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How to Become a Life Coach: A Simple 5-Step Guide

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Are you passionate about helping people by becoming a life coach but don’t know where to start? 

Entering the life coaching realm can be confusing as there’s no clear official path to follow. Luckily, it isn’t as complicated as you might think.

This post will provide you with a simple, detailed guide on how to become a life coach.

An Overview of Life Coaching: A Primer

There are various types of life coaches, each specializing in a particular area. Health, relationships, and productivity coaches are a few examples.

As a life coach, you help your clients improve the quality of their lives. You do this by equipping them with the necessary guidance to achieve their most important life goals. 

You also assist them in developing their mindset to become more capable of learning and overcoming obstacles.

Life coaching is a co-creative process. The client provides needed information about their life experience, aspirations, and the hurdles they encounter. 

As a coach, you apply your knowledge and expertise to develop unconventional solutions to help them thrive based on their situation.

Given this, a successful life coach should possess excellent communication and problem-solving skills. 

They should also learn the basics of consulting and read about positive psychology. Leadership is a valuable coaching skill as well.

More importantly, you need to consider that advancing in this career depends on continuing education.

How Much Do Life Coaches Make?

Life coaches in North America make, on average, $62,500 a year, according to ICF’s 2020 global coaching study

Still, many coaches create multiple indirect income streams from their coaching expertise. 

Some sell training programs, while others provide coaching-related products, like E-books. That way, they can double or even triple their annual income.

Even better, life coaching is one of the fastest-growing careers in the US. It’s estimated to grow by 4.9% annually until the year 2030. 

What You’ll Need to Become a Life Coach [& Associated Costs]

  • Training program: Training in essential coaching skills is crucial when you’re starting out. It’s also recommended to obtain an accredited life coach certification. A good training program costs anywhere between $200 and $12,000. This huge variance in price depends on the program provider and whether it’s ICF-accredited. 
  • A computer and a strong internet connection: The nature of work in life coaching involves many digital activities, like delivering online sessions. So, you’ll need a good computer with a strong internet connection. A mid-range PC or laptop will cost around $1,000. A reliable internet connection will cost about $75 a month.
  • Content production: To create digital content to promote your life coaching business, you can do that yourself or hire someone. The latter option will cost you between $150 to $500 a month, depending on the content type.
  • Booking and task management software: Your work as a life coach involves abundant appointments and sessions. You needed reliable software to assist in the booking and scheduling process. You can use one of the best coaching software options for a monthly subscription cost of $19–$50.
  • Business registration: Many life coaches register their business as an LLC. If you do so, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $150 a year.
  • General liability insurance: If you register your business, you need to consider obtaining liability insurance to provide legal protection for it. This type of insurance will cost you about $60 per month.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Life Coach?

To start as a life coach, you’ll need between $1,200 and $13,000. Most of the costs are allocated to the certification program and the work computer.

The massive variance in starting cost results from the considerable difference in training program prices.

Accredited programs cost several hundred dollars, while non-accredited ones may only cost a few.

If you choose to register your coaching business, you can expect to pay an additional few hundred dollars. 

A young smiling woman while talking to her life coach

Is It Hard to Become a Life Coach?

Generally, becoming a life coach is a moderately challenging endeavor. However, the exact difficulty level depends on the educational path you choose. 

Completing accredited programs will take tens or even hundreds of training hours over several months. Some programs can require a certain number of coaching practice hours as well.

It also entails significant effort and the submission of many deliverables to obtain your certification.

Conversely, other non-accredited programs might only take a few months and require considerably less effort.

Your experience in personal development-related fields also impacts your starting point as a coach. The more experience you have, the easier it’ll be to kickstart your coaching career.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Life Coach?

You can expect to start your coaching career within 6-18 months of enrolling in a training program.

You’ll spend most of this time acquiring essential knowledge, sharpening your skills, and developing your core competencies.

Creating a business and marketing plan during this period is vital to start off correctly and attract your first coaching client.

How to Become a Life Coach in 5 Simple Steps

There are countless pathways you can pursue to become a life coach. However, the following steps provide a simple approach to kick-starting your career as a life coach: 

A beginner life coach attending online course

1. Pick a Coaching Niche

Life coaching is a broad field that encompasses many specializations. The first step in becoming a life coach is to determine the specific type of coach you want to be. 

If you haven’t decided on a specialization yet, here‘s a list of the common life coaching niches to help you:

  • Health 
  • Relationship 
  • Work-life balance 
  • Spirituality
  • Academic performance 
  • Parenting 
  • Finances

2. Obtain Training or Become a Certified Professional Coach

Being a certified life coach is not mandatory to start this career. However, it’s highly recommended to complete a training program.

A good training program will equip you with the essential knowledge you need as a coach. It’ll also highlight the coaching skills you should work on to reach your career goal.

Further, having an accredited certificate will help boost clients’ trust in you, increasing the likelihood of hiring you. These programs are an opportunity to expand your professional network as well.

When searching for a certificate, look for one that the International Coaching Federation accredits. This is because these certificates meet the highest standards in the field.

You can find the most suitable ICF-accredited certificate using the ICF’s training programs search service on the foundation’s website.

However, if you can’t afford an ICF- accredited life coach training program, consider training institutions that provide installment plans. Coach Training Alliance is one of these foundations.

Alternatively, you can invest in a high-quality non-accredited course. Some non-accredited programs can be excellent for beginner coaches.

3. Set Up Your Life Coaching Business

As a life coach, you run a small business and should learn how to grow and boost its performance.

The following are essential steps you should take to manage your coaching business effectively:

  • Set a detailed budget, including all the running and marketing costs.
  • Market your services using both traditional and digital marketing tactics to attract potential clients.
  • Register your business as an LLC if you want to provide additional legal protection to your business.
  • Establish a clear policy outlining your service’s terms and conditions to any potential client.

4. Build Your Brand

To grow your coaching business, you need to build a reputable and trustworthy brand.

So, you should invest money and effort into learning and applying the principles of personal branding.

However, remember that branding is a long-term strategy and requires consistency to pay off ultimately.

5. Set Your Prices

Although some coaching work may not align with the conventional definition of a gig job, most of it does. So, you need to determine how you’ll charge your clients per gig.

Determining your service fees can be tricky as a new life coach. Still, to get an idea of how you should price your service, consider the following: 

  • The fees of coaches with similar qualifications
  • The cost you incur to provide the service
  • The profit margin you target 
  • How your clients perceive your service value

These factors will provide a good starting point for setting your hourly rate.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a Life Coach

A female life coach talking to her client who listening in interest
  • Excellent job for people-oriented individuals: If you’re the type of person who cares about people and loves to help them, you’ll excel as a life coach. This is because coaching, in essence, is about helping people reach their goals and improve their lives.
  • You can be your boss: Many life coaches work as self-employed. If you do the same, you‘ll be your manager. You set the rules, determine the available schedule and define the working hours. That way, you can stay overnight out of town while working or work in the early morning if you prefer
  • Help you excel in your life: Developing techniques to assist others in transforming their lives will also benefit you in doing the same in your life. The more coaching experience and knowledge you gain, the more capable you’ll become at managing your life.
  • Work from anywhere: Many life coaches work with their clients remotely, and a lot of clients prefer this approach as well. So, you can choose to work remotely from anywhere in the world.

If you’re interested in working remotely, this “uncommon side hustles” guide contains a list of the best remote jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do life coaches get clients?

The best approach to acquiring clients depends on your niche and preferred method. However, here are some general tips to help:

  • Deliver a talk at an event or host a workshop.
  • Network with other professionals.
  • Create valuable digital content to build trust with your audience and showcase your professional excellence.

How much do life coaches charge?

The amount a coach can charge their clients depends on their expertise, specialization, and the type of subscription.

Still, here are some insights into what coaches in the US charge on average:

  • Charging hourly: $125 to $250 per in-person session and $50 to $100 for an online coaching session.
  • Charging per month: $500 to $1,500 a month.
  • Long-term subscriptions (including longer sessions): $2,000 to $5,000 monthly.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Here are guides to three similar jobs you may be interested in as well:

  • How to Become a Personal Trainer: If you’re passionate about fitness, this guide will help you transform that passion into a source of income. 
  • How to Become a Nutritionist: Want to get paid for helping people to eat better and achieve their health goals? This guide will help you to get started. 
  • How to Become a Counselor: If you love guiding people to make better life decisions, this guide will help you kickstart your counseling career.

Check out our highest-paying gig jobs guide for more lucrative side hustle opportunities.

Wrapping Up

By now, you know how to become a life coach.

Whenever you’re ready to step into the realm of life coaching, refer to this guide for the necessary guidance.

If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, feel free to leave them in the comments. Please share this post with someone interested in becoming a life coach.

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