How to Run a Successful Group Program

How to Run a Successful Group Program

Interested in making more money without working more hours in your nutrition practice? Coaching clients one-on-one is rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work, and you will eventually hit a ceiling if you’re trading time for money.

This is where group programs come in! Taking on multiple clients at once lets you help more people, increase your impact, and boost your income without draining your energy. But where can you start? What’s the first step to scaling your business?

Whether you’re looking to run a program online or in-person, here are the 5 key steps to get you on your way to running a successful group program.

1. Define Your Ideal Client

If you want to run a group program, you’re going to need to fill it with people who will actually benefit from it. For many people, choosing a niche is the hardest part of wellness business building, so let’s get it out of the way early.

Questions to ask yourself when choosing a niche:

  • What is my own health story, and what is the reason I became a wellness professional?
  • What am I really good at?
  • Which of my clients have the most success and are the most enjoyable to work with?
  • What is the #1 reason people choose to work with me?

If you beat adrenal fatigue using a specific method, people struggling with low energy might be a great niche for you.

Imagine your absolute ideal client. Write down their gender, age, struggles, goals, lifestyle, etc. The more specific, the better, so give them a name. Pretend that you’re writing an online dating profile for your ideal client.

For example, let's say your ideal client is "Tired Tracy", a busy mom who is constantly shuttling her family from one commitment to the next with no time for her own health. She feels exhausted and run down. What will motivate Tired Tracy to work with you?

Identify Tracy's “pain points” or the things that she wants to change about herself and her life. This is what you’re going to help her with, and what you’re going to sell her on.

You need to understand how your ideal clients feel because real talk: Tracy doesn’t know what an "adrenal gland" is, she just knows that she is exhausted every day and would love to have more energy. Make sure you speak in her language.

2. Build Your Program & Lead Magnet

Once you have decided on a niche and understand your ideal client, it’s time to build a program that will change their lives. This is the fun part! It’s also the most time-consuming, so set a deadline for yourself to launch this program into the world and hold yourself accountable.

Remember: done is better than perfect.

Tips for program building:

  • Choose the length of your program and plan to cover one teaching topic per week.
  • Keep it simple to avoid overwhelm. Perhaps the first step in the program is getting hydrated with a 7-day water challenge. Subsequent weeks can move on to teaching about balancing blood sugar and proper macronutrient ratios.
  • Create the main lessons and supporting materials. For example: If your main lesson is on hydration, supporting materials might include a recipe book of tasty, hydrating, water-infused recipes. If your next lesson is on balancing blood sugar, you might want to include a 7-day blood sugar balancing meal plan.

Write and design your program content. When it’s finished choose how you will be delivering it to clients. Some options include:

  • In-person at weekly meetings
  • An online platform like Teachable
  • Access to the entire program via DropBox or Gumroad
  • Week-to-week emails with timed content

If your program will be run online, you might also want to consider:

  • A private Facebook group for program participants
  • Audio/video lessons instead of just offering the written version (Tired Tracy might not have time to sit and read PDFs)
  • Offering weekly group calls, webinars or Facebook lives during the program

Creating a Lead Magnet:

Now that your program content is complete, create a free offering in exchange for a person's email address, with the goal to build an email list filled with people who are potential clients. This is what we call a lead magnet. The lead magnet should be specific to your program, so it attracts the right person.

Lead magnets that might attract Tired Tracy:

  • FREE Guide to Foods that Fight Fatigue
  • Energy-Boosting Smoothie Recipe Book
  • 10-Minute At-Home Workouts That Enhance Energy

3. Filling Your Program

The first step to selling out your group program is to establish yourself as an expert in your chosen niche. It’s so important that potential clients grow to know, like, and trust you.

Consistently blog and create content on topics of interest to your niche. Give free talks, either in-person at locations where your ideal clients hang out, or online through webinar/group calls.

Keep encouraging your audience to download your lead magnet, so they will end up on you email list. This way, when you launch the program and open enrolment, you can promote it via your email list, which should be full of people who are already interested in what you’re selling. In other words, a whole list full of Tired Tracys!

4. Running Your Group Program

The first time you run your program is a little like learning to walk. You will get better as you go, but it’s normal to feel a touch of imposter syndrome and anxiety. Push through it, and you’ll soon feel like the expert that you are.

Offering access to a Facebook group moderated by you is a great way to create a sense of community among your group participants. They can support each other and learn from each other as well as simplify your workflow by keeping all your clients in one place instead of coaching each client via email. You can use Facebook live stream or Zoom to offer weekly connection calls with the group. Post regularly asking questions, sharing funny memes, extra tips, and other engaging content.

In-person groups are another option. Decide on a location for weekly meetings and use this time to give clients their weekly lesson, associated resources, and give them a chance to ask questions and share their wins

5. Collect Stories, Get Feedback, Upsell and Repeat

At the end of the program, it’s your chance graduate the participants to the next level of working with you if they desire. Someone finishing up a 2-week detox might be ready to move into your 12-week program, and someone finishing a 12-week program might be ready to join your subscription site. This is optional, and depends on your offerings.

Don’t forget to ask for feedback and collect client stories! The feedback from your participants will help you improve, and the testimonials will help you market your future programs. Look at the language your clients use and what they loved about the program. These points should be included in your future marketing efforts.

Make small tweaks to the program based on what you learned, but DO NOT go back into program creation mode. You can build a thriving business from a single group program if you do it right, just keep improving and re-launching it to new clients.

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