Do you want to become a certified life coach? Are you ready to help people heal from their struggles, enjoy a more fulfilling life, and leave behind all their problems? Life coaching is a rewarding career, but it isn’t always easy to get started on the right foot. You may be wondering what you should study or which certification to get first. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to become a certified life coach so you can quickly and easily find out all the steps you need to take to start your own life coaching business today.
What are the requirements?
Unlike other careers, becoming a certified life coach is much less formalized. This can be attributed in part to how new it is as an industry. The good news is that it’s easy and affordable (or free) to become certified—and you don’t even need a college degree!
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is one of the most popular certifying bodies for coaches around the world. It offers three levels of certification: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC).
The first step is to pass a test; upon passing, they will award you with either a PCC or ACC designation. For higher levels of certification (Master Certified Coach), additional experience and education is required. Note that some professional organizations may have additional training requirements.
Who can be a life coach?
It might seem odd that there are no official qualifications needed to become a life coach. However, certification is quickly becoming an expectation from clients and employers, who are starting to see coaching as more of a profession than an unregulated practice.
If you want your career as a life coach to flourish, you’ll need credentials that say you know what you’re doing. Fortunately, certifications can range in cost and depth—so there’s one for every budget and experience level.
Before you decide which course to take (if any), think about why you got into coaching in the first place: Do you have training in psychology or counseling? Are you a self-improvement junkie looking for new skills? Or do you just want a shortcut towards building your business? Once you’ve figured out your motivations, it will be easier to select a program that matches them.
How do I start building my client base?
Building a successful life coaching business takes time, but one of your best bets for getting your first clients is through word-of-mouth. Make sure you’re delivering results for people in your community—that way, when they are ready to hire you, they will already have an idea of what you can do.
You should also consider joining professional organizations and going to related conferences; that’s where many potential clients will be looking for coaches like you.
Finally, social media plays a large role in today’s society, and many experts use it as their main marketing strategy. Explore ways to use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to build your client base; if nothing else, these platforms make great networking tools.
Your website serves as your online branding tool; therefore, you want to create a professional image from its design to its content. All materials on your site should highlight and explain how you work with clients and how they can benefit from working with you. This will not only attract new clients, but it’ll help build trust. And once you get a few clients under your belt, refer them as testimonials on your website or share them with others so more people know about you.
Final thoughts on how to become a certified life coach
Certified life coaches follow an extensive certification process to become qualified. Having such credentials is important, being certified gives credibility and shows potential clients that you’re committed to your craft.
Remember, when people invest money into something they want to know they’re investing in someone who knows what they’re doing. Certification lets them know you have met certain standards and expectations of professionalism, which provides comfort that their investment is well-placed.
Other than that, certified life coaches also must agree to a code of ethics and maintain trustworthiness. These rules act as proof that being a certified coach means more than having taken some online courses or done some self-study; you really are professional.
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