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3 Things a Group Coaching Program Should Have (+ Benefits, Types, and More)

Group coaching, Guides | April 23rd, 2021

The coaching industry has seen incredible growth in recent years. As more entrepreneurs and companies understand the benefits coaching can offer, experts finally have a way to help people at scale, offering coaching packages that provide a lot of value and are accessible to people from all over the world.

But at the same time, group coaching is becoming more competitive. As more people recognize the value a coaching program can offer, the selection of amazing coaches to choose from is rising quickly. 

So, how can your coaching business stand out and provide the best possible service to your clients? And why is a group coaching program so beneficial? 

Let’s answer these and other important questions below. 

What Are the Benefits of Group Coaching?

Benefits of Group Coaching

Group coaching offers a wide range of advantages both for the coaches and their clients. Sure, one-on-one coaching has its unique benefits. But group coaching can allow you to leverage today’s technology to provide a much better service, scale your business, and create a much more immersive experience for the people you work with.

Let’s explore the benefits of a group coaching program below. 

Benefits for Coaches

  • Ability to scale. The most obvious reason for offering group coaching is the ability to help more people. When you only offer one-on-one sessions, you’re limited in terms of how many people you can take on at a time. Meanwhile, if you create a group coaching model, you can work with dozens or even more people at once, growing your business faster and also adding unique elements to the coaching experience.
  • More insights. As you work with multiple people at once, you will be exposed to more unique circumstances and experiences from your clients. You can then use them to better understand the common issues and struggles they face, adjust your program accordingly, and provide maximum value to each new client you take on.
  • Bigger Profits. Every successful coach must be thinking about their bottom line. And the truth is that if you can take on more coaching clients at once, you can provide a massive boost to the type of revenue a group coaching model can produce.
  • More Time. Even though it can seem counterintuitive, using modern group coaching software can actually free up a lot of your time. Tools like Upcoach can streamline many processes that come with coaching and help you provide a stellar service to your clients without you having to micromanage every detail. 

Benefits for Clients

  • Sense of Community. Even though one-on-one coaching can be very effective, it does have its drawbacks. Namely, your clients can’t share their experiences with their peers and can’t see how others are overcoming similar problems. Meanwhile, group coaching enables people to enter a community of people at a similar stage of their lives or careers, which can be a very enriching experience on its own.
  • Accountability. A group coaching setting and the community that comes with it also has a built-in accountability aspect that can be less powerful in private sessions. As people immerse themselves in the community and get to know one another, they can keep track of each other’s progress and hold one another accountable.
  • Problem Solving. Having more people to work with during coaching sessions also means that your clients will gain exposure to more ideas and perspectives. When dealing with more complicated problems, this can help figure out creative solutions that might not be apparent otherwise. 
  • Networking Opportunities. In some coaching industries, networking can be just as powerful as the coaching itself. Meeting people in the same field with whom you can partner up can be the driving motivator for workshops and coaching programs, so keeping this in mind when positioning your group coaching program is always a good idea.

How Can You Create a Coaching Program?

How Can You Create a Group Coaching Program?

Creating a successful group coaching program can be complicated. It’s not like you can just add more people to a private coaching session and call it a day. 

For a group coaching model to work, you will need to rework your entire approach and figure out how your ideal clients could benefit the most from a group setting. After all, even though the ability to scale is very appealing, it will only work if the deliverables you put together provide just as much (if not more) value as individual sessions. 

You will need to figure out how to deliver the course materials in a way that’s convenient to use. Since you won’t be able to present all of the information live, you will need a way to structure the programs and their modules so that your clients can view them on their own time.

Think about the most important content you’ll need to include and how to present it to make digesting and understanding the information easier.

Another often-overlooked consideration is how you’ll attract the right clients. One-on-one coaching has distinct differences from group coaching, so you’ll need to consider the best marketing channels for group coaching and how to position your offer in a way that generates the right type of attention.

Finally, you will need to decide on the format and the structure of your group coaching program. Luckily, if you use a comprehensive online coaching platform like upcoach, you can tap into their powerful features to solve a lot of this automatically.

How to Structure a Group Coaching Program

Structure is essential in all parts of running a business. And a coaching business is no different, at least in this regard. 

You can’t expect to simply switch to a coaching model and never look back. You will need to make decisions based on your industry, your audience, and your situation, which is why taking the time to think things through regarding your coaching program structure is a crucial step you shouldn’t ignore.

Three Models to Consider

When it comes to group coaching, there isn’t a single formula that will work in every situation. But there are a few group coaching frameworks you can look at to have a better idea of the available options based on your experience and current situation.

First, there’s the Cohort Model, which is ideal for people with less experience who want to transition from one-on-one coaching. This type of program is the most similar to private coaching, with a fixed sign-up date and a real-time progression through the program in a group.

There’s a limited number of attendees you can take on without overwhelming yourself, but that also means that you can get started quickly and charge more for each person that signs up.

The Program Model is the next step in the progression, as it doesn’t have a set launch date and has most of the materials prepared in advance. However, the students still progress at a fixed rate and graduate from the program together with others that sign up at the same time. 

You will need to automate many aspects of running the program, but it also means you can accept more people and build on the processes you establish in the Cohort Model.

Finally, there’s the Membership Model, which is basically an evergreen coaching system with a refined and structured program people can sign up for at any time and go through at their own pace. 

Usually, established coaches use this model to build a community of like-minded people, who can often be graduates of other programs looking for a way to stay in the loop and interact with their peers. 

The Membership Model runs indefinitely, so you will need to offer enough incentives to keep people signed up for as long as possible. Webinars, Q&As, and other valuable add ons to the base materials are ways to make sure people keep coming back for more.

Group Coaching Program: The Essentials

No matter what structure or model you choose for your group coaching program, it will need to have a core set of deliverables that will be the basis of your offer. These essential parts of your program will be at the center of what you offer to clients and will allow you to justify the price they pay for the right to attend. 

They can be grouped into three types

  • Content
  • Coaching
  • Community

To establish what each of them should include, let’s explore them in more depth below.

Content

The content is the very essence of what the coaching program is about. Sure, some people sign up for coaching because they like the personality or the credentials of the coach, but in the end, what they really want is the results that the information they receive can provide. 

But with group coaching, you won’t have the luxury of working with each client one-on-one. So, you’ll need content that can be absorbed without you being present in a way that’s convenient, easy to understand, and engaging. 

You also need to design the content to include supporting elements that enhance the experience and present the essential information more clearly. Visuals, videos, graphs, and to-do lists can all contribute to improving the learning experience. 

Upcoach is the ideal platform for making that happen, providing an intuitive drag & drop program builder with everything you need to plan your entire program. You can customize your program’s layout in a way that makes it easy to navigate, and there are also plenty of proven templates you can fit to your situation.

Upcoach provides an intuitive drag & drop program builder

The Courses feature allows you to create visually-appealing modules that you can share with the right people at the right time. You can enhance each model using videos, text, and additional resources and automate the sharing process according to your preferences.

Coaching

The coaching itself is another crucial aspect of any successful program. Without the coaching element, the program would just be a course, which completely changes the concept and negates a lot of the advantages that working with a coach can offer.

That’s why, in addition to providing stellar content to your coaching group, you should also think about how to include the essential coaching elements that allow your clients to take advantage of the expertise you bring to the table.

And that’s another aspect that Upcoach can help you with.

With the Meeting Agendas feature, you can stay on top of all of your meetings, no matter how many groups you are coaching. You can organize and schedule your appointments in one place and include all of the necessary information to be able to jump in and know exactly what needs to be accomplished during the session.

Meeting Agendas feature

Upcoach also offers powerful success management accountability tools that help you track each person’s progress, including worksheets, to-dos, and habit trackers. You can jump in and offer help or guidance whenever you feel it’s needed without having to check in with each person individually.

You can work with clients to set the goals they need to accomplish and then make sure they follow through, streamlining as much of the work as possible and enabling yourself to provide more value to more people over the amount of time you have available.

Community

The final piece of the equation of a top-quality group coaching program is the community element. We already discussed how the community can be the big differentiating factor that distinguishes group coaching from private sessions, so you need to provide an immersive community experience to keep your attendees happy.

For one thing, you need to nurture a safe space that people can trust. When trying to overcome problems and advance in life, people have enough self-doubt and criticism to overcome in their lives, so your group coaching program must provide a space where they can share their concerns and ideas without fear of being ridiculed. 

What’s more, you need to have a community of people that actually interact with one another. There’s little point in having a group of people take a coaching program together if they are not going to talk to one another.

At first, you may need to encourage interactions, but over time, members with more initiative will start driving and curating conversations themselves, freeing up time for you and also creating a sense of an independent community that has its own life.

Upcoach has a powerful Forum feature that will help you engage with your clients, share announcements, create a space for answering questions, and encourage people to participate and share their experiences. 

Bottom Line

Building a group coaching program should be the ultimate goal for any coach that wants to scale and grow their business. But while the potential is enormous, group coaching does come with its challenges, which means you must understand the fundamental aspects that make group coaching effective.

By creating top-tier content, maintaining coaching elements that help people move forward, and nurturing an inclusive community, you can develop a coaching program framework that will help keep clients happy while allowing you to automate large parts of the process.

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I’m CEO of UpCoach and a serial entrepreneur. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs and executives to find success and harmony in business and in life.