an entrepreneur. Mastermind groups give you a sense of community that you both need and crave.
Pat Flynn (of Smart Passive Income) says a Mastermind Group is your “business family”. Family comes first, then your mastermind and then your friends. And in some cases, you turn to your group first before you go to your family. Like when things get really tight and you feel that these are the only people that truly understand what you’re going through.
It’s the place where you go to share first, whatever is going on in your business, because your mastermind buddies care and understand, and can help you solve any kind of business situation.
Why offer Masterminds?
First and foremost, Masterminds are a great way to scale your business from 1-1 coaching.
If you’ve already been doing 1-1 coaching for a while, a great logical next step is a group program. It’s a prerequisite to have done some kind of coaching or facilitating, where you are able to command the group dynamics and offer laser-focused coaching. You learn the foundation of coaching and facilitating by doing 1-1 coaching first.
Masterminds are great if you have an audience that cannot afford 1-1 coaching but would love to work with you in some other format. You will either be getting this feedback directly from your potential clients or you can ask if you aren’t sure.
If you would love to work with groups, small or large, Masterminds are perfect. Not all people like to work with groups, some people prefer online courses or live event but if you know that you like groups, then this is for you.
Different Types of Masterminds
I’ve run various types of mastermind programs and all of them have turned out be a great way to scale my business and serve more clients in different ways.
- One day with 6-8 participants
- Mastermind Day only or Mastermind Day with MakeOver with an international makeup artist and a professional photographer
- Mostly formal mastermind sessions
- Facebook Group for preparation and follow up
The first time I did a Mastermind Day with MakeOver was in January 2016. It was so amazing for everybody involved that I am doing it again in January 2017 with exactly the same team! If you want to do a Mastermind Day you can integrate some training at the beginning and then move on to Masterminding. If you know that most of your participants are travelling in for the mastermind then you can start the evening before with welcome drinks and dinner so everybody gets to know each other before the actual masterminding starts.
- 5-6 days with 10-12 participants but many do much shorter retreats
- 2.5 days is absolute minimum for a retreat otherwise it is a mastermind day
- Mixture of informal and formal mastermind
- Facebook group for preparation and follow up
I prefer longer retreats for the immersion and also to be able to show participants the best of Iceland, my original home country, or Switzerland, my chosen home country. On my retreats I have a mixture of formal and informal masterminds where half the time is formal where you sit down and are in the hot seat. And half the time it’s informal as we are travelling and exploring a place where you have most likely not been before. The magic of informal masterminding is that you are constantly in thinking and talking about your business while at the same time you are enjoying nature and reflecting on the formal masterminding. Informal masterminding only works well on longer retreats and that is the reason why I prefer to have my retreats 6 days.
- 10-12 months with 6-18 people per group
- Bi-weekly calls with bi-weekly or monthly hot seats
- Facebook group with all groups in the same program
My very first group program had two groups of six people. They were all together in one Facebook group and there was a wonderful synergy between the groups and collaboration. The program was only 8 weeks long and had weekly calls. Based on feedback from the participants and my own perception of the program, it was too short, and one call a week was too much. This is the reason why my next program was three month long with bi-weekly calls. And again that program proved to be too short, so I launched a six month mastermind program. And to my surprise, the participants felt again that it was too short, so now all my mastermind programs are 10 to 12 months long.
Until not too long ago all my mastermind groups consisted of six people per group because that is what I saw working for others. As I added more and more groups and the price for the groups increased, I realised I was leaving out a large portion of my ideal clients. There were people who wanted to join my groups but I didn’t have a program for them. At the same time I was also looking for a way to scale my business further.
Last August I started to a run a larger mastermind group, Momentum Mastermind, with 16 members. It has turned out to be the best thing ever – according to the participants in the group. Instead of being on the hot seat every second week, participants are on the hot seat once a month and that’s exactly what most entrepreneurs need. Since it is a bigger group there a lot of activity and energy in the group between our calls, the participants have accountability buddies and have informal meetings between mastermind sessions.
Mastermind groups can be of any size and you need to find out what works best for you. Some people will say you can’t have a group larger than 6 members. I would have said that until I created a bigger group myself. Now I think bigger groups are the best thing ever!
- 12 months with 6 people
- Two 1-1 Strategy Days and 1-1 monthly calls plus a 2-day mastermind retreat and monthly group calls
- Facebook group exclusive for VIP
For the first time, I’m offering a VIP Mastermind in 2017. It’s is a combination of 1-1 and mastermind group, it’s the best of both worlds. The 1-1 consists of 2 live (or online) strategy days and monthly calls. The mastermind program consists of a mastermind retreat over 2 days and monthly groups calls. The program is conceived for six-figure entrepreneurs who want to grow their business to multiple six figures in one year.
I was not going to offer a program like this yet and only shared the idea with two of my clients. Both of them told me they wanted to join and that was a year ago. Now I’ve finally opened up the registration and both of them have joined plus two other clients so there are only 2 spots left.
I recommend you offer a higher-end mastermind once you’ve mastered the other programs I listed here above and/or you have enough clients who are making close to or above six figures. Combining mastermind retreats, groups and 1-1 is a wonderful way to offer best of all worlds and really help your clients take a quantum leap in their business.
How To Launch Your First Mastermind Group?
First, you must test the interest of your current audience. There are a number of ways you can do this and I would recommend you try them all:
- Survey your clients over email
- Ask questions in your FB group if you have one
- Talk to your current 1-1 clients to see what they need and want
Ask your clients what they would like moving forward. Let them know you’re thinking about creating a group program. Despite the popularity of mastermind groups, there are still many entrepreneurs who don’t understand what a mastermind group is and that makes it difficult to sell it to them.
Therefore it’s easier to sell your first group program with a clear benefit and purpose and don’t call it a mastermind group, yet. You then run it like a mastermind group plus delivering on your promise of the benefit and purpose. And once you’ve run that first group program, you have testimonials to launch your mastermind group. This is exactly what I did with my sold-out program Launch with Passion which was in essence, an online course on launching plus a mastermind group.
How To Seed Your Mastermind?
You want people to know that your Mastermind is coming and not just try to launch something out of the blue. A ‘cold’ launch won’t work. If you talk about your program beforehand, it will ‘warm’ people up when you actually launch it.
Here are some of the main methods to seed your Mastermind.
- Ask people what they would like help with
- Ask people to help you to name your program
- Ask people to vote on things related to your program
- Ask people to recommend similar programs
- Involve your audience in the creation of the program
- Involve your audience in making your program better
- Involve your audience in your story and your progress
- Involve your audience in creating new programs
It took me a couple of failed starts to finally successfully launch a group program.
In January 2015, I had been running a 21-Day challenge called Stay on Track. The challenge was great, it was all about accountability and taking daily action to accomplish more than ever before. I loved running the challenge and while I was running it I was thinking of what I should offer the participants next. Remember, I only had 1-1 mentoring so I started to think about a group program. I’d always wanted to launch a group program because I love groups myself and I feel it’s a great way to scale from 1-1. So right after this challenge, I made a post about the Stay On Track mastermind.
I thought it would be great to keep the momentum going from the challenge. I had been doing mini exercises for 21 days and was super excited to ‘launch’ the mastermind. I had created an application for the group and call times and I thought I had everything figured out.
I created one post and sent one email and no one signed up. I was discouraged.
I didn’t follow up in my group or by email. This is not how to launch, I know! I will never know if this could have worked out because I didn’t really launch. Don’t make this mistake!
Three months later I tried again. And I made the same mistake again! I made one post in my Facebook group that I was launching a group program called Passion to Profits The 100 Day Program. I was closer to having a clear benefit than with my first try. But I still only created one Facebook post and didn’t even send out a single email. Again, this wasn’t really a launch. Nobody buys after one post and one email. Maybe later on when your brand is well-known – but not when starting up.
Finally, on my third attempt, I had a successful launch. By taking what I’d learned from my failed starts and involving my audience more, I was able to sell out my group program – Launch with Passion.
Why did this launch succeed?
I asked people what they wanted. I asked them if they would be interested in a group program on launching.
As I was preparing the sales page for the program, I continued to involve my audience so I could continually make it better. I was able to create what they wanted and liked.
In the pre-launch phase of the program, I seeded it by asking follow-up questions and thanking them for their help in creating the program. I let them know that based on their input, I was going to offer two groups for Launch with Passion. There was a sense of ownership by the people who helped me create the program.
The actual (soft) launch was only a few emails and a few Facebook posts. I sent out 4 emails in 4 days instead of just the lonely one I had done before. Two emails went out to my whole list and then two were more targeted to those who had shown interest by clicking. For those clients who had recently done a Power Session with me, I offered them an upgrade to the program.
Most importantly, I added in a fast-action bonus. For those who signed up within a certain time, I offered a big incentive of a one 1-1 session with me. This was my breakthrough. It got people to sign up and once I had some on board, it was easier to get the program sold out.
Once the first group sold out, I had a webinar to show how I had sold my first program and as a result, sold out the second group. I filled two groups of six people each with only few emails and few social media posts.
It was a successful launch because I followed through. I was determined to make this work for me and my clients. I knew they wanted it, it was up to me to launch it properly.
The trickiest part for me was: How do you go from 1-1 to offering groups if people haven’t seen you sell groups before?
You have to talk to your audience. You have to seed the launch and then follow through. I did more seeding, and I really followed through. In the end it was about my mindset, I was finally ready to launch a mastermind program.
Why Join a Mastermind?
In any business, no matter how successful, you’ll want to be moving forward – whatever that means for you. When you want to go from one level to another level and you are not sure how to do it, that’s when a Mastermind Program comes in.
Whatever your specific goals are, a Mastermind will help you to step it up professionally and personally.
Interested Masterminds? Find out more and join the interest list here.