You have likely played the role of a de-facto life coach a few times in your friends’ lives. You’ve lent an ear whenever they needed it and have also served as a great source of inspiration. Congratulations! You are a life coach! (Well, maybe just not yet).
If people around you consistently reach out for guidance, advice, and encouragement, then you have the seeds of a great life coach within you waiting to sprout and grow with all kinds of possibilities.
Could you turn this into a great career or business? The short answer is a resounding yes. Here’s how;
Step One: Select a Coaching Niche
There are a number of areas in coaching you can focus on, such as Performance Coaching, which is our specialty at Performance Coach University.
Related: What Is A Performance Coach?
Other coaching niches include relationship coaching and executive coaching, among others. Focusing on one or a few niches will give your clients the confidence that you have the expertise to help them with their unique challenges. Find a niche that will light a fire within you and also motivate you to get out of bed every morning.
There’s a common misconception that coaching is just about helping people with cope with mid-life crises or deeper psychological issues. Nothing could be further from the truth. Professional coaching is applicable to a variety of life situations. That is why there are career coaches, performance coaches, retirement coaches, executive coaches, and fitness coaches among others.
Step Two: Complete an Accredited Coach Training Program
Helping people overcome challenges and improve in different areas of their lives is not a small matter. It requires specialized training and preparation and you’ll have to be fully equipped before you start. You must find the right programs accredited by industry bodies or associations.
The best training programs will help you learn and understand the underlying psychological principles of coaching, including how to determine your clients’ needs, how to conduct the sessions, ethics, and the requisite communication skills.
To get a competitive edge in coaching, you should be looking into programs that are accredited by ICF (International Coach Federation) or BCC (Board Certified Coach). For example, Performance Coach University offers a coach training program that is accredited by both ICF & BCC.
Some of them may require you to take assessment tests, work for a set number of paid hours, or even submit recorded sessions for evaluation. They will require you to demonstrate professionalism and extremely high working standards before giving you any credentials.
Step Three: Set up Your Coaching Business
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Succeeding as a life coach and succeeding as an entrepreneur can be entirely different. Try to achieve both. By becoming a life coach, you will not just be a professional seeking to help other people overcome their challenges and improve their lives and careers. You inevitably also become a small business owner.
Therefore, you will have to step out of your comfort zones and learn a lot about other non-coaching fields as well. That includes having to do your own due diligence or get professional help in setting up a business. You will come up with a business plan and register your business with your local authority.
If you choose to start with a rented physical space, you’ll have to factor in the upfront startup costs that would enable you run the business in the first few months. Startup costs are inevitable, even if you were to have a digital business.
Step Four: Create an Online Presence
As a life coach, you need to create and develop your brand right from the get-go. A digital footprint is especially critical if you want to have an all-digital business. This means that you’ll need a great website, quality pictures and videos, and a decent computer.
When it comes to branding, consistency is key even in the smallest of details such as colors, fonts, your logo, marketing copy, and your social media pages. An online presence should be a key component of your marketing strategy. Fortunately, there are many free and paid online courses on branding, marketing, running a business.
Step Five: Define How You Will Work With Your Coaching Clients
Once you have figured out your area of focus, you need to formulate how you will work with your clients. That means designing packages, time frames, sessions, and the levels of service you will provide. Most clients would prefer a variety of packages from which they can choose.
A lot of this will depend on your clients and the level of engagement they would require from you. Some clients may want to work in one to three months increments depending on the specific issue and how long it takes to get meaningful change. Others may only require a weekly update session or accountability session.
For example, performance coaches typically have calls 2x/month for 60 minutes via phone, video or face to face. In between sessions there may be different tracking tools to check in on their progress in between coaching sessions.
You may have to spend a lot of time with your clients before they sign up. A free first session can reveal their needs and give them a sense of what they would be getting. By doing this, you will also help them know for sure if they need a life coach or something else, which will save time and resources for both of you. Remember, time is limited, and it is an essential resource in this kind of business.
Step Six: Define Pricing For Your Coaching Service
There are several important considerations before you figure out the kind of rates you will be charging your clients. While your rates will largely be influenced by your qualifications and kind of services you provide, there are other factors to consider. Is it a one-time session or a long-term relationship? Does it involve travel? Are you comfortable with an hourly rate or a daily rate?
Sometimes it is not easy figuring out all these things at once. So you may have to try out a few pricing models with your first few clients and then figure out what works for you.
Keep in mind, performance coaches tend to be more expensive than life coaches because they offer advanced coaching tools, more accountability, better tracking, and therefore better results.
Putting a value on helping people change their lives is difficult, and you will have to figure out what your time is worth. Of course, you will not want to run a business that cannot sustain itself.
Step Seven: Get Started!
You have to set the wheels in motion if your life coaching business is to go anywhere. Get all the help you can in setting up but by all means, do start. You don’t need a posh set-up to start, just a burning passion for helping fellow humans make meaningful improvements in their lives.
Life coaching is a gratifying and fulfilling career. Learn everything you can about life coaching before you make the jump.
Are you ready to become a coach? Learn more about our upcoming coach training by filling out an application here.
To Your Success,
Jairek Robbins and Team PCU