Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

Case Study: $4,200 a Month Part-Time with No Specialized Knowledge and No Product

This is a part time business that quite literally requires no specialized knowledge, and you don’t even need a product. One thing you do need is just enough people skills to build rapport over the phone, Skype, Zoom or whatever mode of communication you choose.

Case Study: $4,200 a Month Part-Time with No Specialized Knowledge and No Product

I know a guy who is doing this part time and based on my own math he seems to be making about $4,200 a month doing this 2 hours a day. He charges his clients $35 a week for a 20 minute phone call, and he books about 6 clients per day during his lunch break and after work. And he takes his weekends off, too.

Have you guessed what he does? If you said coaching, you’re right. But this is a rather narrow, specialized coaching niche. He calls himself an accountability coach. He lets his clients tell him what they’re going to accomplish over the next seven days. He asks what their plan is to get it done. He points out potential problems and asks the client how s/he will deal with them if they arise. Basically, he asks a lot of questions and once in a while he gives a little advice.

Then when he calls them the following week, they have to be 100% honest and tell him exactly how much they did or did not get done. Personality-wise he comes across as a father-figure, and his clients don’t want to disappoint him so they get busy and do what they need to do.

He bills weekly automatically with Paypal because he says that when they see that money come out of their account every week, it’s a reminder that they need to get in gear. He tried billing monthly but his clients would just relax for three weeks and then get busy in the fourth week. He says he doesn’t exactly understand the psychology of why weekly billing works better than monthly but that it doesn’t matter to him as long as his clients are getting results and he’s getting paid.

He has a full-time job but he does have some flexibility. He does some calls during the day and the rest in the evening when he gets home. He’s firm about only having 30 clients a week because he says more than that is too much. And he’s got a waiting list of people who want him to be their accountability coach.

He’s strict with his clients about being ready to receive his call. As much as possible, he lets the client choose the day and time for the weekly standing phone appointment. He explains to them that they MUST be available at that time to talk to him, no exceptions allowed. He doesn’t care if their house is on fire, they better answer the phone when he calls.

When I asked him how he arrived at $35 a week, he said it seemed to hit a sweet spot for clients. At first he was charging too little ($20) and the clients weren’t taking the call all that seriously. Then he went overboard in the other direction and charged too much ($100) and the clients usually canceled after a couple of weeks, if they signed up at all.

He was once referred to a potential client who desperately wanted his help but $35 was out of reach. Obviously this person’s first goal was to make more money. Since he doesn’t charge for the initial consultation anyway, here’s what he told the new client:

“Our next call is in 7 days. Right now you’re going to tell me 5 ways you could add an extra $100 a week to your income starting this week. Then you and I are going to choose one of those 5, and you’re going to tell me your plan for making it happen.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Within a week that man had a new income stream, and within a month he was making an extra $1,000 a month. 9 months later he quit his job and opened his own small business, all thanks to having an accountability coach.

You probably need a certain personality to make this work. If people naturally look up to you or naturally want to please you, then this might be an idea for some part time income. Goodness knows there are plenty of people who just need a weekly fire lit underneath them along with some encouraging words to help them reach their goals.

$3,500 a Month from Newsletter Curation

Have I told you lately how much I LOVE recurring income? Here’s a case study about a guy who has not one, but FOUR different newsletters that he puts out twice per month.

$3,500 a Month from Newsletter Curation

These are super simple newsletters that contain all the latest stuff he’s found on the internet about the topics. How in the world does he find all the latest news, articles, blog posts, stories, video clips, photos and so forth?

Google alerts.

Yup, it’s that easy.

He creates a dozen or so Google alerts for keywords and phrases for each niche and Google spoon feeds him all of his content for free. In some cases he asks for permission to reprint a post or article. For other things he simply rewrites it into his own words. And even more often he’ll provide an intro and then a link to the video, article or whatever.

Seriously, this does not take a lot of time or brain power. His strong point is he chooses topics that he’s interested in so that it never becomes boring to him.

I asked him if I could share his newsletter topics with you, but he was pretty firm in saying no. But what I can tell you is all 4 of them are not things you might think of off the top of your head. And that makes sense.

The BIG topics are already covered on millions of websites, videos, articles, magazines and so forth. It’s the little sub-niche specialized topics where people are craving more info and not wanting or even knowing how to hunt it down themselves.

I’ll give you an example: Cats and dogs are EVERYWHERE. No one really needs to subscribe to a newsletter to read articles on cats and dogs. But sloths… now there’s a much smaller niche that isn’t covered nearly as much as more popular pets. Or how about iguanas? Sugar babies? Or tarantulas?

If you insist on choosing a big niche, then sub-niche it down. Instead of cats, focus on the care of cats with a certain illness (diabetes, kidney disease, etc.) or a certain breed of cat.

What should you charge for a curated newsletter? In most niches, $10 or less works well. This makes it super easy for people to sign up and there’s almost no incentive to stop the subscription.

Let your readers send you articles and photos of their own for your newsletter. Put in a classified ad section, too. People think it’s hard to create a newsletter, but the fact is you don’t even need to have an original thought to do it. Between curated content from the internet and submissions from your readers, all you have to do is assemble the newsletter, save it to PDF and send it out to your subscribers. You don’t even need a membership site to do this.

Don’t want to do a newsletter? Create a podcast or video subscription instead.

You can get new subscribers by striking deals with blogs and list owners in the niche. Because these are smaller niches, it’s far easier to get people to mail for you for a small fee or sometimes even for free if they really love your newsletter.

This is a model that will never die, takes a minimum of work and even builds you a list. You can promote products to your list above and beyond the newsletter. In many niches the money you make from promoting products will double your income from subscriptions, so why not?

And by the way, that $3,500 a month figure is from just ONE of his newsletters. Remember, he’s got 4 of them.

Make a list of topics that interest you, no matter how weird or even obscure. Choose one that has an active audience you can reach. Create a sample newsletter, contact people in the niche and get your first subscribers. This almost sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Then again, many of the best ideas are the simple ones.

The 20-Minute, 71% Conversion Rate Site

Imagine a squeeze page that takes you 20 minutes to put together, including the lead magnet. Imagine this page converts at something close to 71%. And now imagine you can buy unlimited traffic to your squeeze page because the paid traffic pays for itself.

The 20-Minute, 71% Conversion Rate Site

How many new subscribers would you like today? This week? This year?

The key to a high converting squeeze page is to offer something so ridiculously good, people are more than eager to enter their email address to get that prized item. You could offer an outstanding resource of some kind, or a huge bundle of books, or maybe a hot plugin or piece of software.

Or… what if you take a product you have lying around, such as a course you’ve been selling for $197, and offer a coupon for a 90% discount on that course? Of course you need their email address to send them the coupon, so it just makes sense they would fill out your form to get it.

Then you send them to the actual sales page with their coupon. They get to see that everyone else is paying $197 while they’re only paying $19. That should make them pretty happy AND immediately set you up as an authority in their eyes, since it is your course they’re buying.

Don’t have a big product of your own? Use quality PLR and a weekend to create one. The point is to have a REAL product that sells for a high price and then offer a crazy discount coupon like 90% or 95% off.

People enter their email address to get the coupon. Some of them use that coupon to immediately buy the course. Others purchase the course sometime during the following week, as you remind them that their coupon is expiring soon and they’re going to miss the deal of a lifetime.

Now you’ve got new subscribers and enough income to continue buying traffic for as long as you choose because the purchases of your course – even at 90% off – are paying for the advertising.

Just remember the deal you’re offering has to be irresistible to new subscribers. Your goal here isn’t to make money, it’s to pay for the advertising that’s building your list. Once they’re on your list, then you can start making profit when you offer them other products.

Use Extreme Caution with Adjectives

An email subject line in my inbox caught my attention because it included the phrase, “Breathtaking-Templates”. Only it was written like this…

Use Extreme Caution with Adjectives

“These B R E A T H T A K I N G – T E M P L A T E S blah blah blah”.

I can’t tell you the rest of the subject line because they had me at breathtaking-templates and that’s all I needed to know.

Because they chose the term ‘breathtaking’ and wrote it in all-caps with spaces, I knew these had to be the most wonderful website templates ever devised by modern man.

Finally, I was going to see something so revolutionary and awe-inspiring, my eyeballs would pop out and I would fall to my knees in rapture.

Sorry to say, my eyeballs and knees are fine.

When I opened the email, scrolled down and squinted at the small images, all I saw were…

… the same run-of-the-mill templates I see everywhere.

Thinking it was a mistake, I clicked the link. But no. These templates looked no different than a thousand other templates I’d already seen.

I closed the sales page and deleted the email immediately, without hesitation.

When you build up expectations to that level, you better deliver on your promise. If you don’t, you’ll lose people so fast you’ll never even know they were in the room.

Turn a 20-Minute Phone Call into $10,000

If you have an interest in selling high ticket coaching, I urge you to spy on other marketers to see how they do it. Oftentimes it starts with a web page or an email message asking you to respond for more details.

Turn a 20-Minute Phone Call into $10,000

You fill out your name and maybe answer some questions that make it seem like you have to qualify. In some cases you do have to qualify because the person wants to only work with a couple dozen serious people. And that makes sense.

But in many other cases, it’s totally unclear WHO is doing the coaching. You might think it’s the big name marketer who is going to walk you through whatever it is that you’re doing, but it turns out to be a minion of theirs instead. Which is okay too, as long as they tell you that up front.

But here’s what I think is the most interesting part of all this…

In many cases the pricing is flexible.

Maybe the coaching is $5,000 a month, but you can only afford $2,000. Or the coaching is $10,000, but you only have $1,000 left on your credit card. Normally it doesn’t matter because they will gladly sign you up anyway.

Does the person who paid $1,000 get the same level of coaching as the person who paid $10,000? I have no idea. But what is clear is that the folks selling coaching are extremely effective at getting the maximum amount of revenue from clients.

I highly recommend if you want to offer coaching to your clients, that you first get on the phone with others who are selling coaching and record their pitches. Make a note of what you like and what you don’t like and then adjust your own story accordingly.
In most cases you’ll be talking to professional salespeople who are often working from a proven script. And while you might not want to employ your own salespeople or use a script, you can still learn a great deal about how to turn a 20-minute phone conversation into $10,000.

30 Minutes to Micro-Membership Income

With an online business, you can give yourself a raise regularly. In fact, you could add an easy micro-recurring membership to your income in about 30 minutes, start to finish.

30 Minutes to Micro-Membership Income

This assumes you already have some sort of product you’re selling as well as the ability to do a ‘bump’ upsell on the order form or create an upsell page. A bump upsell is where you add a product to your order page with a tick box. The customer clicks the box to add the item to their order and that’s it – it’s added with one click.

If your payment processor doesn’t allow that, then you can add an upsell page that appears after your customer purchases your product.

Your micro-membership typically won’t have a product, although it certainly could be a newsletter or something you send out every so often. But the easiest, fastest way to add this micro-membership to your sales funnel is to offer something that takes almost no preparation such as support.

Let’s say you’re selling a product on how to do something. Of course you already answer questions from your customers, but if they want more in-depth help, they can sign up for your support membership. You can charge this membership by the month or by the year.

Typically, it’s going to be a very low price and in this case billing annually will likely make you more money. Then again, maybe you’re selling a course that lasts for 12 weeks. Then you might offer a monthly membership that runs for 4 to 6 months for any questions they might have.

If you sell software, you might provide support to your customers and resellers in case they encounter any problems. By offering a priority, more in-depth email support service for your product or course, you’ll likely make a lot of sales without doing any hard selling. A good price might be $10 a month or $97 annually, adjusted for whatever it is that you’re offering.

If you’re selling a hundred copies a month of your product and one third of those sales opt into your micro-continuity at $10, you’re looking at an extra $330 a month. Sell a thousand copies and you see this becomes real money.

You might think you’ll have to spend a lot of time servicing your customers, but most people will rarely use the service. When they do, usually they just want reassurance they’re doing the right thing. And you can always outsource your customer service to a knowledgeable, trusted assistant.

This won’t make you rich but it does add a nice bit of income with almost no set up whatsoever – maybe 30 minutes of your time – and there’s one more benefit…

… you can backdoor sales of your big products. The customers who do email you with questions will sooner or later need more help than you can give them via support. That’s when you suggest they purchase your high-end program. Even if you only sell one extra copy of your $1,000 program every month because of the rapport you build through your micro-continuity program, that’s still an extra $12,000 a year.

It always amazes me how opening one door in online marketing nearly always results in more doors opening by themselves.

Simple Business Model if You Like to Write

There’s a gal I know who never, ever promotes affiliate products to her list. She simply won’t do it. Instead, she only promotes her own products.

Simple Business Model if You Like to Write

Every day she writes and sends out a new email to her list.

And for 3 to 5 days she’ll promote just one product. Then when she’s done promoting that one, she’ll move on to the next one for 3 to 5 days. She’s continually creating new products and she also promotes the same products multiple times.

Let’s say she’s got 20 products. If she promotes each one for 4 days, then she doesn’t repeat a product promotion for 80 days.

She has no complicated autoresponder sequences because she doesn’t need them. And her emails are conversational and fun to read. She shares stories, anecdotes, case studies, humor, news and things that are controversial or edgy. Her readers never know what to expect in the next email but they always know it will be entertaining.

Her conversion rates are high, her returns are next to zero and her list loves her because she doesn’t bombard them with affiliate products.

If creating 10 or 20 or more products is scary to you, it might work best to just focus on one at a time and set a goal to create a new one each week. You could presell them to your list, too, so that you know which ones will be hot sellers and which ones you shouldn’t waste your time on.

She also offers coaching and she does quite well with that, too. It’s simply another product in her rotation. She also sells a monthly newsletter.

And once she’s promoted one of her products to the point where it’s not selling as well, she turns around and sells the PLR rights to that product.

People who are new to her list are exposed to all of her products in the first 2 to 3 months. If they don’t buy something the first time, they often buy it the second or third time it’s promoted to them. And she never promotes the same product in the same way. Every email is new and fresh and oftentimes tied to the events of the day.

One thing she doesn’t do that I might suggest is to offer her best-selling products to affiliates to sell. But then again, I think she really enjoys the simplicity of her system and doesn’t want to deal with affiliates, so more power to her. Plus, her list knows that the ONLY way they can access her products is directly through her.

I’m running out of things to tell you about her system because it really is that simple. If you enjoy writing emails and creating products and you don’t want the hassle and competition of selling affiliate products, this simple system might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

How to Make Money NOT Selling Products

Okay, obviously you are selling products… but then again, you’re not. You’re selling something way more valuable. Let me explain…

How to Make Money NOT Selling Products

Think about it… You’ve never woken up wanting a 12-video course and neither have your customers. But plenty of people wake up wanting to finally solve their problem that day. They want a solution they can believe in. They want one that makes sense to them and isn’t pie-in-the-sky bullsh**.

And here’s the twist: The solution your customers want isn’t always what you think it is.

Do you think your overweight customer wants to lose weight?

Nope. What she wants is for her clothes to fit, to not get winded walking up the stairs and for her husband to look at her like he used to when they were dating.

Do you think your financially challenged customer wants to make money?

Nope. He wants to stop waking up in a cold sweat at 3am because he has no idea how he’s going to pay the mortgage or how he’s ever going to be able to retire.

Do you think your kid-client wants to learn martial arts?

Nope. He wants to be able to walk onto the schoolyard without fear of being bullied, and he wants his friends to look up to him, too.

Most marketers who think they’re in the business of selling products can’t figure out why their sales are lousy.

Quick Story: Ten marketers are all competing to sell their ‘Make Money FAST and EASY’ products.

9 of them talk about the money. Mansions. Fancy cars. Supermodel girlfriends or boyfriends. Living life on a beach with room service or owning a yacht. You know… the kind of stuff 99% of people can’t even relate to.

One of them talks about enjoying life – a normal life of owning a home, staying home with the kids and never going into the office again. He talks about working less and living life on your own terms.

9 of these marketers are doing churn and burn marketing because their products don’t turn people into millionaires overnight like they say they do.

1 of these marketers is making an awesome living without stress. He doesn’t have to worry about customers complaining that they didn’t get to buy the yacht after one week because he never makes promises like that. He gives them the solutions they seek, and he does it in a realistic way that they can believe will work for them.

Sell a solution that makes sense to your customers using their own reasons for buying it and your sales will go through the roof.

Masterminds: How to Add an Almost Instant 5-Figures to Your Business While Changing Lives (Including Your Own!)

Imagine a business that can make you 4, 5 or 6 figures per year, takes very little time to run and has the power to change your life in dramatic ways above and beyond the extra income. This is the crazy but true story of perhaps the best business model in the world: Running Mastermind Groups

Masterminds: How to Add an Almost Instant 5-Figures to Your Business While Changing Lives (Including Your Own!)

I’m going to assume you’re an online marketer. You’ve probably got a sales funnel or you’re building one. If it’s like most sales funnels, you’ve got inexpensive products on the front end and hopefully more expensive products on the backend.

Here’s my question about your sales funnel… do you have a flagship product? Something for which you charge serious money? Something that really, truly CHANGES people’s lives for the better? And if not, then why not?

I’ve mentioned before that if you don’t have a big, expensive flagship product, then you can create one in a day by offering coaching. Some people who are new to coaching like to charge $200-$300 a month. More experienced people who are confident they can get their clients results are able to charge 10 times this amount and more.

Coaching is awesome for getting people results, and if it’s right for you, then I suggest you do as much coaching as makes you happy and prosperous. But the fact is, coaching isn’t for everyone. You might not feel comfortable coaching, or you might not want to spend the time working with people one-on-one. Or you might want something different than coaching, something that has the potential to dramatically change the lives of a group of people while taking pressure off of yourself to perform.

For you, I’d like to suggest starting one or more Mastermind Groups. Masterminds can take less of your time than coaching, require less expertise than coaching and can potentially earn you as much or even MORE than coaching.

What is a Mastermind Group?

Loosely speaking, a mastermind is a select group of people who meet regularly in person or through video conferences to share ideas, help each other overcome challenges, keep each other accountable and achieve their goals.

Napoleon Hill coined the term “Master Mind” and defined it as… “A coordination of knowledge and effort, in perfect harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

Hill surveyed hundreds of the most successful people in the world and found that many of these people attributed their successes to being in such a group. The most notable of these people was Andrew Carnegie, who attributed his entire fortune and success to his mastermind group.

Mastermind groups aren’t just for the rich and famous, either. Almost any group of people with a common interest or niche can benefit from a mastermind group. Here are three examples, but really the possibilities are nearly endless:

Children – there could be masterminds for new parents, parents of children of a certain age, parents of children with particular challenges, new empty nesters and so forth.

Online marketers – this is a huge area including new marketers, seasoned marketers, marketers in every possible niche as well as specialties such as social media marketing.

Professionals at any stage of their career – for example think of law students, brand new lawyers and seasoned lawyers in every area of law and you’ve got a hundred possibilities for mastermind groups in a single profession.

What’s So Great About a Mastermind Group?

If your personality, knowledge and success is the average of the five people you associate with most, it just makes sense that people in a mastermind group will enjoy more success and do it faster than those who are going it alone.

I’m reminded of a certain Irish marketer who participates in a $100,000 a year Mastermind Group. He is fond of telling the story of how one idea he got from this group yielded him a multiple 7 figure income. And no doubt you’ve heard stories, too, of how mastermind groups have been the catalyst that propelled entrepreneurs from nothing to ultra-successful, sometimes even selling their businesses and retiring after just a few years.

The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings likely never would have been written if not for an English Mastermind Group of writers and poets that included CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield.

President Theodore Roosevelt felt out of his depth when he entered office at the age of 42, the youngest age ever for an American president. He needed help working with much older and more experienced politicians, so he created a mastermind group for guidance, support and help.

No doubt you’ve heard of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, President Warren G. Harding and Harvey Firestone. But did you know they were all in the same mastermind group and called themselves, “The Vagabonds?”

It’s truly amazing what can be accomplished when you’re in a mastermind group.

What Are the Benefits of a Mastermind Group?

That’s going to depend on the particular group, but in general…

1: Support
Members have a group of people who help them to succeed. How valuable is it to have a group of like-minded people cheering you on and giving you ideas to become successful? It’s no understatement to say that a mastermind often makes the difference between success and failure.

2: Resources and Connections
If a group has 10 members, and if each member has 20 powerful, knowledgeable or influential contacts, then each member of the group now has potentially 200 contacts to help their business grow. If you weren’t born into a family with vast resources and contacts, a mastermind group might be the next best thing.

3: Ideas
They say two heads are better than one and ten are better than two. A mastermind group can give you new ideas, different perspectives and crucial feedback. And you don’t even have to be in identical businesses. For example, what’s working for one marketer in a particular niche can often be applied to many other niches as well.

4: Accountability
A mastermind group keeps its members inspired and accountable to achieve their goals. There’s nothing like knowing your fellow members expect you to implement what you decided upon in the last session and report back your results in the next session to keep you moving forward.

5: Shortcuts
Mastermind members possess skills and ideas that took years to develop, yet they can share them with you in minutes.

6: Partnerships
You may find other members in your group with complimentary businesses with which to partner on a single venture or even an ongoing basis.

How Much do People Pay to be in Mastermind Groups?

While there are no hard and fast rules, on the low end $500 a year to be in a mastermind group of beginners or non-business people is somewhat common. On the high end, I know of two Mastermind Groups for online marketers that each charge $100,000 a year. These are run by invitation only, and while the entrance fee seems high, members report the entrance fee pays for itself many times over.

It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if there are a handful of mastermind groups that charge a million dollars a year and whose members are all billionaires or aspiring billionaires.

How much you charge will depend on a variety of factors, including what kind of group it is and how much expertise your members bring to the table. And keep in mind, there is nothing stopping you from starting as many mastermind groups as you can comfortably handle.

Should You Charge Fees Monthly or Annually?

When you are starting your very first Mastermind, you might want to charge monthly. This will assure participants they can leave if they don’t see results, which will make it far easier for you to sign people up. The exception to this rule is if you are already firmly established in your niche with a great reputation. In this case, charge annually and charge big.

If you don’t have a great reputation that precedes you, and once you and/or the group is showing results, it’s time to increase the price and possibly charge annually. It’s worth noting that participants who pay annually feel much more committed to the group and tend to do better. If you do charge monthly, ask for a firm 3-4 month commitment before they evaluate if they want to stay with the group.

Planning Your Mastermind

Before you start looking for members, you might outline the basics of your mastermind as you see it. This won’t be written in stone and can change once you have members, if the group agrees to the changes. For example, your members might agree it’s easier to meet on a different day than you initially chose, or they might want the meetings to be longer or use a slightly different format.

Here are a few things you might decide ahead of time…

•   How often will the group meet?
•   What day of the week or month will you meet? What time? (Once per week is generally the maximum with a longer meeting once per month being the bare minimum.)
•   How long will each meeting be? Once you have a length set, take care to stick to it unless the group agrees to go longer.
•   What is the limit on number of members? Anything between 8 and 16 generally works well, but do what is best for your particular group.
•   You will be choosing the initial members, but how and when will new members be added to the group if there is a vacancy?
•   How will you evaluate new members? What is your criteria? (More on this in the next section).
•   Have a clear agenda and structure for each meeting. (Again, more on this in a later section).

How Do You Build a Mastermind Group?

First, determine what sort of group you’re going to build. Who specifically is it for? You might create an avatar to help you with this.

Next, set the parameters for joining. What level of accomplishment (if any) does a person need to join the group? For example, if you’re starting a writer’s group, will you take any aspiring writer? Or do they need to have published a certain amount of posts or books to join? Fiction or non-fiction writers? What about location? Do you want people from all over the world, or just from your own country? Does age matter? Experience? What about their goals?

The better you do at setting the parameters for who you want, the easier it will be to find a group of people who can work together.

Now that you have an idea of the type of person you want in your group, it’s time to find them. You might already have an email list to draw from. Or you can use social media to put out the call or use your website or your own contacts. If your mastermind group is the flagship product of your sales funnel, then you’ll be reaching out to your buyers to find the right people.

When evaluating each person for possible membership, you might consider the following:

Can you relate to them on a personal level? Can you see yourself being friends, or at least spending time with them each week?

Do they have similar experience? This goes back to knowing who you want in your group. Trying to mesh people who just graduated college with business owners having decades of experience likely won’t work. But there’s no reason why you couldn’t have two separate mastermind groups, one for newbies and one for experienced people.

Are they competitors? You’re not going to want a dentist mastermind with 10 local competing dentists. Because they are all going after the exact same market, they’re not going to open up about what’s working in their practices. But 10 dentists from 10 different cities might work very well.

What Are the Housekeeping Rules of Your Mastermind Group?

As the person running the group, the rules concerning how the group will function will be up to you. But it is important that you do have rules and that you let prospective members know what these rules are. Make it clear that for everyone’s benefit, participation depends upon following these rules, and failure to do so will result in the member being asked to leave.

Here are some good rules to get you started:

•   What happens in mastermind STAYS in mastermind. For the group to be successful, people need to be able to trust each other and know that what they share in the group will not leave the group.
•   Whenever possible, share stories and not advice. This might seem counter-intuitive, but people learn best when we share stories and experiences with similar situations and challenges.
•   Active participation is a must. Each member must be committed to actively participating, both in sharing their own challenges as well as helping other members.

How Do You Run a Mastermind Group Meeting?

There’s no hard and fast answer, but here’s a template you might want to use:

1: If the meeting is in person, then you might have 5-10 minutes for informal catching up. If you’re doing this online with something like Zoom, it can be difficult if there is more than one conversation happening, so I’d suggest in that case you skip informal talk and get right to the meeting.

2: Give everyone 5 minutes to update the group on where they’re at with their goals from the last session.

3: Take a deep-dive into one specific challenge of one, two or three members. You can’t do this for every member every week, but then again not every member will have a challenge each week, so it should work out.

Reserve about 30 minutes for this section. If three members want deep-dives, they only get 10 minutes each. 2 members will get 15 minutes, and if there is only one member with a challenging problem, they get the entire 30 minutes. If you don’t already know, then you’ll want to touch base with members beforehand to know who needs the deep-dive each week. An email the day before should do the trick.

The group offers actionable potential solutions to the members facing the challenges. It’s also likely that others in the group will be facing similar challenges, so while it appears that only 1 to 3 people are being helped, in reality everyone can be benefiting from these deep-dives.

4: Next, ask if any other members have major outstanding challenges. There might be time to give them some quick help, or they can reserve the deep-dive time for the following week.

5: Finally, everyone takes a turn stating their goals for what they want to accomplish over the next week. You’ll be writing these goals down and sending them out to the entire group in an email after the mastermind. This is an amazing way to hold people accountable with very little effort.

You Are The Group Leader

While it’s true that you could designate someone else to run the group, I don’t recommend it. Members are paying YOU to be the leader, and so you should act as that leader.

In the beginning you will be introducing members to each other and essentially warming the group up. It takes time for people to grow comfortable together, and during that time they will all be looking to you to move the group forward and make things as smooth as possible. Your job is to keep things on topic and flowing. If anyone gets off topic, you need to steer them back on track to respect everyone’s time and commitment to this group.

You’ll likely find that one or two of your members tend to talk too much. They may interrupt others or have trouble yielding the floor when their time is done. It is up to you to gently, politely and firmly let them know that everyone gets a fair and equal amount of time and attention.

You’ll also likely have one or two members who have difficulty speaking up. In the beginning it is important to get them talking, even if it’s initially on superficial things. Once they are able to relax and feel they fit into the group, they should feel more comfortable speaking their mind.

Here’s How You Change Your Own Life…

Yes, you can make excellent money running one or more mastermind groups, but this added income might be just the icing on the cake for you. The fact is, many successful people attribute their success to mastermind groups, and running your own mastermind group is a way for you to get PAID to be IN a mastermind group.

Plus, you can run as many mastermind groups as you’re comfortable doing, as long as the quality of the groups do not suffer. If you were participating in not just one but maybe several mastermind groups, do you think that might make you more successful?

Let’s say you’re an online marketer in the dating niche. You might run a mastermind for other non-competing marketers in the dating niche, as well as a mastermind for 6 figure online marketers in many different niches and a third mastermind group on social media marketing.

Think of the possibilities! And think of the potential partnerships, too, as well as the introductions you can get to other influential people who can help you.

“But if I’m getting PAID to run the mastermind, is it ethical for me to also participate as one of the members?”

Absolutely.

In fact, I would point out to the group from the very beginning that you will be not just the leader, but also a participating member. For people who already know you and trust you, this will be a selling point. If anyone has a problem with it (I can’t imagine they will) or if you are uncomfortable about it, then you can volunteer to pay the same amount everyone else has paid to be there. In your case, donate the money to a worthy cause.

Remember, you are the one who is putting the group together. It is up to you to get the right people who will work well together to accomplish big things and this is valuable, indeed. You are also the one setting up the meetings, paying for any related software, running the meetings, sending out the emails and so forth.

Unlike the paying members, you have ongoing duties to the group each week to keep it running smoothly and ensuring that everyone benefits. Don’t get caught up in worrying that it’s not ‘fair’ that everyone is paying you. When done correctly, membership in a mastermind group pays for itself many, many times over. And don’t be surprised if you receive special gifts from your members when they have big successes, either, so they can show their appreciation for bringing them into your group.

Mastermind Software and Resources I Can Recommend

Initially you can use something as simple as Zoom to run your masterminds and PayPal to charge fees. When you’re ready for something a little more professional, there are services such as MightyNetworks.com that integrate with Zoom and other video meeting platforms to give you many more options and benefits.

If you’ve got the meetings handled and you’re looking for a way for members to keep in touch between sessions, you might use Slack.com.

Another resource is MastermindBetter.com which includes scheduling, goal tracking, agendas, timers and group chat.

“Sounds great, but I’m nervous about running a mastermind. How do I get started?”

If you’ve never been in a mastermind group before, I’d suggest you start one for practice. Carefully choose a small handful of people you know and trust. Tell them your reason for starting this mastermind is two-fold: You want to mastermind with them AND you want to start more masterminds.

Charge a small amount for this first one to ensure everyone takes it seriously. Yes, charge for this first one. People pay attention to what they spend their money on. If you don’t charge, they may not take it seriously.

Hold a meeting each week, work out the bugs, gain your confidence and then start your first ‘real’ paid mastermind group that charges ‘real’ money.

One more thing… give yourself deadlines. Write down your deadline for starting your first mastermind, such as 7 days from right now. Then write down your second deadline for starting your second mastermind, such as 6 weeks from right now.

And here’s where it gets really interesting… you could make your first mastermind a group of people interested in starting… wait for it…

… Masterminds!

(I know what you’re thinking! A mastermind on running masterminds is so wonderfully… Meta!)

Think about it. How could you NOT succeed if you were already in a mastermind group dedicated to starting paid mastermind groups?

In fact, anytime you want to take on something NEW and BIG, why not start a mastermind group for that very thing?It could accelerate your success like nothing else you’ve ever done before.

Can Jokes Make Good Marketing Emails?

I know firsthand how difficult it can be to continually come up with new topics for your emails. The first 20 are easy. The next 30 aren’t too difficult. The next 50 take work. And once you’ve done a few hundred emails, you’re pretty sure you’re just writing the same things over and over again – most likely because you are. If you want to keep your emails fresh, interesting and even exciting for your readers, then it’s time to step up your game and find something new to offer. Which is why I thought of… jokes.

Can Jokes Make Good Marketing Emails?

Because who doesn’t love to hear a joke? Even if it’s one that makes us groan, we still enjoy the anticipation of seeing whether or not it’s funny, whether we laugh, and maybe even whether or not it’s good enough to share with others. I know that when I receive an email from an individual or a business that says, “Joke enclosed,” I almost always open it, because… why not? I need more laughter in my life, and I’ll bet your readers do, too.

So how do you turn a joke into a marketing email?

That is the question.

First, let’s find a joke. I just did a quick search and found this one…

“When I asked my 3 year old niece Anna what she wanted for her birthday, all she’d say was “reading glasses.”

Thinking it must be some sort of preschool fashion trend, I bought her a pair with plain glass lenses. A week later, I picked Anna up from daycare and asked where her glasses were.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “But they don’t work anyway.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, I still can’t read,” she sighed.

Ha!

Okay, I thought it was pretty funny.

How do we segue this into an offer? Let’s use the online marketing niche for our examples:

1: We could say something like, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could put on a pair of marketing glasses and suddenly know how to make sales on autopilot? This product is the next closest thing because…”

2: Or we could say, “As you see Anna took ‘reading glasses’ quite literally, which is exactly how I want you to take my guarantee on this product. I 100% absolutely, positively guarantee that when you follow the program, this is what will literally happen for you: …”

3: Perhaps we might go with, “Poor kid. Obviously, the glasses didn’t perform like the name, ‘reading glasses’ promised her. Have you ever purchased one of those, “Make X Money in X Days” programs, only to discover that what they really meant was, IF you have a website and IF you have a list and IF you have a product, then this will work?”

“Well with my $10,000 in 30 Days program, you don’t need any of that in place. In fact, you can be a total beginner and this program will still perform exactly as the name implies, with no catches and no disappointments.”

4: Last example: “I can’t promise you reading glasses, but I can do one better than that. This course will open your eyes to an entirely different way of thinking and doing business, resulting in you being more excited about your future than you have been since you were Anna’s age.”

All 4 examples need a little polish but you get the idea.

I took a random joke, typed it out and then came up with four segues into offers. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to do this and there are an infinite number of possibilities. In fact, if everyone reading this tried this exercise, we would have thousands of examples and no two would be exactly the same.

Here’s your assignment: Go online and find 3 jokes that make you chuckle or even laugh out loud. Copy and paste them into your writing program and then come up with 3 segues into any product you are currently promoting or plan to promote in the future. If you don’t have a product, make one up.

The point is to see that you can indeed use almost anything interesting or entertaining to begin your emails, and then segue that into the message you want to convey. It might not even be to sell something, but rather to teach a tip, make an announcement or simply remind them that you stand ready to help when they need it.

Taking this to the next level: Keep a file of everything that catches your eye, whether it’s humor, news, off-the-wall ideas or whatever, and dig through this file when you need an opener for your next email to your list.

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