Last week, I shared "5 Ways to Step Our of Your Photography Comfort Zone." One thing I mentioned was joining a photography group or starting your own. What inspired me to include this tip was because I had recently started a photography mastermind group and I think it's really great a stretching ourselves as photographers, all while brainstorming ideas, and learning from one another.
Starting a mastermind group, of any kind, doesn't have to be hard or scary. Mastermind groups are a great way to help you move forward in your dreams. It can be really tough to figure out things alone. Whether you're starting a blog, implementing new products, starting a small business, or wanting to learn a new craft, mastermind groups are meant for like minded individuals to come together and grow together. We're not meant to do this journey alone, we're meant to live together in community.
You can't have a mastermind group without asking people to join. Think of people who may already be in your creative circle or others on social media that you think may want to be a part of your group. When I was brainstorming my group I thought of other photographers that I knew that were in the process of growing their own photography business. The photographers I thought of didn't have to offer the same exact services I was working on, I simple wanted the group to be photography based.
My outreach started with one person. I sent an email to another photographer friend and asked her if she was interested in creating a photography mastermind group with me. We chatted via email about others we thought would benefit from the group and brainstormed ideas of how the group would function. Once we had an outline of our hopes for the group and a list of others who we thought might like to join, we sent out invite emails and I group started to form.
Pick a platform that you would like your group to function within. There are lots of options out there; Facebook, Skype, Google Hangouts, ect. We decided on Google hangouts because of it has multi-functional platforms. We created a private Google community that our group would be based within and we used Google Hangouts for our first meeting. I love Google hangouts because we can do video calls with multiple people and we can chat across multiple devices. Pick a platform that works best for your groups needs.
A part of creating our group was commitment. Groups don't function well without commitment outlined. When we outlined how we wanted our group to function we decided on meeting twice a month. When we invited others to our group we outlined our hopes for the group and our desire to meet twice a month. This twice a month meeting keeps us accountable and helps us to move forward.
Without committing to set meeting times our group may have fizzled out before it even got started. Remember that a mastermind group is meant to help you grow and move forward, neither of those things happen unless you're meeting together in community.
GOALS & STRATEGY
Goals and strategy are important and create structure for your group. What do you want your group to accomplish? What are your hopes for the group? What are strategies that will help your group meet these goals? Your goals don't have to be finite, but you do want to have a starting point. Our group started with goals to grow as photographers, share ideas and marketing strategies, and participate in photo challenges and critiques. As our group develops our goals will develop has well, but getting started we made sure we had a blueprint to go off.
Mastermind groups have totally changed how I function as a creative. I learn so much more from others in my group, I'm encouraged by them, and no longer feel like I have to figure out things alone. If I have questions I can ask others in my group. If I'm feeling discouraged I can share my heart-ache with those in my group. We all have something to offer and together we can move forward. Are you apart of a mastermind group? Have you thought about creating one? xoxo. Samantha