There are over 53,000 life coaches in the world, with 17,000 of those located in North America alone.
In fact, the US personal life coaching industry now exceeds $1 billion, showing a huge and growing demand for the services that life coaches offer.
But what does becoming a life coach involve? And how do you know if being a life coach is the right career path for you?
Keep reading to find out more about life coaching, as well as tips on how to become a life coach.
What is a Life Coach?
Life coaches help clients who are struggling with certain aspects of their lives. As this professional life coach explains, these might be specific issues such as career or relationship dissatisfaction. Or, the client might just feel that something is missing in their lives.
A life coach helps their clients identify where in their lives they need to apply growth and development, as well as helping them formulate a plan to reach their goals.
As such, life coaching isn’t therapy, consulting, or mentoring. For many, the advantages of a life coach when compared to a therapist are that they are more forward-focused, and help encourage change through action.
And unlike consulting and mentoring, life coaching is content-neutral. Life coaches guide their clients through a process towards a goal rather than imparting their specific knowledge or beliefs onto them.
Your Guide to Becoming a Life Coach
Now we’ve established what life coaching is, let’s take a look at how to become a life coach:
1. Find Your Niche
Before you become a life coach, it can be helpful to consider what your niche will be so that you can build your reputation from there.
Your focus as a life coach could be on your clients’ personal, professional, or romantic lives. Or, you may want to offer even more specific coaching in areas such as spirituality or nutrition.
Regardless of your niche, you’re likely to touch on other aspects of your clients’ lives. But, by basing your specialty on your background and where you feel you can most help people, you’ll be better able to market yourself.
2. Get Certified
Unlike becoming a therapist, there is no law which requires you to get a life coach certification in order to work as a life coach. But, according to the ICF study, 89 percent of life coaches have received accredited training.
While becoming certified isn’t a required step, it can help you become a better coach. Life coaching courses teach you to develop skills such as active listening. And you’ll also learn how to approach issues you might face as a life coach such as ethical concerns.
But, if you do decide to do a course, make sure that it’s accredited by an association such as the International Coach Federation.
3. Set Up Your Life Coaching Business
As well as being a personal advisor to your clients, working as a life coach also means becoming a small business owner. As such, you’ll need to fulfill the necessary requirements to establish and operate a successful business.
In order to make sure you and your business get off to a good start, it’s wise to speak to a corporate lawyer. They’ll be able to advise you what your business entity type should be, as well as helping you with the financial aspects of running a business such as taxes.
4. Create an Online Presence as a Life Coach
In addition to those business fundamentals, you’ll also need to create a website and cultivate a strong social media presence for optimum success as a life coach.
More specifically, you’ll need a professional website where you can post photos, videos, e-books, and webinars. Your site should also feature a blog where you can post high-quality content covering varied topics, like the benefits of a life coach or how to get over a breakup.
You’ll also need Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. And, a YouTube channel and a podcast are excellent ways to connect with people and create demand for you and your services.
5. Offer Free or Discounted Sessions
As with most service-based businesses, the best referrals for your life coaching business will come from word of mouth.
Start by offering free or discounted sessions to people in your network. These can include friends, family, and colleagues, as well as people you’ve connected with via your website or social media pages.
These sessions will help you get exposure as well as valuable life coaching experience. And, if these clients are happy with your services, ask them to provide a customer testimonial for your website as well as spreading the word among their networks.
6. Formulate Your Life-Coaching Service Plan
As you gain experience and grow more confident as a life coach, you’ll achieve a better understanding of what works for both you and your clients.
For example, you may want to offer your clients a certain choice of session lengths, packages, and time frames depending on their particular focus or goals.
The way you structure your services can also help you establish how much to charge your clients.
If you offer a range of services, you may need to consider how to price one-time sessions in comparison to long-term coaching relationships. You might also decide to charge by the hour or by project. Of course, the more in-demand you become, the more you can justify increasing your prices.
7. Constantly Seek to Improve as a Life Coach
Beyond just finding out how to become a life coach, your main professional goal should be to be the best life coach you can be for your clients.
As such, you should focus on growing and improving yourself, as well as your knowledge and abilities as a life coach. This means attending seminars, reading books and studies, and working on your goals with a life coach of your own.
After all, if you want to guide your clients towards their goals, it’s important to be an inspirational figure for them.
How to Become a Life Coach
If helping people is your passion then life coaching could be the perfect role for you.
And, while becoming a life coach isn’t easy, with the right character, skills, and a devoted effort, you can make a real success of your life coaching business.
Do you want to help people for a living but aren’t sure if life coaching is for you? If so, check out these degree programs for jobs that help people.