Two years ago, I worked with a client who had spent years as a virtual assistant and a project manager for many of the biggest names online, and she frequently helped new VAs and project managers understand the industry and land their first clients. Her advice was so popular that she started a website dedicated to helping other virtual assistants. I wondered why she hadn’t decided to launch a group coaching program.
She wanted to find other ways to assist her community, too. So she asked me for advice. I suggested that group coaching might be the smartest next move for her.
“I love the idea of supporting virtual assistants, but I don’t know how to create my own group coaching program,” she told me.
I explained, “You don’t have to create a program from scratch. You can use an information product and turn it into a group coaching program.” I went on to share a few reasons I wanted her to consider giving this business model a try…
Multiply Your Impact When You Launch a Group Coaching Program
If you’ve been a service provider like the client I’m describing above, then you already know how fulfilling it can be to help clients one-on-one. Maybe you enjoy tackling tech problems for clients or writing short reports for them.
But the problem is that as a service provider, there’s only so much of you to go around. Even though you want to help more people in your community, you can’t create more time…unless you offer group coaching.
With group coaching, you get to support your community in a bigger way while freeing up more of your time. Imagine having the opportunity to guide a dozen clients instead of just one. That’s exactly what you get to do with group coaching!
Smooth Out Your Cash Flow
One of the most difficult aspects of running a business as a service provider is that your cash flow can be sporadic. One month you may make more than enough to pay your bills and keep yourself in cute shoes. But the next month, you may be scrambling just to keep the lights on. That’s not a fun way to run a business.
But with a group coaching program, you’ll have a better idea of how much you’ll be earning each month. Now you don’t have to worry about cash inflow, so you can spend your time focusing on helping your clients meet their goals.
Create Something Fun
The wonderful thing about launching a group coaching program is that it’s fun. If you really love the topic of your program and you enjoy the community you’ve built, then you’ll naturally wake up excited to start working on it.
The more excited you are about your program, the easier it is to pour your energy and your time into it. Suddenly, what you’re doing feels a lot less like work and a lot more like play.
By the time her coach was done sharing the benefits, Katie was convinced. She immediately decided her next goal would be creating a group coaching program from an information product.
Creating your own group coaching program can be so energizing. That’s because you get to watch as your community implements your advice and experiences new growth in their lives and businesses.
Some Questions to Consider When Creating Your Group Program
Using an information product to create a group coaching program is a great way to grow your business and serve your community. But you don’t want to blindly making a coaching offer. You want to spend some time designing the program first to make sure it’s the best that it can be. Here are four questions you should ask before you announce your new program…
Which Product Will You Use?
Since you’ll be basing your group around a product, you’ll need to choose one to focus on. Look through your projects and consider if any of them would be easy to transform into a program.
If you haven’t created any products yet, then don’t worry. You can buy a brandable content package. Brandable content, sometimes known as Private Label Rights (PLR), is content you can re-brand and put your name on.
Many coaches and digital business owners use PLR to create and launch programs. It’s not only easy but it can also save you a lot of time. You can use this extra time to devote to getting the word out about your new offer.
What’s the Duration of the Offer?
Depending on what you’re teaching, you may have a natural expiration date for your group. For example, if you’re teaching your community how to create their own websites with WordPress, then they may only need coaching for three to six months.
But if your topic is more in-depth, like showing your community how to make five figures each month, then they may need your support for a year or longer.
There’s no right or wrong time frame here. Your coaching offer can be as short or as long as it takes. It comes down to what your community needs and how you prefer to structure your programs.
How Many Can You Take On?
The next thing to consider when designing your coaching program is how many people you can comfortably take on. Some coaches like to limit their programs to a dozen or so members. This gives you time to create tight-knit bonds and interact with every member of your group. It’s perfect if you’re diving deep into a topic for an extended period of time.
But you can also take on dozens of clients if you prefer. If your program is short-term, then this can be a good option. Do keep in mind that more clients means you may need to spend more time answering questions and giving feedback.
How Much Do You Want to Earn?
Start by first considering the minimum you need to make each month in order to keep the lights on and pay your other business expenses. This is your minimum viable number and it’s going to differ depending on how you’ve built your business and the lifestyle you’re accustomed to.
Next, take your minimum and multiply it by 15%. This is your profit point. You may earn much more than 15% depending on the size of your platform, your affiliate promotions, and more. But for now, you have a basic gauge so you can tell if your program has been successful.
Once you’ve worked through these questions, your coaching program will probably begin taking shape in your mind. Use the energy and enthusiasm you’re feeling to propel you toward your big launch!
Tackling the Tiny Details: Making Sure Your Group Runs Smoothly
Now that you’ve designed the framework of your group, it’s time to fill in some of the smaller details. Do this in advance so, you can create a group coaching program that runs smoothly and doesn’t take up hours of your time each day. Here’s what you need to tackle before your launch…
Decide How Often You’ll Meet
This is going to depend on the coaching program you’re creating. If you’ve created a program around learning WordPress in 8 weeks, then weekly meetings make sense and would be appreciated by your members.
But you don’t have to go the weekly route. Sometimes, it might be better to have monthly meetups. For example, if your group is based around an income goal like earning six figures, then a monthly meetup is a great way to encourage members to review the previous month’s earnings and make sure they’re still on track.
Choose Where You’ll Gather
Once you’ve decided on the frequency of your meetings, you’ll need to come up with a way to host them. Fortunately, there are dozens of websites designed to help you stay in touch with your community. Some of the most popular options for online meetings are Zoom, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, and Google Hangouts.
Before you pick a service, think about what features you may need. Will you need a screen-sharing option? Do you want to record meetings and post them to your website or group later? Could you use a file-sharing feature?
You may also wish to meet in person, at least occasionally. I do this with my clients as a part of my Santa Barbara Retreat.
Consider Bringing in Help
When you’re running a group coaching program, it’s easy to spend most of your time at your desk. You can easily spend hours answering questions, posting to social media, and starting group discussions. Instead, launch a group coaching program that makes sense for the lifestyle you wish to create for yourself.
While nurturing your group is important, you can’t let it take over your life. That’s why you need to consider bringing in a virtual assistant you trust. The VA can answer basic questions (and forward the ones you need to personally answer), schedule social media updates for you, and begin group discussions. Then you’ll be free to step away from your desk and relax.
Set Up a Tracking System or Template
Some groups are going to flow best if you have a tracking system in place. For example, each member of your group posts their business goals to a special Trello board just for the group. Then you and the members can cheer each other on.
If your group is focused on earning six figures, then create a special template. Encourage each member to fill out the template monthly so they can chart their progress as their income grows.
Keep in mind that not every group needs tracking or templates. If your group was created to teach members how to use WordPress, then a tracking system may get in the way and prevent members from taking action.
Getting these details squared away can free you up to focus on your new coaching program. But don’t feel like your choices are set in stone either. You can always adjust your course as you discover what works best for your group. Know that when you launch a group coaching program, there is no limit as to what you can create and achieve.
I’m marketing strategist, bestselling author, and online entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green. Let’s connect further as you strive to create an online based on the lifestyle you wish to achieve. Come aboard for my complimentary Action Habits Challenge and change your life.