How to Start a Mastermind Group, Part 4 – Boosting Member Engagement
Mastermind groups are used by the ultra successful to help them become even more successful. If you're wondering how to start a mastermind group of your own, this 5-part series will show you how to do it!
One of the coolest things about a mastermind is what happens after the meeting is over. After you stop recording and shut the doors on your meeting, that's when the real fun begins. Since the mastermind meeting has more structure, once you put the business and accountability chat on hold, members kick back and relax, sharing everything else that's on their mind.
In order to break down this series on how to start a mastermind, I've broken it down into manageable chunks.
Part 4 – Boosting Member Engagement
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But, now that you've got the right people joining the right meeting for the right reasons, you've got to keep the connection going. Like the post-conference high, you must capture the energy and keep it moving in the right direction. After the meetings are over, the mastermind isn't done. You need to keep members engaged so they get the most out of their investment.
Well, how do you do that? How do you boost engagement between meetings and keep your members connected?
Regardless of whether your mastermind is for fun, for profit, or for another purpose, if you're a good host, you'll also want to create a community around the group. The best masterminds connect with one another on a regular and frequent basis to provide additional support and feedback.
If you want your mastermind to succeed, as the host, you'll need to provide a way for your members to communicate once meeting time is over. I've explored a few options that will make group communication easier so you can boost your member engagement.
How to Communicate with Your Members
When it comes to staying in contact with your members, the easiest solution isn't the best. When I went in search for a way to keep members connected I looked for four things:
- Easily Accessible
- Easy to Use
- Fit into Daily Routine
- Searchable Messages
I didn't want my members to have to go out of their way to connect with each other during the non-meeting weeks. I knew that if it communicating wasn't easy, they wouldn't do it.
4 Ways to Communicate with Your Mastermind Group
While email is an easy way to stay in contact with your members, it's not the best. You have to worry about spam filters, getting the address wrong, multiple email chains and who responded to what email… it becomes a nightmare to manage. Yes, email is easy, but don't use it as the main form of communication for your mastermind.
Text Messaging and Group Chats
My wife texts like our cat naps; she does it all the time. Text messaging is great, but not everyone has unlimited messages or the ability to group chat. Plus, no one needs a dozen message chimes interrupting an important meeting or movie. Group chats are alright and they meet three of the four criteria, but fall short on the fourth. Group messages, whether via SMS text or something else, are impossible to keep track of.
An almost-lost form of connecting dating back to the 90s, forums are still an effective way to communicate. If you've ever visited a website's support page, chances are, you accessed a forum of some sort. Forums are great for two-way communication and they're perfect for cataloging information. And, though they typically require a username and password to access, they're relatively easy to use.
So, why don't I recommend forums for your mastermind group?
I'm glad you asked. Forums are too far outside the daily routine of your mastermind to be of much use. Unless you're managing a forum as part of a popular website all of your members are a part of, they're not likely to go to the site, log in, and participate. The truth is, if it takes extra effort, your members won't use it. At least not in the beginning.
Love it or hate it, Facebook is a part of (almost) everyone's daily routine. According to the statistics compiled here, 65% of monthly Facebook users visit the site every day. That means well over half of your audience, and therefore most of your mastermind, is likely to visit their Facebook page and scroll through updates, every-single-day! Plus, users spend an average of 21 minutes every day browsing through Likes, comments, pictures and pages.
Because we use Facebook so often and because it's already a part of our lives, I use and recommend a private Facebook group for your mastermind.
Let me give you some insight to my thought process here; I think it may help you decide which communication method is best for you and your mastermind group.
First, my hesitation with going with Facebook is that I don't own the content. None of us do when it comes to Facebook. Since we don't own it, we don't, and can't, control it. If Facebook decided to no longer allow private groups, that everything should be open to the public, we'd be screwed (yes, that's the technical term).
Second, if Facebook fell out of favor, something that is already happening with the under 20 crowd, there's no way to move those thousands of comments to another platform. While there is a search function built-in, there's no real way to catalog the information shared or the questions asked (which would be great material for a training course or other product).
Third, you can't organize comments, questions and conversations into common themes or threads. Other than finding old conversations and sorting through what other people had to say, there's no good way to find what you need. As someone who provides answers and resources, having all of that information spread across months of time is frustrating.
When it comes to using a Facebook group for mastermind engagement, what it comes down to is I don't own it, I can't move it, and I can't organize it.
That said, the fact that Facebook is better for boosting engagement than almost any other platform was the deciding factor. I have no doubt that part of the success of my mastermind groups can be attributed to the activity in our private group. The ease of access and engagement factor far outweigh the downsides of not controlling the content.
Facebook groups are easy to use and already something your members are familiar with. A system that's not only convenient but easy for your members to use is something you shouldn't under-value.
How to Boost Engagement
If your mastermind members aren't engaging outside of your meetings, your group will die. As the host, one of your main goals is connecting members with one another. Beyond keeping everyone moving forward, you must create a positive and encouraging environment where members can share their goals, get feedback, and ask questions outside of your biweekly meetings
How I do it: If it weren't obvious, I use Facebook groups to boost member engagement for my mastermind groups. I created a new Group, changed the Privacy settings to “Closed” and made it so that everyone can post freely.
Here are the settings I used. Feel free to copy what I've done:
I try to “like” and comment on every thread my members start. I want to help every single member become successful, achieve their goals, and feel like they matter. These small gestures create a very welcoming experience for new members as well as for the ones who have been around a while.
I also allow past mastermind members and previous coaching clients into the group. Since I run more than one mastermind and have been coaching for a few years now, the Facebook group is where they can meet one another and interact.
From a business perspective, the Facebook group is a great place to cross-pollinate my clients. If a mastermind member sees the successes a coaching client is having, they are more likely to hire me as a coach. And vice versa. Any place where you and I, as hosts, can be seen as the connector of people, we should jump at the chance.
Cards, Calls, and Valuable Extras
In addition to the Facebook group, I communicate in other ways.
When members first sign up for a mastermind I send them a hand-written card in the mail. It's so rare that we get any mail we actually want to read, much less something hand-written on a hand-made card, that I love this personal touch.
On off weeks, I try to call my members, send them emails, or chat with them on social media. If you remember, in part 2, I mentioned the ideal mastermind meeting frequency is every ten days. Since that's not logistically possible, a phone call to a struggling member on the non-meeting weeks will help keep them focused and energized.
As an added bonus for being an active member of a mastermind I host, my clients get full access to my Membership Site. In the fall of 2014, my members were requesting a place where they could get information from me even when I wasn't available. To help them and provide another resource for my members, I started building a Membership site with OptimizePress. There I can share videos, downloadable resources, and access to training they couldn't get anywhere else. For Free!
Yes, membership is included and the price of my masterminds didn't go up. My members get access to training, tutorials and ebooks I charge for other places on my site. All of these valuable extras are there to help them get started, keep them moving forward and achieving milestones in their business.
I'd highly recommend you look at OptimizePress and the included OptimizeMember plugin as a way to create material for your members to help them achieve their goals. If you click here, you can try out my Membership site for a whole month for just $1.
Anything you can do to boost engagement for your mastermind members should be done. Any conversation you can host and every question you can answer will help keep your members engaged and moving forward. I've never regretting investing in my team of entrepreneurs. The more chances you get to add value to the lives of your people, the more engaged they'll be and the more success your members will have!
To Read “Part 5 – Creating a Community” Click Here
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