#197: What makes sense? One-to-One Coaching vs. Group Program vs. Digital Course


What makes the most sense for your business?

Building a One-to-One Coaching Offer, a Group Program, or a Digital Course?

This is probably something that you’ve been wondering and have seen suggestions telling you why each one of these is THE way to go.

But which one makes the most sense for you? After all, our businesses are not a one size fits all concept.

Offer Dilemma

We’ve seen all of the options and have tried to figure out what the right choice is for our business, but it just leaves us feeling muddled. The truth is that if there was just one right choice, then we wouldn’t need to have this conversation. We would be able to point to one offer and then say, alright, I’m going to build this.

Your offer structure, the offers you create, they are all dependent on your business and needs. For instance, I have limited capacity for 1:1 work in my business, so I have a small group program that is designed to allow course creators to get their course ready for pre-selling and recording, while still working with a small number of 1:1 clients. This allows me to help more people, but still provide customized and tailored help, even in the small group program.

I was recently talking with a client about options for getting some revenue and really honing their course idea and content. In this case, a 1:1 offer made sense with the end goal of a digital course in mind.

So what do we need to consider with each of these offers to determine the right fit for our business? Let’s take a deeper look.

Option 1: One-to-One Coaching

One-to-one coaching is a staple in the coaching industry and nearly every industry has some form of 1:1 coaching available. This kind of coaching allows for a highly customizable approach, a tailored experience, and we get to test out new ideas in a close setting.

I love 1:1 offers for clients who are heading toward a digital course because it gives them a chance to test out their course material and get nearly immediate feedback. That allows for them to adjust the course content, get clearer on what works and what the stumbling blocks to success for students might be, as well as get some income while they are crafting the course materials. Filling 1:1 coaching spots also means that you are validating your course idea AND content and have the opportunity to get testimonials and case studies from your clients.

One-to-one offers also allow us to charge just a bit more because our clients are getting 100% personalized attention. That is also one of the downsides. Not everyone will be able to afford a 1:1 coach, however, you will likely only be able to work with a handful of clients at a time so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

One-to-one offers can be time intensive and often require us to set boundaries, like not responding on weekends, but these are skills that we can use in a digital course as well!

On a whole, 1:1 offers are a fantastic way to begin mapping out and testing a digital course offer. So, it is not an either or situation. You can actually have both a 1:1 offer and a digital course. The 1:1 will be a “done with you” offer and the digital course might be more along the lines of a “do it yourself” offer.

Option 2: Group Program

Group programs are a great choice when thinking about building a revenue stream in your business, especially if a digital course is on the horizon. Why? Because a small group program gives you a chance to test out how your course works in a less customized way than in the 1:1 offer.

You will have a small group of people going through your group program, and because you have a course as part of your materials you can welcome people on a rolling basis. You don’t have to stick to a cohort approach where you can only start new clients every 3 or 6 months. You can welcome them when they are ready and they integrate seamlessly.

A group program will take less time than a 1:1 offer, but still more time than a digital course will take and a group program will often fall in the middle of the pricing that you have for your 1:1 and your digital course. The neat thing is that you may actually make more revenue from your group program than your 1:1 offer because you have multiple people fitting into that same live call each week rather than just one person.

I also like group programs on the pathway or an addition to a digital course, but eventually the group can be a VIP offer level of the digital course.

Option 3: Digital Course

Now we’ve talked about creating a 1:1 offer as well as a group program. Both of these can lead into or accompany a digital course, which means that we need to talk about the idea of having a digital course in your business.

Digital courses are a great option from several perspectives. They tend to be more affordable than 1:1 and group coaching programs for our clients and they can often be consumed when it is convenient for the client.

But as you might have guessed, I love to combine a digital course with a group program so that students get the best of both worlds. They get coaching, their questions answered, customized feedback, a pathway to follow, and human accountability with the freedom to consume the course content when it fits into their schedule.

You will always have course students who just want the course and can implement everything without further help, but having a combination of options really does open up your business for growth.

Action Item

So what do I recommend when I’m talking with a client? The answer depends on the client and their circumstances. It will depend on whether they need some faster cash, if they already have a digital course built, and what they have in mind for their business long term.

I encourage you to think about 1:1 coaching programs, group coaching programs, and digital courses and map out what pathway makes the most sense for your goals, time availability, and vision for your business.

There isn’t a wrong or a right answer here, but there will be one answer that is better suited to your business, despite what some might tell you!

If you are wondering what that right answer is for you, I’m going to share with you a perspective that made a world of difference when I was struggling with this exact question.

Become a Six Figure Course Creator

Regardless of what offer you decide to pursue in your business right now, the key to success in any of them will be your mindset. Becoming a Six Figure Course Creator is more than perfecting your offer or even having an impeccable suite of offers. It is about the combination of creating a stellar offer, creating magnetic messaging, learning what you need to learn, AND mastering your mindset.

Mindset is, quite honestly, one of those things that means the difference between a successful entrepreneur and one who never makes it to profitability. I’ve seen it time again throughout my 15 years as a college psychology professor, course creator, mentor, and entrepreneur.

While learning and mastering the strategies of business, like creating an offer that we confidently present to our audience, are critically important, they really only make up about 10% of our success as an entrepreneur. The other 90% often comes down to mindset work through tailored support.

If you are listening today and realizing that you are ready to take the next steps in your business and get customized, tailored help with building your digital course creation business so that you take that idea and are ready to record your course sooner rather than later, let’s have a talk. Send me a DM at DigitalCourseCreatorGuide on Instagram or Facebook that says, “Finished”, and we will sit down to figure out the next right steps for you and your digital course business.

Now I know that not everyone is ready for a Coach or mentor, but you might still have questions, need help getting unstuck, or just plotting out your next step. I’m here for that as well, because we all deserve to have support in our business. If you need a little extra support, I hold at least two slots each week for strategy calls that are designed to help you get unstuck and take action in your business. These are free, no obligation calls and you can schedule your call at coursecalls.com.

If you are ready to make the next 12 months THE year that you go from being an uncertain Course Creator to a Six Figure Course Creator, schedule a strategy call today. Again, the link to schedule is coursecalls.com.


Sixty-Second Solution

When you are creating offers, there is a lot of advice out there that is conflicting. Some will tell you to start with a one-to-one coaching offer, others will say no that 1:1 offers take too much time and have limited income so you should offer a group program, and still others will tell you to create a digital course and get it out into the world.

Every turn there is conflicting information. If there were one right answer for everyone, we wouldn’t need to have options. There would be a specific path of offers to follow. But, just like there are multiple ways to get to a destination on the map, there are multiple ways to choose your offers.

The key is to remember that you aren’t locked into any specific offer for any specific amount of time. Just because you try out a group program doesn’t mean that you have to continue with that group program forever.  When you can remember this, it becomes easier to take action and create your offer.

Where to Go Next?

If you are settled on an offer and are ready to start creating magnetic messaging to get the word out, check out Episode 177 to find out the 5 reasons that messaging can fail to be magnetic and what to do instead.

Until next time, happy creating!

Please Note: Dr. Moira was a Certified StoryBrand Guide from May 15, 2022 until July 15, 2024. Any episodes mentioning StoryBrand were recorded during a time when she was certified as a Guide. If you would like to be connected with an active StoryBrand Guide, feel free to reach out as she still maintains contacts within the Guide community.

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