The 5 Biggest Mistakes Coaches Make With Their First Group Program

If you have been doing the one-on-one coaching thing for a while and you are ready to grow and scale your business – keep reading!

You want your income to grow (without working a million more hours) and you know that to blast through that ceiling, you have to move from 1:1 to one-to-many.

Good news: You do NOT have to spend a bajillion dollars (or a bajillion hours in marketing) creating an online course or membership. A better option that can work for everyone (no matter your business) is a group program.

As long as you’ve 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 (this is what I teach in-depth in Your First Group Program, my online self-study course for coaches and biz owners who are starting to feel the limits of your capacity as a one-person show).

However, after working with literally hundreds of clients, there are some super simple things you need to be aware of so your group program becomes profitable fast!

Ok, so here are some of the most common group program mistakes I see aaaaaalll the time when coaches create and launch their first round:


5 Most Common Group Program Mistakes


Mistake #1: Failing to have a proper structure that gets people results

You know what annoys me? There’s so much focus in our industry on LAUNCHING a group or a course, and very little attention goes into actually creating a great student experience with great curriculum that gets results. Results = amazing testimonials for you!! Win-win.

You might be an amazing coach but does that automatically mean you know how to translate that into a curriculum that gets results? Ummm, NO! Doing 1:1 work means there’s space for co-creation, back-and-forth and direct feedback.

That’s NOT the case with groups. You have to change the way you work with people so that it’s more structured, more linear, more systematized and more streamlined.

However, if you’re working one on one and you’re finding yourself repeating the same things and getting asked the same questions, this is a good sign. This means that you’re starting to develop a signature system for your work so you can easily create a repeatable system for your clients in order to get them results.

Ideally, you have already figured out how to get clients unstuck if they do get stuck in various parts of your process.

This is why one-on-one work is so important because you get to iron out all those kinks in your work. When clients get stuck, get confused and are not getting results in an area, you get to boost up your skills/coaching/teaching in that area, and create systems to help them work through it. Then you can make a note of that system and put it into your group program.

If you just went out there and started blasting all this content to a group and it wasn’t working, you’d be stuck because you wouldn’t have the skills and tools to actually get them out of that stuckness. And when you’re working in a group, there’s not as much wiggle room for individualization.

In a nutshell: focus on a simple curriculum design that helps your participants take action and get results – and test, test, test until you KNOW it works. If you want guidance on how to do this, we teach it inside Your First Group Program!


Mistake #2: Teaching every single thing you know inside your program

I know you’re amazing at what you do and you know all. the. things about your area of expertise. Does that mean you have to teach every single thing inside your group program?

No it does not. In fact, when you do that, instead of helping people, you overwhelm them.

In fact, the JOY of a group program is that you don’t even need to teach them anything necessarily. What you need them to do is to take ACTION on something, to implement. The learning will come from that. So focus mostly on having them DO things and teach WAY less content.

In fact, take your content/program outline and cut it in half.
Then likely in half again.
Then you should be good to go.

Here’s an example — if you are teaching a program about gut health, you don’t need to actually teach them everything that YOU know about the gut and the microvilli and how it works at the cellular level (cool to you, boring for them).

What you need to do is tell them what to eat and not eat to heal their gut. That is what you will teach them, and your program will focus on making sure they do it.

So you can remove 90% of the teaching you probably wanted to do, and instead just tell them what they need to know (that gluten will destroy their gut), and then give them easy ways to cut out gluten, and include a system for accountability.

Take out 90% of your content and replace that with action. That’s how you create a brilliant group program that gets you glowing reviews!


Mistake #3: Failing to prepare to facilitate a group

With your first group program, you’re gonna have to deal with navigating challenging clients in front of other clients — I know, INTENSE.

So you know, those clients who are a little bit sticky, you can feel there’s tension when you’re on a one on one call, picture that but with 10 other people listening to you coach them, right? You have to have the skill to be able to navigate that in front of other people. And again, that’s something that you’ll learn as you go and that you can actually practice as well.

Here’s a quick tip: Get a group of friends together and have them roleplay your group experience. I find that’s really helpful for you to actually be able to navigate it out loud in a real group environment so that when it comes up in your live class, you’re not stuck and scared and trying to figure out how to handle it.


Mistake #4: Being too scared to launch OR going too big, too soon

I know, I know — the whole idea of launching freaks you out!! Most of us started our businesses by putting our website up and telling people about it and that’s about as far as “launching” goes for us. When you are selling a group, you need to get WAY more intentional about telling people about what you are selling!

I’m 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!

Launching doesn’t have to be big and scary but you DO need to send more than one email.

On the flip-side, you also don’t want to overwhelm yourself with some huge flashy launch with FB ads, challenges, video series, and fancy copywriters.

In Your First Group Program, we go over exactly how to launch SIMPLY in a way that feels easy and not overwhelming (and also not scary!)

OH, and one more secret: Lots of people have launched successful group programs without having a big audience first! (Did you know you can (and should) beta test with just 5-8 people? You don’t even need a website to do it. Yeah! It works great! It’s what we will teach you how to do in YFGP).


Mistake #5: Getting caught-up in the tech and wanting to look “professional”

Something I see way too much is people thinking that a group program means they need to record a shitload of content (when they haven’t even pre-sold the program yet!!). This is a huge waste of time (and money on fancy equipment and tech platforms) because it’s highly likely that once you start teaching it and getting feedback, you’ll need to rejig everything anyway.

Likewise, getting obsessive over course platforms and technology is a genius way to PROCRASTINATE. I recommend teaching your content live instead of pre-recording it so you’ll avoid the tech stress and focus on getting amazing results instead. Results = testimonials! Testimonials = More sales!

The truth is, you don’t need anything fancy for your beta launch — you can sell from a Google doc and host it all over Zoom. Done. And yes, I know you want to look “professional” and feel like you have their shit together, but hear this: I was making 6-figures with my program before I even had a course platform.


Want to avoid these group program mistakes and make scaling fun and simple? Get your butt inside Your First Group Program now!


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