One of the things that you learn quite quickly when you start to run your own business is that there are only so many hours in a day and only one of you! The idea of 1:1 coaching sounds great, but it creates a ceiling of how much you can physically earn.
Creating additional income streams is a great way to build your business, and it adds a level of variety to keep things fresh.
When I first started coaching I designed some group coaching sessions and it was my secret weapon in getting my business off the ground.
Group coaching is a method of coaching delivered to a group of people interested in particular coaching topics. It’s a fantastic way to add another income stream to your business, thereby leveraging your time.
My sessions were 2-hours covering various coaching topics, such as procrastination, confidence, values, and goal setting. In the sessions, the topic was covered, with lots of coaching questions, some coaching exercises and a worksheet to develop the learning further. Below I’ll share the many benefits of running group coaching sessions to help you build your business.
- Improve your coaching skills – You can use the sessions to test out new things and find out what works and what doesn’t. You can practice new questions, tools and exercises, all the time assessing how they are landing by gauging responses and body language. Better coaching skills = more transformation.
- Grow your reputation locally – Sessions can help you build your reputation in the local area, making it easier for you to pick up new business. People need to know, like and trust you. What better way than to help them learn something about themselves, and create change in their lives?
- Introduce people to coaching – Group coaching gives you the chance to introduce people to coaching when they don’t understand what it is. How many times have you tried to explain what coaching is to people and they just don’t get it? If you’re doing your training now you’ll probably be getting that from friends and family and if you’re an established coach I bet you know what I mean! It’s not an easy one to explain but through the power of group coaching, people can experience it at a low price point.
- Grow your confidence – It can help to build your confidence as a coach really quickly as you get to see how much you are improving from session to session. The quicker you build your confidence, the quicker you build your business. Don’t let confidence hold you back. Keep pushing through the fear and be a fabulous coach.
- Streamline the area you work in – It can help you to figure out what topics you enjoy working on and who your dreamie (ideal) clients might be, i.e. their age range, the kind of things they are interested in, where they hang out etc. Knowing who your dreamie client saves time, money and energy. If you’re clear on who you are and what you offer you’re going to be putting the right message out there and attracting the right people. Figure that one out as soon as you can.
- Increase your hourly rate – I started as a newbie coach earning £100 an hour, not bad if you ask me! Where the coaching is affordable you can work with a group, charge less and leverage your time. Win: win.
- It’s a great additional income stream – It’s not just for you if you’re new to coaching though. It’s a great add-on at any point on your business journey.
- It gets you out of the house – It can also stop you from going through those periods of loneliness when the only person you see in the day is the dog and the goldfish.
- It helps you get clients – AND if that’s not enough the sessions convert into 1:1 paying clients – even better!
So what are the practicalities you need to know?
- Define your group size – I ran small (up to 8 attendees) but because of my training background I’m equally comfortable with a full room of 30+ for group coaching too. It can be as low as 3-4 right up to a room full of people, provided you can manage the room effectively.
- Be a good coach – It goes without saying (hopefully) that to run group coaching sessions you need to know how to coach! The sessions are based on key coaching concepts of asking questions, listening for responses, paraphrasing, feeding back to the group and more. If you lack confidence in your abilities, I’d encourage you to become an accredited coach with the IAPC&M (Yes, a shameless plug!) You will be amazed at how much more confident you feel when you pass your accreditation.
- Create good content – You need to be able to write good content, with no jargon, not too advanced or unchallenging, with fun sprinkled in along the way so that the sessions don’t become too heavy.
- Facilitate members in a group – You also need to know some facilitation skills so what do I mean by that? You need to build a rapport with the group. Something I’m sure you’re familiar with through coaching.
- Monitor the group – What’s crucial too is working on your pitch, tone and pace. If something is really important then slow down your pace or speed it up to energise the group. If something is less serious then lift the tone of your voice to bring in the fun side, and conversely change your tone if it’s more serious.
- Engage the group – You need to be able to bounce ideas around between the attendees. When someone shares something with you then you can then open it up to the group by asking something like, ‘Does anyone else here find that?’, or ‘Does anyone else find it’s different for them?’ Your group coaching clients need to feel that their contribution is valuable – no question/input is silly.
- Help members feel safe in the group – They need to feel as though they are in a safe and comfortable environment so make sure you acknowledge their contributions and validate them where you can. If they’re not quite on the right track then just say that’s a great start, (then open it out to the group and ask something like, ‘What else could be added to that, or how could we expand on that?’ If they are completely wrong then say something like, ‘I used to think like that, or a lot of my clients think that, but let me explain why that’s not the case’.
- Read the energy of the room – You also need to use your intuition, you need to be able to pick up on things like the energy dipping in the group when there is resistance if it’s time for a break because there needs to be some time to process information. All of these things will come naturally to you through your coaching anyway. If you’re not confident with using your intuition yet then don’t worry, you get to try it all out through group coaching. I didn’t really know how my group coaching sessions would work out when I launched them, but from the very first day, I loved them.
If you’re ready to add an additional income stream to your coaching business then consider group coaching.
A lot of thought goes into your sessions – coaching tools, exercises, quotes and worksheets, plus considerations such as flow, energy levels etc. You probably have a lot of these tools already.
If you don’t want to waste time pulling together a programme yourself then check out my Cappuccino Coaching Club programme where I’ve done all of the hard work for you – all you have to do is go out there and market the sessions. NB. I’ve asked Rhea to fix the page as I see the title is wonky.
Call to action: Consider if group coaching might be another way of adding an additional income stream, and clients to your coaching business. Let us know in the comments below what you think about group coaching for your business.
Meet Ruby McGuire, Business & Mindset Queen| Master Coach | Mentor |Trainer | Speaker | Author – MCIPD, AMC, NLP Coach & Practitioner, EFT Practitioner, Time Line Therapist and Mind Your Mind Practitioner.