Let’s say someone decides that he wants to help people, that he wants people to get more out of life, and help them in doing so, in other words, someone decides he wants to be a life coach. How do you start? How to become a life coach?
This post tries to tackle this question. Since this subject has many approaches to it, let me just say that this is my view on how to become a life coach. It represents the way I view things, and what I think the basics steps are, in order to become a life coach.
The basic steps to becoming a life coach are very simple and in my opinion, are divided into the following:
- choosing a course or certification
- getting clients and starting the business
- keeping clients and retaining them
- constantly improving your skills
Each step can be broken down into several other steps, but I decided not list all the options here, as there many ways on how to accomplish each step – and each step in itself can be its own post.
Anybody can be a coach
Before I start I want to make one thing clear. I believe that anybody can be a coach, just as anybody can drive a car. This is not say that these are the same things, but what I want to say is that coaching, like many other things, is something that can be taught and learned. It’s a skill, and like any other skills, the person who practices it can be either very professional or less experienced in practicing it. Just as there are good drivers and inexperienced drivers, there are good coaches, and inexperienced coaches. The quality of service depends entirely on the person who renders the service.
So if you want to be a coach, you can become one. Don’t let anybody or anything discourage you from doing so by saying that you don’t have the right qualities. Anybody can be a coach.
1. Choose a course
The first step for becoming a coach is learning how to be one. The coaching profession keeps growing and attracting more publicity. With this publicity, many training courses for coach certification are opening up.
There are two main types of courses. There are online courses and face to face or seminar courses.
The online courses are exactly like their name suggest – online. These are courses where you usually study via video lectures and other written materials which can be downloaded. These courses usually have support staff that can help with any questions or homework, and sometimes have live classes that the student can participate in. These sort of courses can be completed from the comfort of your own home, and they don’t usually require going to some campus or office.
The face to face or seminar courses are courses which are more similar to the traditional courses. These courses are divided into classes, and each class is being taught by an instructor, which is usually a coach himself. These courses are more experiential in nature, and you actually get to learn through experience.
In choosing a course there are many variables to consider. You should decide what are the variables that matter to you the most before choosing a course that is most suited for you. Some of these variables can be cost, the length of the course, the experience of the teachers, convenience in reaching the course, practical training during the course etc.
In any sort of course you choose, it’s important to do a survey of the market before choosing the course that you feel is most suited for you. If you decided you want to take an online course, make sure to check the tips on how to choose the good online courses, from the many courses available online.
My personal preference is to the face to face courses. I believe that since coaching is a skill that involves people, it’s important to learn it from live people, and experience it first hand, in order to convey the messages, and use the tools properly later on when coaching with clients.
The course I am currently taking part in is the co-active coaching course. After careful consideration, I decided that this course is in most harmony with my core values, and would teach me best how to help other people find their purpose and meet their goals
2. get clients
Every business needs clients. Just like any coach needs trainees. After you have received your certification, and hopefully have some coaching hours under your belt during the course, it’s time to work.
There are many people out there who are looking for a life coach. The issue is not finding these people, but the main thing in this step is finding the right people, and attracting them.
There are many ways to attract customers. The main ones (and the ones I use) are online advertising and word of mouth.
Social media networks like facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the likes are perfect for attracting people who want your help. This media is a window for potential clients, and it enables clients to get to know you, the coach, better. Through online advertising, clients can see what you believe in, what tools and methods you use and decide if you are right for them.
Another method I use is Word of Mouth. This method basically says that if you do a good work, people will recommend your services to their friends, family and contacts. This, in my opinion, is by far the most effective way of advertising, because if you receive a good recommendation from a friend on a certain service provider, odds are you would prefer him rather than a provider you found randomly on the web. Just think of yourself for a second. Would you rather hire the services of a coach you already know helped your friend, or would you prefer someone you found on the web, and has a good looking site?
This method also corresponds very well with the next step in becoming a coach
3. Keep clients
After you have found several clients, you need to make sure you keep them. The way to keep clients is simple: deliver results. By results I mean make the client satisfied. In the coaching business, this could be any number of things, depending on the clients’ wants.
Just remember that coaching is a people’s business, and a coach delivers service. The value of the service rendered would determine the results of the client, and the satisfaction (from the result and the service). Make sure to always do the best you can do for your clients, and always go the extra mile for them. You’d be surprised at the good attitude you can create by doing so, and how few people tend to do this for other people. As Roger Staubach said:
There are no traffic jams along the extra mile
Another major plus for always thinking on how to improve your quality of service, and keep your clients, is that the word of mouth that would travel, would be so positive, you would hardly need to spend any time on looking for clients. They would just start coming to you.
4. keep improving
Your business, like everything else in life, is constantly changing. In order to prevent the business slipping out of your fingers, it’s important to keep studying the material. This would allow to reach new insights that would help your clients grow faster and reach their potential.
There are many sources to learn from. I personally love to read books that inspire thoughts and can help others. I also watch videos and take part of the programs of great thinkers and teachers like Zig Ziglar, Bob Proctor, and Earl Nightingale. This also keeps me motivated to do what I do and gives me new ideas.
I hope this overview of how to become a life coach helped understand the basic ideas. the ideas which I brought here are very “high level”, but I believe that they are the backbone of every successful coach.
As always, if you feel like I missed something, or have any personal experiences you want to share, make sure to comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org