So You Want To Start A Mastermind? With Dov Gordon | EU82
When I say the word “Mastermind” what comes to mind?
There are super high-end masterminds, masterminds that aren’t really masterminds, free masterminds, and everything in between.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I try to determine where I want my business to grow next.
And so, my guest today is a totally selfish invite. This conversation is a free consulting call for me.
I’ve been in Dov Gordon’s community for a while now, and he’s kind of known as the “Mastermind Guy.”
If you’ve never heard of him before, that’s okay. He prefers to be the kind of consultant who’s behind the scenes, doing amazing work and growing his business through referrals within his network.
And the best part is people pay him to be a part of this network. This has two amazing benefits.
One, he generates premium leads for his business. People who are willing to invest thousands of dollars a year in building relationships.
Two, by “owning” the network or being its creator, he’s automatically in a position of authority and respect. This reminds me of that Peter Drucker quote, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.”
If you’ve been thinking about starting a mastermind to grow your business, this episode of Experts Unleashed is a must-listen.
What is an “Alchemy Network” and how is different than a mastermind? [13:05]
Fulfillment, time commitment, and curation - how Dov runs his Alchemy Network in a highly leveraged way [17:38]
The value you bring to a Mastermind as its curator (hint: it’s not content) [27:00]
The Emotional Bank Account - how to think about member engagement and “group rules” [31:50]
The client math behind creating a mastermind - how much you can expect to make [39:17]
… And much more!
Dov Gordon: [00:00:00]
There are consulting firms where a new project is worth, uh, anywhere from low six to low seven figures or even more. There’s a lot of potential heroine and I’m just looking for opportunities to help them do that.
Joel Erway: [00:00:19]
Hey, what’s going on? It’s Joel Erway. Welcome to our very special episode of experts unleashed. Today, you’re in for an amazing treat. I’ve got my good friend, Dov Gordon on, and we are going to be talking about a topic that has yet to be covered on this podcast. We are, I don’t know, 70 or 80 somewhat episodes deep into this podcast.
And I wanted to reach out to Dov. I did reach out to Dov and he’s our special guest today, because he is the foremost expert on launching and organizing and running profitable and valuable masterminds. How do I know this? Because I’ve been part of his mastermind for, I’d say at least three years now.
Now when somebody throws around the term mastermind, all sorts of different things can go through your head. You can think super super high ticket, super super high level, which there are plenty of those out there. And you can also probably go on the other end of the spectrum where you can participate in free masterminds. And so, there’s a wide range of different types of masterminds that you can set up.
And selfishly, I wanted to have Dov on the show because it is something that I have been pondering for the better part of, I don’t know, three or four weeks now of what I should do with my business. And so without kind of ruining where this conversation is going, I’m going to shut up now and welcome Dov onto the show.
Dov, welcome to experts unleashed.
Dov Gordon: [00:01:51]
Great to be here, Joel. Thank you.
Joel Erway: [00:01:53]
So why don’t you give a quick 30 to 60 second introduction about who you are, why should we pay attention to you? And why are you so awesome?
Dov Gordon: [00:02:03]
You just, you just made this very difficult. All right.
Joel Erway: [00:02:07]
I can fill in the awesome part if you want, but just give us a background and introduce yourself.
Dov Gordon: [00:02:13]
I’m a guy who’s got a lot to offer in a certain way to certain people, you know, I’ve been a consultant for probably a little more over 20 years now, consulting, coaching. The thing is that the first seven years or so, I was really like pushing boulders up the hill only to watch them roll back down and you know, push them up again.
That was Dov Sisyphus Gordon. That’s the story of a sisyphus. I think I’m saying it correctly anyway, fortunately I wasn’t condemned to do that forever, apparently. So, eventually I started figuring out what I was, you know, how do you actually sell your expertise? Uh, you know, how do you package it?
How do you sell it? How do you lead what I call an elegant sales conversation? How do you talk about what you do in a way that gets the attention and interest of your ideal client?
How do you charge for what you do and so on? And I got to the point where I realized that there are a lot of people like me who are really good at what they do, they care about their clients, but they’re not natural celebrity types in terms of, they’re not interested in putting themselves out there in that kind of way that we see very often.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that it seems to me that most people, most consultants who are solo, the tactics we’ll be talking about apply to larger firms, too. Um, but you know, I’m just looking at my story now. Most small consultants are not looking to build big businesses.
For the most part they’re looking to be well paid, working with great clients, doing great interesting projects and making a great income. Working with people who appreciate them. Or they’re not necessarily looking to become these famous marketers and therefore they have it’s not their personality and they struggle.
I struggled for awhile because you wake up in the morning and you think, and you ask, well, how do I get clients? And most of the models out there are taking you down a path that’s not a fit for your personality. And so that was really my problem, my struggle. And I came to realize that people who have a really strong personality who are naturally good at that, they have an unfair advantage.
And, you know for some, somehow I managed to resist what the mistake that a lot of other people make which is being somebody that you’re not, or trying to put on that show, which always is patently visible to everybody, but yourself.
Right. So, but it’s still, it’s kind of hung back and watched for a few years, you know, watch the people really buy that stuff. People buy in response to that. I mean, I’m going back to the two thousand, you know, 2006, seven, eight. That’s when marketers, these are the early Frank Kern days, you know, the early, I don’t know, your email list is your ATM machine.
You know, either buy your stuff or get off my list. Right. That type of attitude, which never appealed to me. So, you know, over time as I started to figure things out, I started to realize that I seem to have a knack for suffering through things and then sharing my own stories and experiences with others in a way that saves them some of the suffering.
Um, and you know, I shifted my focus to help other consultants who are in a similar situation and quite by accident I started what I think of as an alchemy network. That’s what I call this type of mastermind that I’m focused on or have been for the last 10 plus years. And, you know, I started with a handful of people like, you know, who are marketing and selling to small business entrepreneur consultant and so on.
And we’re open to looking for opportunities to cross promote over the next seven or eight years, I grew it to just under 200 members. It was 195 to 200 members. And then I realized that I needed to know who really wants to be there. So we switched it from free to paid, which was one of the scariest decisions I’ve made in business, because I was afraid of losing all these great relationships.
But fortunately we landed quite strong and have continued to grow really nicely ever since. And you know, about a year or so ago, I started to realize that, other people can do what I’m doing and maybe I should narrow the focus of my own consulting and coaching to focus on helping other consultants build what I call an alchemy network.
You know, an alchemy network is a way of becoming an under the radar leader in your industry which is kind of in some ways what I’ve become for myself. And the network that I’ve grown over the last 10 years has been responsible for almost all of my business, you know, almost all my leads and clients have come from colleagues in the network who have promoted me and I promote them.
And, you know how it works. So that’s the gist of it. So early this year I switched, uh, I grabbed the domain profitablerelationships.com and kind of shifting the branding slowly but surely to the profitable relationships company. And I’ve been starting to help other people build their own alchemy networks.
So a client who does consulting for large, half billion dollar billion dollar plus businesses on their new product design processes. He’s building a network of senior R and D directors. Okay. That’s helping him get his foot in the door at very high levels. Somebody else is doing at ads management or agency and a marketing agency and for a particular vertical and he’s building a network of the owners of businesses in that vertical.
I’m dropping a few points and I’ll pause and we can go wherever you want. I think it’s important to understand that this network can be comprised of either colleagues or ideal clients or recommenders. So colleagues would be like the network I’ve been running for 10 years.
It’s me. It’s you. It’s others. People who are marketing and selling to the same types of people have a comparable audiences and are willing to introduce you to their audiences. That would be colleagues. And if you think of a marketing or sales funnel, that will be at the top of the funnel. It’s how you get people in.
The other two would be in the middle of the funnel. Right. So once you have people in the funnel, you or you’ve identified people, you want to reach out to them. It’s a great way of building relationship with ideal clients and recommenders. People who may not be the decision maker, but sometimes if your decision-maker is the CEO of a half billion dollar billion dollar plus company, it’s kind of hard to really get to them at that level, you know?
So in some cases it makes sense to get your foot in the door, have some success with people, one right below them. And then we kind of spread. Right. And the remarkable thing is that for consultants, you can turn a lot of what you’re already doing. A lot of what I think of is relationship marketing.
You’re already reaching out to people. You’re sending messages, you’re getting on zoom calls or having coffee or meeting at conferences, hopefully soon, all these things that people are already doing and you spend a lot of time on it and it’s difficult because you don’t necessarily know where it’s going to lead.
And you find yourself in situations where sometimes I say, Hey, Joel, that sounds really good. We’re not ready right now but get back to me in six months cause I think what we really want to do this. We’ll get back in six months, right. We’ll be ready then. And you know, you’re not one to sit around waiting.
So after five months you call them back and they say, Oh Joel, I’m so sorry. I wish you got back to me last month because we just started with this other competitor of yours. So anybody who’s sold consulting has experienced that. So what could you do? Right? You could add them to your email list and I recommend it obviously with permission, but now you’re sending them an email, every, you know what, however often, but it’s a one-way conversation at best.
They may or may not be reading them and you don’t know what’s going on on the other end. You can also send them stuff for, you know, a book or an article and so on, and maybe a good idea to do that too.
But sometimes it feels forced and awkward. And also it’s still a one-way conversation. Far better as you say to this potential client, Hey, I get it six months, Joel, I hear what you said. It makes a lot of sense. What I suggest is this. I have this network that’s comprised of precisely the people like you.
Some are a little ahead. Some maybe a little behind in some areas, these are the people that based on everything I’ve heard from you, these are the ones that you would most enjoy talking to, getting to know, learning from. You can help them and they can help you. It’s a thousand or $2,000 for the whole year.
And I wanna invite you to join because I really feel now suddenly you’re bringing together your ideal clients in a network. And when you own the network, it’s like owning the casino. You have an edge, you have an advantage. And now suddenly there’s two way conversations, six weeks from now I can say, Hey, Joel, let’s quickly get on a 10 minute call on to find out what’s well, you know, kind of just give me a quick overview of what you’re dealing with so I can direct the conversations in the network in a way that’s valuable for you.
It’s a different relationship. Maybe you’re a consultant and your usual client projects are $50,000, $150,000, or even more but the fact that they’ve now paid even a thousand dollars to you, or $2,000, it changes the relationship. And now you’re not a nuisance anymore.
You’re not trying to find excuses to talk to them. They’ve invested in themselves through you. And that’s how you turn a lot of that relationship marketing that you’re doing for free, that outreach that, I say the same thing also. You’ll see, it’s a lot easier to make a referrals consistent this way.
So these are the kinds of things that you can do when you have your own alchemy network. So, and I’d say it’s a concept, it’s built on certain principles and there’s always creativity and ideas and everybody’s network will be a little bit different.
Joel Erway: [00:12:26]
Sorry. I had myself muted and, so I was listening intently. One of the things that I wanted to bring up, cause I kind of introduced you as the mastermind guy and you call them alchemy networks. Can you give us a clear distinction? Maybe they’re very similar, maybe they’re different, but because I’ve been part of your, JVMM, your mastermind, what is the difference between a “mastermind” and an alchemy network?
Dov Gordon: [00:12:58]
Here’s the way I see it. I see that the mastermind is a term that has been used to describe so many different things from people who meet once a week for coffee to discuss each other’s businesses, the two high price, hundred thousand dollars a year elite hang out with celebrity guru so-and-so and 150 of his closest richest friends.
And I’d say there are different categories. There’s network, there’s referral groups I’ll say, right? Like VNI, where the purpose is to meet and pass referrals. That’s the purpose of it? There are peer advisory groups like Vistige and so on where you get 6, 8, 10, uh, You’re noncompeting business owners or executives around the table half a day, or once a month or whatever schedule they have and the hero speaker and the Epsom hotseats and that’s a peer group and, you know, masterminds also people use a referring it to a Facebook group, which means a little ridiculous.
But, so I mean, I just see it as kind of a broad category. That’s how I see it. And, I’m, you know, I’ve been focused on a specific type that has specific purpose.
Joel Erway: [00:14:16]
It sounds like an easy sell in alchemy network. Right. And the reason why I have been so interested in it is because I’m going through a little bit of a transition with my business.
Like we are set like financially, we’re doing great and I have hit a lull. I might sound a little pretentious with this and that’s not my intent, but like, I’ve done great for the past couple of years. And I hit this plateau of like, what do I do next? You know, I’ve talked about how I live a four by four lifestyle over the past few months, and that’s really hit home with a lot of people, you know, working four hours a day, four days a week.
But a lot of that time, you know, I’ve been kind of like, just floundering of like, okay, where do I go? Where do I go next? And you know, we hit these
Dov Gordon: [00:15:11]
the kids only have that many dirty diapers, right?
Joel Erway: [00:15:16]
Exactly. There’s always so many diapers I can change. Um, you know, we hit these I think, periods in our life where you have financial needs that are met now, what do you do next?
Like, okay. For me, it’s like, I want to make an impact somehow. I want to really make that impact with other people and, you know, I’ve gone through the idea like, okay, well maybe I can just pitch a typical mastermind to my existing customers. And that’s probably lowest hanging fruit and, you know, charge 20 or $30,000.
But like that wasn’t, it never got me excited and remembering some of our past discussions about your alchemy network and figuring out like, okay, How can I set this up where I still connect with other high level individuals and build my kind of like my nest of potential agency clients and still maintain this as a profitable venture.
I mean, I’m probably not going to get rich just from the alchemy network in itself, but it will lead to other opportunities. That’s what really kinda got me excited because anytime that I make fantastic connections. Like those are those proved to be way more profitable and I’m not talking just monetarily profitable, like just more fulfilling endeavors when you connect with other people and as being the leader of a group, I mean, you are put on that mantle.
You are put on that high stone, you know, and I love what you have done as I’ve been a member of your mastermind. And I think that there’s just a very unique way that you run and design your own alchemy, uh, I have to start calling them alchemy networks cause it really isn’t like that typical mastermind.
So, um, I’m rambling a little bit, but how do you plant, um, let’s go into fulfillment here. Like how do you run an alchemy network? Because from the outside looking in it might sound like it’s a big endeavor, but I know from talking to you, it’s leveraged. Highly leveraged.
Dov Gordon: [00:17:28]
So recently I was talking to somebody who said he likes the idea, but he doesn’t really have time for it.
He’d also told me that he talks to six to eight people a day. He has a small consulting firm and also a SAS business software as a service business that he’s been growing. So and he has a small team. I said, look, you’re probably talking to maybe 20% of the people you’re talking to are potential members of your Optima network.
However, you’re getting them on the phone already, which is an advantage that a lot of people would be jealous of. You’re in a good position. Like you don’t need more time for this. Yeah. Now some people will need to do additional things to, to have those conversations, but in his case, for sure and others, I talked to.
The whole assumption I don’t have the time is usually wrong because largely we’re looking at ways of monetizing things that you’re already doing. Now in terms of actually running the group, that’s kind of forming and adding members in terms of running the group, I’m not exaggerating when I say that, I probably put in one to two hours a month running the JVMM and I have an assistant who deals with some of the things behind the scenes who takes care of it.
Now I’m not counting conversations with members and potential members, because those are great anyway. Before talking, we’re looking, we’re getting to understand each other. We’re understanding I’m learning about you and where you’re headed and vice versa. And we look to see how we can support each other, make an introduction.
So, you know, that’s essentially what you want to be doing anyway. But, you know, the almost again, like I said almost all of my business has come through my JVMM alchemy network over the last 10 years. And most of the new members in the beginning, I was reaching out.
I was identifying people, reaching out, inviting them. But for the last few years, almost every new number has been nominated by an existing member because people see the benefit of the network effect. The more quality members there are, the better it is for everybody. So at the same time I turned people away.
You know, I recently turned away a guy who was probably worth about a hundred million dollars. About 12, 15 years ago, he sold a startup company for $330 million. I’m guessing he had investors. I’m guessing he definitely had to pay off the tax authorities.
Right. So, let’s just say maybe he ended up with 50 out of that. And over the last 10, 15 years, he grew it back up to a hundred. Anyway, we were talking, he was about to sign up and we had a good conversation. Uh, so it’s just that, you know, why it was relevant was because recently he decided he wants to start doing more, some mentoring of other entrepreneurs and business owners.
And he’s looking to do cross promotions with people. Someone told him about what we’re doing and introduced us. And we were talking, had a good conversation at the very end. He said to me, as he just got his credit card, he was about to put it in on the form I’d sent them to, and he said, um, so would you promote me to your list?
And I said, probably I wasn’t really thinking much about it. Uh, cause I was thinking that in about a minute, the next person was majority my zoom call. So we had to finish up and he suddenly pulled back. It probably like, why not? Yes. I said, well, I mean, I suddenly realized something had changed well, because.
I need to see what it is and we just have to work. I’m probably it probably fine. I mean, if it’s good and it fits with the messaging and the, my audience and things that I know that I’m comfortable probably, but I can’t, you know, I don’t know yet. So he’s so he’s like, well, we pulled back and because we ended up, he, we had to finish this by email.
So he sent me an email, which I saw after my next meeting. Basically say, Hey, look, you know, I’ve been screwed before and, you know, um, I think that you need to be willing to at least, you know, demonstrate the value or prove the value on, I forget exactly how he said it, but that was the gist of it. And, um, and I replied, I said, look, uh, that’s not how this works.
I told you what the group is, the kinds of people that are in there, and I’m not going to agree to promote you just so that you’ll agree to come in. You know and pay an annual fee because I’m not selling that what I’m doing is I’m. I have, I’m leading a network of people. One of the most valuable services that I provide to that network is curation.
I curate who gets in, and that is a big key to this, by the way I curate people can just buy their way in and. If you and I talk, I said, sometimes I talked to some people and sometimes they get a, they get a feeling of, Hey, I should do this. And they sign up and sometimes they get a feeling like, yeah, it’s not for me.
And they don’t, if you’re not feeling it’s for you, then don’t sign up. And, you know, I sent that back to him and that was the end of the conversation. And, you know, I think he’s a good guy. I just think that he didn’t really understand. The mindset of coming into this, where we’re coming into this to really build relationships with people who are looking to support each other, I don’t have to prove anything to him.
And if he was, you know, basically telling me to, to, to prove that it’s valuable, he completely missed something and there’s no room for him there. I don’t care who he is and don’t care how much he’s worth. I’d sooner take somebody who’s doing a quarter million dollars a year, uh, who gets the idea. That person will be much more valuable to the other members.
So. You know, and I think that’s been a big part of, you said like there’s a unique flavor and what I’m doing. I think a big part of it is that I’m not enamored with, you know, money and celebrity. It just doesn’t excite me. I am enamored with mastery people who really master their craft that excites me.
And that’s what I look for. You know, I’m looking for a combination of a confidence mixed with doubt. We all have that doubt, right? Not all of us, those who don’t have it, shouldn’t be there really. And a commitment to your craft. So did I answer your question? What was it actually?
Joel Erway: [00:23:41]
The question that I asked was time for fulfillment. And what does fulfillment look like for one of these groups?
Dov Gordon: [00:23:47]
So fulfillment is really, um, uh, there’s there really four ways, ways that we interact and that is number one is we have a pretty active email based conversation.
Okay. Number two is a once a month we have a 90 minute zoom call. So I will organize an agenda, with different ways of doing that. We have different types of agendas, but I’ll organize an agenda in advance. I’ll facilitate it once we’re there. And then number three, people have one-on-one conversations, just like we’re having now, except that’s usually not recorded and shared.
We learned to find out what, what w what everyone’s up to and see how it looked for ideas or ways to support each other. And the fourth thing is something relatively new that I’ve introduced called the, uh, what I call it, the weak tie explosion call based on some research about the power of weak ties and recognizing that we’ve, you know, the group has grown.
And if you talk to one other member a week, it’ll take you about two years to get through to everybody. So now we have a kind of small group speed dating type type calls. And like, you know, if you, and, and the, the, the great thing is I’ve done it in a way that. They’re there except for the first one, which I organized after that, they’ve all been organized by other members.
So it’s user generated value and that’s the way for people to just get to know another five or six members. And then based on that, you know, those one or two people, we should definitely have a one-on-one and because I think we’ll hit it off and find ways of supporting each other. So those are the four main ways that we interact, obviously there’s details.
But if you think about it, we have a member directory, so I am occasionally making introductions. I think that’s a good, a good habit. And that’s one of the things that I teach my clients to do is make sure that you’re going to decide at the beginning that you’re going to make at least one to three introductions amongst your group, depending how big the group is every week.
Because to really emphasize a key point here, the great value. That you’re bringing as the owner or the leader of this network is, is really found in two things. It’s in curation and conversation curation, we talked about conversation is that once you’ve curated a network of the right kind of people, people who really do want to get to know each other, they, these are the kinds of people that you will really enjoy talking to right now, make it easy for them to talk to each other.
And it’s actually. You know, it’s not that easy because everybody is so busy that you need to kind of gently remind them or give them that experienced sometimes like the teaser of, Hey, you know, you really should talk to Joel Erway because you just told me this and that. And Joel’s a master at that.
Why don’t you get on the phone and talk to him, and then, you know, the two of you might do something together, right? Or at the very least, maybe you’ll share some good ideas with him and he’ll learn about you and send you a referral down the line or promote you, or have you on his podcast or vice versa.
Right. So curation and conversation. And it’s not the value that most people assume, right? It’s not about the content that I’m creating. You know, most content is user generated. It’s people asking questions, sharing experiences, learning from each other. And, and again, that’s why it’s there isn’t that much management once you got the framework in place, it’s very much taking things you’re probably doing already and turning that into a new, you know, low six figure revenue stream.
Joel Erway: [00:27:19]
There’s a lot of things that I like about this model. Number one, being in the internet marketing world, being in so many masterminds myself and, um, it’s inundated with a lot of noise and people don’t really understand what a true mastermind is. They basically just create this mastermind just so they can charge 20, 30, 40, $50,000.
And. You know, a network of, of people is extremely valuable. A lot of these young buck entrepreneurs and, you know, I’ll throw myself in there too. I subscribed to that fact too on some of that notion early on in my career, but understanding what a true network can bring you provides a lot of value to the person who organizes it and manages it and provides tremendous value to the members.
And so the one thing that I like about how you run this alchemy network is it’s email-based, which is weird. So it’s weird to me that I actually enjoy that. That’s what I want to clarify that it’s not weird how it’s run. It’s weird that I actually prefer that because all of these other groups that I’ve been part of have been Slack, has been Facebook groups.
It’s just hodgepodge and they’re not great ways to manage a network or a community. But every time that I see an email come through with brackets, JVMM like, Oh, it’s got, it’s got a place in my attention span. It’s like, okay, I’ll look at the subject line and you know, and it’s always there and it’s, I find it so easy to follow in my inbox and so easy to connect with other people because it’s managed via I think it’s Google groups.
I didn’t even know you could do that. But anyway, so the way that that’s run is I love it. I don’t participate in the, in the zoom calls as often as I should. I think it’s probably been a year since I’ve been on one, but to me, just having access to those threads and being able to contribute where I, where I have expertise or where I can add value.
Like that’s good enough for me. That’s valuable enough for me. So it’s funny because I was listening to Perry Marshall earlier today, who is the King of like simplicity of just like focusing on the things that matter. And you know, this is like a perfect, if not, I’m an offer guy, right?
So like, I’m thinking, where could this fit into anyone’s business? Like, this is the perfect down sell to anybody’s like primary a consultant’s primary business. And like, this gives you that. That paid email list that gives you this paid nurture list to build and curate your relationships for people who aren’t yet ready to take you up on your offer.
And so I love it. Like, I, really love this, this model. And, um, I wanted to echo that because I want people to understand why I think this is so powerful in ways that you haven’t yet explained, like, you know it, but I’m trying to be that sounding board is to what’s processing for me.
Dov Gordon: [00:30:30]
You brought up important point, which is that, it’s tempting to think that, Oh, I need to, you know, everybody’s got to participate the way I think they should.
But one thing that I’ve really come to see very quickly is that. If this becomes another responsibility, another obligation, that’s not, that’s not something that most members are going to want when going back a few years, somebody had sent out an email to the, to the group. Somebody who’d been quiet for probably a year or so.
Hadn’t sent anything out. Hadn’t been on any calls and it was an offer for a paid weekend workshop that actually another member who’d been very quiet was doing. And I got a couple of emails behind the scenes saying like, Hey, what was that all about? Now we’re all marketers, we’re all marketing and selling.
So we’re, none of us are afraid of somebody who wants to sell something that wasn’t the issue. The issue is like what Stephen Covey calls, the emotional bank account is that makes them deposits. Right. Don’t just show up to pitch something. So, I emailed her and I said, Hey, you know, just letting you know, I got a little bit of bot, you know, behind back channel reaction.
And she said, Oh, I’m sorry. I really, I should participate more. Uh, yeah, I’ve been meaning to, I said, actually, that wasn’t what I was saying. Let me, let me clarify. I’m not trying to say you should participate more because I think that the only way that the only reason you should participate is if you see personal benefit, like if you can see that I’ll participate because I, I have, I have my own selfish benefits, you know, things to gain.
That’s the reason to participate. Not because you feel guilty because you haven’t been participating. It’s just that if you’re not going to participate, then you probably shouldn’t send up, you know, something that, you know, promoting a paid workshop, that’s all. Uh, and I think that you really need to allow people to, to participate in the way that they feel most comfortable.
And some people will be more at the 80 20 rule applies. You want to quote Perry and Richard Kotch, right? So the, that 20% will be 80% or more of the activity. And others will participate somewhat and in their own way. And there are probably some members who figure like, Hey, if I just, if I get a few answers to, uh, you know, two to three questions, one, you know, two, three times a year, it’s more than worth it.
And for me, it’s worth it to have them because they’re when they ask those questions, it’s worth it. And knowing that they’re there and others know that they’re there and people sometimes will reach out and ask a question or whatever it might be or do a deal of some kind. It’s impossible for me to know really what everybody’s valuing, but I try to keep my, my finger on the pulse of as many as I can, but I think that’s a really, it’s an important point is that don’t feel pressured to pressure people to participate as you think they should.
And I think another thing that I’ve, like you said again, that there’s this unique sense, though, that you have, I’ve taken a very light touch. No, I don’t try to control anything other than who gets in and who stays in. Other than that, you know, somebody, once in a while, a new member will ask me, so what are the, like, what are the rules?
And I say, there are no rules. The rules are just be the kind of person that you would want to have in the group with you. And if not, you might have to leave. That’s all. I mean, there are no rules. We don’t have a list of rules. It’s not like these Facebook groups where you have to logo. We don’t have that.
Joel Erway: [00:33:57]
In terms of staying on this topic of fulfillment, do you see monthly calls as a requirement? Or can it be just, I say just like an email thread or just a Google group.
Dov Gordon: [00:34:14]
Um, look, I know. My basic philosophy is that principles are timeless. How you apply them. Always, you know, there’s always, there’s endless possibilities of how to, how to satisfy a principal.
And I, so I don’t think, you know, I’m not one of these people who come and say, well, I did it this way. This is how I did it. And you have to do it the same way. Um, you know, and if you do what I did, then you’re going to be successful. If you don’t, you’re going to be a loser. I, I don’t know. I just, I don’t think that way.
So. I think the principles are as like, look we’re looking to be valuable to a community of people who could be valuable to you. And the question is what’s what is it that will be valuable to the community, people that you want to have as your members for whatever reason. And that’s where I would start.
I mean, there’s different ways. I listed the four ways that we interact in the JVMM. I have another network called the under the radar leaders network, which is for my past present and maybe future clients. It’s for the kinds of for consultants who are using relationships and to grow their business, to get clients.
And we’re looking to leverage it and building their own alchemy network is, is a keyway and not everybody’s starting their own network, but many have or plan to. So that’s who that network is for. I run that a little bit differently. Right. JVMM is me and colleagues. This is me where I positioned myself more as the authority.
So there’s a bit, there are some nuances and some differences there, but so working backwards from who is the ideal member, why are they there? What are they hoping to get? So that’s my answer. The answer is, I don’t know, maybe.
Joel Erway: [00:35:56]
Ends on the niche, right? It depends on the market and the situation probably in the audience.
Dov Gordon: [00:36:00]
Yeah. I generally would not. I would not do this on Facebook. Like you said, I wouldn’t, but there’s somebody who we know is in JV member, who really just got excited by this idea and he decided to start his own network and he’s starting it. He’s going to do it based on as a Facebook group.
And I said, look, you know, I mean, I wouldn’t do that, but in your case, because of who your ideal client is, there’s a, or your target here is they’re probably on Facebook all day. Anyway. In which case it might make a lot of sense. I’m still curious to see how it’s going to turn out. You know, I think that, that when you, once you’re doing this as a Facebook group, people are members of so many different Facebook groups that they are in the habit of ignoring when you, when it’s coming to your inbox or even your forums tab in Gmail or whatever.
There’s a certain intimacy that you have when, when the conversation is taking place in an email. And I don’t think you get that in Facebook. So again, it doesn’t mean it can’t be, I wouldn’t use Slack for it. There’s just something about email. That’s different. It’s not perfect. There are pros and cons, but yeah, I mean, that’s what I think.
Joel Erway: [00:37:18]
How do you recommend positioning this offer to somebody who’s like, let me rephrase this question. Do you feel like this is a front end offer where you go out and you just start to solicit this where you say, Hey, listen, I’m curating these types of people? I would love to have a conversation to see if this is something you’re interested in and if it’s a good fit or do you see this as more of a conversation where you’re already having conversations with the clients and it’s now a down sell, or it’s now a secondary offer for somebody who might be a good fit in the future.
Dov Gordon: [00:37:56]
I think it’s both, you know, if, when I’m working with a client to help them figure out where this fits in their business, to help them start their own alchemy network, I usually position it as, you know, if we’re looking at a pyramid of offers where, you know, maybe there’ll be two, three or four levels, This is the basic level.
Right? And if th again, that’s assuming that the membership is going to be either their ideal client or recommenders, right? So the idea is that you get people in, in your alchemy network who are potential clients going forward, and some of them will move up the pyramid and go for some, you know, one of your higher offers.
And one of the things that I helped them do is to design the very simple processing of systems that enable them to take somebody who’s in the network. And without the person feeling like they’re being sold to or pressured in any kind of way, make your help them really know when it’s time to talk about other things you can do for them in a more hands-on kind of way.
So, um, having said that, I really like, you know, I think it’s both, I think that. That there’s a lot of value to be able to say, okay. Instead of, instead of me feeling like I’m running in a hundred different directions, doing all these different things, trying to get clients, there’s a lot of value in being able to say, if I get X number of members in my alchemy network, right.
Let’s just say, if I get to where I have a hundred members of my alchemy network, I can be pretty sure that 10 of those are likely to do a 15 or $25,000 project with me every year and you know, maybe three or, or, you know, three or four, we’ll do a hundred or $150,000 project. And again, I’m throwing out numbers that are very reasonable for a, a consultant who does work at that level, which a lot of, a lot of consultants too.
So. You know, so now we’re looking at this, okay. We’re looking at a, you know, a solo consultant with a, roughly half a million dollar a year business, maybe, you know, more right. And look at that. Okay. If I’m charging one to $2,000 for an annual membership in my network. So if I have 50 members that’s 50 to a 100,000 dollars.
If I have a hundred members, that’s a 100 to $200,000. Right. And now let’s just say I’m getting another, let’s say a hundred thousand dollars and another 10 times, times 15, I’m trying to keep it modest. Right? So that’s a two 50. And then if I have two clients at a hundred K each, I’m almost at a half a million, but the value is that I don’t have to worry about, like, I just have to focus on.
Identifying getting in front of starting conversations with the right people who, and then move them into the network. Having said that when you start talking to somebody, if you can bring them straight to the a hundred thousand dollars project, do it. No reason not to, but usually when you’re reaching out to them to say, Hey, we have this or that, the kind of to promote your consulting, however people are doing it you’re even, you know, a lot of people are doing this is, you know, outreach and social media and cold calling or whatever it might be.
Cold emailing. It’s very common in the, especially in the corporate world, LinkedIn, they try to automate this and so on. You sound like everybody else, even when you’re customizing your message, you still sound like everybody else customizing their message. But when you’re approaching them this week, some of my clients have found this when you’re approaching them and you’re approaching them to talk about inviting them to be a member of your alchemy network, to see if it’s a fit.
You don’t sound like everybody else anymore. Now it’s, even if you can have a modest annual membership, you’re basically giving them something. You’re genuinely offering or to give them something. And that’s something that helps you start a conversation that would be very difficult otherwise.
Joel Erway: [00:42:01]
So the thing that I love most about this whole model is that anyone can do it. Meaning, as long as you are having conversations with anyone on this podcast, anyone who’s listening is having those conversations. They have that consulting, at least that consulting business, that expertise based business, and it is highly, highly leveraged.
Meaning people aren’t expecting. It’s not a service, right? This is you are not providing them a service. This is curating a network and a network is highly leveraged. And it’s, it’s funny because when I talk about offers and I talk about scale and big numbers that we’ve helped produce, and I’ve seen it in the industry, like we’re talking millions and millions and millions of revenue.
And now we talk about this one where it’s like, okay, you know, low six figures, um, you know, mid six figures if you really push it. But obviously if you have your backend offers, like this is the ultimate hot list I was listening. I’m on this email list of this internet marketer. His name is Justin Goff.
I don’t know if you know who he is, but young guy, had a lot of success with a supplement company and he’s since gone off and he has sold that. And now he’s got a very small list of about. 2,500 people, but it’s highly curated. It’s highly curated list. Meaning like its application only just to get onto his email list.
And he has, he just finished up a launch where he sold 120 units of a, um, I think it’s a 200 or $300 a month membership, uh, newsletter, right. Now, mind you two or three months ago, he did this launch. And he sold over 500 units of this $300 per month newsletter from Melissa, like 2,500 people. My, the, where I’m going with all of this is that the power can come in very small numbers.
I say 2,500, a small, because when you look at internet marketers, they’re talking about list sizes of tens of thousands of people. And he’s doing well over a million dollars in run rate because he also has a $30,000 per year mastermind, backend mastermind, which is absolutely crushing it.
But for me, my focus right now is small, like getting big results from small numbers. And I see this as the way, like I see a version of this as the way for making that happen. Cause this is your warm, like, this is your hot list and people are paying you for right. Participating, you are positioned as the go-to authority.
And now you’re providing value in, in many ways that, that they weren’t able to get on their own. And so I think there’s so many things that I love about this model. Has there been anything that I’ve missed, like any core concepts that are important that I haven’t touched on, that we want to make sure that we cover.
Dov Gordon: [00:45:14]
Oh, I’m sure there are, but I’m not thinking of anything other than just what you just said, right? That’s what’s on my mind. You brought up a definitely a really good point because your approach is, uh, you’ll correct me if I’m oversimplifying, but it’s very much about paid traffic to an offer that’s going to be between 3 and 10 or $15,000 with follow on offers that could be higher.
I mean, that’s what you’re teaching, right? And that’s a great system for the right people for certain types of businesses. I’d say that probably most of the people that I’m working with are not, they’re just not interested in that type of, they don’t want to be doing that.
Right. They they’re really looking to. They just, like I said earlier, they want to be doing great work with great clients, making great income for them. It makes a lot of sense based on what we talked about. Having said that I, am sure that there’s a way, like you said, where this would fit in with what you’re w with what you’re doing in terms of cultivating relationships with your clients.
I don’t know exactly what that would be because we have to work backwards from the goal and we started touching on this, but we didn’t get to it. So the idea is you look at that kind of the product pyramid of what it is you want to be offering.
And then you look at the, at the base or the foundation. Now you might have something free as well. Like you have you. You have a Facebook group that’s quite active and valuable. One of the challenges would be to figure out, okay, what’s what? That’s what I see as a puzzle to figure out with you.
So, where does that fit and where does this fit? How can I draw the line now? I’m not going to try to answer that right now, because I think we’d have to have a kind of a brainstorming session to think that through. But, but basically, you’re looking at, okay, what’s the, what, what do I want to move them up to afterwards?
And then you design it backwards from what is the, like what ultimately, what is the business look like? So the clearer you are about that, of course, the easier it is to figure out where the alchemy network fits and how, how it feeds that. I’m curious though, what are you clear about the higher end or was that part of what you were trying to figure out?
Joel Erway: [00:47:47]
Well, the model that I teach is the perfect expert model, which is for those who are really looking to either get into a new venture or they’re starting their own coaching or course creation business. I talk about leading with that high end offer. Like, so designing a high ticket course or high ticket consulting offer first.
And then scaling down with more productized offers. Why I like this is because. I see this as the perfect bottom tier offer, like versus just a DIY course, which is what I normally talk about. Meaning, you know, if you’re on the phone with somebody and you know, they’re hooked on your promise, they really liked that PR that core promise of what you’re promoting, but they’re not quite ready for that top tier offer that you’ve got, you know, I normally say, okay, great, well down, sell them into the DIY and when they’re ready, let them know you can credit that towards the top level of service, the top level offer.
That has worked extremely well. Like, let me be very clear, that doesn’t not work, but there are some markets where the, you know, regardless, they just don’t want DIY program, for instance, I have a, quite a few accountants who come to me and they’re looking to productize their services and they’re like, okay, great.
Well, I’m just going to show business owners how to do their own accounting. I’m like, no, nobody is going to buy a course on how to do their own accounting. I mean, that’s why you go to school for four plus years to do this for other, other people. Like there are just certain offers that people aren’t going to want to pay for and so
Dov Gordon: [00:49:24]
It’s the first thing that I would want to outsource. And did you know what I mean? Like who wants to do your own accounting? It’s not worth it.
Joel Erway: [00:49:31]
And so I use that example because that’s the easiest one to kind of paint the picture, but there are other markets out there like, okay, I know you want a course, but like, you also have to make sure that the market is willing to pay for it.
And so. When I hear this alchemy network, because everyone, like they make most of their money from that top tier offer. I mean, I’ve got a couple of clients who crush it with DIY courses, but. I make, no, I don’t hide this from anyone like getting an automated webinar to sell a DIY course and doing big, big, big numbers.
I mean, that’s the goose that lays the golden egg. I mean, that is the Holy grail of marketing. You have to have a lot of things. You’d been excellent marketing. You have to have a lot of things go right in order for that to, to happen. And so I don’t try and paint that picture, um, of it being really for most people.
That’s why we always talk about that perfect expert model and starting with the top down. But I see this as that perfect bottom to your offer is saying, Hey, listen, I know you’re very excited and you’re still bought in. You. Wouldn’t be on the phone with me right now. If you weren’t bought into this promise, excuse me, if you weren’t bought on this promise that sparked this conversation and might not be the right fit for you right now, but you know, I have something else that it would be a value for you.
I have this network and I would love for you to, from what you’ve told me, I think that you could not only gain a tremendous amount of value, but you could also contribute to the group as well. And I love it. Like, I think it’s a great, great nurture offer and a great bottom tier offer.
And I say bottom tier lightly, because it’s not like it’s cheap, but it’s that low end offer that will allow you to send them later on down the road and still monetize those conversations that you’re having. Because I think a lot of people are just leaving money off the table by I talk about this all the time by not having a down, sell the proper down, sell, because just trying to put a square peg in a round hole, like, yes, you’re going to make sales, but you’re also leaving a lot of money on the table.
If you don’t know how to pivot for people who aren’t the perfect fit for you right now, or just can’t afford your services right now.
Dov Gordon: [00:51:38]
Great. And then the question then becomes, when you’re using it as a down sell in that way, the question becomes qualifying, right? Because I mean, you know, curation again, if, if you’re using it as just like a membership site, Which is again, it’s a valid model, right?
It’s a little bit different from what I’m usually talking about, but it can be essentially a kind of more of a membership site approach. And, you know, again, I take a very principled approach here. Like, what are we trying to accomplish? What’s the goal? What’s the reality?
And then let’s figure out let’s, let’s admit let’s design it in such a way that we’ll help you get you what you want by helping your ideal members get what they want. So that’s a, you know, again, that’s an individual decision, business design, and from the I am we, you know, we will flow backwards and design the, the network.
Joel Erway: [00:52:44]
Yeah. I think there’s a lot of, I mean, obviously you want to qualify people so you wouldn’t make this offer to everybody, but having this in your back pocket for the right people, to me it’s a no brainer.
Dov Gordon: [00:52:56]
Right. And even if someone’s making a good seven figures on from their perfect expert model, they probably wouldn’t mind another one, $200,000, leading a network of their ideal clients.
Joel Erway: [00:53:09]
Yeah, because those people, those types of people would, would probably eat most easily know how to leverage that opportunity into something that they’re already currently actively monetizing.
Dov Gordon: [00:53:22]
I’ll just throw this out there in case somebody listening is relevant, but I’ve mostly been doing this with small solo consultant and very small firm.
I know that this could be just as good for a larger firm. And by that, I mean, you know, 40%, 50%, uh, it can be a law firm. It could be someone’s responsible for business development at, you know, a hundred person, uh, you know, there are consulting firms where a new project is worth, uh, anywhere from low six or low seven figures or even more.
There there’s a lot of potential heroin and I’m just looking for opportunities to help them do that. So, you know, if, if anyone hears and is relevant, reach out, let’s make it happen together.
Joel Erway: [00:54:08]
I mean I see this as a perfect opportunity for my agency to curate. You know, because our, our agency fees are high ticket, right?
We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars. And for a long time, I was blending my eight agency with my education side. And as it’s as my network is growing, as my list of my audience is growing, like there’s a clear divide and a clear separation between the people who are really a good fit for the agency and who are really good fit for education.
And those types of people are in different mindsets. They’re in different positions in their business. Many people in the education side are startups, which is totally fine. I like serving both, but, you know, getting clear on my core customer, my core avatar. I see this as being a perfect down, sell offer for people in the agency side.
And so that’s what I’m excited to continue to brainstorm. And I have to think about this a little bit more, but, you know, um, selfishly, that’s why I wanted to have the conversation with you.
Dov Gordon: [00:55:09]
Yeah, no. Sure. Happy to, to continue that an a, you know, a good time. But what you just said though, I think is helping me start to see what could definitely make sense because you’ve just showed essentially, you’ve got two pyramids in your, right.
In your business. Right. And, and I actually saw you talk about that somewhere on one of the things you’ve done recently. I don’t remember which, which it was. You’ve got some really good, good programs you’ve been putting out lately. But that, that, that actually, you know, if it’s somebody who’s not really a fit for the education side, but is a, a highly likely future fit or could be past, like maybe you did a project and you want to, instead of just saying goodbye, you want to have some other kind of low-maintenance something or other, it could be a fit for both.
So, but just the fact that you could say that, that you see differences. I don’t know what they are, but if we would talk it through, we could probably come up with, okay. Based on that, this is what, what it should look like.
Joel Erway: [00:56:11]
Yeah. I mean, I’ll just tell you real quick, the differences in my company cause I know like the back of my hand the people who come into my agency side, I mean, they’re already high six, if not, multi seven figure entrepreneurs.
And normally they want to start a new offer. Like they want to build a new profit center and people who are buying my power offer workshop, you know, my low ticket stuff. And even my $2,000 courses. Yes, we do get some seven figure entrepreneurs. Actually, we’ve gotten quite a few seven figure entrepreneurs who have purchased that $2,000 program and our low ticket stuff as well.
But the vast majority of the people who are, who are buying the, you know, those low ticket stuff, those are people who are in consumption mode. They, they want to buy a course. They want to go through it on their own, or they want to put it on their digital bookshelf for whenever they get around to it. I’d say they’re lower committed, but they’re still very valuable and you can’t discount them. And so it’s their mentality and their modality that is the main difference between service-based side and education side.
Dov Gordon: [00:57:21]
And, uh, I hear you there’s definitely want to work with there.
Joel Erway: [00:57:27]
So excellent. Dov, this has been a fantastic conversation. I mean, talking about masterminds, talking about alchemy networks, by the way, I’m a naming guy. I love alchemy network.
Like I think that’s a fantastic name for a product, for your program. It’s got the marketing thing it’s got, it’s got everything. That’s, that’s attractive for product names. So just kudos on that. But we had a fantastic conversation. I’m building and curating a network that leads to your higher end offers.
And I hope that people are listening right now because if you’re part of my audience, then you know, Hopefully how to generate leads. I mean, that’s what I taught. That’s what I teach. That’s what I how you how to do, but this is if you were to implement something, I’m going to be an advocate of this for the immediate, I mean, for a while, because once I get this working, which I fully intend to like, I’m number one, going to be sending everyone to Dov who was asking about this, because I’m not the expert on this.
Like I’m going to be testing things. And you’ll hear me talking about it, but you know who the expert is. I hope that you reach out to Dov and follow his model because I really do believe this is a highly leveraged way to, yes, it’ll add some money into your bank account and it will be worthwhile, but it will pad your bank account. It will pad your, um, uh, what did you call it? You were talking about the people who were, um, contributing into your group.
You have to establish, Uh, you were talking about the I’m going off topic here. The phrase is getting away from me. But you were talking about the member in the group who hadn’t contributed lately
Dov Gordon: [00:59:17]
emotional bank account
Joel Erway: [00:59:18]
so I was close. I was trying, I was thinking of something other than a bank account, but now the emotional bank account, um, it will build your network.
It will build your relationships and it will build your business in ways that you never thought possible. Dov, where can people connect with you? Where can people find you let’s drop some links.
Dov Gordon: [00:59:37]
Uh, profitablerelationships.com. And you can get a, we put up some free training for your listeners at profitablerelationships.com/unleashed.
Right? So experts unleashed podcast just forward slash unleashed and D O V, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to ask me something directly.
Joel Erway: [00:59:59]
Awesome, please go check out his links, go check out his site and reach out to dov. Let him know that you heard him on experts unleashed. Give him some love, give him some kudos.
I always love sending people to go check out my guests who are gracious with their time and gracious with their expertise and so Dov, it’s always great connecting. Thank you so much for hopping on the show today. And for everyone listening right now, we’ll see you on the next episode. Take care.
Dov Gordon: [01:00:24]
Thanks for having me.