How to Start a Life Coaching Business in 7 Achievable Steps

how to start a life coaching business

If you want to quit the nine-to-five, become your own boss, and use your natural talent to help people, becoming a life coach may be your next big move.

But how to get started?

Let’s explore how you can start a life coaching business to change lives and get paid for it.

Life Coaching Business FAQs

1. Are Life Coaching Businesses Profitable?

Yes, your life coaching business can be highly profitable when managed well.

The coaching industry is projected to be worth $6.25 billion in 2024 as the demand for coaches rises yearly.

While earnings vary depending on the coach’s niche, location, expertise, and reputation, many coaches with established brands make six figures or more from their life coaching businesses.

2. Do I Need Training to Build a Successful Coaching Business?

Life coaching is an unregulated industry, meaning you don’t require formal training or a license to practice. However, acquiring specialized training can arm you with the knowledge, skills, and credentials to deliver results and, ultimately, gain the trust of high-paying clients.

Find a life coaching program that suits you here.

3. Can I Start a Life Coaching Business Online?

Yes, you can run your entire business, including your coaching sessions, online from anywhere in the world. All you need is internet access and a quiet, coaching-friendly environment.

The efficiency of online coaching has been proven time and time again, so you don’t have to compromise on the impact of your work to go online.

4. Do I Need a Website to Start a Coaching Business?

A professional website can position you as an expert in your niche and provide detailed information to potential clients about your services. However, other ways exist to build your brand and connect with new leads.

Many small business owners use their social media accounts to get their name out there and build a reputation for themselves before building a website.

You can reduce your startup costs by skipping website development in the beginning. You can use tools like Hootsuite to help you easily manage multiple social media channels.

5. How Much Should I Charge as a Life Coach?

Most life coaches charge anywhere from $50 to $300 or more for a one-hour session, depending on their experience and the specific services they offer.

You can earn more by charging for packages with a set number of sessions and other services instead of one-off coaching calls.

Learn more about how much coaches make here.

How to Start a Life Coaching Business in 7 Steps

1. Run Market Research

First, familiarize yourself with the coaching ecosystem, especially with the niche you want to work in.

Run your initial research about:

If you want to run your life coaching business locally, map up your local market and international coaching brands.

Use this information to create a life coaching business plan as a roadmap for your practice.

2. Pick a Coaching Niche

Life coaching is a competitive industry, but finding a niche helps you stand out.

It’s possible to start a life coaching business without niching down. Still, by casting your net too wide, you’ll struggle to attract customers looking for guidance in a specific niche at specific moments in their lives.

When you niche down, you let your audience know that you’re an expert in the problem they’re experiencing, making them more likely to work with you instead of a general life coach.

Here are some examples of life coaching niches:

  • Mindset and accountability
  • Life purpose
  • Abundance and manifestation
  • Relationships
  • Money mindset
  • Wellness
  • Anxiety
  • Confidence
  • Spirituality
  • Mental health

You can also specialize in a particular age group, for example, helping millennials overcome money mindset issues. Consider what personal experience and values you can bring to your clients in addition to your coaching competencies.

3. Choose a Life Coaching Business Name

One option is to choose your name and add your niche to it. For example, we have Mel Noakes, The Self Care Coach.

Mel Noakes screenshot

But you can also choose another name for your business. A good life coaching name relates to your niche and is in line with the brand you want to create; it informs what you help your clients with.

A great example of this type of name is Conscious Leadership.

Conscious Leadership

Make sure your name:

  • Is easy to spell and pronounce
  • Has an available domain name
  • Clearly communicates what you do

4. Create Your First Offer

Your offer is different from your business name; you may develop several offers, but they will all be under the same brand.

Before you put your offer out into the world, define:

  • Who is your dream client within your niche?
  • What are they struggling with?
  • Where do they want to be and what is stopping them from getting there?
  • What are some potential objections they could have that would stop them from investing in your offer?

Consider turning this into a coaching package or signature offer. Unlike à-la-carte coaching services, a life coaching signature offer will guide your clients through a specific process tailored to their desired outcomes. Decide whether this offer will be a high-end or low-ticket coaching package.

You can use our free template pack for coaches to get your website and packages off the ground easily.

5. Find Your First Paying Clients

It’s time to get your first life coaching client to validate your new offer.

There are dozens of ways to find coaching clients, but when you’re getting started, you need one that gets you quick results to gain traction. Consider short-term methods first and invest in long-term strategies when you’re more established.

Think about where your potential coaching clients hang out and how you can target them. Some strategies to reach your target audience include:

  • Using your existing network of friends and family to gain referrals.
  • Submitting a guest post on a website or blog that your ideal clients read
  • Pitching yourself to appear on a relevant podcast.
  • Engaging with people in your niche in Facebook groups themed around your packages.
  • Attending networking events your target audience hangs out at.
  • Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and reaching out to prospects on the platform.

Your first few clients may be harder to find, but successful initial coaching relationships can quickly snowball into a larger clientele. Go the extra mile to create a positive experience for them, listen to their feedback, and ask for testimonials and referrals. Word-of-mouth leads are one of the easiest ways for life coaches to get new clients.

Consider giving your first clients a special offer or a discount for trying out your services. After all, they are your guinea pigs to hone your coaching skills and perfect your packages.

6. Make Your Business Legal

To start offering your services, you’ll need to register your business. You may choose one of these business structures:

  • Sole proprietorship: This type of business is owned by a single person. By default, your business only belongs to you, and you’re also liable for any legal issues surrounding it (if you get sued, you are getting sued personally). You can operate your sole proprietorship business under a name separate from your own by registering a DBA (doing business as).
  • Limited liability company (or LLC): An LLC is its own legal entity separate from its owners. This means you aren’t legally liable for anything related to your business. This option is more costly than the above and requires more paperwork, but it can be a safer choice and allows you to hire employees in the future.

Next, create a coaching contract for the services you offer. This should include:

  • Your payment terms and refund policy
  • What happens if you become sick and can no longer complete the service
  • What happens if a client misses an appointment or is consistently late
  • Liability waivers about your services (for example, that your health coaching services shouldn’t be considered medical advice)

Make sure you keep all your contracts safe so you can refer back to them, not just while you deliver on them but years down the line. Paperbell helps you sign all your client agreements digitally and stores them for each client.

7. Market Your Coaching Business

It’s time to hit the ground running and scale your business by marketing your coaching packages. This may require some initial investment.

For instance, when you start growing your following on social media, you may need to spend on advertising and content production. Ranking your website will require consistent fresh content, and media appearances will need you to build an outreach strategy.

The key is to choose a marketing strategy and stick to it. Plan ahead to establish clear expectations for yourself in terms of the ROI (return on investment) of these marketing initiatives.

Start with one marketing strategy and build on it. Once you’ve validated your offer and have a funnel that works, you can consider expanding your marketing plan.

Your first funnel can look like this:

  1. Use Facebook ads to generate traffic to your website.
  2. Offer a free resource as a lead magnet in exchange for signing up for your newsletter.
  3. Send out an email sequence to your list sharing valuable information and promoting your services.

Don’t invest a thousand dollars on a funnel you haven’t validated yet. Instead, use ads to measure its efficiency and iterate, if necessary. It’s all about experimentation, setting clear goals, trying different tools, and figuring out the most effective strategies for you.

Build a Life Coaching Business You Love

Use this checklist to start a life coaching business that brings you the income and fulfillment you’re looking for.

Paperbell will take the admin side of your coaching business off your shoulders. It’s an all-in-one client management tool that handles your contracts, schedules, payments, and more.

Try Paperbell now free with your first client.

how to start a life coaching business

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2023 and has since been updated for accuracy.

By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
March 17, 2024

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