CREATED: 15.03.2024UPDATED: 15.03.2024

How to Start a Life Coaching Business in 8 Steps

How to Start a Life Coaching Business in 8 Steps

Have a passion for helping people overcome challenges? Here’s how to become a life coach, plus 22 life coaching business ideas to consider.

Life coaching lets you make a career out of transforming lives. Helping people overcome personal and professional problems can be tremendously rewarding, but first, you must overcome the challenge of starting your own business. Check out our list of life coaching business ideas, and learn about the steps to starting a life coaching business.

Starting a life coaching business checklist: 8 steps

  1. Pick a coaching niche
  2. Identify your target market
  3. Establish yourself as an expert
  4. Decide how to price your services
  5. Create your business
  6. Spread the word
  7. Begin building your client base
  8. Get ready to grow!

What is a life coach?

A “life coach” might evoke images of a charismatic person onstage, moving a crowd with stories of overcoming the odds. Or perhaps you picture the opposite—a quiet, introspective mentor talking one-on-one with clients about their career blockages.

These are both types of life coaches. In fact, a life coach is anyone who helps people achieve personal or professional goals. Life coaches help you overcome challenges with life transitions, decision-making, executive leadership, and overall well-being.

Unlike counselors and psychologists, life coaches don’t diagnose conditions or offer therapy. Instead, they help clients set and reach goals related to their careers or personal lives.

Life coaches can function in many different roles, like teaching, mentoring, entrepreneurship, and marketing. To be successful, you need to be empathetic, an excellent listener, optimistic, motivational, organized and a strong communicator. It also helps if you have business skills and marketing know-how, which you’ll need to grow your brand.

Is it worthwhile to start a life coaching business?

Becoming a life coach lets you work flexibly and be your own boss while helping people achieve their dreams. Sounds great, right?

But being a life coach doesn’t mean you can rely on this as your sole source of income. According to Coach Foundation, less than a quarter of all life coaches live off full-time practices. The rest must work elsewhere to earn money unless they have another means of living.

That being said, the life coach industry is expanding, with more and more coaches joining the International Coach Federation (ICF) each year. ICF membership is not mandatory to be a life coach, but registration comes with benefits like authority-building credentials and professional networking.

In 2019, the life coaching industry was valued at over $2.8 billion. In the United States alone, the industry is worth $1 billion. Many life coaches charge anywhere from $50 to $200 for their services, so it can definitely be a profitable path for those with a steady client base.

What’s the catch? You have to work hard to get your first few clients, earn a good reputation, and start attracting a consistent stream of clients. Depending on where you offer services, there could be lots of competition, making it tough to monetize your services.

How to start a life coaching business: 8 steps explained

1. Pick a coaching niche

To build a life coaching business, you should pick a subject area or niche that targets a specific problem clients face. What are your passions, and where do you have the most life experience?

Pay attention to areas where there is high demand for services. Feel out client demand on social media and online forums. What challenges are people talking about the most? Pick a niche that aligns with your values and resonates with your strengths.

22 types of life coaching business specializations

Looking for life coaching business ideas? There are many niches to choose from:

  1. Business start-up coach
  2. Career coach
  3. Communication skills coach
  4. Confidence & self-esteem coach
  5. Creativity & passion coach
  6. Executive coach
  7. Financial coach
  8. Grief & loss coach
  9. Happiness coach
  10. Health & wellness coach
  11. Life purpose coach
  12. Lifestyle coach
  13. Life transition/change coach
  14. Mindset & motivation coach
  15. Parenting coach
  16. Public speaking coach
  17. Relationship coach
  18. Retirement coach
  19. Spiritual coach
  20. Stress coach
  21. Time management & productivity coach
  22. Youth/teen coach
start a life coaching business

2. Identify your target market

Set up your life coaching business for success by zeroing in on the right audience to target with your services. What common characteristics will clients in your niche likely have? Think about age, gender, career stage, and the specific challenges they face. Identify pain points and what clients will want to achieve by meeting with a life coach.

Next, conduct market research. Use surveys and questionnaires to get direct insight. Study the client base of other life coaches in your niche area. What topics or concerns do competitors focus on? Attending workshops and networking events is an excellent way to gauge popular approaches to life coaching in your niche.

Try to match and exceed what other life coaches offer. As you accumulate data, refine and adjust your target market profile. You’ll have the best chance of succeeding if your services closely align with the suitable client base.

3. Establish yourself as an expert

While you don’t need a specific degree or license to become a life coach, it’ll be easier to establish your expertise if you have training. This involves learning, experience, and possibly membership with a private coaching regulatory organization like the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Such organizations typically offer educational programs and tiered credentials that can help demonstrate your skills to potential clients. Membership signals that you meet professional standards of competence.

Keep learning. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences to stay abreast of the latest research and strategies in your field. Promote thought leadership by publishing articles on your own website or as a guest author on other reputable sites. Get guidance and expand your opportunities by networking with peers and experienced mentors.

4. Decide how to price your services

Setting the right price requires carefully balancing your value with what clients can pay. Find out what life coaches with similar experience in your niche charger, and use this as a reference point to avoid underpricing or overpricing your services.

Many life coaches charge between $50 and $200 per hour. You can charge on the higher end if you already have credentials and work experience in a related field (for example, counseling or psychology). But if you’re starting out, you may need to charge less to attract your first few clients and begin building a good reputation.

Consider what unique selling points you offer. Factor overhead costs include office rent, tools/equipment, resources, and marketing. Be fully transparent with your pricing so clients know exactly what to expect.

starting a life coaching business checklist

5. Create your business

Create a roadmap or business plan that defines your vision, mission, objectives, pricing strategy, marketing plan, and financial forecast. You may need to refine it over time.

Choose a business structure and register your business. The simplest structure is a sole proprietor/trader, while a corporation provides liability protection in the event you get sued. Connect with a tax expert or business lawyer for advice on registering your business and managing your income tax obligations.

Your personal name can be the brand of your life coaching business, or you could use a memorable term or catchphrase. Choose a name that makes sense for your niche and stands out to potential clients. Check if the matching domain name (website URL) is available to buy or if another business is already using it.

6. Spread the word

Now it’s time to step up and let people know you’re there. You’ll need to leverage different platforms and strategies to reach potential clients.

Create a website using a platform like BlurBay that offers user-friendly templates and tools for branding your site, advertising your services and client testimonials, selling courses and products, and accepting payments. BlurBay doesn’t charge hosting fees. Instead, you pay 5% of what you earn, so you don’t have to worry about high upfront web design costs when you’re just getting started.

Social media can play a huge role in marketing your life coaching business. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn can help establish your brand. Share value-driven content such as tips, success stories, or insights on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Engage with your audience, create polls, and host live Q&A sessions to generate interest in your business.

life coaching business ideas

7. Begin building your client base

After you start a life coaching business, the tough part is landing your first few clients. This can be challenging and requires a mix of networking and strategic outreach.

Start by leveraging personal contacts. Friends, family, or past colleagues might need or know someone who needs your services. Offer complimentary or discounted sessions to your first clients.

Once you’ve successfully coached a few clients, politely request testimonials or reviews to use on your website or marketing materials. For life coaches, the most powerful marketing is done by word-of-mouth referrals. Good reviews provide social proof of your skills and build trust with potential clients.

8. Get ready to grow!

Don’t settle for a small trickle of clients. If a few people trust your guidance, many more might as well. One way to scale your revenue is by diversifying your offerings. Consider offering group coaching alongside one-on-one meetings. By serving multiple clients simultaneously, you can maximize your time and earnings.

Host local or online events, like webinars or workshops. Partner with companies and professionals offering complimentary, but not competitive, services to add even more value for attendees.

For example, wellness coaches could partner with fitness influencers or health food brands. Coaches who focus on building confidence can host events with fashion experts or stylists to help clients polish their appearance.

starting a life coaching business checklist

FAQs about starting a life coaching business

Do I need training, licensure, or certifications to become a life coach?

No, you don’t need a degree or certification to start a life coaching business. While the industry is relatively unregulated, becoming a member of a private regulatory organization can help boost your credibility with clients.

Check out the International Coach Federation (ICF) or regional bodies like the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) or the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) in the US to learn more.

Should I create a website for my life coaching business?

Creating a professional, engaging online presence is a great way to grow your following as a life coach. Even if you don’t spend much time on social media, a website can be a “storefront” that lets potential clients learn more about you and your services.

You can easily set up a low-cost, premium-looking website using BlurBay without any coding experience. With your new website, you can offer free and paid content in various formats. Advertise your life coaching business, sell online courses, publish blog articles, and more.

Is life coaching profitable?

Once you build a client base, life coaching can be very profitable. Globally, the industry was worth around $2.8 billion in 2019. Life coaches typically charge anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour. However, the industry is growing rapidly each year, so increased competition in your niche or region could drive down rates unless you have an established following.

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