We discussed an idea for starting a group coaching practice in my last episode Let’s Talk About Cannabis Health Coaching, So today, I wanted to unpack the pros and cons because there are many benefits & drawbacks to both. Now, there is no right or wrong way to go about it necessarily. Both business models are great because they offer a fast way to monetize what you know, but if you don’t go into it with your eyes wide open, there are pitfalls that can (and will) inevitably cause you to struggle. Here are six things to think about before you go all-in on your coaching idea.
If you want to make more money, one of the best things to do is to start a group coaching program. It’s much easier to scale because you can do group coaching using technology that will deliver the information without you having to be there at a specific time every single day. Anytime you can cut out your physical presence from part of the work, you will experience more business growth.
Now, a drawback to the group coaching model is that you can't take an individual into account the same way as you could with 1:1 coaching. Instead, in group coaching programs there is a set process in place that doesn’t change based on the individual. It’s usually a program that guides the client through a self-study phase and self-work phase to achieve the desired results. But there are some ways to tweak this depending on your product.
For example, in my group coaching membership Elevated Entrepreneur I offer a monthly package that helps cannabis advocates plan their business from start to finish with monthly strategy sessions. But I also have an option to pay in full rather than by the month and this gives them instant access to the full program as a self-guided course. So they can skip over modules and sort of customizing their trajectory if they want.
Another thing I see some group coaches do is creating a quiz of some sort that helps new clients create a custom roadmap. This is particularly helpful if you offer all of your content in one joint bundle. So let's say you offer 20 classes altogether and your clients pay a monthly fee to access the material. Rather than leaving them up to their own devices to wander aimlessly through your content, you would create a quiz to determine what their objectives are and what they already know. The quiz would then auto populate a customized lesson plan that walks the client through exactly which classes to take in which order.
One thing that is great about group coaching is that it can prepare the individual for the work involved with one-on-one coaching. Because group coaching cannot offer the same accountability as one-on-one coaching, many people who have success in a group coaching capacity want to move on to more success with one-on-one coaching offers. So this is an opportunity to create a much higher ticket one-on-one package. This is great because you’re getting paid what your worth for your time but it also gets them prepared for future assignments. So it’s like a mini audition for your clients. It gives them the chance to see if you’re a good fit and it gives you the chance to catch them up to where they need to be in order to work with you. You can also get an idea of how dedicated they are. This is especially true if you’re using a product host like Kajabi.Com that allows you to pull student success reports. If it's clear that the client logs in regularly and is making great headway through the material you know that they are motivated enough to tackle larger and more complex assignments.
If you do offer one-on-one packages you'll need to consider that one of the main problems with coaching one-on-one from the coach’s perspective is the time commitment. There are only so many hours in the day. The only way to scale this type of business is to hire other coaches to teach your program to more clients, but this is often not very effective unless you are as popular as someone like Tony Robbins.
So, guard your time wisely. I suggest only working with one to two one-on-one clients at a time. Or you can automate your group coaching package t work for you in the background and then set aside just one or two days a week for one-on-one coaching and don’t budge on your availability. Remember, serving your clients is only one aspect of owning and operating a coaching business. You need to protect your time and ability to work on all of the other aspects of your business like designing new products or improving your current content.
One of the best parts of one-on-one coaching is that you as the coach can personalize your approach based on the client’s response and behavior. This is particularly beneficial for the client if they have trouble with follow-through and needs that extra push. And most clients do right? That's why they hire a coach in the first place - to help keep them accountable. You can’t really do this with an automated program. The best you can do here is to offer the content inside your automated program in a variety of teaching styles. Including written content, audio files, slideshows, and a live Q&A will help you cover as many bases as possible. But you really do sacrifice that personal touch that you could offer in a one-on-one package.
Another key benefit to one-on-one coaching is the effect a private coach can have on your mindset. With a good coach, the emotional connection will be much greater, which will cause the client to be more responsive, and they’ll be more likely to solve their problem. You can add personal touchpoints throughout your automated coaching packages but it will never be quite the same as working with your clients one on one in a mentor capacity. But this is also another great reason why you should be charging way more for your one-on-one clients. That kind of relationship takes a lot of energy to maintain and it is worth every penny that you charge.
Both types of coaching are effective ways to work through problems. While the client might get more time from the coach with individual coaching, sometimes having the group to work with can be even more informative as you’ll get more ideas in the mix. They also get the added benefit of other students’ questions which they may not have thought of on their own. Both types of coaching offer clients opportunities to work through their issues and reach their goals in a way that works best for them. But there is something to be said for starting with a smaller, lower ticket, automated group coaching product as an introductory offer to your higher ticket one-on-one coaching product.
That’s all for today but I do hope you found some inspiration. What do you think? Are you going to try out an automated group coaching product first or just go all-in with our one-on-one offer? What problem are you solving with your clients? I want to hear all about it so be sure to join the conversation over in the Facebook group. You can find the link for that along with loads of other great resources in my show notes.
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