6 Steps to Scale a Coaching Program Leveraging Your Team's Strengths (With Templates)
If you’ve spent time coaching your team or clients online or face to face, you know they’re unique. Clients come to you with different experiences, expertise, personalities, goals, and expectations, even if you’re working in a specific service niche. Clients seek professional help for a myriad of reasons. Some of those, they often don’t yet realize.
And each team member and client’s uniqueness can be an opportunity. It all depends on the mindset you approach them with utilizing the right strengths utilization, service mix and technology. Let me ask you a question:
Do you think you can let go of believing you and your team have to create a coaching strategy and service offering from the ground up for each client?
If you answered yes, then you’re in the right place.
Instructional coaching programs offer any service business the opportunity to utilize your team’s strengths, scale your business with less effort, reach more clients (and meet more of their needs), and improve your team and business efficiency.
And, you’ll be learning in the process! You can build on each success to build a program that will support your overall business goals.
And contrary to popular belief (and the experience of most of our customers), building a coaching program doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll walk you through step-by-step how to scale an instructional coaching program leveraging your team’s strengths.
How Do I Build a Coaching Program Using my Team’s Strengths?
Building a coaching program, whether life coaching programs, health coaching programs, or something else entirely, is a step-by-step process. It requires a strategy, an end goal, and an ideal client in mind to help you create a program your team can use effectively.
And, leveraging your team’s innate strengths in the process can be even more challenging. But it pays.
“Teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity. Teams that receive strengths feedback have 8.9% greater profitability.”
Luckily, there’s a simple formula you can use according to Gallup’s Strengths-based Assessments:
Talent X Investment = Strength
Where “Talent (a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving) X Investment (time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base) = Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance).”
So, start your process with a focus on your team’s strengths so you’re sure they’re contributing in accordance with their potential.
Then take time to consider your client's needs, goals, and perspectives. Both of these exercises can help you shape a straightforward, insightful program that continues to add value over your customer's lifetime. Here’s how to build an instructional coaching program that will continue adding value to your business, team, and client’s lives for years to come.
Step #1: Start with Your Why
As Stephen Covey stated in his famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Begin with the end in mind.” Your first step in building a coaching program is visualizing what the result and goal are for your client. What will they get out of working with you? The answer to this question should be the driving force behind your coaching program.
This step requires getting into your clients’ mindset and thinking through their habits, motivations, and pain points. Some client-centric questions to consider during your program planning phase:
- What stage are they at in their journey when they start working with you?
- What do they envision for themselves, and what’s their ideal outcome?
- How do they want to improve or grow while working with you?
- What do they believe they “need” to get to the next step towards their goals?
- What experience do they expect while they work with you?
- These questions can help you identify the overall
“Begin with the end in mind.” Your first step in building a coaching program is visualizing what the result and goal are for your client. What will they get out of working with you? The answer to this question should be the driving force behind your coaching program.
Step #2: Set Measurable Goals of Success
What actionable outcomes do you and your clients expect of your coaching programs? Measurable goals help your clients see results and validate your program’s success.
Think through using the SMART methodology with your team when creating program goals:
Come up with specific, realistic goals your team and your clients can achieve after completing your coaching program.
- For example, a goal for a life coaching program might be that they’ll have the tools they need to organize their lives and beat procrastination.
- For health coaching programs, on the other hand, the goal might be to integrate mental or emotional health tools and techniques, like mindfulness, into their lives or leadership style.
Step #3: Create a Coaching Framework
Designing and building a coaching program can feel intimidating at first. It’s easy to get trapped in your head and a never-ending analysis paralysis loop. Sometimes, it helps to do some exercises to gain clarity and help you communicate the value of your program and what clients can expect.
Here are some exercises you can do to start getting out of your head and gaining clarity around your program. You can pick one that appeals to you and your team the most. Or try on all three for additional clarity.
#1: Start at the End
Starting with the end, think, “To get there, my client must first…” then fill in the blank.
How to do it:
- Using the ideal outcomes and measurable goals for success, work backward with your team in step-by-step order to identify each milestone that a client needs to reach to get that result. Starting with the end, think, “To get there, my client must first…” then fill in the blank.
- For each of these mini-milestones, craft specific content and programs that will help guide your clients to the next stage.
Try these templates with your team to get the process started:
Pro Tip: Don’t rush through this step. It might take some time to get used to thinking backward. You may find yourself circling back and adding little steps you skipped along the way, or you might have to move things around. Don’t get frustrated: that’s exactly what this exercise forces you to do.
How do we know we’re doing it? You’ll find yourself filling out your program framework that keeps client needs front and center. And, you’ll come up with a roadmap through your program in no time!
#2: Narrate Your Client’s Story
When you imagine working with your ideal client, what results from your work together? Write the story of your client’s experience from their perspective. Use these emotion wheel templates to help you be more specific about their emotional experience. The more richly you write about their experience, the more you’ll get from the exercise.
How to do it:
- When you imagine working with your ideal client, what results from your work together? Write the story of your client’s experience from their perspective. Start from the moment they join your program to the very end, and fill in all the details along the way.
- For each stage, describe how they feel and what insights they uncover. Did they come to any realizations? Imagine these from your client’s perspective and get the full experience.
- Write about any specific emotions (such as uncertainty, excitement, or fear) they may feel along the way and what they expect at each step. Use these emotion wheel templates to help you be more specific about their emotional experience. The more richly you write about their experience, the more you’ll get from the exercise.
Try these templates with your team to get the process started:
Pro Tip: When you’ve written the story from your client’s experience, go back and highlight any of the key realizations they’ll have along their program journey. These highlighted parts will make wonderful talking points when communicating with prospects or creating promotional program material.
How do we know we’re doing it? Try vetting the experience map with a few of your ideal clients the program is targeted at. Do they resonate? What’s missing? Let your client lead the way to deeper insight into their needs. Afterward, review with your team where you got their experience and where you missed it so you can learn and grow together.
#3: Think Through Failure as a Service Team
Flip the “ideal client” narrative on its head until your team can confidently answer the question: what would have to happen for the client to fail in our program?
This last exercise comes from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, which he refers to as “The Failure Premortem”. It is about analyzing your potential failure and understanding what roadblocks might lead you there. The point is to think through errors and what could go wrong to avoid them.
How to do it:
- In this exercise, flip the “ideal client” narrative on its head. Imagine a failed client that did not get any use or success from your course. Detail what went wrong during your program that kept them from getting a desirable outcome.
- What could have happened in your client’s past that would make your program challenging for them? Are there certain feelings they may experience during the program that might contribute to failure? This perspective will help you pinpoint any challenges that come with your program and how you can help your clients avoid failure from the start.
Pro Tip: It’s critical to consider possible challenges when deciding how to build a coaching program. It will keep you from being surprised when your clients struggle so that you can confidently keep them engaged and hopeful through the process.
How do we know we’re doing it?
- When your team can confidently answer the question: what would have to happen for the client to fail in our program, and
- You’ve designed the program in a way that addresses what comes up.
Step #4: Start With a Simple Coaching Program and Scale from There
With your ideal client, goals, milestones and client experience in place, you are now ready to start designing and building your instructional coaching program.
Pro Tip: Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make everything in your program all at once. Instead, start simple and build out from there.
Use your milestones to guide you as you map out the essential pieces to build into the system. Make the steps as specific as possible, and take the time to create those pieces.
Some examples of essentials for your coaching program include:
- A welcome video and onboarding form and/or PDF content embedded into the first program module that set clear client expectations and benefits from your program.
- Early-release your intro program material to enrolled client cohorts so they can get a head-start, helping them orient when the program opens.
- Choose a service delivery designed program building software that allows you to integrate all the parts of your service delivery process into modules, like:
- Video and reading materials
- Forms and questions
- One-on-one sessions
- Group sessions
- Embed materials directly or insert links into program modules for critical resources they can use along the way.
A simple program is critical for iterating what works among your team as your program grows and evolves. Complexity can be challenging to replicate and assess if its delivering your ideal client program experience. So, start small, and then build from there as you learn.
Step #5: Create Implementation Material
By creating implementation opportunities, you give the client a chance to apply and practice your coaching framework.
Once you’ve thought through the essentials of your program, create implementation opportunities. This is the client’s chance to apply and practice your coaching framework. Some examples include:
- For health coaching programs, a simple habit tracker will help them build healthy habits like drinking water each day, meditation, or setting boundaries with their colleagues.
- For life coaching programs, a daily journal where they can record their thoughts, wins, and challenges.
- Facilitate interactive sessions within a collaborative community space where client cohorts (and teams co-authoring or co-hosting the program) can find support and encouragement.
These materials will help them get results and start putting your team’s advice into action.
What Makes a Good Coaching Program?
While building out the essentials of your team’s program, you’re probably wondering what separates successful coaching businesses from the ones that fall flat. While a great program is essential to a thriving online coaching business, it takes more than just your program.
The two places to focus on are:
- A straightforward and effective client onboarding process, and
- Providing an increasing customer lifetime value.
These two elements are essential for the overall quality of your program and for reducing effort for your clients. They’ll help you attract customers and earn recurring revenue. Continue to consider how you can improve client acquisition even after you have finished creating your program.
Step #6: Collect Feedback
Most of your program so far has been developed by thinking through your ideal client and what you believe (and hopefully have validated!) they want and need. Once you launch your program, you have a critical opportunity to continue testing your assumptions and improving the quality of your and your team’s service delivery. Feedback will provide the information you need to continue iterating and perfecting your coaching program.
How to do it:
- Ask clients as soon as they finish your program for their opinions. Everything will be fresh in their minds, and they’ll be able to provide specifics.
- Consider sending an email right away that links to a simple form to fill out.
- If you and your team coach virtually or face-to-face in one-on-one sessions, consider asking them in your last meeting and taking notes.
Pro Tip: Keep your client’s personality and preferences in mind. Many people wouldn’t provide critical feedback to a coach’s face, and you might miss out on valuable insights because they would like to avoid criticism or conflict.
Once you launch your program, you have a critical opportunity to continue testing your assumptions and improving the quality of your and your team’s service delivery. Feedback will provide the information you need to continue iterating.
Some questions you might want to ask about their client experience include:
- How would you rate the overall quality of your program?
- What was most helpful?
- What could be improved about this program?
- Did this program help you reach your goals? If so, which ones?
- Would you recommend this program to a friend?
- Would you like to offer any other comments or feedback for improvement?
After the initial feedback, consider reaching back to clients within a few months up to a year later, to see if they’ve continued using the tools offered in your coaching program.
For example, do they continue to save time or money, journal daily, practice mindfulness or set boundaries? The more value your clients get, the more likely they are to recommend your program to others. Use the feedback you collect later to see how your program can continue to offer value and long-term transformation for your clients.
Scale Your Service Business, Give More Value with Coaching Programs
A professional coaching program that keeps your client’s goals, problems, and perspectives at the forefront help you and your team grow your service business and reach more prospective clients. The right software will not only help you create an effective program but continue to scale it (and your business) utilizing the strengths of your service team.
For example, Profi’s coaching program software allows teams of service providers to share and co-author program delivery, co-host individual and group sessions as program modules, and automate evaluation form delivery within the program. As an integrated platform, coaches get everything they need to build and sell coaching programs painlessly. Plus, you can create a cohort program community, so your clients have a more engaging and supportive experience within focused cohorts of their peers.
Ready to start building a coaching program you, your team, and your clients will love? Book a Demo with one of our Product Coaches today. We’ll show you how we help service providers organize, deliver, and expand their service delivery on a pro-level platform designed with professional service teams like yours in mind.
Generate more profit for your service practice
Without investing any more time. You've been helping others — it's time to help yourselfTry for free