If you’ve been coaching 1:1 for a while and want to scale your business, moving into group coaching is one option. By the end of this episode, you’ll have clarity on how group coaching works, why it’s so powerful and how it can accelerate your business growth.
You might feel like groups would never be your thing, but they could be a ‘later’ thing once you have enough experience and confidence as a coach.
Groups are really interesting.
For you as a coach, working with groups requires you to have certain skills in facilitating. For example:
· You’d need to learn how to ask a few broad questions and invite the group to discuss their ideas, and maybe write down their own goals and/or insights around those things.
· You’d need to develop the skill of helping everyone have a chance to speak and be heard while keeping the more boisterous people attended but not dominating the floor.
· You need to be able to keep the focus of the session and keep to time so that you deliver value and respect the audience.
For clients, groups are rarely a ‘forever’ thing because people come to get a result, and then they either:
This can happen in groups with a defined period (e.g. an 8-week program) but more likely in a long-term group (e.g. a membership-style group).
People will be more likely to commit and stick with 8-10 weeks to help them solve a problem. In membership style groups. dropping in and out is part of the natural buying and change cycle! Readiness to change peaks at certain points in time and that is where the enthusiasm is. When enthusiasm wanes, people drop out.
Remember also that as a coach, you are helping your clients become self-empowered and self-responsible so they don’t need you anymore and can do new things consistently on their own. That is a mark of your success as a coach!
Some groups do persist – and they have a few things in common:
These types of groups are good candidates for a membership model versus just a program on rinse and repeat.
Grey area drinking is a good example. Drinking affects health, self-worth, productivity and relationships. It’s a big pain point that can disrupt daily life and can be hard to be consistent with.
It might take 6 months to feel ‘sober’ and it might take a year to ‘trust yourself’ to remain sober. Once you’re sober, great. But you might keep feeling pulled back into it. Or, you might really want to be a role model to others and help them stay on track.
Why is group coaching so powerful? One way to think about it is to consider how you feel when you’re watching a DVD at home, versus how you feel when you go to the pitch-black cinema to watch a movie with surround sound and a large audience laughing, getting a fright and shrieking all at the same time as you.
Groups leverage emotional contagion. They create an energy that is attractive and appealing.
Groups create connections between members. In fact, some studies into group education show that peer support is just as important for learning and insight, as facilitator support in a group environment.
Group coaching presents multiple points of view so it’s easy to gain a broader perspective, to feel like you’re not alone, and to learn more ways to overcome your challenges.
When you move from income in a 1:1 setting to a 1:many setting, you’re earning more money per session. If you have a group of 5, then you’re earning 5x as much per session.
How big should the group be? A group is technically two or more people. Small groups of up to 10 are best, as it’s easier to have intimate conversations and give everyone a chance to speak and be heard.
In my own face-to-face weight loss business in a small country town, I ran four groups of ten people, with a few separate individual sessions for those who wanted more privacy and personal conversation. The program was successful for the 3 years that I ran it until I decided to pivot my niche and move online in 2016.
Larger groups are less personal and less interactive but can be peer-supported. I like to define group coaching as up to 10 people, beyond that I feel it’s an interactive workshop. In that larger group setting, you’d use tools and strategies like asking the audience to fill in worksheets, asking for hands up to answer a question, and using small break-out groups for peer discussion, which you walk around and monitor.
Beyond creating a group and earning more money per session, you are likely to earn more money over time.
Because groups tend to stay together for camaraderie and support to stay on track e.g. Weight Watchers which started in New York in 1963 and is still operating worldwide today.
Further, groups grow when members tell their friends about the support and value they get and invite them to come along. Growth can be exponential if the group program is great; more easily in an online environment.
Group coaching is one way to scale and grow your business and revenue and is a natural progression from 1:1 coaching.
When you understand how groups work, and why they’re powerful, it’s a no-brainer to turn to this business model to build your business.
Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
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