Would you like to know how to become a life coach?
The life coaching and personal development industry has exploded over the last 15 years to become a billion-dollar industry.
If you’d like to join the 53,000 coaches that are practicing full or part-time, you may have your work cut out for you. About 95% of coaches make less than $40,000 a year.
There are a few things you can do before you hang your shingle to get your business off the ground and make a living, so you can thrive.
Keep reading to learn how you can become a life coach and create a killer business.
The Qualities of Top Life Coaches
If you want to be in the upper echelon of coaches, you should know some of the qualities that these coaches share.
You should have a genuine curiosity in people, an ability to listen to people without interrupting, a strong sense of integrity, and a desire to help people.
You should also have a continuous desire to improve yourself. You’re going to spend your time helping others improve their lives.
You need to practice what you preach and do the same for yourself.
Who Will You Serve?
The first point you need to think about is who you’re going to serve. In marketing terms, it’s called picking your niche.
You may be tempted to say, “I want to work with anyone that wants a life coach.”
That’s fine, but that won’t get you clients. What will work is picking an audience who have a specific problem and demonstrating how you will solve it.
A few examples are CEOs in medium-sized businesses, busy moms who want to launch a new business or retirees who need help adjusting after working their whole lives.
The life coaching industry is completely unregulated. Anybody with no training whatsoever can file a business name, start a website and declare themselves a life coach.
Due to this wild west nature of the industry, people who have claimed to be coaches have given the industry a bad name.
There are over 500 certifying organizations, and they’re not regulated, either. Some aren’t much better than the coaches who start a coaching practice with no training.
Coaching people is more than just talking to people. You listen to them and ask them questions to help them find their own answers. You also have to be aware of the fine line between coaching a person and providing therapy. Crossing that line can put you in legal trouble.
What can you do to prove that you have credentials in the field and learn more about coaching? Get certified by a leading organization that works in your niche.
For example, if you plan to become a coach for business executives, you’ll want to check out the Center for Executive Coaching.
For general coaching, you’ll want to be certified through CoachU or through the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Write a Business and Marketing Plan
If you want to play at the top of the coaching game, you need to treat your business like a business. That’s how you’ll get results.
If you start off by treating your business like a part-time gig or a side hustle, then you’ll get part-time results.
That won’t be enough to quit your job and live life fully. You’re just going to run yourself into the ground.
That’s why you need to write out your business plan and marketing plan.
A business plan is necessary even if you’re not getting a loan from the bank or looking for investors.
You’ll need to know your competition and what sets you apart. Also included in the business plan are your start-up expenses, regular monthly expenses, and projected income.
It also helps to set up your target income for the year, too. To do that, take all of your monthly expenses, including taxes, and how much profit you’d like to make. Add those numbers up.
You’ll then multiply that number by 12. That’s your annual targeted income.
Your business plan also needs to include your plan to market your services. Will you join networking groups, start a blog, rely on SEO or will you do a combination of services?
When marketing your business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to do every marketing tactic available.
Don’t do it. You won’t have the time to and you will exhaust yourself.
Pick five ways to market your business and do them well.
Setting Up Your Business
You’ll need to set up your business in a way that protects you and your assets. If you want to know how to become a life coach, you need to know how to structure your business.
It’s very easy to set up your business as a sole proprietorship, but you could leave your personal property vulnerable in the event of a lawsuit.
An alternative is to register your business as an LLC. That protects you and your personal property should one of your clients sue you.
You’ll also want to get liability insurance for further protection.
The other key piece of your business is the financial side, you’ll need to invest in accounting software to track income and expenses. You’ll also want to connect with a tax accountant to make sure you’re setting aside enough money every month for your taxes.
Finally, you’ll want to have contracts in place that covers client payments and expectations. You will definitely need to consult with an attorney on getting your contracts in order.
How to Become a Life Coach
Learning how to become a life coach can be challenging if you aren’t clear on who you want to work with and how you can help them.
Once you have that clarity, it’s very easy to decide where to get certified and market your business.
You just have to set the foundation for the business to make sure you are ready to be successful from the start.
If you’d like to get more great business tips, check out our business resources blog today.