How To Choose A Profitable Topic For Your Coaching Program

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Business

Let me guess, you want to create your own online coaching program, but can’t seem to figure out a topic for your program that will be profitable for your business, fun for you, and helpful for your clients.

If you’ve been keeping up with the world of online business and coaching lately, then you may have noticed something…having your own group coaching program is the place to be if you want a business model that gives you freedom, flexibility, impact, and income.

More and more health practitioners, life coaches, nutritionists, personal trainers, astrologists, spiritual coaches, and many other service-based businesses are hopping on the coaching program train, and for good reason.

With the online course industry expected to hit $375 billion by 2026, taking to the internet for personal growth and transformational experiences is commonplace.

Having your own coaching program checks all of the important boxes for most solopreneur personality types. You can help more people at one time, work fewer hours because you’ve built the program out in advance, and have unlimited income potential based on how many participants you enroll in your program each time you launch it.


Now, since so many practitioners and coaches are creating online programs, does this mean there’s no room for you? Absolutely not!

If anything, this means that more and more of your dream clients are learning about the power of coaching programs and are open and excited to work with you in that format. As someone who has only worked with clients in a group coaching format for the past 5 years, I can tell you that people truly love learning and transforming their lives in a group of like-minded people and without leaving the comfort of their home.

What you need to know

So, now that I’ve piqued your curiosity about online coaching programs, let’s determine the topic for your program that will be both profitable and impactful.

Deciding on a program topic is one of the most important and significant steps in the program-creation process and often the step that keeps many coaches and practitioners from ever creating their own program. Just this one step truly sets everything into motion for the rest of the journey to unfold seamlessly.

The two things you need to know:

  1. Will your clients pay to go through your program idea?
  2. Will they get results?

The answer to the latter comes into play when we talk about the actual contents of the program, which I discuss in this post and this podcast episode.

Let’s focus on figuring out the program topic that your clients will be willing to pay for. Knowing this, obviously, means knowing that the work you do to build your program will be worth it in the end and your program will be a success!

When a coach is struggling to come up with a topic, they are somewhere on this spectrum of not knowing what they could possibly create a program about OR having too many ideas and can’t narrow it down to just one! Being stuck on this spectrum means you’ll either stall out and never create a program at all or, you’ll make one of the two biggest program-creation mistakes.

the spectrum when deciding on a program topic

Mistakes to avoid when figuring out your program topic

I often see coaches jump into the first topic that comes to mind without giving it more deliberate consideration. Without spending quality time really brainstorming and getting clarity on your program topic, you run the risk of creating a program that nobody wants!

Mistake #1: Choosing a program topic that you want, not your clients

True story: I’ve done this exact thing. I spent almost 6 months building out this amazing online program. It was well organized and took participants through an incredible journey and transformation.

The problem? Nobody wanted it.

I chose this program topic because it was something that I knew my audience (people trying to lose weight) desperately needed. BUT, they didn’t want it. They didn’t want to go through that process to get to their goal. They wanted the quick fix, the empty promise, the pill, the potion, the powder. I was up against the all-powerful, $50 billion dollar weight loss industry after all.

It was only after that program bombed that I truly understood how important it was to do research on your program topic before you commit any time or energy to build it.

Yes, your program topic needs to be something you’re passionate about, but it also needs to be something your dream clients are looking for help with.

Mistake #2: Covering too many topics in one program

Your program needs to cover one topic and one topic only. I repeat, do not create a program that addresses more than one topic.

Sure, it can seem like a great idea to pack your program full of everything you know and really give your clients a great experience.

Except…the opposite is what actually happens.

By covering too many topics in one program, you risk overwhelming your clients. When your clients get overwhelmed, they drop out. When they drop out, you don’t have a successful program! Yikes.

Simple is key when it comes to your coaching program. Choose one topic to cover and stick with it from start to finish.

The 4 ingredients to a profitable program topic

There are 4 key ingredients to discovering a program topic that is impactful for your clients, fun for you (important!), and profitable for your business. Spend time really brainstorming on each of these 4 ingredients separately, then bring them all together to see which topics overlap.

the 4 ingredients to a profitable program topic

Your knowledge, education, and personal experience

Probably a good idea to create a program around something you actually know something about! We all have knowledge and skills that could really help someone else…yes, even you. Now is the time to let your know-how shine! Does this mean you need to know everything and be an expert to consider having a program? Absolutely not! You only need to be a few steps ahead or know 10% more than your clients to make a huge impact in their lives.

There are people out there right now that are looking for someone to help them with the thing that your program will offer. Perhaps it’s with a problem you once had that you were able to find a solution for yourself. Now it’s time to pass that knowledge on to others!

Your dream client’s struggles, challenges, goals, and desires

Your dream client has a problem (point A). They are looking for a solution (point B). They’re Googling, reading blogs, scrolling through Instagram posts, watching YouTube videos to try to find a path to get from point A to point B. YOU have the solution, and that journey is the perfect topic for your program!

The key in this scenario is that your dream client is actively seeking a solution. Their problem is big enough, the solution is desirable enough, the transformation means enough to them that they are willing to pay for help. 

Your passions and interests

Do not, I repeat, do not create a program around a topic that you’re not excited about. This is a surefire way to experience program burnout and never reach the success you desire. Your program will be a focal point of your business and needs to be something that lights you up and you enjoy talking about…a lot. When it’s something you’re passionate about, the program-creation process is a lot more fun too!

Market demand

The only way for your program to be successful and profitable is for people to buy it. For people to buy it, they have to want it. Your program topic can’t just be something you think your dream clients want or something you know they need. It needs to be something they need, want, and are willing to pay for. 

There are several ways to determine market demand (which I teach inside Signature Program Lab), but the quickest and easiest way is to simply see what else is out there related to the topic. Are there courses, trainings, books, videos, coaching, etc. out there that touch on your possible topic? If so, that’s great news! No, it doesn’t mean the topic is saturated…it actually means there is demand!

choose a profitable program topic

Prove the success of your program topic

Now that you’ve decided on a topic for your coaching program, it’s time to prove its profitability. Yep, with just a little market research, you can get a pretty good idea of who will buy your program once you’ve put it out into the world.

How? Ask questions!

A simple survey sent to the right people will be a gold mine of information for you. You don’t need a big email list or huge Instagram following either. Asking a small group of your dream clients about their current problems related to your program topic will give you everything you need to know to move forward with your program creation.

Send an email, create a poll on Instagram stories, post in a Facebook group, send a text to your dream clients asking two very simple, yet very specific questions.

What’s the biggest challenge you’re dealing with right now related to [your program topic]?

If I were to create a program that guided you from [point A] to [point B], would that be helpful for you?

Easy, right? And can you see how powerful those responses will be for you? You will know exactly what’s concerning your dream clients most, and if it’s a big enough concern that they would be interested in your solution.

The key here is to keep the questions short, sweet, and specific. If you come to this survey with open-ended questions, you won’t get anywhere.

Now you’re ready to plan, build, and launch your wildly successful online program! Want to learn how to tackle this project without fear, confusion, or overwhelm? I got you! Join me in this FREE workshop and I’ll share with you the 6 must-do steps you need to take to build your program and how to attract an engaged audience that’s ready to buy. Sign up below to learn how to go from, “Yikes, what next?!” to “Heck yeah, I got this!”

One last piece of advice

Keep it simple. Your clients will appreciate the ease and simplicity of a well-organized, clean, simple program. The more you try to stuff into your program, the less effective it will actually be. Your clients don’t have time to spend sifting through your program contents to find the golden nuggets. Reduce the “fluff”, stick to the topic, deliver on the results you promised, and have fun! That makes for a guaranteed profitable, successful program!

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Hey there, I'm Shawn!

I’m obsessed with nitro cold brew, 90% dark chocolate, and helping coaches and practitioners build a business they love. With nothing but a passion for helping others and the desire to never have a boss again, I quit the corporate world and built my own million dollar coaching business over the past decade. Now, I help others do the same.