Case studies

From burned-out coach to more clients and more free time with a group program

Toni has been helping her clients eat and live better for several years as a holistic health coach, but the feast-or-famine cycle was starting to get her down.

The problem was two-fold:

First, her main source of clients was from personal contacts and referrals (e.g. at her local gym), with no 'system' for attracting them.

Second, Toni's clients relied on her to do all the work, which took up most of her waking hours – from responding to messages to updating plans.

None of it was scalable and it left little time to do anything else.

Toni loved working with her clients, but she felt like more like an overworked employee than a business owner.

Who said group coaching?

When Toni saw a coach just like her launch a group program, she was smitten. It seemed like an obvious solution to her problems because:

  • It's scalable – it didn't rely on her to do all the work meaning she can help more people in less time.
  • It’s online – so she can work with people from all over the country, not just her local area.
  • The pricing is accessible to people who aren't able (or ready) to commit to one-to-one coaching.
  • She can still do her private coaching – in fact, it compliments it.

Fast forward to present day and Toni now has a small (but growing) group coaching program, and still works with her private clients.

Best of all, her income is more predictable, and she feels like she has a life outside of work again.

Here's what she did.

Ask first, build second

To check if people would be interested in group coaching, Toni sent a message to her past and present coaching clients, plus anyone who enquired via her website in the past year (about 65 people in total).

It said something like:

"Hey! I'm about to launch a group coaching program to simplify your weight loss journey. You'll get a ton of advice and support through live group coaching calls, video content, recipes, and meal plans. Want to learn more?"

Nearly a quarter of people responded.

Toni went back on forth on email to ask about their personal goals, their expectations from group coaching, and answer any questions.

Satisfied that enough people were interested, Toni set about creating her program.

Creating the program

Toni had most of the content she needed for her program - recipes and meal plans, informational videos, handouts, and more. She just needed a way to deliver them online.

After a bit of Googling, she landed on Thinkific – a Learning Management System (LMS) designed for online courses. They used Thinkific to:

  • Create a new landing page for their program.
  • Capture sign-ups and manage payments and subscriptions.
  • Host the course content including videos, recipes and meal plans.

In addition, Toni used:

  • A private Facebook group for paying members (this has been "amazing" for retention, apparently).
  • Zoom to host monthly group coaching calls.

The first four customers

Once everything was ready, Toni sent a private message to everyone who said they were interested, with a special offer to sign-up for $97 (down from a normal price of $197).

Four people signed-up!

Not life changing money, but it covered her costs and gave her something to build on.

Get feedback and improve

After a few teething issues, the feedback coming through was generally positive. The main complaints were about the PDF-based meal plans.

Group coaching clients didn't get bespoke plans like private coaching clients, so they needed to be able to edit them, which they couldn't. And people were struggling to find recipes hidden away in old PDFs.

So, Toni added Member Kitchens to allow her clients to customize their meal plans without needing her input, plus a Zapier integration to connect it all to her Thinkific site. Problem solved!

Work like heck and advertise

Over the next few months, Toni promoted her program to her email list and modest online following.

This included a free 14-day diet reset challenge (a.k.a. a lead magnet), where people got actionable advice delivered to them via email for two weeks, followed by an offer to sign-up to her program.

Example lead magnet opt-in page (Source)

Toni grew her membership to over 40 paying members – about $650 in additional income each month – in a relatively short space of time, and it’s growing with every launch.

Oh, and here's what she had to say about Member Kitchens:

“So far, everything looks awesome. The search function is working and I’m super impressed that you were able to include the tags with the recipes. This is amazing ... You guys have done a wonderful job!"

Take MealPro App for a spin?

You can try Member Kitchens for free or contact us to get answers to your questions, and find out how you can start and grow your own meal planning subscription.

This case study is based on two people's experiences, and their names have been changed. The events and quotes are real.