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Create a continuity program from your group coaching

Once upon a timeOnce upon a time, in a land far, far away (2004), there was a little coach named Gina.  She ran a mini class for one week.  People liked it, so she did a longer class, for two weeks.

Then her class grew to 4 weeks.  She kept repeating this class, marketing every 4 weeks, but her income didn’t grow.  She wished and wished for a way to solve her problem.

Then she found out about a wondrous invention called a continuity program!

Cue the twinkling bell sounds and fog…  

Before I go on, let me fill you in on what this tale is about, because continuity programs are an excellent way to achieve a number of benefits, both for yourself and your clients.

Here is my definition of a continuity program (I’m open to any suggestions to add to or replace my efforts).

A continuity program is an ongoing program that you make available to any client finishing their individual or group coaching or training.  The program is usually lower cost than what they had been doing, with less hands-on training and direct contact from you.  

In a continuity program, the client might receive value from offers like:

  • Ongoing access to your library of materials
  • Once-a-month Q&A sessions about your content
  • Continuing access, as in a forum or private Facebook group, to other people who had participated in the same program.
  • A weekly chat or email from you

The benefits to clients include:

  • Continuing reminders of what they learned will make it more likely that they will implement what you taught
  • Continuing access to their peers will help them find support in what they’re trying to achieve
  • Continuing new (albeit tiny) input from you keeps them learning and incorporating the content into what they’ve already learned.
  • The ability to ask questions enables them to get past snags or hurdles and keep on putting things into action

So why would you bother trying to create a continuity program after teaching a successful class or running a coaching group?

  • Does all of the above sound like a lot of work to you?  I agree – the answer is “No.”
  • Even if you’re charging less per person than you do for your groups, it’s still money and it will add up.
  • This is a scalable business model, which means that once you have your continuity program set up, it doesn’t cost you anything (or costs very little) to add people to it.
  • If you keep people with you, they will be more likely to buy from you when you have other offerings.  They’ve already shown that they like you, and now that they’ve spent time in your continuity program, they will feel like part of the family.  So they’ll want to be in on whatever you cook up next!
  • A continuity program will make it more likely that people implement what you teach or coach.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?  Why would you be a change agent if you didn’t want people to change??

So back to little coach Gina:

Gina started to realize that every time her individual or group clients finished with coaching, they had other issues that stopped them from applying, getting into action, or implementing what they had learned.  She started to invite them into her 4-week class, which was based on accountability.  

Then she realized!  She had created a continuity program!  She changed it so that it was a continuous ongoing program, and people were automatically billed every month.

What made it very magic, however, was that it was based on GETTING THINGS DONE and not on learning new content forever after.  Gina found a special way to get people to do small amounts each day and be accountable to their groups.

Gina became wealthy, and now earns over $360,000 a year in mostly passive income from this continuity program.  

The only thing is, she is still little.

Do you think that you would be able to run a continuity program?  Have you ever been in one?  What do you think of the idea of running a program that is based on having people implement what they’ve learned?

I want to hear from you!  Post your comments below.

11 thoughts on “Create a continuity program from your group coaching

  1. Gina,

    Your post pretty much summed it all up for me. I’m a follower of another great IM personality but, find your insight extremely valuable. Its important to grab experts like you when one is away from home, overseas. I’m stationed in Singapore and sorely miss like-minded, mentoring guidance. A huge thanks.

    Queries (I’ll break them up into separate posts so I don’t overwhelm folks):

    1. Above Tandy asked “what you charged”? I realize it might not be appropriate for you to give exact figures. Can you guide us with some tidbits of advice?


    • gjhiatt said:

      Bill, thank you for pointing out that I hadn’t answered Tandy’s second question. My first membership site, which is the site that I first created the software for, is for academics with various degrees of writer’s block. They are not generally a population of wealthy people. So I charge $97 to professors and $87 to graduate students. There are also several options for those who want to sign up for longer time periods. You can see the pricing structure here: http://academicwritingclub.com. Just click on the little sticky on the right and it will take you right to the fees.

      Pricing is a confusing and many-layered task. There’s a certain amount of trial and error. Of course, what you charge for your membership site will change, depending on factors like:
      * How many bonuses or extras do they get?
      * Do you have weekly classes?
      * Do they get one-on-one meetings with the head guru? And many other things.

      The nice thing about the pricing is that once you’re ready to hire your own coaches, you can have them do the online coaching, so whatever you charge after paying your coaches, is passive income for you!

  2. Gina – Love how you switched your writing style a bit for this post. It had me thinking of a fairy tales. (grin) On the more practical side, however; you put food to thought too. I’ve never thought of doing a program after my private programs. Love how you framed the possibilities.

    • Ha! Thanks for noticing, Stephanie! I’m not much of a fiction writer, but that “once upon a time” approach just fit in as I started writing. Maybe it got some people’s attention and helped them open up to new possibilities, like it did for you. I sincerely hope so!
      Gina Hiatt recently posted..She Gets Things Done…My Profile

  3. Gina what a great idea! I was just evaluating my long-term business plan today and was thinking of adding a group coaching aspect. But the continuity idea is JUST what I needed!

    Kimberly Eldredge recently posted..5 Writing Goals for 2014My Profile

    • Kimberly, I feel like not offering some kind of continuity program is like being offered money and refusing it. So it’s a waste for the coach, and it’s sad for the clients. Once they have learned from you, it’s just the beginning. They need coaching through the process from beginning to end, and then they need to deal with the new issues that arise as a result of their success!
      Gina Hiatt recently posted..Ready to Run Online Get-it-Done Coaching Groups? Take this Self AssessmentMy Profile

      • Spot-on Gina.
        Often we, as coaches, get caught up in all the technical Dumbo-jumbo. You’re offering guidance that’ll help us get that done easily so we can continue focusing on what we do well…coaching.


        1. How important is it to have a membership site developed? I’ve had nightmares with two (2) separate freelancers. What would you recommend?

        • gjhiatt said:

          Hi Bill, I’ve done the hard work with the web developers so that you don’t have to. I worked first with my son-in-law, who is now the principle in a growing firm in the Philadelphia area. Now I work with other web developers in the area that he referred me to.

          Of course, it all depends on what you want your membership site to do for you. If you just want to give out info content, then there are a number of sites that do that for you. Finish Agent is software that allows you to form small communities, all focused on the process of implementation; the daily getting it done that we all procrastinate on.

          I can tell you one thing — if you’re going to have a top web developer who is reliable and well-respected working on your software, you will probably pay over $100,000 for something that you thought was just a basic idea. That’s the nature of the beast.

  4. Gina, I really loved this article. In another blog you posted an interview with a young woman who is an example of making things happen. As I listened to your interview discussion, I realized that I have been doing more thinking, planning and wanting it to be as close to perfect as possible. I’ve released the perfect and embrace the good enough for now and I needed to hear this interview when I did to push me through the other part. I thought about this because YOU took action. You realized a way to help things stick with your clients and create revenue. I LOVE the idea of a continuity program. I am definitely going to have this with my offerings. Congrats and thanks for sharing such a great business idea that works Gina. I have a few questions for you:
    1. What platform do you use for your continuity program? Is it a private fb page, a membership site or something else?
    2. What, on average, how much do you charge for the monthly investment?
    Tandy Elisala recently posted..7 Part Series- Surviving the Holidays: From Bullheadedness to Levelheadedness ~1/7My Profile

    • Tandy, the software that I use is proprietary membership site software that I created (well, high-level web developers created for me) for my first business. I’ve proven it to be successful in helping people take action towards their goals, and in giving me passive income ($320,000 in 2011, $360,000 in 2012). I now license that software and teach how to create, market and grow your groups to achieve the same results as I did. The cost of licensing can easily be recouped by running one group for 12 weeks. After that, your profits can soar! I’m offering free discovery sessions this week — if you’re interested in learning more, go to meetme.so/GinaHiatt-FA to set up a time for us to talk!
      Gina Hiatt recently posted..Ready to Run Online Get-it-Done Coaching Groups? Take this Self AssessmentMy Profile

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