The best way we’ve found to think about a group’s journey, from the earliest stage of creation to ending is to divide in four phases. Remember that each person’s journey with you begins when they first hear about you, not when they sign up for your group coaching program.
Before you begin a new group coaching program, you need to get to know your customer or client. That’s where research comes in. Who are they? Not generally. Get granular! Can you pinpoint the characteristics of an ideal customer who could benefit from your program?
If you’ve already run tests or free workshops in leading up to building your coaching program that feature your target audience, consider doing qualitative and quantitative research to pinpoint what your customer wants from the experience, how they learn, and the structure or content of a program that would resonate with them.
Once you can answer essential questions about your customer that make sure you’re building a program based on what your customer really wants - not what you hope they want - you can move on to communicating this program to your community.
Marketing. It can often feel like a rude word to utter when we’re talking about coaching. Here is the think: If you don’t tell anyone about your group program, how can they possible connect with you?
Make a plan for the methods you’ll use to market your group coaching greatness! Email? Social media? Referrals from previous clients? All of the above? How frequently will you share information? How far in advance do you want to start spreading the word? All important questions that will help you plan your marketing.
If you’re hoping to connect to a new or wider audience, consider avenues like guest features or podcast appearances that could help you widen your reach.
We highly recommend you check out GCHQ Guest Speaker Jason Van Orden’s conversation with us “How to fill your group coaching program with your ideal clients” before you embark on the journey.
You’ve marketed your offerings! Congrats!
Now, you need to have an application process in place to help plan the group dynamics, logistics, and chemistry of your cohort. Make sure that you organize a pre-registration call with each of your potential group members. It will ensure you’re creating a cohesive group. You can download our pre-registration call guide to help you with that. Connect one-on-one with your potential cohort and get to know them, take the time to create a relationship and tell them about the program.
Remember to prep payment methods - especially anything like payment plans or scholarship - and blast them out through the marketing channels you’ve practiced using.
Create logistical plans: Think about how often and the methods you’ll use to communicate with your group. At Group Coaching HQ, we use Mighty Networks for all our resources and we mostly communicate through email. Make sure you think about a potential curriculum to use in between coaching sessions too!
You have a great group of people, and now the really fun work begins! As a part of building your curriculum and plan:
Your group is up and running, discoveries are being made, and you iare creating opportunity for adventure and learning. Great! Continue to hold space for emotion, reflection, and intentional learning and processing as you guide your group.
Encourage the cohort members to reflect and learn with and from one another.
The end of a group is always a little sad and can be really hard on some of the members. Make sure that you spend a lot of time:
And before the process ends, make sure you solicit feedback and potentially, testimonials from your group to help inform your own growth as you move forward.
Our last tip: Have fun!