Should You Create a Group Coaching Program?

Should You Create a Group Coaching Program?

You’ve been part of group coaching programs - some good, some not-so-good and you’ve been considering adding them to your offer lineup. In theory it makes great sense - they’re more affordable than 1:1 coaching, your members get a great community and accountability, and it’s a good way to make your coaching more accessible. But you’re still wondering if it’s the right path for you. Shouldyou really create a group coaching program? 

Advantages of Creating a Group Coaching Program 

Time and Money

As a business owner, your time is your most valuable asset. And as you grow, it’s only natural that access to that time becomes your most expensive, and most exclusive, offer. You only have so many hours in the day, which means that every time you work with a 1:1 client, you’re taking time away from other aspects of running your business. It’s not uncommon for business owners to find that in order for working with 1:1 clients to make sense, they have to charge more than is realistic for their potential clients. 

This is commonly the tipping point for deciding that it might be time to create a group coaching program. 

The largest benefit to you as a business owner is that you’re able to help more clients at once, meaning you can serve more clients in less time. This also means that you can make your coaching more cost-effective for your clients. Instead of paying for 1:1 prices, they’re essentially splitting what that 1:1 time and cost would look like.

Community and Peer Learning 

An all-too often underappreciated need in the business space is the need for community and peer learning. Often the best investments for business owners are the ones that help them directly connect with peers, potential clients, and referral partners. When you create a group coaching program, you’re able to take applications and curate who you allow in; ensuring a group that vibes well, lifts each other up, and is full of great connections for each other. When you provide those connections, your program is seen as more valuable. 

Increased Accountability and Support

Along with being part of a community, there’s extra support and accountability that comes along with that. It’s no longer just your coach you have to tell that you didn’t get your tasks done, it’s an entire group. It also opens the door for group members to be able to have conversations outside of the program to bounce ideas off of each other, cowork, and more! Once again increasing that perceived value, and the likelihood that members will share about your program in the future.

Related Post: 4 Client Problems Fitness Coaches Face (& How to Fix Them)

Disadvantages of Group Coaching 

That being said, a group coaching program isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are certainly disadvantages to group coaching as well, and you’ll want to consider the five below to plan for them ahead of time.

Less 1:1 Help

By nature of a group coaching program, your clients now have to split your 1:1 attention amongst themselves. You should plan for this ahead of time and ensure that you are balancing the attention for each member in order to help to make the high ticket offer worth it. 

Group Dynamics and Management 

We’ve all been part of a group where one person seems to enjoy the spotlight a little too much, or seems to believe they’re the one in charge. We’ve even all been part of groups where two members didn’t get along and there was tension that took away from the experience. An understanding of different personality types can go a long way to help manage group dynamics. Before choosing your group, you’ll want to ensure your application helps give you some insight into personalities. 

Customization vs Generalization of Content 

When working 1:1 with a client, you’re able to customize everything you do together to work for them. When you’re working with a group, you’ll have to be more general with your content. Having an understanding of both how you’ll generalize your content for the entire group, and how you can quickly customize for each member without taking up a ton of time will be helpful going into your program.

Scheduling Conflicts 

Virtual programs are beautiful in that they can bring together people from all over the world. However, they’re also a pain in that they can bring together people from all over the world, and time zones can make things difficult. Even if every single person in your membership is in the same time zone, everyone has vastly different schedules, which can make it difficult to find a time to meet that meets everyone’s needs. 

More Administrative Work

More clients means more administrative work. For each client in your group coaching program you’ll have to do the administrative onboarding work, following up with late payments, and ensuring everyone understands and sticks to their contract. (Please ensure you are setting your program up for success with a contract!) If you’ve got four clients in your program, that’s four times the administrative work in the same amount of time you’d typically work with one client.

Related Post: Not Having a Coaching Contract is Risky

Should You Create a Group Coaching Program?

Which brings us back to the ultimate question: shouldyou create a group coaching program? After reading through this article, you may have found clarity, but you may also have discovered that you have even more to think about than you originally believed. Which brings us to the four main considerations we believe every coach should make before they create a group coaching program. 

Personal Bandwidth and Time 

Taking into consideration the time you’re saving, and also the time you’re committing to, we encourage you to think through whether or not a group coaching program is something you have the time and mental capacity for. Take the time to map out exactly what you’d like the program to look like, and all of the time it will need from you before making a decision.

Expertise and Niche 

You’ll also want to consider exactly how you can help a group of clients. What is the transformation you’re going to give them, and what will the process look like as they work through your program with you? Without a clear end goal, it will not only be harder to market your program, but your clients will walk away unclear on what they’re taking away from your time together. 

Audience Analysis and Needs 

Finally, is this program something your audience needs? Spend some time doing market research based on the container information you’ve decided is possible with your bandwidth, and also the niche you’ve chosen to focus on. Then, tweak as necessary until you can find the middle ground between what you’re hoping to offer an your audience actually needs from you.

Contract Needs 

And of course, we couldn’t end this post without mentioning the importance of having a contract for a group coaching program. All too often we hear from business owners that think a contract is only necessary in a 1:1 setting. But we cannot stress enough that you should have a contract in place forallof your services. Yes, even those that take place in a group setting. And if you want to save time putting together a contract you can rely on, snag our Coaching Contract Templatefor yourself and get it sent out to every member of your new program!

Coaching Contract Template

Amanda Warfield
Amanda Warfield

Amanda Warfield is a simplicity-focused content marketing and launch strategist, author of the book Chasing Simple Marketing, and host of Chasing Simple - a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicate their marketing and business. She traded in her classroom lesson plans for speaking and educating creative entrepreneurs on sustainably fitting content marketing into their business, without it taking over their business - so that they have time to grow their business.

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