So you want to become a life coach?

Just about everyone has expertise in something and can guide someone else on becoming better in that area. As long as you’re one step ahead of someone else, you can reach back and help that person.

Life coaching is basically a process that helps people improve their lives. Many people get into life coaching because they overcame something and would like to help others survive the struggles they’ve been through or avoid them altogether.

To get the best results, join a credible coaching programme for the right kind of training. Life coaching is a profession like any other, so it’s important to invest in getting the necessary skills. Training can take six months to a year, depending on the programme and skills imparted.

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Here are seven steps to help you get started.

What you’ll need:

1. Get relevant training and register your business

To register a life coaching business, you’ll need professional certificates that prove you’re competent to teach others. You’ll also need to register your company to legitimise your operation.

2. Identify your niche

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Life coaching is a very wide field, so you need to identify the specific area you’ll focus on. Some of the possible niches are: fitness, nutrition and lifestyle, business, relationships, personal finance and parenting, where you can focus on specific age brackets, such as children up to age three, pre-teens or teenagers.
Focus is very important if you want to be effective in your coaching business. Don’t spread yourself too thin. The needs of various categories of people are different, and you’ll find that focus improves your ability to specialise.

3. Give people tasters

Life coaching is a business that’s based on trust, so put out free content and let people sample what you have on offer. Start a blog or a YouTube channel, send out a regular e-newsletter or hold free online or live events. Few people will sign up for life coaching simply because they visited a website and there was a name and a photo of the life coach there. People will either resonate with you and the way you handle issues or they won’t.
You’re the product, so put out an authentic version of yourself before your potential audience. A life coach can’t afford to be fake. People have to know you if they can trust you enough to do business with you.

4. Structure your programme

You may have passion and expertise in helping people make their lives better, but success loves structure. You must have a framework, system or curriculum that you use to guide people. Provide a step-by-step process for your programme.

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5. Test your programme

You can only build a successful life coaching business if your system produces results. This can only be proven if you actually take some people through the programme and evaluate the outcome. You’ll need some volunteers to serve as the ‘guinea pigs’ of your coaching programme. You can offer to coach them for free in exchange for their honest feedback so that you know what’s working, what’s not and what needs to be improved.

6. Roll out your programme

Life coaching is an art, which means that the more experienced one is in coaching, the more competent they become. Self-confidence is critical for success. When you get started as a life coach, charge a modest fee. Don’t expect to charge what those who’ve been in the field for decades’ charge.

7. Improve your programme and raise your fees

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Once you’ve gained confidence, grown your reputation as a life coach and have a track record, consider refining your programme, charging what your services are worth and focusing on the right clientele. 
As a life coach you have to commit to a journey of continuous learning. You have to continually grow and evolve in line with changes in technology, the economy, the education system and emerging societal challenges. 

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