Boosting Engagement in Your Group Program

January 14, 2021

Online programs have become an increasingly popular service offering amongst health and wellness practitioners, and for good reason. Facilitating group programs is a great step to take to scale your business as they allow you to work with multiple clients at once. A program will allow you to educate a group of clients through time-released modules that provide tangible action steps to help them reach their goals. Programs can also provide clients with accountability, support, and community to help them reach a positive outcome.

If you are currently running a group program, or have a set goal to do so (check out Planning Online Group Programs) an important consideration for the success of your program is how engaged your participants are.

An engaged group of participants are more likely to see through the entirety of your program, and therefore achieve the best outcomes possible. Great client results can go on to become word of mouth referrals, an especially powerful form of marketing.

What steps can you take to ensure the engagement in your group program thrives?

Make Every Group Member Feel Valued

When a client feels valued, they are more likely to stay loyal to you, your business, and their own commitments to you (and themselves). Simple acts from you such as saying hello, thanking them for joining, monitoring your group’s comments and concerns, accepting feedback, and providing thoughtful responses will remind members that their presence and participation are valued. A safe and welcoming environment will encourage members to interact with you.

A few ways to consider showing value to your members within the Practice Better Program feature:

  • Include a personal touchpoint with each member. A genuine thank you to your members can go a long way in ensuring they feel recognized and appreciated. Whether you prefer to reach out one-on-one in the Secure Chat, or to the whole group via the Group Feed, personally reaching out will help build your relationships with the participants.
  • As an alternative, you can also record a welcome video for the group, sharing more about yourself, highlighting important information, and explaining in more detail what they can expect to get out of the program. This can be posted to the Group Feed and pinned so every member has the opportunity to see it.

Break the Ice

Sometimes members will need a little bit of encouragement when it comes to engaging within the group. A welcome prompt can help encourage members to introduce themselves, and when posted alongside a simple question, these prompts can limit any hesitation members may feel about making their first post and assist them in getting started.

Continue throughout the program by adding in a question or a prompt to spark conversation. This can make it easy for members to have a selected topic to share ideas about. Be sure to engage back when appropriate to inspire the conversation between members.

Be Consistent with Engagement

You, or a member of your team, should make an effort to show up regularly and engage with members. Most likely, your participants want real-time interaction with you to benefit from your knowledge and expertise. Take the time to respond to all client posts and messages. Acknowledging your members regularly with thoughtful responses will leave a lasting, positive impression on your community and encourage them to continue to interact with you.

There are various ways you can engage with the group, from live video sessions, sharing additional resources (such as PDFs, infographics, or images), pre-recorded videos or simply posting within the chat or feed. A variety of different styles of posts and interactions will keep things fresh and more engaging, holding member’s attention, and piquing their interest.

Check-In On Progress

Throughout the duration of your program, consider collecting feedback to check on your participant’s progress. This can be done via a form attached to each module or done casually through the secure chat. If you want to open this up to the group, posting within the group chat will allow others to share encouragement and connect over similar experiences. Checking in will show clients you care about their outcomes and hold them accountable to see through their commitment to their goals.

Consider Incentivizing Participation

If despite your best efforts you are struggling to ignite conversation and interaction amongst the members, a giveaway can be introduced to provide further motivation to engage. Oftentimes, the interactions will beget other interactions, and engagement from the members will continue to increase. Whether you want to choose a  physical prize, like a discount off future services, or something digital, the giveaway can be structured so that members enter the giveaway simply by participating in the group feed or completing their modules, with the winner selected at random.

Group Programs can really take your business to the next level! Group engagement will encourage members and instill a sense of accountability and commitment in them, leading to higher client retention overall. Members who stay the course and see through your program content are more likely to have positive outcomes and as a result, share the word about you and your business. Group engagement can be encouraged through connecting with your members regularly and intentionally, removing barriers to make engagement easy and straightforward, and checking in to show you are vested in their outcomes.

Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.

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