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Tips and Steps to Become a Successful Life Coach
Answer honestly, if you really want to get up every morning, does anything in your life keep you going? Do you know what you are striving for? If yes, in this case, you can be called a very happy individual. But it often happens that a person has everything good in life: work, household, mates, even a hobby, but something is wrong, something is missing. Besides, there is no strength to overcome new barriers in personal development and life generally.
At present, the culture of seeking the psychologist’s assistance is mainly prevalent in many countries. However, the place of the usual psychotherapist was gradually replaced by the life coach, whose services became increasingly popular last time. So, these life coaches are very effective, they can help everybody to select the direction of improvement and find new motivation in life. Some people want to be coaches and develop their coaching business. We are ready to help to determine how to do it.
Who is a life coach?
Let’s decide what is life coaching and who is a life coach?
- Life coaching represents the interaction between a professional mentor (coach) and the client when the latter’s potential is revealed.
- The life coach is a mentor who guides and helps the client in the process of personal development.
In general, both life coaches and psychologists strive for the same result: they help the client achieve harmony in life. But there is a great difference in the activities of the mentioned above specialists.
- A psychologist is a doctor who provides psychological assistance to the persons by focusing on their past and finding the causes of their current state. The life coach helps the person to achieve a specific life or professional result by focusing on the client’s present and future.
A life coach helps their clients to acquire new skills, discover their abilities and get the results to achieve their goals. In the 21st century, many successful persons regularly use the services of professional coaches in order to enhance their skills and start a new stage in their lives. It’s similar to the Olympic athletes who could not achieve such heights without the support and enthusiasm of their experienced coaches.
Life coaching is a process that is dedicated to sorting the life’s difficulties to remove the limitations or fear that hinder goal attainment. It is a direction that makes persons’ lives better. It does not mean that all clients’ problems can be immediately solved, but clients will radically change their attitudes to their problems.
The main goal of the coaching is to increase awareness and responsibility. It does not matter who needs the assistance: a person or a group of people; with the help of mindfulness, involvement increases, as well as interest and personal development. As a result, a person or a group of people get responsibility, self-respect, confidence, and self-motivation. The awareness of responsibility is a state of mind. It is also a key component. It is the main part of the life coaches’ work.
They focus the client’s attention on future opportunities and help to leave behind past failures and all negative thoughts that prevent them from moving forward. So, the person’s individuality is taken into account, and his or her soft skills are utilized.
The Steps to Become a Life Coach
The International Coach Federation (ICF) consists of more than 41,500 coaching practitioners in 147 countries globally. Life coaching resonates with clients. It is possible to talk about the formation and promotion of the coaching business as a vocational field. But what does a life coaching career entail, is the desire to help people change anything to be successful in the profession of life coaching, and how to find out if you are skilled enough to help other persons with changes in their lives? So, we can give you recommendations:
Try to find your particular coaching niche
Life coaching is a vast and expansive concept in which you can choose some niche for further work. As a life coach, you need to think about the narrower field in which you will work in the future. It should be the area in which you have the best experience – your personal experience is the key to understanding your clients’ problems. Awaring of your niche, you will be able to understand clearly:
- Your own competence in different client situations
- The area in which you could help the client
The types of life coaches include:
- Recovery coaching: the life coach helps the clients recover from various forms of addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.).
- Business coaching: the coach helps identify the person’s strengths, skills, and talents.
- Success coaching: helps the clients identify what matters to them.
- Personal development coaching: covers various areas, including identifying ways to increase happiness, love, material well-being, and enjoyment of life generally.
- Wellness coaching: this coach creates and maintains a positive outlook on health and wellness.
- Family coaching: requires a deep understanding of the relationships between family members.
- Other branches of life coaching: include parenting, spiritual, career, etc.
Ask yourself these questions to identify your niche:
- Do you sufficiently understand how to help your client?
- Which are the most difficult challenges you are ready to cope with in your own life?
- What kinds of knowledge and abilities were utilized to solve these difficulties?
- What questions might people come to you for the consultation?
- What issues can help your community, friends, family, and colleagues?
If you’ve already answered all your questions honestly, think about your abilities. What do you do best? If you are not a romantic relationship guru, you should not help the client who needs assistance in this area. You should focus on spheres you are good at, and then you’ll have a better chance of getting clients.
There is a few organization in any country in the world that demands a diploma or any tests to prove that you are a life coach. However, there is such an organization as the International Coaching Federation. It trains coaches and makes acknowledged certificates in various degrees of life coaching. The presence of such a certificate impacts your career and increases the clients’ confidence. Moreover, you will be able to learn things which you have not encountered before. Thus, it increases your expertise in a certain area and human psychology. This certificate plays a significant role at the beginning of your work when you do not have a good client base and many good reviews.
Let’s analyze the ICF statistics:
- So, 77% of clients expect life coaches to be certified or licensed.
- 83% of clients believe that certificates are necessary for life coaches.
- The credentialed coaches are more recommended.
The International Coach Federation provides universally acknowledged professional coaching credentials. Their programs are based on the following aspects:
- Coaches’ knowledge and skills in the subject of life coaching;
- High ethical and professional standards are required.
There are 3 certification tiers (from minimum to maximum required time and money):
Training, coaching experience, tests, and references from certified life coaches are required for these certification programs. Based on the chosen certification level, you must complete between 100 and 2,500 hours of instruction.
In order to become a certified life coach through ICF, you must pass the Coaching Knowledge Assessment (CKA). The CKA tests these 11 core competencies:
- Adherence to ethics and professional standards
- Concluding a coaching agreement
- Developing a confidential and cordial relationship with the client
- Coaching presence
- Active listening
- Direct communication
- Development of the actions
- Planning and goal setting
- Progress management and accountability
Besides, ICF offers accreditation for other coaching programs that follow their curriculum. If you choose not to be certified directly by ICF, you can find ICF-accredited coaching training programs through the Training Program Search Service (TPSS).
ICF membership gives you networking opportunities in the field of life coaching. Other coaching associations are as follows: the International Association of Coaching (IAC) and the American Coaching Association (ACA).
You can accumulate enough speaking and practical training to organize your business without certification.
If you choose not to be certified by a recognized coaching organization, please, make sure that you have other ways to demonstrate credibility to potential clients. These include:
- Education. Depending on your niche, a degree in psychology, organizational behavior, or even marketing or business can add credibility to your coaching practice.
- The experience as a therapist, social worker, human resources professional, counselor, marketer, entrepreneur, etc. It will help you to consult in your niche.
- The testimonials and recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues whom you coached or counseled, professionally or otherwise.
Start your life coaching business
The start is the hardest part of any job. Life coaching is no exception. If you still think that becoming a life coach consists of only sitting on the couch and telling clients how great they are, you are greatly wrong. The coaching business is a very serious step that requires significant preparation. Suppose you chose the niche for your work, and you received a certificate from the ICF or have taken any courses. But what to do next?
Next, you don’t just become a professional, personal or spiritual consultant – you also become a small business owner. As a result, you need to do the due diligence that all small business owners need to do:
Register your business
Determine your business type. You can choose one of 2 options:
- Self-employed, this does not require registration
- Create a company, which needs to be registered according to the law.
Then, unless you decide to become self-employed (which does not require registration), you will need to register your business legally.
Plan your start-up costs
When you will choose the type of business, make a business plan that takes into account your start-up costs.
You need to take into account absolutely every expense that may have: from the cost of the certification program to any overhead costs associated with renting and equipping the space.
Another part of the expense that you as a life coach should consider is business insurance, specifically liability insurance, in case you get sued by any of your clients because of bad coaching.
Make a marketing plan
You can’t become a life coach without clients. That’s why it’s very important to have a comprehensive marketing plan from the start. And if you’re squeamish about self-promotion, coaching may not be a good fit for you.
As in the case of the service industry, the best recommendations are spread by word of mouth. You can start by offering free, mini-sessions or discounted sessions to people in your circle (friends, relatives, and family friends).
If they are glad about your services, ask them to tell people in their environment about you.
Other strategies for attracting clients may include networking with other life coaches in your city or country, increasing your visibility by attending conferences and free webinars, and considering email marketing and other online advertising methods.
Practice offline and online sessions with clients. Create social media which will help you to attract more new clients. But besides social media, think about creating a personal website. It will give you more credibility and you can post positive reviews there. It will also help you attract new clients.
Social media development
Social media gives life coaches a great opportunity for word-of-mouth marketing and increasing the number of followers. We recommend creating business accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn and updating each regularly.
Different platforms matter depending on your niche.
If you plan to work primarily with top clients, LinkedIn will be more useful than Instagram. If you want to work with health-oriented or mindfulness-oriented clients, your target audience is probably more active on Instagram.
There are some tips to make the most of social media to develop your coaching business:
- Create mini-coaching tutorials and share them on social media. Instagram stories and IGTV are great platforms for this purpose.
- Use hashtags. Find the most popular hashtags in your niche and post relevant content using these tags.
- Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Post social media networking by connecting with other coaches and potential clients in your niche.
- Share your blog content on social media to attract more visitors to your site.
- Join discussions on different platforms and share your knowledge and experience. People will see you as a leader.
It’s completely free and perfect for a new life coach. As your business grows, consider increasing your marketing budget and adding advertising, such as targeting or advertising with other coaches for mutual benefit.
If you’re not ready to spend your time coming up with content for your social media, FitWell Content will do it for you. We have developed a large amount of content that you can purchase and customize to fit you and your business.
Life coaching services and their prices
There are three basic methods by which life coaches fee their facilities:
- every hour
- every month
- every 3 (6, 9, etc.) session
The formation of an individual consulting plan for the clients is a wonderful way when you’re just getting started. In this case, you will understand how long your clients will buy-in, and you will be able to forecast your revenue and control your costs more effectively.
You will probably gain a greater number of regular clients who are serious about life coaching and are ready to devote a great deal of time to it. Having a larger number of sessions available as part of the bundle also means that you will be able to make a greater effect on their lives.
Life coaches usually take an hourly rate of $50 to $1500. That’s a tremendous gamut. In order to determine the right price, take into consideration:
- Your own experience
- Target market
- Revenue goals and budget
You can do small business research – what do professionals in your sphere do with comparable responsibilities? What price are clients ready to pay for the same kind of life coaching services?
The following is an estimate of the cost of a month’s worth of life coaching packages from a life coach:
- about $300 for an hour and a half of work with limited contact between sessions.
- about $350 for an hour and a half of work and with limited contact between meetings.
- about $400 for 1 hour of work with unlimited contact between meetings.
Don’t forget to incorporate a contract when newly acquired clients purchase the coaching package. Use plain and clear terminology to ensure that clients understand their expectations of your services and what you expect from them.
In general, yes, everyone can become a life coach if they are quite outspoken and like helping people and have experience solving problems. But if you are a modest and closed person, we recommend that you start by working with a coach and working through your fears and problems.
Life coaching training lasts an average of half a year to a year. It all depends on the certificate you want to get.