This article is a guest post by Abigail Hopkins
Coaching clients one-on-one is rewarding, but it is also a lot of work. You may find that you eventually hit a ceiling when you’re trading time for money. This is where group programs come in. Taking on multiple clients at once allows you to help more people, increase your impact, and boost your income without draining your energy. Create a group program, get sign ups and guide participants through it as a unit. No customization of resources necessary!
But just the thought of running a group program can be super overwhelming. What should the topic be? What lessons should you cover? How do you put together the materials for participants? And what are the best tech tools to use?
I’m here to tell you that running a group program can be a lot more simple than you think! I’ve boiled everything down into an easy-to-follow six-step process that you can follow to get a group nutrition program off the ground in no time. Let’s get to work!
Step #1: Outline the Details
Before you launch your first group program, it’s important to invest some time into outlining the details. This will help you get clarity, and make the rest of the process much easier. So before you jump in, here are a few questions you need to answer:
- Who is your ideal participant, and what problem will this program solve for them?
The topic of your group program needs to be targeted towards your ideal client, and an actual problem that they have. If your program does not solve a specific pain-point, then people will not feel compelled to sign up. For example, let’s say your niche market is millenial moms in the postnatal phase. You would want to create a group program that solves a problem they have, such as getting back on track with healthy eating after the arrival of a newborn.
- What will you call the program?
Your group nutrition program needs a name that appeals to your ideal client and clearly communicates the problem it solves. Give your group program a catchy title like “The Back on Track After Baby Nutrition Program”.
- How long will the program run for? And when will it start and end?
Knowing the length of your group program is crucial as it will help you with pricing and creating the resources. Group programs can run anywhere from two to six weeks, and they will need a specific start and end date to create a sense of urgency.
- What do participants get for signing up?
Now that you are clear on who the program is for, the problem it solves and the length – it’s time to outline the lessons you will cover every week and the resources your participants will receive for signing up.
Try to choose three main value-adds. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Weekly meal plans with grocery lists and recipe books.
- A curated recipe book.
- A self-guided meal planning book.
- A private Facebook group for support and accountability.
- Weekly group coaching calls.
Be sure to include the aspects you feel would be most helpful and beneficial to your ideal clients in helping them achieve their goals.
- How much will it cost to participate?
And the final question: how much will it cost to participate in your group program? Pricing is something a lot of nutrition professionals struggle with, and it depends on many factors such as your ideal client, how long your program runs for and what they get for participating. Do some market research and choose a price you feel is fair for the value you are providing. Resist to urge to underprice your program because you aren’t confident! Be confident in what you offer and the value it delivers.
Step #2: Start Building Your Email List
If you haven’t started to build your email list, now is the time. Having an email list full of your ideal clients is the most effective way to market your group nutrition program.
The best way to build your mailing list is with a great lead magnet. A lead magnet is a downloadable freebie which you offer to send your ideal client when they sign up for your mailing list. You can easily create a beautiful lead magnet like a curated recipe book or a three-day meal plan using That Clean Life for Business.
When choosing a theme for your lead magnet, ensure it relates back to the topic of your group nutrition program so that you are always attracting your ideal client. For example, if you are running a 30-day weight loss program, your lead magnet might be “5 Weight Loss Breakfast Recipes That Take 10 Minutes or Less”.
Step #3: Create the Program
Now that you have outlined the details of your program, and you’ve started to build your email list, it’s time to create a program that will change your participants lives!
Choose the topics you want to cover on a weekly basis, and create the supporting materials. Again, you can use That Clean Life for Business to easily create things like weekly meal plans with recipes and grocery lists so this step doesn’t need to take you days to complete.
Decide how will you check in with your participants to keep them engaged. Will you use a private Facebook group where they can ask questions and get support? Will you have weekly calls or check-ins?
At this stage, you’ll also want to decide how the content will be delivered. You could choose to deliver the program materials to your participants through email, in-person, via Dropbox or even using an online course platform like Teachable.
Tip: If you are just starting out, keep the tech super simple and affordable by emailing your resources to participants. Once you’ve validated and refined the program, then you can invest in a more advanced platform.
Step #4: Market Your Program
Alright! Now everything is all set up and you are ready to start marketing your group program.
There are several effective ways to let your niche market know about your upcoming group nutrition program:
- Send out a series of emails to your mailing list.
- Write blog posts related to the program.
- Share the details of your program on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Promote your program via posters or flyers.
- Give a free talk related to your program in-person where your ideal clients hang out
- Host a webinar, Facebook Live, or Instagram Live related to your group program
- Run a free challenge.
- Promote your lead magnet to keep growing your list.
The marketing tactics you choose will depend on your ideal client and the channels they use most often. For example, if you are targeting adults over 60, you may want to focus on offline marketing and advertise the program at your local community centre and give free talks. If you are targeting millennial women with IBS, perhaps you’d want to focus your marketing efforts online via email, social media and through a free challenge.
Step #5: Run the Program
If you’ve created an effective group program, lead magnet and marketing plan, you will now have loads of people signed up to participate. Now it is time to turn your attention to focus on these people and supporting them as they work through the program.
While your group program is running, schedule regular check-ins to keep participants engaged. Be accessible and offer as much value as you can. Ensure an amazing experience, so that your participants will turn into raving fans and want to continue to work with you after the challenge wraps up.
Step #6: Get Feedback, Upsell & Repeat
Once your program wraps up, it is time to get feedback so you can improve the program for next time. Ask participants who have excelled for testimonials, which you can use to market your program in the future.
The end of your program is also a great time to present your participants with an enticing offer to continue working with you. For example, you may want to offer the participants of your program an exclusive, limited-time discount to your one-on-one services so they can keep up the momentum.
Once you’ve collected feedback and presented your upsell offer, it’s time to take some time to reflect on your program. What went well? What didn’t go well? What can you improve for next time? Once you’ve made some adjustments, you’ll be ready to run your group program again!
And that’s it! The six-step process for running a successful group nutrition program. Now it’s time for you to get to work. Take it one step at a time and prepare to feel a bit uncomfortable in the process. I promise, it it will all be worth it!
Did you love this article? If so, be sure to grab Abigail’s free guide to creating awesome nutrition programs for your clients.
Abigail Hopkins is the co-founder of That Clean Life a meal planning platform that gives you everything you need to meal plan for yourself, or your clients. Abigail is also a Culinary Nutrition Expert and a Registered Nurse. She loves helping wellness professionals build a thriving business that positively transforms lives.
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