How to Become a Life Coach

Do you find yourself giving your friends golden, flawless advice? Are you the person your siblings call when they need a pep talk? Do you make more spreadsheets than are perhaps absolutely necessary?

You might be a life coach.

Or a little life coach seed! Being a life coach can be a highly rewarding (and high paying) job. If you’re a motivated, enthusiastic person with strong reasoning and empathy skills, it might be the career path for you!

Let’s talk about:

  • What a life coach is and what they do
  • How to become a life coach
  • Finding your niche
  • Learning to be a good coach
  • Living a life that gets you clients
  • Strengthening your brand by writing a book
  • Creating a reliable client base by building a platform
  • Creating a course to spread your reach

What is a life coach?

A life coach is an expert on setting and achieving goals. They help clients identify what they want to accomplish, set timely goals, plan actionable steps to help them reach those goals, and encourage them along the way.

Much like a sports coach, a life coach is there to strategize plays, give advice, and shout encouragement from the sidelines. They might tell you things you don’t want to hear, but they’re there with a glass of water and a thumbs up to help you get those hard-to-swallow pills down.

Motivation is tough! Setting goals is tough, and achieving them is even harder. When you want to do something new, you listen to the experts. If goal creating and achieving isn’t something a person has practice with–maybe it’s even something they’ve tried and failed to do–then it might be time to bring in those experts.

But maybe goals are easy peasy for you. Maybe you’re a natural at figuring out what you want, how to get it, and then taking those actionable steps to achieve them. If that sounds like you, maybe you have the potential to become a life coach yourself.

So how do you get started?

How do you become a life coach?

To establish yourself in a new career from scratch is a BIG undertaking. There are several things you might consider doing to begin or boost your life coaching career, like finding your niche in the market, living and portraying a life that proves your worth as a coach, continued learning, writing a book, building a platform, or launching your own course! That’s a lot all at once, so let’s break those options down–

  1. Find your niche.
    Building a clientele for life coaching is much easier if you can focus in on a particular niche. To widely market yourself as simply a Fix-All Life-Coach might seem like you’re scooping with a bigger net, but the reality of it is: the net holes are too big, and all your catches are slipping through. It’s too vague to really mean anything, and your fish don’t even realize the net is for them.

    To grab the attention of fish– *ahem* clients who actually need your specific expertise, try narrowing to a niche. What are you an expert in? Maybe you specialize in dating and romance, health and fitness, business or finance–maybe you can coach for something very specific, like writing a book.

    Once you have a niche, you can strengthen your skills and qualifications to serve that specific need, then cater your marketing to catching customers who need help in that particular area.

    If you don’t know your niche, ask yourself these questions:
    1. What three things am I most interested in?
    2. What three things am I best at?
    3. What three things make me different from most people?

Take some time thinking these over, and hopefully one of those answers gives you an idea to pursue!

  1. Live a life that reflects your skills and expertise as a life coach.
    If you and your life don’t appear to be successful, no one will trust that you can make them successful.

What have you accomplished? Are you a published author? An expert in your field? A business owner? Think of things you can put front-and-center in your branding that help prove that your methods work–because they’ve worked on your own life!

If your life is–or seems to be–a wreck, we’ve got to backtrack a few steps and get your stuff in line before we offer services to help other people.

Check that your client-facing elements are as professional and attractive as you can make them. This can mean a well-made website, a professional and consistent social media presence across the relevant platforms, testimonials or reviews, a clean and stocked portfolio (if relevant).

For a client to trust you to guide their life, make sure your life looks as shiny as it should.

  1. Learn how to be a life coach.

    If you’re interested in becoming a life coach, you likely already have some qualifications. Even if that’s the case, there’s always more to learn! If you have the extra time and resources, maybe you could invest some into further learning. Good courses for a life coach might be topics like psychology, time management, budgeting, communication, and any skills relevant to your niche.

    Not only will further learning brush up your education on important parts of life coaching, but they could ALSO give you something tangible to build credibility. Courses completed can be listed on portfolios, resumes, and websites. You could even get officially certified in life coaching for that extra push of veritability!

  2. Write a book.

    Now calm down–it’s not as hard as it seems, and I haven’t lost my mind. Writing and publishing a book on a subject does a lot to show that you’re the expert on that subject.

Publishing books can also draw in clients. For example, if your content is strong and you successfully plant leads, you can drive hundreds or THOUSANDS of readers to your website, newsletter, or socials to eventually convert those readers into clients.

Writing and publishing a nonfiction book for your life coaching career–like a manual, memoir, instructional booklet, or self-help book–is a lot easier than you might think, and it can pay off BIG time. Need some help getting started?

  1. Build a platform.

    Selling a product or service becomes much easier when you have the people to sell it to. Building a platform just means collecting followers who are interested in your brand and what you have to offer. There are TONS of ways to build platforms. Here are a few examples:

  • Publishing books
  • Writing a blog
  • Collecting emails for a regular newsletter with strong content
  • Offering content, like downloadable worksheets and ebooks, through your website
  • Making YouTube videos
  • Offering classes or services
  • Having a strong, recognizable brand through social media

Whichever way you choose to build your platform, having a following means having potential customers who already know you and are interested in what you offer. Recognition and familiarity breed trust, which is crucial for establishing a relationship with life coaching clients.

As a writer, I sell more books by maintaining an online platform. I sold my first short story collection in 2018, right as I was beginning to grow my platform on YouTube. After my platform grew ten times the size, my second short story collection outsold the first collection’s ENTIRE presale period in the first twenty-four hours. A platform is the difference between a successful launch, an okay launch, and an absolute flop–no matter what you’re selling.

As a life coach, having a platform allows you to make connections with people who can become potential coaching clients.

One-on-one coaching is probably what you think of when I say “life coach,” and that’s definitely an important aspect of being a life coach. Most coaches continue having one-on-one clients for their entire career, but it is possible to transition into a wider reach with less effort.

How can we transition from one-to-one coaching to one-to-many coaching? Make your work hours worth more by reaching more people with an online course!

  1. Create educational materials or a course.

    With an established platform and a full schedule of life coaching clients, how do you grow from there? One way to swap from a one-to-one coach to a one-to-many coach (or to create a hybrid career of both) is through creating a course.

Using my career as an example, I offer one-on-one services for writing and marketing. I also create courses that require much less effort on my part. My customers are still getting value and high quality knowledge, as they would with a one-on-one effort, but all I have to do is initially produce the course, upload it, and promote it. I go from reaching one person with eight hours of effort on something like a manuscript critique, to producing an entire course that HUNDREDS of people can gain access to (much more affordably on their part) with the same eight hours of effort.

If you could turn one customer served into hundreds or thousands of customers served with nearly the same amount of effort, why wouldn’t you?

There are many formats and media you can utilize for building your own course, such as:

  • Launching your own website to host the courses
  • Distributing the materials yourself through newsletters, worksheets, and/or livestreams
  • Using a platform like Skillshare or Udemy to post materials for wider consumption

Each platform will have different start-up costs and payoffs, so consider your options carefully.

I personally use Skillshare. Skillshare makes it easy to plan, produce, and upload courses. Once you have a few good reviews on a class, Skillshare suggests your classes to more users, and you can sit back and earn those royalties. Skillshare also offers $10 per referral, so slap your link onto class promotional materials and grab a bag for the money pouring in.

What content do you put in a course?

An easy way to generate content for an online course is to pull the core ideas from your book (you wrote one, right?) and convert it into lectures, exercises, and/or homework assignments.

Course content to complement your books (and vice versa) can create a strong platform and brand, refer sales to each other, and give your customers a full educational experience.

Writing a book is great for your platform and career. Producing a course is great for your platform and career. HIT ‘EM WITH THAT COMBO MOVE!

Even though I write fiction, my Skillshare courses are ABOUT writing fiction–this allows me to use my own writing as examples in the courses, funneling customers to buy my books after they have finished the class.

A platform + books + courses = a full-figured career with multiple streams of income.

A cohesiveness among your platform, books, and courses = cross-reference sales to bounce off of each other and grow your business even more. Load your arsenal with the full deal!

Ready to jumpstart your life coaching career by producing a course? 

Hannah Lee Kidder

Hannah Lee Kidder is a contemporary and fantasy author, writing coach, and YouTuber. She has published two bestselling short story collections, Little Birds and Starlight. Hannah is currently minding her own business somewhere in the Colorado mountains with her roommate, Saya, who is a dog.

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