How to Become a Life Coach: Building a Successful Coaching Business
The demand for life coaching has grown exponentially in recent years, with even the most accomplished of entrepreneurs appreciating the value of ongoing coaching. Bill Gates put it best when he said: “Everyone needs a coach…We all need people to give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Data suggests that Life Coaching it is the second-fastest growing industry and is expected to hit $20 Billion by the end of 2022.
If helping others become better versions of themselves is something you’re passionate about, and you are great at communicating with others, becoming a life coach could be a natural career path for you. If you have decided to take the plunge, please accept my congratulations. As an award-winning coach myself, I can attest to how fulfilling a profession it is, having the opportunity to improve others’ lives as well as your own. Done right, it can offer you the perfect balance of entrepreneurial freedom, the potential for great pay, and a meaningful career.
However, whilst life coaching is a wonderful profession, it is also hard work. Stellar listening skills and an abundance of empathy are great starting points, but never forget that succeeding as a life coach is ultimately a business decision. For the sake of both yourself and your clients, the single most important factor in considering it as a life-long profession is about generating a sustainable income. Once you’ve decided that this is your calling, you will have to ensure your business and services are up to scratch if you are to succeed.
Here are three strategies for building a successful life coaching business:
1) Identify your unique coaching vision
“Life coach” is somewhat of an umbrella term. To find your place as a life coach you need to choose a niche or specific area of focus. A niche helps you determine the issues you’ll help your life coaching clients with and your specific area of expertise. Your unique coaching vision encapsulates what your niche is, along with who your potential client base is, and how you will serve them.
To figure this out, try answering for yourself “what strengths, experience, or area of expertise can I offer my client?” Once you have established this, you can zero in on a niche within that to build subject matter expertise and a reputation that people seek out. For example, you could be a relationship Coach to help a woman or a man in their dating life and in general to navigate through complex relationships.
In my case, I am a Business Coach for service-based female entrepreneurs. Perhaps for you, it is coaching bereaved spouses on how to navigate life alone. Or maybe it is working with parents who have taken extended career breaks whilst raising their children, guiding them through setting and reaching their career goals. Or working with people who have emigrated and need coaching to settle into life in their new location. Or something else entirely!
You are the best person to determine what your niche is, and if you are to be successful, figuring it out should be your priority. If you are struggling to narrow it down, you could benefit greatly from working with a coach yourself. Alternatively, you might consider taking a Profiling Test to get a better understanding of your core strengths.
Once you have this figured out, you will be better equipped to take your Life Coaching career in the direction you want. It will also help you become a sought-after Life coach from a targeted population who are seeking exactly the experiences that only you can offer. Niching down will help you market your services to a specific type of client and gives potential customers confidence that you have expertise in helping people with their unique challenges and desires.
2) Plan a Marketing Strategy
You can’t sustain yourself as a life coach for long without any clients, so it’s crucial to have a comprehensive marketing plan in place right from the get-go. Your plan will depend on your target audience and niche, as well as your budget. While there are plenty of free marketing ideas to help spread the word about your life coaching business, you may also opt for some paid advertisements, especially when you’re first starting and looking to grow your client list. When it all comes down to it, the initial costs of becoming a life coach don’t have to be high, but they can vary greatly depending on how you plan to offer your services.
You’ll need a strong social media presence to attract clients and to reassure potential clients of your credentials. At a minimum, you should have an Instagram, Facebook, a LinkedIn page, a blog, and a business website, all of which should be updated regularly. I also have a YouTube Channel and use Twitter to extend my reach.
Another strategy for finding clients is to start networking with other life coaches in your area. You can do this is by joining a Group Coaching Workshop, or by attending conferences and networking events. This will raise your visibility as a Life Coach and provide you with invaluable contacts.
And finally, don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations. If a client is happy with your services, ask them to spread the word to people in their network and provide a customer testimonial that you can post on your website.
3) Invest in Yourself
You may be surprised to know that you don’t need any formal or academic qualifications to become a Life Coach; essentially any person who wants to call themselves a life coach can do so, regardless of their qualifications or experience. Generally, there are no specific minimum legal requirements for good practice, and it is an industry that has little regulation.
That said, I’m sure you can appreciate why potential clients will look upon you more favourably if you have an industry-specific qualification. In a saturated market, a sure-fire to stand out is to show that you have trained for the role you have. In my case, I took some of the best training courses offered by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), the UK’s largest management body. Additionally, I trained in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and became a Master NLP Practitioner and accredited life and business coach.
Holding life coaching credentials from a recognized organisational body will give you an advantage over those who don’t, as many clients prefer to work with someone who is certified. It boosts your credibility and reassures potential clients that you are qualified to help them achieve their goals.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a life coach can be an incredibly rewarding yet difficult career path. Get in touch to book a free 30-minute Strategy consultation to find out how I can help guide you on your journey to success