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Mastermind Group

Recently, my daughter Mollie, took me to a pub in Oxford to show me where the Inklings hung out for over 20 years, mainly in the 30’s and 40’s. She referred to the pub as the Bird & Babe, but the sign said The Eagle & Child. (Not sure why – must ask). She explained that Belfastman Clive Staples Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien along with other writers came here to meet regularly and Brainstorm about their work and other topics, to help each other grow and face challenges.

EagleandChildThe pub has not changed much and maybe the ‘Brainstorming’ model is still the same sort of Mastermind Group, that helps us evolve in our own business, to overcome the obstacles and face the challenges. The fare in the pub is still very simple, good burgers and equally good visiting beer. We had a great chat and I look forward to doing it again. It reminded me that in 1928, across the Atlantic, Napoleon Hill defined the mastermind group as a great way for its members to achieve success:

The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind” or Mastermind.

Rules of Engagement:

Members need each other to make it work, to get feedback and use each other as a sounding board, working together as a team, to accelerate growth and hone ideas or even get new ideas, better ways or useful insights.Your fellow members know people and things that you do not yet know, so you get to share a multiple of skillsets, experiences, networks and abilities. The very act of joining a Mastermind Group will make you think bigger and plan better than you might do on your own. Oh and yes, it might add pressure and make you feel uncomfortable – excellent, as soon as you feel uncomfortable you know you are in the right place – get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Mastermind-Michael-MacGintyAccountability – The ensuing Accountability will make you focus on what is important, what has to be done next, what one thing will move your business to the next level. Pascal Curran reminds me every Monday morning of all the things I did ‘not’ record when I was recording my weekly activities. It is very hard to sit in front of a peer and proffer excuses. It is much easier to do, than to deliberate, when faced with a weekly “Why not” from someone I know, like and trust, someone to whom I have promised to commit, to do as agreed and to grow. Our task sheet is very simple to read, to fill in and record – it is just some of the activities I deliberate about a bit. Swallowing that ‘Frog’ every morning, can get delayed by simple procrastination. Any Monday we do not meet, I do not grow, so I miss these days for many reasons. Thanks Pascal.

Health Warning: Inspiration and positivity will flow from being a member of a good Mastermind Group. But, if, you get a group that does not work, bow out politely, then do try another one, maybe create your own. You will achieve much more as part of a team than on your own.

Members – 4 to 8 people who are all driven to succeed and want to be part of this group for the benefit of all its members.
Evaluate any applying new members and get consensus on them joining, maybe have a probationary 6 months. Agree to drop any underperformers or people who do not fully participate or show the same level of drive and committment.

Meeting – Meet regularly, once a week or month for peer to peer mentoring, advice and direction – in person or on Skype or a mix of both. Start off by using an invocation or making an agreed statement about why you are meeting. Every member should have an aim or target, to get something from each and every single meeting. Then share your “Wins” from last week/month. Let every member have a set time, 10 or 15 minutes to discuss their business, ideas, problems, challenges etc and then get feedback from the other members – take notes ! Accept criticism as helpful, accept that all advice is meant to help. Ask for help or connections, referrals or leads. Look for something positive to say when a Member shares and look for your own positives too – if you did good, celebrate here. Be aware and grateful for your successes, large or small – acknowledge them.

Knowledge – It is unlikely that you will ever learn everything you need to run a very successful business, but with the input of your fellow members you might just make a good business great.

Facilitator – Appoint one member as the facilitator who runs the meetings and rotate that position amongst the members every 6 months. When you have this job, you have to manage the meetings, do the time keeping, make the judgement calls and keep the energy up. Pádraic Ó Máille, “The Smacht Guy” is the best I have seen and he has inspired many such groups.

Tools – Use Skype or Google Hangouts or Facebook Private Groups if you like and maybe use Google Docs to keep records, notes, useful info etc. Use whatsApp for short

quick messaging.

Warning – This is not a class, a school, a coaching or a networking group, so be prepared to work at this, if you want it to work for you. A good Mastermind Group will

MeanIT Mastermind Group - Widen your horizons

continually make you feel challenged.

Takeaways – Lastly, how do you set up a Mastermind Group ? Join a local Networking Group or industry grouping, to find some like minded people and start from there. Members do not have to be local, so by all means search the net for likely candidates. Give me a call if I can help in any way – 086 2510117

Tip – “The more things change the less things change” and this Inklings method does work equally well in 2015, so challenge yourself to set up a Mastermind Group and drive your project or business, with a little help from your friends.

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Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?


Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

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