life coachingAre you good at thinking on your feet? Do your friends seek you out for advice? Do others look to you for approval? If you’ve answered yes to one of more of these questions, you probably have the intrinsic skills to become a successful online life coach.

What is a life coach? A life coach is a bit like a motivational speaker mixed with an athletic coach, except a life coach helps people work through everyday issues. A life coach helps people work out their weaknesses, develop their strengths and generally live a fuller, more enjoyable life. A life coach could be called a personal trainer in the game of life.

A life coach can help people to expand their quality of life in a general sense. However, some life coaches specialize in a specific growth area. If you happen to be educated or gifted in a particular area, you might choose to be a specialty life coach. Some examples of this include:

  • Helping the unemployed find work. This type of life coach might help with resume preparation, teach a client good interpersonal skills for cold calls and job interviews, help clients with personal presentation (professional wardrobe, manners, etc.), teach people how to job hunt (via Internet, newspaper, employment agencies, recruiting firms, etc.) and anything else related to getting a job.
  • Helping people who are trying to overcome addictions. This might include teaching life skills, helping clients break out of relationships and friend groups that enable their addictions, offering encouragement and motivation (“pep talks”), helping the client find support services in his/her community for dealing with addictions and much more.
  • Helping people who are performers or who are faced with delivering a public speech to develop an aptitude for performing even if they aren’t natural performers. This type of life coach often works with professional and amateur entertainers (actors, musicians, speakers). They may also work with other professionals who, because of their occupations, may find themselves having to give public speeches, addresses or lectures from time to time.
  • Helping people become assertive and set personal and professional boundaries. Some people realize that they tend to be “pushovers” but don’t know how to break this habit. A life coach in this kind of case would help the client develop assertiveness and discover that it’s okay and even healthy to say “no” often. A life coach may work with the client on developing self-awareness, self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem without having to look to other people for approval.

These are just a few examples. There are literally dozens of ways to specialize and market yourself as a life coach. Chances are good that if you have a particular skill that there are people out there who are longing to develop that skill and will pay good money for someone to coach them at it. (The movie “Hitch” starring Will Smith is a fun but inspiring story of a life coach who helped men who were unlucky in love to find the match of their dreams and is worth watching if you’re thinking of life coaching as a profession.)

How Can I Become a Life Coach? You may already have all the skills that you need to sell yourself as a life coach. If you’re well-accomplished or have years of experience in a particular area, you may be able to use that to generate business.

Whether you have years of experience or are a young person just starting out in the working world, it can be helpful to get certification as a life coach. Certification will give you extra credibility as a life coach and will be an excellent marketing tool to add to your business advertising.

Life coach certification can be obtained online as well as in person through community and private colleges and institutions. There are a number of different types of programs out there. Some offer certification in as little as 16 hours of online course work or two days of in-person training. Others may take several weeks or months to complete.

Cost for such programs varies depending on type and length of course, but typically you’ll pay between 300 and 1000 dollars. (One program to check out is offered by the Certified Coaches Federation. This particular program is offered in live seminar-style over two days of training in various cities throughout the US.) There are also FREE courses like the one offered here.

Choose your program carefully. Some things to look for when you’re comparing programs include:

  • Number of courses, type of courses offered and course summaries.
  • Whether or not you can complete training online, or if in-person attendance is required.
  • Time frame in which you are expected to complete your program.
  • Whether books/materials are included in the program fee.
  • Whether the program is backed by an institution or industry governing body.

Generally speaking, if you’re quite experienced in the career world, a shorter program may be all you need to get started. If you have less life experience yourself, you should opt for a longer, more intensive program.

How to Launch Your Online Life Coaching Business

Since your business is going to be based online, you should start by creating a Website for your services. It’s easy to create your own site, even if you don’t know programming. Just use an online easy site builder like Wix.com or Weebly.com. There are dozens of templates (pre-designed) to choose from. Simply select the one you want and substitute the template text for your own.

Here’s a basic overview of steps you’ll need to take to get your Website launched:

1) Decide how you want to make your services available. Face-to-face coaching sessions via Webcam are how online coaches generally connect with their Internet clients. You can use any service that you want. (Skype is one example.)

You and your clients will have to have the same chat program installed on your computers so you may want to place a link or “install” button to the program(s) of your choice on your Website. This way, potential clients who don’t have the same chat program as you do can easily install the software without leaving your site. (Skype.com is free if both caller and receiver have the program installed.)

You can also offer other services and resources from your Website. Some examples include Podcast or video series’ on different topics. You can also offer self-help ebooks. (We’ll discuss these services in more depth later on this tutorial.)

2) Choose and purchase a domain name. Ideally this domain name should be the same as or a derivative of your business/Website name.

You can usually purchase a domain name from do-it-yourself Website builder sites. If you’re using one of these to create your Website, see if they offer this option. Otherwise, purchase a domain name from an online store like GoDaddy.com. (If you purchase from a source outside of the do-it-yourself site builder Website you’ll have to transfer it from the site you bought it from to the site that will host your Website. This can take several days or more.)

3) Create your Website using your chosen template. To do this, you’ll need to create a user account with the site builder of your choice. You’ll also need to choose your hosting package.

Hosting is usually priced according how much storage (memory) you’ll need, how many features you want to add to your Website (i.e. PayPal customer payment option) and how long a subscription you want (monthly, quarterly, one year and two year subscriptions are most common). You’ll also need to be prepared to pay for subscription with a major credit card.

Next, choose your design template and create your text. You should include a home page, about page (where you’ll describe yourself and your qualifications and your business), services page (where you’ll explain the services you offer) and a contact page (with your contact information and an email contact form). These are the very basic pages you should have. You can add more if needed. Next you simply substitute your text for the default text in the template (including your site/business name heading).

3) Once your Website is complete, it’s time to launch it. This is a simple thing to do with most site builders. Usually it’s simply a matter of clicking on a “Launch Site” link or button.

The great thing about online Website builders is that you can design and launch a site in a matter of a few hours. Plus you can usually access email and/or phone help if you run into any issues or have questions about creating your site.

Marketing Your Online Life Coaching Business

It probably won’t be enough to simply launch a Website and declare yourself open for business. You’ll need to spread the word across the Internet and reach those potential customers. Here are a few suggested ways to market your online services as well as how to generate credibility with Internet users and potential clients.

Create Pay-Per-Click ads: You should, at the very least, create an advertising account with one or more of the major search engines. Google advertising is a definite must, since Google is currently the top search engine in the world.

Google’s pay-per-click advertising program is known as “Google Adwords.” With this program, you choose keywords (words you think that people interested in life coaching services would use as search terms to find a site like yours) and create short ads based on those keywords.

You then choose how much you are willing to pay to have your ads shown when someone uses those words in a keyword search. This is called your “bid.” Your bid determines how frequently your ad will be shown in comparison to other advertisers who are using those same keywords. However, you only get charged if someone actually clicks on your ad.

Other search engines have their own advertising programs. They all have some similarities to Google Keywords plus some features that are unique to their own program.

You may also want to advertise with other platforms, such as Facebook. Or, you can create ads that are specifically for mobile browser users.

Whatever you decide to do, plan carefully because you will have to pay for every click on every advertising program you use. If you’re unsure, start with only one advertising forum (again, we recommend Google Adwords) and wait a few weeks to see how many people are clicking and how much it’s costing you. You can always expand your efforts from there, or change your strategy altogether. (There are no contracts with Google Adwords. You can suspend your ads at any time.)

Create and distribute e-books: An ebook is a longer written work (longer than your typical Internet article, approximately 2000-5000 words or more). Create ebooks on various topics relating to what you do. They should be self-help oriented, with a plug here and there for your business. Be sure to include links to your Website.

Then submit them to a free ebooks Website where Web surfers can come and download them for free. Some excellent sites to contribute ebooks to include Scribd.com and the EbookDirectory.com. Creating and distributing quality ebooks has two benefits. First, it spreads links to your Website around the Internet. Secondly, it establishes your credibility in the eyes of your readers.

Create and distribute short articles: This is similar to producing ebooks, except articles are shorter, generally 500-1000 words long. The idea is the same as writing ebooks.

Simply create articles on topics related to what you do, or what you want potential clients to be able to achieve for themselves. “Learning to Say No” would be one example of a potential article topic. And just like ebooks, you can distribute these for free downloading by Web visitors, building your credibility and spreading around links to your Website. Some quality article sites to consider include EzineArticles.com, StreetArticles.com and Helium.com.

Create Podcasts: This is a bit like creating your own talk radio show, or the audio version of an ebook. Create short “broadcasts” (“Podcasts”) on topics related to self-help, coaching, etc. They can be any length, but you may want to start out with shorter ones (between 5 and 15 minutes long).

Then, like articles and ebooks, you can submit them to sites that accept and distribute free Podcasts for visitors to download. A few of these include PodcastAlley.com, Apple iTunes and DailySplice.com.

Create Videos: Finally, you can create videos that plug your business/Website or are self-help oriented in nature and cover topics relevant to what you do. You might consider this the audio-visual version of a Podcast.

Upload your videos to a video-sharing Website like YouTube.com. You can even create your own YouTube “channel” where people can subscribe. They’ll be notified whenever you upload a new video, and you’ll be able to build up a following this way. This is a marvelous way to generate a customer base for your online life coaching business.

You can also promote yourself by offering free coaching sessions to people that you know. Ask them to spread the word about your business in return or even put links to your Website on their own sites.

Hope this helps,

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(12) comments

Drayle Patrick says:

November 10, 2011 at 4:31 am

Wow! I dreamed of this kind of job before but I do not know what it is called. I am really glad that your article that your article provided me with valuable insights on how to become one. Thanks a lot!

James Patrick says:

November 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

Very interesting! You can earn and befriend as many people as possible. Money making ventures can be so friendly after all. I will be a life coach!

Gusseimer Degaule says:

November 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I got to read a lot of books starting today. I am inspired by the prospect of making money from helping others. This is the best time I could try put my mind and energy on this because I feel so emotionally stable now. Who knows, I could be your first life coach!

Cassandra Thibault says:

December 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Thanks for posting this. You give us a sort of publicity. I am a guidance counselor then I resigned until I found this new job. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Gary Clooney says:

December 5, 2011 at 6:59 am

There is no doubt that I can succeed if I will try this. I was a peer counselor in Senior High. I took up Psychology units also. But the big gap is I am not familiar with making websites and other technical stuff mentioned. I tried searching the web but its quite confusing. Do you have any suggestion?

Charette says:

December 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

I got what you convey, thanks for putting this up. Thanks For Share How to Become a Life Coach and Make Money.

Scott says:

December 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Hi Gary:

Creating a website is so easy today. You can either look for a good website builder which will help you to create a nice life coach website. You can also use WordPress to create a great website

Katie Schiling says:

December 8, 2011 at 9:27 am

Would they really require a background in Psychology? My friends say that I have high EQ. For whatever its worth, can I mention that as a credential?

Fie Maley says:

December 22, 2011 at 2:10 am

Is it a good idea Scott to form an online group of Counselors then create a website? I believe there are so much life concerns out there and pooling out resources in the form of listening ears and open mind will make the job more efficient.

Scott says:

December 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I guess this could work. Actually sounds like a good idea.

Scott says:

December 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm

It would help to help some sort of background in Psychology. You would need to check with who you get your credentials through to make sure.

Tristan Rowan says:

January 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I want to be a life coach even if I do not earn money. I am not kidding! I think it is quite interesting to do.

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