Today, we are continuing along our 5-step process for planning high end group programs. In part 1, we focused on designing a transformational journey for your clients. In part 2, we’re looking more at the delivery and creating a first-rate customer experience. Because if you’re going to charge high-ticket then the whole experience as well as the transformation, the outcomes they get has got to hit the mark.
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If you can get the design and delivery nailed right, high ticket group coaching programs are such an effective leveraged strategy for three key reasons.
Firstly, group programs generally, are a more scalable as business models than working 1:1 with clients – what in my book I call Leveraged Delivery.
Secondly, and I covered this back in episode 26, the fact is that clients love group programs because they get to work closely with you without having to pay 1:1 prices, that I covered in episodes 29 and 30.
And third, high ticket group programs provide a nice premium and/or extended experience that is both scalable and profitable.
In these two articles (and podcast episodes), last week and this week, we’re leaning more in the high ticket advantage, programs that are both a high-end group experience and an extended engagement, sometimes over 6 or 12 months.
In terms of price point I’m talking at least $2,000, even programs or consulting assignments that touch the $20,000 or $50,000 dollar mark. I just landed one of those last week in fact.
So quick synopsis of part 1. I went through steps 1 and 2 focused on designing a high-end group program – the principles and some exercises to help you plan out the transformational journey you will take your clients through.
Step 1 showed you how to Confidently Build Your Audience’s Transformational Journey and step 2 focused on Building A Magnetic Program your clients are really drawn to want.
Today, we’re moving onto Steps 3, 4 and 5. So let’s get going …
Step 3 – Uplevel Your Program By Building a Killer Foundation
Step 3 is totally leaning into the high-end element, so you can uplevel your program with a killer foundation, the pillars of your program, that is the roadmap for your client’s transformation – your curriculum and expert system.
If you want your group program to be successful, you need to build a strong foundation. Just throwing ideas ‘out into the wind’ and hoping for the best will not give you the results you want, and your clients won’t get the results they want either.
In these next exercises, you’re going to build the foundation for your group program. Consider these the building blocks of the program. What steps do your clients need to take – and in what particular order – so they can reach their goal and claim victory?
Have you heard the phrase ‘pillar content’ in the internet marketing world or in regard to content marketing?
Basically, the pillars of your business are the primary topics that you’re teaching. Those are the reasons your clients seek you out: To learn more about these topics from YOU, their go-to expert.
These pillars are the primary basis of your content marketing. In order to attract people to your program or service, you need to teach them and share information that showcases your expertise. Once you attract their attention, you can woo them to your email list and highlight your products and other programs in your sales funnel.
The pillars in the next exercise serve a similar purpose: They are the basis of your coaching program and should convey EXACTLY what your clients will learn and put into practice.
Whereas your business pillars might be broad, your program pillars should be narrow and focused on exactly what your program will tackle. You’re aiming for a particular outcome with this program and your pillars serve as the roadmap to achieve that outcome.
When you are clear on what you are offering, then your clients are clear in the transformational change they will experience alongside you. This is the foundational stage that will create alignment in the overall curriculum and offer your clients a widely successful transformation.
After you outline your pillars, you need to develop your signature framework – your expert system. Basically, do a brain dump of everything you need to teach your clients and then label them in chronological order.
If you’re already working with clients 1:1 then think about what you do from the moment they sign up with you to completing the project.
Outlining your program this way allows you to notice if there are missing pieces and you’ll also get a feel for the flow. A smooth flow gently glides your clients to their goal. A jumpy back and forth will only confuse and frustrate them.
Now we’ll go into the exercises. Here’s the link to the workbook again, that we used last week to support the planning exercises – they give you the templates you can use as you work through each one.
Exercise 3A: Program Pillars
Create the pillars of what you teach in this program. The goal should be five to ten pillars that are the foundation of your participants’ success.
Make a table of your Pillar titles and description.
Exercise 3B: Develop Your Signature Framework
Brainstorm EVERYTHING you know about helping your client reach their goals. When finished, go back and number each item in your list according to your process.
Now put those thoughts into chronological order. What do you need to teach first, second, third, etc. to move your clients toward their goal?
Now decide if any of these tasks can be grouped together and discussed at the same time. Can you eliminate any because they don’t fit with the overall theme of the program?
- Does the order of tasks flow logically?
- What topics can be combined?
- What topics should be eliminated?
Step 4 – Craft An Irresistible Program That Attracts Solid High-End Clients Everyday
This is the curriculum and delivery model for your program. Building a program that your potential clients can’t say no to is right at your fingertips. This outline will help you get massively clear and intentional to craft a curriculum that is inspired and delivers on your promise.
We’re diving into details here again in terms of what you’ll need to proceed with each lesson. Keep in mind…you do NOT need to create all of these components all at once or this weekend! We’re outlining, making plans, and then you’ll check your current inventory of content to see what can be repurposed.
Outsourcing is also an option if your final list seems too overwhelming. When outsourcing, you can also just assign select pieces of your course; it’s not an ‘all or nothing’ situation, which I hope is reassuring if you’re running on a tight budget.
First, take your Pillar List and jot down some notes about the resources you want to use. Some topics are better suited for certain types of media. For instance, if you need to demonstrate how something works or how to install a certain software, pre-recording a video or sharing your screen via a webinar will be easier to follow for your clients.
Likewise, case studies or other kinds of storytelling can be done in a written eBook or recorded as an audio. The choice is yours.
You’ll also make this more of a reality by scheduling your lessons on a master calendar. Does the timing and the order of lessons still make sense? Are there any dates that might cause a problem? Pencil it all in and make changes as needed.
Next, think about how many types of resources will you need to produce for each pillar lesson. If you’re talking strategy, a one-hour webinar may be enough time. If you’re teaching about something much more complex, then multiple videos might be helpful to get deeper into your subject matter.
One note: Even though we’re talking about teaching resources, remember to put extra focus on your group of clients. Not only are a lot of transformational high-end programs activity led, the dialogue amongst your participants and with you in a group setting is a huge part of the value you’re providing.
Plus, your clients input about your subject matter can lead to remarkable discussions and perspectives that you may not have thought about.
Even though they look to you as the leader and teacher, their transformational experience can be enhanced by the conversations among themselves, so don’t discount that discussion time, no matter how many learning resources you provide.
There’s a reason why you may see an increasing number of group programs take the form of a facilitated mastermind. These are less about you teaching and more about your people sharing experiences, knowledge and challenges they face whether that’s in their life or business, their career or relationships.
It’s good to share our collective wisdom.
And there’s nothing wrong with being a little bit vulnerable and asking for ideas. Even the most private of people can be coaxed out of closed-loop thinking so they can get all of the wonderful value from a participatory experience in a group. It can be super empowering in terms of moving you forward.
As the designer of this group experience, it’s your role to help people transition into that mode of learning, to make them feel comfortable and safe so they start opening up.
Now that you have a list of content for your group, let’s take a look at your current content inventory to see if anything can be reused.
- Have you taught this subject before? Take a look at your older resources and update as necessary or add new resources.
- Do you have a success journal or an ideas notebook you use to capture pearls of wisdom or stories from your everyday work or experiences? Use that to outline your sessions key takeaways.
- Do you have an eBook on this subject? Use that as one of the resources.
- Do you have older blog posts or PowerPoint slides? Create a webinar with this content and update it as needed.
As you continue making these outlines, look for any gaps, either in the types of resources you’re providing or in the subject matter. Make adjustments as needed. But also take notes about the types of content and the amount you’ll have to create from scratch. Schedule enough time to do it yourself or start looking for independent VAs or creatives who can assist with content creation.
Lastly, consider any high-end bonuses you’d like to include as part of this program package. Since you’re aiming for a high-end clientele, you’ll need a lot more than templates or worksheets to offer.
Think BIG, like weekend retreats or VIP days. Get creative and think in terms of what will appeal to your high-end clients. What would be the ‘icing on the cake’ for the, so to speak, that would really tip them towards a big ‘yes’ to sign up for your program.
Exercise 4A: Curriculum Overview
Identify your program structure. Fill in these worksheets that break down your program by month and then fill in what you will provide for content.
Create a worksheet for each month or module with 4 columns: Topic – Resource, Activity, Feedback
If your program runs longer than 3 months, simply copy the pages into a new file or print out extra worksheets.
Exercise 4B: Inventory Your Assets
Identify what content you already have that can be repurposed into the program structure. Go through your inventory and pull out all the content that matches the program structure you’ve just identified and add it to this exercise.
Blog posts, articles, images & infographics, videos, audio, worksheets, ebooks
Exercise 4C: Gap Identifier
Brainstorm what you still need to create to fill in any gaps where they don’t have repurposed content. Take note of the format and if you’ll need to outsource.
Create a table for each lesson number/topic – resource list, content to re-use, new content to create.
Exercise 4D: Fresh Bonuses
Let’s map out the “bonuses” you will offer so that people jump into this program easily. Use the brainstorm list to dump any and all ideas, then sort through them and map out details of the ones that interest you the most.
Which of these brainstorm ideas will appeal the most to your prospects? Make notes about your next steps to create this bonus.
And then you have to decide at what point of the program will clients receive this bonus?
Will it be delivered virtually or in person?
For in person:
- choose a location.
- research travel prices.
- do you need to rent space?
- do you need to book lodging?
- do you need to order food or book a caterer?
- will an event planner or meeting organizer be more equipped to help or find better pricing for you?
Will the bonus be included in the program price or extra?
Step 5 – Cultivate A Process That Build Genuine Rapport and Excitement to Start Your Program
Getting a ‘yes’ and hearing the cha-ching from your Stripe account is just the beginning… once your client is in, we need to ensure they are quickly set up for success.
Your welcome and onboarding process should pinpoint the exact process to welcome your new client with open arms and begin building a relationship that excites them continually.
Remember that onboarding a new client isn’t just about filling out paperwork. It’s about the WHOLE process and experience from the moment you speak to them until the moment they leave your service.
Of course, you’ll want them to stay as a long-term client so making them feel special and creating new products and programs to keep them loyal is all part of the onboarding experience.
As a customer, have you ever been less than thrilled with one of your shopping experiences? Have you ever hired a contractor who took days, weeks, or months to return your call?
These may seem like tiny incidents, but they all leave a bad first impression, which is NOT what we’re aiming for, especially with a high-class clientele.
So, take these personal examples and learn from them. How would you have preferred to be treated? What resolution were you hoping for but didn’t receive? What would have turned your impression around immediately? Craft your client’s journey with these things in mind.
To begin, you’ll want to map out your clients’ journey from the moment they show some interest in your program until they pay to join. How will you attract their attention? How will you entice them to learn more? How will you convince them that they DO need your program?
I’ve always used what I call my ‘ENGAGE – EDUCATE – ENROL’ pathway as a high level way of mapping this out, and the basis of that end-to-end customer journey.
But the process doesn’t stop as soon as you enrol a new client. What happens AFTER enrolment is also pretty important for that first great impression of you.
Once they pay, how will you calm their nerves that this was indeed a wise investment? If there’s still time before the program starts (such as days or weeks) how will you keep them excited? Once the program starts, will you do anything extra besides provide the best possible content and coaching possible?
Next, it’s time to create a customized workflow. Usually workflows follow the “if this, then that” equation, meaning “if this person sends an email asking questions, then I need my VA to schedule a discovery call.”
When you’re producing high-end items, your clients will likely need more convincing and handholding before they invest; so, be prepared to speak directly with them on a personal basis, ready and willing to answer their questions and to really dig deep into whether they are a suitable candidate for the program.
The order in which these things should happen is easier to organize with a workflow checklist.
Once a new client pays the program fee, what happens next? How are they welcomed into your inner circle? Again, it may seem like a small thing, but your high-end clients expect high-end service so plan out your welcome strategy and put it into action.
Exercise 5A: Client Journey Framework
Identify the client journey from the moment they show interest to the moment they send payment.
Level 1 – Your Prospect has shown interest … how do you keep them interested
Level 2 – Your Prospect has questions …schedule a discovery call
Level 3 – Your Prospect is hesitating at the price …how can you clarify the value for them in relation to the need/problem they want to solve and trust in you to deliver the solution.
Exercise 5B: Administrative Checklist
Look at your workflow and identify any tweaks that need to be made to ensure the client journey is set up for success and it’s super simple. Add your own ideas, customise it to your program, then hand over to a team member to fulfil.
Level 1: Interest
- Share free content
- Host a webinar that shows next steps
- Share case studies that show proven results
Level 2: Discovery Call
- Learn about the prospect’s background
- Learn about the prospect’s needs
- Ask qualifying questions
Level 3: Hesitation before Paying
- What more can you offer the prospect?
- What objections do you need to address?
- Share case studies & testimonials
Exercise 5C: Welcome Them with Open Arms
Create a welcome process and designate a team member to follow through with each client.
Your prospect paid!
- Immediate personal acknowledgment
- Audio message?
- Personal phone call?
- Personal Gift
- Branded for YOUR business
- Relevant to a personal hobby
- Relevant to THEIR business
- Regular emails leading up to program start – create a list of topics or questions you can address
And that’s it folks!
The Stress-Free Way to Planning High End Group Programs
Just a final word to say that planning a high-ticket group program that is highly scalable and highly profitable for you, and a high-end, high quality experience for your clients is a total win:win as a leveraged business strategy as long as it doesn’t stress you out.
And that’s what the group program planner is there to help you with 🙂 Grab a copy by opting into the box below or click here.
When you map everything out and create workflows for everything that needs to happen, things are likely to run nice and smoothly for a stress-free experience for you and your clients.
I’d love to hear how these two episodes landed with you.
Do you have questions? Comments?
Head over to the podcast site at leveragedbusinesspodcast.com to find all the episodes back, links to the show notes and a section where you can submit a question or comment, written or audio. I’d really love to get your take on what’s standing in your way when planning high end group programs or getting one up and running.