Course + coaching = coaching program
A lot of people believe that they can just have a course, slap some coaching sessions on it, and they have a coaching program. And there are actually three more pieces that we’re going to talk about today that I’m going to reveal to you that will make your coaching program really valuable and create a really great coaching experience for your clients.
What are those things? Let’s talk about them.
1. Information (“The Roadmap”)
These are those weekly video or audio lessons, the teaching steps to success.
So you want to think about what steps will get your clients to their goal. That’s what you really want to think about.
And I just want to mention that people are not looking for a ton of information. Just keep that in mind.
Nobody really wants to go through a comprehensive curriculum.
Yes, we had to do that maybe in school or in college, but when people are signing up for coaching programs, they just want to get to the bottom line of what they need to know.
So they see you as their filter. So you don’t need to create a whole ton of information, but you do need some steps outlined that you can take them through a process that you have developed to get them to a goal.
Give them the steps. So as you’re thinking about your coaching program, what steps will get them to their goal?
And of course, each coaching program needs a goal that you’re focused on and that your clients want to focus on, right? So what are those steps? Have you outlined them yet?
Maybe you haven’t really fleshed out all the content, but you can start listing the steps and starting to outline the steps that you’re going to take them through.
These are the steps that you’ve already been probably sharing with your private clients. I guarantee that you have the steps, whether you are aware of it or not.
So that’s the first piece, the first key, because when you talk about your coaching program, your client, your potential clients will ask you:
- What am I going to learn?
- What are we going to focus on?
- What are we going to do?
And this will give you the confidence you need to speak about your program in a very tangible way.
2. Implementation (“The Tools”)
These are the exercises, the checklist, the worksheets or action guides that will allow you to walk people in your program through the steps.
So it’s not just about learning, it’s also about doing and the tools will allow your clients to actually implement something.
This is in between the coaching calls. So the way I like to think about it is that every module that I create, every learning module has some kind of actions, a worksheet to complete, an assessment to fill out, maybe three action steps to take, an exercise to do, especially for coaches, for life coaches, they’re usually some type of exercises that we want our clients to do, right?
So as you are looking at your program, how can they take action and apply their learning every week as you take them through the steps? That’s the question you want to answer.
How can they take action and apply their learning? That’s what the implementation is all about.
Coaches are not like course creators. Coaches really care about their clients and their client success and their reputation. And we want our clients to succeed.
So this is one of the questions I like to ask myself as I design a new program.
“Where might my clients get stuck?”
And what would make it easier for them to overcome that obstacle, so where might they get stuck and what would make it easier?
It’s going to be different depending on your topic, your expertise.
So as you start answering these questions, you will start coming up with different kinds of tools, exercises, checklists, worksheets.
I like questionnaires. In fact, some of my coaching programs are based entirely on questionnaires.
So I’ll do like 10 minutes of teaching and then I’ll ask people to answer these 10 questions. And that’s my module. And then we get on the coaching call and we talk about the insights, the shifts.
The easiest way to deliver a program is through questions, right? And as coaches, we love asking questions and we’re good at it. So this shouldn’t be a problem.
3. Coaching (“The Support”)
Coaching can be delivered in many different ways. So you can do live coaching calls. You can also create opportunities to practice.
I was in a coaching program that was focused on sales training. And I was so happy when the coach stopped talking and stopped teaching and allowed me to practice with an accountability partner right during the coaching call.
She would put us in the breakout room and we would meet each other and then we would practice on each other and opportunities to practice could look differently again depending on your topic, but I think it’s especially thanks to Zoom’s ability to create breakout rooms, it’s very easy for you to offer that to your people.
And I guarantee you, if you say this to people before they become your clients, that you will have an opportunity to practice your new skill and to talk through it and to share and to have a partner to work with, they will be so excited to be in your program because that’s what we all want.
We want an opportunity to work on our new skill set, new mindset. New ideas, right? We want people’s feedback and so opportunities to practice are super valuable whenever you can offer it. And then personalized feedback. That’s the other thing that people want in our coaching programs.
So whether you offer or include any one-on-one coaching sessions in your program or choose not to, people still want some personalized feedback. They will always ask you:
“Will I be getting your feedback or how can I get your take on my challenge?”
And so you can choose to offer it right during the coaching calls.
You can do hot seats, you can do laser coaching. There’s just so many ways to do this personalized feedback. And of course you can also do it between the coaching calls.
One of the things that you can do with Coaching Genie is actually read your clients journals between the weekly calls and actually give them feedback right inside the journals.
You can comment on the journals. And I love that feature because even when clients are a little bit introverted and they don’t participate in the coaching calls, they really feel seen and heard and, and acknowledged even between the coaching calls. And it feels like There is a connection between the coach and the client, even outside of the coaching calls, it feels a lot more intimate.
So that’s something that you can do. So we have content, the roadmap information, we have the implementation or the tools, and we have coaching, which is the support.
4. Community (“The Belonging”)
One of the reasons that clients join and then stay in group coaching programs is because they are surrounded by like minded people, by other people who have similar challenges, shared experiences, and shared goals. They value and appreciate each other’s struggles and dreams and aspirations.
So the feeling of belonging is very important.
And there are actually four pieces to the “belonging” in group coaching programs:
Affinity. The first one is affinity. That’s where your clients really feel like they belong in your group. They feel like people who surround them, understand them and accept them.
Accountability. The second piece is accountability. That’s where they feel again, seen, heard, acknowledged, and somebody to be accountable to. It’s so easy to disconnect from a coaching program. And so you really want to create these various ways to make people feel accountable in your program. They can be accountable to their accountability partners.
They can also be accountable through journals. Like if you use Coaching Genie, there’s also weekly check ins where they can check in before each call. So, you know what they’re working on where they’re getting stuck, right?
Collaboration. And then the collaboration piece, while that is very self explanatory, but it’s super important to provide in a group environment where you invite people to collaborate, to connect, maybe to create something together, to practice together. Sometimes they do this outside of the coaching calls, and sometimes you can just provide that right during the coaching calls, opportunities to connect with people.
When we run our program, “Get Your Coaching Program Done”, the most favorite part of every call and I feel energetically that that’s what people are waiting for is when I do the breakout room sessions and people get to connect and talk.
Not everybody’s comfortable talking in a big group, so we break it into smaller groups. And that’s when people become really vocal and really comfortable, really connecting and collaborating.
Competition. And then the last part of the community is competition. And of course, I’m talking about friendly competition where people can kind of see what everybody’s working on.
And again, in Coaching Genie, there is like a whole grid, a little weekly activity page where you can see who is working on what and how everybody’s progressing and what people are working on, how they’re completing their work.
So that little friendly competition motivates people to complete more things, to take bold actions, to, it just really motivates people.
So these four pieces, affinity, accountability, collaboration, competition, they create the sense of community, not only during the coaching calls themselves, but also between the calls, and that’s what usually lacks in a great coaching experience that immersive environment so that people don’t get distracted by life, by other programs and by things that land in their inbox, we just want them to really feel connected to the program to the coach and to each other.
That is what creates a really awesome community and a great experience.
5. Awareness (“The Visibility”)
And then number five is awareness. And this is the visibility piece where awareness, it’s more for you. The visibility is how the client perceives it. This is what I mean by awareness. This is where your clients in the coaching program feel seen and heard.
This is especially important in a group program. And I have to say, I’ve had coaching programs with as many as 70 people.
And when you use something like Coaching Genie, you can definitely make your clients feel seen and heard because you can read what they’re writing in their journals.
You can read what they’re reporting to you every week in the weekly check ins and you can comment and other people comment in the group.
So everybody can see what people are writing. Now there is a checkbox where you can mark your journal entries private. So if you don’t want everybody else to see it, then you make it private. But for the most part, people are leaving it public so that everybody else can see in common and encourage them and provide feedback.
So awareness is where clients feel seen and heard. And for you, you want to have the awareness of how your clients are doing. This is really important because what happens many times is as coaches, we are giving during the program, but we don’t know what happens after we give. So we give coaching. We might give advice depending on your style of coaching.
We make suggestions, we coach our clients, but then we don’t know what they’re doing with this. And maybe they’re still stuck. Maybe they are still. Disconnected or disengaging from the program. So again, it’s really important to know what your clients are working on, how they’re doing.
And I remember always, you know, that week between the coaching calls, I’m wondering:
- What are my clients thinking?
- How are they feeling?
- What are they working on?
I always want to be aware. How my clients are doing.
This is the piece that a lot of coaches will find super valuable. And again, Coaching Genie is designed around these five things that you can deliver.
And, you know, being aware of what challenges your clients are running into so that you can then address them on the next coaching call.
So this number five is awareness is really for you from your perspective. And then your clients see it as “They see me. I’m visible. I’m not just hiding or I’m not hidden.”
And again, this is super important when you run a group coaching program. Now, I know I said five, but I have a bonus number six one for you.
6. Container (“The Portal”)
Here’s why it’s important because when you are running a coaching program, you want your clients to feel connected to the program. And it’s much easier to create that energetic connection when they know there is one place for them to go to so they feel connected between the coaching calls.
They also can see their progress and experience measurable learning, because then they can really see, “Okay, I completed week one, I completed week two, I watched this module and the next module and next module and I completed these assignments and submitted them through the journals.”
And so measurable learning where they can feel and see progress.
This is also giving you proof of value for your clients. And it makes it much easier for you to sell the program as well, because coaching is very intangible.
Even coaching content that we develop for our clients that can also feel intangible. So by giving them a place to go where they can see their content, the modules, they can see what everybody else in the group is doing.
They can catch up with any replays of the coaching calls if they want to watch it again, or if they miss something, they can download the tools, the implementation tools that you created for them.
So it just makes it so tangible that it becomes proof of value for them, and as they are seeing their journal entries from week to week, they can also see their progress. And again, that’s also part of proof of value.
Milana Leshinsky is the author of “Coaching Millions” and “Simplicity Entrepreneurship” and the originator of telesummit. She is also the creator of Coaching Genie, a coaching platform that allows you to deliver coaching programs and scale your business with simplicity. She’s passionate about helping coaches, authors, and speakers leverage their expertise through creating programs and overcoming fear of technology. Milana came to the US as a music teacher from Ukraine almost 30 years ago. When she’s not working on her business, Milana writes music and enjoys Latin ballroom dancing. To learn more, visit Milana’s website at https://CoachingGenie.com