How to Get Started as a Life Coach
If you are looking to become a Life Coach, look no further! What makes me an expert? I've been supporting Coaches ( and observing them) for a few years now. I've been lucky enough to work with some of the best of the best! Below is just a general idea of how to get started. If you've found that you are someone who always helps friends out with positive and inspiring words, the Life Coach profession might just be for you. If you've also found that you have great leadership skills, that is perfect too.
Something you may not know, it is possible to become a Life Coach even if you are introverted or shy. Some Life Coaches prefer to work online and coach people one on one via Skype, while others coach in large groups. Here are a few key ideas to get you started:
1. Find a mentor, there are several ex-coaches who are out there schooling people on how to become a Life Coach. Find your favorite and absorb, like a sponge. Not everyone can afford to start off by paying to learn, so at least start by reading their blogs, e-news and interacting with them as much as possible. The biggest piece of advice I can give here is DO NOT be swayed by Coaches who aren't really practicing what they preach. You need to be mentored by someone who is successful, making money and happy. Not a snake oil salesperson. At the very least research through organizations like the International Coach Federation. My advice on credentialing is, if you FEEL you need it, PLEASE research before jumping.
2. Figure out what kind of Life Coach you want to be AND who your ideal client would be. I'm going to tell you right now, you can't coach EVERYONE. So who do you want to work with on a daily basis and why?
3. Have you "basically' coached someone before, for free? Think back really hard. If you have ( chances are you have ), then go back to that person and ask if you could brainstorm with them. Write down every step you helped them with. This will help you build your structure.
4. Get a basic website online AND start gathering a list. You want to use WordPress.ORG ( not .com please ) to get your website online. You will need to buy hosting. I have a few suggestions on my Resources page. If you need a free resource for gathering a list, there are tons. Some of the more popular are MailChimp, Tinyletter etc. One big thing in regards to this is be 100% sure BEFORE you spend money on a website that this career is what you want to pursue.
5. BLOG about your expertise but, personalize it. Blogging about yourself gets boring. Be sure to include tidbits that people can really use. Instead of writing blog after blog about how amazing you are, show real life stories and events and give your perspective. Show how you were able to help someone through a difficult situation. Keep the EGO out of your writing, and write from the heart.
6. Research the choices you need to make in regards to your legal structure. Get the LEGAL stuff out of the way EARLY. Also, remember to look into insurance, you may need it depending on where you live.
7. Be careful, there are tons of scammy online sites promising to turn you into a coach overnight. It takes time to perfect your coaching skills so please be patient with yourself and learn to perfect your skills.
8. Remember that you can become a coach under someone else's program OR just development your own program. If you become a coach under someone else's program, you will either pay a learning or franchise fee, and then get to have full access to their program. You will also probably be trained on how to coach using their system. Sounds easy enough, but it can cost a lot of money.
9. Find clients. You can do this in a million different ways. First, ask those closest to you for leads. You can also list yourself in one of the more popular online coaching directories. Some people recommend offering your first few clients free sessions to feel out your system. I agree, but if you are good at what you do, you won't need more than one or two free sessions to get things moving. You can also advertise of course and I have to say that networking, in person and online, is probably the best way to find clients. Building genuine relationships always trumps being salesy.
10. Don't forget the little things. Remember, you will need to find time to work on the "business" part of your endeavor. This means the stuff you probably hate doing like making forms, data entry, accounting and other administrative type upkeep. You can always try and barter with an acquainted who knows how to do this stuff in return for some coaching ( or coaching for a friend of theirs ). Being resourceful goes a long way!
Remember this list isn't meant to be all inclusive, just more of a connect the dots and draw your own picture kind of thing. I'll be updating this series often and I'd love if you would leave me a comment below in regards to anything else you think I should add.