You’re tired of your 9 to 5 and dream of a world in which you’re your own boss.
You wish you could use your natural talent to help people… and hey, why not get paid for it, too?
Guess what – thousands of people are doing this exact thing by starting their own life coaching business.
Sure, starting a life coaching business sounds scary. But it’s 100% worth it. And when you break it down, it’s not as intimidating as it seems! If you follow the 7 steps for life coaches in this post, you’ll be running a successful life coaching business in no time.
First, we’ll cover some FAQs for people thinking about starting a life coach business; then we’ll dive deep into how to get started with your life coaching career.
Life Coaching Business FAQS
1. Is the life coaching business profitable?
The short answer to this question is YES! Once you become a certified life coach and nail down your life coaching niche, it’s totally possible to run a profitable business. Did you know the coaching industry is growing rapidly as the demand for coaches grows year on year? Check out some industry stats for 2023 here. Anyway, many coaches easily make 5 or 6 figures a month from their life coaching businesses once they establish themselves.
2. Do I need to complete training programs to become a life coach?
Due to the nature of the industry and its rapid growth, you’ll find life coaching businesses are pretty unregulated. That doesn’t mean you should start a life coaching business without any training! If you want to become a great coach, gain trust and respect in the industry, and attract high-paying clients, you’ll need a certain level of certification. Find a coaching program that suits you here.
3. Do I need to coach my clients in person?
One of the best things about becoming a life coach is that it offers you a completely flexible schedule. You choose your hours, and you decide how you want to coach your clients. Many life coaches choose to speak to their life coaching clients online, which means they can work anywhere in the world – all they need is internet access. You can run a successful coaching business from anywhere!
4. Do I need a life coaching website to start my business?
When you’re starting out, you’ll have a lot to think about, from defining your niche and honing your skills to getting your name out there.
A website can be time-consuming and expensive to set up if you don’t have experience with web development. There are many ways to get clients which don’t involve a website.
Many small business owners primarily use their social media accounts to get their name out there and build a reputation for themselves before they consider building a website. Consider reducing your startup costs by skipping the website in the beginning.
5. How much should I charge as a life coach?
Most life coaches charge for packages, to make sure their clients sign up for consistent coaching rather than one off sessions. The amount you charge will depend on your experience and qualification levels. Learn more about how much coaches make here.
How to Start a Life Coaching Business in 7 Steps
1. Do Your Market Research
Before you make any decision about your future life coaching business, you should spend some time researching the market and your potential clients to get an idea of what the coaching ecosystem looks like.
During your research, aim to find out the following:
- The existing niches for life coaching
- The demand for these niches
- How the competition is positioning their business
- What offers are available from your competitors
- What marketing strategies your competitors are using
- How much clients are willing to pay for life coaching services (and how much your competitors are charging)
If you intend to run your life coaching business locally, make sure to perform local research instead of a global one – although you can definitely take inspiration from life coaches around the world, even if you don’t intend to offer your services internationally!
From your research, you can build your life coaching business plan and business structure and continue following the next steps!
2. Pick a Coaching Niche
Life coaching is a competive industy but finding a niche helps you stand out from the crowd. While coaching is a niche in itself, but it can be broken down into several other niches, too.
It is possible to start a life coaching business without niching down, but by casting a net that’s too wide, you’ll struggle to attract customers who are looking for guidance in a specific niche at specific moments in their lives.
When you niche down before you start a life coach business, you let your audience know that you’re an expert for the exact problem they’re experiencing, which makes them more likely to want to work with you, instead of choosing a general life coach.
Here are some examples of life coaching niches:
- Mindset and accountability
- Life purpose
- Money mindset
- Mental health
You can also specialize in a particular age group – for example, helping millennials overcome money mindset issues.
When thinking about your niche, consider what personal assets you can bring to your business and how you can use them to help others. Choose your niche according to your life experience! For example, if you aren’t particularly experienced with helping others with their romantic relationships, don’t start a coaching business around this niche.
3. Choose a Life Coaching Business Name
Now that you have your niche, the next step is to pick a name for your business.
One option is to choose your name and add your niche to it. For example, we have Mel Noakes, The Self Care Coach:
But you can also choose another name for your business. A good life coaching name relates back 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:
Make sure your name is:
- Clear instead of clever
- Easy to spell and pronounce
- Has an available domain name
- Communicates what you do
Be mindful that your name will become your brand! So if you would prefer not to use your personal name as your brand, don’t use it for your business.
Check this list for how to get your name registered, plus more legal stuff to take care of.
4. Create Your First Offer
Life coaches offer is different from their business name.
That’s because you may develop several offers, but they will all still be under the same business name.
Before you put your offer out into the world, brainstorm the following:
- Who is your dream client? (This should be determined by 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?
Once you have all the info you need, 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 predetermined process, to help them achieve a specific goal.
You should also decide whether this offer will be a high-end coaching package or a lower-end offer. This depends on the type of support you think your dream clients will need.
5. Find Your First Paying Clients
To validate your new offer, it’s time to get your first life coaching client!
There are dozens of ways to find coaching clients, but when you’re just getting started, you’ll want to use short-term methods first, and invest in long-term strategies later on, when you’re ready to market your life coaching business further.
Think about where your potential coaching clients hang out? How will you target them? Some strategies that can work, to help you to reach your target audience and get a prospective client, include:
- Use your existing network, maybe a family member or friend knows someone who needs coaching in your niche
- Submit a guest post on a website or blog that your ideal clients read
- Pitch to appear on a relevant podcast
- Start engaging with other people in Facebook groups where your ideal clients hang out
- Attend networking events relevant to your niche
- Start connecting with relevant people on Linkedin (and update your Linkedin profile to market your new coaching business)
The first client is always the most difficult one to find. But once you get that client, you can leverage your relationship with this client to get others, by asking for a client testimonials, and you’ll get the referrals rolling in. Remember that word of mouth referrals are one of the easiest ways for life coaches to get new leads and more clients.
Think about giving your first clients a special offer for trying your services. They can be your guinea pigs, and a chance for you to hone your coaching skills until you feel confident to offer full price coaching packages.
If you’re not sure how to handle bookings for your sales calls and coaching sessions (and feel overwhelmed just thinking about sending payment reminders), you can try out Paperbell for free with your first client!
6. Fulfill Your Business Owner Legal Requirements
Now that you’re a business owner, there are a few legal steps you’ll need to take to make your business legitimate.
First, when starting a life coaching business, you’ll need to register it. You have a few options for business structures here:
- Sole proprietorship: As the name suggests, this type of business is owned by a single person. By default, your business only belongs to you, but keep in mind that you are liable for this type of business. So if you get sued, your business isn’t its own entity, which means you are getting sued, personally. If you decide to operate your business under a name separate from your own name, you’ll register a DBA (doing business as), but that’s it.
- 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 is a safer choice.
You will also need to think about how you will pay taxes on your business income, which you can find out more information on the IRS website. To back yourself up, consider taking out business insurance.
In addition to the legal business structure, you’ll also need to add legal pages on your website, including:
- Terms of service: Your terms of service can include a limit of liability – for example, that you’re not responsible for errors or typos on your website – and other details depending on what features are included on your site. If you’re not sure where to start, simply google ‘Terms of Service Generator’ or ‘Terms of Service Template’ to get a good starting point.
- Copyright: Add a copyright signature to protect your intellectual property.
Finally, consider adding a liability waiver in your contract for your clients. You need to disclose that your service as a life coach, is not medical advice. Your waiver should also 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
If you’re not sure about these details, consider hiring a lawyer to help you sort everything out. Or check out the pre-made coaching contracts from Coaches & Co.
7. Market Your Coaching Business
You’ve laid the groundwork for your life coaching business. Now it’s time to hit the ground running and scale your business by marketing your coaching package. While marketing your business and getting the messaging right is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face, a strong plan is essential for your growth. Your marketing plan should be part of your overall business plan which you can learn more about here.
Marketing is a long-term investment for all business owners. For instance, when you start growing your following on social media platforms and using that as a marketing platform, you should expect to spend several months getting new followers and converting them into clients.
The same goes for ranking your website content on the first page of Google for relevant keywords your new and potential clients are searching for – you can write the best blog post in the world, but it will still take time for Google to rank it, especially if your domain is brand new.
But don’t give up! The key is to choose a marketing strategy and stick to it. You can try new things outside of your core strategy, but don’t start one thing and then move on to the next.
For example, if you want to generate traffic from Pinterest, don’t invest three months of your time and then stop completely to move on to your Youtube channel, only to then abandon that and start a podcast.
Start with one marketing strategy and build on it. Often, new coaches will overwhelm themselves by trying everything at once. For instance, you could start by growing your presence on Instagram, then implement Youtube, and then start a podcast.
Once you’ve validated your offer and have a marketing funnel that works, you can also consider investing in Facebook ads.
You can use Facebook ads to generate traffic to a lead magnet and email sequence that’s been proven to convert – or, if you have available funds, you can use the ads to test out and validate new funnels faster than you would be able to test them organically.
Just don’t invest thousands of dollars on a funnel you haven’t validated yet! It’s all about experimentation, setting your own goals, trying different tools and figuring out the most effective strategies for you.
Build a Business You Love as a Life Coach
And that’s it for how to start a life coaching business! Starting a business from scratch isn’t easy, by any means. But when life coaching is your calling, nothing else can bring you the same fulfillment.
Use our life coaching business checklist to get your business off the ground, follow your own path and build the life of your dreams.
By putting your time and energy in your new life coaching business, you’ll be able to build a business you love that not only supports you financially, but also helps others along the way! When you’re ready to launch, Paperbell life coaching software is the all-in-one solution to run your business.