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Business Strategy

How I Created a Multi-Multi-Million Dollar Group Coaching Program & How You Can Too

Tears were streaming down my face as student after student took the mic and honored me — for a full 52 minutes!

They were supposed to be sharing their biggest takeaway, breakthrough or aha from the weekend and instead they chose to recognize and honor me for the experience and transformation I had given them…

I’ve done dozens of closing circles at the end of events before and this one felt different. It felt like my life’s work had landed and I was being seen and acknowledged for it. I felt like I had touched the next level of what I was here to create in the world.

So how did I get there? 

How did I move a class of almost 250 people on Zoom… to a vulnerable, emotionally connected group of entrepreneurs ready to do almost anything? 

And how can you create a premium group coaching program that leads to this kind of gratitude? 

Watch at least some of the video below before reading the rest of this post… and as you watch, imagine these are your students, saying these things about you

So how did I get here? 

Well it all started in 2015 when I launched my first yearlong group coaching program.  

First Yearlong Group Coaching Program

I was just 2 years into my business and I wanted to create a more intensive program, but I didn’t have the confidence to lead a group of students over the course of a year. So I partnered with someone who had done it before and together we created a program called Message to Millions…

And the program was basically his design. Based on his experience.

And while it was a great program, it wasn’t my program. And the feedback I got was that many of the people who resonated with me, didn’t necessarily resonate with him. So our sales weren’t super high…

The first enrollment cycle we had 16 students (out of 105 in the room at Message to Money LIVE) and the second we had 19 (out of 135 people). 

I was doing all the work to fill the room, we were splitting profits 50%, and it didn’t feel like the benefit of having a partner outweighed the cost. I realized that partnering in business needs to be taken as seriously as partnering in life — the right partnership can take you to heights you would never reach on your own, and the wrong partnership can even set you back. 

So after 2 cycles of partnering, I felt like I had the experience I needed to create my own yearlong group coaching program.

So in 2016, I rolled out a new program called Live Your Message Mentorship and the very first time I offered it by myself to a room of 147 people, I had 55 people enroll and it was like night and day.

I was in full alignment with what I had created and people responded. 

Yet the program was still based on the structure I had seen in other yearlong group coaching programs and masterminds. My goal was to support students in building the foundation of a profitable and fulfilling online business. We offered 3 retreats a year with weekly trainings and group coaching calls. There was a Silver level of the program, which didn’t include private coaching, and a Gold level that did.

I ran that version of the program 2 times between 2016 and 2017 and in 2017 we had 70 people enroll — the response was solid and the program was growing every year. But I noticed that it was hard to keep my students in consistent action over the course of a year. And I had the gnawing feeling that I could be doing better for them… but I didn’t know how until I launched my signature program the Experience Product Masterclass in 2016 and saw how using 10 very specific experiences (the Experience Formula), I could drive WAY more engagement and success for my students than traditional programs.

So in 2018, I offered a very different version of my group coaching program based on leading people through 5 shorter Experience Products® to build the foundation of their profitable business — from getting clear on their niche, to designing a product, to mastering sales and marketing, and launching their web presence.

And I actually created 8 new experience products that year to support my students… 8!

I also made the decision to split the program into 2 levels — what I called the Blue Sky level for emerging entrepreneurs who were just getting started and making less than $2,500/month in their business (or struggling to make their first dollar), and what I called the Next Level for entrepreneurs who had a little momentum and were making consistent income (though not as much as they’d like).

So I created 4 new programs for each level, so my students could have the exact step-by-step training they needed to move them to the next level — whatever that was for them… and it almost killed me!

And the response I got? Well, it wasn’t what I was hoping for.

My students couldn’t keep up.

And I realized that while it does work to create one clear pathway for every single student to walk and have everyone walk at the same pace over a shorter program like Start With You (6 weeks) the Experience Product Masterclass (12 weeks) where there’s ONE clear and specific goal, it doesn’t work over the course of a year with a bigger picture set of goals around building your business.

It’s just not possible to follow a set curriculum at a set pace for a longer period of time without having to fit yourself into an entrepreneurial box…

So while splitting the program into 2 levels really worked and helped each group of students get the support they needed, at the end of 2018 I woke up in the middle of the night with the inspiration to move the curriculum I had so painstakingly created to the background of the program rather than the foreground — so it was more a resource to support my students on their path, rather than the path itself. I realized that instead of emphasizing the curriculum, we needed to emphasize the coaching process to help each student find their own unique path to building their business and support them in “choosing their own adventure” through the program. 

And our famous Concierge Coaching approach was born in 2019. This is where we curate and co-create each student’s experience based on what we learn about them:

  • their mission, vision and goals
  • their individual starting point and stage of business growth
  • their unique pace
  • their strengths, challenges and learning style

So we developed a collaborative GoogleDoc for each student, so they could collaborate with their coach on their core messaging, product and marketing strategies. And we created a Weekly Business Dashboard that allowed our students to track the key elements of their success each week — how many conversations they’re getting into, how many opt-ins, how many sales, how much revenue, and how they’re feeling about their business…

And we put the 8 new programs I created in 2018 into the “Live Your Message Vault,” alongside all my other programs to give our students access to the step-by-step trainings they needed to realize their vision for their business, when they needed it.

We also created “custom missions” or collections of trainings that focus on specific projects such as getting your first client, doing a webinar or experiencifying your membership site. 

And, of course, we continued to do the weekly workshops, group coaching calls and retreats which allowed students to have those regular touchpoints with us and the community.

Then in 2019, I got even more scientific around how we could take the guesswork out of coaching each student around their unique strengths, challenges and learning style by integrating proven assessments. So I introduced our proprietary Flowmapping™ process. 

Flowmapping is the process of understanding how you tick — your preferences, your superpowers and yes your kryptonite too — so you can choose the business adventure best suited to you. 

If you skip Flowmapping, you risk building your business out of flow, out of sync and out of alignment with who you are. So things feel HARDER and less fulfilling, which could ultimately cause you to crash and burn at worst, or simply leave you exhausted and disconnected from your full potential. 

And this version of the program was a lot better, but then we started to get new feedback. Because everything in the program was so customized, our students didn’t always feel like they had a clear plan or roadmap to follow.

So in 2021, I created a new Roadmapping™ process, which became the flipside of Flowmapping.

Roadmapping is the process of understanding exactly what to do when in your business to get the results you want, literally designing the map before you get on the road. It includes BOTH the strategy and the nuts-and-bolts details of what to say, what to sell, how to market and a whole lot more.

This allowed us to balance customization with proven models, so we could meet each student where they were at, while providing them with a powerful yet flexible Flowmap & Roadmap that could support them in finding their path of least resistance and greatest reward.

I also renamed the program Momentum. Because Mentorship felt more like a process, while Momentum feels more like a result. And the reason we have students stay 3, 4, 5 years is that we’ve created the ideal container for gaining and sustaining momentum in your business. And that’s something that’s hard to do on your own. It’s hard to be consistent. 

And that gave birth to the Momentum Model — which combines 4 Outer Momentum Strategies (that come together in your Roadmap) and 4 Inner Momentum Strategies (that come together in your Flowmap). And it’s this combination of inner and outer momentum, hustle and flow, yin and yang, making things happens and letting this happen, that allows our students to be both successful and fulfilled…

And it’s this version of this program that created those amazing 52 minutes of gratitude… with this version, I knocked it out of the park.

But, as you can see, this was not an instant overnight process. It took 8 cycles of running our yearlong program before I cracked the code…

Every year I went back to the drawing board and I tinkered. I told myself, “It’s not there yet, it can be better.”

And — after 8 years of iterating my way to awesome — Momentum is what I would consider a blockbuster hit program. In addition to bringing in  several million dollars a year, we’re now able to serve hundreds of students at the highest possible level, by combining the benefits of a large program (in terms of community and access to premium resources and experiences) with the intimacy of a much smaller program with both private coaching and small group coaching pods that are limited to 30 students each (and most pods range from 15-25 students).

Now big names in the field are coming to me for advice on how to structure their yearlong programs to achieve the kind of intimacy, scale and customer results that we’re now having.

This is what iterating your way to awesome looks like. It can take years to really fine-tune your unique value or how what you do is different than everyone else.

That’s why I ask my students, “If you didn’t create your blockbuster hit product until your 4th or even 5th product, would you be willing to create your first three products if they paved the way to that blockbuster hit?”

They ALWAYS say yes.

But when you’re in it, it can be easy to lose perspective.

Especially when that product launch doesn’t go as well as you wanted — or maybe you fail to make any sales at all. 

Or you receive some negative feedback about your program. 

Or you have that gnawing feeling that something’s off and it could be better — you just don’t know what it is.

That’s why I wanted to share my journey and the evolution of my blockbuster hit Momentum program, so you can see where I started and the thinking behind each evolution all the way up to its current form.

So if you’re not already obsessed with customer experience and student success, it’s time to be.

Because if there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s this: When your students, clients and customers win, you win.

So thank you to all my students who were there last weekend for giving me such an incredible gift. Those 52 minutes made my last 10 years of work worth it…

I love you all! Xoxo

Our Momentum program is only open for enrollment 2-3 times a year. If you’re interested in joining us, click here to apply to speak with a Coach.

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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