What Does a Life Coach Do?
If you want to know exactly what a life coach does, this is part one of a 4-part podcast series, Become A Life Coach: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Grow a Successful Coaching Business + Clear Action Steps to Begin Today that will answer your question in full detail.
I’ve also written out everything you would want to know, related to answering your question: “What does a life coach do?”
Or, keep on reading as we dive into the question: “What does a life coach do?”
If we haven’t met, I’m Jeannine Yoder, creator and founder of the most personal, high-touch and soulful life coach training and certification program for women, Mentor Masterclass. My free Mentor Masterclass Self-Discovery Week, seven days of soulful practices to help you become a successful life coach, is one of the most popular free online coach training programs available to new and established coaches.
There are four main questions every human who wants to know how to become a life coach must answer in order to know how to get started as a coach:
What does a life coach do? (The question we’ll be diving into today!)
Do you need training to become a life coach?
How long does it take to become a life coach?
How much do life coaches make?
When you begin researching you need to know the answer to these questions about starting a coaching business in order to decide if life coaching is a smart and aligned career choice for you.
Let’s start with a very important question I get a lot from people who want to understand what life coaches do and how it would feel to change careers to become a life coach….
What does a life coach do?
What does a coach offer in the world?
What does she actually do when she’s coaching clients?
And what does a daily schedule look like when someone works from home and runs her own business — and is in charge of her own success?
(I dive into this at the 7:09 point in the podcast episode!)
A life coach really is an entrepreneur, innovating a life strategy and a business that works for them. While every coach will be unique in how they run their business and who they coach what a life coach does is the same for all coaches.
With the right training, you should be taught never to copy someone else’s business model or exact way of coaching— there’s a unique business model and style that works for you. This is exactly what I teach the women in my all-in life coach training program, Mentor Masterclass.
Every coach has a unique set of skills and talents they should pull in to add the basic foundation of all coaches do, in order to stand out and build a successful business. In order to know what a life coach does, you need to go through a process of self-discovery while you learn mastery level coaching techniques. This will help you discern which techniques you love using most, are gifted at integrating into sessions and that get your clients lasting results.
On a basic level, what do life coaches do? Life coaches work with their clients to help them achieve goals. They help them overcome things that are keeping them stuck, help them move past playing small, and address problems and challenges that are standing in the way of getting what they really want. Life coaches help people make life-changing shifts and adjustments in their life patterns, habits, behavior, and belief systems… to live a better life and achieve their goals. Well-trained life coaches don’t give advice, but instead serve as a partner along the way, bringing a person through to a potential that already exists inside of them. Coaching is based on the skills of listening, asking powerful questions, creating a safe space with clients, being a clear space for accessing their potential and holding clients accountable to taking action. Coaching is not about your life experience, expertise or opinions. It’s a trained skill that involves understanding NLP (neuro linguisting programming), mind, body and soul connection in order to access momentum, clarity and an unbreakable drive.
Life coaching might be your calling if you have the gift of looking at and seeing the highest good and the greatest potential for people, and if you’re passionate about how the mind, soul, body, and spirit work together. Or, if you’re passionate about techniques for healing and getting clear and taking action, then you’re probably born to be a life coach. If you’re friends always come to you for advice because they feel you know them best, you probably already know exactly what a life coach does on a small scale and you’ve probably been practicing for YEARS!
A life coach helps people define themselves and create the life they’ve been envisioning. They provide focus, encouragement, and direction. They lovingly call their clients out, and do what it takes to get them up off their asses and into action!
(I explore this more at the 9:55 point in the podcast episode.)
Life coaching is based on the principle that the client has the inner resources to decide and to go after what their goals are… and that everything is based on being in the present moment, knowing what you want to achieve in your life, and what’s preventing you from getting it. What a life coach does is gives you the time and space to explore your intrinsic and extrinsic world and to create clear action steps to live the life you really want.
Highly skilled coaches are trained to hold a space that goes beyond just asking questions, but also allows you to go through an identity transformation, becoming who you need to be, with a different set of patterns and beliefs needed to live a better life.
Some coaches are even trained in things like family constellation healing and trauma as a means for moving supporting you in moving through blocks that run deep.
What Does A Life Coach Do That is Different From Therapy
Life coaching is different from therapy, in that there’s no nationally recognized certification for becoming a coach. Coaches can combine multiple forms of training, their unique personality and their own branding into their business model and how they work with clients. Therapy is about digging up, reliving, and redefining the past. Coaching, by contrast, is forward driven, and coaches work with all types of people with different drives. A coach may choose a niche market of working with people who are full of direction and want to really up-level their lives.
Or a coach may work with people who are feeling challenged and need a coach to help them get out of feeling stuck in the mud or rock bottom of life. In coaching you get to choose who you work with, what kind of packages you offer, your own pricing and your own schedule. You have complete freedom to run your sessions in a unique way. This is what makes starting a career as a life coach so exciting. It’s also why you need mastery level training in order to get clear, ground your vision and your unique coaching model. After seven years training women to become successful life coaches in my signature life coach training program Mentor Masterclass, I’ve discovered the freedom is sometimes what leaves aspiring and established coaches feeling stuck and uncertain of how to build a life coaching business. We are not used to being given creative freedom in our careers. A lot of my work involves helping my coaching clients, aspiring and established coaches, to become mastery level trained coaches and to create their signature coaching methods through my online and in person life coach training program.
Women in my life coach training program have the opportunity and get the training to start making money as a coach within their first month of the program. I will tell you that women who walk their talk and are willing to do the deep inner healing, first in their own life, have greater success building a magnetizing coaching brand. If you love to do self improvement and are open to processing things in your life with a deeper perspective and commitment to growth, you will do well as a life coach.
How do you meet with paying coaching clients and what do life coaches do in client sessions?
Many coaches meet with their clients over the telephone. This is the biggest way and it’s one of the most amazing parts about becoming a coach! A lot of people pursue life coaching as a career when they want location, time and financial freedom, meaning there’s no commute to work. You can be anywhere in the world and work with someone anywhere in the world at any time of day, all because most coaching happens over the phone.
A typical session with a client can be anywhere from 45-90 minutes.
(I share more about this at the 14:23 mark in the episode, so skip to that point if you want to hear me walk through it all.)
If you’re wondering how much it costs to start a coaching business, you’ll love this: There’s very little upfront investment to start a coaching business. Invest in a high-level life coach training that is aligned with your lifestyle, get a phone line and a laptop and you are ready to go!
You don’t need to pay office rent and you don’t need equipment, because it’s not a brick and mortar business. You can do it all from home, saving you and your clients time and money on travel.
If you prefer, you can absolutely have a meeting place somewhere. You might rent a space or clients can come into your home, where you might have a designated office. So in some cases there are coaches who like to meet in person with their clients. The best part is, your home or apartment rent becomes a business write off!
You can also meet on Skype or a common conference line, using software like Zoom. Some life coaches like to run sessions over video, so you can see your client’s face and still be physically interacting, which is beneficial because there are some deeper coaching techniques that allow you to dive into physical movement as a resource for discerning what conversation models and techniques to use with your coaching clients.
And of course, you can have any combination of these meeting methods, too.
When I’m working one-on-one with clients, I like to work with them just over the phone because I move around the room a lot. I dance to move energy, take a lot of notes, and I get to dive deeper just by working on the phone when I’m not concerned about my clients reaction to my physicality. Some days I wear yoga pants (or no pants!) and some days I get dressed up like a goddess. My clients never need to know!
When I lead my group coaching calls, they’re all on Zoom conferencing over video so I can see all the women I work with around the world and they can see and interact with each other in sisterhood. Sisterhood and connecting women with like-minded and powerful women is a huge part of my unique business model and the signature coaching method I use inside my all in life coach training program for women, Mentor Masterclass.
Finally, I love to lead in-person retreats where I get to be in-person with my clients in beautiful places around the world.
I personally do a little bit of all three face-to-face coaching, virtual coaching over the telephone, video conferencing, and in-person connection through luxury retreats with my paying clients.
Other ways coaches work with client are through written coaching in a blog, book or to a private email list. Some coaches create online products that can be sold evergreen, online. Evergreen means it does not require being live or your continued time investment, once it is created you can sell it while you sleep. Some of the celebrity mentors that teach inside my signature life coach training program Mentor Masterclass have even created phone apps and membership sites. I have a panel of successful women coaches support my students so they learn first hand that there are many different ways to build your business and your profit as a coach. The key is finding the creative output that makes most sense to you, your gifts, talents and how you like to work.
What Does A Life Coach Do: A day in The Life of Running a Life Coaching Business
8:00 AM. Emily wakes and starts her day.
She does a morning ritual, which is all about taking care of herself first. She has a clear focus and intention for her day, knows how she’s going to be present during that day, and she also sets a tone for gratitude for the life that she’s created.
You’ll feel it, too — it’s a pretty awesome life, full of the freedom to create your own hours and skip that 40-hour workweek if you want. In fact, I work with women to create shorter workweeks that are more impactful, so your whole life isn’t just about work and running your coaching business.
I currently run a multi 6-figure coaching business myself and work a total of 18 hours a week on my business.
Next, Emily moves into her client work
She has two new potential clients that learned about her from a podcast she was featured on as a speaker. Emily discovered this form of prospecting and marketing works best for her based off the training she received working with me in Mentor Masterclass. Together we created a business model and plan that honors her strengths. She starts the day by emailing them after her morning ritual to schedule a free discovery session, where she’ll offer them the opportunity to experience what coaching is like with her and then tell them about her paid offerings and options for working together. Emily will use the strategy session outline and unique coaching method she created while training to become a life coach and receiving her life coaching certification from Mentor Masterclass.
9:00 AM. Emily goes to yoga.
She then showers and has breakfast with a fellow coach she met in the intimate Mentor Masterclass sisterhood. They’re going to lead a retreat together in the fall and they’re meeting to look at potential venues as they connect and have breakfast.
(I talk about this at the 22:08 point in the episode)
11:00 AM. Emily begins her three client appointments.
She’s scheduled each session back to back. Each hour long appointment is done over the phone or video, and she allows a 30-minute break between each session to recap and make closing notes. She also prepares for the next session with the upcoming client.
Emily also creates an Instagram story, she’s posting about the results she’s getting for her clients. By doing this, she’s incorporating authentic marketing into her day and giving prospective clients a peek into her process (another part of her unique business model). She also posts on Facebook and Snapchat, making sure to comment on other people’s posts and responding to her own social media comments. Emily knows who her ideal clients are after creating an “Ideal Client Avatar” during her Mentor Masterclass training. Because she learned over 375 coaching techniques and practiced using them inside the program she was able to see who she best serves, loves coaching and what real results she gets them. Having an ideal client avatar means she can focus her marketing efforts and is certain she will love the experience of working with the clients she is strategically attracting.
4:30 PM. Emily has a free 30-minute discovery call.
A potential client she met at yoga last week has signed up for a discovery call, which is a free session that will help her to experience what it is like working with Emily. The woman decides to sign up with Emily as an official paid coaching client because Emily shared what coaching packages she has and what working with her is like.
Emily’s new client has signed up for her package, six sessions hour long sessions to be completed over a 3-month period, and she has given her the option to either pay in full, or to create a payment plan.
Emily set up all of her back end legal contracts, business structures and online payment/scheduling systems during her training with me in Mentor Masterclass (with the help of our celebrity mentors who specialize in each of these areas of business). I also shared with her resources for hiring low cost team members and a system for hiring. She is all set to sign on this new client!
Emily emails her virtual assistant (who is someone that supports her in her business for $15 an hour) and asks her to contact her new client, send out her new client contract, enrollment assessment and the link to confirm dates for their upcoming life coaching sessions.
5:30 PM Emily meditates.
She mentally recaps the day and reviews her intention and plans for tomorrow.
7:00 PM Emily attends a new local sister circle gathering for women entrepreneurs.
Afterward, she makes a list of people to follow up with the next day, who are either potential clients, potential collaborators, or who are just supportive sisters in her work that she can stay connected to, and maybe even co-work with in the future since she works from home.
…It sounds like an amazing life, doesn’t it? Sister, it IS! I love what I do, and so do my students who have created this type of life for themselves.
Now that we have answered, “What exactly does a life coach do?”, do you want to keep going and discover the answers to the other questions I’m asked most about becoming a life coach?
Check out these posts, too:
And now that we’re connected, you don’t have to figure everything out on your own and you don’t have to power through the next steps to becoming a life coach. You’re about to learn what all the women inside Mentor Masterclass have already discovered, if you are willing to take the next step.
To fully understand the power of my signature coach training process you have to experience it for yourself. So go ahead and sign up for my free training. I’ll send you your first video for my 7-day free Self Discovery Week training and teach you the four distinct steps you need to take in order to start your coaching business today.
I hope to go through the self-discovery week with you! You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter to stay connected, receive free weekly resources, and to get access to the next podcast episode in this series!
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