Gail Gardner of Growmap.com is the co-creator of the Blogger Mastermind Group on Skype. Over the years, she’s seen the positive impact that mastermind groups like this can have for businesses and entrepreneurs. And she shared some tips for others looking to start their own groups.
How to Start a Mastermind Group
Find Potential Members
The most important part of any group is the members. And that’s the case with mastermind groups as well.
For Gardner, the group started as a forum site that added members over time. When the site got hacked, she decided to switch over to Skype. And then she invited all the members who were still interested in being a part of this type of group.
She told Small Business Trends, “I invited all the original forum members and we’ve been adding people as we come across them ever since. Most of the members are full-time freelancers or serious bloggers. Some are web developers and most own their own sites.”
Welcome New Members
It’s also important that you actually engage with those new members when you find them. There are different methods of doing this. But you should at least send a quick welcome message and tell them a bit about the group.
Gardner says, “When onboarding new members, it is important to make them feel welcome and give them some idea what is acceptable and what isn’t. We have a Blogger Mastermind blog post that explains how the group operates and how to access our collective resources on Skype. When adding a new member, I invite them to share what they do and their website and most used social accounts.”
Be Clear About Expectations
Since most groups are going to have a specific purpose, that also means that there are certain activities that won’t fit into that purpose. That means you need to have some kind of rules or a code of conduct to ensure that the group remains valuable for all members.
Gardner says, “Be clear on the purpose of the group and what is expected. In our case, we make it very clear that there are no requirements and it is not necessary to try to keep up with all the messages. I tell members to think about it like a water cooler. Chat when you can, but don’t worry about reading every message.”
Stick to the Rules
From there, you need to actually come up with a way to deal with any difficult situations when they do arise.
Gardner says, “If someone does things that other members find annoying, Eren [Mckay of Mckay Social] or I will talk to them privately. Most understand that they should not spam or advertise, while sharing a special post or recommending something they find truly useful is encouraged. We have only removed people a couple of times in all the years our group has existed because they persisted in doing something they had been repeatedly asked to stop doing.”
Keep Information Organized
To make the group as valuable as possible, it’s also a good idea to have a system for organizing the information you’ve discussed. This can make it easier for people to provide quick answers or information when people bring up topics that have been discussed at some point in the past.
Gardner says, “We pool our knowledge and resources and save that information onto Trello boards for easy access anytime. As discussions happen, I capture the highlights and organize them by topic. This makes it easy to share any conclusions and tips that come out of our discussions whenever the question comes up again.”
Mastermind Photo via Shutterstock