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13 Top Life Coaching Business Models

Categorized as Coaching Business
FEATURED 13 Top Life Coaching Business Models

What type of business model is right for you as a life coach? It can be tough to decide, especially when there are so many different options out there. After all, you want to ensure that you are providing the best possible service to your clients, while also growing your business in a sustainable way. 

Here’s the good news: finding life coaching business models that are aligned with you and your coaching business doesn’t have to be a struggle, we’ve got you covered.

Before we go any further, we’re Cass + Tee — the creators of Lovely Impact, and we’ve been helping coaches succeed for years, as well as being coaches ourselves! If there’s anyone who understands all the research & experimentation it takes to land a successful business model, it’s us.

As a life coach, you may be wondering how to create a business model that works for you. There are many different ways to approach this, and what we’ve found is that the best way to find what works for you is to explore your options.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top 13 business models used by life coaches, so you can get an idea of what might work best for you. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of each model, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. 

Are you ready to learn more? Let’s dive right in!

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What is a life coaching business model?

If you want to set yourself up as a great life coach, you’re going to need a life coach business model – something that will guide you on your way to making profits as a coach. There are many business models out there to pick from, but you need to make sure you’ve got one in mind so you have a clear strategy to help you move forward.

A lot of coaches take their approach to coaching casually, and while that’s understandable, it isn’t the best way to operate. You need to take a business-like approach to at least some aspects of coaching, so let’s look at what this means.

Your life coaching business model should outline your path to success. It wants to include things like your main services, your target audience, and the expenses you’ll need to cover. Your model is probably going to evolve over time, but this guide is your best friend in determining how you operate and structure your business.

Your coaching business may not be the same as other businesses, but you should still use the right terminology to describe what you’re doing and what approach you will take.

Why Choosing Your Life Coaching Business Model Is Important?

Your business model affects everything about how you operate and organize yourself, so having it in place is key to building a strategic approach. Without a life coaching business model, you’re at risk of finding yourself scattered and disorganized.

This model will help you out with every part of running the business, including things like setting prices, designing your website, and marketing yourself. 

A private 1-on-1 coaching model is so different from something like a mastermind coaching model or a partnership model, you absolutely need to nail this down before you start if you want to develop a coherent and cohesive approach.

13 Types of Life Coaching Business Models

There are quite a few different business model options available for coaches, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a look at some of the most popular business models used and loved by life coaches.

1. Private 1-on-1 Coaching Model

This is the most common kind of life coaching business model, and it’s often where most coaches start out, because it’s a straightforward approach. It involves offering 1-on-1 coaching sessions to your clients, either face to face or online.

This is a great place to start, once you get the hang of one-on-one coaching, you might want to expand into other business models. It’s also easy to advertise, simple to plan for, and doesn’t require you to coordinate multiple members or large spaces.

2. Membership Model

If you’ve mastered one-on-one coaching, you may consider moving to a membership model. This involves monthly memberships being paid to you and usually offers your clients access to group coaching sessions, rather than individual sessions.

This is a great model once you have started making a name for yourself, but it does require more coordination and organization skills, as well as confidence in presenting to and handling a large group.

3. Partnership Model

Once you have identified your audience, it might occur to you that this aligns well with the audience of other businesses you are familiar with – and this can result in choosing a partnership model. As an example, if you’re a business coach, you might find that a business attorney is a perfect companion for your new model.

This allows you to offer greater value to your clients and can be a great way to get new business, as well as to send business to your partner.

4. Retreat Business Model

When it comes to coaching, in-person retreats are pretty popular. If you can coach clients as a group, you might want to try it. In most cases, you’ll host retreats that last for several days at a desirable location, at least a few times per year.

Again, you’ll need a higher level of skills for this life coaching business model, because it requires more coordination and organization.

5. Group Coaching Model

This model is similar to 1-on-1 coaching, but it is run with groups of people, rather than individuals. It can be coordinated online or in-person, but you’ll need to be able to tailor your material to suit a more general audience, rather than one individual.

This sort of model lets you take advantage of economies of scale, and if you can do it online, you can access audiences everywhere.

6. Mastermind Coaching Model

If you love getting your clients to support each other, as well as supporting them, a mastermind coaching model is definitely the way to go. You’ll still be providing an invaluable service by coordinating and facilitating this sort of arrangement, but your clients will be aiding each other in solving problems and achieving common goals.

This life coach business model isn’t an easy one – you’ll still need to do a lot of work to make it succeed, and you’ll have to have some pretty amazing people skills to keep everything running smoothly.

7. Motivational Speaking Business Model

Do you love addressing an audience? This business model involves attending venues and being paid to speak to a large number of people on a motivational topic. It can be great for coaches who are passionate and eloquent, but it involves very different skills from 1-on-1 coaching.

You will often be paid by the venue, rather than individuals, so you’ll need to market yourself in a different way for this model.

8. Coaching Book Business Model

If you are more of a writer than a speaker, creating a book that encapsulates your knowledge might be a better way to go. This model involves writing books for clients to purchase and work through on their own.

Although you may be able to do that along with other methods of coaching, you should still have a separate business model so that everything stays organized and you are applying the correct methods for the space you’re in.

9. Digital Product Business Model

If you’d rather be releasing products online and targeting clients in the online space, a digital approach may be the life coaching business model you need. You can create all kinds of resources, but often you’ll be making e-books or courses. 

Your strategy will need to change to ensure you’re building up an online presence and targeting the right audience for the digital products you intend to offer.

10. Corporate Coaching Contract Business Model

If you’d rather work with HR departments and businesses, try a corporate coaching business model. You’ll usually be contracted by businesses that want you to help their employees build up key skills.

This is a great way to have a captive, focused audience with a very clear goal in mind. You won’t need to do the individual marketing, but you will have to sell yourself to the businesses!

11. Coaching Blogging Business Model

If you’re a blogger, this is an obvious choice, but you will need a good grasp of how to monetize a blog and engage your audience. The majority of your income will come from advertising and affiliations, rather than people using the information on your blog.

It’s best to learn some SEO and plan your content carefully before starting this sort of model, or you’ll end up chasing success as a life coach rather than attaining it.

➡️  Need more inspo? Read our in-depth article on SEO for coaches >>

12. Coach Influencer Business Model

Having a large online audience is valuable, and if you think you’ve got what it takes to be an influencer, this is definitely a model to try. As a social media influencer, you’ll use your influence to sell your services or secure deals with large brands.

The online space is crowded, so you’ll need to be able to clearly differentiate between your offering and the offerings of others for this strategy to succeed. This usually looks like bringing your true authentic self to your online platform, which is often easier said than done.

13. Thought Leadership Business Model

If you’d rather be operating in a more professional space than that offered by TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, this might be the option for you. LinkedIn is a space for experts and respected, established coaches, and it’s a great place to build your credibility with both clients and fellow coaches.

You’ll need to tailor your work to suit the context and make sure you’re presenting yourself professionally to succeed with this method.

➡️  Need more inspo? Check out our article on how to find coaching leads on LinkedIn >>

Final Thoughts – Life Coaching Business Models

So, what business model should you use as a life coach? As you read above, it really depends on your personality and the type of coaching you want to do. We hope this information was helpful and gave you a better understanding of the different options available to you.

Finding a model that aligns with your strengths and interests, and that you feel comfortable with, can take some exploration. If you’re just starting out, we recommend trying out a few different models until you find one that feels right for you. 

13 Top Life Coaching Business Models - Money Making Offers Workbook

Do you want to go even deeper into your options of life coaching business models? Check out the Money-Making Offers Workbook for Coaches! Using our comprehensive coaching workbook, you will learn how to pick, map out, and sell new irresistible money-making offers, so you can achieve your business goals and attract aligned coaching clients.

➡️  Head here to grab your digital copy of the Money-Making Offers Workbook for Coaches >>

If you’ve already done your share of exploring in the world of life coaching, we’d love to know – what’s your favorite business model? Share with us in the comments!

About The Author

Co-Founder at Lovely Impact | Website

Hey! I’m Cass, a brand coach and the Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer at Lovely Impact, a website template shop for coaches. I help coaches elevate their businesses with beautiful branding and websites. Here on our blog, my content focuses on branding, web design, and storytelling.

Co-Founder + CMO at Lovely Impact | Website

Hey! I’m Tee, a brand and marketing coach and the Co-Founder & CMO at Lovely Impact, a website template shop for coaches. I help coaches grow their coaching businesses digitally. Here on our blog, my content focuses on web design, marketing, business, and social media strategy.

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