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How to Get Started as a Life Coach

Many of my coaching clients are people who want to become life coaches. It's an appealing field, especially for older men and women who have a lot of experience to share with the next generation. The most common question I get is, “How do I get started?”

While every situation is different, this article describes at a high level what I recommend to my clients.

1. Get Certified

Learning from others who have been in the field for some time is a great way to get started. I personally chose to go with Kain Ramsay's certification course which has enough information to keep you busy for months.

Life Coaching Certificate
Getting Certified Can Boost Your Perceived Authority

2. Hire a Coach

If you want to be a coach, you should also hire a coach who can walk you through the process and keep you accountable as you move forward. Investing in your development can help you fast track your business and make you more credible when you talk to clients about investing with you. You can also make notes on how your coach works with you to give you ideas on how to work with your clients.

3. Get Clear on Your Niche

No one wants to hire someone who says, “Hire me, I'll fix all of your life's problems.” That's why the term “life coach” is quickly going out of style.

Get Clear on Your Goals
Get Clear on Your Niche

Not focusing was a mistake that I made early on. I've got decades of life experience from raising five children, running businesses, being a couples‘, men's, and youth group pastor, and completing multiple extreme physical endurance challenges. There are a lot of people I have the experience to help. But no one wanted to hire a “know-it-all.”

I had to choose. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I most enjoyed working with leaders and small business owners and set my niche as an executive and business coach.

You'll need to do the same. Take an inventory of your greatest strengths and pick a niche. Once you narrow down your field, then you can speak to those people. Some ideas are fitness, marriages, friendships, or finances. I'm not sure where your strengths lie but pick something.

4. Create a Website

Create a Website

A website is your business card in today's day and age. Don't skimp on this. I went for years with a free site, with very little return on all my hard work. Once I moved to professional hosting, my business took off. Here is what I use.

SiteGround

I picked SiteGround for hosting after a lot of research. They have one-click setups for WordPress, which is what I recommend for a content management system, high performance, and excellent technical support.

Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes provides excellent conversion-focused landing page templates. For example, I created my coaching page from one of their consulting templates. I invested in their membership package, which gives you access to all the tools (which I use most of them) along with updates as they come out.

5. Create a Booking Page

You need a way for clients to set up appointments with you. Creating a booking page where they can quickly sign up for a free strategy call or consultation is a great way to start talking to people.

If you aren't talking to potential clients in the early stages of your business, you WON'T make sales.

Create a Booking Page for Coaches
Professional Booking Page Created Using Thrive Themes

Be sure to deliver value when you do this and not make it just a sales call, or you'll lose them. Your initial visit should mainly be a trial run for your services. I try to make sure everyone who signs up for a strategy call walks away with at least one or two action items they can take immediately.

You can also drive them to a video or webinar which provides value then use that to sell them services, but when you're first starting, it's probably best to speak with them live.

Remember the rule names before numbers. If you know someone's name and their specific goals, you can help them. If they are a number to you, you probably won't get very far in the coaching business. I still do live calls any time I have openings on my schedule to get additional clients.

There are two tools I use to do this.

Calendly Pro

Calendly is a calendar management system which integrates to most calendar systems such as Google Calendar. You can use this to allow people to quickly book an appointment. It also integrates with several conferencing solutions such as Zoom to send out an invite. You can even integrate with PayPal or another payment processing tool to accept payments.

Zoom Pro

Zoom Pro is great for one on one or group video conferencing. With the Calendly integration, people can set up an appointment, and it will send both of you an invite.

6. Accept Payments

Accepting payments for your coaching business

You'll need a way to accept payments. PayPal or Stripe would be my choice on this to get started. If you sell things offline, you may want to use Square as they have a nifty credit card scanner. Once you get going, you may want to switch to a merchant account through your bank.

7. Get Traffic

Drive traffic to your coaching website
You Must Send Traffic to Your Website

There are many ways to get traffic. You can do guest posts for this site which is focused on personal and professional development or others like it. Be sure to read the rules carefully and provide valuable information for the readers as constructing the post as an ad will backfire and get you kicked off most major sites. A reader that likes what you have to say will find you, it's all about exposure.

You can go live on Facebook, create groups and invite people, or buy the traffic from a variety of places like search engines or social media sites. Buying traffic is the fastest way to grow if you can do it, but be sure to make sure you install their tracking pixels on your website to track conversions.

8. Get Legal

INCFILE

Once you get some money coming in, it's time to get legal. Creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which is one of the more prevalent business structures, can help protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit. You may also need a formal business entity set up before you can use specific advertising tools as well, and you'll need to pay quarterly taxes or potentially face stiff penalties later.

I used IncFile to set up our LLC and get registered. They also set me up with an accountant to talk through those issues and a business banking account.

9. Scale

Getting over fear of spending money - invest in your business

It is almost always easiest to start as a life coach one-on-one until you build up your client base and reputation, but eventually, you may want to think about how your business will scale. Some coaches simply raise prices, others start coaching in groups, some hire additional staff to take on additional work, and yet others create courses. Many do a combination of all the above.

Your niche may determine which makes the most sense. For example, if your niche is in helping people get out of debt, they may not yet fully grasp that investing in their financial knowledge is likely to get them back far more money than they spend on your services. They also may not have a lot of disposable income. That niche might be better suited for a low-cost course like the Personal Finance Masterclass – Easy Guide to Better Finances,” which you sell in bulk.

Final Thoughts

I hope these points give you some ideas for getting started on your coaching journey. Helping others achieve their goals can be a tremendously gratifying experience. If you need help, feel free to reach out through our coaching page. Sometimes I still even give away a free session when I have room for new clients. Enjoy, and good luck!

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Don Smith
 

Don Smith is the founder of The Personal Growth Channel, LLC. and a certified life coach who specializes in helping people achieve their career and business goals. Happily married with five children, he lives in Springfield, Illinois.

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