Becoming a Life Coach
Useful tips to read before you start your professional journey
Maybe you have a desire for helping people overcoming the obstacles you have worked so hard to overcome. Or perhaps you have a passion for making things happen in life, or you’d like to give meaning to what you do. Maybe you want to live a more flexible lifestyle and you want to be in charge of your own business. Whatever pulls you to the coaching profession, make sure you take your time to clarify it.
1. Clarify what moves you to become a coach
Maybe you have a desire for helping people overcoming the obstacles you have worked so hard to overcome. Or perhaps you have a passion for making things happen in life, or you’d like to give meaning to what you do. Maybe you want to live a more flexible lifestyle and you want to be in charge of your own business. Whatever pulls you to the coaching profession, make sure you take your time to clarify it. You can always … work with a coach to uncover it! We actually encourage those who are willing to embark in some coach training, to be the first to test the amazing benefits of coaching.
It is important that you reflect on what drives you to become a coach because this has an important impact on what type of training you will select. Our suggestion is to spend some time determining what is important to you.
What is it that brings you to coaching? What do you expect to get out of it?
What type of coach do you want to be?
What niches are you interested in?
2. Search for the right training program for you
When you decide to become a coach and you are ready to enroll in a Coach Training Program, make sure you choose an program that is aligned with and accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
International Coaching Federation is the largest leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.
ICF developed the coaching Core Competencies as the gold standard of coaching, plus a strong Code of Ethics that protects both coaches and clients. It offers the most globally recognized, independent credentialing program for coach practitioners.
3. What do you need to consider when you choose a training program?
All training programs are different. What do you need to consider to choose wisely and to accordingly to your needs and expectations?
Remember that length of the program, teaching mode, configuration of the classes, can all be different in the programs.
Be aware of what is important to you in your training, and prioritize those factors to help you decide which program might best fit into your schedule and learning mode.
For instance, does the program offer one to one training? Or training in groups?
About the Class Configuration: consider how the classes will be held.
– number of students in each class
– how many trainers per student
– how the class is presented: lecture? experiential?
– what technology you will need to access classes and eventually recordings
– what materials and books are needed
About Timing and Length: look into timing factors to see how it fits in your schedule.
How are the classes given:
– several full days in a row, once a month, once a week, whenever the student wants?
– how long is each class: a full day, 1 hour, etc.?
– how long does it take to graduate? Some ACTPs might take 6 months, others a full 2 or 3 years.
About Training Mode, you can have:
– online training via web meetings
– the trainer and student are both present during the training, with frequent give and take
– or training can be recorded
You might have
– in person and real time training
– or you can have a blend of virtual and in-person training.
And again about Exposure/Diversity: find out how the program addresses diversity, culture, different approaches to life and learning… if the program is a global one, active in different countries around the world.
Last but not least, consider the Cost:
Make sure you choose the best program that fits into your budget:
– explore what financing options are available
– does the program offer tuition assistance
Feel free to ask! Always take your time to explore because you are investing in your Self, in your activity, in your future and especially your are creating the premises to build your own profession.
4. What do you need to know about being in business
Beyond the life coaching skill set that you’ll learn in the training program you choose, there are a number of areas related to professional development in which you will need to become a competent professional coach.
Make sure that the training program that you choose has a module on The Business of Coaching, so that you can acquire the needed information and the awareness about what is required to start up your coaching business and thrive as a coach.
When setting up your coaching business you need to keep in mind that there are a lot of different aspect to consider to begin:
- how to register your business in your country
- creating a website with the useful and appropriate content to meet your clients’ needs
- shaping and describing the coaching program that you are going to offer
- going from ‘consumer’ to ‘creator’ on Social Media and opening your business social media pages
- creating a first list of prospect clients to contact and offer your services
- being clear on how much and how long do you want to work (in a week, in a month, in a year)
- being comfortable in the unknown, which means be ready to deal with the unexpected by finding solution and not focus on problems.
5. Get a Professional Coaching Certification
According to the ICF (International Coaching Federation, the largest coaching organization in the world), 89% of coach practitioners receive training that was accredited or approved by a professional coaching organization.
While you are in a training program to become a certified life coach, it can certainly be helpful to start planning how to launch your business. That is why we suggest that you choose a school that gives you the training and shares with you the expertise needed to start up your new coaching activity. Our school offers to our members students effective training on how to use Social Media for your coaching activity, how to set up your webpage and how to manage the needed SEO activities to be seen in the web and in the coaching world.
We also allow our students to become aware that when you’re a certified coach with an ICF program, you’re bound by the ICF ethical guidelines. Our training is focused on that and on how to create your ethical approach to marketing that is fully aligned with the ICF requirements and Code of Ethic.
Before you enroll in a training program, make sure that the course is aligned and accredited by an association like the International Coach Federation, which sets industry standards for ethical coaching.
During your life coach training with our EpiCoaching Academy you learn the fundamentals of professional coaching. You’ll also learn the business of becoming a life coach and ethical aspects defined by the ICF, that you may need to be aware of in order to be successful in your practice. Becoming a certified professional coach can be an intense process, a transformational journey that allows you to access your best talents and let them shine in your life and in your profession.
You need to fulfill a certain amount of hours of training before you can earn your certification. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your intentions and motivation are clear and grounded before you start your journey.
6. Branding, marketing, selling and administration
What kind of coach do you want to be? Who are your ideal clients? How do you want to be seen and found by your ideal clients?
Effectively advertising and promoting your coaching business is a vital, on-going task. You may be a wonderful and skilled certified coach, but if no one knows about you, all those coaching talents and resources will be wasted.
Once you’ve promoted your professional coach services and the inquiries from people are coming in, you’re not finished yet. When paying clients are coming in, then you have a business to manage.
You need to be prepared to take care of a set of tasks (by developing some required skills or outsource them) that might generally include:
- maintaining your website
- managing the administrative and billing tasks
- keeping your calendar up-to-date
- managing communications with clients
- dedicating enough time to communicate with prospect clients (this is an important part of your activity!)
7. Choose how you want to work
While you learn how to become a life coach, you will also start your process to identify and refine your approach to working with clients. You can choose! You are crafting your own business and your own career, so as a coach you will be trained to decide what types of services you are willing to offer, what makes you feel satisfied in your business and what type of entrepreneur do you want to become.
When you see yourself working with your clients on their personal life, on their career, or business, or on a specific goal, make sure you are clear on what are your priorities.
Coaching is about awareness and about acting to promote change and transform what you are doing. So make sure that you want to work with your clients long enough to allow them to get a meaningful change.
Make sure you are willing to spend enough time talking for free with people before they sign up and before they start their coaching journey with you, so that you make sure they’re clear about what coaching is and what is not , and that they are looking for a coach and not some other professional.
8. Commit to an ongoing learning process
With any new business, it takes some time to manifest what you want and succeed. Your coaching business will be no different.
You need to consider how to transition into your new career in a sustainable way, in a way that allows you to be serene, to support yourself economically during the time you will learn your new skills, during the period when you will create your clients’ relationships.
We encourage all new coaches in training to keep in mind that:
- It takes time to get good at marketing and selling life coaching
- If you’re working a full or part-time job during the transition, you need to manage your energy and the journey might slow down
- Most worthwhile and lasting results might be harder and take longer than you expect.
It is wise to consider a time frame of 1 to 2 years before you can live off of your new coaching business income.
Coaching is nowadays a self-regulated profession. It is easy to believe false claims, or deliberately misleading messages and ads that create dangerous expectations. Be wise, select a good training program, with ICF credentialed Trainers and Mentors, and take one step at a time.
You can thrive and become the unique professional coach that your clients are already waiting to meet!
9. Plan your transition into your new career
Life coaches – professional coaches in general – are required by ICF to engage in an ongoing learning and developing process to enhance their skills and maintain a ‘coaching mindset’.
As a professional coach, after your certification, you should consider to keep on seeking out learning and practice opportunities to ensure that you deliver the best service possible to your clients.
The amount of continuing education can vary in relation to your coaching focus area, but all life coaches should keep on attending workshops, webinars and also retreats that can contribute to sustain their skills and expertise.
The best way to find out about continuing education opportunities is to be active in the life coach community.
ICF offers a great number of opportunities of coach training and coach practice.
Remember that when you will apply for an ICF credential, you will need 40 CCEUs (40 hours of credits approved by ICF) in 3 years, in order to renew and maintain your credential.
If you are serious about becoming a life coach, make sure that you get the following from a training program:
. regular live (in-person or virtual) access to a qualified trainer and mentor
. personalized feedback and support
. training that is aligned with the ICF Standard and its practical application
. notions on how to set up and run a life coaching business
Develop your skills
In order to find the right course that allows you to develop the right skills and thrive, make you that the school you choose offers:
. trainers with at least the PCC credential and mentors in the ICF Mentor Registry
. a vibrant community of peers to practice and to share with
. access to various resources and different type of support for your growth, like videos, sessions demonstrations, articles, regular webinars
. flexible payment options and clarity on any other fee
. certificate of completion
Learn the ICF Standards of professional coaching through a cutting-edge approach that allows you to thrive in the new emerging world.
Learn the techniques to access your resources and to develop your talents to thrive in your coaching business by finding your voice and your niche.