Episode #65:
Add Group Programs and Thrive Much More

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Take a look at whatever you’re doing one-on-one with your clients and ask yourself, “Can I offer this in a group?” Group Programs are a great addition to your revenue stream and the time to get started is now. Listen to this value-packed episode to learn how Group Programs can positively impact you, your business strategy, and more importantly, your clients: current and future. Even if you are already doing group programs or retreats this episode will accelerate your success even more!

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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #65 Transcript

Add Group Programs and Thrive Much More


Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.

[00:00:27] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire podcast. I’m your host Caterina Rando. And I am blissing to be with you today because we are talking about massively monetizing with group programs. And I have to honestly say that I’m a bit shocked that we’ve recorded so many episodes and I haven’t talked about this very important topic yet. We’re going to do that right now.

[00:01:00] When we’re younger in life, maybe we were part of a study group or math club or chess club: things in school that we wanted to be better at and learn more about and be with people that also were interested in the same thing we were interested in. As an adult, maybe you’ve been part of a running group or a fitness group because you like to be with people and you get motivated when you all are together doing the same thing.

[00:01:31] Well, why is it in business we’re supposed to do stuff by ourselves? I’m suggesting to you that whatever you’re doing in business is more fun in a group with other like-minded, like-hearted people that are working on the same thing.

[00:01:51] I’ve been running groups for over 20 years. My first groups were helping direct sellers grow their sales, helping image consultants grow their businesses.

[00:02:02] Today, our group programs are teaching other people how to do group programs. Our group programs are helping women scale in their businesses, helping women use speaking to grow their business. And of course, any retreat or speaker mastermind program that we offer would also be considered a group program.

[00:02:27] I’m wondering what your doing with groups in your business? And I want to ask you to take a look at whatever you’re doing one-on-one, can you do that in a group?

[00:02:42] Now, the group is going to be different. You know what though? I want to be very clear. When people say Caterina, “Do you do one-on-one coaching?” Yeah, I do one-on-one coaching.

[00:02:53] I recommend though that you join a group. Because when a person is in a group with you, they are getting so much more than just being with you one-on-one. They are getting a community, they are getting friends, they are getting opportunities for collaboration. They might be even getting clients. They are having a ton of support above and beyond their time with you. I want to strongly encourage you to look at adding groups to your offerings.

[00:03:33] The other thing to be aware of is that the client usually has a smaller investment in being in a group with you than being one-on-one. They get more value. They have a lower investment.

[00:03:50] And you know what that means? That means they can stay in the group for years and years and years. Because remember: we’re not looking for clients, we’re looking for long-term and lifelong clients.

[00:04:03] And that will come to you when you are providing so much value to people that they couldn’t imagine doing, whatever it is you do without them health coaching, image coaching, leadership coaching, relationship coaching, whatever it is. We want to give so much value to our clients that they are going to be with us long-term.

[00:04:31] I want you to know up many of my current clients are ready for next year. And some of the conversations have gone like this.

[00:04:41] “Hey, my friend, you want to be in the group next year?”

[00:04:44] “Yeah, I want to be in the group.”

[00:04:45] “Okay, great. Let’s talk about the payment.”

[00:04:47] And that’s it. The sales conversation takes about 10 seconds because they’ve gotten so much value in the last year or six months or whatever timeframe the group was happening that they are of course going to continue.

[00:05:04] Now, this is important for you to look at for your offerings. If you want to increase your client retention, groups are a great way to do that.

[00:05:15] They also allow you to leverage your time. They allow you to serve a lot more people because you’ve only got so many hours. And by serving 10 or 15 or 20 or 30 or more people at once, what does that do? It allows you freedom. It also gives them massive, massive value.

[00:05:40] I want to make a very important distinction here. I’m not talking about your video series that you’re sending. I’m not talking about your membership site, where people are getting content. Groups are interactive. They’re not necessarily live and in person, they are interactive.

[00:06:01] And I want to also let you know that we’ve tested, if we have an online course or something that does not include any interaction versus one that does. Content plus interaction. Hello? Which one do you think not only provides more value and results in more engagement, which one do you think they complete?

[00:06:27] Let me give you an example. I have an amazing program on how to thrive with group programs and retreats. It’s 10 modules. We’ve got videos. It’s got handouts. It’s on an adult learning platform that’s all about keeping adult learners engaged. It’s got all the science behind it. Guess what? I noticed when I sold the program on its own, people were excited to get started. And they would get started. But after about module three or four, participation waned. Not because module three or four were challenging or difficult, but because life got in the way. Other priorities got in the way. And we had an almost no completion rate for people that signed up and invested.

[00:07:18] Then we said, “okay, let’s add a monthly call.” The monthly call increased engagement. Then we said, “let’s add two monthly calls.” We got more engagement. Then we said, “let’s do three calls a month.” We got even more engagement.

[00:07:38] Now, this is important because your goal is not to sell stuff. Your goal is to provide massive value, no matter what the cost, even if it’s $20.

[00:07:50] By the way, super tip alert, super tip alert: if somebody gives you money and they don’t get value from your thing, even if it’s their fault that they never opened the course, this is what I want you to get. They are never going to give you another dime. Therefore your intention, or hopefully goal to have long-term and lifelong clients will not happen.

[00:08:23] Also, you are taking money, but you’re not providing value. That’s also going to never have them give you another dollar or rave about you to their friends. This is very important that you get.

[00:08:40] So when we talk about group programs, they are interactive. If not live and in person, you’re seeing smiles on the screen in a Zoom room or another platform. Live beautiful smiles that you’re interacting with.

[00:08:57] I’m sure you’ve heard content is king. I want to be very clear with you. Engagement is the queen of everything. Groups are all about engagement. Hopefully, you’re with me. You’re recognizing, you can serve more people. You can leverage your time more. You can earn more money. Hopefully, that’s enough for you to get that groups are awesome. The other thing though, that I’ve said, I want to really underscore: the people in your groups get so much more value.

[00:09:35] Let’s talk about how to make sure that they get a ton of value.

[00:09:41] I remember some years ago I was at a meeting with a few ladies and I saw this woman and I liked her, I respected her as a businesswoman. And I asked her about a women’s networking group in town, in San Francisco, that she was the president of. I’m not going to tell you the name because I’ve actually spoken for them now several times and gotten clients from this group. So I don’t want to diss this group. I want to give you this example though.

[00:10:14] I asked her about the group and I said, “you know, I’ve heard great things. And what do you think about me? I’m looking to join this group.” And she looked me up and down. She had a long look on her face and she said to me, as she turned her nose up, ” well, you know, you have to be recommended by a member to be a part of this group.”

[00:10:44] In that moment, I felt rejected, unwanted, and like there was something wrong with me that I would not belong in that group. I’m sharing this with you, my friend, because I never want any woman ever to feel that way.

[00:11:09] And I certainly don’t want anyone who’s interested in working with you or being in your group to feel that way. And that’s why in all my groups, I have very important guidelines, intentions, objectives. And here it is.

[00:11:31] Anytime any woman is in a group or even at a zoom workshop with me, I want her to feel seen, heard, welcomed, valued, included. I want her to know that she matters and that she has massive value to bring.

[00:11:54] And I’m sharing this with you as we begin this discussion because I have been in other groups, coaching groups, business coaching groups, where I have invested heavily and felt like “you were happy to take my money, but now that I’m here, I’m not feeling like I belong. Not because I’m not smart and not because I can’t learn all this content, but because there is nothing happening to make me feel seen, heard, welcomed, valued, included.”

[00:12:30] Now, at this point in my career, my confidence comes with me everywhere and I don’t feel this way anymore because I know wherever I choose to be if they don’t want me, I’m happy to leave. But I want to be clear that when people join your groups, there’s uncertainty, there’s insecurity. And depending on where they are in their personal development or their career groups, bring up a lot of emotional challenges for people. Like I just told you about this rejection from way back when.

[00:13:04] I remember also when I was a kid, I threw a Halloween party and nobody showed up. That was devastating. Made me feel like I wasn’t valued or wanted or included. That’s why I start with all of this. Because my job — and this is the same thing when people join a Clubhouse room with me, even for an hour on Clubhouse– I want people to feel seen, heard, welcomed, valued, included. I want them to know that they matter. That they have massive value to bring. That they can make their dreams come true. That they can create what they want for themselves in their lives and their business.

[00:13:45] Now I’m shining the spotlight on this with you, because yeah, when we talk about your group, we want to talk about how much, how long, how many sessions, et cetera. We want to talk about all the logistics of that. I want to be very clear though. This is a great place, your groups, where you’re going to bring your heart to your business, and you’re going to wear your heart all over your group.

[00:14:12] When we do our groups, no matter what the group is, we always start with a win. “Everybody share a win.” I do that in my Thrive at Sales groups. I do that when we have monthly networking. I do it when I’m doing a Clubhouse room, “let’s start with a win!” Because that way everybody gets to shine for just a little bit. Everybody gets to get acknowledged just a little bit. Because regardless of the content, I want everybody to leave that group interaction more uplifted when they leave than when they showed up. And I’m hoping that you’re going to take that as a guiding principle for your groups.

[00:14:59] You know, some time ago I was reviewing my values, the values I write down by which I want to run my business. I know we’ve done a podcast on this. And for me, there’s things like generosity, massive value, integrity. One of the values I recognized a few years ago was one of the things that I bring with my business that I’m mentioning to you, because I want you to see if you want to bring this with your business, and maybe you are already, you’re not conscious of it.

[00:15:31] My job is to also bring hope. Because in life and in business, especially entrepreneurship, there’s a lot of times when you get disappointed, when you get depresso, when you feel isolated. Groups are a great elixir for whatever is ailing someone in their business or their life, it makes them not feel so alone.

[00:15:57] There’s a fabulous psychologist who I know. Her name’s Dr. Wendy Lyons and she ran a group, a dating group some years back, she still runs the group, but this is some years back. I did a dating group with her, for women over a certain age who want to have a partner. And it was really wonderful and cool to be in this group with other women that were like me, that were also of a certain age that were looking to create love in their life. I always left that group more uplifted than when I showed up. It also made me feel like, “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m doing fine with my romantic journey.” Hope is a big thing that we bring when we run groups if we have our attention on it. And I want to thank Dr. Wendy Lyons for her fabulous group.

[00:16:58] As you’re planning your group, I want to mention a few other things I want to make sure that you’re keeping in mind.

[00:17:05] Recognize that your group is going to provide learning strategies, concepts, that’s all the education part or the “a-ha” part, depending on what your business is. The other thing I want to make sure it’s providing is emotional support and attitudinal support. Support for people’s mindset, for their attitude. That’s some of what we’ve discussed already.

[00:17:30] By the way, whenever I run a group, it doesn’t matter what’s going on. If I’m tired on any given day, if I’m having a challenging day, for any reason, it doesn’t matter. My job is to be cento per cento. That’s 100% present for my participants. I am there to serve them. There are no distractions. There is nothing else going on.

[00:17:53] And the more you do groups, run groups, the better you will get at running them and When you start to get really good at running your groups, you will find all your attention is on the participants. You’re not focused on every word you say. You’re not attached to getting through all the content.

[00:18:11] By the way, super tip alert, big rookie mistake, way too much content, trying to get through way too much content in an hour. I will tell you, because I noticed that I was starting to feel rushed in running some of my groups, we meet for 75 minutes. That allows 15 minutes for the sharing, the wins, the check-ins, then plenty of time for content.

[00:18:38] We always of course have breakout sessions. You want to make sure you’re doing that and time for Q&A and making sure everyone feels like they’re getting their cup full, rather than rushing when you have too much attention on content.

[00:18:55] You’ve got to also decide how often are you going to meet? How many sessions are you going to have? Are there going to be sessions outside of the main sessions?

[00:19:07] For example, in my Thrive at Sales sales program, we have class every week, but then we also have a sales blitz that the women in the program are responsible for connecting with other ladies in the program to do a sales blitz every week with two or three other people. That’s on their own. That’s part of their responsibility. Then I host three all-community sales blitzes every month as well, allowing them lots of opportunities for sales blitzing.

[00:19:40] Now this concept of out-of-class session blitz time is absolutely something you can embrace. You’ve heard me mention in a past episode, Carla Frank. Her ladies in her group programs, they get together and they walk together virtually on a regular basis. She has three walks a week that she runs. You have also I’m sure heard of coworking sessions where you get together virtually. You say what you’re going to do, you turn off your sound, you turn off your video, you go do it. You report back at the end. Having out-of-class sessions available to support the people in your group is also very impactful and provides more massive value and more community.

[00:20:35] As you get started with your groups, I want you to think about how your group, whatever group you’re putting together fits in with your overall strategy. For example, this week I did two, four- week masterclass series groups on how to get booked for speaking. Now they were four-week groups, part of the bonus for the group was they got a ticket to come to my Shero Speaker Summit.

[00:21:05] You see, I used a small time commitment and a small dollar commitment of a four-week group to get new potential fabulous women in the door. Then I gave them massive value so I didn’t have to have another buying decision. I gave them a ticket to the Shero Summit and what happened as a result of that? After they came to the summit, some of them, and this was only a few weeks ago, have already signed up for programs.

[00:21:37] I’m sharing this with you because a shorter group program can be part of your strategy to fill your longer group programs. For me, that’s the nine-week “Thrive at Sales” or the 10- month “Grow Your Fempire” or the year-long “Expand Your Fempire.” do you see what I’m getting at here? A shorter group can be strategy and then the longer groups are where you more massively monetize.

[00:22:06] Right now, we’re getting ready for the Fempire Summit, Expand Your Fempire, which we do every year in December. And the people that are going to be joining my four-session masterclass series on Thrive With Group Programs, which is coming very soon, they will get a ticket to that summit at no cost. Because they will be investing in this four-week masterclass series.

[00:22:36] I’m hoping you’re getting what I’m sharing here, that you can use a shorter group program to fill longer group programs and get new potential clients in the door. Remember, the lower the price point and the lower the time commitment, the easier the buying decision. This is some important strategy for you to think about before you get started with your group.

[00:23:02] Some things to consider when you are putting together your group. Where are you going to meet? Is it going to be a virtual group or live and in person? You could also do a hybrid. When it was pre- pandemic I often did live and in-person and virtual, depending on the group.

[00:23:21] Remember you want it to be interactive. What are you going to do in the group? Are you going to do all the teaching? Are you going to have guest speakers? Is there going to be masterminding? What is going to happen in the group? How many people do you want in the group?

[00:23:37] Now here’s a super tip by the way, always over-enroll. What do I mean by that? If you want 10 people in the group enroll 12 or 13, if you want 30 enroll 40. Not everyone’s going to show up all the time and usually within 48 hours before a group starts, you get some regrets that they’ll want to take the next one. And I always let people do that because my desire is to serve everybody, not simply take their revenue.

[00:24:09] Here’s another important thing to consider when you’re planning your groups, you want to plan not just the group that you’re starting, but when are you going to do the next one? And when are you gonna do the next one? And if your group is eight weeks or 12 weeks, you don’t have to wait 12 weeks to start another one. You simply have to start another one not at the same date and the same time. You could start a group Monday morning, start another group Monday afternoon. I personally like to do groups on Mondays because it’s the beginning of the week. And because for speaking, usually people are not booking speakers for Mondays.

[00:24:49] Also is the group going to meet weekly, monthly, twice a month? I will tell you, I have groups that meet every week. Most of them meet every week because that keeps the momentum going. I have groups that meet three times a month. I have groups that meet twice a month. Depends on the objectives of the group. Depends on the level of expertise of the people in the class. Depends on how intense your group is. If you’re in a group to have a 48-day slim down group, you probably want to meet more regularly than when you’re having a year-long upgrade your health program.

[00:25:28] And by the way, you test everything. You test it. You do a group and then you upgrade it and you do the next group.

[00:25:35] Here’s what you don’t do -you don’t get ready to get ready to begin to think about getting going when you’re going to do your group. Date, time, price, place. Virtual is fine. Bing bing bing of course you need a topic. And you start to fill your group.

[00:25:55] The biggest mistake women make is they spend way too much time getting ready. What you want to do is get in action. And it’s okay to say to people “This is the introductory group. This is the first time I’m doing it. Do you want in?” And of course, you give them a good price for that.

[00:26:14] I’ve got a lifetime supply of content to share with you about groups. I’m going to do another episode on how to fill your groups. Before I do that, I do want to mention, I do have my four-week masterclass on Thriving with Group Programs, which I encourage you to check out.

[00:26:31] Let’s talk about a few more things here.

[00:26:33] Make sure every one of your clients and your participants feels VIP. That you know their name, that you know about their business or their life, that you call on them if they don’t participate as much. Hopefully, you’re going to have a call and get to know everyone a little bit individually before the group starts. That’s one thing I want to make sure you’re doing.

[00:27:00] You want to make sure you’re setting up everybody for success. This means you may have a one-on-one quick conversation with each person, or you may have a pre-call on how to get the most out of the program before the program starts. Did you hear that? You could even record a video about how they could get the most out of the program that’s delivered in their inbox.

[00:27:25] One of the things that we do also, because remember engagement is the queen of everything, is we want to make sure that our show up rate is very high on that first day. In addition to email reminders, we send direct message reminders. For our Thrive at Sales program we send text reminders.

[00:27:46] There’s all kinds of things you can do to enhance your group, and one of the things that’s worked for the sales program is the text messages. They get them every day for those nine weeks only during the week. And they love them. They say things like “you have massive value to bring, reminder to get busy with your reach-outs” all kinds of messages that support them in their sales program.

[00:28:12] So much more to say here. Doing this has definitely shown me that I want to talk to you about filling your groups. What I want you to do though, is have awareness that for your group to be amazing, it has to have some key ingredients and I’m going to give those to you right now.

[00:28:34] These are the six ways people get value from your group program. You want them to have some motivation, some transformation, some education, inspiration, connection, and a clear path of action.

[00:28:55] Now, the education, that’s the easy part. The inspiration that’s when they see possibilities for themselves. They’re hearing the stories and the wins and the great results of the other people in the group, which is why you have them share a win. It’s very inspiring.

[00:29:12] Education. Inspiration. Motivation is when they feel called to action. And part of that is you reminding them of what they said they wanted and encouraging them to get busy, to take the action. That is a part of what will motivate them. Hearing the success of the other people in the group will motivate them. The structure of meeting every week or every two weeks creates focus and momentum, and that supports motivation.

[00:29:42] Transformation is when people start to see themselves differently or they start to see what’s possible for themselves. Transformation is when they start to be different. And your job is to facilitate that happening through what’s happening in the group. And by the way, back to what we talked about at the top of our time together: the more people feel seen, heard, welcomed, valued, included, knowing that they matter, the more there is a foundation for transformation.

[00:30:22] And here’s what else facilitates transformation, super tip alert, super tip alert. The more you communicate to your group participants that you believe in them, that you see what is possible for them, that you articulate to them what you see is possible for them, the more transformation will happen.

[00:30:51] The last ingredient is a clear path of action. Often we end group sessions with this important structure: “what are you going to do based on our time together today?” Have everyone share or send them to a breakout group, and then debrief and have them share. It doesn’t matter how much education you give them if there’s no clear path of action, it’s only information. What we’re looking for is to support people to create change in whatever area they want to create change in.

[00:31:31] Embrace these six ways to deliver value to your participants and I promise you, they will keep coming back. Bing bing bing.

[00:31:42] My friend. I want to let you know. Running groups, watching women’s lives transform, watching their businesses transform, watching them come in shy and insecure and leave confident and loud and proud has been the hugest gift in my life. I want you to see that transformation in your group participants because it will warm and fill your heart with fulfillment more than anything.

[00:32:16] It’s my intention that you have a clear path of action based on our discussion today. Go plan your group, schedule your group. Next time we will talk about how to fill your group with ease. For now, I’ve given you your assignment. Go get busy and let me know how it goes.

[00:32:40] This is Caterina Rando reminding you, you have massive value to bring. There is a lifetime supply of people to serve. Go get busy so you can serve more, you can sell more, and you can absolutely uplift more lives. Bing bing bing.

[00:33:01] Pleased join our Facebook group, follow me on Insta, join our Clubhouse club, and join us for one of our upcoming live and in-person virtual workshops or our masterclass series or upcoming summit. If you have not been to caterinarando.com, please go. I’d love to chat with you and support you to have all of your business dreams come true. And all of your business goals realized. Because you are amazing. You are big-hearted. And you are awesome. Bing, bing, bing.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.

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