How To Start A Life Coaching Business
So, what's the first step to building a successful and sustainable life coaching business?
Choose your “who” and your “what.”
You need to know who you want to work with – your ideal clients – and what you want to work on – your niche or area of expertise.
When you do this, you’ll instantly have an edge over other coaches who don’t know these things and here’s why…
Specialists win over generalists. Every. Single. Time.
Life coaching is a massive field and if you offer services as a general “life coach,” you’ll disappear into a sea of sameness.
Your audience won’t pay any attention to you and what you have to offer because they won’t have a clue about what you can do for them and the results they can expect.
Being "a life coach" won't only make it hard to position yourself in a competitive market, but it will be harder for your ideal clients to find you and you'll be working extra hard to reach out to clients every single time which will be a challenge for scaling your business and making it sustainable.
These issues disappear just like that when you decide on your ideal client and focus on a specific area of expertise or niche.
Why? Because doing both of these things is like putting out a giant welcome mat for people to work with you.
When you include your expertise and ideal client persona in your messaging and marketing, everything becomes crystal clear.
Here’s an example:
See how that works?
The more specific and clear you are, the easier it is to:
Find and approach the right clients
Communicate your message effectively
Position yourself as an expert in that niche
Have a proven methodology that creates specific results
Enroll clients more easily and consistently
Your who and your what are the first steps – and the most important ones – in your journey to build a successful life coaching business that continues to grow and thrive.
Choose your “who” and your “what” now.
Don’t look at the clock for this one. Allow yourself to take as much time as you need as finding your niche and your audience is an intensely personal and deep exercise that can take a while. But it’s time worth investing!
Here are key questions to get you started:
What do I have life experience or expertise in?
What do I love talking about and learning about?
Who do I understand on a deep level? Helpful hint: this is often someone you know or it could even be a younger version of yourself. Eg: career women, divorced dads, empty nesters, etc.
Who do I enjoy helping?
Who do I NOT want to work with? Helpful hint: knowing who you don’t want to work with will give you clarity on who you do want to work with.
Mapping Out Your Life Coaching Business
Businesses need a clear path to grow and thrive.
A life coaching business or practice is no different.
If you’ve never been to business school or if this is your first time as an entrepreneur, creating a map for your life coaching business may sound like a difficult or complicated task.
You might even think it’s unnecessary or unimportant.
Wrong on both counts.
Creating a map in the early days of your business will get you to think about the details that will set you up for success.
Keep in mind…
Your map is not carved in stone.
You might have to make small - or even big - changes along the way.
Unpredictable shifts in the coaching industry, an economic upturn or downturn, and other unexpected curve balls are part of being an entrepreneur and a life coach…
But even if you have to update your map, it can still work as a tool that will give you a sense of confidence as you navigate the unchartered waters of setting up a successful life coaching business.
Your map will consistently point you to your North Star – the dream business you want to build.
So, what goes into your map?
A good map includes 5 key areas:
Don’t skip this step.
Countless coaches start with massive enthusiasm and excitement thinking they can grow their business “on the fly.” But it’s why they fail before they have a chance to celebrate their 1st anniversary in business as a life coach.
It’s time to start building a framework to map out your business. Use the following questions to guide you. Don’t rush through this activity. Allow yourself to take as much time as you need.
What is the purpose of your work as a life coach?
Why do you do what you do?
What is the life-changing transformation you want to create for your clients?
How would you like to make a difference in the world?
3. Sales and Marketing
How do you plan to get the word out about your life coaching business? (eg; social media, networking events...)
How can you learn to master sales and selling, and where can you learn more about marketing? (eg: attend trainings, take an online course...)
What are your funding sources (eg; investment from friends and family; a 9-to-5 job)?
What are the legal and tax requirements that you need to fulfill? How much do they cost?
How much can you invest in other expenses such as a website and business cards?
How many 1:1 coaching sessions do you want to offer each month?
Do you want to create group coaching programs, a membership site or retreats?
Are you planning to create online courses?
5. Pricing and Income Goals
What is your dream monthly and annual income?
What is the monthly and annual income that you need (the number that covers your basic needs and leaves you a little extra to play with)?
What is the dream price point you’d love to charge for 1:1 sessions in the future and/or any other offers and packages that you may have?
What’s a price point that feels comfortable for your 1:1 sessions and other offers right now?
Helpful hint: charge just a little more than this “comfortable” number – it’s good to stretch out of your comfort zone.
What would need to happen to make you feel good about increasing your prices in the next few months?
How To Create A Coaching Business Plan
The fastest, smartest way to become a successful, profitable coach is to create a strategic path for your practice with an awesome coaching business plan.
With an awesome business plan in place, you'll be able to direct your energy to the tasks, projects, ideas, opportunities that will work to grow a thriving, sustainable coaching business that brings you satisfaction and a reliable income.
Check out our free guidebook for the detailed, step-by-step framework to create your coaching business plan.