Cecilia and Jason Hilkey were all too familiar with the challenges of modern parenting. Between raising their kids and working as educators, they realized that the world was changing fast – and parents were struggling to keep up. They launched The Village by Happily Family as a paid membership site to help families learn communication and connection.
And they built group coaching into the equation. Group coaching calls are part of their regular offerings, and a way to help parents learn from them and from each other.
You’ve probably heard the word group coaching before. But if you’re a potential coach, you might not know exactly how to make it work for you. In this article, we’ll talk you through what group coaching is and isn’t, and help you get your own group coaching business set up. Ready? Let’s go!
If you want more support in building your group coaching business, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!
In this article…
What is group coaching
Group coaching is when a coach leads a group of 2 or more people simultaneously through a session. Group coaching can be done live or virtually, and often group members love the chance to get to know each other as well as the coach. We’ll get into more of the benefits below!
Benefits of group coaching
Benefits for the coach
- Scalability of a business model
- Your role adapts from coach to facilitator
- Help more people at once
- Encourages different perspectives (other than your own)
- Can profitably serve people with a lower budget
Benefits for the group
- Often more affordable
- Learn from each other – not just the coach
- Research-backed benefits of community and friendship
- Realizing you’re not alone
- Benefiting from the stories of those further along in their journey
How to start a group coaching business
1. Find your Ideal Members
Most businesses monetizing with a service need a laser-sharp vision of who they’re actually serving. And creating a group-coaching business is no different. You need to find your Ideal Members.
These are the people who need what you have, who are looking for the results you can deliver, and – perhaps most importantly – are able to pay for it. Finding your ideal members can take a little bit of trial and error, but there's one surefire way to make sure that you get it right. Go out and find them!
Before you start creating your coaching funnel or your offerings, go and talk to the people who you think will buy from you. Trust us, if you do this, you'll be ahead of the game. Too many would-be coaches just come up with something and assume people will buy it. The SECOND best way to find out whether people actually will buy it is to ask them. (By the way, the FIRST best way is to presell.)
Start creating an avatar of your Ideal Members. What do they care about? What are their hopes and dreams? What do they struggle with? What can they pay? And how does your story and skill set uniquely position you to help them?
Go out and interview 10 to 15 of your Ideal Members. See if your hunches about them line up with reality.
2. Create a Big Purpose
Okay, now that you’ve got a sense of your Ideal Members, you can put together your group’s Big Purpose Statement. This helps you think through who your Ideal Members are and what you offer. But it also can come in handy for marketing too. By the way, these are all vital parts of Community Design™, which we teach.
Here’s what a Big Purpose Statement looks like. Fill it in for your group coaching offer!
3. Decide what to offer
We’ll break down a few options for structuring your group coaching business below. But this is the stage where you need to decide what you are going to offer. You know who your Ideal Members are. You know where they want to go. So how are you going to get them there?
Part of your offering will be the what. What do they need to hear? What content do they need? How often will you meet and where?
All that important stuff.
The second part is the how. The thing we love about group coaching platforms is that they give you options. For example, Mighty has features like discussion forums, live events, live streaming, content options, message all members, courses, and more.
So, let’s say Alvira is setting up a group coaching practice focusing on helping executive women thrive in the C-Suite and earn what they’re worth. She’s catering to busy clients. So maybe, Alvira decides to create an asynchronous, pre-recorded course that covers the basic skills required to succeed as an exec – things like managing people, reporting to boards, asserting yourself, or communicating with confidence.
Then, maybe she’s active in the discussion boards every day, keeping the conversation going and answering questions. And maybe, she just runs live group coaching sessions once a month, or even a mastermind style session. By doing this, she’s creating an offering that will actually work for her busy clients. If she asked 10 busy women to show up to a group coaching session twice a week, they’d probably struggle to succeed.
At the end of the day, the business is your own. But being strategic when you create your offerings will increase the chances your clients can be successful.
4. Choose a platform
Mighty is a cultural software platform, so when we think about undertaking something like group coaching, we’re ultimately thinking about how you can create your own culture. How can you bring together your own unique blend of community, courses, content, and commerce to build a coaching business that’s truly your own and reflects you?
Not every coaching business needs a platform. Maybe you’re meeting in person at your local office or Starbucks. That’s cool.
But more and more of us are meeting online, and group coaching is no exception. That means that, for a lot of us, group coaching will be done virtually. And instead of trying to mix together your email, calendar, Facebook Group, and who knows what else, try an online coaching platform!
It can make it really easy to bring everything together in one place. Think scheduling, point of sale, setting up and hosting your meetings, and adding in things like courses, messaging, chat, member profiles, content, videos, and more.
5. Market it
Okay, there’s a lot that could be said about marketing. But let’s start with the easy one. You already talked to Ideal Members. Those are the first people you should tell about your group coaching. You can send them an email like this – steal this one if you want!
Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me last week. After conversations with others, I’ve decided to launch a fall group coaching session for first-time consultants – “Getting to your First $10,000.” We’ll work together on realistic strategies to start the business, find clients, and get to your first $10,000 in revenue. *
The cost for the 4 month session is $247. That includes bi-weekly meetings, an interactive community, and a bonus course on bookkeeping. Absolutely no pressure, but if it works, I’d love to have you in the group! I’m offering a 10% discount to the people who took the time to help me get this right.
After you’ve pitched your Ideal Clients (and assuming you still have some room in the group,) you could try these things:
- Share on social media.
- Email any list you have to let them know.
- Reach out to other coaches and let them know (coaches often send people to another coach if they’re not the right fit).
- Pay to advertise (if you have a budget).
- Try running a webinar to share your experience and vision! (Make sure to give some value).
6. Run it!
You’ve done the groundwork, and the rest is up to you! Run your group coaching session. Don’t forget that you’ll never stop learning. Be open-minded and enjoy the journey. And check in with your members along the way to make sure they’re getting lots out of it – you can also run analytics if you’re using a community platform.
And don’t be afraid to adapt and grow as you go!
Ideal topics for group coaching
Here are some great topics that can work really well for group coaching!
- Personal Development
- Career Excellence
- Parenting and Family Well-being
- Cultural Sensitivity & DEI Training
- Public Speaking & Communication
- Initiation to a new field or job
How to structure a group coaching business
When you’re thinking about structuring your group coaching business, there’s no one way to do it. We talked above about an example for executive women, where finding the time to meet was a challenge. In that case, a coach could backfill with a pre-made course and community.
Ultimately, how you do it is up to you. You can charge individually for these things. Or, include some or all of them as part of a package.
1. Regular meetings
One of the most popular formats for regular meetings is the traditional coach-led session. This is pretty straightforward. When your group comes together to meet and you lead them, it’s a group coaching session. Most group coaching businesses have this as the foundation of an offering.
While these sessions can be a chance for you to teach, you could also play around with structure to find out how your group gets the most benefit. For example, you might opt to run it as a mastermind, giving group members a chance to learn from each other. You might schedule live streams, leaving your members to just watch and maybe ask questions in the chat.
You can decide what works best for you.
If you want to get a huge return on your group coaching, try adding in an online community. Online communities will 10x your impact through something we call the network effect. Once people feel safe with each other, your group will show up in between your coaching sessions. They might ask questions, share wins, respond to polls, or even create their own content. And because they do, you get the benefit of a multiplier.
That’s the network effect. Thanks to this user-generated content, your coaching practice is growing even when you aren't online. and that's powerful.
3. 1:1 Coaching
Some coaches will opt to mix group coaching with one-on-one, and it can work really well!
After all, the power of group coaching can be the feedback from others and the affordability. On the other hand, the power of one-on-one coaching can be creating a safe space where a client can work through an issue directly with you. By creating a package that includes both of these things, you can often add more margin to your business model, while giving people the best of both worlds.
Courses are also a valuable part of many group coaching businesses. If it’s a pre-recorded course, the coach can let people go through at their own pace, maybe discussing parts or sharing results at coaching sessions. And if you’re teaching a live, cohort course, you can mix in group coaching with something that feels more intentionally educational.
5. Other live events
You are not limited to your coaching sessions when it comes to connecting with your clients. Why not host other types of live events? You could try things like having a guest speaker, or a drop-in session where people can come for extra help. Live is a great way to add some extra value and let people connect outside of your structured sessions.
Here are some ideas for live events:
- Virtual summit
- Virtual conference
- Networking session
- Office hours
- Guest speaker
- Featured member spotlight
- Art or creative event
Ready to start?
We hope that this post has answered all your questions about starting a group coaching practice! It’s not always easy, but group coaching can be a fantastic business model that provides benefits for you and your audience.
And if you’re looking for a platform to build your group coaching business on, come try Mighty! Like we said above, our cultural software platform lets you mix your group coaching with content, community, courses, and content. And with Mighty Spaces, you can add in live events, live streaming, member profiles, community discussions, messaging and chat, pre-recorded courses, and more! You can charge in 135 different currencies or even with token-gating. And Mighty comes with an app that works for every device.
Not to toot our own horn, but we were ranked the #1 community management software by G2. Come try it out for free and see what you could build! No credit card required.