Let me take you on a trip down memory lane. It was September 2016. I had just made the decision to build my own online coaching program. I was ready to take what I knew—both as a nutritionist and as someone who had personal experience using food to heal—and turn it into an online educational hub and community for my nutrition clients.
I was excited…I would finally have my own online program!
I could see my future so clearly (Yes, I was already into visualization back then.)…tons of people coming into my online program and getting the help they needed (even though, at the time, my audience was minimal), my calendar freed up, and my $20K in debt paid off.
I was also…frozen.
Not out of fear (OK, maybe a little.) but because I literally had no idea how to build that online coaching program and make it a reality.
🤔 What do I include in my program and how do I create all the content?
🤔 How do I make sure it’s actually doable and helpful?
🤔 How do I organize it so it makes sense for my clients?
🤔 Where do I host it so it’s user-friendly and professional?
🤯 HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO JOIN?
These were just a few of the questions keeping me up at night.
The Thing That Changed My Business Forever
In the months that followed, I slowly learned the answers to those questions and went on to build my first online coaching program and launch that signature program out into the world.
That little program ended up being a massive hit and the thing that changed both my business and life forever. (Shout out to the Fat Burning Female Project!)
I know I’m not the only one that has ever been in the position of wanting their own online program but stuck in the, “How do I do it?” phase, soooooo I created a framework for you to use as a guide during the program creation process. It’s the EXACT process I’ve used to build 6 programs in the past 5 years.
6 Steps To Build Your Own Online Coaching Program
Let’s break down each of the 6 steps to building your own signature program:
STEP 1: 💭 DREAM IT!
The DREAM IT! step could also be called the DECISION step because you have a lot of decisions to make right away:
1) Who does your coaching program help? (AKA your dream client)
2) How does your program help them? (the ONE topic of your program)
3) What are the price point and income goals for this program?
Take all of the ideas you’ve ever had for an online program and get them out of your head and onto paper (or a Google doc). Doing so allows the best program topic to come through and the contents for that coaching program to take shape. Through this brain dump, you’ll also be able to extract the details of your dream client which will become very important as you move on in the program-creation process.
Believe it or not, this is also the perfect time to start thinking about the price! This way, you can be sure to create a program that exceeds the criteria for that price point so your dream clients feel like they’re getting a STEAL by investing in your program.
The final piece to the DREAM IT! puzzle is to get proof of concept for your program before you put any more time, effort, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into it.
Do your dream clients actually want and need that program?
The best way to find out? Directly from your audience! Take a poll on your social media, ask former clients, do some market research to see what else is out there.
STEP 2: 🗺 MAP IT!
It’s time to take that brainstorm and make sense of it! This is where your ideas take shape and your program gets structured. In the MAP IT! step, you’ll organize your coaching program into actionable steps (modules, steps, pillars, etc.) and decide exactly what content you’ll include, how you’ll deliver that content (video, audio, written lessons?), and what other components will be offered (live calls, a private community, 1:1 coaching?).
This is also where your program becomes truly signature—something unique to you and your work. How? With your very own framework! You’ll take those actionable steps you just discovered and organize them into a visual “map” for your clients. Here’s an example of a framework I created for my signature business coaching program, Unstuck Entrepreneur.
I used a Canva template to come up with the design and then added my own pillars, colors, and fonts to make it unique to my program!
No one will have your unique visual framework which means your program will stand out from the crowd in your industry, no matter how saturated it is!
STEP 3: 🎨 DESIGN IT!
After all of those decisions and organization, it’s time to have some fun! The third step in the program-creation process is to brand your program and bring it to life visually. The branding for your coaching program will include its name, logo, and tagline plus the colors and fonts that best represent the vibe of your program.
Branding takes real, intentional thought. It’s not just about picking a clever name and some of your favorite colors. Branding IS marketing!
When it comes to a name for your online program, the goal is to have your audience know exactly what the program is about and who it’s for…just by reading the name. Yep, the name of your coaching program is that important, and coming up with that name is a very intentional process.
What name, tagline, colors, and fonts clearly convey the message you’re trying to send to your dream clients, letting them know this program was made specifically for them?
STEP 4: 🛠 BUILD IT!
Things are about to get REAL! This module is where the rubber meets the road and your signature coaching program becomes a reality. Now that you have your plan and design, it’s time to create ALLL the content that will go into your program.
Pro tip: Do NOT let this step overwhelm you. Chunk up your tasks, plan them out in your calendar, and stay organized as you go.
Video lessons? Shoot them.
Audio lessons? Record them.
Written lessons? Write them.
Guides, worksheets, templates? Design them.
Once everything is created, upload it all into your online course platform of choice. (BIG KAJABI FAN HERE!🙋♀️)
Then, take a step back and give yourself a high five…you, my friend, officially have your very own signature coaching program!
STEP 5: 💰 OFFER IT!
While having your own online program is definitely something to celebrate, it’s not enough to make it a smashing success. You still need to market and sell this masterpiece you just created!
The OFFER IT! step is all about the marketing of your program. Knowing buyer behavior (We humans are so predictable when it comes to buying stuff. I love this book about it.), how can you create an offer for your program that makes investing in your program a no-brainer for your dream clients?
With the right ingredients included in your offer, your clients will be lining up, waiting to get into your program before you’ve even told them the price!
The most important ingredient to any offer is messaging. How are you communicating about your program to your dream clients?
STEP 6: 🚀 LAUNCH IT!
This is IT! The final step in the program-creation process is to get your coaching program out into the world and into the hands of the people that need your help.
It probably comes as no surprise that launching a paid program needs a specific strategy. It won’t be enough to just write an email and post a few social media posts to get people to pay you for your program. (Again, buyer behavior is REAL.)
The keys to a successful online program launch are preparation, excitement, awareness, communication, and consistency.
Where will you show up to communicate with your dream clients? How often? What will you say? What free event can you use to build excitement and awareness around your launch?
You officially have your own coaching program!
There you have it…the 6 foolproof steps to building your signature coaching program!
While it seems like a lot right now, with a little planning and organization, you can absolutely go from brainstorm to beta-launch in 8-12 weeks. (I have ALL the time-saving, organizing, planning, and launching tools in one place for you inside Signature Program Lab!)
If you’re ready to take this dream business of yours and make it a reality, then you MUST check out my FREE Masterclass “5 Secrets To Creating A Signature Program That Sells Out.”
In it, I’ll share the 5 things (most program creators aren’t doing) that will make your program stand out from the crowd, get your audience’s attention, and have people begging to work with you. Talk about a successful program!