Group Coaching Versus One-on-One Coaching

Are you thinking about launching a coaching business or investing in coaching to further your career or improve your personal life?

While this article focuses on coaches, it can still be helpful to someone looking to hire a coach. You'll learn what is the difference between group coaching and one-on-one coaching, what to expect from coaching sessions, and the benefits.

For coaches, I'll show you how to choose the right program for your coaching business and make it a success.

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But first, let's look at the impact successful coaching has. According to the Institute of Coaching:

  • 80% of people who went on a coaching program boosted their self-confidence
  • Over 70% improved their work performance, communication skills, and relationships
  • 86% of companies were encouraged to invest again in coaching.

Coaching changed my life. I've paid for both group programs and private one-on-one sessions.

I owe my success to the many life and business coaches who helped me focus my attention on my goals, rewire my mindset and save me time and money. Their guidance and knowledge are the reason I was able to build several multi-million-dollar businesses.

So if you have the goal of becoming a successful business coach, here's what you need to know.

What is One-on-One Coaching?

Also known as individual coaching, it's designed to help people create change in their lives. This can mean a lot of things, but it’s typically improving a skill, building a system, or achieving personal goals.

Individual coaching is popular and common practice among businesses and organizations, especially in executive and management roles.

What are the Benefits of One-on-One or Individual Coaching?

It’s Tailored to Individual Needs

This is the biggest benefit of one-on-one coaching. You meet your clients’ individual needs. For example, in a private session, professionals are more comfortable sharing their challenges, problems, concerns, and questions. The more they open up, the easier it is to help them find the right answers and solutions.

As a coach, you can follow a specific agenda or strategy depending on the nature of your coaching business, but you can adapt your content and solutions to meet specific needs. This strategy provides the greatest value to your clients. Trust me, they'll love it.

It Builds Stronger Relationships with Your Clients

Coaching is much more effective with a solid working relationship. And since you only have to work with one person at a time, you get to know your clients better. This means you have more time to listen and understand what they're going through, empathize with them, and deliver the best service possible.

In return, a client will slowly learn to trust you, feel more comfortable working with you, and be willing to collaborate to achieve their goals.

In short, one-on-one coaching is more personal and creates stronger working relationships.

It’s Easy to Hold People Accountable

With one-on-one coaching, it's easier to hold your clients accountable. While you can do the same training with a group, it's more challenging. You'll find there are those who rarely participate in group discussions or simply don't attend sessions.

Focusing on one client lets you put more energy into their training, address their setbacks more quickly, and hold them accountable.

What are the Disadvantages of One-on-One or Individual Coaching?

It Consumes More Time

A coaching session can take anywhere from five minutes to three hours. I like to cap mine at one hour. But you do spend more time sharing knowledge, troubleshooting, and helping to drive that business forward. Group training is certainly a less time-consuming process.

You Have to Charge Higher Fees

Because individual coaching is more time-consuming, you have to charge more. This is the only way to make it cost-effective.

Sure, you may attract high-value prospects, but it can also limit your target market to businesses and organizations that can afford your services. On the other hand, other business people will prefer group coaching since it's more affordable. In an industry full of popular and competent coaches, you need to strategize and beat the competition.

It Takes Longer to Upscale

Coaching is business. So if you're looking for a business model that's faster and easier to upscale, individual coaching is not practical. It takes time to get more people to sign up for your coaching program. And this can affect your profit unless you can raise your pricing in a short period of time.

What is Group Coaching?

Group coaching is about gathering a group of individuals within an organization or from different companies and helping them work towards a shared goal.

In my case, I help entrepreneurs and business owners to make better marketing decisions and scale their companies.

You, as the coach, serve as the facilitator of a session while participants in a group work together to gain insights, support one another, and take action toward specific goals.

In group coaching, you can coach different individuals working from various parts of a company. They don't need to be connected or related in any way.

This allows you to coach them in a variety of areas, whether it's about managing conflicts, communicating with other people, or honing interpersonal skills.

What are the Benefits of Group Coaching?

You Meet and Learn from Other People

For other people, working in groups is much more fun and effective. You get to meet other people who you resonate with, and this can be very powerful. Maybe you have similar backgrounds or you’re currently going through relatable life challenges.

In my case, I help entrepreneurs and businesses achieve the success they want for themselves. And as someone who has built a business from the ground up, it feels more rewarding to work with a group who has had the same challenges as I’ve had.

Since this requires you to work with business people and professionals from different backgrounds, you can create a group coaching community where everyone can support one another.

On a different note, this can expand your network too.

You Spend Less Time and Earn More

Coaching groups allows you to maximize your time wisely. For example, you can coach twenty to a hundred business people in less than two hours. That's just two to ten times higher than what you get from one-on-one coaching.

Remember, time is money. Group coaching allows more room for more clients in a specific timeframe. And this results in a higher profit.

It’s More Scalable

A group coaching program is a one-to-many business model. Meaning, you can schedule multiple coaching sessions at a time, and track the number of participants in every coaching group.

Do this constantly, make sure you have a steady stream of clients, and your coaching business will skyrocket sooner than you know. Simply put, group coaching is easier to scale than individual coaching.

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What are the Disadvantages of Group Coaching?

It Feels Less Personal

There's one thing that lacks in a group coaching program: personalization (more on why one-to-one personal experiences are important here).

Considering that you have to coach between twenty to a hundred professionals in every session, you don't have much time to talk to each of them. In return, you won’t always be able to get the full picture.

Other coaches tend to deliver generic solutions that don't really solve specific business problems. And you have to be more careful about this.

It's Challenging to Work with a Group

Working with a group is a challenging process. Just think about coaching a bunch of people with different goals, perspectives, and personalities at the same time.

It requires extra effort, patience, and a higher level of understanding. You might even ask for help from other coaches to make your program more valuable.

You'll meet some people who will try to take over the room, actively participate in the discussion, and outshine others who may be more reserved.

Simply put, a group coaching client may get more value while others fade into the background without meeting their goals.

So when coaching a group of people, it boils down to finding their common ground and making sure you help them overcome specific challenges.

You Need to Target More Clients

Whether you like it or not, you need to have better numbers in a group coaching program.

People are sheep. They tend to join coaching programs that have the highest number of participants. If you can't sign up people, you'll have a hard time filling an empty room.

So just like what other coaches do, you need to create and implement a solid marketing strategy that will attract and win over more coaching clients

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How do you build a successful group coaching program?

Whether you intend to launch a life coaching business or, like me, a marketing coaching business, these principles apply.

1. Keep your numbers small

You want everyone to engage equally in the group. Anything over 20, and there will be people whose voices go unheard. They won't get the results they need to make meaningful changes in their business or life.

So keep your numbers small. Because if you don't deliver results, you're likely to generate bad reviews, and that won't help your program.

2. Find the common goal

You want to create groups with common interests. If they're from vastly different industries, this can create friction and increase your churn rate.

But if you've built a group of like-minded individuals, you'll be covering topics they find relatable and valuable.

3. Get their feedback

Don't be afraid to ask group members what they like about your service and where there is room for improvement. Listening and acting on those lacks helps you deliver a world class coaching service.

4. Hold people accountable

Group coaching is about more than just sharing knowledge. Your job is to help move someone from point A to point B, and you can only do that if you identify goals and hold them accountable.

Check-in with them regularly to see if they're acting upon your advice and making tangible changes. If they're stuck, ask what's holding them back and how you can help them to move forward.

5. Celebrate individual wins

Remember, this isn't about you, it's about helping others to achieve. Whether that's a happier marriage, financial stability, or a healthy and fitter body doesn't matter.

When we celebrate our group wins, we acknowledge their hard work and encourage them to keep going.

I like to ask my group what is one thing they've achieved in the past week or month that they'd like to celebrate. What can you ask yours?

6. Tell someone when they're ready to graduate

I've got clients who have achieved amazing things while working with me as a coach, but there comes a time when I can't teach them anything else.

A good coach recognizes when there's still work to be done and when someone is ready to fly the nest. That's when you give them their wings.

7. Promote it

If you want your coaching program to be a success you need to promote it. Launch it to your email list, talk about it on your social channels, mention it on podcasts and share it with affiliates.

If someone has done coaching before they're more inclined to try it again, and using affiliates to promote your group on your behalf is a great way to attract high-value clients.

8. Go Digital

If you can offer group coaching sessions virtually, that's massively powerful. You can access a wider audience and avoid travel.

Successful digital web services require the right tools. You'll need a Zoom account, Google Workspace, Asana, or some other project management tool.

Group vs 1:1 - Are you ready to choose, coach?

To recap, group and individual coaching have their own perks and disadvantages. Both can be done over the phone, online, or in person. And you might find that it pays to offer group and private 1:1 training sessions.

No matter which service you choose, make sure you're committed to greatly impacting other people's lives.

Are you ready to make this commitment to yourself and change your life?

Let's work together to achieve the success you’ve always dreamt of. Become a business coach, build your lifestyle business, and get the big ticket to financial freedom.

Click here to learn more on how to start and build a coaching business from scratch.

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