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What is Transformational Coaching? How to Become One in 2024

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Want to start your own transformational coaching business? 

Then, this is for you!

As a transformational coach you can help your clients achieve the things they’ve dreamed about for years.

You’ll also learn how to set up your own business and build a life that offers you both freedom and flexibility.

Want to learn more? Let’s dive in.

You’ll learn…

What is a transformational coach?

As a transformational coach, you empower your clients to rewrite their reality.

This coaching style focuses on people who are going through big changes or who want a major shift in their life. Maybe they’re:

  • Aiming to boost their confidence
  • Make new career moves
  • Let go of the past
  • Find deeper meaning

Transformational coaching goes deep. It’s not about quick fixes or temporary solutions, but about diving into the core of clients’ challenges and obstacles. 

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You help your clients build self-belief and self-trust.

Instead of merely telling them what to do, you inspire them to see themselves in a whole new way.

What is the transformational coaching model?

Transformational coaching isn’t just a collection of ideas; it’s backed by science that helps us understand how it works. This approach takes inspiration from thinkers like Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.

Abraham Maslow pointed out something important: before we can focus on personal growth, our basic needs must be met. It’s like building a foundation for a house – without it, the house won’t stand strong. 

Carl Rogers’ ideas add another layer. He saw people as whole and believed they had their own internal resources. He assumed clients already had the answers and that it was his task to simply help them find them.

The transformational coaching model builds on their ideas of self-actualization and the human desire to live up to one’s fullest potential. 

So, the science behind transformational coaching is about:

  • Providing that strong foundation
  • Believing in clients’ inner resources and strengths

Now, transformational coaching is its own coaching style. 

How do you get even better results with transformational coaching?

However, to achieve the best results, I focus on a different coaching style – coach-sulting. Here, you combine consulting and coaching. 

In short, you ask questions to help clients figure out their own answers. But you also give them advice based on your own expertise.

You can easily implement coach-sulting into your transformational coaching business.

For example, if a client is going through a career change, you could coach them to understand their passions and goals.

Then, you switch to coach-sulting mode. Using your expertise, you share specific strategies to make a successful transition.

I talk more about it here: 

And you get to deliver what you were hired for: A transformational experience. 

What does a transformational coach do?

What is the role of a transformational coach? Well, transformational coaches are sometimes described as “change agents.”

First, you help clients understand what’s pushing their actions, habits, and desires.

Next, you help them think differently and make better choices.

Still not sure what the benefits of transformational coaching are?

When done right, you empower clients to:

  • Feel more confident in who they are
  • Handle big life changes smoothly
  • Think in ways that help them grow
  • Know themselves better
  • Deal with emotions in a smarter way

Coaching also offer several benefits, including: 

  • 70% say their self-confidence increased 
  • 99% of those who hire a coach are “satisfied” or “very satisfied”
  • 70% of those who are coached improve their work performance, relationships, and communication 

But what’s the difference between transformational coaching and life coaching? 

Let’s take a look. 

What is the difference between a life coach and a transformational coach?

Next up: transformation coach vs life coach. What’s the difference?

Simple: Life coaching is broad whereas transformation coaching is niched down.

  • A life coach helps clients achieve goals — whatever those may be.
  • A transformational coach gets to the root of why clients do what they do. Rather than merely setting goals, they uncover the WHY behind those goals.

Notice the difference?

Life coaching is quite vague. But transformational coaching is much more specific in what it delivers.

This is SO important.

To make it in the coaching industry, you need a niche.

That’s why “only” being a life coach doesn’t cut it. (We’ll talk more about this later!)

What is the difference between transformational and transactional coaching?

Let’s clear up one last confusing term: Transformational vs transactional coaching.

  • As mentioned before, as a transformational coach, you improve a client’s whole way of thinking and being. You have a holistic approach and focus on all their needs.
  • Transactional coaching is more about specific goals. You guide clients to complete tasks or challenges, without necessarily changing their perspective.

Both aim to help, but they have different approaches to get there. The lasting impact of transformational coaching is also much more profound. 

How do you achieve this?

That’s what we’ll cover next.

What are the best transformational coaching techniques?

Let’s take a look at the best transformational coaching techniques and approaches. So that you can help your clients get the outcome they’re after.

Transformational coaching approaches

Transformational coaching is a mix of different methods and techniques.

Here are four effective approaches often used:

Motivational Interviewing (MI): 

MI lets clients work through their mixed feelings about change. It also bridges the gap between their current actions and broader life goals and values.

Take a client who dreams of switching careers but feels hesitant. You could ask questions to explore their fears and desires. This helps them see the benefits of going after their true passion.

Positive Psychology: 

Positive psychology focuses on what’s “going right” rather than what’s “going wrong”. Clients can thrive with the right skills and context. To achieve this, you focus on strengths and positive aspects.

If a client deals with low self-esteem, you help them see their qualities and past successes to boost their self-confidence.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): 

NLP uses language to reshape clients’ thought patterns and behaviors.

If a client has a fear of public speaking, you can guide them to reframe their perspective. They go from thinking “I’m terrible at this” to “I’m learning and improving.”

The Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: 

CBT helps clients change problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Imagine a client who avoids social gatherings due to social anxiety. You could help them spot irrational beliefs and replace them with more realistic ones.

The transformational coaching process in action

Depending on your skills and the client’s needs, you’ll use different transformational coaching techniques. But the typical process looks like this:

  1. Understanding patterns: You explore the client’s thinking, feeling, and relational patterns.
  2. Breaking patterns: You get rid of bad habits or beliefs that are holding them back.
  3. Moving forward: You help clients achieve what they truly want in life.

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

Here’s an example to make this clearer:

Alex, a recent college graduate, doesn’t know what to do next in life. 

As a transformational coach, this is how you would help this client:

  1. Understanding Patterns: You start by figuring out why Alex feels uncertain. Is it about career choices, personal goals, or external pressures? Are there any recurring patterns of doubt or fear that are holding him back?
  2. Breaking Patterns: Next, you help Alex let go of unhelpful habits and beliefs. This could involve techniques to boost self-confidence and manage uncertainty.
  3. Moving forward: Finally, with more self-awareness and a fresh outlook, Alex explores other career paths he’s truly excited about.

Can anyone become a transformational coach?

Is becoming a transformational coach open to everyone?

Yes! All you need is the ability to help your clients make a big change in their lives.

To make this happen, you need the right coaching skills. And the best way to develop these is through practice.

Want to know what it takes to become a successful transformational coach? Then this next section is for you.

How do you become a transformational coach?

Becoming a transformational coach might feel like a big deal.

You may be worrying about certifications, setting up your business, and finding clients.

But guess what? It doesn’t have to be super complicated.

Let me break it down for you.

How much do transformational coaches make?

First off, how much can you make as a transformational coach?

Knowing what’s possible can be a real game-changer. So, I understand how important it is to answer this question early on.

Here’s the deal.

Coaching is a very profitable business. This is even truer if you’ve specialized, as is the case with transformational coaching.

Let’s go over some numbers.

According to Glassdoor, the average yearly income for transformation coaches is around $150,000.

However, the value in your coaching is in how you help your clients change their lives. To many people, this is PRICELESS.

The secret sauce here is that you’re delivering a genuine transformation. THAT ability is the key to being a successful coach.Want to boost your salary further? Then digging even deeper into your niche is a great idea.

How do you find your niche?

Niching down is a great way to create a unique selling proposition.

It lets you stand out, and you become the “go-to” person in your field.

Once you’ve picked the right niche, being a coach becomes a lot more profitable too.

Let’s look at a quick example.

Take a regular lawyer; they can earn a good income.

But compare that to a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases. They can make A LOT more money because they niched down.

Now, take it a step further. For example, a medical malpractice lawyer who only handles cases involving birth injury claims. Their earnings could be even greater thanks to their ultra-specific niche.

As long as you find the right clients, the riches are in the niches.

Yes, even if you’re a transformational coach.

Let me explain.

Why is niching down so important when you’re a coach?

Having a niche is essential to your business success.

When a client hires you, they’re doing so for one reason only: They are looking for solutions.

So, as a coach, you need a set of problems you can easily solve. The only way to make that happen is by excelling in a specific field.

Transformational coaching is already a niche. But with this type of coaching, clients want a holistic change in many different life areas.

So, to stand out, you could focus on specific groups of people.

Think of:

  • Guiding new parents through parenthood
  • Assisting retirees in finding purpose and fulfillment
  • Boosting self-confidence in young adults
  • Helping artists overcome creative blocks and self-limiting beliefs
  • Empowering those facing midlife crises to embrace change

The list of possible niches is endless. It’s all about picking the one that best fits with your passion and expertise. (See my number one tip on discovering your niche below.)

Do this to find YOUR niche

Now, how do you go about finding the niche that’s right for you?

Here are four important steps to follow:

  1. Brainstorm your possibilities (Go over all the categories you could focus on)
  2. Identify your WHO (Who’s your target audience?)
  3. Name the problem (Who do you help get what?)
  4. Answer why YOU (How do you help clients get better, faster, and easier results?)

Want to learn more about finding your profitable niche?

In this short video, I discuss the steps in more detail. (I also share ONE powerful sentence to discover your niche!)

Do you need a transformational coaching certification?

A common question I get a lot is whether you need to get certified before calling yourself a coach?

My answer to that is “no,” but with a caveat.

There are some industries where a certification or specific education is required. Think of fields like healthcare, legal services, and financial advising.When it comes to transformational coaching, though, there are no legal requirements to get certified.

Here’s why.

Why you don’t need a transformational coaching degree

As a coach, you help your clients.

You’re not a psychologist or a therapist. And you’re not healing or treating clients.

Instead, you’re teaching them what you’ve learned throughout your life.

And guess what? You really don’t need a certification to legitimize your lived experience.

All you need is the proven ability to help your clients get results.

After all, that’s why they’re working with you in the first place.

That said, for some entrepreneurs, having an official certification can help them feel more confident.

No harm in that.

As long as you find a good company…

The best transformational coaching certifications

If you DO want to get certified, you have to be picky.

Unfortunately, many transformational coaching courses don’t add much value. This can make you waste a lot of time and money.

That’s why I recommend always going for ICF-accredited transformational coaching training. Alternatively, look for coaching certifications offered by established universities. 

To help you out, I’ve gathered the best transformational coaching certifications:

  • Accredited Diploma in Transformative Coaching (Animas Centre for Coaching): An accredited diploma that focuses on psychology, change-theory, and humanistic practice. The program takes nine months to complete and costs $7,400 (£5,995).
  • Transformational Coach Training (Universal Coach Institute): This program is completed in two weeks and costs $297. However, this program isn’t accredited, in case you want to have that stamp of approval. 
  • NLP Practitioner Certification Training (Coach Transformation Academy): If you want to focus on NLP, this is a certificate that teaches you how. The program is designed for 6 days as Live online training for 60 hours.
  • The Certified Coach Program (Coach Training Alliance): This ICF approved certification is a six-month long program that teaches you how to coach. 

Our internationally-accredited coach training course is built on foundations of psychology, change-theory and humanistic practice and equips you to work at a deep level with clients. Taking a transformative approach, you will learn to help clients explore their beliefs, values, assumptions and ways of seeing the world. 

Get the Ultimate Guide

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

Next, let’s answer the question: 

How do you start a transformational coaching business?

How do you set up your transformational coaching business?

How do you create a transformational coaching program?

It’s actually quite simple.

Not easy, but completely doable with the right information and tools. In fact, you might be surprised at how quickly you can set up your business and get paying clients.

When I started my coaching business, there was not a lot of information out there.

I had to learn through trial and error. But the good part is that I can now share all my hard-earned knowledge with you.

Tip one

Start an online coaching business. 

Online coaching offers the most flexibility. And you don’t need a lot of funding or advanced business-building skills to kick things off. 

All you need are your laptop and your niche.

The online world is also quite user-friendly, and there are many tools and resources out there to help you, even if you’re not tech-savvy.

Plus, every minute you save by going digital is an extra minute you get to dive into your niche and reach out to potential clients. (I’ll share my tips on how to find your first coaching clients in a bit.)

Tip two

Tip number two: Dare to take those first steps!

To make it in this industry, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader.

Learning by doing is key.

Too often, we are held back by our own limiting beliefs or the fear of being judged by others.

We think we won’t be able to make it happen.

But guess what? If I would have never gotten over those fears, I would still be working in my 9-to-5 right now.

I would not be enjoying the freedom I currently have. And I would have missed out on helping so many of my coaching students achieve their dreams.

Want to set up your coaching business the right AND quick way? In this video, I tell you how to get started in 24 hours:

Do you need a website for your coaching business?

Do you have to set up a website? Not yet!

Many people believe a website is essential to begin their businesses…But it’s not.

I established my website after earning $20,000 as a coach. Up until then, I would simply share a link to my LinkedIn profile.

You see, when you’re still in the early stages, your website won’t attract people. The best moment to build one is after you’ve gained a few clients.

You’ll already have more experience and will know what you can offer. Plus, when done right, you’ll also have some glowing testimonials to put online.

But without a website, how will you get your first coaching clients?

I’ll go over this next.

How do you get your first paying clients?

If you haven’t had a paying client yet, you might be wondering whether people will hire you to coach them.

Good news: They will! You just have to approach it in the right way.

Getting that first client turns your business from a dream to reality. And luckily, you don’t need a complicated business plan to make it happen.

All you need is this fool-proof step-by-step strategy:

  1. Know what your clients want (What are they craving?)
  2. Know your solution (What are you offering?)
  3. Give a “quick win” (Build trust quickly)
  4. Offer the “quick win” for free (A sneak peek of what clients can achieve by working with you) 

These four simple steps have worked for thousands of my students. And now you can use them too to get coaching clients ASAP.

Get the Ultimate Guide

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

I discuss this powerful four-step strategy more in depth in this video:

And the best ways to find your first clients? 

A few beginner-friendly strategies are: 

  • Your network: You probably have people in your network who want and need transformational coaching – and because they know and trust you, they’re a great audience.
  • Podcasts: Getting interviewed on podcasts is a great way to get in front of your audience – and by offering your expertise for half an hour or an hour, you build trust. 
  • Social media: Reaching people organically on social media can be a powerful way to attract your first clients. For example, publish content on LinkedIn and engage with your network on the platform. 

That’s how you become a transformational coach!

But what are some examples of successful transformational coaches? 

Here you go: 

Best transformational coaches (examples)

Learning from experience is key. But sometimes, learning from other experts is just as valuable.

Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of coaches who offer deep transformation to inspire you on your coaching journey.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins has been helping people transform their lives for decades. He’s energetic and gives practical advice that can easily be implemented. Robbins shows you how to add enthusiasm to your coaching sessions — a great way to inspire clients to remain motivated.

Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma is a world-renowned leadership expert who’s known for his motivational books. Sharma highlights the importance of having a mentor. You can’t learn everything on your own. And great mentorship can help you gain second-hand wisdom and speed up your personal growth. (AKA coach-sulting!)

Rich Litvin

Rich Litvin’s coaching philosophy focuses on deep connections and powerful conversations. He’s all about quality over quantity. He goes for transformative results by letting clients push their boundaries. Or to put it in his words: He helps extraordinary people achieve impossible goals.

Marie Forleo

Oprah named Marie Forleo “a thought leader for the next generation.” Forleo’s goal is to help clients become the person they most want to be. Her engaging communication skills and relatable experiences make her stand out. It also makes her coaching that much more inspiring.

What’s next?

That’s it! Now you know what it takes to be an exceptional transformational coach.

Through transformational coaching, you can help clients finally live the life they’ve been longing for.

All while building a sustainable and profitable business that offers you more freedom and flexibility.

Want to take the next steps?

My free blueprint shows you how to build a six-figure transformational coaching business.

Want to get it now?

Download it here:

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

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Read more:

How to Start a Successful Coaching Business [Guide]

Checklist for Starting Your Coaching Business

How to Price Your Coaching Services

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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