How To Create Your First Mega Successful Group Program
So you’ve decided to launch your first group program…despite some similarities in content, it’s a completely different scenario than coaching clients 1:1. While it can be daunting the first time around, there’s no reason why it can’t be a huge win. With the right preparation, your participants will walk away as living testimonials of your work.
Here’s my tried-and-true advice (after learning by experience) for creating your first group program.
Bigger isn’t always better
Back when I was starting out, I launched my first group program, a high-end mastermind, with just seven participants. At the time, I was unsure if it was the right size, but, ultimately, I was grateful because it gave me the opportunity to test out my program and make improvements before running something bigger.
If you’re thinking of launching your first group program, having a small or intimate mastermind with 10 people or less can work nicely.
And the good news is: You can charge more because the participants will be getting a lot of one on one time with you!
A small group program certainly has its benefits – for your clients and for you!
Have a dedicated virtual assistant who can assist with the customer service
Launching a group program tends to create more administrative work than if you’re just working with one-on-one clients. You will be receiving emails about login issues, inability to access the training material or scheduling questions… Imagine getting these inquiries from 20 or 50 or 100 people. It can get very overwhelming!
Make sure that you have a great support structure set-up and in place so your customers will have an amazing experience and you'll have a great experience delivering the program.
Michael Hyatt, renowned author and Leadership Coach, is a HUGE advocate of virtual assistants. He says, “Too often, we think that full-time, physical staffing is our only option.
It’s not. I’m convinced that virtual assistants are the future. Tricia [one of Michael Hyatt's VAs] has worked for me, fifteen hours a week, since last August. Honestly, it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. Many successful entrepreneurs I know are following suit.”
Make sure you have the content ready to go
I highly recommend that you have your content ready 48 hours before the module or course content is due to be released (or much earlier if at all possible).
Unavoidable circumstances always seem to happen when a module is due to be released – like the internet going down or a team member being sick, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
If you can, try to schedule all the days the modules go live and clear them in your calendar. That way, you’ll be available to address any complications or issues with the content or software when your participants start accessing them.
When you’re working on your program pre-delivery, it’s also a good idea to plan backwards and make sure you have ample time for editing and revisions. This ensures you can deliver amazing content that provides value to your clients.
The content you provide is really your nuts and bolts here. Get this right and the rest will follow. Just make sure you’ve done your research and the modules you’re providing are directly relevant to the clients you have in your small group program.
Have boundaries when it comes to clients' expectations in your program
Setting boundaries is so important. Why? Because it sets the tone for your relationship with your group participants.
I like to do this during Orientation. So, before the program begins, the client will receive an orientation pack that outlines what they can expect from the program, setting any necessary boundaries and making sure the client has the emails and necessary links to start the program.
By doing this, you're setting the client up for success and hopefully a positive experience in your program.
Coach and mentor, Christine Kane, has some great advice: “We are often the biggest problems in our own businesses. It’s not our clients. It’s not our team. It’s us. So, this means that you have to be the one to stick by your boundaries, policies, and standards. And this is where it gets tricky.
It’s SO easy to let one thing slip and then end up back in your old habits again. It’s helpful to post a list of your new policies or standards by your desk as a reminder!”
Ask for feedback and testimonials
At the end of a program, I reach out to my clients and ask if they would like to participate in a feedback call.
This is where I basically ask the client what they enjoyed about the program and what can be improved. I also get great soundbites that can be used as testimonials.
Health Coach Weekly had some great tips on collecting testimonials from former clients. “Make it really easy for your client to provide a testimonial by asking leading questions that encourage specificity. Keep it to around five questions. You can send your questions by email, provide a link to a quick form to fill out or offer to write it for them using your session notes, health history and revisit forms,” says writer Heather Cottrell.
Now, I would like to hear from you!
Comment below and tell me what plans you have for creating group programs and which of these steps you’re going to implement in your business.
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