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How to structure a group coaching program


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Ready to launch a group coaching program? Wondering how to structure a group coaching program?

Group and team coaching can be invaluable to your clients, and with Kajabi, you can easily set up a group coaching program that attracts, supports, and retains your clients long-term. 

In this guide, we’ll cover three types of group coaching, how to structure your group coaching program, and best practices for getting good results.

Watch our video covering group coaching:

Read the 2022 State of the Creator Economy Report to get the latest data on industry trends and growth for knowledge content creators.

Let’s dive in. 

What is group coaching?

Group coaching programs are cohort-based coaching with multiple clients enrolling and having a guided experience through the same program at the same time. Clients may progress at their own pace or do self-assessments to verify they’ve learned the material being taught. But at its core, group coaching is online training with the added benefit of support from you and other students . 

Many coaches begin by offering one-on-one coaching. But over time, they hit a wall. There are only so many hours in the week. Scaling beyond that time limitation is impossible.

That’s where group coaching comes in. By serving large groups of people at a time, you can serve more people, reduce the time investment, and raise the quality of your coaching.

There are three main types of group coaching programs and each one has its own pros and cons. Whether you’ve created a group coaching program before or this is your first time, it’s a good idea to plan out how you’d like to structure your program. Use this guide as a blueprint. 

What to know before creating a group coaching program

Group coaching is a great way to scale your online program, and it works for any type of coaching. But before you dive into creating group and team coaching programs, it's important to ask yourself: 

  • How many clients are in my initial group? 
  • What type(s) of content have I already created and how will I share it with the group?
  • What parts of the process will require the client to take action? Is there anything that can be done to streamline it? 

Once you have a clear idea of who you’re serving and what resources you’ve created for them, it’s time to build your program. 

How to structure a group coaching program

As you consider how you’ll structure your group coaching program, it's important to be aware of your options. Most group and team coaching follows one of three models:

  • The cohort model
  • The program model
  • The membership model

All three allow you to offer advanced coaching that makes a difference in your clients’ lives. But each requires a different level of time and attention from you. Let’s take a look. 

The cohort model

Cohort-based coaching is most similar to a traditional classroom experience. Members sign up in advance, and everyone starts on a chosen date together. This means that all of the attendees will experience every step of the program at the same time from beginning to end. 

The cohort group coaching model is ideal for first-time coaching programs or complex topics that students need lots of guidance with. It's also a great way to run a pilot program and determine how receptive your ideal audience would be to such an offer. 

Ordinarily, the cohort model involves some technical setup and management. You’ll need to build a product launch. And you need to be able to provide live training sessions, a training portal, and a membership area where students can engage with one another.

Note: With Kajabi, this process is both easy and intuitive. We'll show you how to set up this type of program in just a minute. 

Since the cohort-based model relies on live coaching sessions, it makes sense to adopt this model in a way that fits with your schedule. This may help you determine the program’s length and schedule. 

The program model

The program model is an evergreen, low-touch coaching program that runs for a specified length of time. Clients can sign up at any time and the content is drip-fed to them on a predetermined schedule. It begins when a client subscribes and ends when the last lesson is delivered.  

Normally, this type of program is anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks long. There may be a limited enrollment period in which users can sign up, giving the impression of a limited-quantity offer. Scarcity helps spur sign-ups, which makes this a popular program model for group coaching. 

Like cohort-based coaching, the program model requires advanced setup. But if you already have the core content of your coaching process ready, all you need to do is automate the delivery and you're good to go. 

If you're not sure how to map out the delivery of your coaching content, Kajabi Pipelines are a great place to start. These premade marketing automations allow you to deliver content to a select segment of people at whatever schedule you set up — all hands-free, without any extra intervention or work on your part. 

Most group coaches start with a membership or cohort model and gradually move to a program model after they have a higher number of clients. This automates the program and frees you to create your next program or course.

The membership model

The membership group coaching model is an evergreen program with no hard start or end dates. Clients have the freedom to start at any time and everyone gets access to coaching and training at the same time. 

For instance, you could offer weekly or monthly group coaching sessions, with a community and training portal. Each session offers support that you know your members need, but the information may not be presented in sequential order.

This model is one of the most popular options for group coaching, and it's easy to see why. Not only is there a low barrier to entry, it’s flexible and scalable, and it helps you increase your lifetime value per client. 

Use this model as an upsell for alumni of your primary coaching program or for people who only need check-ins from time to time. Given that it's much easier to sell to an existing client, you end up with less work and greater profitability over time with the membership model.

How to set up group coaching in Kajabi

To structure a group coaching program on Kajabi, you’ll create two products: a Membership and a Community. 

Setting up your group coaching program

Screenshot of the Kajabi app products section showcasing where to select Membership or Community

Open Products, and click “Create a Product.” Here, you’ll find product blueprints for a variety of digital products. You want the Membership and Community blueprints.

Together, they give you a membership area where you can deliver content and training and a forum where your clients can enjoy a safe and open space to engage with you and one another. 

Kajabi’s product blueprints make it easy to set everything up. The Membership Blueprint gives you a simple framework for adding your content. The Community Blueprint lets you set specific topics for discussion or post in the community feed. 

Once built, members will be able to access your training in the Membership area and engage with you and other students in the Community. When a live training session is coming up, you can use the community to remind your clients and give them any preparatory assignments. You can also alert them to new content when it’s uploaded to the Membership area.

Creating a challenge

A 3-day or 7-day challenge is a good way to attract new members and engage your current ones. But there can be a lot of moving parts when creating a challenge.

That’s where Kajabi comes in. With its automations and the ability to tie together events, launch sequences, and email series, you can build your challenge relatively quickly. 

To get started, create an event, and then tie an email automation to it to deliver the challenge. Use the Product Launch OVO pipeline to generate the promotional email series and opt-in for the challenge. This video explains in more detail:

Promoting your membership

A challenge is a great way to attract new members, but it’s not your only option. With Kajabi, you can create a variety of Pipelines to market your group.

Screenshot of Kajabi Pipeline options in the app

Create a sales page. Offer a freebie. Run a product launch with specific open-cart days. Create a webinar series. These are just a few ways to bring in new members -- and all of them can be built in a few clicks with a Kajabi Pipeline Blueprint.

When people join, you can tag them as members. If you’ve set up email automations, they’ll be added to those sequences. And if you want to send a special email blast to deliver new content or make an announcement, you can send that email to only that segment of your list. 

Because all of these options are hosted within Kajabi, there’s no need to pay for (and try to integrate) a dozen different tools, add-ons, or plugins. All of the tools you need are seamlessly integrated and designed to work together, so you don’t have to worry about whether your apps will play nice with one another or how to integrate them.

That frees you to concentrate on serving your ideal clients in your group coaching program. 

Best practices for group coaching structure

Whether it's your first time creating a group coaching program or you're ready to take it to the next level, it's important to keep a few key points in mind.

Keep it simple

Setting up and running a group coaching program should be simple. Make it as easy as possible for people to find what they're looking for and go through your program. 

By keeping your setup simple, you can reduce the amount of work needed to run your coaching program. You’ll also make it easier for your members to stay involved.

Ask the right kinds of questions

Starting and ending each session with poignant questions helps everyone in the group start and end on the same page. Ask them about what they'd like to focus on, what they've learned, what their successes have been, and what they want as a result of that particular session. Invite them to share moments of clarity and celebrate even the smallest steps. 

As you continue to do this over time, clients will look to you for even more guidance and support while following your examples. That will help you retain customers longer and strengthen your unique coaching brand. 

Leverage Kajabi's course building program

Kajabi makes it easy for you to set up your group coaching program. For example, you might create a course or module on discovering your strengths, or on assertiveness in decision-making. 

You can then fill each course with relevant materials, including worksheets, videos, quizzes, and assessments. Think about ways to mix and match your different programs to create entirely new digital products that you could offer to another segment of your audience. There truly is no limit to the kinds of knowledge products you can create through Kajabi!

Understand that different people learn in different ways

All kinds of learning styles will come to the forefront when you start group and team coaching. Some people thrive as part of a larger group, where others only open up if they're paired one on one. Others feel inspired in break-out groups and still others express themselves best through writing. 

Taking into account all of the different learning styles, focus on what your group members value most from their experience with you as their coach. Use that as the linchpin for your group coaching program. 

Don't overwhelm your users

Last, but certainly not least, remember that when it comes to group coaching, less is more.  Rather than throwing lots of information and techniques and videos and thought-work at them, narrow your focus on precisely the kind of direction they're seeking from you.

It's easy to vary your options and create other courses, but less information allows them to digest what you've presented at their own pace, and encounter more lightbulb moments on their own -- something that any coach would be delighted to see! 

Getting started with group coaching programs in Kajabi

Now that you better understand the different types of group coaching models, you're likely leaning toward one as a definitive fit for your launch. 

The good news is that Kajabi was built to help you succeed. Not only can you create a successful coaching program, you can launch other digital products, access a full suite of tools for building a beautiful, mobile-responsive website, engage your clients with email marketing and automations, and offer online video instruction, webinars, and more. 

It also gives you blueprints for building your products and creating pipelines and automations. All you need to bring is your vision and your drive to succeed. 

To learn more or to start building your group coaching program, join Kajabi’s free 14-day trial. There’s no better way to explore the features that will help you create a group coaching program that offers community interaction, engagement, and excitement.  Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi today!

Still researching? Check out Kajabi’s free downloadable ebook guides on launching and growing a knowledge commerce online business!

Join us for live Q&A webinars each day, Monday through Friday, to learn everything you need to know to succeed as a knowledge entrepreneur, including selling products, Kajabi themes, pipelines, webinars, and the Kajabi Partner Program. 

Keep reading:

Guide to becoming an online business coach
How to improve your coaching skills
How to get more coaching clients

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