I have been a life coach since 2002. My team and I have been certifying coaches since 2008. In this time, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to talk with a lot of people who want to become a life coach and launch a successful coaching business. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to be a coach, but they all tend to have three questions that continue to bubble to the top.
- Is there still market for new coaches?
- How do I market myself as a coach?
- Can I make money doing this?
Let’s tackle them one at a time.
QUESTION 1: IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR NEW COACHES?
Great question. My response to this is two-fold.
First thing… I suggest a slight change to the question. The tweak I propose is instead of asking if there is still room for “new life coaches,” I suggest they ask whether there is room for “effective life coaches.”
If they ask that question, the answer is a unequivocal “YES!”
Are there plenty of coaches out there? Yes there are. But frankly, as you are launching your coaching business and as you are becoming a life coach… the other coaches aren’t your competition.
Nope. Not even close.
As an effective life coach, your biggest competition is the couch!
That’s right. It’s the couch. It’s the TV. It’s the “safe” but unfulfilling cubicle. It’s the predictable but sad life that many people live.
That’s your competition.
Honestly, for every active life coach that’s out there… there are thousands and thousands of people who are sitting on a couch somewhere in desperate need of help. They need a change in their life. They need to do something differently to live the life they were created to live. They don’t know where to start.
Yes. There are way too many people in this situation.
So it may sound too simple but it’s true. You could multiply the number of coaches out there right now by an exponential number and still not have enough effective life coaches to help the people who need it.
So, do we need more mediocre life coaches? Nope. But do we need more effective life coaches? ABSOLUTELY YES! Trust me… we need the help!
QUESTION 2: HOW DO I MARKET MYSELF AS A COACH?
Great question. It’s a common one. It’s an important one.
Now, I can tell you that it’s not easy. But I can also tell you that marketing yourself as a coach can be fun and incredibly fulfilling!
First of all, with this question, it’s important to realize that times have changed.
For example, if we lived at the turn of the 20th century and we were a blacksmith or a doctor, our marketing plan would simply be…
- Find a town that doesn’t have a blacksmith or a doctor
- Set up shop.
- Hang out a sign.
- And BOOM you have a business.
It doesn’t work that way for any business anymore. So we can’t expect that to be the case with a coaching business.
So my answer to this question is also two-fold.
First – Find a life coach training program that also includes business training.
Admittedly, there is a huge gap in this area. Most life coach training programs focus on coaching theory, coaching strategies and coaching principles, but they don’t address any of the business aspects of coaching.
In fact, one of the main reasons people site for signing up for our coach training and certification program is the very fact that we spend half of the program introducing you to powerful coaching concepts and half of the program introducing you to the strategies you need to start and sustain a successful coaching buiness.
So your first step in this process is to find a coaching program that will equip you to market yourself.
Second – Figure out your AVATAR.
Now, you might be saying, “What’s an AVATAR?” Well… an AVATAR is a profile of an ideal client for you. (Granted you may have more than one. I do. But it’s important to start somewhere and this is a great place to start.)
The reason for figuring this out early is that it will help you to start to think through how you want to reach that person.
Now when we take people through our life coach training, we get specific with this. We help people to get clear on who their AVATAR is. What do they do and what do they WANT to do? Where do they want to go? Why do they need a coach?
But we get even more specific. We start to drill down to things like:
- Where do they shop?
- What do they drive?
- Do they have kids/ want kids?
- What’s important to them?
- What kinds of social media do the use?
The list goes on.
Why is this important? Well, I can tell you that this process helps you to get focused with your marketing efforts. When you’re clear on your AVATAR, you can get laser focused on how you want to reach out to them. How you want to create a relationship with them.
You’ll get clear on the things they would need to see and the things that wouldn’t be important to them.
Although it takes some effort initially, this process saves our coaches significant time AND money because they launch their practices with a clear goal of who they are going to help and how they are going to reach them.
So give your AVATAR some thought and it will help you to shape your coaching business plan for reaching them.
QUESTION 3: CAN I MAKE MONEY AS LIFE COACH?
This is also an important question to ask. And again, I suggest asking the question a little differently?
I suggest asking the question: “How can I make money as a life coach?” Or “How can I make money with a coaching business?” Those are much better questions.
The reason is… when you ask the question this way… your brain starts to engage differently. Plus, it opens up the vast possibilities that exist within this business.
Let me explain what I mean.
For example, with some of our graduates, they function solely as a coach. They charge $150 to $200 an hour and work when they want to work. And that’s great.
In fact, some keep their “day job” but they work as a coach on the side. We’ve heard from a number of our graduates that they finally are getting paid for the things they used to just do for free.
But others simply add coaching to their business mix. For example, some add coaching to their speaking and training. That way they can exponentially increase the income possibilities for a speaking engagement because they can collect a speaker’s fee for facilitating a workshop but then also wind up coaching a few people in the room.
We also have consultants who have a specific expertise that allows them to charge a lot of money to go in and give their advice and guidance in a specific area. But then follow up with leadership or project managers and do one-on-one coaching to help with the implementation.
So, the better question to ask yourself is “How do I want to make money as a life coach?” And just see what ideas get generated from that question.
So these are three of the biggest and most common questions we receive from people who are thinking about a coaching business or the people who are thinking about investing in life coach training.
If you are still wondering if launching a coaching business is right for you… we invite you to also join us for our FREE mini-course called “The Five Critical Questions Everyone Should Ask Before Launching a Coaching Practice.