Your Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Sold-Out Coaching Program

Launching a coaching program has many moving parts, but with the right plan, you can promote it efficiently, get new clients on your roster, and increase your business revenue.

Let’s explore the three major stages of launching a coaching program and what they entail.

Stage 1: Planning

1. Identify the Focus of Your Program

Start by answering this question: What’s the main problem my program solves and for whom?

Even if you’re a life coach with a holistic coaching style, you’re helping your clients in some specific areas. The focus of your program doesn’t have to be everything you can do as a coach but a focus area your clients most often approach you with.

Instead of selling generic services such as…

“I help everyone with weight loss, growing their business, managing social media, and healing their love relationships.”

…make your offering crystal clear, for example, by saying…

“I help working mothers get back their pre-baby bodies.”

In the first example, you’re talking to several different people. In the second, you’re focusing on a specific problem: Helping busy working moms get fit with time-efficient workout plans.

To narrow down what you do and who you serve, you can fill in the blank:

I help (your ideal client) to (the specific problem you solve) so they can (your client’s transformation).”

2. Market Research

The best way to determine your market needs is to talk to your current and past clients. Ask them:

  • When it comes to (your niche), what’s your biggest struggle?
  • How have you tried to solve this problem in the past? What worked and what didn’t, and why?
  • If you had the perfect solution, what do you reckon it would be?

If you don’t have clients yet, you can survey potential clients who are a part of your target audience.

3. Competitor Analysis

Researching your competitors can help validate your audience and offering. The point isn’t to copy them but to learn from their strategies.

You can start by checking out their website, blog, and social media posts to gather new ideas for your launch. If you want to go deeper, subscribe to their email list or download their lead magnet to see how they communicate with the target audience.

Not everything your competitors do will resonate with your style, and that’s exactly how it should be. Take what feels authentic to you and what aligns with your business approach, and make it your own.

Stage 2: Preparation

1. Structure Your Program

Think of what aligns best with your audience. Your coaching program should be a roadmap that helps your clients achieve their desired goals. It could include:

  • Content in the form of video lectures, assessments, and worksheets,
  • A set number of coaching sessions or check-in calls,
  • Chat support between sessions, and
  • An online course or community led by you.

For example, let’s say a career coach creates a program to help experienced professionals change careers. The program should include all the tools that help them go from deciding on a new career to landing their dream job.

2. Create an Outline for Your Program

Identify your client’s ultimate goal and reverse engineer the flow of your program from there step by step.

Let’s use the career coach example. If their ideal client’s goal is to change careers, here’s what their program outline might look like in reverse:

    7. Land dream job

    6. Interview for possible dream jobs

    5. Apply for positions

    4. Search for jobs in the new career

    3. Write a compelling cover letter and CV

    2. Choose a new dream career path

    1. Evaluate professional skills

In this example, the coaching program may have 7 components to it. Doing this will help you make sure everything your client needs is included in the program.

3. Set Your Launch Dates

Adding dates to your launch plan will determine what to do, when, and by whom. Without it, you and your team may work for months without an end goal in sight.

Here’s an example of a launch timeline spread over two months:

  • Week 1: Define program objectives, target audience, and curriculum.
  • Week 2: Develop program materials, pricing strategy, and enrollment process.
  • Week 3: Create a marketing plan, promotional content, and launch strategy.
  • Week 4: Conduct pre-launch outreach, finalize program details, and prepare for launch.
  • Week 5: Official program launch—begin accepting enrollments.
  • Week 6: Host informational sessions or webinars and continue promotional efforts.
  • Week 7: Commence program delivery and gather participant feedback.
  • Week 8: Evaluate program effectiveness, adjust, and plan for future iterations.

Once your dates are set, add it to your calendar and share it with your team.

4. Building Your Launch Team

After setting your dates, it’s time to decide which part of your launch project you want to outsource. Consider hiring people for tasks that are taking up most of your time.

Here are some examples of roles you may need on your launch team:

  • Copywriter: to write your sales page, email campaigns, and social media content.
  • Graphic designer: to design your branded social media posts and course material.
  • Virtual assistant: to help with the tech setup, troubleshooting, and customer service.
  • Ads campaign manager: to run your ads on social media.
  • Project manager: to manage the launch and your team.

If managing your launch is taking you away from the tasks only you can do (i.e., preparing for your webinar, going live on social media, or conducting podcast interviews), consider hiring a project manager. It will give you peace of mind knowing that the back end of your launch is running without interruption.

5. Set up the Tech

When launching, there’s almost always a technical component involved. The good news is this setup can be as simple or advanced as you need it to be. 

Let’s say you’re hosting a webinar. For this type of launch, at a minimum, you’ll need the following:

  • Webinar platform: to host your webinar event.
  • Webinar registration page: allows people to sign up for your webinar.
  • Email marketing system: to confirm the webinar registration and send email reminders.
  • Sales and checkout pages: for people to sign up for your coaching program after the webinar. If your program primarily focuses on one-on-one or group coaching sessions, you can use Paperbell as a simple and cost-efficient sales and checkout system

These different systems will need to be in sync with one another. Some systems can do this natively, while others need to be connected through a third-party app like Zapier.

To save time on this, you can hire a virtual assistant or project manager to handle the tech part of your launch.

6. Prepare Your Marketing Materials

Here are some examples of marketing materials you may need for your launch:

  • Social media posts and stories
  • A launch email sequence
  • Website landing page
  • Brochures or lead magnets
  • Reels
  • Blog articles
  • An outreach deck for collaborations like affiliates or influencers
  • Content for your paid ads

Of course, you don’t have to do all of these things to launch a successful program. Start with the platforms you’re already familiar with using.

Stage 3: Launch Your Coaching Program

It’s time to share your program with the world:

  • Announce your upcoming launch on your regular channels like your email newsletter and social media channels.
  • Let any affiliate partners or cross-promoters know what they should share with their audience.
  • Host a webinar or other short event to give your audience a taste of your program.
  • Continue to promote your program until the doors close.

After your launch, consider sending out a survey to those who didn’t buy. This information will help you tweak key components of your next campaign.

Coaching Launch FAQs

How Do You Plan a Coaching Program?

Start by defining your target audience and what their needs and goals are. Design a curriculum that addresses those needs and delivers the desired outcome your audience is looking for.

Then put a structure behind your program and define its various stages, duration, and session schedule. It’s also worth gathering feedback from potential participants and incorporating it to create a well-rounded program.

How Do You Promote a Coaching Program?

Promote your coaching program by leveraging various marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, and ads.

You can also consider offering your program a free session or course chapter as a lead magnet to demonstrate its value and get more sign-ups. 

Showcasing client testimonials and success stories is another great way to show social proof and improve the credibility of your program.

How Do I Start a Coaching Course?

Like a coaching program, developing a course will require you to define its target audience and how to help them. Build a curriculum based on that and turn it into video lectures as well as other course materials.

Run market research to determine the price of your course and set it up on one of the online course platforms. Then, create a marketing strategy to attract participants in your niche, and prepare for any live classes so you can deliver high-quality instruction.

Over to You

We hope this launch plan will help you successfully enroll your dream clients in your program. If you want to dig into more nifty resources, we recommend our free template pack for coaches.

And if you’re ready to automate your coaching business, Paperbell is here for the job. It’s an all-in-one client management tool that handles your schedule, payments, contracts, and more.

Try Paperbell for free with your first client.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has since been updated for accuracy.

By Tameka Allen
Tameka Allen is the Founder of the Allen Digital Group. In 2013, she started as a Certified Coach and learned how to use digital marketing to promote her coaching practice. Soon after her coaching colleagues started asking for help, she launched a digital marketing business that helps course creators and coaches build marketing funnels and run Facebook ads. Now with more than 7 years of experience, she solely focused on helping her clients manage their online launches. When she's not helping clients, you can find Tameka watching a documentary on Netflix or hanging out with her husband and 3 kids. You can learn more online launch tips by following her on Instagram at @allendigital.
April 11, 2024

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