Being a personal life coach is a rewarding and well paying career. If you are interested in this opportunity, read here to find out everything you need to know!
The average adult will spend 92,120 hours of their life at work!
If you’re going to spend between 21 and 35 percent of your waking hours somewhere, it’s best if you can find a career that pays well and is rewarding.
For thousands of people, life coaching is that career.
If you think working as a personal life coach might be right for you, keep reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about what a life coach does and how you can become a successful one.
What is a Personal Life Coach?
A personal life coach is someone who works with clients to help them understand their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Life coaches work with all kinds of people, from business executives to aspiring actors, in several different aspects of their lives.
A coach’s services vary greatly depending on their client’s particular problems and aspirations.
They might help one person learn to manage their time to meet their goals more quickly, and they might provide motivation and encouragement to another person who is struggling with a difficult life change.
What Isn’t a Life Coach?
Life coaches wear many hats and can assist a broad range of people. But, there are still some things that a life coach is not, including:
Consultants are usually experts in a specific field (marketing, social media management, etc.). Many life coaches specialize in a specific area, but they don’t always have background experience in the same field as their clients.
That doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful, though.
Consultants often propose solutions and then leave their clients to implement them. Life coaches, on the other hand, stick with clients throughout the implementation process to ensure changes actually happen and goals are actually met.
Life coaches are not psychologists or psychiatrists. They can help clients work through problems to establish better habits or accomplish their goals, but they do not help people work through trauma or deeper mental health issues.
Of course, a life coach can also be your friend. But, they also do things that friends often cannot. For example, providing objective views on your habits and behaviors.
A good life coach will not be afraid of being honest and will not sugar coat things to avoid hurting a client’s feelings. The same isn’t always true for friends.
What Makes a Good Coach?
As with any job, some people are better suited than others to be good life coaches. The following are some of the skills that are necessary to help others accomplish their goals:
- Genuine desire to help others
- Trustworthiness and integrity
- Emotional intelligence
- Desire to always be learning about the best ways to help people grow
- Strong intuition
- Excellent communication and listening skills
- Entrepreneurial and marketing skills
- Organizational skills
How to Become a Life Coach
If some or all of the characteristics listed above describe you, you might make a great life coach. To become one, follow these steps:
Research Training Programs
You don’t necessarily need to be certified to become a life coach. But, having a certificate from an accredited training program increases your credibility among potential clients and gives you the knowledge you need to run an effective and profitable business.
Personal life coach training programs come in a variety of online and in-person formats, so it’s easy to find something that works best with your schedule and preferences.
Choose Your Specialty
Before you choose a training program, it’s helpful to know what areas you want to focus on as a coach.
When you clarify your niche, you’ll make yourself more marketable to potential clients and will be able to separate yourself from your competition.
Some specific coaching niches you might consider include:
- Career transition
- Teen or college student direction
- Mid-life crises
- Time management and productivity
- Money management
- Stress management
- Goal setting and achievement
If you don’t yet know which area you want to specialize in, that’s fine. You can always come back later and get some more targeted training.
Get Your Finances in Order
Just like any other training program, life coach training can be expensive. The cost of some programs ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Remember, though, that the most expensive program is not always the best one. The same is true for the cheapest program on the market. Be sure to take other factors into account when making your choice, including online reviews, student experience, job placement, and accreditation.
There’s also more to start a life coaching business that just the cost of certification.
You’ll also need to keep your small business start-up costs in mind. You’ll need to decide which kind of business you want to create (LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.) and understand the legal protections, fees, and tax obligations required of you.
Other expenses you need to take into account include:
- Hosting and development for a coaching website
- Development of courses, books, and other programs
- Marketing and advertising costs
- Association fees
Clearly, you’ll have to do some investing up front. Don’t let the expense deter you, just understand that you’ll have to spend money to become a life coach before you can start making it.
The more work you do to plan your business early on, the easier it’ll be for you to get things off the ground when you’ve finished your certification.
Listed below are some of the things you should do before you officially launch your business:
- Identify your target market
- Create a business plan and mission statement
- Name your business and buy a domain name
- Set up a business email account
- Establish a blog and social media presence
- Outline coaching packages and contracts
- Determine your schedule and hours
- Open a business bank account and set up an accounting system
- Create a marketing plan
How to Run a Successful Life Coaching Business
According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a life coach in the United States is $41,047.
There are ways to significantly exceed that amount, though, if you’re willing to follow these steps for establishing a profitable coaching business.
Sell a Variety of Products and Services
It’s always easier and cheaper to retain a current client than it is to bring on a new one. If you don’t want your clients to outgrow you, you need to make sure that you have multiple products and services to offer them.
Some products you might want to consider offering include:
- Video collections
- Audio recordings
- Worksheets or journal pages
As far as services go, it’s helpful to provide clients with a variety of ways to contact you. Some people might only want one-on-one phone calls. Others might like the extra accountability that comes from group coaching.
Making your services available in several different ways will help you appeal to all kinds of people.
Know When to Walk Away
When you’re first getting started as a personal life coach, it’s tempting to want to solve everyone’s problems. But, you need to understand that not everyone is coachable.
Sometimes, it’s best to walk away from someone who truly doesn’t want to change.
It’s also important to avoid chasing after clients. You are not a babysitter. If they don’t show up to appointments or don’t do what you ask them to do, you might need to stop providing your services.
Create and Stick to Contracts
Before you start onboarding clients, create a contract that makes your expectations perfectly clear. Some things you should cover in the contract include:
- Description of your services
- List of client responsibilities
- Frequency and duration of meetings
- Fee breakdown
- Cancellation, lateness, and no-show policies
- Termination period
Taking the time to go over all these things at the beginning will ensure both parties know what to expect. It’ll also make it easier for you if you do have a client who decides they don’t want to be coached.
Written and video testimonials go a long way when it comes to building up a reputation as a credible coach.
When you’re first getting started, consider offering to coach a few people for free in exchange for an honest review of your programs.
It might seem counterintuitive to work for free when you’re trying to build your business, but good reviews will help you bring on more clients who will be willing to pay for someone they believe can truly help them.
Become a Personal Life Coach Today
Do you think you have what it takes to be a great personal life coach?
Then start making your dream a reality today with the ExpertRating Online Life Coach Certification course. Follow this in-depth program to gain the knowledge and credibility you need to set yourself apart from your competition and establish a thriving business.
You can also pair this course with any of the others that we offer. Social media marketing, digital marketing, business planning, or time management would all be great additions.
Have questions about this or any of our other courses? Feel free to contact customer support, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!