Almost every professional coach is doing something more than working with clients in one-on-one coaching sessions. Creating your signature coaching package is just one piece of the overall coaching income puzzle, alongside one on one sessions, group coaching, speaking, retreats, writing, and so many other avenues for bringing in income.
Unlike the traditional method of bundling sessions, a signature coaching program pulls together different aspects of what you do as a coach, and creates an overall transformative experience for your clients. Usually one that utilizes your specific skill set and is geared towards helping your clients achieve a certain outcome that works within your expertise.
Your signature package isn't simply about bundling up coaching sessions; it's about building a journey that embodies your unique coaching style and serves your ideal client well.
Don’t get overwhelmed and make the project too big to start. Begin with something small and doable because developing a signature program isn’t an overnight project. You don’t need to have it completed in one go – it’s an iterative process. Start small, test out your ideas, see what works and what resonates and keep building from there.
Also, done is better than perfect! Write that down somewhere you can see it, memorize it and hold it in your heart. You’re not going to knock it out of the park your first try – this is all about getting the first version out there and then improving as you go.
11 Steps To Build Your Signature Coaching Program
Step 1: Identify Your Niche and Define the Outcome
In order to create a coaching program, you need to clearly define your coaching niche and the transformation you will help your clients achieve.
This should ideally be summarized in a short, compelling sentence that resonates with your potential clients. This statement is the framework of your signature offer, a quick explanation of what you are helping your clients achieve.
Some examples of offer statements are:
- "I help women overcome stress and anxiety, naturally."
- "I help professionals and businesses break through career plateaus."
- "I help exhausted women take their energy back."
- “I help small business owners create systems that streamline their business.”
At this stage, you’ll not only want to think about who you’d like to serve, but why you’re the right person for the job!
Consider: who do you want to help, and why? What experiences, skills, training, and background do you possess that uniquely qualifies you to take clients on this journey?
Step 2: Understand Your Ideal Client
To make your coaching program effective, it's important to design it with your ideal client in mind. Their struggles, goals, and stage in their journey should all play a role in helping you come up with your package.
It might be time to whip out your empathy mapping skills – In order to understand what your ideal client is feeling, seeing, thinking and hearing – pull out your notepad and write down and use those four categories to make a list:
Now, put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and consider each of those categories. Write out what they’re experiencing, in as much detail as you can. This exercise – along with market research – will help you develop a client persona along with data based on demographics, psychographics, aspirations, and pain points.
This empathy map and your client persona will guide you in creating a coaching package that really connects with your people.
Step 3: Get Clear on the “How” and the Format
What is your unique approach to helping your clients achieve their goals? Getting clear on HOW it will happen is important for you to understand as you build.
Your coaching methodology might include techniques from various established coaching models, therapeutic interventions, or even methods you’ve come up with personally.
For instance, let's say your program is designed to support people who are navigating a divorce. Your "how" might include a mix of the following tools, resources, and activities:
- Future Visioning and Goal-Setting Exercises: Your client can benefit from exercises to help them envision their post-divorce life, set goals for the future, and develop reasonable, actionable steps to reach their goals.
- Journaling and Reflection Activities: Encourage your client to write about their experiences and emotions to help process their feelings and gain clarity about their feelings as they move through the experience.
- Group Sessions: A client attending a group session might help them to share their experiences, learn from others going through similar situations, and feel community in their difficult time.
- Mindfulness Practices: Mindfulness activities like meditation or deep breathing can be great tools to manage the emotional challenges, reduce stress promoting overall mental well-being.
By clearly defining your methodology and outlining how you'll work with clients, you will set yourself apart from other coaches and clarify what clients can expect from your services. Remember, your unique approach will be a significant part of what makes your signature program successful.
Lumia Bonus Blog: Crafting a Future Vision to Serve You
Step 4: Is it a One-on-One or Group Program?
Are you offering an intimate one on one experience or a larger group program? Both have benefits and drawbacks, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Many coaches feel called to try one type of program over another. Try it and see what works for you – you may see yourself as a one on one coach, but after starting a group – you may love it!
One-on-One Signature Programs
- More Personalized Attention: Individualized attention, with more personalized feedback and coaching, as well as the ability to tailor your approach to each person's specific needs and goals.
- Flexibility: Adjust to fit the schedule, pace, and learning style of the individual.
- Deeper Connection: Individual coaching allows for a deep, personal relationship to be built between the coach and the participant, creating space for more meaningful growth.
- Cost: It can be more expensive, both for you and your client because of the level of personal attention.
- Scalability: There's a limit to the number of people you can reach and each new client requires an additional commitment of time and resources.
- Lack of Group Dynamics: Without a group, clients miss out on peer learning, diverse perspectives, and a sense of community.
- Scalability: Group programs allow you to reach and impact more people at the same time. This can be a more efficient use of your time and resources.
- Peer Learning and Community: Lots of opportunities to learn from one another, share experiences, and form a supportive community. Lots of momentum can be found here!
- Cost-effectiveness: Because the costs are divided among clients, group programs can be more affordable for everyone.
- Less Personal Attention: You won’t be able to devote as much attention to each individual and some client’s needs may not be fully met.
- Less Customization: While group programs can be designed to cater to a broad audience, they won't be tailored to each individual's specific needs and goals in the way a 1:1 program can.
- Group Dynamics: Some people may be less engaged or less likely to participate actively depending on the group.
Luma Bonus Blog: How to Do Group Coaching
Step 5: Figure out the Length
Consider the components of your program and how long it will take for your clients to see results. An 8-12 week timeframe is typically a sweet spot for many coaching programs. This length is usually sufficient to help your clients see results and begin to attain their goal without losing focus or momentum.
But it all depends on the person, your program, and you!
James Clear wrote a wonderful post about habit forming based on scientific research and what science shows is that it can take more than two months to form a new behavior or even longer.
“On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. [It can take] anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.”
Step 6: Determine the Program Structure
This is your first draft so don’t get hung up on perfection!
Establish your weekly themes or topics, exercises, and homework that will remain constant for all participants. Remember that even though there’s set steps for everyone, you’ll likely need to tailor action steps to people with different learning styles, or make small changes as you go.
Once your initial trial is underway, don’t be afraid to make changes in real time. Adjust your curriculum in response to what’s actually happening, and try things out as you learn more about what works best for you and your clients.
Step 7: Determine The Elements of the Program
Consider how you will deliver your coaching and decide on the experience within the program. Each element should align with your coaching style, niche, and what you believe will offer the most value to your clients.
Some questions to spark ideas:
- Will weekly lessons be live or pre-recorded? Half and half?
- Will sessions be one-on-one or in a group setting?
- Will there be a community component, like group calls or an online discussion group?
- Will other coaches or experts contribute lessons or information for a unique client experience?
Step 8: Set Your Pricing
Pricing your package can be challenging, but remember, what you are offering has value. While there isn't a standard formula, programs in the 6-12 week range often range from $1,000 - $5,000 or much more.
A few things to keep in mind as you set up your pricing:
- Your level of expertise.
- Your coaching experience within your niche.
- If your program is still in the testing phase.
- How much time and energy you have invested in developing and running the program.
- Your track record of helping clients, backed by testimonials.
Do some research and check out what other coaches are doing to gain an understanding of similar services in your niche and their pricing structures. Remember, your price should reflect the expertise you bring and the value you provide!
Bonus Lumia Blog: How to Set Your Rates and Create Coaching Packages
Step 9: Create a Strong Brand Message
Once you've designed your coaching package, it's time to craft some compelling marketing and messaging around what it is and who it’s for!
Your brand identity is the visible, outward expression of your coaching business. It can be the tone of your writing, the kind of words and stories you share, the look and feel of your website and pictures, your logo and colors – everything else that brings your business to life in the physical world.
- Your Beliefs: Your philosophy, what you care about, and how you show up for others
- Your Personality: How you behave, act, and feel; how you dress and speak; how you carry yourself
- Your Promise: What sets you apart from other coaches; the benefits you offer
- Your Legacy: Your impact; what you hope clients say about working with you; how you want to be remembered
The messaging around your program should be super clear about the benefits your clients will get from your program and what changes and transformations they will see in their life. What can they expect and why are you the one to work with them?
Make sure the message is consistent all the way through any marketing materials, website, and conversations with potential clients. Memorable, compelling and easy to understand is a winning combo that will help attract those who can benefit most from working with you.
Bonus Lumia Blog: FIVE Marketing Priorities to Boost Your Coaching Business Fast
Bonus Lumia Pod: Purposeful Branding for Life Coaches
Step 10: Call Booking + Accepting Payment
There’s a few practical things you need to put in place as well.
You need a way for people to schedule a call with you or contact you. Whether that’s through Calendly, Acuity or some other scheduler – make it easy for people to figure out how to get in contact with you!
You also need a way for people to pay you. Be sure to research the rules for your state around coaching and accepting payments as a business. You may need to engage an accountant at some point – but likely not immediately in your journey, so don’t let that delay you.
Now you’re ready to launch!
Step 11: Launch, Get Feedback and Refine
Launch your signature coaching package and begin to observe how it’s received. It may take time to get the info to the right clients, especially if your niche is specific.
After you start gaining clients and have run the program – gather feedback, and continuously refine and improve your package. Your coaching package should evolve with you and the changing needs of your clients.
Designing your signature coaching package is an interesting blend of taking what’s unique and marvelous about your coaching and stitching that together with what the world needs. It's about understanding your value as a coach and how you can best serve your clients.
This process may seem a bit overwhelming but it’s a great exercise to go through to help clarify what you uniquely offer as a coach. A successful program will not only help your clients achieve big things, but can pay long term dividends in your coaching career.
Good luck and always remember: your goal is to design a package that fully represents you as a coach and offers immense value to your clients. You’ve got this!
Interested in expanding your toolkit?
Coaching is a rapidly growing field that is continuously evolving. Even for seasoned coaches, there’s always more to discover. If you’ve not already earned your ICF accredited coach certification, there’s no better time than now to get started! Grounded in science, our program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, business instruction to prepare you for liftoff as an entrepreneur, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a collective force for good.
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