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How to Start a Life Coaching Business [2023 Guide]

How do you start a life coaching business? 

You’re in the right place. Today, you get the seven steps that will help you build a profitable business and create massive and lasting impact. 

Want to learn more? Read on!

The steps to starting a life coaching business

1. Choose your coaching niche

2. Define your target audience

3. Get the right coaching credentials

4. Create a life coaching package

5. Set up your coaching business

6. Get your first life coaching clients 

7. Scale your coaching business 

What is a life coaching business?

Life coaching is all about supporting and mentoring someone to reach a goal and helping people improve their lives. 

But is it worth it to start a life coaching business? How profitable is life coaching? And how in demand are life coaches really? That’s what we’ll look at next. 

Is a life coaching business profitable?

Coaching is a highly profitable business model. 

As a coach, you sell your expertise and personal time. If you help people transform their lives, that’s worth a lot to them. 

But as a life coach, you need to position your business in the right way.

“Life coaching” is a term that includes different types of coaches. If you call yourself a life coach, you won’t stand out.

You need to niche down to attract more clients. Call yourself a “mindset coach” or “health coach” or whatever your niche is.

If you do that, then YES, life coaching can be very profitable. 

Many of my own students make multiple six-figures a year while enjoying their lives to the fullest. For instance, my student Spencer, who is a mindset coach, makes three times as much as she did in her day job and works less:

And becoming a life coach can be highly fulfilling, too. You get to work with people on solving some of the biggest challenges they face in their lives.

Screenshot of client testimonials
Some of my own happy students.

Are life coaches in high demand?  

Do people want to pay for life coaching?

Yes, life coaches are in demand:

Coaching is becoming increasingly popular as people look for more meaningful things to spend their money on. You help people transform their lives by improving their mindset, becoming healthier, or finding love, while you build a flexible Freedom Business.

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Now you know WHY life coaching is so powerful. Let’s take a look at how to get started.

Starting a life coaching business checklist 

Read to take the next step? Here’s how to start a life coaching business online.

1: Choose your life coaching niche

How do you find a niche that’s profitable and matches your skills and interests?

With these steps:

Find your niche

Start by uncovering your hidden skills that you can use to start your life coaching business.

First, write down a list of your skills. 

Maybe you’ve learned them as part of your day job or on the side.

Example #1:

Knowing how to manage people – A skill you’ve learned in your day job.

Example #2:

Eliminating sugar from your diet – A skill you’ve learned on your own.

These skills could translate into a successful coaching business as a career or health coach.

Second, write a list of your achievements.

What results have you achieved? For example, maybe you have:

  • Gotten promotions
  • Negotiated a higher salary
  • Lost weight
  • Gone from feeling constantly stressed and unfocused to being calm and focused

Those are all results you could use as your coaching niche. 

And if you want more on finding your niche, take a look at this quick video where I share more steps:

Life coaching niche examples

But how do you know what niches are actually profitable? 

Here’s a list of profitable life coaching niches (and if you need more, this post gives you 100+ niche examples): 

  • Health coaching 
  • Relationship coaching
  • Mindset coaching
  • Financial coaching
  • Performance coaching
  • Parenting coaching 
  • Stress coaching
  • Happiness coaching
  • Career coaching
  • Spiritual coaching
  • Public speaking coaching
  • Confidence coaching

What if you’re a multi passionate?

But…do you have to “get stuck” in one niche? What if you’re multi-passionate and don’t want to focus on just one thing?

Don’t worry. Getting started in one niche is just that…a start. After you master one niche, it’s natural to expand into other niches so that you can reach even more people.

But you need to start somewhere. And that’s why finding your first niche is so important.

When you’re clear on your niche, move on to the next step – understanding your clients.

2. Define your target audience

Now it’s time to research your clients.

You see, your business will only work if you understand who they are. If you don’t, you won’t speak their language or be able to explain the benefits of your services in a way that clicks for them. 

For instance, if you talk about “stress coaching” without really explaining the benefits, few people will pay attention.

But if you talk about the same things your potential clients would talk about if they were explaining their challenges, you’ll attract far more clients. 

They might say things like “I’m overwhelmed and I never get to spend time with my kids or have time for myself.” And that might resonate more with them than talking about “stress.” 

Go to where they are hanging out online, wether that’s on Reddit, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Take a look at their discussions. What are their challenges and goals?

Initiate conversations and talk to people to understand why they would need and want your coaching services. 

Screenshot of career questions on Reddit
Take a look at discussion threads like this career discussion on Reddit.

Or maybe you already have potential coaching clients in your existing network. Post an update on a social media platform to ask people to do short interviews with you so that you can learn more about them. To incentivize them, offer short, free coaching calls. 

Screenshot of Facebook post
Here’s how one of my students asked her target audience for interviews in exchange for free calls.

Next, let’s look at who can start a life coaching business.

3. Get the right coaching credentials

Are you qualified to become a life coach? Here’s what you need to know.

Do you need a life coaching certification? 

People usually argue that certifications help lend credibility to coaching as it is an unregulated market.

But there’s one problem…certifications are also an unregulated market.

The only real way to develop your coaching skills is to work with clients. You can get that experience by lowering your rates for your first few clients.

When you have proof that your coaching works (client testimonials), you can raise your rates. 

So no, you don’t need a certification to get started. If you have one, great, but it’s not a requirement. 

However, I want to note here that there are niches where you DO need a certification so make sure that you’re aware of what applies to your niche. Typically, those are niches in the health and mental health spaces. 

And if you decide to get a certification, make sure you buy it from a credible life coach institution such as the International Coach Federation

How do you become a great coach? 

So you can start a business without a certification…but how do you make sure you’re a good coach who can actually deliver on results?

(Your client has to do the work. But you have to be able to guide them.)

Honestly, this was my biggest fear as a new coach.

After all, a good coach has to be a true jack-of-many-trades:

Coach, consultant, trainer, Accountability Partner, contractor, manager, and cheerleader.

So how do you master all of these, and quickly, too?

Learn to set boundaries (so that you can coach better) 

Part of it is practice, BUT…

Based on my experience personally helping 1,000+ coaches (plus a few thousand more through my courses), the other part includes skills you’ve most likely honed already through living your life.

Which means you actually already have most of the skills to be a great coach.

A common problem most new (and not so new) coaches have:

Completely misunderstanding what it means to be a good coach.

For example, thinking they have to always do more, be available all the time, and respond immediately to their clients. 

Otherwise…*gasp*…what if their clients get upset? And demand a refund?

Good thing—especially for our sanity—that that’s not how it works.

Think about it…would you teach your kid by giving them everything they wanted, the moment they wanted it, and then asking if they wanted more of it?

Of course, your clients aren’t kids. But the principle’s the same.

The reason why it feels so weird and different with coaching though? 

Is because money’s involved. 

So the real fear underlying a lot of this is…

What if my client asks for a refund? What if someone gets upset and ruins my reputation? And then what if I can’t make any more sales? 

That’s why learning to set boundaries is one of the most important parts of being a good coach.

Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself burned out, resenting your clients, and maybe even wishing you never have to do coaching again.

When, honestly, coaching done right is one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling, and profitable things anyone can do.

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Coach AND consult to help your clients get results

The traditional coaching model is “Socratic questioning” or helping your coaching client to find the answer themselves.

While this model is still useful, coaching can be combined with an approach that includes consulting to help your clients get faster results.

I call this approach “coach-sulting” and it’s all about helping your clients find out what they really want, while you lend your expertise to show them what steps they need to take to get there. 

For instance, if you’d help someone find their dream job, you’d use a more traditional coaching approach to get them to understand what they want. And then a more consulting focused approach to helping them land that job. 

That’s how you become a great life coach! Let’s move on to coaching packages.

3. Create a life coaching package

Next, let’s sell your life coaching services with a life coaching program.

Choose a price 

First, choose the right price – not too high and not too low.

What’s the sweet spot? 

A reasonable coaching price for new coaches is $1,500 for a three-month package. You can then raise your rates when you have a bit of experience.

Here’s more on how to charge your worth as a new coach:

Create an irresistible offer

When you create a coaching package, you need to position it in the right way. It’s not enough to say, “you get this and that many coaching calls and these pdf’s.” 

Instead, talk about the transformation you offer.

Lead with the results and then share the features. A three-month coaching package typically includes one or two monthly calls, as well as support in between (email, Voxer, WhatsApp, or Google Docs).

Structure your package

Your package needs a structure so your client has a plan mapped out for how they’ll reach their goal.

A career coaching package might look something like this:

Month 1 – Establish what type of job they want 

This month, your coaching client does different types of exercises to understand what their dream job really is

Month 2 – Apply to companies 

In month 2, you help them apply, network, and get their name out there to help them get closer to their goal, finding a dream job. 

Month 3 – Interviewing 

In month 3, you help them nail their interviews so that they get accepted by their dream employer.

See how this coaching program focuses on a very specific end goal? That’s what your package should do, too.

Sell your packages

The final piece of the puzzle is to understand why something sells. You see, back when I was a new coach online, I quickly realized something:

The best clients don’t always go to the best coaches.

Nope, instead…

The best clients go to the best positioned coaches.

As in, the ones who are considered “leaders,” “in demand,” “at the top of their game.”

Who are not just doing good work, but getting recognized for it. 

It’s the reason why I was able to go from being *just another* coach, to selling out every coaching package, and doubling, then tripling, and then quadrupling my prices.

To this day, I’ve quickly sold out every large-scale coaching package I offer. And aside from the two years where I decided not to do private coaching, my private coaching has been full without me even having to promote it.

This is what happens when you’re seen as The Coach to go to (or at least one of them).

So that clients stop “interviewing” you to be their coach, and instead they come to you ready to work with you, you’re talked about and considered as one of the top, go-to coaches in your industry, and you attract the highest-quality, most motivated clients, who are happy to pay you and ready to do the work.

Here, I talk more about standing out as a coach:

You don’t need to have THAT many things in place as a new coach (one of the benefits of this business model). Here’s how to set up your business:

Choose a business structure

Do you need to set up a company when you start your life coaching business? Do you need a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company or something else…? 

Choosing a business structure can be relatively simple. Lisa Fraley’s Sole Proprietor Biz Registration and Taxes package helps you register as a sole proprietor, pay taxes, and understand what your legal obligations are as a business owner. 

Name your coaching business

Your coaching business name should be relatively simple. As your business is your personal brand, you can name it after yourself. And then use that domain, such as

But if you want to go for a name that’s not your name, you’ll need to do some more brainstorming. This life coaching name generator can help you get started. 

Set up a life coaching agreement

A contract is a way to set your boundaries in the coach-client relationship. You’ll avoid misunderstandings and conflicts (even if those are pretty rare).

Invest in a done-for-you, paid-for template instead of searching for free templates. The paid-for versions are just so much safer.

One of my biggest mistakes early on when I started my coaching business was to work with a lawyer who didn’t know anything about the only business world. This seemingly small mistake cost me thousands of dollars. 

That’s why I recommend legal coach Lisa Fraley’s legal document package, “Legal Starter Kit for 1-on-1 Clients”, which includes a client agreement and all the legal documents you need for your website (disclaimer, terms and conditions, privacy policy, and a mini disclaimer for your social media and PDFs).

When you have a contract in place and your first client, use HelloSign, an online contract management tool, to manage your contracts. 

Create a life coaching business plan (or don’t)

A lot of “gurus” tell you to create a business plan. You don’t really need one.

A business plan is a waste of time when you’re first starting to find clients. Your offer might easily change when you talk to more and more people and understand their needs. 

Your time is much better spent getting your first paying clients.

That said, if you do choose to create a business plan, make it simple.

In this post, I show how to write a proven coaching business plan. 

Don’t (!) create a life coaching website

Typically, people start building their businesses by creating a website. But early on, a website isn’t that useful, and your time is better spent on other things.

You see, your website isn’t why they want to work with you. YOU are the reason.

I created a website when I had made $20,000 in my business. Before then, I sent people to my LinkedIn page if they wanted to learn more about me. 

You don’t need a website right now, either.

If you do set one up, choose a simple theme and just a few pages. Then focus on getting your first clients.

6. Get your first life coaching clients

When you have all the fundamentals in place (a niche, an offer, and you’ve set up your business), you’re ready to start looking for your first clients. 

Thankfully, coaches have a powerful advantage when it comes to getting customers, which makes it a lot easier.

Because of the unique nature of a coaching business, there’s a way to reduce your customer acquisition “costs”—as in time, money, and despair—to basically zero. Let’s find out how.

Create a marketing plan

In the beginning, your marketing plan should be pretty simple.

Focus on one or two marketing activities – that’s enough to get your first few sales.

A great way to decide what you should focus on is to write a half-page description of someone you would LOVE to work with (even if you’re afraid it’s too good to be true). Do all your future sales and marketing activities with this person in mind.

So if the person you would love to work with is a high-level executive at a big company, you’ll focus on sharing your message on LinkedIn.

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Ask yourself:

Where does MY ideal client hang out online? 

Focus all your efforts on reaching them there.

That said, I have a specific marketing strategy you can use right away…

The easiest way to get life coaching clients 

What’s one of the easiest ways to get clients? 

Getting interviewed on podcasts. (This is not the only strategy and you could instead focus on publishing guest posts on websites your potential clients frequently visit or building relationships online…the point is that there are plenty of strategies. Focus on one or two and do them well.) 

Podcasts are, however, one of the most effective strategies to get your first paying life coaching clients. 

But why would anyone want to interview you as a new coach? 

Podcasts hosts are constantly looking for new people to interview, and new and valuable information to share with their audience.

Information you can provide.

It doesn’t matter that you’re new in your business. You’re not new to whatever it is you’re doing in your business. You know what you’re talking about! 

For instance, my student Ryan got on top podcasts in his industry (real estate investing) and consistently gets clients from them. And my student Kat signed on $5,000 clients using podcasts. 

Screenshot of Newbie Real Estate Investors
My student Ryan gets interviewed by top podcasts in his industry, real estate investing.

Find podcasts by searching for keywords such as: 

“Podcast” + “keyword”

“Top podcasts (year)” + “keyword”

And reach out to podcast hosts with a pitch similar to this one: 


My name is (your name) and I am (include something relevant about yourself so the podcaster understands why YOU are the right person to feature on their show). 

I’d love to set up an interview for (name of the podcast). Here are a few topics that I think your audience would love:

  • Podcast topic suggestion 1
  • Podcast topic suggestion 2
  • Podcast topic suggestion 3

Let me know if these would be interesting to (name of the podcast) listeners? 



I talk more about getting dream clients here:

Get word of mouth marketing

In the beginning, you have to “hustle” to get those first paying clients.

The good news is that getting more clients becomes easier the more people you work with.

Once your clients get results, you can ask for testimonials. 

70% of people say they trust recommendations from someone they don’t even know. Testimonials are powerful way to boost your sales. 

They will help you build credibility and make it more attractive for people to sign up for your services because there’s already proof that your coaching helps people get results. 

And once the word starts to spread about your coaching, you’ll get referrals. In other words, people will start coming to you instead of you having to chase them. 

Ultimately, plenty of my clients have grown their businesses to 6-figure, multiple 6-figure, and 7-figure businesses. And it all started by building these foundations.

For example, my student Briana built a multiple 6-figure business helping people understand their attachment styles for better relationships…

Screenshot of Briana McWilliam website

And my student Adunola helps millennials build their dream careers…

Screenshot of Employee Redefined website

While Estelle is an energy healer. 

Screenshot of Activate Your Magic website

7. Scale your life coaching business

Once you’ve worked with a few clients, you’re ready to scale your life coaching business.

What this means is that you double down on what you’re already doing to hit that 6-figure mark and more, and/or you add on a more scalable service such as group coaching. 

To hit 6-figures in an online coaching business is not complicated. (Note that that doesn’t mean it’s easy.)

You don’t need a big team or a big suite of products to cross 6- or multiple 6-figures when you’re selling coaching.

Which means you spend your time becoming a good coach, creating your coaching program (as you work with clients), developing your marketing and sales systems, and then living your life.

A few examples of how I’ve seen past students and clients do it…

Private coaching 

Let’s say you have a $3,000 package (for easy math). You will need to make about ~33 sales to cross 6-figures. With this model, you would focus all your time, energy, and content on selling this one offer.

Group coaching 

Let’s say you work with a handful of private coaching clients and decide to transition to group coaching. You take what you were teaching your private clients, package it into pdf’s and videos so that your clients can learn the “information” on their own time and then attend group coaching calls with you to get the benefit of your coaching. 

This lets you take on more clients and scale your business while still delivering great results (super important).

I’ve had students scale to multiple 6-figures with this model. Where you have a $3,000 to $10,000 (or more) group coaching program. And your focus is on driving people to a systematized sales process that brings the right people into your group coaching program. (Like running Facebook ads to a really good webinar.)

Group coaching and private coaching 

Then, you can also combine the two. Maybe you sell group coaching at $3,000 and private coaching at $10,000. If someone takes your group coaching offer and wants more of your time, then they can coach privately with you. You can play with the math.

Basically, it’s some combination of group and private coaching.

Whichever model you choose, you can use it to grow to 6-figures and beyond and replace your salary with your business income. 

And in this video I talk more about hitting those $5K-$10K months:

Over to you!

There you have it! Now you know how to start a life coaching business.

What it comes down to is that you take consistent steps every day to come up with a niche, offer, and start marketing your business. 

Now, I’d love to know: 

What’s your #1 question about starting a life coaching business?

Let me know in the comments below!

Learn more:

The Ultimate Guide: Legal Requirements for Life Coaches

How Much Do Life Coaches Make? (Life Coach Salary Guide)

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.

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One Response

  1. Hi,
    I am nervous about getting the first clients. Do you have suggestions besides doing the Podcast? Thank you

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