5 Tips to Starting an Online Life Coaching Business
Personal development, self-healing, and improving the quality of your life - these trends started in the early 80s under the name of life coaching. In the present day, this multi-billion dollar industry is a hot trend that you can see play out on the Instagram feeds of many celebrities, influencers, and public figures. Everyone you know is at a wellness retreat or "working on themselves." As an established or aspiring life coach yourself, these facts, you can most definitely attest.
Brooke Castillo, The Life Coach School (LCS) founder, is a highly successful life coach. Her company not only offers these services to people looking to shape up and take charge of their lives. She also provides an extensive course and program for people who are looking to become life coaches. Despite having a degree in psychology, Castillo did not want to become a therapist. Instead, she wanted to help people feel better about themselves and equip them with the mental tools to accelerate their happiness growth. She got certified as a life coach, and the rest is history. History that you should read if you want to be inspired to follow a similar path.
5 Tips to Help You on This Journey
Starting your own life coaching business is an excellent first step towards establishing yourself in this industry. Due to the pandemic, most companies have shifted towards an online platform, which has given them more outreach and potential clientele. Many people are in need of lifestyle coaching due to everyday growing stress regarding family, relationships, jobs, and mental well-being. If you are looking to start out with a new venture, we have five foolproof but straightforward tips that will help your business grow and make sure your clients get their money's worth.
- Know Your Demographic
One of the most significant differences between a life coach and a therapist is the clientele they should approach. Therapy is predominantly for people with mental health disorders categorized as personality disorders, anxiety-inducing trauma disorders, or other illnesses that can be clinically diagnosed. Treating these disorders requires rigorous education and study in the mentioned fields. Whereas becoming a life coach puts you through a less strenuous and extensive process. Life coaches work with people that set out to improve the quality of their lives, not to treat underlying or existing trauma.
The clientele you want are people working stressful everyday jobs that need an outside perspective to find what makes them happy. These can be people of any age going through various crises. Stay at home moms looking to feel like their old selves again, retired seniors that need to find a new purpose at their old age, go-getters that don't have time to slow down and enjoy life. You are the one that's going to make a difference in their lives.
If you know your key demographic, you will spend money on the right kind of marketing to attract potential clients. In an online setting, the people who sign up will likely belong to a group of diverse backgrounds, each with their attitudes, biases, and beliefs. Your role is to be flexible in your methods and tailor the treatment based on these factors.
- Remember, People Are Signing Up for You
When life coach Brooke Castillo invites you to be a better version of yourself, she doesn't just promise to hand you the tools to do it. She promises you a learning journey where she teaches you through her own experiences. She is the brand. It is her in all the training videos. Why? She is the reason people join the program in the first place.
When they sign up for your business, your clientele doesn't want to be handed a branded booklet with pages to read. Instead, they want an immersive experience where they get to know you as well. If they don't know you, they won't trust you with their lives.
Carmen Aceves-Iñiguez, a former life coach now therapist, having seen both sides of the same coin, puts it very well. She believes that the less a client knows about a therapist, the easier it is for them to regard them as a blank slate and thus talk to them. With a life coach, the client needs to establish a proper connection. You wouldn't go to lunch with your therapist, but you might not hesitate to blur those boundaries with your life coach. Especially if they are open and inviting.
As a life coach that is meeting clients online, they need to see your personality shine through. Consider it as leading by example. No one wants life advice from someone they think can't hack it either.
- Proper Regulation & Certification
Coaches come from various backgrounds, including mental health experts who are making the switch to coaching. Coaches can enroll in programs that focus on working with clinicians. These clinician coaches often keep their mental health practitioner licenses while setting explicit boundaries and expectations with their counseling or coaching clients about the nature of their work together (and what it will not be). This one should be a no-brainer.
However, life coaching is fraught with controversy due to its current unregulated and unstandardized practice. Life coaching, according to critics, is little more than a form of psychotherapy practiced without any constraints, control, or regulation. Nonetheless, numerous professional coaching associations have played a self-regulatory role to give their members' work more legitimacy, reliability, and gravity.
Understanding and predicting legal hazards is an essential element of being an ethical coach. Current and potential coaches should be aware of the aspects of their profession that could lead them in court fighting against a former client's accusations. Explain your function to the client clearly and concisely. Explain that coaching is not therapy, and be alert enough to identify when the coaching dialogue devolves into issues that require the assistance of a therapist. Finally, do not give advice that only a therapist can provide.
- Choose the Right Platform
Choosing the right platform to expand your business is one of the best favors you can do yourself. This industry is competitive, and with online clients, it is essential to establish loyalty. There are excellent platforms out there on the internet that can help set you up. Take JournalOwl, for example.
JournalOwl not only offers you an existing pool of clients but also loyal customers who come again and again because they find the service compelling. Websites like ours also offer a fully integrated patient management system. You don't have to spend hours going through profiles and setting up appointments because we keep track of everything online. Other than that, you can choose to go for Skype or Zoom as a way to have your meetings with clients. The good thing about Zoom is that you can link it to many apps on your phone, keeping the scheduling efficient and hassle-free.
Once you're relaxed from the hustle of finding potential clients and managing them, you can focus all your time on your clients and their growth. Life coaching is all about the other person, and hence, they are the ones that deserve your undivided attention.
- Ease Your Transition from In-Person to Online
If you're worried about how you'll handle coaching over the phone or online, I recommend scheduling a few practice sessions with another coach. This will help you become more comfortable with the topic and increase your confidence. The ideas and processes are the same as when communicating face to face, but because you may not be able to observe facial expressions or entire body language all of the time, you may need to hone your skills for listening.
It's about listening more closely for hints as to what might be an underlying issue and possibly having extra check-ins with the client during the session to ensure you've heard and understood everything correctly. Face-to-face coaching on computers with simply a close-up of your client's head or upper body can be significantly more intense than actually being in the same room with them, and this can be a distraction for some coaches. You'll have to test out a few different things to see what works best for you and your client. Turning off the video function can also improve reception and sound quality, especially if you're in an area with low reception.
You don't have to keep talking just because you're on the phone or on video. One of the most essential skills to develop as an online life coach is knowing when to literally stop speaking, just like face-to-face counseling.
We hope that these 5 tips help you start your online business and lead you to success. It isn't the most straightforward job in the world to be in the business of helping people. Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed. We understand where you're coming from, which is why we are here to help you on this journey!
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