We know you’re a great coach. You’ve studied diligently and honed communication and interpersonal skills to get this far. You’ve helped your clients succeed and learned how to be a better coach as you’ve done more and more coaching sessions.
But have you ever asked yourself what makes your coaching method different? Surely, you could name a few factors — but now it’s time to put them into writing by building a proprietary coaching program — something that makes you unique.
You want new clients to come for what you and you alone have to offer. The first step is learning how to create a coaching program that reflects your unique approach.
Our Successful Coaching Program Checklist can guide you as you build a client-centered program from the brainstorming phase down to the last details. Plus, we’ll explain what makes a great program, how to define your coaching priorities, and how to use feedback from former clients to perfect your work.
What’s a coaching program?
A coaching program is your roadmap to helping your clients. Every client’s different, so the main challenge of creating a program is making one that’s adaptable for various individuals.
At baseline, a coaching program should help your client get from point A to point B (or whatever point their desired outcome is). All of your clients will have different goals and journeys, and these points vary depending on your type of coaching and the type of client you focus on. If you’re a health coach, these points may represent your client’s wellness goals. If you’re a business coach, they may be growth metrics for an entrepreneurial project. And, if you’re a life coach, they may represent something trickier to track, like a boost in your client’s view of themselves.
Remember, all coaching programs should be supportive and empower clients to take confident steps toward their goals.
3 things every coaching program should have
Now it’s time to explain how to create a signature coaching program and the three central pillars every program should include. The three pillars are:
1. An assessment
You need to understand where your clients are now to form a functional plan to move forward. Clearly identify their current problems and goals.
2. Clear expectations
Make sure you and your client are on the same page regarding expectations. Explain that they’re starting a journey and you’ll adapt the plan as needed to help them achieve their goals. If your client’s ambitions are a bit too lofty, help them set smaller, more realistic goals to ensure progress.
3. A flexible roadmap
Flexibility is crucial to every good coaching program. When the current plan isn’t working, you’ll need to adapt. Actively listen to your clients, track their progress, and give them the space to voice their perspectives on their progress. If they’re straying from the course, shift them in the right direction to bring them closer to their goals.
How to create a coaching program step by step
Taking a program from concept to practice is a lot of work. To organize your ideas, follow our helpful checklist — it covers the entire process, from defining your coaching principles to setting prices. Move through the list in order and don’t skip any steps!
As you start structuring your coaching program, keep the following two tips in mind:
- Don’t get too attached to structure — flexibility is an essential pillar of these programs.
- If you’ve worked with clients before, ask them about their experience and use this feedback to structure your new program.
Once you’ve considered these points, ask yourself the following questions as a basis for your program:
- What kind of transformations do I want my client to experience? Start by thinking about goals and end results, then work backward to establish your client’s journey.
- What will my clients need to achieve their transformation? Consider a range of potential client needs and what you would have to do to address them.
- What kind of coaching packages do I want to offer? Determine the number of sessions for the different coaching services you offer, create a program outline showing what clients can expect as “deliverables,” and set costs. Don’t forget to name your programs with titles worthy of their performance.
- How can I best deliver my lessons? You don’t need to offer face-to-face coaching to be successful. Phone or video coaching is also effective, and might be your client’s preference. In fact, if you have some stellar writing skills, you might consider communicating your ideas in a book or website. Here are some alternative methods to deliver lessons:
- Virtual training/webinars
- Workbooks and worksheets
- Hybrid formats
Now that you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to get to the drawing board. If you’re unsure where to start, use a coaching program template to help establish the structure of your program.
How long does it take to create a coaching program?
There’s no right answer, but typically, creating program structures takes between 1–6 months (or longer). Take as much time as you need to create the perfect program to guide your clients on their journey. Here are some factors that determine how long it might take to form your curriculum:
- Your coaching experience
- Feedback from your previous clients
- How many iterations of the program you plan to make
- How long your program will be
- The coaching tools and techniques you want to use
After you’ve designed your unique coaching program, put it into action to help your clients. With a little help from your friends at Practice, you can develop programs to guide your clients and elevate your coaching business. From calendar managers to contract templates, we have all you need to streamline your coaching business — and it’s all in one place. Get access to the platform here.