Group Coaching | 7 Things to Know Before Running a Program

Isabel Sachs
Community Manager
These are the top 7 things you need to know before launching a group coaching program.

What is group coaching?

Group coaching takes place when a leader (the coach) guides a group of people through a process or learning experience to achieve a particular outcome. One common group coaching example is a successful creator leading a group for smaller, aspiring creators to help them build bigger and better businesses around their content.

Who can become a group coach?

Anyone with something of value to teach others can become a group coach. Often, people become coaches after going through a difficult life experience or finding their way to an exciting success. Those extreme situations often give people enough of the expertise needed in a narrow realm to coach others in that space.

Are group coaches always experts?

Generally, group coaches do always have some specific experience or an area of expertise in which to offer guidance. This doesn't necessarily mean that you are an "expert" in the traditional sense, though. It's not necessary to have a PhD or a license in your topic to run effective group sessions for your members.

Maybe you've had a video go viral, or you've built a business around your social media accounts. However, something called peer group coaching is also popular, when you don't necessarily frame yourself as the expert, but as more of a peer to your coaching clients. You've been in their shoes, and you just happen to be a few steps ahead of them, so you can help them grow along your mutual path.

Successful group coaches do have some skills in common, though: creativity, self-awareness, collaboration, time management, decision-making, emotional intelligence, team building, strong communication skills and problem-solving abilities, to name a few!

What are the benefits of group coaching?

There are many benefits to coaching in general, like making a connection with someone, having the chance to share your expertise and help another person, and adding an income stream to your business model. There are also benefits that are specific to the group setting, which may encourage you to build out your group coaching offering sooner rather than later.

Benefits for you as the leader

  • Group coaching offers a more scalable business model, where you can put in the same amount of work for greater financial reward
  • You can genuinely help more people in a group context
  • Group coaching models are more repeatable than individual coaching sessions, so you can run the group multiple times with more people and it should get easier every time!
  • Increases opportunities for sharing of diverse perspectives vs. just your own

Benefits for group members

  • Access to conversation with and support from peers with common goals
  • Greater affordability than individual coaching programs
  • Greater accountability to actually drive success for your participants than in a solo program
  • More components to the program that make it feel comprehensive and accessible, like a group chat or a forum space

How do you build a group coaching program?

Even if you've been won over to the benefits of group coaching programs, actually building a great offering can still be a challenge. There are a lot of moving parts that you as the coach must organize, maintain, and deliver for successful group coaching outcomes.

What result will your coaching program deliver?

The first thing to clarify with yourself is exactly what result your coaching program will deliver. Your participants will want to know what tangible outcome they are paying for and how they will be different after the conclusion of their group coaching sessions.

How scalable do you want your coaching business to be?

Another program element to keep in mind is scalability. Part of the allure of group coaching programs in general is that you can help more people more efficiently and also earn more income than with one-to-one style coaching. Within group coaching, however, there are different levels of scalability.

Maybe your program can only run with 6 participants per cohort for a quality experience, but you can have more than one cohort running at once. Or perhaps you can run a larger group, but only one at a time. Think about your setup and figure out how much of the program you have to be actively involved in vs. what can run through videos and chats. The more easily repeatable your coaching model is, the more scalable it become after you've run it once or twice.

Who is your coaching program designed for?

Having a specific target audience in mind will help you market your program to the right group and more effectively deliver on your promised outcome. Some coaches feel their expertise is best designed for creators with more (or fewer!) than a certain number of followers, while others may base it on current business income or years of experience. Even things like currently having a child of a certain age or living in a specific region can be meaningful criteria for a group.

It's not exclusionary in this context to be clear with potential clients that you have a limited expertise that's likely to only be helpful to a specific group.

How much will you charge?

There is a wide price range for group coaching. Some smaller coaches run cohorts that cost only $150 for three months while others may charge as much as $7,000 or more for their programs. What's right for you depends on where you are in your business, how much expertise you have to leverage, and the proof of value you can deliver to potential participants. You might want to offer a group coaching package discount for people who want to buy more sessions.

There are pros and cons to flat fees vs. monthly payments.

With a flat fee, you get your entire payment up front and members have made the full investment, so aren't likely to drop out. Plus, you can always use Buy Now, Pay Later options to help your clients spread out the cost. With a monthly membership, however, you generate more of an "ongoing commitment" feeling and decrease sticker shock - but you're waiting each month for those payments to roll in.

How many people can enroll?

Some coaches fell their program best serves a small group while others see the benefit of larger cohorts. If you've never done group coaching before, it's probably best to start with no more than 6 group members and scale from there.

How will people receive information within the program?

What is your delivery method? Is this an online group coaching program, or is there any in-person component? Are you sending out email reminders, texting people, using an online course module or a forum? There are many options, so go with what feels familiar and native to you and your audience. Don't start a Discord if you and your team members have never used it before - meet your clients where they are to encourage success.

How will people communicate within the program?

Communication between group members, not just from the coach to the group, is a defining element and one of the primary group coaching benefits. Where and how will you encourage members to interact with each other? Only on group video calls, or in IRL meetings? Or, will you have a group chat or some other online community space for group facilitation? Keep in mind that you will likely need to set rules and guidelines for these spaces to ensure all members act within the boundaries of the group.

What is a group coaching framework?

Starting with a standardized group coaching model can help you more easily answer some of the many questions and details you need to finalize before launching your program.

Cohort Model

A cohort model is a group coaching framework where you run a set program but you onboard participants in small groups known as cohorts. You might have multiple cohorts in the program at different stages at the same time. These cohort members get to know each other well and support each other within the program.

Membership Model

A membership model is an ongoing group style where individuals can join or leave at any time. Each weekly or monthly group coaching session can stand alone or be sequential with any previous or following session, so members can participate for as long (or short) of a time as they wish. This is a popular style because it's easy to run as a coach and typically doesn't involve much static education like online coursework.

Program Model

A program model is a more individualized version of the cohort model: you're offering a specific program that runs for a set length of time, and involves a lot of planning and set up from you as the coach. But it runs more like an online course and the group elements are separate, with virtual or in-person sessions and a forum complementing the individual learning.

What are the best practices for group coaching?

1. Be thoughtful and intentional in your program set up. Having a strong foundation will lead you to greater success.

2. Keep in mind that your group members will bring different perspectives and learning styles to your program. Group dynamics can be unpredictable, so be prepared to go with the flow.

3. Aim for simple, streamlined communication, information and processes. Group coaching experiences can overwhelm participants (and even the coach!) if they are too complicated or try to share too much information at once. Less is more, especially in the beginning.

4. Ask good questions! Being a successful group leader isn't just about sharing your expertise and information. Getting your members to think and share their own perspectives is another key to success.

Is group coaching right for your business?

Even knowing all the benefits, group coaching isn't always the best fit for every business.

Hallee Smith is an Artist, Content Creator, and Creator Coach who has recently launched her first individual coaching offer. Hallee experienced viral success on social media and built a business around content that performed for the algorithm -- but it wasn't long before she realized she was no longer finding purpose and artistic fulfillment in her work. Now, she’s on a mission to help other creators push back against burnout from chasing algorithmic success and discover their own unique creative potential to grow in alignment with who they truly are.

Rather than starting with a group program as a new coach, however, Hallee has opted to focus on 1-on-1 coaching to start. "1-on-1 coaching allows you to build a more focused relationship with clients. You can get to know and deeply understand their struggles, why they might be facing them, and how you can most effectively help solve them before expanding into group coaching."

Interested in working with Hallee? Request a discovery call!

Every future coach should consider their own starting point and business model when planning for individual or group coaching programs before deciding what's right for your business.

How do you launch and market a group coaching program?

Beacons is the best place to launch and market your group coaching program, thanks to our all-in-one platform that can help you with every step of the process.

You can build and sell your course natively in our store; embed and sell it right on your link in bio page; and market it to your followers and subscribers using our email marketing tool!

Get started on the Beacons Store today to add group coaching to your business income streams.

Isabel Sachs
Isabel is the Community Manager at Beacons, the all-in-one creator business platform. She has been sharing her expertise in content and community with creators via creator economy startups since 2020, prior to which she was a mental health professional. Keep up with Isabel and access her best free resources for creators at
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