The self-improvement industry is growing all the time, and life coaching is a major subset. If you’re looking to launch an online life coaching business, now is a great time to get started – and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
If there's one thing I've learned from my personal experience, it's that setting up your business the right way can greatly increase your chances of success.
In this guide, I’ll break down the steps required to set out on this journey and turn your online life coaching idea into a reality. You can be up and running and start positively impacting people’s lives in no time, and it doesn’t need to be difficult!
9 Steps to Start an Online Life Coaching Business
Want to increase the chances of success for your online life coaching business? A great place to start is to create a solid plan. Here are a few steps you can take to get started:
1. Research Your Market
The life coaching industry is still relatively young, but it has grown a lot in recent years. As an online business, you won’t be limited to clients in your area. This also means that your competition will be vast.
Understanding your competition can help you market your business to make it stand out. It's a good idea to look at successful life coaching businesses to see what they’re doing right. You can also think about where there might be room for improvement.
While it isn’t a strict requirement in this industry, you may want to look into getting certified by an institution like Certified Life Coach Institute or CoachU. If most of your competitors are certified, then you’ll want your own certification to look just as professional. Either way, displaying a certificate on your website could give you an edge and help you stand out from the crowd.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
This point goes hand in hand with the previous point about market research. In addition to analyzing your competition, it’s also good to understand the various types of clients out there who are looking for life coaching services.
Your next step should be to define the type of client you want to attract. It's important to have a good understanding of your target audience in order to be successful. Take a look at the type of person you want to coach and their traits. This will help you refine your coaching focus and create programs that cater to their specific needs.
Understanding your target audience will also help you design your marketing campaigns around reaching this type of customer, which ultimately will help you bolster your sales revenue.
3. Write a Business Plan
Most successful businesses start off with a well-thought-out business plan. Your business plan will be the roadmap for your life coaching business and will help guide all the decisions you make for your business moving forward.
Your business plan should outline and summarize your intentions for your business. Here are a few aspects that a thorough business plan should cover:
- Estimated startup costs: equipment, insurance, and licensing expenses
- Business summary and services offered
- Competition analysis
- Marketing strategy
- Financial projections for initial post-launch years
If a few months or years down the road your business is booming, you may want to expand – and may need funding to do so.
Creating a business plan now will give you the experience and skills you need to create a more thorough and updated version of your initial plan, which you’ll need to show banks or investors before they consider granting you funding.
4. Choose a Name and Register Your Business
Before you can officially register your business, you need to decide on a name. It's a good idea to choose a name that is easy to remember, catchy, and resonates with your target audience. Try to think what would make people want to sign up for your life coaching services.
Once you’ve settled on one, make sure the website domain name is available, and register it as soon as you can.
Registering your business legally is a process that varies by state, but in general, you register it with your Secretary of State.
New businesses that start out small typically opt for a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) license. If you’re unsure about which business entity to go for, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a website that can help guide this decision.
After you’ve registered your business, visit the IRS website to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You'll need this for tax purposes as well as for opening a business bank account. Keeping your business and personal finances separate will make filing taxes and tracking your company’s finances significantly easier.
5. Plan Your Workspace
When you’re just starting out, you probably won’t need much equipment or rented office space for your online life coaching business. You can easily get by with a home office that you can use for program meetings with your clients. It's best if this can be a space that is separate from your personal life and you can maintain as a professional workspace. Renting a private office in a local co-working space could also be a great solution.
Most life coaching sessions are done over the phone or through video calls. So, it's a good idea to make sure you have the right tools for the job. You'll need a solid computer, a good webcam, and a headset. And don't forget, having a strong internet connection and a reliable phone line is essential too.
Microsoft Teams and Google Meet are two popular platforms that you can use for clear online video call sessions with your clients.
These platforms also both offer business management software, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, which can help you stay organized. Having all your business-related information in one place can be a huge help and a great time-saver.
6. Price Your Services
Before you launch your website and start looking for clients to coach, you should put together a price list for the coaching programs you plan to offer.
The research you did earlier will now pay off, as it can be a good starting point for deciding how much to charge for your services. Depending on your target audience, you may want to price your services lower or higher than your competition, but it’s best to start conservatively until you know there’s sufficient demand.
Being transparent and specific about your services, including things like what they involve and how much they cost, can help you appear more honest and professional to prospective clients.
7. Build a Website for Your Business
A big part of building your online life coaching brand is creating a website. It will be the first point of contact for your potential customers, so try and make it as accessible and informative as you can. You can also accept payments from clients through your website.
There are a lot of website builders you can use, like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that it includes all the essential information about your business, like contact information and a summary of your services and prices.
Starting a blog on your website can have major benefits. It can help show potential clients that you're dedicated to coaching and that you're an expert in your field, which can make them more likely to give your programs a shot. It's also great for search engines.
Once you have worked with a few clients as a coach, ask them to leave you reviews. You can feature the most positive testimonials on your website to display the effectiveness of your life coaching services.
8. Choose Your Payment Options
To really get your business going, you need to have a payment system in place. I’ll walk you through an easy way to get this set up.
Even if you don’t have a website, you can use Pay.com to send direct Pay Links to your clients, or even take their card details over the phone. The Pay Dashboard is a central hub where you can keep track of all your incoming payments.
9. Market Your Business
Marketing your life coaching business can be tricky, as you’re selling a service with a subjective outcome, as opposed to a physical product.
Before you set up your first marketing campaign, here are some channels you can try:
- Freelance platforms: You can try offering introductory programs on freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, or life coaching specific ones like Upskill Coach. These services can help you expand your reach, but they do take a cut out of your earnings.
- Social media marketing: Maintaining a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can help you regularly engage with your target audience and remain relevant.
- Referral programs: Consider setting up a referral program to get your current and past clients to recommend you to their friends and family. This can be a great way to grow your customer base.
The Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Online Life Coaching Business
Starting your own online life coaching business can involve some preparation, but it can be a very rewarding endeavor – especially when you start seeing the positive impact you have on your clients’ lives.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of starting your own life coaching business.
- You're the boss and you get to set your own schedule
- You get to work closely with clients
- You can see the positive impact of your work right away
- You can work from the comfort of your own home
- The startup costs can be low
- Life coaching can be emotionally draining
- It can be challenging to grow your business without losing the personal touch of working one-on-one with clients
- There's a lot of competition, making it tough to stand out and attract new clients in the beginning
The Bottom Line: Is Starting an Online Life Coaching Business Right for You?
I hope this article has helped you feel more confident about starting your online life coaching business. You should have a good idea of the practical steps you need to take to get things going.
Life coaching is a rapidly growing industry, and as long as you have something unique to offer, you should be able to find clients. Having a solid business strategy will boost your chance of succeeding.
If you use Pay.com as your payment service provider, you can get your life coaching business up and running in no time and start accepting payments from your clients. Consider taking the leap and start having a positive impact on people’s lives!