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How to Create a Powerful Mastermind of Your Peers

After walking off the stage to a thunderous applause, the public speaker approaches Tony Robbins and asks a question which he has struggled to answer, “Tony, I don’t get it. I do the same things you do, but you make 8-figures and I make 7-figures. What am I doing wrong?”

Tony Robbins asks, “Who do you hang out with?” and the public speaker responds, “People just like me—earning 7 figures.” Tony Robbins answers, “That’s your problem.  If you hang out with people making 7 figures, you’ll make 7 figures. You need to hang out with people—like me--making 8 figures.”

Jim Rohn wrote that you are the average of the 5 persons you spend the most time with.  Who you spend time with influences the person you become—your friends can elevate you as much as they can bring you down.  Okay, fine, but how do you create a group of high achieving lawyers who are doing things bigger and better than you?

The Business Annuity that Never Stops Giving

What if you could be part of a special VIP community where you could get personal feedback from the country’s best lawyers? But it gets better—the mastermind will consist of an elite network of lawyers with you at the center.  You will receive referrals of new cases from this network and be asked to speak at national and statewide trial lawyer organizations by other members.

Better yet, you’ll receive tips on a nearly daily basis from your network about best practices for marketing and management and you will continually improve your practice based upon new ideas from the members. Eventually, you will pay forward what you learn to younger lawyers and ultimately discover that the greatest benefit is helping others succeed.

“Nothing sharpens your thinking like a small band of trusted colleagues who are willing to challenge you, hold you accountable, and support you through difficult times.”

Dorie Clark, Entrepreneurial You

You will have a tribe of loyal friends from across the country who are willing to do just about anything for you. This, my friend, is the business annuity that never stops giving. Yet, few lawyers will even consider joining a mastermind…and that’s a damn shame.

The Top 4 Tools for Promoting Your First Mastermind

The promotion for your first mastermind will take 3-4 months, so be patient.  Few lawyers will be receptive at first. Most are unfamiliar with the concept of a mastermind and many will balk at spending even one day away from their busy practice. You need to find lawyers who think like you, i.e., entrepreneurial-minded lawyers who are life-long learners and ideally, highly successful lawyers willing to share everything they know.

#1:  Referrals: The best source of members will always be referrals and warm leads, e.g., lawyers who already know, like and trust you.  Create a list of your referral partners, newsletter subscribers and social media friends (e.g., contacts on LinkedIn). Write a list of your ideal persons for the mastermind that are a good fit; then call them and offer a spot—it’s as simple as that.

“Sharing your best ideas with the world is a powerful way to help others and give meaning to what you do.”

Dorie Clark, Entrepreneurial You

#2:  Direct Mail, Email & Webinars: Reach out to your friends and warm leads through a series of personal touches—the more personal the better. You should create a sales letter explaining the benefits of the mastermind and follow up with a webinar with a special guest, e.g., “How to Become an Authority with the Media”.  Promote the webinar and mastermind in your monthly print newsletter.

Invite those on your email list with a series of emails that provide valuable content and a special offer to your mastermind, e.g., “What is your biggest professional challenge right now?”  Ask for their phone numbers and get their permission to call them to follow up (this is a proxy—if they say yes, they are more interested and likely to become buyers). Use the subject line, “quick question”, in lower case so it looks as personal as possible.

#3:  Sponsors & Joint Ventures: Get sponsors for the mastermind, e.g., Advocate Capital.  Ask your vendors to promote the mastermind on their social media channels and offer to co-host a webinar on a subject relevant to the mastermind, e.g., internet marketing or hiring and firing.

You might do a joint venture with another trial lawyer organization or firm with a complimentary event, e.g., The 7-Figure Attorney, and co-promote each other’s events.

#4:  Speaking Engagements: Use speaking engagements to promote your mastermind.  Once attendees see the value you offer, they will be lining up to attend your mastermind.  

Offer to sponsor conferences in return for the endorsement of your mastermind. The Mastermind Experience was a sponsor of the Max Law conference and just from that event, our mastermind received 10 new applications.

The Top #6 Mistakes of a Mastermind Organizer

Don’t wait to launch a mastermind—start now and make improvements at each mastermind.  But here are a few tips (some of which I’ve learned through first-hand experience) for avoiding common mistakes.

#1:  Failing to Attend a Mastermind:   One rookie mistake is lawyers who want to launch a mastermind group, yet have never participated in one. It’s hard to run a mastermind when you’ve never attended one.  

Spend a few $ to attend a high-live mastermind and learn what they do—good and bad.  I attended a mastermind known as Elite Forum at Infusionsoft and received invaluable ideas for creating a mastermind for lawyers.

#2:  Unsolicited Mail: Mailing a sales letter to cold leads (e.g., lawyers who don’t know you) will have a very low return on investment.  I once sent 1,000 sales letters to a cold list and got no response. Cost $5,200. Big mistake!

Like unsolicited mail, digital advertising has a low response rate when you send the ads to cold leads. If you have a budget for digital advertising, target a list of lawyers who already know, like and trust you, e.g., your email subscribers or referral partners.

#3:  Spending without a Budget: Set a budget and stick to it. When you add special events, have the members pay extra, e.g., baseball game. Your goal is to break even financially, in the beginning. If you’re losing $ at every mastermind, the longevity of your mastermind will be in jeopardy. This is a mistake I’ve made more than a few times.

When possible, ask one of the members to host the mastermind at their law firm.  This alone will save a ton of cash.

#4:  Letting Anyone In the Mastermind:  Don’t simply admit anyone who is interested—you have to be selective.  Some masterminds admit anyone who can pay—avoid this mistake. The collective wisdom of the mastermind will suffer if unscrupulous, low-achieving lawyers are admitted to your tribe.

If one of the members has a problem with an applicant, you have to give them veto power to reject their application. Some want to attend the mastermind just to get the secrets of the other members.  

#5:  Failing to be Unique: What would make your mastermind distinctive in the marketplace?  Unlike other lawyer masterminds, the Mastermind Experience is a one-day event that has no recurring fees and is limited to less than 30 lawyers. There is no commitment or fees beyond the one-time registration fee. No other mastermind does this.

“In-person experiences are an incomparable form of community building.”

Dorie Clark, Entrepreneurial One

The Mastermind Experience separates the members into 3 groups by practice area and firm size and brings special guests to the mastermind to present cutting edges concepts in law firm marketing and management.

#6:  Failing to Charge a Fee:  Failing to charge a fee has been the death of many masterminds.  If you don’t charge a fee, your members will not be invested and your attendance rates will be horrible, e.g., lower than 50%. When you charge a fee, e.g., $1,300, your members will be invested and your attendance rates will exceed 90%.

“The world needs your ideas and you need to be paid for them.”

Dorie Clark, Entrepreneurial You

#8 Tips for An Amazing Mastermind

OVER-PROMISE and OVER-DELIVER.  You want the attendees to be blown away by the content you deliver; when you over-deliver, the mastermind will sell itself.

#1:  Be Ruthless with the Schedule/Time:  Start on time and keep close watch of the time limits for the hot seat presentations. Being strict with time shows respect for the time of your members.

#2:  Desirable Venue and Meals: Find desirable venues and don’t skimp on meals or entertainment. Your members want to be in South Florida or Hawaii in the winter.

#3:  Bring Guest Speakers:  Bring the best speakers in person to speak at your mastermind and expose your members to marketing and management concepts they won’t find anywhere else.

#4:  Vary the Format: Vary the format of your mastermind so that every mastermind is different, e.g., themed masterminds about hiring and firing or internet marketing.

#5:  Expand the Offerings: Create a members-only website with your best video presentations and a membership registry, so new members have an archive of your best presentations and legal forms.  Add special offerings, such as a private Facebook group and a health and fitness Facebook group.

#6:  Keep it Small: Keep the mastermind to less than 30 attendees. When you exceed 30 members, there is not enough personal attention for your members.

#7:  Separate Groups: Separate into small groups by size of law firm and practice area.  Your members want to work with others in the same practice area, who face the same challenges.

#8:  Video testimonials: Capture the video testimonials at the mastermind and you’ll never have to sell the event again.

The Best Thing You Will Ever Do for Your Career

You might be thinking, “sounds nice, but this is not for me”.  And you’re right, the mastermind is not for most lawyers—in fact, most do not see the benefits. But for those who are active and engage in the mastermind, it is nothing less than transformative, both professionally and personally.

If you think you might want to give this a try, the next Mastermind Experience will be held on Friday, April 26th at a beautiful beachside resort in sunny Fort Lauderdale.  And for the first time, the Mastermind Experience is lucky to join forces with a special event, The 7-Figure Attorney, which will be held on Thursday, April 25th, at the same resort in Fort Lauderdale.  

Don’t Miss the 7-Figure Attorney on April 25th

At the 7-Figure Attorney, Craig Goldenfarb, Esq., sole owner of a 52-employee plaintiffs’ law firm in West Palm Beach, Florida, will dive deep into the structure and system for his law firm and show you how he went from a one-lawyer shop to the #1 small business in South Florida. Just soaking in Craig’s knowledge is worth a trip to Fort Lauderdale (as if you needed a reason).

Craig’s Director of Administration, Michelle Winfree, will share their secrets for hiring and firing and incentivizing employees and his marketing director, Tom Copeland, will share their inside secrets for marketing—digital and traditional--in the hyper-competitive market of South Florida. You won’t want to miss this!

If you’ve never attended a mastermind, this is a perfect opportunity.  You can apply for the Mastermind Experience at MastermindExperience.com and you can register for The 7-Figure Attorney at SevenFigureAttorney.com. If you have questions, give me a call at 518-265-9131 or send an email to jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.

Hope to see you in South Florida!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Leave a comment below telling me what surprised, inspired or taught you the most (I personally respond to every comment). And if you disagree with my take on running a personal injury law firm, or have a specific, actionable tip, I’d love to hear from you.