As a financial coach, you probably want to impact and help as many clients as possible, but before you start a group coaching program, let me share why I think 1:1 coaching should be your first move.

The Real Deal on 1:1 Coaching

I know, I know. You’ve seen all those ads pushing you to launch a course or a group program right out of the gate. But hear me out—I’m practically begging you to start with 1:1 coaching first. Here’s the thing: lots of folks argue that 1:1 coaching isn’t scalable. You know, the whole “if you don’t work, you don’t get paid” spiel. But let’s get real for a second. Worrying about scaling before you’ve even tested or proven your process is like planning to spend money you haven’t made. Not wise, right?

1:1 coaching is your golden opportunity to make money, save a chunk of it, and maybe even retire early. Every job is scalable if you play your cards right with your savings. So, before we jump ahead, let’s dig into the perks of starting with 1:1 coaching.

The Benefits of Starting Small

Starting with 1:1 coaching is, in a word, easier. It’s all about focusing on the client right in front of you, honing your craft, and really tuning into what your clients struggle with and desire. This direct line to your clients’ challenges and wishes? It’s marketing gold.

Plus, 1:1 coaching lets you spot patterns and trends in what your clients need and how you can serve them best. These insights are what you’ll eventually pack into your group programs, making them resonate even more with your audience. And speaking of audiences, the results you get from your 1:1 clients are the success stories that’ll help your audience grow—an audience you’ll need when it’s time to launch that group program.

Spotting Patterns

As you dive into 1:1 coaching, you’ll start to notice things like:

  • Which clients light you up (and which ones don’t)
  • Your coaching style—maybe you’re all about the nitty-gritty, or perhaps mindset work is where you shine
  • The questions that really get your clients thinking and making progress
  • Where your clients tend to get stuck and need extra support
  • The parts of the coaching journey that are cause for celebration

These insights are invaluable. They not only shape your coaching philosophy but also hint at what could make your group offerings stand out.

Advancing to 1:Many

In the Financial Coach Academy® (FCA), we talk about how to transition from 1:1 offerings to 1:many, creating that much-coveted scale and leverage. But remember, you need an audience first. And building that audience starts with 1:1 coaching.

The Tech and Mindset Leap

Moving to group coaching involves mastering crucial conversations, like setting boundaries and understanding group dynamics—skills that are tough for new coaches. Plus, you’ll need systems in place to manage more clients, payments, and all the details that come with a larger scale operation. Your confidence and mindset also get a major boost from 1:1 coaching, preparing you to lead and nurture a group.

Why Group Coaching is a Whole Different Ball Game

Group coaching shifts the focus from individual results to collective progress and growth. It’s rewarding but presents a new challenge: it’s harder to see the immediate results you’re used to with 1:1 clients. Did you know only 12% of people complete courses? That can mess with your head as a coach. At FCA, our completion rate is much higher because we focused on live delivery initially, helping us identify and address sticking points.

Group coaching also requires you to be a community builder, fostering an environment where clients support and learn from one another. It’s about creating a space where experienced clients can share insights and newbies can find guidance and inspiration.

The Bottom Line

Here’s the deal: start with 1:1 coaching. It’s the best way to get your feet wet, build your confidence, and refine your coaching process. Once you’ve got that down and you’re ready for the next step, that’s when you start asking how you can scale and leverage your business. Maybe a group program is the answer, or perhaps a course. But there are many ways to grow, and you’ll figure out what’s right for you as you evolve.

So, to all my fellow coaches out there, remember: start small, dream big, and the path to scaling your coaching business will unfold in front of you.