Do you have a natural talent for guiding other people in their love lives? If so, have you ever considered becoming a relationship coach?
A relationship coach is someone who works with individuals or couples in a relationship. They work alongside their clients to help them find fulfillment and work through conflicts in a healthy way.
If reading the above made you sigh in envy, maybe this is the career path for you! Keep reading to discover exactly how to become a relationship coach and build your own thriving business.
Why Become a Relationship Coach?
If you’re the type of person who gets fulfillment from helping people in their relationships, becoming a relationship coach can be one of the best career choices.
You’ll find several of the same advantages you can get from becoming a life coach, such as:
- Working on your own schedule
- Getting paid to help people
- Flexibility to work where you want (and work with clients from all over the globe)
- Accelerating your own personal development
But relationship coaching is much more niche. And when you can prove you’re able to get results, it can be a highly lucrative and rewarding line of work.
Keep in mind that relationship coaches are different from dating coaches. While dating coaches help clients meet people and form new relationships, a relationship coach works to build on the foundations that make a relationship healthy over the long term.
Skills Needed for Becoming a Relationship Coach
Relationship coaching isn’t an easy job. And it’s not something everyone can do! Let’s explore some of the most crucial skills you need to support your relationship coaching clients.
Knowledge of Healthy Communication Skills
What’s the most important aspect of healthy relationships? Communication!
But healthy communication doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It’s a skill you must learn, especially if it wasn’t modeled to you as you grew up.
Relationship coaches need an above-average mastery of communication for two reasons. One, they must communicate clearly with their clients! And two: they must coach their clients to achieve healthy communication with their partner as well.
If you’re someone who doesn’t yet have a handle on your communication skills, don’t despair. You can go through coaching certification programs to learn new techniques and coaching models.
And as you go through these programs, your communication skills will soar!
Depending on your niche and your client’s current situation, there’ll be some sensitive issues to deal with as you coach them.
That’s why the best relationship coaches approach their clients with empathy and tact.
Ease for Visualizing and Setting Goals
Not all relationship coaching clients will be clear on what they want. And this can be especially challenging when you’re coaching a couple!
But that’s why they’ll come to you. And that’s exactly why a relationship coach must be able to visualize other people’s goals and help them clarify what it means to achieve them.
It takes a strong intuition and an ability to ask the right questions to determine what clients want. But taking those desires and painting a visual picture is what takes the best relationship coaches apart.
So how can relationship coaches ask the right questions? They know how to listen to their clients actively!
Some of your coaching clients may be in a situation where they feel unheard or unseen. And you’ll be the first person in a long time to truly see and hear them as they are.
By deeply listening and understanding your relationship coaching clients, you can get down to why they’re here and why they’re struggling to achieve the relationship they desire so deeply.
Ability to Hold Clients Accountable
Coaches aren’t teachers. Your job isn’t just to teach people how to build and maintain healthy relationships… but also to guide them into self-discovery and keep them accountable.
Think of yourself as a personal cheerleader for your coaching clients. Whenever they’re tempted to fall off the wagon or give themselves excuses, you can remind them of their goals. You’ll hold their hand as they make the difficult moves.
This is where relationship coaching can get uncomfortable. But for the right person, this type of work is more fulfilling than any other career path.
Requirements and Certifications to Be a Relationship Coach
Relationship coaching is a complicated field that has more than one potential path.
First, it’s important to note that no coaching niche is regulated. While there are recognized organizations — such as the International Coaching Federation — they don’t make laws around coaching.
This means you could legally open up shop as a relationship coach today, even if you have no knowledge or prior experience.
Would that be a good idea? Probably not. If you have no relevant experience in the field of relationships, it’s hardly ethical to charge other people for coaching around that topic.
But what it does mean is that you don’t need to go through a specific certification or program to become a relationship coach.
However, certifications will help you in two ways:
- Develop vital skills to coach your clients so they can get results successfully.
- Gain credibility with your potential clients.
The path you take is up to you. But if you feel like you have more to learn about how to take your knowledge about relationships and start coaching people with it, consider getting certified!
How to Become a Relationship Coach
Want to start your own relationship coaching business? If you want to get certified before you do, here’s your six-step plan. If you already have a relationship coaching certification — or if you want to skip that process instead — then skip steps two and three!
1. Choose your relationship coaching niche
Relationship coaching is already a life coaching niche. But did you know that you can niche even further?
By niching down, you become the ideal coach for your dream clients — and repel everyone else who doesn’t fit the bill.
And the more people you coach in this niche, the more experience and credibility you’ll gain specifically in that niche.
For example, you could coach people who’ve just gone through a divorce. Or you could specialize in college-aged women who need to develop self-assertiveness and confidence in their first serious relationships. It all depends on your prior life experience and what you’re interested in.
2. Enroll in an accredited relationship coaching program
If you search ‘relationship coach training program’ online, you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of results.
But if you want to get a certification, it’s important to vet which program you choose carefully.
For example, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) has a list of vetted programs they recognize for their coaching certification. However, it’s possible to get certified with a non-accredited program — as long as you can prove the curriculum is up to the ICF’s standards.
3. Get certified as a relationship coach
Once you go through the program you’ve chosen, it’s finally time to apply for your certification!
Should you choose to get certified by the ICF, there are three levels of certification you can choose from:
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
- Master Certified Coach (MCC)
If you’re a brand new relationship coach, you should start with the ACC. You can also opt to get certified as a PCC right away, but that’ll require 500+ hours of coaching experience.
During the certification process, you’ll need to submit your coaching logs as well as complete a performance evaluation and the ICF Credentialing Exam. If your chosen program didn’t include Mentor Coaching, you’ll also have to complete 10 hours separately.
4. Build your offer suite
Now that you’re certified and have some coaching experience under your belt as part of your training, it’s time to take the first step in building your relationship coaching business:
Creating your coaching offers!
An “offer” is different from the coaching sessions or coaching programs you sell. It includes the promise you make to your future clients. For example:
“I’ll help you build a healthy relationship after your divorce.”
Once you know what kind of end result or transformation you want to help people achieve, you can work backward to build your coaching packages. How many sessions do you believe it will take to achieve that result? How often do you feel you should meet with clients? And what other resources do you think they’ll need to get where they want to be?
These are all of the details you can build into your package.
5. Find your first relationship coaching client
Once you’re clear on what you want to sell, it’s time to go out there and land your first client. Reach out to people in your network to find out if anyone you know could need your services. Or maybe a friend of a friend will need you!
You can also sign up for CoachCompare (it’s free) to get found by people looking for the exact type of relationship coach you’ll be.
Keep in mind that your coaching offer will most certainly change over time. The more you learn about your dream clients — their pain, their desires, their biggest challenges — the more you’ll be able to tweak your coaching packages in a way that gets people to say “yes” to you!
6. Expand your reach
Word-of-mouth and referrals from your network are great ways to land your first relationship coaching client. But if you want to grow your coaching business, consider expanding your audience and connecting with new people through marketing.
You can read more about our favorite marketing strategies for coaches below:
For best results, start with one strategy. Then, once you’ve perfected one strategy, feel free to expand elsewhere to replicate your first success.
How Much Do Relationship Coaches Make?
The beauty of relationship coaching is that you’ll have no cap on your earning potential. However, you can’t start charging $500 per session as a beginner, either.
The average beginner relationship coach typically charges between $60 and $150 per session. With that being said, you can significantly increase your rates by selling packages instead of sessions — especially when you promise specific results that people deeply want.
Become a Relationship Coach Today
No matter which type of coach you are, one of the biggest hurdles to building a successful coaching business is the administrative headache!
That’s why we built Paperbell — to help coaches sell their coaching online, the crazy-simple way. Create your free account to give it a try yourself!