Group Coaching Ultimate Guide (2024): How To Leverage Your Impact

For many experienced coaches, group coaching is the ticket to maximum impact and a high-value reputation.

So if you’re looking to scale your coaching business and wonder what group coaching has to do with that, stick around to learn everything you need to know about this type of coaching.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Group Coaching?

Group coaching is the type of coaching that involves one or more coaches coaching two or more individuals in a single session. It leverages the expertise of one or more group coaches to deal with individual needs in a group experience.

So how does group coaching differ from personal coaching?

While private coaching is about directly dealing with one client, group coaching deals with more than one client with similar goals at the same time.

Furthermore, if you’ve heard of team coaching, you might be wondering, how is it different from group coaching?

While group coaching deals with the different personal needs of the participants, team coaching works towards the same goal to help the individuals work better together. The former is for meeting the needs of individuals for the individual and the latter is for meeting the needs of a team. 

This article explores all the basics of group coaching you need to understand.

Group Coaching Certification

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) offers the most recognized team coaching certification: Advanced Certification in Team Coaching (ACTC).

What Happens in Group Coaching?

In group coaching, the coach or coaches deal with the individual needs of the participants by working towards key universal needs such as goal setting, accountability, and taking action on the established key points as far as each individual is concerned. The group then takes action as a cohort.

You can think of group coaching as an online course of sorts but with much focus on live sessions plus peer-to-peer interaction.

You’ll understand this more through examples.

Group Coaching
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Group Coaching Examples

Group coaching differs globally according to the theme, needs, and preferences among many other factors. But here are examples of group coaching setups to show you what group coaching looks like:

  1. A group coaching project organized by a life coach for lifestyle entrepreneurs to clarify their holistic life goals, set objectives around them, and take action to create a fulfilling life out of corporate life – bimonthly meetings happen on zoom.
  2. A three-month group program by a lifestyle coach for corporate moms to help them learn work-life balance

As you can see in these examples, these are people with different lifestyles but have key needs around their lifestyles which a coach can clarify without the need for one on one sessions.

But if some participants feel the need for the individual coaching sessions, the coach can refer them to someone else or take on them themselves.

What Are the Benefits of Group Coaching? 11 Advantages

Get to learn the amazing perks of group coaching for you as a coach and for your coaching client as well.

Group coaching benefits for coaches

  • Scalability: By training groups, you’re able to help more people which brings in more profit. This would be slower with one-on-one coaching
  • Diverse Insights: While dealing with the different group members from diverse backgrounds, you’ll learn what each needs for them to get the results they need. This helps you modify your group coaching program for supreme value which helps you scale your coaching business even more.
  • Time efficiency: 
  • With proper systems using group coaching management software, you save lots of time clarifying your clients’ key concerns universally compared to repeating the same issues to one on one clients. 
  • More profits: This of course is another amazing perk out of helping a multitude. even if you charge a much lesser fee than on one on one clients, you’ll be dealing with a group of clients which adds up your revenue to multiple figures.
  • Maximized brand awareness: Personal coaching clients might offer amazing testimonials to help the public get a feel of your brand but group coaching does this best. With many people encountering you as a group coach, you’ll likely get more publicity through word of mouth, online reviews, and more.

Group coaching benefits for clients

Group Coaching Benefits for Clients
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  • Developing a sense of belonging: Group settings satisfy the human need to belong in a cohesive community with like-minded people which boosts members’ performance in every aspect of their lives and hence leads them to a happier, more fulfilling life.
  • Gaining problem-solving insights: During a single group coaching session, there’s much to learn not just from the coach but also from peers. It helps the group member understand diverse ways of solving problems which help improve their concrete as well as abstract problem-solving skills.
  • Accountability: Since group members work on their lives under a group coach, the sense of community developed promotes accountability in each group member.
  • Networking avenues: In coaching groups, each group member has their network which could be profitable to another group member so joining such a program model gives way for rich networking opportunities.
  • Low cost: Individual coaching is more expensive so taking the low pricing of the group coach helps a client access services from a structured program at a bargain.
  • Promote emotional intelligence: While there’s much development in logical thinking, emotional intelligence is in high demand today like in enhancing leadership qualities for professional development. With coaching groups, a member can learn to deal with their own set of emotions and those of others more constructively.

Related: BEST Life Coaching Business Models To Start Online

Drawbacks of Group Coaching

Of course, no venture is all roses so knowing group coaching drawbacks can help you navigate the challenges you encounter more smartly. Here we go!

  • Some clients struggle with transparency in a group setting which hinders them from getting the best value
  • Some reserved members may be intimidated by the dominating nature of the outgoing types
  • It’s challenging to keep up with surprising variety needs at first

Group coaching follows different models depending on various factors. Check out the most common group coaching models to find one suitable for you.

The Cohort Model

This is a group program where every participant signs up in advance before the beginning date of the coaching program. 

This way, all the participants start on the same date from start to finish, walking through every step of the program together, as one cohort.

The cohort group coaching model is the ideal model for you, especially if:

  • Looking to start a group coaching program with no automation hustle while getting the experience you need to scale your group coaching in more customized, automated formats.
  • Testing a particular coaching group whether they’re a fit for you.
  • You have a small coaching group needing a bit of personalized attention

So if the cohort group setting is what you need, how can you use it like a pro? Let’s move on to that.

What you need to succeed using  the Cohort Model

  • Prepare a curriculum in advance to attract clients by showing them the predetermined steps to help them reach their collective goals. This also ensures a streamlined coaching experience.
  • Assemble and test the tools you need for the program like Nudge coach – A course-building platform like Kajabi can help you set up the material needed for your students. Video conferencing software like Zoom can help you set up online group coaching sessions. You can use an interactive platform like Slack where your group members can support each other while having private access to you.
  • Plan promotion time before your program’s launch date. For instance, if you need a group size of 15 group members, estimate the ideal-promoting time to sell the spots. You can use these expert tactics for getting coaching clients to help you get enough sign-ups.
  • Set up your launching date having established a marketing timeline reminding your potential clients of the limited enrollment period they have to sign up. This sense of urgency improves your marketing success.

Group coaching prices for the Cohort model

The rule of thumb for many coaches is that group coaching should cost 30 percent of normal one on one sessions for each individual.

To profit from a Cohort group coaching setting, take into account the cost of time and expenses that go into curriculum creation, promotion, and participation in the course itself.

Let’s work this simple math with this example:

Let’s say you’re setting up a 4-week executive coaching program with 10 group members.

You’re looking to spend 1 week creating your curriculum and 3 weeks filling those 10 spots. You’re confident your promotion budget of  $100 would help you get the clients you need. You shouldn’t forget you’re eating and living this whole time so your monthly expenses should be something to factor in – let’s say you spend $1000 every month.

So we have time as 4 + 1 + 3 (weeks) = 8 weeks or 2 months and expenses as $100 plus your usual monthly expenses 

Now what’s remaining is you to decide how much you want to earn in 2 months from group coaching.

If your answer is $5,000 then: $5000 divided among 10 group members gives us $500 which is what you should charge per client.

Therefore, your one-month group coaching program price would be $500. 

Now do your math.

The Program Model

This type of group coaching model allows clients to sign up and start at any time to follow a predefined schedule of a defined-length coaching program. While following the same recurring schedule, the client ends the program based on their start date.

This group coaching model is ideal for you if:

  • You have a proven program you want to scale for instance if you were operating a successful cohort program
  • You already have the key steps of the program prepared plus have the necessary skills and tools to deliver every step according to the predefined schedule based on the start date of each client
  • You’re technically savvy or have the resources needed to outsource the skill needed to set up and maintain program workflows
  • You have a relatively large pool of potential clients to sign up every month

What you need to succeed using the Program Model

  • Many clients profit from the low price of the model since you’ll have less one to one coaching time
  • Value-packed pre-recorded webinars automated to different stages the client reaches to minimize one on one support
  • You need to prepare a budget for premium plans for tools you’ll use to handle the multitude of clients coming in
  • Dedicated coaching platforms to facilitate switching of different tasks among several group members 

Group coaching prices for the Program model

This model is tough to use a one-size-fits-all type of pricing model but there are two things to note:

  • The price should make sense to your target customer in terms of its value, market benchmarks, and financial situation.
  • The price should work for the collective goals you have for the program. If you’re still looking to gain testimonials, accumulate experience and confidence, build your brand, gain insight on the market, and other reasons not money-related, you can go easy on your pricing.

Get acquainted with coaching programs related to yours in your niche. Take note of what they offer in terms of value, time, and support to get a feel of why they charge what they charge. Based on such factors, choose what you’ll charge yours.

Better yet, get some pricing feedback from your target market. You can do it in two main ways:

  • Pitch the value in your online program including what its outcome would be to the client asking them what they’re willing to pay for such a program.
  • Tell them about the value, the outcome you expect, plus a guess of how much that’s worth, and listen to their take on that.

Don’t stay long on the first pricing step since starting helps you learn fast so you can shift towards the ideal price for you and the clients.

The Membership Model

This model involves an evergreen program that runs on the same recurring schedule and allows a client to start at any date. It benefits from some of the Cohort and Program group coaching models’ key characteristics.

Membership programs are ideal for complementing other offers in your business. They help keep a captive audience hooked on your brand even for a lifetime.

This model is ideal for you if:

  • You’ve had clients in a primary coaching program and wish to help them maintain their results with exclusive content
  • You have a lifetime value idea for your current clients to profit from. For instance, a career coach might provide a coaching model with a lifetime supply of exclusive, high-value job opportunities and networks for members to acquire high-end opportunities
  • You can maintain an evergreen program all year round

Most studies reveal that it’s cheaper to retain an existing customer for more conversion than to acquire a new one. Therefore, the membership model helps leverage the current customers for more profit since they already have experience with your brand.

What you need to succeed using the Membership Model

  • The right tools and resources for maximum automation that you may focus on are the most important part of membership models: consistently providing special value to the group members so that the exclusive access may feel truly special
  • Ideas and offerings to help build an attachment to your community in the client
  • Specially-themed annual plans planned that you can spend time only focusing on special offerings

Group coaching prices for the Membership Model

In the membership group coaching models, pricing is much simpler since once you put the systems in place, marketing is minimal. Yet it doesn’t follow an exact science.

In this model, you need to calculate the costs for creating the systems and maintaining the workflow, check the benchmarks for similar programs in the market, and get some feedback from potential customers you’ve already had in your primary coaching program and even without.

With those factors included, you’ll arrive at a reasonable price which you can switch as you learn the ins and outs of your offers in the group setting.

Related: Types Of Coaching – A Complete List

How Do You Structure a Group Coaching Program?

While many coaches are unique, here are core guidelines to help you structure your group coaching program right.

Come up with a common goal

Group coaches can only lead group programs with a shared goal. 

Therefore, you need an overall shared goal (i.e Develop the Productivity Mindset if you’re a Productivity coach).

To get an overall shared goal you can sell to your clients, analyze your niche for a shared concern that has not been properly addressed or one for which you have a unique solution.

You can get some ideas from these Life Coaching Topics.

Outline key goals for each group session

It’s just like you’re giving a talk on a particular topic.

Around the shared goal you’ve established for your group, what are the steps you want them to go through so their concerns can be properly addressed?

For instance, in the above example for mastering productivity, you can have group sessions for introducing the productivity mindset, understanding procrastination mental models, productive conflict resolution, and more.

Make sure that you have a curriculum packed with the value they’ll see nowhere else.

While pitching your program to your prospective clients, outline this curriculum in a simple but enticing manner. They need to get a rough idea of your game plan so they can know you have what it takes to help them.

Choose the right program model

Group coaching needs structure. And the foundation of the structure is a group coaching model. 

  • If you’re just starting out or simply need a simple system to work with, go with the Cohort model.
  • If you are tech-savvy or can assemble complex workflow systems plus you have a large captive audience to market to, go with the program model
  • And if you can maintain the journeys of a group all year round while providing special value enough to keep customers around, the membership model is the way to go.

Once you know the best model for your idea, it’ll be time to plunge into the next step.

Related: Insights On Developing A Coaching Plan

Plan how you’ll deliver – group coaching online

Group coaching isn’t about getting a group of clients on board with your idea and getting started, no. 

It’s about setting up an optimal environment to not only communicate your core ideas to your clients but also allow them to interact with you and with your peers in an organized manner.

So whether online or offline, you must know how you’ll deliver your online group coaching services.

Since coaching online is more common in this era, you need to:

  • Find an interactive video conferencing platform where you can talk with your audience, receive feedback, and other plans to enable a memorable group experience
  • Consider a dedicated coaching platform to help with common group coaching needs.
  • Ensure crystal-clear one to many communications through virtual tests
  • Create automatic Calendar invites
  • Avoid payment disputes with straightforward payment processors
  • Create automated client profiling questionnaires to give each an amazing group learning experience
  • Set up rules and regulations/boundaries for your coaching sessions for a seamless experience
  • Plan your sessions durations

If you set up your programs around these guidelines, you’d be sure to give an amazing group coaching experience.

Allow everyone to be heard

While having private sessions helps a client feel heard, handling a group needs ongoing management to ensure that everyone feels heard. 

The quieter clients might be interrupted by other group members more outgoing which kills team functioning and as a result, the effectiveness of your coaching sessions. 

But there’s a solution for this.

Depending on the tools you use, you need to ensure the whole group gets time to voice out their thoughts and get answered since this increases the value of the session.

One best way to enable this is to use a side chat while video conferencing so everyone can get the chance to contribute.

You can take questions in the order of the comments coming in and if the session ends without answering some questions, you can get back to them personally and also through Q & A videos or articles addressing common concerns.

Encourage accountability

In your curriculum, you need to have action steps your members would follow to enable progress and the ability to track results. 

You can promote accountability through your own automated as well as random follow-up strategies.

You can also do it by encouraging collaboration through peer-to-peer accountability support in social media platforms and workflow management sites like slack and Trello.

Adapt to the group dynamics

Group Dynamics
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Consistently ask yourself after interactions:

  • What do the members have in common?
  • What motivated them to attend this session?
  • What have they been focusing on?
  • What part of this program are they struggling with?
  • How can I modify this program to make their learning process easier?
  • How can I ensure emotional safety for my clients?

It’s about getting started, learning fast, and adapting to the lessons you learn.

On Group Coaching Certification – Group Coaching Course

This group coaching guide is like a group coaching course to help you set up the coaching group of your dreams.

But what if you need more than just knowledge? What if you need certification for showing your clients that you’re indeed trained for group coaching?

If that’s the case, then we still have what you need.

You can gain top skills and trustworthy brand awareness from the iPEC’s Group Coaching Certification Program to become a certified group coach.

Group Coaching in a Nutshell

Group coaching is about helping clients unlock their potential in a group setting. To reap its many benefits, you need to focus on a systematic structure around the guidelines outlined above.

It’s doable, and it’s fun!

Do you love this article? Share it with your circle. But before you go –

How can group coaching work for you? Let’s engage in the comments!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.