Are you the person who is always giving constructive advice to family and friends? What if you could make money doing this? You may have what it takes to be a life coach. It is very popular these days and one of the best things about it is that it can be done from a remote location, anywhere in the world. What exactly is an online life coach?
What is an Online Life Coach
A life coach is someone who has the experience and skills to help you analyze where you are in life and what you want to achieve by listening and asking you the right questions, identifying the habits and belief patterns that may be holding you back from your goals, then give you a realistic, actionable plan to achieve those goals. This can successfully be done online and if fact many people are making a living by doing just this.
The people who hire life coaches are looking for someone to be accountable to in their journey to improve their lives, whether it be personal, professional or relationship related. They are looking for a coach to give them the tools they need to move forward in a positive and constructive way that produces results.
The difference between counseling and coaching
It is important to note the difference between these two so as to avoid any confusion.
A counselor is someone who has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, Social Work or similar discipline. They have been trained in how to deal with mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and so on. They have studied subjects such as family systems, ethics, and human sexuality and have had many hours of supervised training.
A life coach, however, is not required to have any formal training. Anyone can call themselves a life coach and set themselves up in business. This is a double-edged sword, of course.
Who can become an Online Life Coach
Well, you know how awesome I think our generation is by now, and, in my opinion, we are perfect for online life coaching.
With our life experiences and wisdom that we have accumulated, I can’t see anyone better qualified to help people with a variety of needs/issues. In our time we have had careers, owned businesses (perhaps several), raised families, been married (and/or divorced) or had long-term significant other relationships, faced financial challenges and difficulties, cared for aging parents and have simply experienced a multitude of human emotions. Would you agree?
Qualities needed to be a life coach:
- good listening skills
- creative problem-solving skills
- positive and upbeat
- be realistic
- passion for helping others improve their lives
Types of Coaching
There are so many choices and it is a good idea to find your own niche market/audience, depending upon your interests, background, and experience. Some ideas are:
- relationship coaching
- retirement coaching
- health/fitness coaching
- business coaching
- time management coaching
- executive coaching
- career coaching
- corporate/executive coaching
- spiritual coaching
- in-home caregivers coaching
- ex-pat coaching
What are the benefits
The benefits to you, as a coach, are huge and include all the perks of a home-based business:
- no commute
- set your own hours
- low-cost to set up
- create income without leaving home
- feel good about helping others
The benefits to your clients are enormous as well:
- no need for a time-consuming drive to your office
- many people feel more comfortable in the privacy of their own home
- cost-effective – less expense speaking to you online or on the phone
- good for clients who, for whatever reason, may not be able to leave their home
- quiet time before and after a coaching session without having to be distracted by driving
People who could benefit from online coaching
- corporate executives with minimal time available
- people with physical challenges
- small business owners – can’t leave that small growing biz but could have a remote consultation
- busy stay-at-home moms – no need to get a sitter and can have a coaching session during naptime
- people in remote locations – too far to come for a face to face visit
- people looking to emigrate to other countries – ex-pats can benefit greatly from a coach that has this experience
- travelers – if people have a job that requires a lot of traveling, they could have a session from a hotel room
- caregivers – if someone is caring for a family member they may find it challenging to get to an office.
- people who work from home – many people work full-time from home and can’t get to a formal face to face appointment easily
- people looking to get healthier – fitness and health programs can be delivered online in a private setting
- people who are needing some guidance in their personal relationships
- non-drivers – there are many people who, for whatever reason, are no longer able to or choose not to drive
What training/Certification Do You need
Many people who go into this business have degrees in Psychology, of course. It is a natural fit. However, I am not suggesting you start going back to college now and get a Psychology degree to become a life coach. You don’t need to.
There is no national certification required to become a life coach. Anyone can do this without any kind of formal course. It is possible to become a coach by educating yourself such as reading the vast amount of material on the subject and attending seminars and webinars. Of course, if you have a background in nursing, business or fitness, you are already in a position to coach people based on your particular background.
What you do need, however, is experience as well as a passion for the area in which you would like to coach. Were you a corporate executive for many years? You could be a business coach. Do you have a background in nursing or health? Consider becoming a fitness coach. Are you retired and happy? Why not coach pre-retirees to help them with that transition?
It is advisable (though not required), however, to obtain some kind of life coach training to give yourself credibility and also to give you some guidelines and training on running your own coaching business. Now, here is where it really becomes shades of gray because there are many people and companies who have created certification courses and they run the gamut price-wise.
A certification course can cost you anywhere from several hundred to thousands. I think the best place to start would be to read a couple of books on the subject to get a feel for what is involved and talk to others who have used a life coach themselves.
Something else you will need to think about is that you will need a strong online presence to let potential clients know about your services as a life coach. That means creating your own website – but don’t worry! Tools exist now to make this very easy! If we can do it you can do it. See Philip’s article here to learn how to build your own website.
How Much Can You Make as a Life Coach?
Your salary will depend on your particular area of expertise, how many hours you want to work and your success level of course. In general, the low end of the spectrum is about $28,000 a year with mid-range being around $52,000. Well-established, top coaches can make $250,000 and up. Even the low end of that spectrum could really boost that retirement income, don’t you think?
Work for a Company or Freelance?
Many companies require that you have a degree, plus a coaching certification, so it may be a better option for you to set yourself up as a freelancer. Then, you could choose one of the coaching courses available online to give you the tools you need to help you get started and the credibility of having made the effort to get certified, if you feel that is something you need.
Do your research on training courses
Because this profession is unregulated, you must really take the time to research any life coach training company you read about and check out all the reviews you can. Look at the curriculum, ask questions and be sure the training offered will ‘fill in the blanks’ based on your needs.
There is a company that purports to be the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to accreditation for Life Coaching. They do not offer the training themselves, but they can show you where to find the schools that will award you credits towards their certification. For more information, you can read about The International Coaching Federation here.
I warn you, however, that when you are looking at the schools who affiliate with them, the costs can add up quickly, depending on which course you choose. Be careful of upsells when you are doing your research and do ask questions in the Live Chat features that they have.
You don’t need to spend thousands to become a coach, and in fact, companies such as Relationship Hero, which is totally legit, will pay you to learn their coaching techniques (provided you meet their criteria for becoming a relationship coach).
At the end of the day, it is up to you to surf the web and read as much as you can to find out about the different life coach programs. Take your time. There is a vast amount of information available. Ultimately, you may decide you don’t need to take a course and other resources will be sufficient for you to get started.
Don’t expect to get rich overnight
As with any business, on or offline, it will take some time to develop a client base and you may have to offer a few sessions for free to get started. That is another reason I think it is a good idea to take a course because it will help you structure your business, know what fees to charge and learn how and where to market yourself, based on your niche audience.
Final Thoughts on Life Coaching
I do believe that life coaching is a great opportunity for anyone who has a lot of life skills and experience because not only are you helping your bottom line in retirement, you are contributing something positive to the world by helping people achieve their personal goals. Plus, you can do this from your own home and truly create income online with all the benefits that come from working remotely. This industry, by the way, is booming, so now would be a good time for you to check it out.
It is up to you to decide if you would like to invest in some training. It may benefit your business to have some kind of certification that demonstrates your commitment to being professional, since this business is so unregulated, but so much depends on what your personal background and confidence level is.
The possibilities are endless, really, and I encourage you to go forward with this if it is something that interests you. I would love to know if you decide to become a life coach! If you decide to take a course or already have done so, would you share that with us in the comments area below?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. If life coaching doesn’t appeal to you and you would like to learn about another 100% legitimate online income idea, you may want to read about what Philip and I do.
Wishing you every success!