This is an incredibly broad field, encompassing everything from teaching people how to get a specific outcome in a specific niche, to general life coaching and even executive coaching.
Let’s talk about Life Coaches vs Executive Coaches: Both use coaching techniques to motivate their clients to reach specific objectives, usually through learning, making life changes and instilling new, helpful habits.
Life coaches may help with work-related goals as well as goals in all areas of life, both personal and professional. Executive coaches, however, specifically concentrate on career and employment related goals for their clients. A life coach should at least have a high school diploma or GED, and the ability to help others reach their goals. Life coaches’ median salary for 2016 was $46,099, with a projected job growth of 8 to 13%.
But the fact is, life coaches who do well make considerably more – achieving six figures within 2 to 3 years. As with anything else, the variables are too great to predict how much you might make. If you prefer to be an executive coach, your earning potential is higher. The median salary for 2016 was $95,000, with an expected growth of 13% over the next ten years. Executive coaches generally have Master’s degrees, but this is not a requirement.
Life coaches and executive coaches meet with their clients – either in person or via the internet or phone – and help their clients identify specific goals to reach and problems to resolve. Coaches usually develop action plans specific for each client, designed to promote the success of their client. Plan on spending time with each client once per week or so, until the client feels they can go it alone. As a coach, your clients might be with you for several weeks or several months, and occasionally they will continue to call on you periodically for years to come.
As a life coach, you will likely work on a wide range of personal or workplace goals with your client. Or as an executive coach, you will likely focus on working with managers and executives and other employees in their workplace environment. To get started as a coach you will likely want to have a website showcasing your experience and success, as well as a way of reaching potential clients.
Job responsibilities of a life coach include:
- Assessing their client’s current situation
- Developing a plan
- Identifying activities that can lead to goal achievement
- Meeting with clients
- Monitoring their clients’ progress
Job responsibilities of an executive coach include:
- Meeting with clients
- Identifying desired outcomes for each client
- Clarifying obstacles
- Promoting willingness to learn
- Helping clients embrace philosophical changes
Sell More than Coaching
You only have so many hours in the day, which means you can only actively coach a certain number of clients. But if you have information products of your own, or even affiliate products you can recommend, then you can offer these to your clients. It helps them to get results faster, and it increases your bottom line.
Realize that Not Everyone is Coachable
Just because they need you doesn’t mean you want to be their coach. When you run into someone who wants a new life but won’t listen to anything you say or put in the work to change, don’t waste your time. They will eventually get mad at you because they’re not getting results and may even ask for a refund.
This is why it’s best to screen potential clients and let them know up front what you expect from them. You’re not a fairy godmother – you don’t wave a wand and change their life. You’re a coach, and you expect them to put in the time and effort to make the changes they want and need.
New coaches don’t see the need for contracts until one side or the other has a problem with expectations. You thought they wanted to lose 30 pounds, and they thought you were going to turn them into a movie star? Whoops. Clearly state rules and expectations within the contract at the very beginning so there are no misunderstandings.
Do Not Chase Clients
If they don’t show up for an appointment, don’t chase them down. They are still paying for the appointment (as specified in the contract) so a simple email or text is enough. Anything more and you look desperate. Your clients are adults – treat them as such.
Create a questionnaire for potential new clients so you can understand their desires and they can get clear on what they want to accomplish.
Offer Both Private and Group Coaching
Not everyone can afford to hire you one-on-one, so offer group coaching in addition to private coaching. This increases your income as well as broadening your client-base. Some of those group coaching clients will eventually become private coaching clients as well.
You’re Not the Right Coach for Everyone
And that’s okay. When you first speak to a potential client, if it doesn’t seem like a good fit, have the sense to not sign them up as a client. It will save you and them headaches down the road.
Coach for Free to Get Experience
If you have no prior coaching experience, offer free coaching services to several people for free. Once they are achieving results, ask them to do a video testimonial for you to help you build your reputation and get paying clients.