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Group Coaching Programs – 51 Tips On How To Start Your Own

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In today’s technological world, it has never been easier to connect with people from around the globe. While this interconnectivity is great for a lot of reasons, one aspect that has significantly benefited from it is the concept of a mastermind. Now it’s easier than ever to get a group of like-minded individuals together for various purposes, which is why they are becoming more and more popular. However, just because it’s getting easier doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of challenges, which is why you should be prepared before starting your own mastermind. No matter what your goal is, it’s important to have a strategy and a plan set up beforehand.

To help you get started, we are going to look at some of the key components that make up any great mastermind as well as go over the steps you should take to make it as successful as possible. If you put in the work, your group should be nothing but successful.

What is a Mastermind?

facilitating mastermindsSimply put, a mastermind is a group of individuals who come together to coach each other in order to achieve common goals. These can be related to a career, personal ideologies, or hobbies, but the point of a mastermind is to provide an organized and stable environment for these people to interact and work together to achieve success for each member.

So how is this different from a generic chat group or meeting space? Well, the main component of a mastermind is that everyone is there for a particular purpose. Maybe it’s to learn new skills that can be applied to a job or hobby, or perhaps it can be used as a means of networking. The underlying purpose is that everyone is there to get something out of the group, rather than relaxing and having it be a “hang out.” Overall, it’s meant to be a resource more than anything.

How Do You Start a Group Coaching or Mastermind Experience?

Thankfully, as technology grows, it is much easier to start a mastermind online than ever before. All you need is a platform that allows for users to communicate and share information and you are ready to go. To make the whole thing much more conducive to success, you want to use a platform that requires membership for entry. This ensures that you cultivate motivated people and that you can share sensitive information without it becoming public.

For most, the simplest path is to use private Facebook Groups, and while this is a simple and familiar way for members to communicate, Facebook Groups have some significant shortcomings, especially when used for paid groups. The nature of a timeline based conversation means that resources, topics and projects slide out of view and are hard to find. Setting up a simple membership site for participants in addition to having a Facebook group for simple chat and Q&A sessions is ideal. Also this allows the host to manage access and charge participants if so desired. (We get into the benefits vs drawbacks and how much to charge if at all later)

While the concept of a mastermind is relatively straightforward, execution is where most people experience problems. Because there are no specific guidelines for setting up a mastermind, it can be difficult for leaders and members to come together and stay organized. Thus, you want to make sure that you understand and stick to the following strategies to keep your mastermind on point and avoid running into common pitfalls. While there are going to be some minor differences based on your particular group, these steps are designed to help anyone manage and execute a high-quality mastermind.

​ START YOUR OWN MASTERMIND GROUP 

Use these 51 fundamental tips for success & profits

51 TIPS FOR RUNNING MASTERMIND GROUPS ONLINE

51 tips for running mastermind groups online
  • ​Is group coaching right for you?
  • Fundamentals & best practices
  • Monetization & when to charge
  • The best online platforms
  • Where the most leadership is needed
  • Managing rotations
  • And much more...

Core Components of Running A Group Coaching Program

As with any project, the primary thing driving your success is motivation. That being said, if you are trying to get your group coaching program off the ground while making it a side hobby, it can be difficult to maintain a strong momentum all the way through. As such, you first want to make sure that you understand what it’s going to take to get from a concept to reality, so it’s imperative that you get into the right frame of mind before you begin. If you aren’t mentally prepared to get your idea off the ground, then you could be dooming yourself to failure.

Once you have gotten into the right mindset, however, then all it takes is some planning and perseverance, and you can create a successful mastermind in no time.

Attendance

Usually, one of the biggest issues is getting your group to attend on a regular basis. Motivation is a huge problem for many people, meaning that if they aren’t actively engaged or getting some value from your mastermind, they are more likely to bounce after a few visits. To have a successful group, you need to ensure that members are in attendance regularly and are active within the community. Passive members should be removed or persuaded to get involved so that you don’t risk complacency taking over.

Organization

Whenever you are tasked with managing a group of people, it’s critical that you stay as targeted as possible with goals and duties that need to be performed. Essentially, you will have to treat your mastermind as something of a job where members need to stay active and participate on a regular basis. To help ensure that things run smoothly you have to be as organized as possible. Not only will it make it easier for your group to stay engaged but it will make leading so much more efficient as you can manage a larger system with less effort. Simply put, the more energy you put into the organization and planning the better your mastermind will operate.

Not only is it imperative that your platform is organized, but your members as well. If people are lazily meandering from one project to another without clear objectives or goals in mind, then the whole thing can fall apart as it becomes difficult to monitor success on a daily basis. The more you can manage the group, the better off you will be.

Leadership

If you are starting a new mastermind, then odds are you are envisioning yourself as the leader. However, are you up to the challenge? Can you keep members on point with various projects and discussions without being too bossy or off-putting? Are you able to manage your time efficiently and keep the mastermind running smoothly at all times? Again, this is all about putting yourself in the right mindset to deal with the grind that sometimes comes with running a mastermind. As with anything worthwhile, you have to take the good with the bad, so be prepared to handle all leadership duties that may arise. The reason some masterminds fail is that it starts to take more time and effort to keep things on track, and leaders fail to maintain a high level of motivation.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if someone else offers to be a leader of your mastermind that it can always be a great idea to outsource responsibility. While you may first think that you are giving up control of your group, the fact is that spreading out duties can make things much easier for you and allow you to manage more effectively. Don’t be afraid to lean on other people, especially if they seem willing and capable of helping out.

Time

Ultimately, the more time and energy you can spend running your mastermind, the more successful it will be. If all you are doing is putting in a few hours a week, then how can you be expected to stay on top of things? When starting out, your time commitment may not be too much, but as the group expands and gets more members, then you will have to start putting in extra time to keep things running well. However, if you are doing everything for free, then it can start to feel like you’re putting in too much effort without getting a return. This is where fees come in.

Fees: to Charge or No?

When you’re first starting a mastermind, you may invite a few of your friends or online colleagues and do everything for free. Most people start off this way because it is hard to ask for a fee when you are starting out. However, there’s a lot to be said for charging money to members, even if it’s a nominal amount. To help illustrate this point, let’s go over the pros and cons of having a free mastermind versus a fee-based group.

Benefits of a Free Service

In this case, it’s usually easier to cultivate new members initially because there is no obligation on their end. If you are trying to build your profile and group numbers then offering a free membership can help you succeed. Overall, being free is a benefit to members rather than management.

Downsides of Free Service

Ultimately, we run into the time constraint problem over and over again. If you’re not making money running a mastermind, then that means you are doing it in your spare time, which means that it’s more of a hobby than anything. This not only is the case for management but members as well. Because there is no financial obligation to attend, it can be hard to maintain high levels of active members. In the end, it can also feel like more of a drain than anything, which could lead to the whole thing fizzling out over time.

Benefits of Charging Members

While you may feel weird about charging people to access your mastermind, the fact is that as long as you are creating value, there is no reason not to charge. The benefit of doing so is that you can spend more time and effort making the group successful (since you’re being paid to do so), and members are more obligated to make it work as well. If you’re paying a membership fee to something, you are more likely to attend as a result.

Downsides of Fees

Overall, the biggest reason not to charge a fee is if you cannot provide value to your members. If you’re not able to spend the requisite amount of time and effort to keep your mastermind organized and successful, then charging a fee can turn your membership off completely, which means that your numbers will dry up.

When it comes to starting and maintaining a mastermind, the benefits can be phenomenal. As long as you go in with your eyes open and have a plan of action, then you can turn your idea and goals into actionable plans for success. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, a mastermind can be a fantastic way to get there.

Group coach or facilitating a mastermind online? Some trigger questions…

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Last updated April 24, 2017

Are you a group coach or facilitator?

mastermind online groupIn recent years the tools around facilitating and teaching masterminds online have really taken a leap forward. Video streaming, Blab, Periscope, Hangouts and other platforms like Zoom and Skype have matured to the point where meaningful group coaching can easily be delivered on-line.

The emergence of the “Mastermind Online” format

It is not only the technology that has matured. One popular and collaborative modality of group coaching is the mastermind concept. In the age of the solo entrepreneur, collaborative support and group coaching from peers and like minded entrepreneurs has become not only popular, but almost a necessary ingredient to success. And from our “inbound design” perspective, this format is hugely attractive because focus on the actual participant needs and agendas are built in.

Add to this the fact that physical location is no longer a huge obstacle in our ever connected world, and the mastermind format is a perfect formula for on-line collaboration.

In a peer group environment, facilitation and leadership is still required

Masterminds online revolve around the concept that all participants are getting equal time to talk about what they are working on, and taking turns so that one person in the group may have the “hot seat” and benefit from the brainstorming of all participants in that session. But this does not mean that masterminds can self-organize.

In fact, the role of the facilitator or founder of the mastermind is very important, when it comes to ensuring that people show up in the first place, stick to the agenda, and also in providing facilitator notes and a space for resources.

Supporting masterminds beyond video conferencing apps

Assistive technologies are springing up, and having a mastermind membership site to support the group can be a big bonus. Consider the following possibilities:

mastermind online appsBenefits to the mastermind online participants

  • A central place for replays of each sessions
  • Transcripts of each session
  • Facilitator journals for each session
  • On-line courses and other resources like e-Books
  • Discussion forums and threads for members (instead of Facebook groups where topics are lost in a timeline)
  • Event calendars

Benefits to group coaches and mastermind online facilitators

  • A sales page for your mastermind group
  • Multiple payment options, one-time, recurring, free trials, renewals, credit card changes
  • Automated payment processing
  • An affiliate referral system to reward your friends and colleagues who refer someone into your mastermind group
  • Affiliate Discounts for members who bring someone else into your group
  • Automated book-keeping and payouts to affiliates

 

​ START YOUR OWN MASTERMIND GROUP 

Use these 51 fundamental tips for success & profits

51 TIPS FOR RUNNING MASTERMIND GROUPS ONLINE

51 tips for running mastermind groups online
  • ​Is group coaching right for you?
  • Fundamentals & best practices
  • Monetization & when to charge
  • The best online platforms
  • Where the most leadership is needed
  • Managing rotations
  • And much more...