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How to Structure a Group Coaching Program

If you sell online courses, adding group coaching helps you raise your prices and deliver spectacular results for your clients.

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by James Mulvey

Jan 1

Offering group coaching programs—where multiple clients are guided through an experience together with weekly calls, self-guided content, and peer-to-peer support—is a fantastic way to transform your expertise into a high-ticket program.

Group coaching can help your clients achieve the results and transformation they want much faster than taking an online course alone, and with Mighty Pro, you can easily bundle up your content, group coaching, a dedicated community, and fun challenges to create a valuable new product for your clients.

Let’s break down how to structure your group coaching program based on what we’ve seen to work with Mighty Pro’s high-profile course creators and entrepreneurs.

Hitting the course creator ceiling

Many entrepreneurs begin by selling their expertise with 1:1 services.

As their reputation grows, they might expand into a handful of coaching clients, offering personalized plans and regular sessions. Time becomes a constraint, so they look for ways to scale their expertise.

Launching an online course is an obvious way to solve the time constraint problem, allowing you to convert your 1:1 expertise into a digital product.

While selling self-paced online courses offers infinite scale, you’ll encounter predictable problems. The majority of online courses have low completion rates. After purchase, it’s hard to get people to log back in.

And if people barely opened the last course they bought from you, they’re less likely to purchase your next online course or tell their friends about the amazing value they got from you.

It’s also hard to create urgency for people to buy your online courses. Beyond offering discounts or webinar replays, once people have heard your pitch a few times on Instagram or gotten the 17th ‘last chance!’ email, you’ll need to reach people, raising your customer acquisition costs.

Adding a group coaching program—which you can package up with your online courses into a new paid membership—solves many of these problems.

Learning together with other people is more fun and immediately lifts course completion rates. With group coaching, you can do cohorts of clients with quarterly or yearly intakes.

This gives you real urgency—not fabricated marketing tricks—as once people miss the cohort intake, they have to wait months before the offer appears again. And by packaging up group coaching with your existing content and self-paced courses, you can charge a higher price.

How to create your first group coaching program

First, choose a topic that is advanced and specific. Group coaching programs that serve an Ideal Member and that have a tightly defined topic are the way to go.

Here are a few common ways to narrow down your topic and attract the right member.

You could focus on job titles, career levels, or stages in an entrepreneurial journey. Our Mighty Pro customer Shine Collective runs a private community platform and app for established founders, c-suite executives, and thought leaders.

As part of their high-ticket membership program, members get access to monthly solve sessions. In these group coaching sessions, fellow members get real-time management fire drills, getting live feedback from the facilitator and peers. Their group coaching is valuable because of the level of seniority of members, allowing candid feedback and advanced techniques from leaders in high-performing corporate roles.

Focusing on an important stage in life is also a common way to structure your group coaching program.

Our Mighty Pro customer The Self Care Space, for example, created an affordable holistic life-coaching & therapy platform for women in their twenties and early thirties. They offer self-guided courses and group therapy sessions with psychologists, healers, and health practitioners. Their group coaching focuses on holistic therapy around topics such as healing from relationships, panic attacks, and breathwork.

Or bring people together with a common vision for what they’re trying to achieve in their life. Lifebook, for example, used Mighty Pro to bring their students deeper into their content and programs. They host live coaching sessions, goal achievement programs, an advanced Bootcamp, and a rich library of content. It’s all hosted in their beautifully designed Lifebook Apps available on Desktop, Android & iPhone.

How to select a format for your group coaching program

Some course creators find a lot of success with cohort-based programs. People enroll at a specific time and go through a program together, typically with retreats and a one-year commitment. Cohort-based programs work well with high-ticket programs as you can sell a yearly membership.

For lower-priced programs, offering a combination of self-paced online courses, a library of content, and weekly group coaching events works well. Or you can sell individual online courses and then offer group coaching as an add-on, running exclusive coaching sessions for your most committed members.

For professional networks and entrepreneurs, we often see communities running a monthly mastermind group, coupled with a monthly or quarterly group coaching event. Professionals have the least time, so it’s more about impact delivered rather than volume of events.

For more personal development or health and wellness communities, we often see a higher frequency of events as the memberships are often monthly such as live coaching calls every Monday and Wednesday, with bi-weekly mastermind sessions.

Finally, add a dedicated community to your group coaching programs. The whole point of group coaching is to get the best of all worlds: some structured guidance from an expert and the collective perspectives of people working through similar challenges. Adding an online community for people to share experiences between your live sessions adds a new level of interaction and value.

Your community also helps you sell to your members again and again. One of our Mighty Pro customers has built a very popular personal development and business coaching program. Their core offering was an eight-week high-ticket online course. When the course ended, they found that people wanted more. They tried Facebook Groups but didn’t feel they matched the exclusiveness of their offering.

Now, they host a three-month membership in their own branded apps with an online course. The membership has a dedicated community, which gets tons of member engagement and excitement around the results they’re getting from the 3-month membership.

They’ve found that offering the combination of the membership and community creates a natural pool of people ready to buy their more advanced group coaching and premium memberships.

So once the course ends, they effortlessly upsell these passionate students into a more advanced program with group coaching, events, and mastermind sessions. As both programs are run within the same branded apps—there is no friction between these levels. Members simply purchase and enter a new part of the program.

Use these 5 questions to help you structure your group coaching programs

We’ve covered the formats, frequencies, and community funnel you can create to build your group coaching program. Here are some final prompts to help you nail the delivery and energy of your live coaching sessions.

What energy will you create?

Online sessions can be so many things. We have passive meetings. We have low-energy meetings. We have kick-ass learning sessions. It’s your job to drive the bus and make sure that your group coaching sessions deliver results and energy to your clients.

Often, you will have a few clients with lackluster energy. This can damage the experience for other members. Setting a few upfront rule with every sessions—such as cameras on, opening introductions, and rules for giving feedback to other members—can mitigate low energy sessions.

How will you get members to contribute?

Don’t forget that the main attraction of mastermind groups and coaching programs is to gather peer-to-peer intelligence, seeing how others solve similar challenges, and learning directly in-the-moment rather than reading abstract knowledge.

So avoid the mistake of making this about your expertise, your philosophy, and abstract ideas. Instead, create the framework that allows those moments of learning between peers can naturally flow.

Lots of founders, executives, and entrepreneurs join group coaching for the social connection. So encourage people to group chat, connect members together with private messages after sessions, and call upon different members to share a story or insight.

How will you attract the best clients and community?

The better people you attract, the more valuable the experience for members, the more results and transformation you’ll see.

Many of our most successful Mighty Pro customers obsess about who is allowed into their private communities as they know that quality of members matters more than numbers.

When getting started, see if you can pull some favors from your network. For example, if you’re running group coaching for YouTube creators, you could ask 5-10 successful YouTube creators you know to run a session. This helps to model the type of member you’d like to attract and delivers a good experience for your first members while you get the train running.

How will you make each session about 'experiences' not 'advice'?

Group coaching isn’t about telling people what to do. It’s about self-discovery and getting an outside perspective into your challenges.

Try one of these formats to break beyond giving advice to real exploration.

  • Hot seat: you pick one person and you coach them so the group can learn from real-time feedback. Extremely effective and memorable.

  • Solve sessions: a member shares a specific challenge they’re working through, while you do live coaching and other members share what’s worked for them.

  • Pairing: deliver a concept or short bit of formal knowledge and then break everyone into pairs. Each person critiques the other.

  • Each one, teach one. This is where you call upon a member to teach the entire community. We stole this from Trappers Anonymous, an incredible community created to teach financial wealth building. In their community, a member will do a technical analysis of a publicly-traded stock, demonstrating their mastery of the skills taught in the community. It’s a technique that helps members internalize the knowledge you’re teaching them.

  • Office hours: this format works fantastic for more technical subjects. Other members can watch while you or a team member gives technical help.

How will add you add variety to your group coaching & mastermind events?

Finally, if you’re selling yearly memberships hosting the same themes and session formats week-after-week reduces engagement. You’ll see turnout slump and members will churn at your annual renewals.

Once you’ve established your core group coaching program, here are some techniques we’ve helpful for shaking up your programs.

Create a content advisory board. Lots of our customers will have a board of 10-15 thought leaders, fellow authors, or industry experts. These experts will run an occasional event, join for a coaching session, and lend their credibility to your community. This delivers more content variety and allows you to switch things up every quarter. Plus, if they are course creators themselves, you can easily cross-promote and partner to drum up new members.

Add yearly themes in your content. Picking a few key moments in the year to structure content around can switch up your community themes, give you fresh ideas for coaching sessions, and add urgency to new member acquisition campaigns. For example, an HR community could focus on performance reviews, doing group coaching, and mock review sessions. A health and wellness community could structure around stressful times of the year such as holidays. An investment community could focus on quarterly earning cadences or tax seasons.

Go live at unexpected moments. Break the rhythm of your regular programs with a few impromptu livestreaming events. One of our customers likes to do unexpected livestreams in the morning, offering casual coaching for dedicated members. If topics or formats resonate well, you can bring these impromptu sessions into your regular programming.

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