How do I become a life coach? What is the best way to become a coach? If you want to become a highly successful international life coach, this step-by-step guide will be extremely helpful for you.
Becoming a life coach can be a rewarding career path both emotionally and financially. Helping people make positive changes in their lives, being your own boss and flexible working hours are just some of the reasons why coaching is now the second-fastest growing industry worldwide.
What is a life coach? A life coach is simply a coach that helps you set and then achieve all your goals in life.
With so much information on the Internet about how to become a life coach and how to get a job as a life coach, we decided to create this complete overview for our new and existing coaching students.
Note: This guide covers each step in detail. You don’t have to have all of the answers after reading it. In fact, many of the answers can only come to you after you have real-world practice and experience.
1. Choose A Life Coaching Course
So, how do you become a life coach? It’s not enough to just say, “I want to be a life coach.” First, you need to choose a life coaching course, and there are dozens of life coach courses out there.
When doing your research, it’s important to be clear on your criteria of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”, otherwise, you can spend hours researching and still feel confused.
Here are the criteria that we recommend to become a qualified life coach:
How to choose a life coaching course?
a) Reputation Of The Education Provider And Trainer
Do a quick Google search to look for reviews. Eg. “Authentic Education reviews” or “Benjamin J Harvey reviews”.
Note: When looking at reviews, pay closer attention to places where people would normally review such as the company’s Facebook page. If people have disabled reviews on their Facebook page, this is a red flag! Tip: Don’t just look at the good reviews (because sometimes students are encouraged to give glowing reviews to balance out the number of bad reviews) but also look at the negative reviews. If a website has hundreds of good reviews but five very bad reviews, this is a red flag.
- Eg. “Authentic Education news” or “Benjamin J Harvey news”
- This allows you to see which newspapers, media or websites the company has been featured in. This is important because these sources are a lot more unbiased than the company’s own website!
Tip: If the company or trainer have not been on any news websites at all, this is a red flag.
c) Coaching Certification / Coaching Qualifications / Accreditation Attained
Do you need certification to be a life coach? Yes, and there are many different coaching certifications you can attain. However, the most respected and internationally recognised comes from the ICF – International Coach Federation, a not-for-profit organisation.
Beware of any purely “Online Coaching Courses” or life coaching courses online certifications. You will not be able to get any widely recognised certifications (but more importantly, any much needed face-to-face coaching skills) with these online coaching courses and definitely not an ICF coaching certification.
Some life and business coach companies offer cert IV or diplomas in coaching. However, the Australian government are not experts when it comes to teaching you how to become a coach, and there is much red tape in these courses. Also, there are currently no university degrees in life coaching because it’s currently an unregulated industry in Australia.
Note: Be wary of any life coach course that ONLY offers certificates created by their own company. Some companies have also created their own external “governing body” so they can hand out certificates to their students. You can research this by going to the website of the governing body and seeing a list of all the coaching schools they certify. If this list doesn’t exist, it’s another red flag.
d) Length Of Course
Life coach courses can range from one week to one year. Many courses have a blended delivery. For example, a 6-month course but starting with a 6-day intensive face-to-face training. After these courses, there is still the practice time required.
Being a life coach is more about practice and improving your skills and less about endless theory. Think of it like public speaking.
A good speaker is one that has spent 80% of their time on practice and 20% on theory (not someone that has spent an entire year studying the theory of speaking, then goes on to practice).
Therefore, we believe the ideal life coaching course should run for six months in total with an initial 6-day LIVE intensive.
We know there are many coaching companies out there that would happily keep you on a treadmill of multiple levels of life coach courses over many years (and many tens of thousands of dollars later) until you feel “ready” to coach. But we do not agree this is the best way to become a highly successful coach.
How fast can you become a life coach? It’s possible to learn all the theory behind coaching within 50 intensive hours. The practice needed could be done within 3-6 months.
Then, you could start earning a beginner’s income after the initial 3-6 month period. You could earn a decent income ($100k a year or more) within 12 months of completing your life coach course if you have the proper support.
2. Practice Your Coaching Skills
Selecting the right coaching course out of the many life coaching courses is a very important step. However, the most important thing you can do to learn how to get a job as a life coach is to hone your coaching skills.
Coaches that have great skills are more confident, get better results and have more clients. How do you get great coaching skills? Practice, practice, practice.
Practice on yourself – Is there something in your life you want to improve? Then become your own best mindset coach and improve your own life as you practice.
Practice with other coaching students – Your coaching course should have a buddy system or web portal where you can practice techniques you learned in the course
Practice with others – Learn how to become a coach by practising with your friends, family or potential clients.
* Remember, you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it started.
Tip: Starting a new career as a life coach can be a big step for many people because you are putting yourself out there as a coach. One of the biggest side benefits of practising coaching skills is that it mentally and emotionally prepares you for this transition by building up your confidence in the techniques and the results you can achieve for people.
The biggest reason for practising your coaching skills is it allows you to…
3. Get Your Coaching Certification
The right certification will give both you and your potential clients confidence that you can help them achieve results. Any coaching certification worth attaining will require you to do a certain number of practice hours first.
For example, ICF (International Coach Federation) accreditation means you will become a globally recognised coach in any country such as Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia or any part of Asia.
And one of the coaching qualifications of the ICF requires you to do 100 practice hours after attending an approved ICF coaching course. Although they mention these 100 hours need to be “paid”, it doesn’t have to be with money. It could be paid because you are swapping your coaching time with another new coach.
You then apply to be recognised by the ICF, pay a nominal fee and receive your certification. Below is an example of PCC – Professional Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation.
Your education provider will give you full details on how to obtain this certification once you complete the course.
If you would like more information on our ICF accredited coaching course “Accelerated Coaching Certification“, fill in the form below.
4. Find Your Niche
Congratulations, you now have become a certified life coach! Now what? The next step is to determine what type of coach you would like to be.
The good news is, if you’ve been practising your coaching skills, you may have a sense of your niche already.
Do you have to niche into one area? While you don’t have to, we highly recommend niching because it allows you to get great results by focusing on one area. This has numerous other side benefits such as:
- Knowing what to write on your website
- Having testimonials that are inspiring for new clients
- Knowing where to market your services
- More referrals from existing clients because they know what you specialise in
- Being seen as an expert or thought leader in one area (as opposed to a jack of all trades)
Below is just a small sample of possible niches you can choose from.
Note: You don’t have to commit to this niche forever. We advise you try it for at least three months than re-assess. After all, you won’t know if it suits you unless you try.
- Life purpose and career coach
- Results coach to help people achieve their goals in any area
- Business coach or consultant
- Productivity coach, decluttering, professional organiser
- Relationship coach for singles or couples
- Health and wellness coach for weight loss, general wellness etc
- Wealth coach to help people become more disciplined and organized with their finances
- Healing coach that helps people overcome stress, divorce etc
- Peak performance coach that helps high performers, executives of everyday people achieve even more
- Happiness and fulfilment coach that helps people find more contentment in life
Tip: If you’re looking for even more niche ideas, then just look at any of the books on Amazon. Wherever people have problems, then developing a coaching niche is most likely possible. That’s because most problems can benefit from others giving support and guidance.
How can I coach someone on something if I don’t have the results? Don’t confuse being a coach with a mentor. A mentor already has the results and gives advice based on experience. A coach gets the most out of people.
If you’re just starting your journey to becoming a life coach and find picking your niche too overwhelming, the good news is you don’t have to worry about it right now.
5. Start Your Coaching Business
Here are the major things you need to prepare for when starting a life coaching business or any type of coaching business:
a) Create Your Business Name
We recommend you just use your own name for now. This will not only save you time and stress now but also the additional work of having to change your business name in months to come once you get feedback from future clients.
b) Get A Website
Once again, we recommend using your own name for your website. In the future, you can create a website around your new business name if you like. It’s good to have two websites anyhow (one for your name, one for your business) so when people Google you, more than one thing shows up.
If it’s too much trouble to create a website right now, just use your LinkedIn profile.
c) Get Insurance For Your Life Coaching Business
Before starting a life coaching business, we recommend you get professional indemnity insurance from Aon insurance. They cover a wide variety of coaches and practitioners and only costs a few hundred dollars a year for most types of coaches.
d) Create Your Coaching Packages
Amateur coaches sell their services by the hour. There are many downsides to this including limiting the results you can help clients achieve to just working one hour with you.
Highly successful coaches have coaching packages for three, six or 12-month lengths.
e) Market Yourself
There are many ways to attract clients from networking, speaking gigs, Facebook ads, social media (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube), joint ventures, content marketing and the list goes on.
What works best is giving people value upfront to build a relationship then conducting a free “discovery session”.
f) Accept Payments
While you can accept bank deposits or cash, there are 4 better ways to accept credit card payments.
g) Transition To Full-Time Coaching
Chances are, you have an existing career or commitments you need to deal with before being able to focus 100% on coaching.
Each person has a different risk profile and personality, but there 5 ways to transition from your job to full time to coaching.
If you have never run your own business before, you will have many questions along the way. Ensure you have good support from your education provider and that they are experts in marketing and business too (not just certifying coaches).
Becoming A Highly Successful Coach
So, we hope we’ve answered your question “How do I become a life coach?” in detail. We realise this guide contains many detailed steps. Just know that coaching is not that difficult when you take it one step at a time and you have the support of a great coaching company and community.
The 5 main steps are:
- Choose A Life Coaching Course
- Practice Your Coaching Skills
- Get Your Coaching Certification
- Find Your Coaching Niche
- Start Your Coaching Business
There is a tremendous amount of impact, income and fulfilment for you and your clients that awaits you. We hope we have assisted you on how to become a life coach and make a difference and a living doing what you love.
If you’re ready to become a highly successful life coach, check out our Accelerated Coaching Certification course here.
Read more about: Coaching