Let’s get this out of the way upfront: Being a group coach is simply awesome. The impact that you can have bringing people together to master something important to them? There’s nothing better.
And where individual 1:1 coaching online or in person can be great, group coaching–where you bring together a small group of clients to support, encourage, and learn from each other, as much as you–is even more valuable.
With group coaching, your clients can build new practices and habits faster and more easily, and ultimately get better results than they can on their own or just with 1:1 consulting. The structure and support to achieve our goals alongside other people is an essential service that only gets more important in a time and place where more of us are operating in a world full of unknowns.
Nothing beats the ability to navigate a rapidly changing environment than with a community of motivated people led by a group coach.
So, whether you’re ready to expand an existing coaching business or start a new one, you are in a position to positively connect and impact your clients. And there’s no better way to impact even more clients than by tapping software in the form of online group coaching platforms.
With online group coaching software, you can grow your client base, connect clients faster and more easily to each other, scale your coaching programs via online courses, and take care of payments for your services all in one place, all under your brand, and instantly available to your clients on every platform.
While the first generation of online group coaching platforms focused on client scheduling, there’s an emerging set of new online group coaching platforms built expressly to support a new model of online group coaching with a way to:
- Run online courses and dedicated course communities together in one place.
- Run multiple “mastermind” groups on the same platform.
- Offer members the ability to have profiles and direct message each other.
- Enable a group coach to reach all of their members with no algorithm standing in the way.
- Allow them to charge for subscriptions, online courses, mastermind groups, and/or bundles of each of these.
- Deliver this entire solution under their brand, immediately available on every device.
This is no longer just about group coaching software that schedules your calendar and sessions. The best group coaching platforms out there enable you to not just run a coached group, but to create a true community where you bring clients together to master something interesting and important to them together.
If the idea of building a dynamic online coaching group excites you, read on to see which group coaching software is the right fit for you.
What does a successful online coaching group look like?
Before we dive into our picks for the best group coaching software, we need to define what a successful online coaching group looks like. Just like with group coaching itself, only by understanding the goal can we evaluate the best way to get there.
Here’s the thing: Moving your coaching group to a virtual space gives you more ways to make your coaching business even better.
For example, when you take your coaching business online, you can bring together more diverse and interesting perspectives and people to serve the needs of your group. This isn’t just about the size of your group coaching service and the ability to use online coaching software to reach more people, it’s also about the kinds of people you’re able to reach.
It’s not called the worldwide web for nothing.
As you attract more diverse clients, they contribute their stories, experiences, and unique ideas to the group, making it more valuable to everyone with each new person who joins and participates.
Imagine an online coaching group targeted to yoga enthusiasts, populated by people with a variety of backgrounds and yoga styles. Sure, you’re giving people a chance to learn from you, but more importantly, they have the unparalleled opportunity to learn from each other.
Moreover, with modern online coaching software, you have more ways to impact people–keeping their goals top-of-mind and excuses for not changing behavior, paying attention, or building new habits to a minimum.
How do you do this? Here are a few features that deliver this multimedia, multi-“touchpoint” extravaganza:
- Online courses. Online courses make the work of delivering an online group coaching program so much easier. When you can structure a step-by-step, day-by-day journey to master something important to people (and see their progress), you’ve got a powerful tool in your toolbox for communicating new knowledge, ideas, and habits.
- Community. With online courses, you’ll structure the program and path for your members to achieve their goals. But that’s no guarantee that they will do it. When your members can also connect with each other to ask questions, share their experiences, show their progress, and navigate their challenges, together, they have a much higher chance of doing the work and seeing the results they want. Enabling a strong community of fellow clients is a must for group coaching platforms.
- Real-time interaction and resources. Lastly, with online group coaching, it’s a good idea to offer live coaching calls and the options for one-on-ones. Bonus points for setting up resources that your members can access outside of online group coaching sessions, like recorded workout videos, or written how-tos that your clients can refer to in their own time.
In this context, we scoured the options for group coaching software to see which ones were the fastest to learn, easiest to set up, and delivered the most options to build the most successful online group coaching business.
Here are our picks.
Mighty Networks: The modern group coaching platform
In the category of platforms pushing online group coaching forward (well beyond online scheduling alone), the most often mentioned leader is Mighty Networks.
It’s the only option available today that’s designed for group coaches to structure a program, connect clients to each other, and have people purchase subscriptions all right there on the same platform. A Mighty Network is offered under your brand and is the only real option out there for a group coach to combine online courses, community and paid subscriptions successfully.
Here’s what else a Mighty Network offers:
- The ability to create and deliver three different kinds of online courses. On a Mighty Network, you can create a “typical” online course with course content, but that’s only the beginning. You can also add a dedicated course community directly to an online course, or even build your online course “live” with your online coaching group, using your members and the community to create course content that you then add as you go.
- The opportunity to break out clients into multiple smaller coaching groups. A Mighty Network isn’t just one big community, but has the option to break clients out into smaller “mastermind” or coaching groups within the Mighty Network. Don’t think of it as a Facebook Group, but rather your own Facebook with the option of multiple groups within it.
- The option to create subscriptions and charge clients. With a Mighty Network, a group coach can create a membership site by charging for access to the overall Mighty Network or leave it free to prospects and offer paid online courses (with dedicated course communities) or smaller paid coaching groups at different membership tiers. A Mighty Network has the most options for structuring the kind of group coaching programs you want to offer and charging for either individual areas or bundles of multiple courses and groups.
While there are other emerging software platforms for group coaches to bring their businesses online, they aren’t as mature or flexible as a Mighty Network is today, which makes this our top pick for group coaching software to evaluate.
That being said, you may be looking for a slightly narrower and more constrained variety of group coaching platform. And for you, we offer one additional stand out platform.
Satori: The best group coaching software for administrative headaches
Satori is an app designed initially for yoga instructors that’s focused on the administrative side of group coaching. According to the company’s website, online coaches use Satori to automate admin, deliver stellar client experiences, and grow their coaching practice “with confidence.”
What this means in practice is that Satori can help you schedule and organize in-person workshops and classes. It’s extensively thought of how to make a series of in-person dynamics between a group coach and their clients easier.
A few key limitations of Satori, especially for those coaches looking to launch and grow an online group coaching business, include:
- No online courses or resource libraries. Satori puts a lot of emphasis on organizing and packaging your group coaching sessions. But when it comes to actually hosting an online course or resources, you’ll need to choose and pay for a third-party online course platform, like a Mighty Network or Teachable.
- No online small groups or communities. Again, while Satori has focused on packaging group coaching sessions, it doesn’t offer a coach a way to deliver 1:1 consulting or small coaching groups. With Satori, you’d need to launch online groups or your client community on a Mighty Network or use a Facebook Group.
No direct messaging. Satori automates follow up and keeps track of client communication for you, but doesn’t give you the ability to actually message your students or members via direct messaging or connect them to each other. To do either of these, you’ll need to add on additional software.
The winner for best overall group coaching software: Mighty Networks
When it comes down to it, a Mighty Network is the only group coaching software available today that is going to give you the opportunity to instantly scale a group coaching business online. You’ll be able to broaden the client base you can serve; organize them seamlessly into online courses, course communities, and small coaching groups, so that they get as much from each other as they get from you; and charge for different subscriptions or membership levels, based on what those clients want or need.
With your own Mighty Network, you are helping more people come together to master the topics that are most important to them in the fastest, easiest ways possible. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what coaching is all about?