How to Create Your Own Group Coaching Program

Create your won group coaching programGroup coaching is a powerful and highly effective way to help people overcome the challenges they face. You can use it to grow your audience, earn money, or simply help others with your unique expertise.

It takes a bit of work and planning to set up your first group coaching course, but once it’s up and running, it’s relatively easy to operate. In this article, you’ll learn the basic steps needed to get your first course ready.


What Is Group Coaching?

Coaching helps people make changes in their personal and professional lives. As a coach, you are not a teacher instructing your clients and testing them after each session. You’re a facilitator who puts your client in the driver’s seat, providing support and resources to help them get results.

Group coaching means coaching 2 or more people at one time. It is similar to 1-on-1 coaching, but with some key differences. In a group setting, clients not only receive support from the coach, they also benefit from the support of their peers. They often feel accountable to each other, not just to their coach. This raises the stakes and can help bring about powerful change.

When you work with a 1-on-1 client, you focus on helping them reach one goal at a time. The clients in a group may have different goals they’re working toward. Although they have different goals, the course is focused around a shared common interest or theme.

Your clients may not know each other, so group coaching requires a bit more planning and management. Part of your role is to make sure the course is meeting each participant’s needs.

Most importantly, the key to group coaching success is connection and communication, not just your coaching. This is one of the main reasons people choose this option rather than 1-on-1 coaching.


The Benefits of Group Coaching

For you, the main benefit of group coaching is that you can scale up and earn more for your time. Coaching is trading your time for money, so there’s an upper limit to how much you can earn 1-on-1. With groups, you can break through the earning ceiling.

For your clients, there are major benefits as well. They can interact with other participants and learn from each other. Each client can benefit from the collective wisdom of the group. They can hold each other accountable.

And group coaching offers an excellent networking opportunity for all involved. Your clients get to know each other and you get to know everyone. It also helps to solidify your reputation as an expert in your field.

Finally, group coaching gives you the opportunity to help more people achieve their full potential, which is the aim of every coach.

Here are the steps to take to start a group course:


Step 1 – Get to Know Your Market

The first step to launching group coaching is the same as the first step in any coaching: learning about your target market. Identify what they need to learn and discover how you can facilitate change. Pay especially close attention to pain points, or areas where they’re struggling, as this is where you can provide the most help.

Start by talking to current customers and clients. If you’re coaching now, ask your clients if they’d be interested in group sessions and get their feedback. Put a call out to followers and contacts on social media.

You can also do some market research. See what topics your target market is discussing, as these are areas where you could help. It’s also useful to check out the competition. See what other programs are being offered. If you have time, join one to get some ideas. 


Step 2 – Choose Your Program Model

Before you get started, you should decide what type of program you’re going to offer. There are 3 general types of group coaching programs:

1) The Cohort Model. All clients start at the same time and the course is a set length with a definite end-date. You guide participants through the course together.

This is the simplest model to run, especially if you’re just getting started. It’s relatively easy to set up, because everyone is on the same page. In fact, it can basically be your signature program that you have used on private clients that you now offer to a group of clients.

The cohort model enhances the success of students due to its consistent structure. Research has shown that, because everyone is working together, this model can lead to increased student interactions, more student involvement, and improved critical thinking skills.

For this model you will probably have to do a formal launch with open and closed shopping cart dates. But you can also enlist the aid of your affiliate to promote your course.


2) The Program Model. The program model is similar in that there’s a set course, but the dates are flexible. Participants can join any time they want.

The advantage of the Program Model is that you can scale up. Participants are staggered, so you can allow more people to sign up than you would with the Cohort Model. And you don’t need to have a big launch because enrollment is always open.

For this model, you might want to automate some course content, and reserve live sessions for sharing progress and getting feedback and/or support. These live sessions are a little trickier because you will have questions from all the different parts of the course. Sometimes this can be a turn-off for participants, because they have listen to questions that may not yet apply to them while waiting for their turn.


3) The Membership Model. The Membership Model for a group coaching program allows for maximum flexibility and scalability for both the coach and the participants. This model is designed to be highly customizable, allowing coaches to run the program multiple times a year with varying enrollment periods, making it easy for participants to join whenever it suits them best.

In the Membership Model, participants typically pay a recurring monthly or annual fee to maintain access to the program’s resources, which may include online courses, group coaching calls, private forums, and other resources. This model can be highly scalable, since the same resources can be made available to all participants without a significant increase in the coach’s time investment.

One of the benefits of the Membership Model is that it takes the least amount of time to run. Once the program resources are created and set up, the coach can focus on delivering value through regular coaching calls or creating new content for participants.

Overall, while the Membership Model doesn’t necessarily require more time than other coaching models, it does require a specific set of skills and experience to navigate successfully, such as the use of online membership software, community management (forums, etc), ongoing content creation, and regular sales and marketing.

In addition to choosing a program type, you should decide how many clients you’ll take on and the format for the sessions.


Step 3 – Identify One Problem and One Solution

Take one of the problems or issues you’ve identified among your target audience and offer a solution. Clearly state the intended results they will get out of group coaching. Figure out what they will be able to DO once the program is completed.

The reason you need to pick just one problem is because you can’t solve everything. To get the best results, you have to focus on something specific. If the program is all over the place, people might feel like they’ve made some progress, but they won’t feel a concrete sense of accomplishment.

Note: If you have several issues your target market faces that you’d like to help them solve, focus on one for the first round of group coaching and save the other ideas for future programs.

set up your program

Step 4 – Prepare Your Program Content

Start with the outcome you’ve identified and work your way backward, planning what content your participants will need along the way. Also decide how it will be delivered.

In a group coaching program, live sessions offer the most value to participants. Any educational content is solely designed to supplement the sessions.

Examples of content include eBooks, reports, checklists, action guides, worksheets, templates, video tutorials, planners, and calendars. Be careful not to overwhelm your participants with too much content, but do offer anything that will help and provide value.

Content creation can take a great deal of time, so start by looking over your old content, or past programs/courses to see if there’s anything you can repurpose. Update and edit as necessary to make it relevant to the course.

You may also want to offer value-add-on content items. These are not essential to the program and its aims, but offer extra value for participants that they might find useful. Examples of add-on content include additional reports, free access to a membership site, access to software, swipe files, interviews with experts in this topic, and anything else your participants might enjoy.


Step 5 – Set up Your Tech

The technical requirements of your group coaching program should be simple. You don’t need anything complicated. The main thing you need is a platform to host the sessions.

You can either use a coaching platform like Teachable, CoachAccountable, or Satori, or a plugin such as OptimizePress or LearnDash. You can use any communication platform where people can gather, such as Facebook or Zoom.

Coaching platforms offer more robust features. They’re designed for group coaching. But the advantage of social media and other common platforms is that they’re easy to use.

WordPress Plugins offer the ability to contain everything on your own site. So you can have a sales page that connects to a checkout form, that then automatically enrolls your student and gives them a login user and password. Then they are taken directly to your content area. These services usually have an annual fee that is much less than paying for an outside coaching platform.

Free options include using something like Facebook or Zoom, and Google docs to deliver your content. And there’s a good chance your participants are already using them, so it makes it easy for them to join and participate.

Choose your platform based on what’s easiest for both you and your participants.

As you plan out your program, you might find that other tools would help. These might include

  • an email service provider/autoresponder to communicate with clients
  • project management software like Basecamp for keeping people on track
  • or private online community service (instead of a Facebook group) such as Circle, Heartbeat, or Thinkific.


Getting Started with Your Group Coaching Program

Now, you’re ready to get started. The next step is to market your course and run it. You’ll learn a great deal through trial and error, so focus on learning as much as you can from your first attempt, and use that to improve future programs. Also, be sure to collect feedback from your clients, so you can offer even more value.

Throughout the process of planning and running your group coaching program, put yourself in your client’s shoes. Imagine if you were them. What would help you overcome the problems you’re facing and get results? Use this question to guide future decisions when creating and running your programs.

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