If you love life coaching, but you’re not a member of a life coach association, then this article is for you.
As you may have begun to see, there’s more to a life coaching business than just coaching. Maybe you aren’t sure how to get enough clients for a profitable business?
Or are you worried you might not have enough business skills to run a business?
Or are you concerned that your business support isn’t coming from someone who’s also an experienced life coach?
In this article, we’ll go over 3 main challenges life coaches face and how you can overcome them and attract more clients. Plus you’ll find out…
- How you can get in front of more potential clients
- How to show your credibility to those potential clients, and
- How to get the business skills you need to run your business more profitably
Challenge Life Coaches Face #1: Visibility
Online VISIBILITY is the first big challenge for coaches. In order for buyers to find your services, you need to be seen. You can have a beautiful website with compelling copy, but if not enough people see it, it can’t help you.
Article writing, blogging, guest blogging, podcasting, webinars, and paid ads are all tried and true strategies you can use to get more visibility. You can also get offline visibility by giving live talks, going to live networking meetings, attending live events, and doing speaking engagements. Those are all good, but they may not be enough.
The IAPLC Online Directory
An effective option for extending your visibility is to be listed in an online life coach directory. Being in an online directory exposes you to audiences you may not normally reach.
When I started my coaching business, I wanted to find an online life coach directory to be listed in so I could get more exposure. But, I have to say, what I found was disappointing.
The first directory site was way too complicated. The coaches had to purchase directory “credits” in order for their listing to be shown to clients, and the clients had to leave all their information before any coach could contact them. Buying their “credits” turned out to be confusing, and I ended up never using that site again.
On another directory site, you could only find a coach if you already knew their name. But since most people are looking for a specific type of coaching, not a particular person, that wasn’t very helpful. A third directory was only for graduates of the website’s own coaching program.
I even surveyed the members of my life coach LinkedIn group and asked them what directories they were listed in. But they really didn’t have any new suggestions and weren’t very happy with results they were getting from directories they were in.
So, being the action-taking organizer that I am, I decided to create my own professional life coach association (the IAPLC) with an online life coach directory that lists coaches in over 15 different coaching categories. That means someone coming to our site looking for help with, say, a relationship, could look under “Relationship Coaches,” or a health issue, under “Health & Wellness Coaches.” Listing by category made it more user-friendly.
Being in the right kind of directory is an effective way to get more website traffic and thus more clients.
Here’s what one member said…
Challenge Life Coaches Face #2: Credibility
Another challenge that life coaches often need help with is how to get CREDIBILITY. Many coaches who are just starting out feel that, because they lack experience, they lack credibility in the eyes of potential clients. (Something that can take a toll on a new coach’s confidence.) But even seasoned life coaches may have to deal with lack of credibility if they aren’t well-known in their niche.
Life Coaching is a fairly new industry, but it’s also one of the fastest growing. With so many coaches out there, the inevitable occurs: There are people who claim to be life coaches but don’t necessarily have training, or, at worst, may even be frauds. So, folks looking for coaches want reassurance that the coach they hire is legitimate, experienced, credible…AND, of course, is going to be able to solve their problem.
Here are 3 ways life coaches increase their credibility:
A good way to establish CREDIBILITY is to show that you belong to a professional organization. Most professions have support organizations you can join that show clients that you’re a serious practitioner. Doctors have the American Medical Association. Architects have the American Institute of Architects, and Arborists have the International Society of Arboriculture. Being a member of a professional organization increases credibility.
On becoming a certified coach, I looked into joining the International Coaches Federation (ICF). But soon discovered that I couldn’t join because ICF had not endorsed the particular certification program I had taken. Then it occurred to me that there were probably other good certification programs that the ICF hadn’t endorsed as well. And I thought of the many experienced and successful coaches just using their God-given talents without going through any certification program. They also were banned from joining the ICF.
So this was another reason I decided to create aa new life coach association, one that included all those highly experienced coaches who deserved more credibility, but may not have gotten certified, or got certified through a program not endorsed by the ICF.
All IAPLC members are interviewed, and must meet certain standards to be listed in our directory. They can display the IAPLC badge on their website to show that they belong to a life coach professional organization, a powerful way to show credibility.
Just having the badge on your site can make the difference for a client to choose you over a coach who doesn’t have one. The badge assures clients that you are verified and recommended by a professional organization. And the more credibility you have, the more clients will be likely to want to hire you.
Here’s what members said…
Another way you can gain credibility is to take a certification course.
Currently, there are no governmental regulations requiring certification to practice life coaching (at least in the U.S.). Each coach is recommended to seek education and training to the degree he or she feels necessary.
But most coaches feel more confidence in charging for their services if they have gone through some kind of training, and can show credentials for it. There are certification courses available in many different fields within the life coaching industry. I’ve compiled a list of some of them recommended by colleagues and other coaches, which you can download HERE.
Since there are many different coach trainings, all offering something different in terms of content, delivery and style, it’s important to find the course which both matches your personal learning style and one that will best equip you for the market you want to work in.
After being asked many times by new coaches if our life coach association had a certification course, I decided to create the IAPLC International Life Coach Certification program. It covers over 30 life-coaching techniques, coaching models for working effectively with clients, and brandable tools and exercises for use in helping clients make progress toward their goals.
Graduates also get an official, International Professional Life Coach (CLC) certificate to hang on their wall, along with a badge to post on their website.
3-Become A Published Author
Another way to establish more credibility is to become a published author. Statistically, published authors get more business than non-published authors, because there’s a certain prestige that goes with writing a book. And even if you are a co-author in a group book, you will gain respect within the coaching and business community simply for having a book available in the marketplace. This respect leads to new social media followers, email subscribers, and paying clients who need the valuable service you provide.
Becoming a co-author of a compilation or group book is the next best thing to authoring your own book. Plus, it can be a lot cheaper and less time-consuming. You may not have time to write a book, but anyone can make time to write a chapter in a compilation book.
When I started getting solicitations for being in a compilation book, most of the venues wanted between $500 and $3,000 to be in their book. That’s a little expensive for someone just starting out in business. After self-publishing my first book, I realized that I could make it not only very easy, but also extremely affordable for IAPLC members to become published authors in a compilation book. So now we offer this for our Gold members, as another way to establish your credibility and expertise. This has become an annual publication, with 7 books thus far.
Participating in a group book can further expand your reach, because all the co-authors are promoting it to their own lists. And if you participate in a group book sponsored by a life coach association like the IAPLC, you have a brand name backing you, and that can help to establish more credibility for you.
If you’re already a published author, you will still receive all the above benefits. The more books you have written, or have written for, only adds to your credibility and perceived value as an expert.
And, by the way, becoming a published author and participating in a compilation book launch also gives you more visibility! So you’re “killing two birds with one stone,” and gaining more clients as a result.
Here’s what one member said…
Challenge Life Coaches Face #3: Business Training
One of the biggest challenges that life coaches can face is lack of business skills. Does the following sound familiar? You decide to embark on a career in coaching. You get training. You’re so excited to have credentials, and now you can go out and help all those people who can benefit from your services. You open your doors for business and…. nothing happens.
You realize you don’t know how to effectively market for clients.
This is a dilemma many new coaches face, but even those who have been in business for a while can still have the same problem. And it’s because most coach training programs do not include enough (if any) training in marketing, or other skills necessary to run a business. You may be a great coach, but feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to know about running a business.
Life coaches also need marketing skills such as list building, lead generation, blogging, email marketing, content marketing, and referral marketing. Plus there are all the social media platforms to interact with and advertise with. A coach also needs to learn sales skills for enrollment conversations.
Here are 3 ways life coaches overcome this business challenge:
1-Monthly Training Packages
Since I saw that more business skills were needed by the coaches, I started offering monthly training packages which are like mini workshops. They zero in on one business skill or strategy. Some of the topics covered are:
- fixing business money leaks,
- Facebook ads,
- social media networking,
- marketing strategies,
- mindset issues,
- and business systems.
Plus the trainings include professionally designed materials to make it easier to implement what’s been learned.
Here’s what one member said…
2-Access to our Coaching Business Training Vault
The reason new business owners struggle is because either they pay too much for business training and coaching, or they get information overload by trying too many marketing strategies without results. Or they don’t get any training at all and try to wing it.
I’ve identified 7 basic steps for starting, growing, and scaling a profitable coaching business. Inside the IAPLC Coaching Business Training Vault, I’ve have curated the best of the best trainings that cover all 7 components – all in one place. No more expensive courses or information overload.
Monthly training packages and a training library are an important part of what a life coach association can offer.
Throughout the year I hold live workshops where we work on one strategy or skill to develop and use in a coach’s marketing toolbox. All of the trainings in the training vault were presented live and upcoming workshops include writing your own book, growing your list, and increasing website traffic.
Here’s what members said…
In Conclusion & Next Step
The 3 critical challenges that most coaches face are lack of: visibility, credibility and business training. When coaches overcome these challenges, they are able to attract clients, have a profitable business, and have an enjoyable lifestyle.
What if there were a place you could go to get help overcoming these challenges, all at the same time? Well, there is – the International Association of Professional Life Coaches (IAPLC). And here’s how joining this life coaches association can help you do that:
- IAPLC official badge for your website
- Listing in our online directory of over 15 categories
- Featured “Coach of the Week” on our home page
- Opportunities to participate in published group books
- Access to masterclass recording archives
- Monthly marketing and business training packages
Here’s what one member said…
So if you’re a life coach who is looking for a place to gain more business skills to run your business and establish your credibility, while gaining more visibility online, join the IAPLC as a Gold Member and enjoy all the benefits of a professional organization. Go to: