Hardly any topic divides coaches and trainers as much as this question. The fact is: with both models it is possible to help people and become successful.
Why then does the topic of coaching methodology seem to be such a critical fundamental issue? And what does it actually depend on which type of training is more suitable in a particular situation?
We have had intensive discussions with experienced coaches from both camps and what we have found out might surprise many a coach or trainer. You can' t bare the suspense?
Here we have taken a closer look at 4 clichés about group courses. Most coaches start their business with 1:1 coaching. All it takes is one client and you can get started right away without having to invest a lot of time in preparation first.
This is important because people who want to learn the coaching profession often find it difficult to assess where exactly the client's problems lie. Creating a complete course from scratch - which is also practice-oriented and delivers results without leaving a lot of questions unanswered - is almost impossible.
In the course of the first 1:1 coaching sessions, a coach learns a lot about the typical stumbling blocks and about the mindset of his clients. Such a personal insight helps to bridge the distance between coach and client and creates a trusting and thus productive learning atmosphere.
This leads to the coach actually putting his clients into action, and they see results quickly. Over time, the coaches gather more and more information and from the various 1:1 sessions. A trail opens up, which becomes easier and easier to follow for the coachees and the coach. As the number of clients increases, the coaches begin to recognise the same patterns over and over again.
Often, at a certain point in the course of coaching, the same problems come up. In order not to have to repeat themselves constantly, many coaches hence begin to create individual videos. This not only saves the coaches valuable time, but also their clients. In the 1:1 coaching sessions, clients can, for example, skip discussing the basics and instead dedicate more of the session to their specific needs.
Coaches who take the time to work On the business instead of just In the business can scale their business - so that they no longer trade time for money in their coaching sessions but pave the way for long-term growth.
Little by little, the number of clients grows - and so does the video catalogue. The coach knows exactly what helps his target group and what does not, because the personal contact in 1:1 coaching continues to provide valuable feedback on an ongoing basis. As a result, the coach learns more and more about how his clients implement the training and how they achieve the best results.
Due to the tremendous time saved, the coach has the opportunity to develop in parallel with the regular business. This can mean expanding the coaching offer or targeting an additional client group.
So in the long run, the question for a coach is not whether 1:1 coaching or a group course is better, but whether they want to scale their business and thus really take it further.
There are only 24 hours in a day and even coaches need to take a break. In a business model where every client receives personal attention, a natural breaking point is bound to be reached.
When 1:1 coaches reach the point where they get more requests from clients than they can accept, they have to make a decision.
One option is to simply turn away prospective clients or put them on a waiting list. The problem: the coach's sales stagnate and potential clients are left stranded.
High-price strategy: As an alternative, coaches can start raising the price of their coaching - a high-ticket coaching strategy - to squeeze demand. This generates revenue, but denies coaching to interested clients who cannot afford expensive coaching.
Both scenarios have one thing in common: the number of clients remains the same. This is the crucial point. An engaged coach should have passion for his field and a mission - to get his clients into action, to get results and to help as many people as possible.
This is not to say that traditional 1:1 coaching is not useful. For many clients it is just the right thing to do and they benefit optimally from the intensive coaching. However, with scalable group coaching, an unlimited number of people can have access to training at a reasonable price.
In the end, the coach has generated more revenue and helped more clients with their training in the process.
Group coaching never delivers as good results as 1:1 coaching
Many coaches recognise the efficiency of group programmes but doubt their effectiveness. More specifically, 1:1 coaches often have the firm conviction that their client has managed to get into coaching implementation and see results exclusively through direct conversations. A partially self-taught methodology seems unthinkable to them.
Understandable: a personal trainer who only coaches his clients virtually and in a group often does not know in the end whether the course participants actually put his training into practice. In the worst case, the clients are dissatisfied at the end of the course, have no results and the coach does not even know why.
But it doesn't have to be like that. Andreas Baulig - one of the most successful coaches in Germany - says in his book "Wissen macht Umsatz" (Knowledge makes sales):
Group coaching sessions give you much better results compared to one-to-one coaching.
The crucial factor for a successfully scaled group programme is to engage the participants. To achieve this, there are different ways for group coaching.
One factor is the right pricing. Many successful coaches use a high-ticket coaching strategy. If the price is too low, there is a danger that clients will not feel obliged to use the content intensively. In addition, low prices attract a clientele that does not have the necessary commitment and is not very interested in learning the course content. Higher prices filter these people out. The bottom line is that with higher costs, fewer people will buy the course - but the likelihood that they will be highly motivated coaching participants is much higher. This type of coaching participant has a better chance of success and is more likely to recommend the coaching to others and achieve long-term results.
The structure and content of the group coaching is also important. Different types of content provide variety and adapt to different "learning types". For example, a video course can be offered in parallel as a podcast and transcript, so that participants learn the content in the way they prefer. With the help of quizzes at the end of each lesson, participants can check their own learning progress, identify where their weaknesses lie and repeat the corresponding modules.
The decisive difference, however, is the online coaching community. The active exchange with other course participants creates a unique group dynamic. This creates synergies - the participants share their problems and help each other develop creative solutions. The feeling of working together towards the same goal and mastering the challenges together as a team is a huge motivating factor!
1. high price strategy
If clients have to make a high (financial) commitment to participate in coaching, they are more determined to achieve results, thus get into implementation much more easily and achieve optimal results.
2. varied content
Video, podcast, quizzes, live calls - when clients engage with coaching in different ways, they not only learn intensively but also sustainably.
It's easier to learn together, the motivation to implement doesn't run out so quickly and there is endless potential for creative problem solving - all the ingredients to generate sustainable positive results.
"Every customer is different and needs to be looked after individually".
Coaching is often aimed at people who have had a particular problem for a long time that they cannot overcome on their own and are therefore looking for professional advice. Such a situation is typical, for example, in fitness and diet coaching, dating coaching or business coaching for service providers. In such cases, the clients' problems seem to be very individual and therefore cannot be solved with "off the shelf" group coaching.
But even in such cases, a group course can lead clients to success and deliver the desired results.
On the one hand, it is very unlikely that a particular situation or problem is actually unique. To most people it just seems that way. But it can be a great support to know that you are not alone with your problems and that other course participants feel the same way.
On the other hand, even the most diverse problems often have the same root cause. If you're a 1:1 coach yourself, you've probably noticed how often you repeat the basics of your course over and over again. A recorded, scalable online course can save the time of explaining the basics to each client in person. Then the coach has enough resources to address the individual questions of the participants in additional 1:1 coaching sessions or live calls.
Another important factor is the focus of the courses offered. A very general online fitness training is of course not suitable for every customer and quickly appears impersonal. This problem is unlikely to arise with niched down course like " fitness classes for men over 60 with backpain".
Group courses are impersonal, 1:1 coaching is much more intensive
There is no substitute for the personal bond that develops between coach and client through 1:1 coaching. For many clients, meeting their coaches regularly is a real motivational kick and they look forward to implementing the exercises together. However, this does not mean that group courses cannot provide them with additional added value. To recognise this, one should look at the different client groups in detail.
Existing clients who are already being coached in person can benefit from having their dedicated coach available around the clock. An online course offers them the opportunity to review content later. They can also conveniently fit their coaching into their schedule or take it with them on holiday.
Special bonus: with course platforms like Memberspot, coaches can also make their training available via their own app - so that coaching participants always have their coach readily available in their pocket.
With the help of a modern course platform, participants can be sent notifications about new content and group discussions can be organised or "homework" set. This creates continuous, intensive contact that achieves sustainable results.
New clients are often deterred by the high costs of one-to-one coaching. In addition, 1:1 coaching with fixed appointments takes away the clients' flexibility and they quickly convince themselves that they "don't have time for that". Depending on the course topic, individual coaching can also be too personal and therefore uncomfortable for the clients. In such cases, group coaching can be a suitable setting in which clients feel comfortable talking about difficult issues together.
Coaches can thus use group courses not only to scale their business, but also to expand their product portfolio and adapt it to different client groups. This gives clients more choice in terms of cost, time and intensity of the course and reaches a wider range of potential clients.
My coaching is expensive - clients are entitled to personal attention.
If a coach offers exclusive coaching for which his clients pay a lot of money, he may feel obliged to meet the clients in person and give them his full attention in the individual sessions. Charging a similar amount of money for group coaching that takes place virtually may not feel justified to the coach.
However, a scalable group course can also create added value for the client compared to one-to-one coaching, and for the same amount of time for the coach.
Due to the generally high time savings in a group programme, the coach has the opportunity to create new content and, on balance, deliver more content to his or her clients.
To further distinguish an online course from the bulk of tutorials and educational videos available for free, the coach can make it truly interactive. With live calls and live chats, coaches are also available to their course participants remotely.
The organisation and provision of an active community is also an exclusive bonus that customers are willing to pay for.
If a coach wants to offer his clients a special experience, he can also organise regional live events where he gets to know the participants personally and they can also exchange ideas with each other.
At this point, it should be clear that moving to group coaching opens up endless possibilities for a coach to scale their business, deliver their content and let their clients decide how and when they want to engage in coaching. This allows the coach to better put them into practice and the clients to achieve optimal results.
If you would like to start a group coaching yourself - whether as an experienced 1:1 coach or still at the very beginning of your coaching career - you can now test the online course platform Memberspot for 14 days free of charge.
Do you still have questions about the online course platform? Simply write to us via the chat function on the website or directly to firstname.lastname@example.org