By Holly Reisem Hanna
I remember the day when I sat down with my career counselor to chat about my SAT score, colleges, and what I wanted to do with my future. Growing up, I never had an overwhelming desire towards one occupation. I enjoyed helping people, so I dabbled with the idea of teaching, nursing, and social work … but didn't know what direction to take. After chatting with my high-school career counselor, I decided to look into career counseling as a profession — after all, what better way to help and guide kids?
But after looking deeper into the profession, I learned that not only I would have to get a Bachelor's Degree in psychology, but I would also need to get a Master's Degree in counseling which would require an additional two years of schooling. At the time getting a Master's Degree was not on my agenda, so I went off to college as an undecided major.
If you enjoy helping people and would like to help them meet their goals, there is an alternative to counseling and that's coaching. In fact with the internet, advances in technology and social media, the landscape of coaching has changed dramatically. No longer are individuals constrained to just career coaching or life coaching – now individuals can work from home in a wide variety of niches. In fact, there are women working remotely as blogging, weight loss, and time management coaches.
What is a coach?
A coach is a person who been professional trained or who has first-hand experience in a certain subject matter that helps others achieve their goals.
For example, a career coach may help an individual with such tasks as updating their resume, assisting them with a career transition, or helping them find a career that they're passionate about. A life coach may help an individual with relationships, techniques to create better work-life balance or cultivate strategies for building their self-esteem.
What types of coaches are there?
Here are some common areas that coaches work.
- Blogging Coach
- Business Coach
- Career Coach
- Direct Sales Coach
- Financial Coach
- Health and Wellness Coach
- Life Coach
- Personal Coach
- Relationship Coach
- Religious Coach
These specialties can be narrowed down even further, for instance, a business coach could specialize in blogging, direct sales, time management, marketing, technology, sales, and so on.
What training do you need?
There are four different ways to start your coaching career. First, you can complete a training course or go to college and get a degree. Many training programs only take six weeks to a few months to complete, and they can cost as little as $900.00 or as much as $10,000.00. Of course, if you decide to go the college route, it will be more expensive and take longer period of time.
The second way to become a coach is through experience. In fact, Nathalie Lussier did just that. She started a blog called, Real Foods Witch which quickly grew to over 750,000 visitors a year. With this success, readers and clients were asking her how she did it … so she launched a digital strategy business to coach clients in technology and online marketing.
The third method is being naturally gifted in helping people solve their challenges. Let's look at Cynthia Occelli's story as an example. After her husband suddenly passed away, she took a survival job in real estate and started a consulting practice solving other people’s business problems. She learned that the crux of 99 percent of business problems rest on people and their beliefs, personalities, fears, and insecurities. Instead of working directly on their businesses, she always ended up coaching leaders through their internal challenges and helping them to realize their dreams. From this, she transitioned her consulting business to exclusively coaching women through life’s challenges.
The final route you can take is to join a direct sales company. Companies like BeachBody (health and fitness coach) and doTERRA (wellness coach/advocate) offer starter kits, training, and marketing tools for aspiring coaches. With these companies you sell their health, wellness, and fitness products in exchange for a commission — and you can do this through educating others. Direct sales can be an affordable way to break into the coaching field, but you will have some restrictions since you're working under a company umbrella.
How much can a coach earn?
Depending on how you distribute your services and products, how long you’ve been working in the field, your experience, and training, coaches can make anywhere from $19 – $325 per hour. Now, don't get too excited. While coaches can make great money, it doesn't happen overnight. Life Coach, Andrea Owen shares some good insight in this post – make sure you read it.
Where do you find coaching jobs?
While most coaches are self-employed, there are a handful of companies that offer home-based coaching positions if you prefer to work as an employee or independent contractor.
- AskMarsVenus – Dating and Relationship Coaches
- Real Appeal – Health Coaches
- RiseSmart – Career Coaches
- Tony Robbins – Business Coaches
- Vida – Health Coaches
Two other places you can find coaching jobs is within hospitals (however, most of these positions require advanced degrees, such as a registered nurse or registered dietician). And the other place to check is FlexJobs, which is a paid job board for legit telecommuting positions.
Want to start your own coaching business?
Like any other home-based business, you will need to educate yourself on the best business practices and tools, file all of the appropriate paperwork, and get your legal and financial ducks in a row. Once you write your business plan and step up the preliminary business framework, you can start working on the fun parts of your business.
1. Choose a niche.
There are many different types of coaching you can offer. Figuring out what niche you want to focus on can be a challenge, but if you mind-map your passions, interests, experience, and knowledge you can narrow it down relatively easy.
2. Build a website.
To be competitive as a coach, you need to have a website. Having an online presence helps you attract more clients; it gives you a place to showcase your experience, list your services, and testimonials, and it makes you look more professional. Don’t worry, setting up a website is easy and affordable. This post has step-by-step instructions that will have you up and running in no time — and it's very affordable!
3. Market your business.
There are tons of ways to promote your coaching business; the thing you need to remember is consistency is key. Choose two to three methods that you think you’ll enjoy doing and spend time each day working on those methods. If you find yourself dreading a certain method, or that it's not effective, drop it and try something else.
Not sure of your marketing options? Here are some ways you can market your business:
- Social media
- Business Cards
- Email marketing
- In-person networking
- Guest blogging
- Print advertising
- Forum participation
- Email prospecting
- Facebook groups
Now that you’ve got your website in place and you’re actively marketing your business, it’s time to connect with potential clients. Some experts believe you should follow up with five to ten new prospects a day until you have a constant flow of customers in your pipeline.
4. Invest in your personal development.
As your cash flow builds, you’ll want to reinvest some of it into professional development. Luckily, they are events, tradeshows, webinars, teleconferences, online courses, books, membership sites, mastermind groups, and coaching sessions – there is something to fit every budget and every niche. By investing in yourself and your business, you gain the knowledge, information, and skills to make your coaching business a success.
If you have a desire to help others, are dependable, a good listener, and are non-judgmental, a business a coach may be your calling. Check out this post for some preliminary steps to launch your own home-based business.
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