If you’ve been working in your business for a while working with clients you might be starting to realize what a hustle it can be.
Even when the clients are are rolling in smoothly, you’re always stuck trading time for money and you feel you can only raise your package prices so much (which often caps you at a certain income that is lower than you’d prefer).
If you’re just getting started in your business and have only had a few clients up until now, you might already have this feeling starting to creep in — will it always be this way? Hustling for client after client? There must be a better way.
Well – there is. In fact there are lots of better ways for how you can scale your business to work less, help more people, and make more money. This really comes down to a question of business model… and one of my favorite business models is to scale by creating groups, so you can help more people in less time.
Groups are beautiful because, if you’ve been working in your business for a while, you’ll start to notice that you are repeating the same thing often, or that clients are coming to you with the same problems. Creating a group lets you systematize your work and create a repeatable system. And for those coaches out there thinking “No way – my work is SO unique for each person it would be impossible to do this!” – you are wrong. Sorry, but it’s true. EVERYONE has a repeatable system in them – learning how to leverage it and make it work for your specific clients is where the work comes in.
Ok, so you get it – groups are great, they help you scale, yadda yadda yadda. But – you might be wondering – how do I start?
There are SO many unknowns here – how would the group run? will enough people sign up? what will I teach? what if people don’t get results?
So many questions! So I wanted to share some tips on how to know if your business is “ready” to run groups (and if it isn’t, how you can work to get it there!)
Now before I dive in, I think it’s important to clarify what I mean by “group program”
My definition of “group program”:
A live experience (ie. not just a downloadable online course) that you run online with anywhere from 5-100+ people. There is a start date and an end date and a focus for what results they can expect to get. There are many ways this can work (live calls, worksheets, some one on one time – the possibilities are many!), but the gist is that you are teaching/coaching multiple people at once on the same topic and there is interaction with you, it’s not just a DIY course.
I hope that helps, since there is SO much lingo being thrown around out there and it can get confusing – people teaching you how to create courses, and masterminds, a passive products, and so on and so on.
We’re talking specifically about an experience that happens live in real time here – cool?
How do you know if you’re ready for groups:
- You’re not struggling for clients and you’ve worked with “enough” ideal people one on one
If you’ve had a “decent” number of ideal clients, and when you talk to people who are interested they usually end up signing on with you, you’re ready! Why all the quotes around “decent” and “enough”? Because the actual number is hard to pin down. Working with 3 perfect people coud dbe enough. Working with 20 somewhat perfect people might not be. If you need me to just give you a damn number, I’ll say 10. If you haven’t worked with at least 10 clients, I personally don’t believe you are ready for groups. ‘
Why? Well – the more clients you work with, the more you start to hone in your YOUR specific signature process. You start to anticipate what problems your clients will come up against, and develop solutions to help them move past them. If you haven’t worked with “enough” ideal clients, you won’t be able to anticipate any hiccups that may arise, and you I can tell you right now that working through these things IN A GROUP with multiple people relying on you is WAY harder than ironing out your process one on one.
Also if you have never had ANY clients, or it seems like a hard sell just to get ANYONE to say yes, groups are doing to be even harder. Because here is the deal – instead of having to get one yes, you have to get MANY.
Ten is a loose number, but you should feel confident in how you work with clients before you start to work in groups.
2. You want to help more people than you can currently fit on your calendar (or have a desire to help one on one)
If you’re not just “not struggling” for clients, and instead you’re FULL of one on one clients – you’re SO ready for this. Full stop. It’s time to start freeing up your time and boosting your income!
3. You find yourself saying the same thing over and over again to your clients, and you know there is a repeatable system in there somewhere
If you’re coaching one on one clients and you find yourself repeating the same thing because they are coming to you with the same problems — you’re absolutely ready to start to nail down a more repeatable system for your work!
If your work with each client is unique, but the general problems they are coming to you for is the same, I can almost guarantee that you have a repeatable system in there! I’ve helped many life coaches who thought this, find their own systems and be able to scale to groups – and you can too.
4. You’re starting to have a bit of a following (!!) and people are actually paying attention to what you have to say online
Yup — you DO need to at least have some traction in your business to make groups work. Or you have to have a network of people to market to who you KNOW are your ideal clients. As I’ve said — instead of getting ONE client, you now need to enrol MANY at once. This means you need know where to find those people.
This is why list building, and list building early, is your friend. When you have list of people who you KNOW need what you are offering, groups let you be able to help them at a lower cost than hiring you one on one. It’s a win-win! Typical conversion rates are 1-2% of your email or your engaged audience..so you can do the math to see whether you’d get the numbers you want. That being said, list isn’t everything, and I know people who have filled groups with VERY small lists, because they have multiple networks they are very actively engaged in and have numerous ways to get themselves in front of their target audience.
My litmus test? Do you know 5 people right now who would sign up if you pitched it to them? Yes – great – you’re ready! Errr…. not so much? You will want to spend some time building out your network before you launch your group.
I really do think groups are one of the BEST ways to scale your business – you get to work less, help more people, make more money, and build more of a community aspect to your work. And while not every business is ready to dive into groups, you CAN be ready sooner than you think.
I run a program every year that teaches you how to create and launch your first group program. If that’s something you are interested in, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why you want to scale to groups, and I can keep you in the loop when it opens again (planning for January so you can be ready to launch by late winter/early spring!!)