*Note: I originally shared this on the STM Forum, which is absolutely the best community of affiliate marketers sharing ideas and insights on the web.
This post was inspired because I was in your shoes at one point… I needed help and wanted to make some friends to collaborate with but I hadn’t gone far with my campaigns. I was still considered a dreaded “newb”. Other than a couple of $x/day to low $xx/day campaigns that didn’t last long I had yet to find a stride in my affiliate marketing efforts.
For me, I was already knowledgeable on affiliate marketing concepts but many of you reading this are new or simply haven’t put the time in to learn the basics on your own. The purpose of what I’m about to share will help you find other affiliates who are making real efforts to make this a business and who have the same goal as you – to change your lifestyle and generate an income.
Recently, I’ve been getting a steady flow of PM’s from people looking to join the mastermind I am apart of and while some of these people I have connected with on skype to collaborate, the majority of them I turn away and encourage them on what they can do to find their own group to collaborate with.
What I’m about to share isn’t the only way you accomplish this but it’s from my personal experience developing my existing mastermind.
Benefits of a Mastermind
There are a few key benefits of having a solid group of guys/gals together who share information and work together as a “team” and help each other progress.
- Group Buying Power – you all are buying tools, each of your campaigns are buying data, each of you run different ideas and tests, etc. These items can all be shared amongst the group and saves all of you time, money and accelerates your learning.
- Different Styles – Each of you have a different style of marketing, different skill sets and seeing the way each of your “teammates” think and approach campaigns will help you define your own style. It will also evolve and improve over time.
- Faster Learning and Execution – In this business, the faster you hit the tipping point of the knowledge and experience level when things just start coming together and make sense, the faster you will start to make money. Having a “team” of minds working together will get you to that point through learning and helping you execute tasks better.
- Networking is King – This is the underlying advantage that most people overlook. Get out there, meet people, share, make friends, show some value to others and they will consider you a valuable person to stay connected to – if you know the right person or how to find the right person to handle any obstacle, you are a wealthy man (or woman) in the making.
- There are more but these are the main points I wanted to convey.
Negatives of being in a Poor Mastermind
- You waste time.
- You waste money.
- You will spin in circles and procrastinate.
- Just don’t be in one, period.
Where to Start?
There are a few ways to get involved with a mastermind…
- Start your own – Usually this is the best way because you can control who is part of the mastermind and the direction it takes. (I prefer this one.)
- Reach out and ask to join other masterminds – This can work but usually the best masterminds aren’t looking for new people unless you really bring something to the table. So not ideal for newbies.
- Get invited to an existing one – This also works but for similar reasons as the point above, not the best option in many cases for a newbie.
The Reason Most Masterminds Suck
- Nobody takes a leadership role. You need someone to take point on navigating and coordinating with the group to keep things on track, productive, establish meetings times, etc.
- The group is too large to be productive.
- Most of the group members are not serious about affiliate marketing, they just see $1k/day profit threads and get all excited like kids in a candy shop. You need to be around serious minded people and not those with the illusion of achieving something.
- Group members are unable to commit to meeting times, spending a reasonable amount on testing and launching campaigns often, etc. This can be for a variety of reasons.
- Nobody shares any real information. It’s all the basics of.. “how do setup tracking for Zeropark and Voluum” (joking.. or am i?), “can you show me your best lander?”, “how do I find the best offers to test” and questions on things that you would already know if you take the $100/month you spend on STM and read every freaking thread on here at least once.
- And there are more…
Finally… How to Start Your Own Mastermind and Become More Successful in Affiliate Marketing
Obviously, being in a mastermind by itself is not going to solve all your problems with affiliate marketing – but a good mastermind it will help you conquer them one by one. And that’s the path to becoming successful with this business. Every time you are faced with a new challenge, you tackle it head on and figure it out. Keep doing that over and over until eventually, you’ve figured out enough to find your profitable campaign. A good mastermind works together to figure out those challenges.
1. Define your mastermind and who it should contain. You want the theme of the mastermind to align with your goals so you can find others who have the same goals. For me, I was looking for a group of people who were focused primarily on mobile pops, the vertical wasn’t too important because the concepts are all the same, the members must be doing this full time or focused on doing this with at least a strong part time effort, making $xx+/day and the financial support to spend $300-500/day – those were the basic requirements I was looking for because that’s the level at which I was at.
2. Find more people like you. If you can find more people that truly have the same goals, interests and level of experience as you – then your group will be a success. My original attempt of forming a mastermind started with me posting a thread in the STM masterminds section. I got a couple of responses but they were not what I was looking for. So, did I just throw in the towel and give up? Heck no! I went to the follow along section of STM and read through them until I found guys that were putting in real effort, making some sort of progress and were in line with my values and work ethic. Then I reached out to a couple of them and explained what I was trying to do and ultimately found one guy that would be a good fit. He had a business partner as well so that made a total of 3 of us. Then we added another guy shortly after, then 2 months later we’ve added 2 more guys. My point, don’t sit around hoping someone will invite you. Go out and make something happen yourself.
3. Keep the group small. I can’t stress this enough and it’s were many people fail. Most large mastermind groups are not productive and are just a waste of time. I’ve checked out groups with 10-20 people in it and there are very few productive discussions going on and nothing happening. It’s also easier to manage and share information with a smaller group. You need to build a tight team and you guys become friends through the process. I recommend keeping your group between 4-6 members unless you know what you are doing.
4. Show value to one another. You must be willing to be transparent and share information, campaigns, specific details, etc. Otherwise you will never grow and the point of a mastermind is to share what you know to learn from each other’s experiences.
I remember one of the guys I chatted with on skype, when it came time and I invited him to the mastermind, as soon as he joined the first thing he said to everyone was… “I’m running in X geo with X offer on X network and X traffic source using X type of lander doing $xxx/day, you guys jump in and make some money. Just wanted to demonstrate I’m willing to contribute.”
Talk about an awesome way to show value right from the start! Now, that level of commitment isn’t necessary but he clearly demonstrated that he was willing to be a team player – and that is what you want to have, is a team of serious, dedicated people who can work together to conquer AM. Think beyond just having one successful campaign and focus more on achieving consistent successful campaigns.
5. Commit to weekly meetings by skype calls. This is one of the key things pushing us forward within our group. Our group is very active on skype chat daily but having a weekly call at a designated day/time means we are all committed to the cause and can cover a lot more information in a shorter period. It’s vital to keep the call productive and leave any basic chit-chat to the very end where the general discussions can happen. After all, you are developing friendships so nothing wrong with a little non-business talk once the main objectives are out of the way.
6. Have an organizer to keep things on track. I naturally assumed this position within my group and its role is nothing more than helping to keep the group on track with our agenda. I initiated the discussion and coordinated to find an agreeable weekly meeting time for all of us, I take charge of the weekly meeting by keeping the conversations moving along, productive and making sure everyone gets an opportunity to contribute. Sometimes I will come up with a core topic that we can all share insights on based on feedback through our skype chats that week. Other times, we just have a general discussion.
7. Review progress and performance of each team member. On our weekly meetings, we discuss what challenges we face the prior week, what successes we’ve had, what we have been working on and what our agenda is for the near future. These type of things are always changing and it’s good to know what is happening within the group and how everyone is progressing.
Not every situation requires you to start your own mastermind and if you can find a group that is seeking members, then by all means check them out. But I caution you from just joining any ol’ mastermind, instead make sure they are a good fit for what you are looking for and if the shoe fits, wear it.
I’m a little more of a control freak and like having the power in the beginning to pick and choose who I invited to my group. Now that we are an established group I don’t make those choices on my own, it’s a group decision.
These few items have had the biggest impact in my progress and in this order…
- Starting my own follow along
- Starting a mastermind group
- Networking with as many quality affiliates as I can and building relationships
- Never giving up
I hope you find some value out of this post and take another step forward in building your business.
Ronan Leonard says
Great no BS article on Masterminds.
I liked the old photos you published – especially the “timewasters” one.
I’ve build a Mastermind portal to address many of the issues raised.
Maybe we could talk about affiliates sometime 🙂
Thanks again for a great post