The self-improvement industry is growing rapidly, 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.
It’s important to set your business up the right way, to ensure the best chance of success. I run my own business entirely from home, so I know first-hand what it takes to begin.
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!
Your Life Coaching Business Can Easily Accept Credit Cards
Pay.com makes it simple for you to accept credit cards, debit cards, and a variety of other payment methods. You can easily invoice your customers, take their card details over the phone, or let them pay through your website. Click here to get started.
9 Steps to Start an Online Life Coaching Business
Establishing a solid plan for your online life coaching business is the best way to maximize your shot at success. Here are nine steps you can take towards building that plan.
1. Research the Market
The life coaching industry is 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 plan your business to make it stand out. This could mean looking at successful life coaching businesses to see what they’re doing right. You can also think about where there might be room for improvement.
You may want to look into getting certified by an institution like CoachU or Certified Life Coach Institute, even though it isn’t a strict requirement in this industry. 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.
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 is to hone in on the type of customer you want to target. Developing an intimate understanding of your potential clients is essential to your success.
Think about who exactly you’re hoping to coach and the type of person they might be. This will help you zero in on your coaching focus and tailor your programs toward the needs of these types of clients.
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. Create 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:
- Your estimated startup costs: the costs of any equipment, insurance, and licensing
- A summary of your business and the services you offer
- An analysis of your competition
- Your marketing plan
- Your financial goals for your first few years post-launch
Finally, 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 register your business, you need to choose a name. It’s worth picking a name that’s simple, memorable, and resonates with the audience you’re trying to reach out to – something that makes them want to sign up for your life coaching service.
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. Set Up Your Workspace
When you’re just starting out, your online life coaching business won’t need a lot of equipment or office space. You’ll need a home office that you can use for program meetings with your clients. This should be a space that you can keep separate from your personal life and maintain as a professional workspace.
Life coaching services typically operate through phone and video sessions, so if you don’t already have these, consider investing in a reliable PC to work from, a quality webcam, and a headset. You'll also want to have a solid internet and phone connection.
Microsoft Teams and Google Meet are two major platforms that you can use for reliable and 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. Work On Your Pricing
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. Create a Business Website
A big part of building your online life coaching brand is creating a website. This will be the first and main 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 Squarespace or WordPress, to help you develop your online presence. 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.
You could also consider adding a blog to your website and creating regular content for it. Doing this would earn you some credibility and showcase your dedication to coaching, making potential customers more likely to give your programs a shot.
After you’ve spent some time coaching your first few clients, try and get them to leave you reviews. You can display the most positive ones on your website as a testament to the quality of your life coaching.
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.
Pay.com is a simple and frictionless way to accept a wide range of payment methods. It’s easy to approach and quick to get started, so you can get yourself ready to go in no time.
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 are your own boss and set your own hours
- You get to work with people on a one-to-one basis
- You get to see the positive impact you have on your clients’ lives in real-time
- You can work entirely from home
- Your startup costs can be very low if you already have basic equipment at home
- Life coaching can be emotionally draining
- It’s a difficult business to scale without sacrificing your ability to work with clients one-to-one
- There’s a lot of competition out there so gaining initial traction can be difficult
The Bottom Line: Is Starting an Online Life Coaching Business Right for You?
Hopefully, this article has made you feel comfortable with the practical steps you need to take to get your online life coaching business started.
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!