If you’re thinking of learning how to become a life coach and start your own coaching business, I applaud you. The world needs you. Probably more so now than ever before.
Many years ago when I was still in the working world I was very fortunate that the company I worked for had a Behavourial Cognitive / Life Coach on the books.
His guidance and annual immersion events led me to Tony Robbins and opened my mind to new possibilities.
It wasn’t long before I was immersed in the personal development world and left my cushy corporate management job to start my own business.
Some 15 years or so later, I’m writing this post from my house in Phuket, Thailand, overlooking the lagoon I live around, having built two very successful lifestyle businesses and having lived in and visited over 30 countries in the last 10 years.
Life coaching and personal development have had a bad rap over the last few years, and even I have stepped away from the multitude of self-confessed ‘happiness gurus’ online looking to earn a fast buck.
However, if you’re serious about wanting to help people transform their lives or businesses, I can’t think of a more fulfilling profession.
Is Life Coaching For You?
Make no mistake, life coaching isn’t an easy route into business.
Coaching is tough.
It always blows my mind how many people I talk to who decide they want to be a coach because they’ve been through a program themselves and think it’s easy money. (And I guess this is why standards have slipped over the years).
I just need to be a good listener right?
I think there’s a bit more to it than that.
I personally am an educator. I love to learn & share my learnings, this does not make me a good life coach.
In fact, the few times I have tried coaching on a one to one basis I haven’t been so hot at it.
It takes a particular set of skills like empathy, patience and understanding.
Also, you’ll need a boatload of self-confidence in your own skills and abilities to be able to objectively listen, help, and advise without shouldering others burdens.
Although you might be keen to solve people’s problems and help them achieve their dreams, be sure that you have the right temperament for coaching.
You may find you’re better at group coaching than one to one (like me) and that’s also fine.
But let’s assume you’re a beautiful soul (which I’m absolutely sure you are) and your dream is to work with people to help them become the best they can be in whatever arena that is, you need to start with;
What are you going to coach?
Life Coaching is only one route into the coaching world.
Perhaps in a previous life, you were amazing at building a leadership team in a company you worked for and have lots of skills and strategies you would love to share. Maybe you’ve recently transformed your health and fitness, or you’ve just been through raising fabulous growth-minded teens and believe you could help others going through similar experiences.
The term ‘life coaching’ is really a catch-all and a broad business niche to try to compete in.
You’ll find it easier to build a brand and attract the right audience if you niche it down to something more specific.
In this article Sai Blackbryn talks about 11 Types of Coaching, including;
- Life Coaching
- Wellness Coaching
- Confidence Coaching
- Personal Empowerment Coaching
- Business Coaching
- Career Transition Coaching
- Executive Coaching
- Relationship Coaching
- Personal Development Coaching
- Sales Coaching
- Performance Coaching
There’s nothing stopping you niching even further and specialising in areas like;
- Online Business Coaching
- Confidence on Camera Coaching
- Media Coaching
- Speaker Coaching
- Parenting Coaching
- Confidence Coaching for Women
Right now I could do with a Navigating the Teenage Years Coach!
Whatever and wherever you have a lot of experience and lessons to share, you could essentially become a coach.
In my post – How to Start a Life Changing Online Lifestyle Business, I help you to define your life & business goals, your target market and the niche you’d love to develop.
How are you going to coach?
Depending on the kind of coach you’d like to be you need to decide whether you’re going to coach people one to one or go down the one to many route.
I’m definitely better at the one to many strategy. That’s why blogging, videos, FB lives & social media suits my personality a treat.
But if there is nothing you like better than diving into someone else’s challenges and feeling the thrill of helping them become unstuck, then one to one may be for you.
Let’s break down each strategy;
One to One
This is clearly a great way to get started but do remember you’re exchanging time for money with this model.
Let’s say your ‘ideal lifestyle budget’ number is $5000 / month. At $200 / hour coaching you’d need to do 25 hours a month (which isn’t so bad), but the only way to scale that would be to increase the number of coaching sessions you’re willing to do, which leads to the next model;
Group coaching as the name suggests is when you’ll be coaching a number of clients at the same time.
This is clearly a more scaleable model as each person might be paying $200 for an hour, but you might have 10 people on the call, meaning you’d only have to do 2.5 hours of these calls to meet the same goal of $5k a month.
However, group coaching comes with its own set of challenges.
Here’s Michelle Villalobos with some great tips on how to manage a group call;
Another route to maintaining 1:1 or small group coaching while achieving your income goals is to offer premium packages.
This allows you to take your clients on a journey from where they are now to where they want to be.
Typically 3 months, 6 months or 12 months, packages allow you to create an environment that’s more than coaching. You can offer a private group, bonus videos, checklists, PDF’s and all the tools and resources your clients need to achieve their goals.
Here’s a great article from Sai Blackbyrn on How to Sell High End Coaching Packages if this is the direction you want to go in which I personally would recommend.
How will you deliver your coaching?
I love technology!
The tech gods literally spend all day every day making it easier for us to build businesses we can run from anywhere in the world and for that, I am eternally grateful!
Here are the main pieces of software you will need to run your coaching business;
1. Zoom.us, Skype, Facebook Messenger desktop app. Any software which allows you the ability to connect with your client and see each other’s faces will work.
Zoom.us is probably the best option as it also allows for group coaching, records all the calls, and has all sorts of other bells and whistles you might need.
Here’s a brilliant tutorial from Salma Jafri (I love Salma) walking you through exactly how to use Zoom for your online course and coaching business;
2. A scheduling tool.
I use Calendly because it’s cheap and easy. But there are a multitude on the market. Here’s a list you can run through and look at reviews & features to hep you decide the one for you.
Here’s a quick overview of Calendly;
3. A way of communicating with clients.
I haven’t used it yet but literally in the last week I have heard people recommending Slack all over the place!
Here’s an overview of how it works. I know the guy says for internal teams, but why not use for clients also, what a great way to keep all your client communications in one place!
How to price your coaching business
Before you know how much to charge you really need to know how much it’s going to cost.
It’s all good and well saying I’m going to sell 10 x $200 coaching calls a month or 3 x $5000 packages.
But if after you’ve hosted your website, paid for Zoom, paid your social media manager, paid for scheduling software, accounted for your hours etc, if there’s no money left over then you’ll need to readdress your pricing strategy.
Here is an absolutely excellent video from one of my fave ladies on the internet today Vanessa Lau.
Here she walks you through in detail all the costs associated with running her six figure coaching business which also gives you a huge insight onto how she’s set the business up.
Now bearing all this in mind, when first building your business you might just have to go for breakeven until you’ve built up a reputation and you’re now getting business via reviews and word of mouth.
Here’s Evan Carmichael interviewing 30-year life coach veteran Tim Storey and they really have an interesting discussion about motives and money.
How will you attract coaching clients?
Here is an overview of what your promotion strategy could look like;
- Choose & Create your ‘home’; your website, content delivery or social media platform. (Read my article on Content Planning & Development for more details)
- Deliver amazing content that resonates and meets the needs of your ideal target market.
- Start an email marketing campaign to collect names & email addresses of your target market.
- Develep your sales funnels.
- Give your clients such a hugely transformational experience they tell all their friends and like-minded acquaintances about you!
So there you go coach.
There should be enough here to get you started. Do please come and join the Your Lifestyle Business Group if you have any questions and queries, we are here to help!
In the meantime I’ll leave you with some coaching do’s & don’ts;
Do build trust: This is simple; if your clients trust you, they’ll take you seriously. They’ll be confident that you’ve got their back. They’ll be more likely to take action which means they’ll be more likely to get results which means you’ll have had a real impact. They’ll also be more likely to recommend your services to others.
Don’t get personally affected: Don’t get me wrong; being compassionate about your client’s issues is important. However, you help no-one if you become heavy with the weight of their burdens. Take care of your own development consistently and if need be, work with your own coach to remind yourself of your role as a coach.
Do create deadlines: “Every project comes alive when you hit the deadline switch”, These are the words of Larry Weidel of Weidel on Winning. Deadlines hold both you and your clients accountable. Accountability is the fastest route to action, which gets results. No-one wins from a wishy-washy approach to solving problems. Be compassionate, encouraging, helpful & supportive, and above all be the strength your client is looking for.
Don’t coach clients you don’t like: If you don’t like your client, don’t waste time for either of you. You won’t believe in them, they won’t believe in you and it will be a recipe for disaster. Yes, I know you spent time and money attracting them into your funnel. But it’s going to cost you a lot more if you try to stick with it. never be afraid to fire a client. Be true to your values from the get-go.
Do have a rigorous signing up procedure: Following on from the point above, you want to ensure by the time you’re coaching someone you are the right fit for each other. I have personally had some terrible business & personal development coaches in my time and so as a client, I now actively seek out coaches who I have to jump a few hoops to see. It tells me they’re more likely to be a quality coach. I repeat – be true to your values from the get-go.
Don’t accept a client just because they’re going to pay you: Nuff said.