Are you passionate about helping others achieve their goals? Do you have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share? If so, starting a life coaching business may be the perfect career for you!
If you’re new here, welcome — we’re Cass + Tee! We created Lovely Impact based on our love for coaching and motivation to create an online hub of resources to help coaches thrive. With 20+ combined years of entrepreneurial experience as web designers, coaches, and content creators, this platform is our passion and mission in life. We are so happy to share it with you.
In this post, we’ll outline the basics of starting your own coaching business, from discussing salary ranges, certifications, creating offerings, setting up your website, to finding clients and building a successful practice, and so much more.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can become a life coach!
What is a Life Coach?
Before we look at how to start a life coaching business, it’s crucial to understand what a life coach is and how they help their clients. Life coaches are there to give their clients clarity, reduce anxiety, and help them to take back control of their lives.
A life coach works with their client to identify what obstacles they are facing and what skills and advantages they possess. They review where a client is, and help the client identify where they would like to be – and then they start coaching them on how to get to that place.
People who benefit from life coaching are usually feeling stuck or trapped, lacking in creativity, stressed out, or unfulfilled. A life coach seeks to identify these negative emotions and help the client to overcome them in the most effective and efficient way possible.
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In short, a life coach is there to help their clients learn how to live in a way that makes them feel satisfied and fulfilled.
How much do Life Coaches Make?
Another big aspect of how to start a life coaching business is thinking about your salary.
Wages for a life coach can vary enormously because you’ll almost always be working for yourself. The rates you set, the hours you work, and the area you are operating in will all have a massive impact on your pay.
Your experience level will make a big difference too. You may also find that virtual coaching vs in-person coaching has an impact, and what qualifications or certifications you can show will alter what you can charge.
A life coach could earn anywhere between $35,000 per year and $98,000 per year, with an average salary of about $58,000 per year. However, there are massive differences between states and although the coaching market is constantly growing, it will often be hard to make a good salary from the word “go.”
Some sources estimate the average hourly salary of a life coach to be $244 per hour, but that doesn’t mean you should start by charging anything like that amount. You should research the going rates for your area and set your hourly rate according to your experience and your offering.
How to Start a Life Coaching Business
Here’s a step-by-step guide to starting your own life coaching business.
Step 1: Become a Certified Life Coach
Being certified is an important part of becoming a life coach for a few different reasons. That might surprise you, because this industry is pretty unregulated – but it’s because it’s unregulated that this matters so much.
You need to show your clients that you know what you are doing and that you have some training in your area if you want them to trust you. You also do want some foundational knowledge to fall back on when you encounter more challenging situations.
Furthermore, taking a certification course is a great way to start because it proves to you that this is an area you are interested in and that you have what it takes to stay invested.
No matter how instinctively good you are at coaching, you can benefit from taking a life coaching course and getting yourself certified. You might find the Life Coaching Certificate Course particularly great; it’s packed with techniques that will help you work out how to be an effective coach, how to identify problematic attitudes, and how to help your clients make difficult decisions.
If those all sound like things you love doing, this course is definitely a great first step in how to start a life coaching business.
Step 2: Choose Your Life Coaching Business Name
This is a really enjoyable step for some, and one that others dread – picking a name. You need a name that feels “you,” that will make your business stand out, and that you won’t hate a few months down the line. It’s worth taking the time to pick with care, because this is a big part of your branding and how you present yourself to clients.
There are a lot of things that go into choosing a great name for your life coaching business, but try to tick the following boxes by answering these questions:
- Does it sound desirable?
- Does it suit your audience?
- Does it evoke emotion?
- Does it authentically represent you?
- Is it truly timeless?
- Is it unique?
That may sound like a lot of things to cover, but they are all important to consider. Your business name should appeal to your intended audience, it should make them feel something, and it should last well.
You can ask friends and family about your coaching name to see what they think of the rhythm and flow, and get some feedback before settling on a name. Once you’ve chosen, make sure you protect your name so you don’t end up with copycat rivals!
➡️ Need more help with naming ? Check out these resources:
- How To Choose A Coaching Business Name >>
- See how other successful coaches names their businesses >>
Step 3: Choose A Niche
If you think you’ve already narrowed down your niche by choosing to be a life coach, you’re wrong. You can actually become a lot more focused than that. There are many important reasons for choosing a niche. By doing so, you are able to target specific clients and build your strengths in one area rather than employing a scatter-gun approach.
Niching can help you hone your materials and your coaching tools so you can exactly meet your clients’ needs, which is a great way to become an outstanding coach.
Defining your niche should mean that you can make a statement somewhat like this:
“I help X person with Y challenge so they can solve Z problem and achieve A.” This defines your clients, the issues you specialize in, the problems you solve, and the desired outcome, and it will make you a much stronger coach.
Defining your niche will give your life coaching business focus and it’s a crucial step, so don’t neglect it. You will find it makes all aspects of creating materials and attracting clients so much easier than if you have some vague sense that you’re going to “help people,” without knowing who or how.
➡️ Need more help? Check out these resources:
- Learn how to choose a niche for your coaching business >>
- Download our free Choosing Your Niche Workbook in our resource library >>
- Watch our video on How To Identify Your Dream Clients (And Choose A Niche) >>
Here is a brief recap! You’re ready to get started as a life coach. Your decision on whether or not you’ll get certified has been made, you chose a business name and niche, and now it’s time to create a business plan.
Step 4: Create A Business Plan
Your next challenge is to make a business plan that will get all your thoughts in order. You can’t coach others on their lives if your business is in a mess – so don’t skip this step. It will help you identify your competition, understand your clients, build a revenue model, overcome crises, and organize yourself.
Creating a business plan doesn’t have to be super complicated, and it will usually give you the following information:
- Your startup costs
- Potential challenges
- Profile for your target audience
- Ideas on how to compete
You can keep your business plan relatively short and sweet, but follow each of the below steps:
- Make a mission statement
- Create an executive summary
- List your products/services
- Profile your target audience
- Define your clients’ needs
- Brainstorm how you’ll attract clients
- Define your competitive advantage
- Detail your passion
- Think about the financial details
- Set some business goals
Your business plan doesn’t have to be a whole novel, but you do need one before you set up your life coaching business.
Great news, we have a business plan template for coaches that you can download for free HERE. You can find the coaching business plan in the business resources section after you sign up.
Step 5: Develop Your Methodology, Techniques & Tools
Next in how to start a life coaching business, have you thought about what you’re actually going to do with your clients? When you sit down with the first one, how are you going to help them?
As a life coach, you’re going to need a range of tools and techniques that you can pull out to help your clients – and because life coaches have such a broad scope, covering so many different life problems, that range needs to be pretty diverse.
Your methodology is the approach that you take to all clients, and it will usually follow a coaching model such as CLEAR or GROW.
Your techniques are the strategies that you implement within this methodology. Most coaches have a few unique techniques of their own, but there are also some that are used almost universally. You should pick a few of these up if you get some coaching certification.
Your tools are the resources you use with your clients. For example, you might build worksheets or design exercises for them to complete.
Many of these things will develop as you gain experience and your business grows, but you should still have a starting point.
How To Structure A Coaching Program (Step by Step)
A coaching program is an offer that you as a coach create to reflect and deliver your original teaching style and materials.
It is a signature system. Something that is unique to you and allows you to coach in a structured and organized way.
Before you move on, we strongly suggest you check out our in-depth guide ‘How To Structure A Coaching Program (Step by Step)’ >>
We’ll cover how to structure a coaching program that fits YOU.
We’ll guide you through how to create a signature program including naming, frequency, duration, delivery, pricing, and more.
Step 6: Create Offers and Pricing
A lot of life coaches struggle when it comes to building coaching packages and pricing their services. After all, you aren’t trying to become a financial coach! However, this is just as important as all the other steps in how to start a life coaching business, and you shouldn’t neglect it.
No matter how inexperienced you are as a coach, you cannot undervalue your services. You may look like you think your services aren’t worth much, and you could end up catering to clients who are unreliable and just looking for a cheap course they can do.
Make sure you think about what your ideal audience would like from a package and check out what other coaches are charging. Although your offering should be unique, this should give you a good starting point.
In terms of the packages you can offer, think about:
- 1-1 coaching
- Online Courses
You may not want to offer all of these, but weigh them up and make conscious decisions about which appeal to you.
Step 7: Design Your Life Coach Logo
Your logo matters too! A logo needs to be memorable, simple, and eye-catching. It should also be visible and clear even if printed in black, and you should limit your colors and fonts (if you’re using fonts). It can be tempting to try and design something really complicated and striking, but often, the best logos are simple. See below for an example:
Think about your logo as a representation of the atmosphere you want to express. It should convey the emotions behind your business. For example, if your life coaching is focused on achieving goals, consider the symbols that represent growth or happiness.
You can use abstract designs or keep your logo super simple, but don’t treat your logo like an afterthought. If you’ve got clients who are visual learners, this may be what they remember you by!
➡️ Need more help with your life coaching logo?
Step 8: Create Your Life Coaching Website
Your website is a big aspect of your new business too, and it will take time and energy to build a good one. Honestly, a bad coaching website is worse than no site at all, so don’t just throw something together. Your site is often the first interaction that clients will have with you, so make the most of it!
You’re likely to find that as a life coach, your site needs quite a lot of functionality, so it’s important to think about structure and ease of use, as well as how to build the tools you’ll need.
To get this started, you are going to want a carefully designed site map, and then a good plan for:
- Your homepage
- Your blog categories
- The main coaching pages
- The purchase pages
If your coaching website isn’t organized and easy for clients to use, they won’t trust that your services will be either – so do take the time to get this right. Keep things simple and make sure clients can easily find the resources they require.
Our website templates are perfect for coaches who want to elevate their online presence and show up online like the pros they are.
Meet MaryAnn, one of our most successful website templates for life coaches.
➡️ Need more help? Check out these resources:
- The DIY Beginner’s Guide to Websites >>
- How to build your website quickly & effectively >>
- Read our guide on “How To Structure A Coaching Website” >>
Step 9: Go Legal With Your Life Coaching Business
You might find this part pretty boring, but it’s also one of the most important aspects of getting your coaching business started. Make sure to create a checklist for the following things you need to set up and make decisions on:
- Business structure
- Business name
- Registering the business
- Getting an Employer Identification Number if you’ll need one
- Applying for a license
- Creating contracts
- Opening a business bank account
- Choosing your tax year
- Paying your taxes
Some of those don’t need to happen before you’ve got the business set up (particularly the last one), but you should be thinking about them before your first official day. Don’t delay on things like getting business insurance, creating contracts, and picking your tax year. You will make life easier for yourself if you are organized about these things from the start.
To get the ball rolling with legalizing your life coaching business, download our LEGALLY LAUNCH IT Checklist from our resource library!
As coaches, we invest our time and energy into empowering others, helping them reach their goals. But have you thought about protecting your own business and hard work? That’s where business insurance steps in!
Insurance for coaching business owners is a policy you will pay for on a monthly or yearly basis which covers you for accidents and problems that could arise with your clients when you are coaching.
For coaches who value simplicity and straightforwardness, StartSure is a great option. They are committed to keeping insurance simple and offer comprehensive, easy-to-understand policies that coaches can make use of.
One of the challenges of getting insurance for coaching business owners is understanding how a policy actually protects you. StartSure combines expertise with technology to simplify how you get the custom-tailored coverage that you need.
Backed by Arch Insurance, StartSure offers mobile-friendly insurance options, so you have everything you need at your fingertips, and their range of policies makes them suitable for coaches in all the different niches.
Step 10: Create Your Coaching Contract
In the above section, we mentioned creating contracts – and that’s massively important when you’re looking at how to start a life coaching business. You and your clients need a clear, written agreement about your role, the things you can help with, and the expectations on both sides.
Your contract will need to cover, at least, the following clauses:
- Payments; Late Fees
- Intellectual Property
- Limit of Liability
- Disclaimer and Release
These are critical for protecting yourself and your clients, and you may wish to get a lawyer to help you draw up this contract. All clients must have signed a contract with you, and you shouldn’t start coaching until this is in place.
Don’t just use any free online template for this, either. It might seem tempting, especially if you want to set up on a budget, but having an invalid or unclear contract could cost your business far more in the long term.
Legal is one of those things that nobody wants to think about, but it’s incredibly important. If you’re not in the position to hire a lawyer, you can use the free, downloadable coaching contracts from Practice that are lawyer made. You’ll get a US and Canadian version as well as a couple sample ones from real coaches.
➡️ Have more contract questions? Check this out:
Step 11: Get Your First Life Coaching Client
Next on the list of how to start a life coaching business might just be the most exciting step – your first client! This is what all the hard work so far is geared toward, and it can be an exhilarating moment. So, how do you do it? There are a couple of strategies that you might want to employ:
#1 Turn to your personal network
The first is simply reaching out to your existing network. People from all walks of life can benefit from having a life coach, and you may find your first clients within your network or in their networks. Let them know about your business and ask them to recommend you to people they know.
#2 Broadcast your life coaching business online
Alternatively, you can turn to the online space. Social media and other platforms are a great way to advertise yourself and get the word out about your business. It may be tricky to get going but with some clever strategy, you should be able to appeal to your first few clients. This will soon spread!
➡️ Need more help? Check out these resources:
Step 12: Grow Your Life Coaching Business
You’ve come a long way from step one, and there’s only one thing left to do – grow the business! Once you’ve completed all the other parts of how to start a life coaching business, you just need to keep riding on the foundations you have built and expanding.
This will usually involve marketing, and the strategy may vary depending on your clients and where they are active. Getting your name out there, getting reviews, and both making and keeping contacts will be critical.
You’ll likely start to develop a sales strategy organically, but you should also take a proactive approach. Measure what is and isn’t working, and which parts of your advertising are effective. Get rid of any strategies that aren’t.
Remember that as your business grows, you may want to take on staff to help you. Delegating tasks or paying for coaching software that will cut back on your admin can make your business more profitable because it frees you up to do what you love – coach.
➡️ Need more help? Grab our FREE Marketing Research Plan from our resource library >>
Final Thoughts — How To Start a Life Coaching Business
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about starting a life coaching business. We hope this guide was helpful and that you feel confident in making the leap into the world of coaching.
When you have a thorough approach to creating a life coaching business, success becomes so much more accessible. Take your time going through each step of this process, ensure all your bases are covered and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Coaches need coaches, too!
Remember, becoming a successful life coach requires hard work, dedication, and lots of client outreach. But if you’re passionate about helping people achieve their goals and live their best lives, then this career path could be perfect for you!
Before we sign off, we wanted to ask—did this guide help you get started and answer your question about how to start a life coaching business? If so, please let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from our readers and helping out in any way we can. Until next time, stay strong, stay motivated, and go make your lovely impact in the world.