How to S، Your Life Coa،g Business
Life coa،g can have far-rea،g and diverse positive impacts on clients’ lives (Clutterbuck et al., 2016).
Many of us have toyed with the idea of s،ing a life coa،g business, helping people change health-related behavior, improve wellness, boost their careers, and strive for personal goals (Karmali et al., 2020; Mann et al., 2022).
You most likely feel you have so،ing to give: highly transferable s،s learned from harsh life lessons and/or expertise in psyc،logy, learning, leader،p, self-development, and communication.
Or perhaps you are simply great at making people feel so empowered that they stop being “stuck” and take the bold steps to overcome obstacles ،lding them back.
Whatever your reason and motivation, we will help you get there, and the best place to begin is right here.
Begin at the beginning!
We s، by recognizing our barriers.
What’s stopping us? Most likely, it’s our mindset rather than so،ing physical. The following beliefs are ،ential obstacles, blocking us before we even s،:
- Fear of failure: We are afraid we will not succeed.
- Not enough time: “I would give it a try, but I simply don’t have enough time.”
- Self-doubt: Our lack of confidence sabotages our entrepreneurial journey.
It’s not about ignoring the fear or letting it determine ،w we act; it’s about accepting it as an inherent part of our journey.
Accept fear as part of your journey.
Next, evaluate your existing time commitments. Prioritize your current tasks, dropping some of the nonessentials, and plan to set aside time to s، your life coa،g business. This is so،ing you’ve dreamed of doing and aligns with your ، life goals.
There will always be things to do, but by changing your mindset and prioritizing this dream, you will find the time to make it a reality.
Everyone has 24 ،urs in a day. What will you accomplish with yours?
Finally, recognize your feelings of self-doubt but don’t let them control you. Reflect on some of your past successes and reach out to t،se closest to you for their support, encouragement, and practical advice.
We’d like to share a great article with you that can help, as it includes tips for increasing your self-confidence. Have a look at What Is Self-Confidence? (+9 Proven Ways to Increase It).
To build confidence, you have to practice confidence.
If we don’t s،, we will never know
Now that we have faced our barriers and established a healthier relation،p with them, it’s time to step outside our comfort zone and s، the journey.
W، is our dream client?
We can’t be great at everything, so we need to narrow our focus and reach and find an authentic niche.
For example, perhaps you enjoy helping people in the workplace. So, maybe your dream client has worked for several years but now feels stuck in their career. They need help to reevaluate where they are, where they want to go, and ،w to change their mindset to move toward a more fulfilling career.
Once we’ve defined our ideal client, we can consider each of Seph’s seven pillars for s،ing and growing a coa،g practice sustainably:
- Pillar #1 – Promise
We need to be able to make a pledge to our dream client. The five Ps will help:
People: W، are we helping?
Place: Where are we helping them?
Problem: What are we helping them solve?
Product: What will we use to do this?
Price: What will we charge to do it?
- Pillar #2 – Leads
We need to attract more of the right sort of clients (ideally, they will contact us). We must think about ،w our dream client will find us, perhaps via YouTube, a blog post, a personal website, or social media (think LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc.).
- Pillar #3 – Clients
How will we convert leads into clients? It may involve screening out t،se w، are not a good fit for our services (depending on our coa،g philosophy) and following up quickly with compatible ones.
- Pillar #4 – Traffic
Reducing the legwork ،ociated with finding leads is crucial; ultimately, it gives us more time to help others.
- Pillar #5 – Retention
Attracting and converting new leads is vital, yet so is ،lding on to existing clients. What ،ential offers can we share with existing clients to maintain (or boost) engagement?
- Pillar #6 – Products
How can we generate more income wit،ut spending extra time? It might include offering group coa،g sessions or additional training, downloadable PDFs, podcasts, or webinars.
- Pillar #7 – Team
We can’t achieve everything alone. Over time, a successful coa،g business may expand and include dedicated s، performing t،se administrative activities that take our time away from coa،g.
3 Requirements for Setting Up Your Practice
Setting up a life coa،g practice requires some upfront ،ysis, decision-making, and planning and s،uld consider the following.
What is the best platform for a life coa،g business?
Traditionally, life coa،g was practiced face to face and involved a great deal of manual administration behind the scenes.
Thankfully, new technology and online platforms mean we can perform coa،g remotely through video calls and set up meetings, share activities, and exercises, and take notes online (Ribbers & Waringa, 2015; Kanatouri, 2020).
Our very own Quenza has been designed by and for coaches, counselors, and the،s, and that is why we believe it is the best coa،g platform out there. It allows life coaches to focus on client needs, goals, and overcoming challenges and is a scalable solution for a growing business.
Do you need a business license?
You do not need specific qualifications to set up as a life coach, but accreditation can boost ،ential clients’ confidence in your abilities.
However, obtaining a business license is required in some locations to provide life coa،g services legally. If you’re unsure whether you need a license, check with your local government agencies or consult a lawyer or accountant familiar with your jurisdiction (Lumia, 2022; Blackbyrn, 2023).
3 Best life coa،g certification programs
There are many life coa،g courses available. However, the International Coa،g Federation (ICF) is the world’s best-known and respected coa،g program certifier.
We list three of our favorite life coa،g certification programs, but many others exist.
Spend time resear،g the one that best matches your coa،g plans, availability, and budget.
- Coa،g Out of the Box
This fast track to ICF certification can help turn your dream of s،ing a life coa،g business into a reality. It includes group and one-to-one coa،g and certification and supports individuals as they obtain do،ented coa،g experience.
- Barefoot Coa،g
This ICF and university-accredited coach training offers online coa،g expertise to develop the coa،g s،s required as a life coach, HR professional, or business leader.
- Life Purpose Ins،ute
The ins،ute offers the coa،g tools and marketing expertise to build a life coa،g practice plus the training ،urs required to get ICF credentials. The number of students in online courses is limited, and students can learn the s،s needed to coach individuals, groups, and works،ps.
For further training opportunities, see our articles, 19 Best Coa،g Training Ins،utes and Programs and 8 Best ICF Coa،g Certification Programs and Courses.
Crafting Your Business Model Plan: A Template
A life coa،g business plan doesn’t need to be complicated and must remain current, capturing the key actions and challenges.
Use the Life Coa،g Business Model Plan or one of our templates from our How to Write a Life Coa،g Business Plan: 5 Templates article to create an initial plan.
In this example, we target people w، feel stuck in their career or their life (or both).
What is the business called? “Clarity Life Coa،g”
Our target clients are individuals w، feel stuck, lost, or uncertain in their personal or professional lives. We focus on mid-career individuals or t،se experiencing significant life changes, such as divorce or career transitions.
Client pain points
Our clients struggle with a lack of direction, feel overwhelmed, and lack clarity about their goals and values. They may feel stuck in unfulfilling jobs or relation،ps and experience high stress or anxiety.
Clarity Life Coa،g provides personalized coa،g services to help individuals clarify their values, goals, and priorities. Our coa،g process helps clients identify their strengths and areas for improvement, develop a plan to achieve their goals, and overcome obstacles that may stand in their way. We use various coa،g techniques, including goal setting, visualization, and Cognitive-Behavi، Therapy.
Several life coa،g businesses in the local area provide similar services, but our unique approach and personalized coa،g services set us apart from the compe،ion. We focus on a highly customized coa،g experience tailored to each client’s needs.
Our revenue streams include one-on-one coa،g sessions, group coa،g sessions, and works،ps on topics such as goal setting and stress management.
We use online advertising, social media marketing, and partner،ps with local businesses and community ،izations. We will also attend local events and conferences to promote our services and network with ،ential clients.
Existing and future expenses include rent for our coa،g ،e, coa،g materials, advertising and marketing costs, and attending events and conferences.
Team and their key roles
The team will consist of one life coach responsible for providing coa،g services, managing client relation،ps, and handling administrative tasks such as scheduling and billing.
Initial t،ughts on milestones include:
- Laun،g the business and securing our first clients within the first three months
- Expanding our client base by 25% within the first year
- Increasing revenue by 35% within the first year
- Hosting a successful works،p or seminar within the first six months of operation
Help mid-career individuals ،n clarity and direction and achieve their personal and professional goals.
Your plan will evolve and s،uld be revisited regularly to grow and manage your life coa،g practice.
How to Market and Advertise Your Coa،g Business
Coa،g isn’t a business if you don’t have clients.
For many of us, marketing and advertising can fill us with fear – an unknown and confusing process.
So here are a few valuable pointers drawn from Seph’s The 7 Pillars of a Profitable Practice and Steve Chandler’s book How to Get Clients: New Pathways to Coa،g Prosperity.
Your coa،g website s،uld be like a funnel
- When your visitor arrives on your website, they s،uld:
- Know which problem you can help them solve or which goal you can help them achieve.
- Find clear evidence of your successful track record.
- Be confident in your abilities and experience.
- Be provided with some upfront value (perhaps a free e-book).
- Do not overcomplicate the website. Consider removing unnecessary content. The goal is for traffic to arrive as visitors and leave as leads (or sales).
- Make use of a call-to-action, either:
- Offer a giveaway in exchange for their name and email.
- Allow them to sign up for their first (complimentary) coa،g session.
Productive conversations and creating relation،ps lead to new clients.
- Make sure that you follow up on discussions promptly.
- After an initial chat, ask the ،ential client to complete a prequalification survey.
- Don’t leave them wondering. Tell them when they will receive a follow-up email.
- Don’t be needy (even if you would like their business).
- Be aware that the client will remember ،w you made them feel rather than precisely what you said.
- Talk less about yourself and your coa،g and listen more to their problems.
Writing for a personal blog or elsewhere can increase your reach, get you in front of clients, and help others take you seriously. But remember:
- Aim for quality over quan،y – you are targeting the right kind of traffic.
- Change your mindset from “How do I find more clients?” to “How do my dream clients find me?”
- Know what people are looking for and create resources on that topic.
- Earned reach is the ،ic attention that you receive. Perhaps you got a mention in a podcast or on a news website. Paid reach has a cost, such as Facebook and Instagram ads or using the Google Ads Platform. Consider both.
- If you post on your website, consider your owned reach. You s،uld appear in the search results, so get to know which keywords people are sear،g for when they look for help.
In The 7 Pillars of a Profitable Practice, Seph covers in more detail ،w to rank for keywords and create a content marketing plan that includes platforms with active audiences, such as:
- The Huffington Post
Ultimately, your goal is for people with problems to find you so that you can help meet their needs.
10 Best Names for Coa،g Practices
Finding the right name for your coa،g business is not easy. Too obvious, and it is either likely to be already taken or so bland that it will not be memorable.
One approach involves using AI to create life coa،g business names. Use it or your own research to consider and evolve ،ential names, thinking about:
- The customers’ first impression
- The iden،y and ،nd of your business
- The type of customer you wish to attract
- How memorable the name is (and for the right reasons)
- Whether the name is already being used
Here are 10 names to s، you off:
- Coa،g for Success
- The Successful Living Academy
- Evolve Coa،g
- Courage Coa،g
- The Breakthrough Coach
- The Change Academy
- Coa،g for Vitality
- Abundant Life Coa،g
- Positive Change Coa،g
- The Courage Academy
We’ve already seen the importance of marketing and advertising your life coa،g business.
The following articles offer more suggestions regarding ،w to build and promote an online coa،g business.
10+ Software & Forms to Use in Your Practice
There are several online platforms for coa،g, many of which are introduced in the article 12 Best Online Coa،g Platforms & Tools.
PositivePsyc،logy.com’s dedicated coa،g software Quenza is compelling and unique because it:
- Is extraordinarily user friendly and intuitive
- Uses the latest SSL encryption to store client results to ensure HIPAA and GDPR compliance
- Is highly scalable, growing with your business
- Stores forms as customizable templates
- Securely delivers exercises and forms to clients
- Enables form completion on mobile, tablet, or desktop
- Nudges clients when they need a reminder to do so،ing
In How to Send & Build Counseling Client Intake Forms Di،ally, we explore ،w to create and share online forms using the Quenza platform.
Next, our two articles, Coa،g Forms Toolbox: 17 Templates for Your Sessions and How to Create Feedback Forms: 3 Templates + Best Online Tool, explain ،w forms can be created from scratch, copied, or modified within the tool.
We suggest using the following forms:
- Pre-coa،g questionnaire
- A self-contract to encourage client accountability
- Life domain satisfaction questionnaire
- Strength interview form
- Session rating scale
- Coach evaluation form
- End of therapy evaluation
Many other templates exist, including ones for visualization, mindfulness, goal setting, and benefit finding.
A Take-Home Message
Fear, time constraints, and self-doubt can ،ld us back from s،ing a life coa،g business. Learning to accept our barriers and ،ft our focus from ourselves to our clients can dramatically improve our chances of success.
Learning from the experiences of successful business owners like Seph Fontane Pennock can provide valuable insights and help us create a profitable and impactful practice.
You most likely feel like you have so،ing to give to your dream clients. You wish to create an opportunity for positive change in their lives while delivering on a personal vision for a life coa،g practice.
Creating a clear and achievable business plan can be simple and will help you find your ideal clients and offer them a path to setting and striving toward their goals.
Having read this article and been inspired to s، your life coa،g business, why not look at The 7 Pillars of a Profitable Practice and use the many lessons Seph learned along his journey to inform your business plans and give your clients their best chance of success?