Most aspiring coaches (whether it’s business coaching, health coaching, or something else) think the long-term goal is always to coach individuals, 1:1.
You get to charge premium prices to focus on just a few clients…right?
You make more money from fewer people. That means less time and resources devoted to marketing and other wide-scale lead-generation. It means not dividing your focus and attention among dozens or hundreds of people.
It’s quality over quantity…right?
Well, not always.
Below, we break down four of the biggest advantages of a group coaching business model — and why no matter how successful you become, it can remain an important part of your business.
New Coaches = Group Coaches
First, the obvious point: if you’re a new or aspiring coach, there’s no way you can charge individual clients enough money to sustain a business.
You just don’t have the cred.
You have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is group coaching. Once you’ve shared enough content, built an audience of leads, and coached enough people to earn those crucial testimonials, you can start thinking about individual 1:1 clients.
(Sidebar: the best way to get those groups signed up? No surprise here: it’s webinars. Do free lessons and Q&As, show off your expertise, and sign people up for the full experience.)
But even when you land that first 1:1 client, you can’t charge very much — not until you’ve proven yourself as a 1:1 coach by radically empowering at least a few (individual) people.
Long story short: making a living from individual coaching clients is a slow build, and requires a few years to get going. Plan accordingly.
Group Coaching Advantages (for Clients)
Second, group coaching can be just as transformative for clients as individual coaching — or even more so.
The assumption is that by monopolizing a coach, the client gets more individualized, intense training. And that can be true. But from group coaching, each client can get:
- Community Support. Having a coach in your corner is great, but having the support of several people on a similar journey can be just as valuable. Only fellow students can really understand what each other is going through — no matter how great the coach is.
- Increased Accountability. It’s one thing to let your coach down. But it’s another to let down the fellow strivers who’ve become your “team.”
- Networking. The relationships you make with fellow coach-ees can pay off down the road, as everyone puts their new skills to work in the marketplace.
And lest we forget, group coaching is generally much more affordable than individual coaching — for something arguably just as good.
Long story short: Learning is an inherently social activity. Most of the time, it’s enhanced by the involvement of others, not detracted from.
Beginners, Intermediates Have Similar Needs
Ask anyone who’s ever taught anything to groups of people: the coach/teacher usually ends up having to answer the same questions, address the same challenges, and apply the same strategies to a huge percentage of students/trainees.
It’s not that you’re failing to differentiate or coach based on individual needs.
It’s that when people are beginners — or even intermediates — they tend to be bad at things in similar ways. They lack the same knowledge and abilities. They run into the same pitfalls.
Usually, the best teachers and coaches can anticipate exactly what their students will need. It’s not magic or even intuition. It’s just that it’s not their first rodeo, and for all our uniqueness, people just aren’t that different — especially when it comes to learning something new.
1:1 coaching is (arguably) best suited for more advanced levels, where the challenges of getting to that next plateau are more specific to the individual. When you train at something for years, you discover the things that hold you back — and hopefully, you find someone who can help you with those unique struggles.
Long story short: sharing the same lessons with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of beginners or intermediates isn’t cheating them out of anything. It’s just efficient.
Group Coaching Can Pay (Big)
Finally, group coaching can be just as lucrative as individual coaching.
If you need proof, look no further than Taki Moore, the “Million Dollar Coach” himself. Moore coaches groups of hundreds, even hosting live in-person events a few times each year. And by all accounts, it works, for Moore and the clients. Even Moore’s high-ticket “black belt” coaching is still group coaching — just with a more exclusive group.
There’s also the simple arithmetic of it all.
As we established above, group coaching is best for beginners and many intermediates. And guess what? There are a lot more beginners and intermediates out there than advanced practitioners, of anything.
That means there are way, way more potential beginners clients out there for you to coach than anything else.
Long story short: coaching individuals doesn’t mean you’ve “made it,” if by “it” you mean money — because good group coaches make tons of that.
You Don’t Have to Choose
Of course, you can always balance group and individual coaching, in a way that works best for you and the clients.
Coaching large groups of beginners, medium groups of intermediates, and reserving 1:1 coaching only for individuals who’ve reached a certain level is one way. Sticking mostly with groups, but strictly limiting the size of those groups to avoid diluting the experience is another.
There’s no wrong way to mix and match the two strategies, as long as everyone is getting what they need.
The point is this: it can be very limiting to think of individual, 1:1 coaching as the ultimate goal, or the “best” form of coaching. As an independent coach, you get to figure out how to best distribute your expertise, attention, and time to give people the best results.
Bonus: if you're looking to get a steady stream of leads to build your group coaching cohorts, try pre-recorded, automated webinars. Our 30-day course on creating these high-conversion assets is currently on sale at AppSumo.