Transforming Your Coaching Business Through Group Coaching
Our founder, Rachel Eva shares transformative business tips to expand your coaching business through group coaching…
For many years I had a private coaching practice. I saw clients and seemed to experience a really interesting (and sometimes very frustrating) cycle with my income and client roster. I would work hard to fill my coaching calendar and build my practice up to a ‘full load’, I would achieve this and then within a few months my business and income would yo-yo, dwindling down. This caused a lack of balance, had a negative impact on my stress levels and ultimately negatively affected the way that I was showing up as a coach. It also decreased the level of excellence and the quality, of my coaching.
One day, I sat back and found myself noticing my dwindling income (again!!) and surrounded by another wave of dwindling client loads, some having taken a break for a vacation or having wrapped up and moved on (as a result of our successful work together, they no longer needed that weekly support). Why did this keep happening? Why was this a constant uphill battle for stable income and a steady stream of clients?!? Of course, the next powerful question I asked myself was, ‘and how can this change?’.
Here was my answer…
If we spend our time and energy marketing to get a certain number of clients, when shifts happen we are left starting the entire process all over again.
So then what was the solution? For me, it was to incorporate group coaching, also known as group programs, into my business model. This would allow me to have a steady stream of new clients entering a coaching relationship with me every 3 months, make my offerings cost effective to get started and an opportunity to further build the relationship and rapport which then led to each time a new spot opened up in my one-on-one coaching schedule there were already people excited and ready to grab it. This was a game changer!
Top Benefits of Group Coaching Programs for Clients:
- Set time commitment, no long term commitment
- Affordable access point
- Support focusing on resolving a specific conflict or working towards a goal
- Clearly defined structure of what they get, for what investment and within a structured environment
Top Benefits of Group Coaching Programs for Coaches:
- Maximize earning potential and increase income
- Reduce number of hours working/coaching
- Reduce number of hours marketing & trying to find new clients
- A structure and system (a functioning wheel or business model)
- Time to build rapport and cultivate client relationships
But how? How do I begin incorporating group coaching or group coaching programs into my business?
I have heard that question from thousands of my students and also our graduates over the years. First, I want to burst the fairytale that by adding group coaching into your business model that you will magically NOT have to do any marketing…
Marketing is an essential part of any business. Effective marketing one of the key components that will determine if you are a successful coach or an unsuccessful one. Even the best, most highly trained specialist in the world won’t have a business that reaches its fullest potential unless they learn to also effectively market!
Sorry, I know that may be a bummer for some of you. I know it was for me when I was in private practice. Believe me, I wasted years and a lot of energy trying to avoid having to master marketing before I finally valued and learned that skill set. For those of you who still need to learn that element of business, IWA developed a fast track for you, the Business Mastery 12-week online course – to find out more about that or to pre-register click HERE.
Good news, marketing isn’t the only important aspect!
Ok, so what are the steps to getting your practice from where it is now to where you want it to be through adding the business model of group coaching.
- Create your program content for your group coaching program, or you can use the group coaching program content I developed, The Transform 12-week program. It is a stop-drop-and roll out ready program. All you will need is the book which can be purchased HERE. Make sure that you provide content that SOLVES problems or addressing concerns that your potential participants may have. Just calling it ‘a group for life coaching’ does not communicate what the benefit will be to people where as something like ‘overcoming debt, life coaching 12-week group to become debt free life coaching’ answers a specific concern and provides a specific benefit.
- Organize – Figure out the best time each week to hold your group coaching and the place to hold it – I have led group coaching programs virtually online, at Wellness Centers, Chiropractors offices, yoga studios, meditation centers, cafes, coffee shops and even churches or temples.
- Get it out into the world – share it with your friends, family, email contacts, post flyers at the market & library, create a Facebook event and boost or advertise it, post it on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media platforms that you use. It’s helpful if you create either a pre-recorded FREE informational webinar or even a FREE live group meeting or conference call (I like to use freeconferencecall.com) first. So all of your posts and emails ARE NOT trying to get people to sign up, it’s getting them to attend the free info session (that’s very little commitment and a lot less fear will arise for them). Only invite them to sign up for your group coaching program AFTER they have gotten to know you a bit. Once you are at least ½ full, then you can begin also posting and sharing with people that you only have xxx amount of spots left.
- Hold your FREE info session – This is a time to build rapport, clarify what the benefits will be to someone participating and to answer questions as well as overcome objections. At the end of your session invite people to enroll. Charge money for your group – an equal energetic exchange actually helps people experience greater results and a higher level of commitment, adding a special bonus offer is also a great way to motivate people to ‘act now’.
- Lead your group – Provide support (with boundaries) and life changing content. Basically, BE of value and service. Build rapport and cultivate the relationships.
- Invitation to up-level – As the group is nearing the end of its course (maybe 1, 2, or 3 months for example) INVITE the participants to continue to work with you as one-on-one clients, or if you enjoy the amount of freedom group coaching brings to your schedule and life, invite them to enroll in another program. I have had people take the 12-weekTransform program 3,4 and even 5 times with a focus on another issue or a focus on up-leveling.
Let’s crunch the numbers…
Say you would like to be generating a minimum of $6,000 each month, what would this look like if we broke that down into one-on-one coaching sessions –
At $100 per session you would have to have 60 sessions each month to meet the $6,000 monthly revenue goal. The average client will see a coach once every other week, so twice per month. This means you need to have 30 clients that you are coaching each month and need to keep that number at 30 consistently in order to experience financial stability.
If you were running 3 different Transform groups each month, each with a different niche focus, ie. weight loss, career, financial wellness, health, relationships, pre-marital, parenting, etc. (each group running for 1 ½ hours per week) that would be a time investment of 4 ½ hours each week. For a 12-month program (3 months) I recommend pricing it NO LESS then $450 for the program (ideally more depending on the market), that breaks down to $37.50 per week, that’s a deal! Wouldn’t you pay less then $40 a week to change your life? The average American who drinks 1 coffee per day from Starbucks (a low average of $3 per day) spends $90 per month of coffee alone. For further comparison, the average yoga class these days in Los Angeles is $23 and the average Life Coaching session is $150. Again, $37.50 per week to change your life is a pretty sweet opportunity! Be confident in your prices, you are worth it and your client is worth it and worth investing in themselves!
If each of your 3 groups had 8 people in them, so 24 participants total each spending $450 for the 12 weeks it would earn you $10,800 (or $3,600 per month). If your monthly financial need is $6,000 then you would only need to find clients to cover the additional $2,400 each month. At your $100 per session rate for one-on-one coaching you would only have to take on 12 clients (if you saw each of them twice per month). That just cut the amount of clients and coaching hours that you need by ½!!
A Final thought about group coaching…
I am a HUGE believer and action taker towards service work. I am passionate about supporting people and making the work that I do accessible not only to the wealthy, also to those in need. Adding a pro-bono or sliding scale group coaching program allows you to also support those in need without draining your time and energy as well as and depleting your ability to earn a living! Food for thought 😉
As always, I hope what I have shared is helpful and supports your journey to living your best and most purpose driven life!