If you’re ready to run your own online business, you can get started quickly by leveraging your own knowledge and experience as an online life coach.
Currently there are about 20,000 life coaches in the U.S. earning a total of more than $2 billion. And while the pandemic did hurt the industry initially, it’s expected to expand as the economy recovers.
Keep reading to learn how to be an online life coach, and how to start and run your online coaching business, selling online courses and one-on-one coaching.
What is an online life coach?
An online life coach is someone who helps people achieve their life goals through one-on-one or group coaching.
Generally, a life coach has already experienced success in a specific area of their life. They then offer to teach other people how to achieve that same level of success.
Rather than setting up a physical clinic, online life coaches work with clients via online platforms, such as Zoom, email, Facebook groups, and Slack.
They may also incorporate videos, online courses, articles, emails, social media, and other digital methods.
Who are some well-known life coaches?
Tony Robbins may be one of the best-known life coaches. He helps people transform their lives and achieve peak performance.
Robbins’ does this through online coaching and courses that help people identify and overcome limiting beliefs so they can achieve their goals. He also hosts an event, Ignite Your Life.
Rob and Susan James are human potential coaches who offer self-discovery and self-mastery training.
They provide coaching through online training, a workshop, and 12 one-on-one sessions. The workshop is offered locally. One-on-one sessions are offered over the phone or Skype.
Joe Vitale is a spiritual marketing coach who teaches people how to create the life of their dreams and uncover hidden wealth.
He offers a 10-day mentoring course, as well as online courses, books, and music, all aimed at helping people find happiness and success.
What are the most common types of online life coaching?
As you can see from the examples above, you can provide life coaching for any aspect of your clients’ lives. Here are some common types of life coaching practices.
Dating and relationship coaching
This type of coach helps people achieve healthy relationships.
Whether trying to find a romantic partner or improve an established relationship, this type of coach focuses on self-esteem, confidence, communication, and people skills.
They may also help settle disputes and resolve misunderstandings.
These coaches support clients as they navigate the difficult transition from married to single. This may include emotional counseling, financial advice, and legal counsel.
Ultimately, the goal is to help people come out stronger before and after a divorce.
Health and fitness coaching
Health and fitness coaches guide clients to build strength, lose weight, and improve their health.
To do that, they create diet and fitness plans, provide wellness tips, and motivate people to make better health choices.
These coaches are often professional nutritionists, personal trainers, and wellness experts. Some are trained doctors. You’ll need to stay up to date on legal guidelines for this type of coaching.
Mental health coaching
A mental health coach prioritizes the mental health of his/her clients. They help people struggling with anxiety, fear, grief, low self-esteem learn to manage these challenges.
This type of coach isn’t a therapist or psychiatrist. Instead, they help people develop a better sense of purpose and confidence.
Finance coaches teach people how to live on a budget and maintain good credit scores. They set realistic financial goals for people to pay off their debt and save for their future.
Spirituality coaches help people create deeper spiritual connections. They teach clients how to pray, meditate, and perform other spiritual activities.
Business and executive coaching
A business coach provides advice and accountability for starting or scaling a business. An executive coach offers mental and professional support for business leaders who want to accelerate their success.
A career coach helps clients discover their best career path and navigate career choices and professional goals. A career coach can also help people prepare for retirement.
Addiction and sobriety coaching
A sobriety coach helps people with drug and alcohol addictions become sober. They do this by building new habits and teaching clients to avoid people, places, and events that will make them abuse alcohol or drugs.
Life skills coaching
Life skills coaches help people with physical or intellectual challenges refine their social, communication, personal care, and job skills. Their goal is to help clients lead as normal a life as possible.
What does a life coach do, exactly?
As a life coach, your primary job is to listen objectively as clients talk about their goals and challenges. After assessing their strengths and weaknesses, you help them develop a plan for overcoming their challenges and building on their strengths.
People seek life coaching because they need someone who can help them see into their blind spots and improve their skills. Some seek normalcy. Some want to accelerate success.
Life coaching can help people in any area of their lives, from business and relationships, to money, mindset, healing, and happiness.
While every coach has their own focus and process, clients often report that they see improvement in four areas of their life:
What skills do life coaches need?
To succeed as an online life coach, you need coaching skills, some tech savvy, and basic business skills.
Listening and advising
Life coaches are great listeners. They remove the barriers to communication by providing a safe zone where the client won’t be judged.
To be a good listener, you need to be able to set aside your own opinions and desires so you can focus on your client. You also need to be good at asking clarifying questions and drawing out the client.
Setting realistic goals
As a life coach, you won’t set your clients’ goals for them. You’ll help them evaluate and refine their own goals.
Some clients will ask a coach to help them achieve unrealistic goals. A good coach will help them dig deeper to understand what they really want and then set goals that they can actually achieve.
Accountability and encouragement
Once goals have been set, the life coach holds clients accountable, so they’ll do the work necessary to achieve their goals.
Clients keep the coach updated on their progress and let them know where they’re struggling. They want a coach who will help them stay motivated and push them when they fall short.
Coaches must be able to develop systems for improving their clients’ success. They also need to be strategic about growing their own business.
The best coaching think outside the box. They’re able to come up with unique solutions for common problems, then adapt those solutions for clients’ unique situations.
Since online life coaching is done remotely, you need to be comfortable with the technology you’ll use to talk with your clients. Here are some of the apps coaching are using most often:
Video is especially useful for online coaching, both to market your business and to provide remote coaching.
Ed Gandia, who does career coaching at B2B Launcher, creates a unique welcome video for each new client. He then emails them the link, so they can watch the video and get oriented for their first session.
Ed uses Loom for these one-off messaging videos. Other options are Jumpshare and Vidyard.
The best way to scale a coaching business is to do group coaching. You can easily do that in a Facebook group, Slack, or Discord.
Social media can also help you attract potential clients and market your business. (We’ll talk more about that in a minute.)
How much does an online life coach make?
According to Universal Coach Institute, certified life coaches in North America earn between $27,000 and $107,000.
An ICF study with Price Waterhouse Coopers found that life coaches in North America average $61,900 annually, with a global average of $51,000.
As with any business, you control your earning potential. To earn top dollars, you’ll need to find ways to scale your business.
A strategic way to do that is to combine coaching with digital courses and membership sites. This approach allows you to serve more people in the same amount of time
How much should I charge for my life coaching services?
How much you can charge depends on several factors:
- The type of coaching you provide
- Your experience and/or reputation
- How high the demand is for your services
Some types of coaching can demand higher rates.
Executive coaches charge $100 to $300 per hour for two sessions per month. That’s three to nine times the rates of other coaches, which average $32.38 per hour.
Corporate coaches can also charge more. This type of coaching is aimed at businesses that provide training for their employees. Rates range from $1,000 to $10,000 a month or $500 per hour.
Your experience is another factor that impacts your income potential. People are more willing to pay high rates for a proven coach with a long list of well-known clients.
When you start out, you may need to charge lower rates. As you build your success rate and more people want your services, you can raise your rates.
Do I need a license to be an online life coach?
In most cases, you don't need a license to be an online life coach. But, it is helpful to add a few licenses or certifications to your name.
Here are five organizations that certify life coaches in the U.S.:
5 Steps to set up your online life coaching business
Getting started as an online life coach is easy. You only need to clarify what you do and who you do it for. Then, it’s a matter of marketing your services.
Here’s how to start your online coaching business in five steps.
Step 1. Choose the type of coaching you’ll offer
Start by exploring your experiences, skills, and training.
What have you overcome in your life? What type of issues do people always ask your advice on? What do you know that other people want to learn?
If you’ve been sober for years, you can mentor people addicted to drugs and alcohol. Or, if you’ve dramatically improved your health, you can teach people how to diet and stay in shape.
Tip: Choose a type of life coaching that you’ve already achieved success in. Then make sure you're passionate about your choice, because this will be your focus all day, every day.
Step 2. Identify your clients
You need to clearly identify the people who are most likely to want your life coaching services. Then, you need to learn everything you can about them:
- Their deepest fears
- Their challenges
- Their goals
- The way they spend their time
- Where they hang out online
- Their gender and age
- Their income bracket
- Where they go for advice
Here are two ways to learn more about your potential clients.
Do some basic online research
Search online for the type of coaching you want to provide. What solutions and providers appear in the search results? These are the options your clients are choosing among.
Read these competitor websites. Who do they target? How do they talk to them? This will give you an idea of the solutions people are looking for.
Explore forums where your clients are likely to hang out. What questions are they asking? What emotions do they express? What do they like and dislike?
Talk to real people
Talk to real people who are a good fit for your services. Interview your followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn connections. Be attentive to what they say (and don’t say).
Explore the challenges they face. Dig into their feelings about those challenges. Be sure to ask if they’re willing to pay for a solution.
Step 3. Draft your offer
Announcing that you do life coaching won’t bring in clients. You need to clearly explain what you do for clients and how you do it. You need to craft an irresistible offer.
The perfect offer includes five things:
1. The name of the service or package. Treat your service as a physical product. Give it a descriptive name that will appeal to your future customers.
2. A short list of the deliverables. What exactly will clients get when they purchase this service? Create a bulleted list of everything that’s included.
3. The outcome of working with you. What can your clients expect? How will your coaching change their lives?
4. The price. Include payment options if there are any.
5. A guarantee. What if a client decides your service isn’t a good fit? Can they get a refund? If so, what’s the process for requesting it?
Here's how to come up with your perfect life coaching offer:
Focus on your client’s problem and your solution
Your ideal client wants transformation, solutions, plans, and strategies. That needs to be the focus of your offer.
What problems can you confidently solve for your clients? What quick wins can you offer? What can you do to make the biggest impact?
Find ways to describe these problems and solutions from your client’s point of view.
Develop a step-by-step process
People trust systems. They want to know how you’ll get them from where they are now to where they want to be.
Think about the steps you need to take your clients through to give them success.
- What happens at each step?
- What tasks or assignments will your client be given?
- What resources will you give them?
This is your proprietary system. Give it a unique name that sounds actionable and desirable.
What’s the value of the transformation you provide?
People are willing to pay, if they truly believe you can create change in their lives. It’s your job to help them believe.
Once you do that, you need to set a price that’s fair to both of you. Your price depends on three factors.
- How much your ideal clients can afford to pay for this solution
- The size of the transformation you’re giving them
- Whether that transformation enables them to earn more money now or in the future
People will pay more for coaching that equips them to earn more money. That’s why executive and career coaching cost more than other types of coaching.
Be as realistic as possible when thinking about your offer. You need to pack on the value, but you need to do it in a way that’s manageable for you.
If the added value requires more time or work from you, you’ll need to raise your rates. That might make your services too expensive. If the added value requires more time or work from your clients, they may decide it’s too hard.
Either way, they may decide to work with a competitor instead.
Step 4. Build your website
You can start your life coaching business without a website. But to build your credibility, you need to build your website as soon as possible.
With Kajabi, it’s easy to build a website that quickly grows your online business.
Start by choosing your domain name.
Be aware, your first choice may already be taken. Brainstorm a list of domain names you like, then type them into the search field at Godaddy or Namecheap.
Keep trying until you find a domain name that’s available that fits your brand, service, or business name.
A “.com” URL is more credible than a “.net.” But there are a lot of unique domain extensions available now.
For a life coaching business, a “.life” extension is a good option. For a career coaching business, “.careers” might work.
Once you have your domain, it’s time to build your website. Start with these four pages:
Over time, you can add more pages. Eventually you’ll want to start a blog or embed a podcast on your Kajabi website.
For now, focus on describing your online coaching services clearly and persuasively.
Step 5. Reduce liability
You need to be transparent about the results you give clients and the way you run your business.
Because life coaches give advice to clients, you could be held liable if that advice ever harmed a client. To avoid liability, include disclaimers on your website.
A liability waiver states clearly that you're a coach and not a credentialed professional.
This can be a page on your website, like this one by Evergreen Counseling.
Or it could be a short statement at the bottom of web pages and blog posts that give advice or make specific claims.
Results not typical disclaimer
If you share a success story that has specific financial or health claims, include a disclaimer that says something like this:
“Results not typical. The average client can expect to increase their income by $xx annually.”
The disclosure should be as close as possible to the claim being made. It should also be clear, noticeable, and easy to read.
Email privacy disclaimer
If you collect email addresses on your website, you need to be transparent about how that data will be used. The CCPA and GDPR are email privacy laws that protect users from unlawful use of their personal data.
On your opt-in form, include a disclaimer similar to this:
- What types of information you collect
- What you do with that data
- Who has access to it
- Why and how you collect it
- How it’s protected
- How users will be informed if the policy changes
- How to contact you with questions
A Terms and Conditions page tells visitors:
- The owner of the website/company
- Contact information
- Website availability
- Permitted use of the website
- Costs of using the website
- Requirements for posting comments
- Links to Privacy and other policy pages
- Any other relevant information
Here are three privacy and terms generators:
How do I market myself as a life coach and get clients?
Once you’ve clarified your offer, you’re ready to start marketing and selling your life coaching services.
Marketing is as simple as letting people know that you do coaching and how they can work with you. Here are some simple ways to do that.
Don’t worry about being on all social media channels. Choose one or two where your best clients hang out. Here’s how to market yourself on the most popular social media sites.
If you do life coaching for professionals, LinkedIn is your social media site of choice.
Start by updating your LinkedIn profile with your new life coaching practice. Be specific about the services you provide and the outcomes your clients get from you.
LinkedIn has a good search engine. In your tag and About section, include keywords you know your clients are searching for when looking for a professional life coach.
In the example above, Life and Leadership Coach Katie Stolp lists her title, Life and Leadership Coach, in the tag and under her experience. Her business logo is in the banner at the top of the page as well.
Notice how many pictures of herself she uses in her posts. This helps prospects begin to feel they know her. She also explains her services, including a link to her website, in the About section.
This is a good example of how to optimize your LinkedIn profile so you show up in searches and can attract your best clients.
Once your profile is optimized, start building connections with people who might need your services. For example, if you're a business or stress management coach, connect with CEOs, COOs, managing directors, and founders.
Then, post daily or weekly, sharing tips and life lessons. This is one of the most effective ways to attract clients on LinkedIn without pitching them. Your posts show that you know what your clients need and can help them solve their problems.
Take a similar approach to marketing your life coaching services on Facebook.
Create a business page, and optimize it to show up in searches. Just as you did in LinkedIn, put your logo in the banner. In the About section, put your value statement and links to your website.
Then post as often as you can, sharing videos, images, tips, and ideas that could inspire and help your best customers.
Life coaches are also having success promoting their business on Instagram.
Notice that Katie Stolp reuses many of the same images in all her social media channels. This is a smart way to recycle content and engage your followers.
On Instagram, post pictures and videos that express your personality. Memes with quotes are a visual way to share your ideas. In all your posts, include a message that will attract and engage your future clients.
On Twitter, share short tips, random thoughts, and quick ideas. Images make your posts stand out, so plan on recycling your Instagram images here.
To succeed on Twitter, you need to be authentic and transparent. Don’t try to pretend you aren’t a business. Just be present, consistent, and most importantly, fun.
Always add hashtags to your posts, so they show up in hashtag searches.
To start building your exposure, search for people who are thought leaders in your subject area. Follow them and comment on their posts. Then retweet posts that could benefit your followers.
Start a blog
When someone is thinking about hiring you, they visit your website to learn more about you. If you have a blog, they’ll read your articles to learn more about how you think and how you work.
The goal on your blog is to position yourself as a thought leader. Post an article at least once a month that answers questions and gives your followers something to think about. Once a week is even better.
Host a podcast
Podcasts are similar to a blog, but they’re hosted on an audio site and distributed to sites like iTunes and Spotify.
Podcasts allow you to share your ideas, help your listeners, and answer questions in the same way a blog can. But they attract a different audience, so they can help you build a wider audience.
Learn how to start a podcast here.
When someone visits your website and likes what they see, they often subscribe so they can stay up to date.
Unlike social media, you own your email list. It’s made up of people who have raised their hands and asked for you to stay in touch with them.
Respect your subscriber’s inbox: Don’t spam them. Don’t waste their time. Only send an email when you have something valuable to say.
What should your emails be about?
- New blog posts or podcast episodes
- A tip
- Information about your services
You can (and should) make offers in your emails. But try to avoid selling in every email you send. Experts recommend an 80/20 ratio of value-add emails to sales emails.
Tips for writing effective emails:
- Write catchy subject lines.
- Address recipients by their name.
- Get to the point quickly.
- Always include a call to action.
You can get good results from organic marketing, but when you’re running a promotion or selling a digital product, you may opt to use paid advertising as well. You can run ads on Google and all your favorite social media channels.
Learn more about the difference between marketing and advertising.
Using Kajabi for your life coaching business
So what are you waiting for? Kajabi gives you everything you need to get your online coaching business off the ground quickly and it will can handle your growing business needs. With the Kajabi all-in-one platform, you get:
- World-class website builder that makes it simple to create beautiful sites in a few clicks
- A robust product builder for your life-coaching business to supplement your one-on-one sessions.
- A payment gateway to accept credit card payments, debit card payments and PayPal payments.
- Powerful email marketing capabilities to engage your existing customers and to convert new prospects into new customers.
- A strong community of entrepreneurs you can connect with, 24-7 support and access to strong training resources.
- And much, much more.
So, what are you waiting for? Try Kajabi today.