3 major differences between group and one-on-one coaching

We all created our businesses to have more time and freedom to actually LIVE our uncaged lives, right? Oh and of course to help lots of people and do work we love and yadda yadda… But, in case you haven’t noticed, working away trying to hustle for one on one clients and trading your time for money can be a SLOG, and might not be leaving you as much time (or income) as you had hoped when you started. WOMP WOMP.

In my opinion, one of the BEST ways to scale your business and have more free time is to lead group programs. Helping more people in the same amount of time and making more money – YES PLEASE.3 major differences between group and one-on-one coaching

I believe that everyone has a group program in them, no matter what your business is. I wrote a post last week about how to know if you are ready – and as long as you have worked with some clients one-on-one and have a focused niche and problem area you work on in your business, you can TOTALLY create an awesome group program.

However, there are a few very key differences between coaching one-on-one and leading groups, and I wanted to outline those here for you in case you are thinking about creating  your first group program.


Difference #1: You need more people

Instead of having to get one client, you need to get many. Now, sometimes this comes easier because often groups are priced less than one-on-one work, so it’s easier for clients to say yes to signing up. But if you have no email list, or no local networks that you usually market in, or just generally no idea where to get clients, then filling your group will be infinitely harder. Make sure to ramp up that email list and build some traction before you launch!


Difference #2: You need to launch

You actually have to launch a group program, instead of having it sit on your site, or randomly mentioning it in an email here and there and picking up clients one by one at any time. This means you need to pick a date that it will run, decide how long it will be, and then actually formulate some content to get people interested in the topic before you open registration. Then you will have to (probably) hustle  your ass off to fill those seats until it starts.

BUT – launching doesn’t have to be big and scary. Many people freak out when I mention the word “launch” because they have no idea what that really means (raise your hand if you are guilty!). Most of started our businesses by putting our website up and starting to tell people about it and that’s about as far as “launching” goes for us.

But when you are selling a group, you need to get WAY more intentional about telling people about what you are selling! I am a huge advocate of using a very simple but effective launch plan, because 1) I am lazy and 2) you don’t need to make it complicated!

If you have done a good job of cultivating a list and community of people who love you and trust you and need what you offer, then you should be able to sell out your first group with a few emails. No fancy video opt-ins, no crazy FB ads… just some well written content and some deadlines for people should be enough to do it. One of my favorite things I do with my clients when we work on creating their first group is showing them how simple and easy launching can be!


Difference #3: You need to move from coaching to teaching

When you work one-on-one with someone, there is a lot of co-creation of the work you do – lots of back and forth, ongoing feedback that helps you adjust what you are working on, and (often) less structure to what you do and when you do it. You are usually either coaching your client or you are actually doing the work for them (depending on what your business is)

When you lead a group, you simply cannot co-create in the same way you would with one on one, and you end up moving more from the role of coach or implementor, to teacher and leader. You will have to change the way you work with people so that it’s more structured, more linear, and more systematized. If you have been doing what you do for a while, you have probably started to see that there are common themes your clients need help with… you might find yourself saying the same thing over and over again or giving them the same exercises to do. This means that you are effectively creating a curriculum for your group program.

And I know that some of you out there are thinking “No Becca – my work is SO highly individualized that I couldn’t possibly turn it into a system”. I will tell you right now that you are probably wrong!

Of course, if you just don’t WANT to work in groups then you don’t ever have to think about it… but if you DO want to run groups, I can almost guarantee that I’d be able to help you pull out your system from the work that you do! It just takes some digging in to really look at  your process and see which pieces you can pull out and work on in a group setting.

Now, by no means does this mean you have to teach a rigid, step-by-step program if you scale to groups. There is still a LOT of room to coach, to stay open with your group, to let some exploration happen… but it MUST happen within a container and with a clear purpose.






Are you ready to run a group?

Being able to effectively translate your work from one-on-one into groups, and then launch and fill your programs, are the keys to running successful groups. But it’s definitely different than working one on one. This is why I recommend that you have done the work you do with some one-on-one clients FIRST – this way you will be better able to anticipate where things might go wrong or where they might get stuck and have already implement solutions to those in your program (or at least have tricks up your sleeve for when you need them).

I’m STOKED when I see my Uncaged Lifers creating their first group programs. I know the freedom that moving from one-on-one to groups has brought me (it’s the ONE biggest thing that helped me scale my business well beyond the 6 figure mark) and I’m excited to see more people create their first group program.

xx becca