Free PDF: Proven blueprint for a profitable online business that replaces your 9-5

How to Become a Life Coach Online: 5 Success Steps

Want to learn how to become a life coach online?

Today, you get a step-by-step plan for how to start your own life coaching business, get your first paying clients, and quit your 9-5.

Ready to get started? Here we go.

How to become a life coach checklist:

What is life coaching?

Step 1: Get a certification (or don’t)

Step 2: Find your coaching niche

Step 3: Set up your online life coaching business

Step 4: Market your life coaching business

Step 5: Price your life coach services

How long does it take to become a life coach?

What is life coaching? (This might surprise you!)

Let’s start with the basics:

What is a life coach?

Life coaching is an umbrella term for coaches who help people improve and transform their lives in some way.

Which is great. After all, coaching can be incredibly fulfilling.

The coaching industry is growing fast, too–it’s a billion-dollar industry today.

But… There’s something you need to know.

You see (and this will save you years of building the wrong type of business):

You shouldn’t call yourself a “life coach.”

Luisa Zhou blog bio

Why not?

Life coaching is such a generic term that it’s hard to stand out among all other life coaches.

Instead, niche down to attract your dream clients and build a life coaching career.

If you position yourself as a life coach and someone else positions themselves as a health coach, who do you think a client will pick?

That’s right. The health coach.

Plus, potential clients understand the results they’ll get more easily.

Think about it:

A life coach helps someone improve their life. 

But a mindset coach helps someone improve their mindset. A relationship coach helps people improve their relationships.

See how this makes it way clearer AND immediately shows people why they should work with you? 

What’s more, you can charge higher rates (because of the results you get your clients).

So, to become a life coach, go for a life coaching niche, such as health, relationships, career, parenting, or spirituality. You decide! (See Step 3 for more ideas.)

Step 1: Can you become a life coach without a certification? (Short answer: Yes!)

What are the requirements for becoming a life coach?

Good question. After all, new coaches often think they need a coaching certification to become a coach.

Is that the case?

What makes you qualified to be a life coach? 


You don’t need a life coach certification to qualify as a coach.

What’s much more important than being a certified life coach is that you can get your clients results.

For example, have you achieved those results yourself?

Or did you help someone else get results, like a friend or someone at work?

You don’t necessarily need coaching experience, but you do need relevant experience.

My student Anna had a successful career before she became a career coach.

And Ruby worked at companies like eHarmony before she became a relationship coach.

Good gentleman website

That’s how you become a life coach without a life coach certification.

Essentially, there are no professional standards or education requirements for life coaches. Becoming a life coach requires you to be in integrity (you need the right experience)–but you don’t need to be a certified coach. 

One caveat: A few niches require coaching certifications. (These are mainly mental health and health-related niches.)

How to become a certified life coach

Still feel you want to get certified?

In that case, look for an established life coach certification program.

The life coach training program or course you choose should be approved by an organization that sets industry standards for life coaches. One such organization is the International Coaching Federation.

Either way, look for accredited courses to make sure you’re looking at a trustworthy life coach certification program. Also, niche training programs work well, too (certification programs for health coaches, career coaches, and so on.)

And how much does it cost to become a life coach? It depends. Life coach certifications are often priced somewhere around $1,000-$5,000 or more.

That’s what it takes to be a certified life coach.

(By the way, I’ve listed the best life coach certification programs here and life coach certification courses here.)


How do you get started right away? First, let’s look at what niche you should choose.

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

Get Instant Access To My FREE Ultimate Guide Below!

When you sign up, you’ll also receive regular updates on building a successful online business.

Step 2: How to find your coaching niche

Becoming a life coach requires you to be clear on your niche.

So instead of saying you “improve people’s lives”, you get them a specific result. Maybe you help them “find impactful careers” or “find a life partner without dating apps.”

And that’s what a niche coaching business does for you. Want to figure out yours?

Let’s go.

What is your niche?

How do you choose a niche?

You’ll want to find the sweet spot between what you know (your experiences or skills) and what people are willing to pay for.

Start by listing your experiences and skills, as well as your interests.

Then, think about things people want to pay for.

A good rule of thumb?

Is someone else already offering the service you want to offer? (You can do a quick Google search to figure this out.)

If yes, that’s a great sign people WANT your services.

I outline the process in this quick video I put together for you:

57 life coaching niches

What are some high-ticket life coach niches? Here you go: 

Relationship coach. Help people find a partner or improve their existing relationships.

Career coach. Another form of life coaching? Helping people build a career they love. Another alternative (for those who’ve started businesses) is business coaching.

Health coach. Help people improve their health with health, nutrition, or wellness coaching. David’s signature program teaches people how to use herbs to take charge of their health.

Wisdom Square website

Mindset coach. Mindset coaching is a great way to help people get past their mindset blocks. That’s what Spencer helps her clients with. 

Spiritual coach. Spiritual coaching can take many forms. As an energy healer, Estelle helps her students bring their spiritual gifts to life.

Other niches? Here’s a list of niches you can use right now to get started.

#1. Parenting coach
#2. Divorce coach
#3. Marriage coach
#4. Intimacy coach
#5. Infertility coach
#6. Grief coach
#7. Conflict management coach
#8. Mid-life coach
#9. Retirement coach
#10. Salary negotiation coach
#11. Travel coach
#12. Sports/fitness coach
#13. Nutrition coach
#14. ADHD coach
#15. HBTQ coach
#16. Academic coach
#17. Coaching people to learn better/faster
#18. Memory coach
#19. Pet training coach
#20. Productivity/stress coach
#21. Discipline coach
#22. Organizational/decluttering coach
#23. Personal development coach
#24. Accountability coach
#25. Communication coach
#26. Personal finance coach
#27. Habits coach
#28. Success coach
#29. Motivation coach
#30. Creative writing coach
#31. Performance coach
#32. Yoga coach
#33. Social skills coach

#34. Goal-setting coach
#35. Purpose/passion coach
#36. Resilience coach
#37. Creativity coach
#38. Leadership coach
#39. Coaching children
#40. Religious coach
#41. Confidence coach
#42. Personal style coach
#43. Public speaking coach
#44. Mindfulness and meditation coach
#45. Reiki healing
#46. Skills coach (helping people improve a specific skill)
#47. Language coach
#48. Self-discovery coach
#49. EFT coach
#50. Life direction coach
#51. Minimalism coach

Next up:

How to launch an online business.

Step 3: How to become a life coach online so that you can reach more people

As an online life coach, you reach more people than if you offer your services in person. Your work has a bigger impact, your business can grow exponentially, and you have lower startup costs.

So how do you begin offering your services online?

Here’s how.

How to set up a life coaching business plan

To become a life coach, you need to set up a business.

Basically, you only need your computer and a coaching contract. (I recommend setting up a coaching agreement before you take on your first client.)

That’s all. You don’t even need a website at this point.

You see, a website won’t do much for you yet. You can focus on one when you have a few clients.

(Also, if you’re wondering whether you should start a limited liability company or not and what your business structure should look like, whether you need a business insurance, and so on, check out my post on legal requirements for life coaches.)


You need to have some type of a plan to know what steps to take.

What I recommend that your business plan looks like is this:

  • Position your business
  • Decide on a business model
  • Market your business (see Step 5)

How to position your brand

The first thing to think through is:

How do you stand out in your niche?

Just like some of your favorite brands (whether that’s Lululemon or Chanel), you need a strong identity that makes your ideal clients come to you.

Don’t overthink this, though.

With my 5-step branding strategy, you can quickly figure out what makes you different:

1. How are you different?

2. What’s your special sauce?

3. How are your values/beliefs different?

4. How is your audience different?

5. How is your product different?

How to choose a life coaching business model

As a coach, you work one-on-one with your coachees.

Because you focus on individual clients, you’re able to get them faster results and so you can price your services at a higher price point than with other business models. (Especially when you have more client testimonials.)

But that’s not all.

After you’ve worked with a few private students, you can offer group programs and online self-learning courses.

The great thing about these models? They give you the freedom to grow your business further without working more.

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

Get Instant Access To My FREE Ultimate Guide Below!

When you sign up, you’ll also receive regular updates on building a successful online business.

Next, let’s find out how to get your first clients.

Step 4: How to market a life coach business and get a steady stream of clients

How do you get clients?

I have a simple strategy in store for you.

Here we go:

How to get clients as a life coach

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to get your first life coaching clients, I want you to know one thing.

I’ve coached hundreds of new coaches. And one thing I hear all the time is this:

“Luisa, can I really get coaching clients? I can’t sell… Plus, I feel salesy.”


No one is born a salesperson, so we all go through this phase.

But once you realize that your coaching practice makes a huge impact in your students’ lives, you will feel much more comfortable when marketing and selling your services.

(Need proof that your coaching skills matter? A 2016 study by the University of Salzburg shows that individual coaching and group programs are more effective for goal achievement than when people try to go at it alone.)

To get customers, you need to set up a simple life coaching marketing plan.

This is what it looks like:

How to market your life coaching services

First, how are you planning on marketing your services?

Step #1 – Your network

Start with the easiest step possible.

Reach out to your friends, family, or network.

That’s what I did with my first coaching business, a career coaching service.

I offered to coach five people who had asked me for career advice. When two of them said yes, I had a business.

Step #2 – Social media

But beyond your network, you’ll want to get clients on a recurring basis.

Social media can help you.

You see, social media is full of communities. And by having a digital presence on them, you can build relationships that naturally translate into paid clients.

To use this strategy, go to where your ideal customers are already hanging out.

Usually, that’s a platform like Facebook or LinkedIn.

Other platforms include:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • TikTok

On these platforms, provide value before you sell.

That’s how I got my first client. I helped a woman in a Facebook group and gave a lot of value–for free. And as a result, she asked me how she could work with me.

Payment first paying client

How to sell your services

How do you turn someone who’s interested in your professional coach services into a paying client?

That’s where your sales strategy comes in.

A great way to sell without feeling sales is to offer a free, 15 to 30-minute session.

To spread the word about your free calls, promote them in the social media group you’ve joined. Just like my client did here:

Facebook free call post

And why do I recommend that you give free sessions?

Because you offer value upfront. Once you’re done with the free session, you then ask if they want to speak more about working together.

Some will say “yes” because they see just how much you can help them.

How to create life coaching programs that sell

What type of coaching package should you offer?

Start by offering 3-4-month long packages.

That time frame means you have enough time to work together and help them get results. But it’s short enough to make it easy to say “yes” to working together.

The structure of your packages is up to you. For example, offer weekly calls with support in between. (Here’s more on creating a coaching package that sells).


How should you price your services?

Step 5: How to price your life coach services

Do life coaches make money?

Yes, they do. And the best part is that as a business owner, you get to choose what that looks like for you.

International Coach Federation cites $62,500 as the average salary for most life coaches. But what other coaches make is not the baseline you need to set for your business.

Now, there are different life coaching pricing structures.

You could charge and hourly, package, or retainer rate.

I recommend a package rate. A good starting point is $1,500 for a three-month package.


Because this option is all about the results rather than any specific number of hours you put in. In other words, it’s much more attractive to prospective clients.

Here I talk more about positioning yourself for the highest rates:

How long does it take to become a life coach?

You might be thinking, “Luisa, all this sounds good. But how long will it take for me to go from my 9-5 to a full-time business?”

Now, becoming a life coach doesn’t happen overnight.

It does require work.

But in the end, if you use a strategy (for example, using one social media platform instead of trying to master them all), you could leave your 9-5 sooner than you think.

To do this though, you need to decide how many customers you need.

My recommendation?

Get to a point where you’re earning 2x your current salary.

That way, you’re prepared for any business expenses and taxes. (So many small business owners fail because they don’t anticipate costs. Don’t be one of them!)

Let’s say your salary is $4,000/month.

You’ll want to earn $8,000/month before quitting your day job.

And with a rate of $1,500/package, you only need to sell six packages to get to $8,000+.

Once you start raising your rates, you’ll get there even faster.

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

Get Instant Access To My FREE Ultimate Guide Below!

When you sign up, you’ll also receive regular updates on building a successful online business.

Are you ready to start building your business?

Wohoo, you made it this far! If you’ve ever asked yourself, “How do I become a life coach online?” — now you know how to become a successful life coach.

What an exciting time! Soon enough, you’ll be running your own business.

Now, it’s time for you to start your coaching career.

What’s your life coaching niche?

Let me know in the comments section!

Learn more:

How to Market Your Life Coaching Business

The Best Life Coach Certifications Online

How to Build a Life Coaching Business

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

Want to know how to build a profitable, meaningful business to replace your 9-5?

The proven blueprint for building a profitable online coaching business that frees you from the 9-to-5

When you sign up, you’ll also receive regular updates on building a successful online business.

21 Responses

  1. I like the way you put it on the table. I recently figured out that I’ve been doing this all along, for free. Tween and Teen Life Coach and Tutor. Now it’s time to start getting paying clients.

  2. I loved it! Thank you so much for your helpful article:) I am planning on starting a YouTube Channel about Personal Development Coaching to put up some content and get an audience. In the meantime I’m starting a life coaching training that will last about a year and a half then I’ll be ready to start my coaching sessions. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome! Glad you found it helpful. Awesome planning to start building your audience now so that when you’re ready to start your coaching sessions, you’ve already got an audience. 🙂

  3. You need a system for this to work. You need to know who you are helping and what they need from you. And you need to provide that and fulfill their expectations.

  4. Having a life coaching certification is a plus point for your career as a life coach. But I will not disagree that certification is not necessary. Many people trust a life coach if he/she has an ICF certification.

  5. Thank you ! This is very helpful 💜 you inspired me to chose a mindset niche and i am very grateful.
    I have been a life coach for 10 years now and for the first time i felt i wana specialise when I read your article so thank you again.
    I hope i inspire more people 💜💜💜 and pay it forward
    Much love

  6. This was a great article. I picked out a niche to help women who have been abused to help them rebuild their lives and confidence. However I believe that I am needing to go back to square one and re think my coaching niche. There is so many free coaching out there for Domestic Violence that I am having a hard time getting leads and clients. This was a passion of mine. I have been thinking about getting a different niche that I can have clients with and the abuse be my side project that I have. I have been on this for about a year with the abuse and starting all over is a bit scary.

  7. Thanks for this! I’m wanting to do this part time and my niche would be teens. I’m wondering the best way to get clients since it’ll be the parents who will be paying….yet the teens are my clients. Any suggestions please and thanks and yours is the best article I’ve had the priveledge of reading. Really helpful in getting my confidence up and answering many of my questions!

    1. You’re welcome! And happy to hear you found it so helpful! When you are in a business where the parents are paying even though their children are technically your clients, you want to make sure you’re also speaking to (or maybe even directly marketing to, depending on your specific industry) the parents, as they are the ones often deciding, or at least agreeing, on who to hire.

  8. Hi Luisa,

    This was an amazing post, I learn a lot from this and you have really added incredible value. I am choosing Personal Development as a niche but do you want me to niche down further for example – shall I make it “Personal Development for Men and Women above 40″…?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you again

  9. I really appreciate how clearly you laid this out. I am just beginning to explore if my niche could become a “life coach” business. I have been encouraged by family and friends to do this but I am lost as how to make happen. I am a mother to a medically fragile special needs child. He is 15 years old now. When he was newly diagnosed, I was lost and had zero idea where to go for resources and other programs. I have since then had a passion for helping young mothers navigate the waters of a newly diagnosed child. Understanding terminology, how to know when a doctor is not right for your child, how to make PT, OT or doctor appts productive, and then the school IEP system. Just to name a few. I just don’t know if this is something that can become a business or I would feel comfortable charging for??

  10. Thank you for a fantastically simplified article. As a career with a decade of experience, you assisted me in selecting a mindset coach. I plan to begin with meet-up groups to build my client base while also developing my social media brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5.2K Shares 58K views

This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies