7 Steps to Start Group Coaching Program | What Coaches Advise

Article by Nelli Gevorgyan / Updated at .04 Jun 2024
14 min read
7 Steps to Start Group Coaching Program | What Coaches Advise

Group coaching is a game-changer for both you and your clients. Why? First, it lets you reach more people at once, making your impact much bigger. It’s also a great way to monetize your coaching expertise and help your clients overcome their difficulties. 

Structuring and running your first group coaching program might not be easy. Yet, once you launch your group coaching program, you can offer it as many times as you like. 

In this article, you will find out the following: 

  • What is group coaching?
  • How can group coaching be beneficial?
  • How can you structure your group coaching program?
  • Tips and techniques from expert coaches.

All these steps are further elaborated on in the article.

What is group coaching?

Group coaching is a form of coaching that brings together individuals who share similar goals or challenges. As a group coach, you provide the necessary resources and support to your clients to get results. Like 1:1 coaching, group coaching aims at transformation, goal achievement, and assistance in self-fulfillment.  

However, during group coaching, the clients can also “get coached” by other clients in the group.  This is how it aims to improve time management, helping your clients get the most value at the same time. 

See more Group Coaching vs. One-on-One Coaching

The main benefits of group coaching

Group coaching offers so many benefits for you and your clients. 

How it benefits your clients:

  • Team working skills. Doing activities in groups, etc., will positively affect and develop everyone’s teamwork skills. 
  • Develops a sense of support and increases the trust factor. Group coaching improves internal communication between the clients within the group. 
  • It holds the group members accountable to you and their peers. 
  • Serves as an incredible opportunity to share experience and general knowledge 
  • Higher performance and results
Group coaching overall benefits

How group coaching benefits you as a coach:

  • You save a great deal of time. Instead of handling 3-4 individuals separately, you can organize a group and spend around 2 hours with them. 
  • With group coaching, it is easier to estimate income levels. Plus, because you train multiple people at the same time, you will spend less time and still earn more money. 
  • Easier to schedule. You will be positively surprised by how easy it is to schedule and manage groups rather than individuals.    
Group coaching benefits for the coach

How to structure your coaching program with 7 simple steps

Here is how you can structure and start your first group coaching program. 

1. Choose your coaching niche 

Your coaching niche can be dating, career, or life coaching. To identify your niche, you need to combine your area of expertise, your interests, and your Unique Selling Point. It’s what sets your coaching program apart and tells the client why they should choose YOUR program over any other. 

You can follow this template to create your unique statement:

I help [your target audience] to [something you promise] in order for them to be able to [the results the clients get]. 

2. Find your target coaching clients

To know who your target audience is you need to perform market research. Especially pay attention to

  • What do the people you want to coach mainly struggle with?
  • What are these people discussing? 
  • What can you do to help them achieve their goals most effectively? 

And now you think, “Well, where do I find all this information?”.

 Mick Rutjes, a life coach who has already helped more than 4000 clients achieve their goals, suggests your clients can be literary anywhere. In an interview with our team, he mentioned that the best way to find out who your coaching clients are is by conversing with people and trying to understand their challenges. Yes, even if those people were complete strangers. So, next time you are waiting at the station, standing in a queue, or checking in at the airport, try to make new acquaintances and see how you can help them.  

If you already have clients, you can ask them for feedback and see if they are interested in group coaching. 

The next point is understanding the market demand. So you need to validate the idea to estimate the overall demand on the market for your service/product. 

3. See what group coaching model works for you 

The next thing you need to structure and run your group coaching program is deciding on a model. Various models can be used for every type of coaching to achieve maximum results. 

  • Cohort Course Model 

This is quite a famous coaching method that almost similarly recreates the traditional classroom experience for the clients. The cohort course model infers that the program is being told live. The group, or cohort, moves through the coaching program together, participating in scheduled sessions, activities, and discussions. So, the groups start together and end together. 

Its emphasis is on peer-to-peer development opportunities. Clients can gain direct feedback from you and have an individual development plan. 

  • Program Model 

This model requires more technical skills and time spent with the coaches, as you won’t have a specific schedule. Usually, program modules include pre-recorded classes and sessions alongside live ones. This method emphasizes the students' self-paced learning.  

  • Membership Model

This model is basically a mix of Program and Cohort models. Like with the program model, the clients can sign up any time they like. 

Throughout the year, for each training, you can offer limited spaces and specific dates of registration, so clients will automatically form groups by registering for the ones they like. Many coaches nowadays prefer this method as it is one of the most automatized. 

4. Decide on your group coaching techniques 

Now that you are clear with the group coaching model, think about what techniques you can implement for more efficient group coaching sessions.  

If you have already had one-on-one sessions, you might be familiar with some techniques. Can’t they be applied in the case of group coaching as well? Not quite! Here are some group coaching techniques you can consider. 

  • Visual Motivational Techniques

Visual Motivation Techniques proved extremely efficient, encouraging people to continue moving towards their goals.    

Part of the exercises for this technique are vision boards, quotations, and stars. For the vision board, you need to put everything you want to have in there. The star's method is for daily motivation or any achievement they have.  Quotations that motivate and inspire clients could be printed and put somewhere where they’ll casually see them.  

  • Exercises for Mindfulness

Another technique that can work well in groups is the implementation of various mindfulness exercises so that individuals can focus on themselves as well throughout the process. A popular example of such exercise is guided meditation.

  • Exercises for practicing Gratitude 

Also, it is vital to explain gratitude’s effectiveness and importance to the clients. Any life coaching or life-transformation-aimed training suggests a few activities and daily exercises designed toward gratitude. Remember to be grateful for where you are now. Be grateful to yourself and to the people supporting you. 

  • Sincere Belief 

As a coach, you must leave all your anger and personal issues outside the session. Entering your online/offline session with positivity in your mind is one of the crucial components of a successful session. People are going to trust you, so ensure to deliver the promise and provide effective training. One of the techniques to use is to show sincere belief in your clients within the group. 


Group coaching techniques

5. Choose a coaching platform and tools 

Be ready to use lots of online tools if you are considering scaling your group coaching program beyond offline. 

Lauren Wireman, who is a business coach for creative business owners with 5+ years of experience in creative business, shared some of the must-use tools for online group coaches in an interview with our team.

  • Graphic design - Canva
  • Video Editing - CapCut
  • Creating animated videos -CreateStudio 3
  • A calendar system
  • A task management software - Trello
  • Zapier to tie things together
  • Social media marketing - ManyChat
  • Form building and email marketing and workflows - FloDesk 

And of course, she mentions - an LMS platform

Honestly, not all the coaches need to get started on a coaching platform. Perhaps you just want to meet your clients at a local cafe shop. However, coaching has started to move more towards online. And group coaching is no exception. 

Someone might prefer working with multiple online tools as a group coach, such as scheduling tools, email marketing tools, messenger apps, etc. You can agree that juggling all of these tools and keeping track of what’s happening on each of them takes much more time than the coaching process itself. 
This is why most group coaches prefer to start with an all-in-one coaching platform. For example, a platform like Uteach allows all-in-one automation and an opportunity to host coaching sessions alongside other products. It incorporates calendar management, client (user) management, scheduling, and many other tools.  

See more Top 5 Tools & Best 7 Platforms For Online Coaching in 2024

6. Market yourself and your group coaching program

Another important point when it comes to structuring and running your group coaching sessions is paying attention to marketing

Think about 

  •  “What differentiates me from the rest?” and 
  • “Why should people choose me as their group coach?”. 

Andy Nelson, an ICF-certified executive coach with 7+ years of experience, has shared his best marketing strategy with us. As a beginner coach, he used to ask expert coaches what helped them get more clients and establish credibility. Every single one of them mentioned word-of-mouth marketing

To get referrals from his current clients, he told them something like, “If you know somebody who also needs coaching, I’d be happy for a referral.” Therefore, you can adopt a similar strategy. 

Besides word-of-mouth, Andy Nelson also recommends

  • Getting your online coaching website done so it looks good and legit. “People are going to Google you to see if you are legit,” mentions Andy. 
  • Building LinkedIn presence and ensuring you have got your branding out there

Here are some other marketing strategies you can implement to market yourself as an online group coach. 

  • Simply open a blog on your website and start posting. This will help you gain organic website traffic and improve visibility.
  • Create online communities or join existing online communities. You can share knowledge and gain new insights into the industry trends and methodologies of successful coaching. 
  • Choose a platform that allows you to conduct email marketing. This way, you can have control over your campaign from the same platform where you publish and sell courses & other products. 
  • As an online group coach, it would be amazing to have your own podcast. It’s a proven way to improve visibility.     
Organizing group coaching

7. Add testimonials

Following the steps described above, you will be able to establish credibility and trust as a group coach. This means you will gradually get testimonials from your clients participating in group coaching sessions. 

As a professional coach, it would be an amazing idea to collect and display past clients’ testimonials on a new platform.       

5 tips from experts to make your group coaching sessions effective

Now you know how to structure your group coaching program and start offering group coaching sessions. And how can you make them more effective? We asked expert coaches for tips, and here is what they want to share with you. 

#1 Set clear expectations 

Make sure that all group members are aware of what to expect. Also, explain mandatory policies, for example, “what is said in the group stays within the group.” Make sure that clients within the group trust each other and have similar expectations from the session.

#2 Establish good client relationship 

As Andy Nelson likes to mention: “Coaching is a relationship business”. 

If you want your coaching sessions to succeed, then you have to establish clear communication between the group members and you as a coach. In turn, good relationships with your clients will also help build a solid customer base and have many positive reviews.  

#3 Hold presence for your clients

If you want to be able to guide clients in the right direction, you need to listen to them. This is what Andy Nelson calls “Holding a coaching presence.”  When you listen to them, you better understand them, their needs & wants. By listening, you will be able to figure out an individualistic approach that will work and push them forward to bring the desired results. 

#4 Make it engaging 

It is vital to make sure that your clients are engaged in various group activities. Those activities encourage and motivate them, stimulate their brain processes, and are vital to any coaching program. 

#5 Ask for Feedback 

You can grow and get very motivated from good feedback. So, make sure to ask your clients for feedback to have a basis and plan further improvement.

Tips and activities for group coaching

FAQ on result-driving group coaching sessions

It is time to look at the frequently asked questions section for group coaching to avoid confusion and get a clearer idea of what it is about. 

What skills do group coaches need? 

The skills group coaches need include:

  • Being able to hold a coaching presence 
  • Having the reflector voice 
  • Having the challenging voice 
  • Observing what’s happening and noticing
  • Time management
  • Ability to create shared focus & expectations to make sure that everyone will be satisfied
  • Ability to focus on individuals as well.
  • Communication 

How long does a group coaching program last?

Group coaching programs usually last from 8 to 12 weeks. It also depends on the client’s needs within the group. Plus, the time frame depends on how many participants there are.

How much does the group coaching package cost?

The general rule many coaches use when holding group sessions is that they take 30% less from each individual than if they work one-on-one. For example, for a beginner coach, one-on-one sessions may cost $80 per hour.  In this case, they will take ($56) approximately $60 per individual.       

Of course, if you are not a beginner and are equipped with internationally accredited certifications plus experience, you can charge a lot more

How can Uteach help you build a group coaching program?

One of the most amazing platforms that will allow you to start a coaching business is Uteach. It is a full-featured website builder with which you can create a coaching website in less than two minutes. 

As your website is done, you can not only hold online and offline coaching sessions but also create & sell courses, live sessions, and products.      

To start Your Online Coaching Business with Uteach, you will need to  

  • Register on the platform and choose one of the three main pricing plans, and a custom plan. 
  • Make all the necessary customizations connected with your website
  • Add some branding elements, including logo & color choices. 
  • Create and start selling coaching sessions. 

Our marketing tools and integrations will ensure your sessions find their target audience. Start your 14-day free trial and bring about the change. 

Start for FREE

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  ? Too Long; Didn't Read

Group coaching is the process where the coach works with a group rather than individuals toward achieving common goals and fostering personal & professional growth through sessions.

Professional coaches use certain techniques and models to ensure the efficiency of sessions. Some of the most common coaching techniques include mindfulness exercises, motivational belief, brainstorming, and gratitude practice. You can consider implementing Cohort, Program, or other models to succeed.

You should also apply useful strategies and activities for your group sessions to be effective. They start from choosing your niche to marketing, building trust to asking for feedback.