Michelle Villalobos

The Superstar Scoop: How Does Group Coaching Work?

Coaching is a great way for experts, speakers, consultants, and other “Superstars” to monetize their expertise. However, when you’re in demand, one-on-one coaching just isn’t very sustainable or scalable. There's only so much YOU to go around.

Enter group coaching. Group coaching can not only maximize your time and help you grow your business, but it can also be even MORE effective for your clients. 

But there’s one BIG problem that can get in the way of implementing a group model successfully… 

The problem starts with MINDSET. 

As experts, we can easily fall into the trap of believing that we are the source of all the magic that our clients need and want, and as a result, we can mistakenly believe one-on-one coaching is more valuable than group coaching. 

And while that may be true in some cases, (IMHO) it’s the exception, not the rule. 

What I've discovered (that surprised me!) is there’s a special kind of magic that arises in a group, that you simply can’t tap into one on one. In fact, I’ll assert there’s MORE value in a group model, for a variety of reasons. 

The most obvious is that a well-facilitated group generates a “synergistic” effect. When you bring different minds together, all supporting each other and working towards common goals, new ideas, solutions, and strategies evolve and emerge – that simply wouldn’t with just 2 people.

So how do you tap into that magic and cultivate it, to be sure it happens? 

The first thing that really makes a difference is WHO is in the group. 

When you're doing one-on-one coaching, working with people you enjoy is important because it determines how energy-rich your business is for you – but in a one-on-one model, one client doesn't affect another client; they are completely separate.

Once you start a group model, your clients influence each other; that’s why it’s crucial to define a standard for who is a “right fit.” 

The second element to consider is the FORMAT of your group coaching program.

There are many different group formats to choose from: 

  • “Fishbowl:” This is what I call a group format in which you individually coach clients in a group setting, so clients can witness each other and learn from each other’s sessions. 
  • “Mastermind:” In this format you (or someone else) facilitates a conversation among your clients and they support each other, perhaps with interjections by you. 
  • A mix of both of the above – this is what I like to do. This has become a really great approach because it allows me to bring my magic, while also enabling others to practice their leadership skills, and to bring their unique perspectives. 
  • “Office Hours:” A format where you set a specific time period that you are available to meet individually, first come first served. Or you can even turn this into a fishbowl, by making it an OPEN office hours environment. This is an easy way for people to get 1:1 with you, while limiting the time frame. 

Once you've zeroed in on your ideal audience and have a format, you need to enroll people into your coaching group. Here are 2 enrollment strategies to consider: 

  1. Open Enrollment, where people sign up any time they wish
  2. Closed Enrollment, where you set an enrollment period that opens and closes on specific dates.

Open enrollment is great if you want to have ongoing sales, whereas closed enrollment, because there are deadlines, offers the benefit of natural urgency, which I've found creates better sales outcomes over time.

Another thing I like about closed enrollment is that you're focused on marketing during the enrollment period, and then you can focus more on your group when it's closed – rather than feeling like you have to always be marketing / selling, which for me, feels stressful. To each her own 😉 

I'm a big believer in closed enrollment. This is what I have done with my Influencers Circle – I have four retreats a year which are the only times people can enroll in my 1 year program.  

The last thing I want to share is something I believe will make your coaching program more sustainable over the long haul. 

One of the biggest issues I faced when I first started doing a group coaching program was retention beyond the first year. I had more to offer after that first year, but I needed to structure a program that would be more geared to 2nd year clients and differentiate it from the first year. 

Naturally, I created a new program called Leadership Cabinet.

This program differentiated itself from the Year One program as it involved a deeper level of relationship with and greater support from me. Furthermore, it offered them opportunities to be featured in a leadership role, which allowed them to develop their skills, and stretch themselves even more. 

Adding this 2nd year component made the 1st year clients want to stay. It also made new people want to join, because when people came in and saw this bustling, culture brimming with experts and people sharing and contributing and giving. It was something that they wanted to be a part of. 

So, I invite you to consider creating a structure with the bigger picture in mind, rather than just looking at it as selling a “group coaching program.” Instead, what is the VISION, what is the CULTURE, what is the COMMUNITY you're building? This creates SO many more opportunities for scalability. 


If this resonated with you and you want to create a group coaching program that's joyful, sustainable, and scalable, let's connect! 

Book a free discovery call with me at superstaractivator.com/go. I look forward to meeting you.


Leave a Reply