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Today’s episode comes from what feels like the expectation even with one on one to have some kind of community aspect (or group program) to your offer. I hope to keep this episode short and sweet, and really just gives you some things to think about in order to determine if you do or don’t want to have a group or community aspect of your offerings. One size does not fit all here, so you could have a large group community of all of your clients across all of your offers if you have more than one. Or you could have a separate community for each one of your offers, only one of your offers could have a community piece, or they could have nothing. And then within having a group or community, you’ve got different structures that you can work with as well.
Because we need to know that in order for you to then say yes I want to have a group aspect or, it’s not necessary.
You can have it from the loosest terms, just a group that people join when they are in one of your programs. There is no structure to this, people can ask questions, or you can maybe post like a weekly wins. But there is no expectation of structure or aggressive value being added. That, for me, is the most loose way to have a community.
Nothing wrong with that, it’s actually the type of community that I prefer to run myself. That is what you will find if you join either my Pure PROgramming or a FitsPRO Foundations courses. It’s just a communal place that people can ask questions and get feedback from either me or other people in the group.
The more extreme approach to having a group aspect to a program is when your clients join at the same time, and there is a structured group aspect. So maybe its group calls on a monthly basis, or it’s that you go live every week that the program is active for, or there is something specific they are learning on a timed schedule. And only the people in this particular round, or cohort are involved in these calls.
Then we have the in between. So really take any aspects of each of those types of groups or communities and you’ve got the middle ground. So maybe everyone who has ever joined the program is in the group or community but different people have different access to certain areas of the platform. This is possible on platforms like Circle, or Slack. You could also have a community where everyone who has ever joined has access to it, but you do go live or teach on a topic every month forever. And maybe those calls are archived somewhere so that when someone joins they get access to past calls in case they missed a topic.
Sharing these three types of community or group aspects is really just so that you can see that you have options. And you don’t have to go balls to the wall with a group or community. There is a spectrum of you being involved in the group. Which is typically the concern for most people – Is that time commitment.
Now on the flipside of that, I’ll ask you some questions that will hopefully lead you to a yes or no answer. Or closer to one of those.
This somewhat depends on what is already involved in the offer or the service. Does the group or community aspect fill a needed gap? It may just not be needed. And it also might be the missing piece. But that’s completely up to you and your offer and what is involved in that.
Speaking from personal experience, I used to have a community aspect of Built by Annie. And the fact of the matter was my ideal client just didn’t use the group. I am sure that I could’ve cultivated more interaction. But it just wasn’t needed. Which kind of goes back to my first question. I ended up getting rid of the group aspect because it wasn’t adding value to the offer. Which was not a bad thing. It was just a learning experience. And now I get to share that with you.
So does your ideal client or niche desire to have a community aspect? You can straight up ask her audience or current clients if you feel like you have no idea.
To piggyback off of the other two points, if you determine that your program does need a community or a group interaction, you can then ask to what extent? Why is the group needed? And what model of a community fills that gap?
For instance, I have a group for my FitsPRO Foundations course and my Pure Programming course because there is no live portion of those. So having the group community allows them to post questions and get feedback somewhere. It also brings connectivity to people who are going through the same process. Which does add value to both of those courses. In my other programs were people have access to either myself or my assistant coach, I don’t have a group aspect, simply because it is not needed.
For instance I have been a part of memberships in the past where the community aspect is literally what you’re paying for. All of the value, and connection came through the community. Now that doesn’t have to be true of your offer in order for you to value community. But it’s worth asking.
So is the community piece a driving part, or do you want it to be a driving part in this particular offer? One of my one on one business clients has a business called the Women’s Strength Society. And community is a massive massive portion of her business values, and what she wants to do. So creating that camaraderie, and connectivity amongst her remote clients is very important. In a perfect world that’s also important to her ideal client. And so far it has been.
Again, I mentioned that this would likely be a short episode, but it is something that comes up a lot in conversation with entrepreneurs who are building out their offer whether that is inside FitsPRO Foundations, or in the DM‘s on Instagram. It can feel like you have to have a Facebook group community, or a Slack channel when you come up with an offer. Even if it’s one on one coaching. But that’s just not true. A group aspect is not required. And I think that if it is added, it should be some thing that adds value, and feel some kind of gap within your service. In other words, don’t just add a group for the sake of adding a group. Make sure that it has a purpose and that it is actually value added.
That does bring me to another quick point, and that is that if done right, having a community does add value to your service. So you can charge more for that. If you’re looking for ways to add value to an offer, I would look at how may be implementing a group could do that for you.
And then again just determine what type of group that’s going to be, and what model you are going to use from the examples that I gave at the beginning of the episode.
As always, or as I say with content creation, think about your self as a consumer and what groups you’ve enjoyed being a part of, and which ones you haven’t, and why. That can also help you determine what you will and will not do with a group or community.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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