Are you interested in taking your work as a coach, consultant, trainer or other expert to the next level? Would you like to reach a broader audience? Have you thought about packaging the work you do with individuals into an engaging and interactive experience for multiple clients?
If so, you may be at the right point in your business growth to add what I call a “signature program” to your catalog of services. A signature program is a unique, focused group learning experience that helps your clients achieve high-value goals.
You can develop your own signature program by following these four steps:
Step 1: Cut through the “Idea Chaos”: If you’re like most coaches, consultants and others in the expertise business, your head is probably spinning with ideas. How do you cut through the “idea chaos” and decide on the best concept for your signature program? The process is quite simple, and starts with committing all of your ideas to paper.
Then, analyze each idea from the perspective of your clients. At the end of your program, what do you want your clients to know? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to walk away with? The answers to these questions will point you to the winning idea.
Step 2: Filter, Filter, Filter: It may be tempting at this point to run with your best idea. Not so fast! I recommend asking yourself a few filtering questions to make sure the idea passes muster. If you answer “yes” to the first question, your idea passes the filter and you can move to the next one…until you reach the last question with four affirmative answers. But if at any point, your honest answer to a question is “no,” I suggest you go back to the idea bank.
The four sequential filtering questions are:
Does this idea fit with my mission and message?
Will this idea deliver an ideal client outcome that my clients will value and pay for?
Does the idea capture my “secret sauce” – that special something that makes my approach and philosophy unique?
How well does the idea align with my mission-critical priorities?
Step 3: Make Your Program POP: POP is an easy-to-remember acronym that will ensure that your signature program achieves your goals and those of your clients:
Purpose: The first P stands for purpose, which you should consider from two perspectives: your purpose for conducting the program and your clients’ reasons for participating.
Outcomes: Again, look at both your desired outcome in delivering the program and what your clients will get out of it.
Process: The final P is for process, which takes into account your content, your clients’ needs and your preferences. Think about the timeline and how many sessions you’ll need. Consider the delivery channel: live vs. virtual, or a combination of the two. Based on all of these factors, think about the best format for delivering your program, which could be a class, a mastermind group, a coaching session, a retreat, consulting package, workshop or a mixture.
Step 4: Test Your Program: You’ve done all the planning and you think you have a great signature program. But, there’s no way to truly know for sure until you run a beta session. I think a good approach is to conduct the program for a small group of clients and charge them a fraction of your planned price.
It’s a win-win situation. Your clients benefit from the program at a fraction of the normal price, and you’re able to see what works and what doesn’t – starting with how you market the program down to execution. Following your beta program, you can tweak the content, format, timeline, marketing and delivery channel of your program based on your pilot program.
You’ve followed the four steps, and you’re confident you have a winning signature program. It’s time to launch!