How to Start a Successful Life Coaching Business
If you’re passionate about helping other people achieve their goals, becoming a life coach could be an excellent career path for you. However, establishing a life coach business doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need to put in some hard work — and know what you should be doing before you get started.
What Does a Life Coach Do?
First of all: what is a life coach?
Life coaches help their clients to define goals and then create an action strategy that includes milestones and specifies how they’ll overcome barriers. Some life coaches focus on wellness as a whole, whereas others specialize in a particular area — like business, relationships, or resolving personal problems, such as stress, neuroticism, or a creativity block.
Is Becoming a Life Coach Difficult?
The fact is that just being passionate about something is not enough to lead to a successful business venture. There’s much more to running a life coaching business than just offering services. The right people need to know you exist, plus you need to show them that your services are worth paying for. You’ll then need to make sure these people choose you over another life coach.
Another challenge is startup costs. Although life coaching may be less expensive to start than some other types of businesses, you do need to think seriously about taking some professional life coach training. If you only possess a free life coach certification, potential clients may look at your business with skepticism.
Finally, it may be difficult to stay motivated at times. This is because a large amount of building a coaching business is spent not coaching but on other activities. This many include sending cold emails, researching, prospecting, and even data entry.
How to Become a Life Coach
Establishing a business is less difficult when you take the right steps from the beginning. With that said, let’s look at how to become a life coach the right way.
How to Write a Life Coaching Business Plan
Before you do anything else, create your business plan. Setting ideas down on paper will help you organize your thoughts. It will also reveal if you’re missing anything and confirm that your ideas are well thought out — you may even come up with new ideas. For example, a business plan is a good opportunity to brainstorm life coach business names.
Plus, you can refer back to your business plan if you’re ever unsure about the right direction to take to stay in line with your goals.
When writing your business plan, make sure you address the following.
1. Why You Want to Start a Life Coaching Business
Think about what you have to share with clients — and also why you feel like becoming a life coach is the right move for you. Life coaching is all about helping others, but it’s equally important to meet your own needs. After all, you’ll be dedicating many hours of your time and effort to your business venture.
2. Your Area of Speciality
Your business will face a huge amount of competition. As life coaches have become more mainstream, this career choice has become more popular. You need to do something that allows you to stand out.
The best option is to specialize in a particular area. Being able to market yourself as an expert will allow you to utilize your expertise and target a specific audience. Besides, the options are endless — you can specialize in finances, diet and exercise, spirituality, or just about anything else you can think of.
If you want to be an online life coach, you can be even more specific, as you’ll be able to have clients from all over the world. However, even then you should avoid being too niche, as you will need to attract a reasonably large number of clients for your business to be successful.
3. Who Makes Up Target Audience
Once you know exactly what you’ll be doing, you can figure out who to target. Learning as much as possible about the demographics and psychographics of your target audience will help you decide things like pricing, the type of marketing to use, and how to structure your services.
4. Your Competition
Research who is currently offering similar life coaching services to what you want to provide. Consider your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. You can emulate what’s working well for them and take advantage of their weaknesses to offer a better service to clients.
5. Your Unique Value Proposition
What will make you different from the competitors you researched? This is your unique value proposition. Maybe you have certain qualifications or a particular background that will make your services extra appealing.
6. How Exactly You’ll Support Your Clients
Coaching is a broad term — there are many coaching methods you could use. You’ll need to choose one and tailor it to both suit your clients and match your personal style. Other things to consider include how you’ll package your services: how many hours of coaching will come with each plan or how many months clients will need to work with you to meet their goals.
Setting Goals for Your Coaching Business
Armed with a business plan, you can decide your goals for your life coach business. When setting goals, do the following:
- Create a balance of short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. Short-term goals will keep you motivated and show you that you are progressing. Medium-term goals will help you stay on track for your major, long-term goals.
- Track your progress. You’ll only know if you’re meeting your goals if you monitor your progress. Decide what metrics you can use and track them.
- Set a timeframe. Determine when you should be able to meet each goal. If you reach the date and you’re still some way off, think about what you need to do differently. This could mean being more realistic in your goal setting or changing your strategy.
- Challenge yourself. Without being too ambitious, set goals that you’ll need to work hard to achieve. It’s important to push yourself when starting a life coaching business because it’s such a competitive field.
- Build a support system. Just like your clients turn to you for support, you need to seek support to reach your goals. Connect with other coaches (who don’t compete with you for clients!) or entrepreneurs in general. Alternatively, just celebrating milestones with family members can be fulfilling.
Best Life Coach Certification Programs
Before you start calling yourself a coach, it’s a good idea to take a life coach certification. You have plenty of options, including some accredited life coaching programs.
A top name in life coaching is the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Unlike many programs, it involves a combination of online and in-person training. After you’ve completed the foundational training, you can take further life coaching courses to specialize in your area of choice.
Accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), the courses from Coach Alliance Training (CTA) will give you the skills you need to be a successful coach. As well as working through real-world scenarios, you’ll learn how to build your business from the ground up, which includes examining strategies for finding those first clients. CTA offers several life coaching programs, including some free introductory workshops to try the method out for yourself.
3. Coach U
If you’d prefer to start your life coaching business as a side hustle, consider training from Coach U. The programs are designed with people who will be coaching part time in mind. You can complete your life coach certification online or take a face-to-face intensive program — although this option is not available during the pandemic. After the initial course, you can take an advanced program to receive training for a specific niche and to gain support creating a business.
Receiving Support from a Virtual Assistant
Once you have all the above sorted, you’re ready to launch your business. This is when the real work starts. It’s worthwhile looking into contracting a virtual assistant to help you.
You’re becoming a life coach because you have the desire to help people — but if you have no experience being an entrepreneur, you may find that you struggle with some aspects of running a business. Plus, some essential activities may just be boring.
A virtual assistant for coaches will know exactly what you need to grow your business. Your VA will be able to take over all the administrative work, as well as any tasks you struggle to do yourself, such as preparing presentations and webinars, managing your social media accounts, and networking. This will leave you free for the actual coaching side of things.
Get a Business Plan Template
The right business plan is crucial for becoming a professional life coach. As this is one of the most difficult stages, we’ve come up with some extra support for you. Provide us with your email and we’ll send you a free life coaching business plan template. This will help you iron out all the details — large and small — to ensure you start off on the right foot.