One of my favourite business activities last year was running a face-to-face mastermind group for five utterly delightful women here in Perth. I’ve long been a fan of participating in mastermind groups, but this was the first time I ran one as a paid program and it was a huge success – and lots of fun for all of us, too!
What exactly is a mastermind group?
Good question! I have heard lots of people talk about them over the years (if you don’t listen to Amy Porterfield’s social media marketing podcast, you should, and she often praises masterminds) and I have been involved in mastermind groups myself.
The format of a mastermind group might vary, but basically, you need a group of people who meet up regularly (physically or online) to discuss their business, or an aspect of their business, and give each other advice and support. In the case of a paid mastermind like mine, I lead the group and don’t ask for advice or support for my own business – though I often refer to it as an example – and I also include training and consulting activities related to social media and blogging within the mastermind format.
If you work by yourself or in a small business, it can be lonely at times and it can be difficult to find people to talk to about various aspects of the work you’re doing. Masterminds give you connections and networking opportunities, and the chance to be in a room where people understand what the heck you’re talking about!
How do your Perth mastermind groups work?
The groups I facilitate have a maximum of five people, all of whom are either small business owners or creatives (writers, artists, etc) and have an online presence – usually a blog plus some social media platforms. We meet three times per school term (and not in school holidays) which works out at approximately every three weeks, for two hours at a time, at my home office in Duncraig in Perth’s northern suburbs.
At each meeting, I have an agenda which looks something like this:
- Homework follow-up! – I find out how the participants have gone with the task/s they set as objectives at the previous mastermind session.
- Training – I offer some training on a particular topic that the group has agreed they need or I think will be useful. This will always be somehow related to blogging and social media but can be varied depending on needs, for example: revising your site’s About page; optimising your LinkedIn profile; setting up an editorial calendar for Facebook; using scheduling tools; etc.
- Question time – each participant has time to ask one question of me or the group, which might be for advice or feedback or might be a more technical question. Generally the discussion works out to be useful for everyone, not just the asker!
- Goal setting – we revise our goals and our progress towards them (both across the whole year and from meeting to meeting) and I take note of the specific tasks the participants each want to achieve before our next meeting – this accountability is a really important aspect of mastermind groups.
Between meetings, we keep in touch in a private Facebook group where I’ll answer queries that arise and where participants can ask everyone for feedback.
Who should join a social media and blogging mastermind?
If you work on your own (especially in a creative industry) or run a small business, you will have a website, you should definitely have a blog as part of it (and if you don’t, talk to me!), and most likely you have some kind of social media presence, whether that’s just on Facebook or more broadly across platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. If that sounds like you, I’m sure this kind of mastermind would help out. It’s so hard to stay across all of that while you’re still trying to do the actual tasks of your work.
For many people, it’s the accountability of a mastermind group which is the most valuable part. If you follow happiness and habits researcher Gretchen Rubin you might have heard her categorisation of people into four tendencies – if you’re curious, try her quiz and find out which one you are – and if you are an Obliger (like me!) then you work way better with some external accountability, and a mastermind provides this beautifully.
My 2016 mastermind group had a mix of mainly authors and artists and I asked them to complete this sentence for me:
For me, the most valuable part of being in a mastermind group is …
… the fluidity of ideas and inspiration from Amanda and other supportive people who have assisted me in developing my social media and blogging skills. I now feel confident in both. Being in a mastermind group grows you and it’s a lot of fun! (Linda Cull, author and artist)
… the accountability – and the ideas in areas I would never have thought of. Plus it’s such fun to meet with a group of people who really ‘get’ what you are trying to do, and who (gently) push you to try new things… I so appreciate Amanda and our group. (Clare Harris, author/publisher and ESL teacher)
… is the connection and meeting regularly with like minded people sharing ideas, generating new ideas, being accountable, and being supported and encouraged in a safe and inspiring environment. And having a laugh!! Amanda is a great mentor and facilitator. (Aggie Lim, sketch artist and blogger)
… the accountability as well as the support given by Amanda and the other members of the mastermind group. It has been such an encouraging and collaborative environment in which to ask questions and brainstorm ideas. (Melinda Tognini, author)
… that you get to hear ideas from other people that you wouldn’t have thought of by yourself. Two heads, or in this case, five heads, are better than one! (Louise Allan, author)
For more information on my mastermind groups:
Sound like something you’d like to know more about? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can chat about it.