No group program? You're leaving money on the table
You need a group program
There are several groups of entrepreneurs who SHOULD look into running their group program. Because if they don’t, they are leaving money on the table.
Those who are struggling with getting their business to the next level. Those whose margins are thin and they cannot figure out how to increase them to finally make money.
Agency owners, freelancers, coaches, service providers and consultants are known for having this problem. To make more money as an agency you need to close more business and hire more people to deliver the service. And this results in your team and your costs growing.
As a freelancer, coach or consultant, you need to sacrifice more time to make more money. But even if you do, you eventually hit a wall anyway - you only have 24hrs in a day and you can only onboard so many clients per month and raise prices to a certain degree.
We all want the success, the freedom and flexibility our business gives us and the money it brings to enjoy our lives and support our families. Sometimes we just get stuck in our own business model and refuse to accept the fact that a group program can be a thing for our business.
You can have a group program
Online business owners often tell me they don’t have an idea for their program or that they don’t have anything to teach. As a matter of fact, if you have at least one client, you are already teaching and using your skills. Group program is nothing more than taking the skills and experience you already use and presenting them in a different way to your clients. Instead of working 1-1 in a done-for-you aspect, you work in a 1-many setting as part of the group program and teach people how to get the same result, without doing it for them.
If you think that you have nothing to offer and nothing to teach, you might be suffering from what I call a Mount Everest Syndrome. A Mount Everest Syndrome is a pattern in which one doesn't see the value in what one knows, the skills and experiences and has a persistent drive to seek more and climb higher, forgetting about what one has already achieved.
I want you to do a quick exercise.
Take a piece of paper and write down all the questions that people - clients, friends, family - keep asking you. What do they come back to you for? When you visit Facebook groups, what are the questions that you jump in to answer immediately or think “I know an answer to that.” What are the questions people tag you to have your input? Spend 5 minutes noting it all down. What you'll realize is that you will find patterns. Those patterns are proof that you are already an expert specializing in and passionate about a topic.
I’ve seen group programs on cooking, fitness, painting, business, marketing, social media, using tools, driving a car, dating...There’s just no limit to what you can build.
If you keep on answering the same question over and over again, you can leverage your time by creating a group program and helping more people.
Because you can work with more people at the same time, you can make more money.
Let's say you charge $5k for your 1-1 service. It's not easy to close one deal at $5k. I know a lot of business owners who struggle to get gigs at $5k. What if your group program was $1 - $2k? And what if you could work with 5-10 people at the same time? What if the time spent on that group program was the same as working with a 1-1 client?
Let's do some quick math here. On a low-end, we're talking 5 clients at $1k (easier to find someone paying $1k than someone paying $5k), which means you are making $5k. And even if you are looking at the low-end game (which is VERY conservative and VERY "pesimistic"), you are impacting more people who will bring you more business as you scale (if you follow the strategic steps laid out below). And don't forget you can have multiple cohorts of the group program per month. That means it is $5k x # of cohorts.
On a high end, we're talking 10 clients at $2k. Now you're making $20k for the same amount of time as a 1-1 client.
Build leverage in your business to save time and make money
When I started running a marketing agency, I realized two things that were a spark to starting one of my successful group programs. I realized I was doing a lot of coaching and consulting as part of my services, since I needed to explain WHY we want to implement the strategy for a client. I also realized that I’m leaving money on the table when potential clients come to me for my 1-1 services and they tell me they don’t have the budget to work with me.
I started “downselling” them and offering to teach them the basics of what I would have delivered to them in the done-for-you service. They could not afford $5k/mo agency service but they surely could afford a $2k program that would teach them HOW to implement what they need themselves. I leveraged my skills, experience and knowledge of my clients’ needs to build a successful program that took 4 hours of my time a month plus a little bit of my time to record some walkthrough videos.
If an immigrant can do it, so can you!
Lots of people I talk to tell me they need to be a guru with some crazy frameworks to teach before they can even think about starting their program. Or that they need to have a huge audience. You don’t need any of that, you’re looking at it all wrong.
You see, when I moved from Poland to Canada, nobody knew I existed. My accent isn’t perfect, and you can imagine people had objections to telling “a guy who sounds like a Russian hacker” (true story, actual quote!) anything about their business, let alone give him any money. Yet, I launched my first group program for the North American market a year after I moved to Canada. Not a guru, no huge audience, no crazy frameworks. If an immigrant can do it, so can you!
Just when you’re “doing your thing”, hustling and perfecting your skills, because “you’re not good enough” someone else launches a program to your audience. A program that is probably worse than what your program could’ve been. And it pisses you off because “you had the same idea.” And it discourages you because now you’re thinking there is no room for your program.
You think the market is over-crowded and that everyone is already doing an online course or a group program in your niche? Of course they are and they make great money. People make hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in their programs. But that doesn’t mean you cannot do the same. The pie is huuuuge! And it doesn’t matter if you’re in America or in Europe - there are enough people around the world who can become your students. Just go to Facebook Audience Insights or to Google Keyword Planner and search for interests or keywords matching your potential program. Look how much potential there is, how many people are interested in the topic. You think one or two successful programs already out there will be able to capture an audience of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of clients?
You know what else stops people from launching their program? The tech and marketing. And the reason why they get overwhelmed by tech is they overcomplicate it. They go down the rabbit whole with choosing the best platform, the best email sequence, the funnels, the webinars. And all that DOESN’T matter. At least not in the beginning.
"I don't have the time", they say. Testing your first group program can take a few hours of your time. That's it. Few hours that can lead to impacting tens, hundreds of people and making you thousands of dollars. Worth it? If you don't think it is worth it, close this page and get back to whatever you were doing. But if you do so, please, don't blame anyone for having "the same idea" and launching a successful program in your niche.
"What if I'm still in 9-5?" That is great! It means you have the comfort to pay your bills while you test out your group programs ideas. Perhaps you can even leverage your current job to gain customer insights, do market research and build the program?
"My current audience is too small!" Read the next page to read about my approach to group programs and you will realize that you don't need to have a huge audience. In fact, the smaller network and audience is PERFECT to run a beta test of your program. Waiting until you're ready and until your audience is big enough is never a good approach.
“But Mike, I don’t know how to build a signature program.” And you don’t have to. There are ways to start testing and selling your program even before you have it built. And that’s the whole beauty of my approach to group programs.
And don't worry, you're not scamming anyone selling something that won't be built. You're not getting their money and running away with it!
You follow a simple testing loop that allows you to start from scratch, from an idea to a full blown program making you VERY good money. I used the same loop to take one of my programs from an idea and charging $697 for it to a full program I now charge $5k for in just 8 months.
I’ll go into more details on how to pull it all off now. So keep reading!
“Stop focusing on dumb stuff.” - Gary Vaynerchuk
- 1There are several groups of entrepreneurs who SHOULD look into running their group program. Because if they don’t, they are leaving money on the table.
- 2If you keep on answering the same question over and over again, you can leverage your time by creating a group program and helping more people.
- 3Build leverage in your business to save time and make money
- 4The market is not overcrowded (in fact, it is growing), you don't need to be a guru and you don't need to have a signature program