If you’re interested in becoming a life coach, then the chances are that you have a passion for helping others to succeed. But you will also need a number of internal ingredients to help yourself succeed in this exciting and demanding profession.
In this tutorial we will go over the steps that you will need to take in order to prepare yourself to launch a successful life coaching practice. This process is going to take a little bit of time and money, and that’s why we’re going to cover some ways that you can begin to build up some marketing momentum for yourself and even begin to make some good money before you’ve completed your life coach training.
The first step in becoming a life coach is getting your own mental state aligned with your goals.
A life coach’s primary purpose is to help his or her clients to clarify and then achieve their goals. You’re going to have a lot of difficulty accomplishing either of those tasks if you feel uncertain and ambivalent about the way your own life is going and the choices that you’ve made. I’ve chosen to address this issue first because it is one that you need to start thinking about right at the outset of your life coaching adventure, and it is something that you’ll need to continue chewing on all the way through to the end. It is a process of continuously refining your own ideals, amplifying your self-image, and steadily increasing your level of motivation. The most effective way that I know of to make this happen for yourself is to attend an Anthony Robbins live workshop.
There are two major benefits to doing this. The first is that Tony Robbins is really good at making you feel good. You will be able to make pretty dramatic progress toward the important goals I’ve just mentioned. You’ll really accelerate the process of clarifying your goals and motivations, and this will help you shape your life coaching career into something that will actually satisfy you once you’ve achieved it. Too often, people jump in head first to a new career, without taking the time to assess the nuances of the industry. There isn’t just a single category of “life coaching.” There are a thousand different ways that you can approach this field: you can focus on
- business and management coaching
- health coaching
- motivational coaching
- goal-setting and career coaching
- focus and concentration or ADHD coaching
- relationship coaching
- personal coaching
- conflict coaching
- transformational or spiritual coaching
- …and the list just goes on and on.
Some of those are going to be a better fit for you than others, and you may not know it until you’ve done some very careful reflection and soul searching. And it may be for reasons that you really haven’t thought of yet. And that’s the first reason why I recommend that you attend a Tony Robbins seminar.
The second reason is that Anthony Robbins is a tremendously effective coach! You can hardly imagine how much it is going to benefit you to have a really solid role model like Anthony Robbins early on in your career. Don’t underestimate how intimidating it is going to be the first few times you sit across from a client. During those times, you’re going to be really grateful to have a mental representation of an extremely powerful figure like Tony Robbins that you can emulate until you have gained your bearing enough to begin to develop your own unique style of coaching. Tony Robbins will show you things experientially that you will later begin to understand as you study them academically.
The next step is getting formally educated and becoming a certified life coach.
Life coaching is not currently regulated by the professional regulation and licensing bodies in the United States. This can make it confusing for a beginner to understand what parts of the life coach certification process are really necessary, and why.
There are two basic routes you can take to becoming a life coach:
- Get a Master’s Degree In Counseling. This option is a good one, and you will gain a lot of practical and theoretical experience in how to consult with people one-on-one in order to improve their lives. There are, however, two major downsides to this strategy. First, counseling and life coaching are related, but not synonymous. Your education and clinical training as a counselor will prepare you more to remediate problems in peoples lives than to identify and enhance what is already working for someone. This means that you’ll likely need to go back for a life coaching certificate anyway once you’ve completed your degree. The second disadvantage to getting an MA in counseling degree in order to become a life coach is the expense. You will pay $50,000 at a bare minimum for a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. For many people, that’s simply not realistic, especially for a degree that isn’t precisely related to the career you’re aiming for.
- Get certified as a life coach. This is the course of action that is most prudent for the average person wanting to become a life coach. In most cases, you will have already had a variety of powerful life experiences which have led you to decide on becoming a life coach in the first place, and those experiences will help you make the most out of this type of curriculum.
Make sure you get your certification from an organization that has full accreditation from all the major certifying bodies for professional life coaches, including the International Coach Federation, The International Association of Coaching, and the Association of Coach Training Organizations. There are plenty of fly-by-night coach training programs out there that will gladly take your money in exchange for a bunch of motivational speaking hokum, and because you’re not required to have a license (for now), they’re able to get away with it. Stick with a tried-and-true coach certification program from a well-established institute such as the Spencer Institute and you’ll know you have the proven skills to actually help your clients succeed. Many reputable courses are also extremely affordable, particularly when compared with a clinical Master’s degree program.
Once you have your life coaching certification, your next step is to market your services.
Most successful life coaches work either in private practice, or in partnership with another coach whom they like and respect. In some cases, you may find an opportunity to work in an established coaching practice. If this occurs, then I highly recommend that you take the opportunity. You will benefit from having a mentor who has already gone through the necessary steps to build up a practice, and you will also gain experience in the actual practice of coaching much more quickly than if you have to go it alone.
However, most new life coaches are not afforded the opportunity to apprentice under an experienced professional life coach, and are forced to learn the marketing aspects of this business for themselves. By the time you have completed your certification program, you will have had guidance in developing a clear set of goals for your practice, as well as strategies to attract new clients. The methods that you use to market yourself and your services will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Your area of expertise within the field of life coaching
- Your prior experiences and unique strengths
- Your target demographic
One of the best ways to build up your client list is to offer informational products that lead up to the utilization of your services. Because if you think about the type of commitment that you’re asking someone to make when they begin life coaching sessions with you, you’ll understand why they would likely have some reservations–particularly when you are new to the field and aren’t getting many referrals through word-of-mouth.
To counteract this, all you need to do is to identify the primary motivations of your target clients. What is it that they would hope to gain from life coaching session with you?
Once you know this, you can conceptualize an entire value ladder, which is a range of products and services that allow clients to gradually become more involved with you and trusting of what you have to offer. For example, the first time you ever speak to someone, you might offer to add them to a free newsletter that will provide them with tips on achieving their goals. Or, you could offer them a special report on the subject that provides the type of insights that you would be able to give them in a coaching session. The second time, you could offer them an audio or video program, or a chance to attend a lecture you’re giving.
Don’t be afraid of giving away too much information; people will always be willing to pay to hear you personally repeat the exact same information that they read for free. The same way we’re willing to pay more for an audiobook than for a printed book, and we’re willing to pay more still to hear that same author give a lecture on the same topic. What you’re doing by giving information away is building trust. Once a potential client trusts you enough to believe that you can help them to succeed, then they will become an actual client.
The problem with developing such a range of products is that it costs a lot of time and money to do. Writing books and newsletters and reports is usually not the first thing anyone wants to do after they get their life coach certification. The simplest solution to this problem is to use royalty free coaching products. These are information products–newsletters, books, and pamphlets–that were already developed by a successful life coach. When you buy these products, you can modify them any way you want, put your own name on them, and use them as if you had created them yourself from scratch. Doing this can save you thousands of hours and dramatically increase the speed with which you are able to recruit new clients.
One of the greatest things about these royalty free products is that you don’t have to give them all away. In fact, it’s better if you don’t because you are building up the expectation in your clients’ mind that you are delivering increasing value to them. People never value things they get for free as much as the things they pay for. When you buy the royalty-free coaching products, you get a full range of them so that you can start out with simple free reports or newsletters, and then step up to selling actual books. These are great books by an experienced life coach, so you know they’re going to build up the client’s trust in what you have to offer. And on top of that you get to sell them for whatever price you think the market will bear. You keep all the profits. This is really one of the best ways for a new life coach to get started, and it’s something that just wasn’t available a few years ago. It really enhances the process of building up a client base, especially early on.
- The first step on your path to becoming a life coach is to attend a Tony Robbins coaching workshop to help you clarify your personal goals and get a good example of effective coaching
- Next, enroll in life coaching certification classes so that you can learn the theory and practice of life coaching, earn your credential for practicing, and build relationships with established coaches who can mentor you.
- Finally, begin to market your practice by outlining a value ladder that you will use to encourage new clients to use your services. Royalty free coaching products are highly recommended for this purpose.