One of my clients who lives overseas is in the midst of marketing his year-long high level Mastermind group. We've been through setting up the sales copy for his website, and he’s pulled together some introductory workshops to give his potential clients a taste of what he does and how he works. Still, he wants to do all he can to maximize enrollment, so he asked if I had more suggestions for him. Here's what we talked about – 7 ways to get the numbers you want in a mastermind or mentoring group.
- Be clear about how many people you want. What size does the group need to be to function well, let connections and bonding take place, but still remain manageable? Share this number in your marketing campaign. Spend a little time actually envisioning the group in your meeting place. See the faces as you look around the room, or on Web cam if you're offering a virtual group. Clarity, visualization, and stating to others what you want are three ways to manifest your perfect group size.
- Take 3 months longer to plan and launch than what you counted on, and be prepared to run your marketing for group members right up to the morning of the first meeting.
- Leave yourself enough lead time to schedule more than one “preview” workshop or call. If you're doing “live” preview workshops don't use the same location or time of day for the second one. If you're doing virtual preview calls, schedule at least 2 (3 is better). Hold one during the day and one at night. It’s rare to attract all the people you have potential to work with in just one preview event.
- Make sure that your preview events are experiential. Plan an exercise or discussion that involves as many senses as you can. Make the preview events discussion and ask for feedback about aha's and takeaways.
- Be sure to create an offer that is truly irresistible to your potential group members. Ask during your planning stage (by surveying your list and at least 3 ideal group members) what they would most benefit from in a group, what would make them never want to miss a meeting. Don't talk about what you plan to do, talk about the transformation members will have. Talk about the pain points your ideal members have and what will happen when these pain points are eliminated from a person’s life or work.
- Review the stories of the people who have already signed up for your group, and ask yourself why they opened their wallets for you. These early adopters can tell you a lot about what other people are feeling, too. Change your sales talk and copy slightly if you need to, in order to cover and emphasis these benefits since you already know that they are strong selling points for you.
- Consider offering a half-price ticket to the friend, spouse, business partner or assistant of someone who has already paid full ticket price for a seat in the group. This can be a very effective way to fill your seats. Essentially, you are up-selling the already-registered client. It’s a great benefit to them to bring someone along, and a great benefit to you to have another person in the group. (Be sure, however, that you are covering your costs with this 50% person.)
Make sure that your offer is time limited. You can offer the half-price “second person” ticket for a limited time. You can offer an early-bird discount for a very brief time. You can offer a bonus but only if the person registers for your group within the next 24 hours. Filling the seats in your mastermind groups takes persistence and the use of multiple marketing strategies. Keep going until you've gotten your number – most people quit trying too early.