How To Structure A Group Coaching Program (Step-By-Step)

May 9, 2024
By Team Simply.Coach
How To Structure A Group Coaching Program (Step-By-Step)

Table of Contents

#1 digital coaching platform trusted across 35+ countries
NO Credit Card required.
FREE 14-day No commitment trial

Want to help more clients in LESS time and expand your reach?


(Hint: You need an effective Group Coaching Program)

In this guide, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of what a group coaching program is and how to structure it to ACTUALLY get results.

Ready? Let’s plan it!

What Is A Group Coaching Program – How Does It Look Like?

What Is A Group Coaching Program – How Does It Look Like?

A group coaching program is a POWERFUL way to help more people and grow your coaching business. Imagine 10-20 individuals coming together, eager to learn from YOU and each other. The energy is electric!

Here’s what it typically looks like:

  • Weekly or bi-weekly sessions (60-90 minutes each)
  • 8-12 week program duration
  • 10-20 participants per group
  • Online video calls or in-person meetings
  • Structured curriculum with actionable exercises
  • Breakout sessions (small group discussions) for deeper ideas exchange
  • Dedicated online community for ongoing support

For instance, if you are a life coach, you could offer a 10-week group coaching program on “Finding Your Inner Awesome.” Each week focuses on a crucial aspect of personal growth and fulfillment.

Participants engage in weekly exercises, like journaling prompts, visualization techniques, and mini-challenges. They collaborate for accountability and encouragement. You lead powerful discussions and share personal anecdotes.

Sounds interesting, huh?

Total Number Of People To Have

The sweet spot for group coaching is 10-20 participants.

Less than 10 may lack different value-adding perspectives. More than 20 can feel overwhelming and impersonal.

However, it depends on your coaching style and topic. 

If you are a fitness coach, you may prefer 8-10 people. Whereas, a business strategist could handle 20-25 entrepreneurs. Experiment to find YOUR magic number!

Time Length To Consider For Each Session

Most group coaching sessions run 60-90 minutes. An hour is sufficient for teaching and Q&A. 90 minutes allows for more deeper discussions.

Consider your participants’ schedules and attention spans.

Early morning or lunchtime sessions may need to be shorter. Evening or weekend programs can stretch longer.

How The Pricing Works

Group coaching is typically priced 30-50% lower than individual coaching. Participants pay for the program upfront or in 2-3 installments.

For example:

  • 1:1 coaching: $2,000 for 8 sessions
  • Group program: $800-$1200 per person

You can also offer early bird discounts or bonuses for referrals.

The key is providing HIGH value at a more accessible price point. Your participants should feel like they got an AMAZING deal!

Benefits Of A Group Coaching Program

  • Serve more people and make a bigger impact.
  • Leverage your time and earn more per hour.
  • Attract clients who can’t afford 1:1 coaching.
  • Create a supportive community for accountability and motivation.
  • Learn from diverse perspectives and experiences.
  • Develop scalable curriculum and resources.
  • Boost credibility and referrals for your business.

Group Coaching vs. 1:1 Coaching

AspectGroup Coaching1:1 Coaching
Peer SupportStrongNone
Time CommitmentMediumHigh
Ideal ForEarly-stage clients, tight budgets, peer learningHigh-need clients, sensitive topics, flexible schedules

Different Types Of Group Coaching Models

1. A Cohort-Based Coaching Model

  • Ease Of Setup: 8/10
  • Ease Of Management: 7/10
  • Earning Potential: 9/10
  • Effectiveness: 8.5/10
  • Coaching Niches Suitable For: Business, Career, Fitness, Personal Development, Relationships

What The Model Is And How It Works:

A cohort-based coaching model brings together a group of people who start and finish the program together. It’s like a virtual classroom where everyone learns and grows as a team!

For example, think like this: you are a business coach who runs a 12-week “Scale Your Startup” program, 20 entrepreneurs join the cohort, meeting weekly for 90-minute video sessions.

They dive deep into topics like marketing, sales, and team-building. Between sessions, they complete assignments and discuss challenges in a private online community.

Key Features:

  • Structured plan that lets you deliver your coaching in a systematic way and get predictable results.
  • Fixed start and end dates that allow you to plan ahead, organize your work, and save time in the long run.
  • Strong peer support among participants that takes some pressure off you as the coach and creates a positive group dynamic.
  • Targeted curriculum that lets you focus on your zone of genius and attract your ideal clients.

How To Set The Pricing?

Cohort-based programs are usually priced higher than other group coaching models because they are more intensive and get better results.

Here’s a pricing formula:

(1:1 coaching rate) x (# of sessions) x 50-70%

So if your 1:1 rate is $200/hour and the program includes 12 sessions, you could charge:

$200 x 12 x 50-70% = $1200-$1680 per person

Aim for a cohort size that balances connection and profit. 15-20 people at $1500 each can bring in $22,500-$30,000 per cohort – which is still quite impressive, isn’t it?

Pros And Cons:

High engagement and completion ratesRequires a lot of planning up front
Scalable and profitableLess flexibility for participants’ schedules
Builds your authority and communityMay not fit highly individual needs
Allows for targeted upsells and referralsDemands consistent energy and presence from you

For Whom It’s Best?

Cohort-based coaching is GREAT for those who:

  • Have a proven method or signature system
  • Enjoy teaching and leading group experiences
  • Want to grow their impact and income
  • Can stick to a set schedule and plan

It’s not as good for coaches who:

  • Prefer the close connection and customization of 1:1 work
  • Have unpredictable availability or energy levels
  • Serve clients with very unique needs or goals

2. A Standard Program Model

  • Ease Of Setup: 7/10
  • Ease Of Management: 8/10
  • Earning Potential: 7.5/10
  • Effectiveness: 8/10
  • Coaching Niches Suitable For: Health, Wellness, Spirituality, Parenting, Life Skills

What The Model Is And How It Works?

A standard program model is like a pre-recorded course, but with some live coaching sprinkled in. You create the content once and then deliver it to multiple groups over time.

For example, think of it like this: you create an 8-week “Healthy Habits Bootcamp.”

You record weekly video lessons on topics like nutrition, exercise, stress management, and sleep. Participants get access to one module per week, along with worksheets and resources. You also offer a monthly live Q&A call for each group.

Key Features:

  • Evergreen content that you can reuse again and again, saving you time and energy in the long run.
  • Passive income potential since the program can run without your constant presence, freeing you up for other projects or downtime.
  • Flexibility for participants to go at their own pace and access the materials anytime, making it easier to fit into their busy lives.

How To Set The Pricing?

Standard programs are usually priced lower than cohort-based programs, but higher than a pure DIY course.

Here’s a pricing formula:

(Desired hourly rate) x (# of content hours + # of live call hours) x 10-20

So if your desired hourly rate is $100 and the program includes 8 hours of content and 4 hours of live calls, you could charge:

$100 x (8+4) x 10-20 = $1200-$2400 per person

With 20-30 participants at $1500 each, you could earn $30,000-$45,000 per round, plus recurring revenue from new groups.

Pros And Cons

Scalable and leverageableLess personal connection with participants
Flexible and convenient for participantsHigher drop-off rates than cohort-based programs
Frees up your time and energyRequires strong marketing to keep attracting new groups
Allows for recurring revenueMay need updates over time to stay relevant

For Whom It’s Best?

A standard program model is AWESOME if you :

  • Have a signature methodology that can be taught in a step-by-step format.
  • Enjoy creating content and curriculum.
  • Want to create a passive income stream.
  • Have an audience or marketing plan to keep filling the program.

It’s not as great if you:

  • Prefer live interaction and personalized feedback.
  • Prefer to create content on the fly rather than planning ahead.
  • Want to charge premium prices for providing better coaching.

3. A Membership Model

  • Ease Of Setup: 6/10
  • Ease Of Management: 6/10
  • Earning Potential: 8/10
  • Effectiveness: 7.5/10
  • Coaching Niches Suitable For: Fitness, Business, Writing, Art, Personal Finance

What The Model Is And How It Works?

In the membership model, clients pay a monthly fee to access a library of resources, live events, and community support.

For example, let’s say you’re a finance coach who runs a “Wealth Builders Club.” For $49/month, members get access to budgeting templates, investing tutorials, and money mindset workshops. They also get weekly group coaching calls and a private forum to connect with other members. 

Key Features:

  • Recurring revenue that gives you a steady, predictable income stream and peace of mind
  • Community building that creates a sense of belonging and accountability for your clients
  • Ongoing value delivery that keeps clients engaged and subscribed for the long term

How To Set The Pricing?

Membership pricing depends on the value you provide and your target market. A good rule of thumb is to charge 10-20% of your 1:1 coaching rate per month.

For example, if your 1:1 rate is $500/month, you could charge $50-$100/month for your membership.

You can also offer different levels with increasing access and support at higher price points.

The key is to make sure you’re delivering enough value to keep members happy and paying month after month…after month!

Pros And Cons

Predictable, recurring incomeRequires consistent content creation
Scalable and leverageableCan be harder to sell than one-off programs
Builds long-term relationships with clientsDealing with member turnover
Allows for upsells to higher-priced offersMay attract lower-budget clients

For Whom It’s Best?

A membership model is GREAT if you:

  • Have a deep well of knowledge and content to share.
  • Enjoy creating a community and fostering connections.
  • Want to generate stable, recurring revenue.
  • Have the systems and support to manage a growing membership.

It may not be the best fit if you:

  • Prefer short-term, project-based work.
  • Like to create content on the fly rather than planning ahead.

4. A Course-Based Program Model

  • Ease Of Setup: 8/10
  • Ease Of Management: 7.5/10
  • Earning Potential: 8.5/10
  • Effectiveness: 7.5/10
  • Coaching Niches Suitable For: Marketing, Personal Branding, Leadership, Public Speaking, Mindset

What The Model Is And How It Works?

A course-based program model combines the best of online courses and group coaching. You create a self-paced course with modules, lessons, and worksheets, then offer group coaching calls for personalized support.

For example, imagine you’re a marketing coach who creates a 6-week “Perfect Your Branding” program. It includes 12 video lessons on topics like branding, pricing, and promotion.

Each week, participants complete 2 lessons and attend a live group coaching call to ask questions and get feedback. It’s like a mini-mastermind for aspiring entrepreneurs!

Key Features:

  • Self-paced learning that lets participants go at their own speed and fit the program into their busy lives.
  • Live group coaching that provides accountability, support, and personalized guidance to help participants stay on track and achieve their goals.
  • Multimedia content (videos, workbooks, checklists) that caters to different learning styles and makes the program engaging and practical.

How To Set The Pricing?

Course-based programs are usually priced somewhere between a pure course and a high-end group coaching program.

A simple formula is:

(Desired hourly rate) x (# of course hours + # of coaching hours)

So if your desired rate is $150/hour and your program includes 12 hours of course content and 6 hours of coaching, you could charge:

$150 x (12 + 6) = $2700 per person

You could also offer a payment plan (e.g., 3 payments of $900) to make it more accessible.

Pros And Cons

High perceived value and price pointMore work to create than a pure course
Scalable and leverageableRequires ongoing promotion and launches
Combines the benefits of courses and coachingParticipants may not complete the course
Positions you as an expert in your nicheNeeds regular updates to stay relevant

For Whom It’s Best?

A course-based program is PERFECT if you:

  • Have a proven system or methodology to teach.
  • Enjoy creating engaging content and curriculum.
  • Want to offer a high-value, high-touch program.
  • Have an audience or marketing plan to fill the program.

It may not be the best fit if you:

  • Prefer fully passive income streams.
  • Don’t want to be tied to a launch schedule.

How To Choose The Perfect Group Coaching Model

If you’re a pro at creating step-by-step systems and love helping clients achieve specific goals, a Cohort-Based or Course-Based model could be the right fit.

These models have high effectiveness and revenue potential. But they do take some upfront hustle to set up.

If you’re more of a go-with-the-flow coach who prefers live interaction, a Standard Program or Membership model will be the perfect fit for you. These models are easier to manage but may not be as lucrative as others.

So, how do you CHOOSE? Start by asking yourself:

  • What are my key strengths in Coaching?
  • What kind of results do my clients really need from me?
  • How much time and energy can I realistically invest?

Then, match your skills and goals to the model that fits like a glove.

For example, if you’re a health coach who loves teaching proven techniques and your clients want tangible results fast, a Cohort-Based “12-Week Transformation” could be a home run.

Or, if you’re a mindset coach who excels at holding space and your clients prefer ongoing support, a Membership “Inner Circle” would be even better.

The key is to know yourself, understand your target audience, and choose the plans accordingly.

Step-By-Step Guide To Structure An Effective Group Coaching Program

Let’s break down how to structure a group coaching program that actually works:

Step 1: Define Your Program Goals and Outcomes

  • What do you want your clients to achieve?
  • What transformation will you provide?
  • Get specific and measurable!

Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Client

  • Who exactly are you targeting?
  • What are their pain points and desires?
  • What results are they really looking for?

Step 3: Determine Your Program Length and Format

  • Will it be 6 weeks? 12 weeks? Ongoing?
  • How often will you meet? Weekly? Bi-weekly?
  • What will be the session duration? 60 minutes? 90 minutes?

Step 4: Create Your Program Curriculum

  • Break down your program into modules and lessons
  • Decide on the topics and subtopics to cover
  • Outline the key concepts, exercises, and assignments

Step 5: Develop Your Session Structure

  • How will you start and end each session?
  • What activities and discussions will you include?
  • How will you keep things engaging and interactive?

Step 6: Plan Your Between-Session Support

  • Will you have a private Facebook group or Slack channel?
  • How will you connect with clients outside of sessions?
  • What additional resources will you provide?

Group Coaching Program Template

Now, let’s see what the group coaching program would look like in action. Here’s a complete 8-week group coaching program template if you are a career coach focusing on “Landing Your Dream Job”:

WeekTopicKey Concepts & Exercises
1Identifying Your Ideal CareerValues, skills, interests. Career visioning, job market research. Create your career blueprint
2Crafting Your Personal BrandPersonal branding, online presence. LinkedIn profile optimization, elevator pitch. Develop your personal brand statement
3Resume & Cover Letter WritingResume types, cover letter formula. Resume review, cover letter templates. Update your resume and cover letter
4Networking MasteryNetworking strategies, informational interviews. Online networking, event preparation. Attend a networking event
5Job Search StrategiesJob search platforms, hidden job market. Target company list, job application tracking. Apply to 10 job openings
6Interview SkillsInterview types, common questions. Mock interviews, STAR method. Practice your interview responses
7Salary NegotiationSalary research, negotiation techniques. Salary calculator, negotiation script. Role-play a salary negotiation
8Job Offer & OnboardingEvaluating job offers, onboarding best practices. Job offer comparison, 30-60-90 day plan. Accept your dream job offer

See how each week focuses on a key aspect of the job search process and includes practical exercises? That’s the power of a well-designed career coaching program!

Of course, you can customize this template based on your target audience and coaching style. The key is to provide a step-by-step roadmap that helps your clients achieve their target goals.

Simply.Coach has a special “Journeys” feature, enabling you to create a customizable and reusable template for your coaching program, complete with all necessary modules and assignments.

This feature allows you to apply any coaching methodology to a reusable program template. This helps you to plan and replicate your coaching framework for multiple coaching sessions, such as group sessions. It also ensures consistency, professionalism, and quality for all future group coaching engagements.

What does this mean for you? QUALITY service.

Your every client will receive the same high-quality coaching experience, while saving your time and effort. Interesting, right?

So, now you know about the whole process, and even got the template. But what about managing your sessions? Let’s take a look:

How To Organize Your Group Coaching Sessions

Here are some actionable tips you can use to plan out your group coaching program

1. Initial Setup:

  • Aim for 60-90 minute sessions, once or twice a week.
  • Use a reliable video platform like Zoom or Google Meet.
  • Set up a private Facebook group or Slack channel for between-session support.

2. Now, here’s how to make sure EVERYONE feels connected and heard:

  • Start with a quick check in (1-2 minutes per person)
  • Break into smaller groups for discussions (3-5 people per group)
  • Use breakout rooms for collaborative work and role-plays
  • Have a Q&A segment at the end (10-15 minutes)

And don’t forget the power of “Spotlight Sessions” – where you go deeper discussing the challenges of one client while the others observe and learn. Aim for 1-2 per session, 10-20 minutes each.

3. Finally, keep the energy HIGH with:

  • Icebreakers and games
  • Celebrations and shoutouts
  • Polls and quizzes
  • Guest speakers and experts

So that’s all about organizing your group coaching program. Now, it’s time to consider the final and most important part – marketing and scaling your program.

How To Market And Scale Your Group Coaching Program

If you’ve already got an audience (lucky you!), focus on warming them up with value-packed content and irresistible offers. Think:

  • targeted emails
  • exclusive bonuses
  • “early bird” discounts

If you’re starting from scratch, it’s time to HUSTLE. Affiliate partnerships can be a game-changer – find folks with similar audiences and offer them a sweet commission (20-50%) for every client they send your way.

Webinars are another winner – host a free training that showcases your expertise and pitch your program at the end. Aim for a 10-20% conversion rate and watch your list GROW.

And don’t forget social media! Show up CONSISTENTLY with helpful posts, engaging stories, and building a brand. Run ads to your ideal clients and retarget anyone who’s shown interest.

Now, let’s talk about scaling. As your program takes off, you might need some backup. Consider bringing on program coaches to help with client support and delivery. Pay them a percentage of the profits (20-30%) and free up your time to focus on the BIG picture.

And as you scale with more coaches, you’ll also need smart software solutions to effectively manage your workflows. That’s where Simply.Coach comes in – an enterprise grade online coaching management platform trusted by individual coaches and coaching businesses worldwide.

Simply.Coach allows you to merge group skill-building sessions with 1:1 sessions, automatically track the progress of each participant and the group collectively, automatically schedule sessions based on everyone’s availability, create a shared resource library, and much more.

With features like goal planning, session management, invoicing, and more, Simply.Coach simplifies your day-to-day running so you can focus on delivering RESULTS.

Final Thoughts

And that’s it! Congrats, if you made it till here!

Now you know everything about a group coaching program from start to finish.

But more importantly, you know the exact steps to implement it and how to choose the right group coaching model based on your coaching style and target audience.

So what are you waiting for?

Start creating an awesome coaching program that delivers effective RESULTS.

And if you’re interested in managing all the nuts and bolts of your coaching business – from client management to hassle-free billing at one place, don’t forget to check out Simply.Coach.

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like what you're reading?
Get it straight to your inbox.
No spam, just curated blog posts twice a month!
We've got exclusive content, just for you!
Subscribe to our mailing list and receive actionable content designed to help you grow in different stages of your business journey.
We're committed to your privacy. Simply.Coach uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our privacy policy.