The most successful life coaches earnings over $100,000, while the industry’s trade group estimates an average annual income ranging from $52,100 to $92,400.
The estimated market size of the coaching industry was $15 billion in 2019, with a total of $7.5 billion worth of market value in the US alone.
If you are a life coach, you can learn from the following common traits of highly successful life coaches and grow your coaching business.
1. Coaching Niche
Journalist and author Derek Thompson on how to succeed as a writer in the modern world:
INTERVIEWER: “What advice do you give to a recent college grad who comes up to you and says I’m interested in journalism and writing books?”
THOMPSON: “…there is a paradox to scale, I think. People who want to be big sometimes think, “I have to immediately reach the largest possible audience.”
But in a weird way, the best way to produce things that take off is to produce small things.
To become a small expert.
To become the best person on the internet at understanding the application of Medicaid to minority children, or something like that.
And the reason why I think this is true I call my Tokyo example.
If you go to Tokyo, you’ll see there are all sorts of really, really strange shops. There’ll be a shop that’s only 1970’s vinyl and like, 1980’s whisky or something.
And that doesn’t make any sense if it’s a shop in a Des Moines suburb, right? In a Des Moines suburb, to exist, you have to be Subway. You have to hit the mass market immediately.
But in Tokyo, where there are 30-40 million people within a train ride of a city, then your market is 40 million. And within that 40 million, sure, there are a couple of thousand people who love 1970’s music and 1980s whisky.
The Internet is Tokyo. The Internet allows you to be niche at scale.
Niche at scale is something that I think young people should aspire to.”
Niche at scale is a great way for coaches to grow their coaching business as well. There are many categories in life coaching such as:
- Leadership coaching
- Business coaching
- Executive coaching
- Career coaching
- Relationship coaching
- Diet and fitness coaching
- Financial coaching
- Health and wellness coaching
- Life skills coaching
- Mental health coaching
- Spirituality coaching
- Sports coaching
Highly successful life coaches are crystal clear about their coaching niche. They choose their niche based on what they are deeply passionate about and ignore everything else.
For example, a successful leadership coach doesn’t get involved with sports coaching.
The smaller the niche, the higher the chances of quickly building a name and expertise in that niche.
Finding your niche is the first step toward building expertise.
Successful life coaches don’t divide their attention by coaching everything and constantly build on their expertise in their focused coaching niche.
When a drunk driver killed Krista’s husband, she was devastated. She acted strong, but his husband was part of all her dreams. Therapy helped her to survive and find a reason to keep going.
Then she began to research grief, trauma, and healing extensively. She studied cognitive behavioral coaching and read every book she could find. She combined what she learned about Post Traumatic Growth with cognitive science-based coaching tools and figured out how to turn her loss into a strategy for growth.
The changes she experienced were so profound that she became a Master Certified Life Coach and created a group coaching program for widows called Mom Goes On.
3. Clear Offer
“If you confuse, you’ll lose” Donald Miller.
All highly successful coaches have a clear coaching offer, which usually starts with a free download to build rapport and convert visitors into subscribers.
Marie Forleo is an author of NYTimes bestseller Everything is figureoutable and host of Marie TV, who teaches women how to get anything they want.
She sells a popular online coaching program called B School. The first step of her sales funnel is a clear offer of downloading a free audio training program, which paves the way toward selling her paid coaching program down the line.
Selling your products and services on your first interaction with your clients is like asking to get married on your first date.
Following are some of the common ways to build rapport with your prospects and grow your coaching business:
- Offering a free 15-30 minutes coaching call
- Blogging about how your coaching services can help your prospects
- Creating videos on how you solved problems your clients faced or starting a newsletter
Marketing is one of the pillars of any successful business. It is difficult to grow your coaching business without figuring out the marketing.
Successful coaches are good at marketing and usually take full responsibility for marketing their coaching business.
- Blog consistently
- Write for popular publications
- Create videos
- Have a podcast or appear as a guest on popular podcasts
- Share their wisdom in niche communities/groups online
- Attend in-person events
It isn’t easy to find a reliable marketing source that brings regular customers to your business. The best advice I received is to try out a few marketing channels and orchestrate what works.
This is what you’ll see common in all successful coaches as well. If someone is good at writing, you’ll find them writing more, and for those who are better at creating videos, you’ll see doing that more than writing.
Try different marketing channels, see what comes easy to you, and then go all in. Marketing is a marathon, not a 100-meter sprint. If you pick a marketing channel that you don’t enjoy, most probably, you won’t stick with it.
5. Lifelong Learners
Have you ever found someone at the top of their game and not learning every day?
All successful coaches are lifelong learners. They are constantly learning how to improve their:
- Communication skills
- Coaching programs
- Coaching methods
A lifelong learning mindset can be the difference between a good coach and a great one.
Take the time to keep learning and improving your coaching services consistently.
They say success leaves clues & it’s almost always better to learn from those who are ahead of you. However, the secret to achieving results is simply making the time to do the work in many cases.
Maintaining momentum is the key to achieving excellent results in most areas of life. Things that can keep talented coaches from being successful:
- Trying to please everyone
- Wasting efforts to reinvent the wheel
- Not having a clear coaching offer or offering too many options
- Not delegating and trying to do it all alone
- Dividing attention between too many promotional channels
Keeping it simple can change everything. Pick your niche and start learning from successful coaches in your industry.
What worked best for you to grow your coaching practice?