How to become a coach

Coaching is a bustling industry and each coach brings something unique to the table. There are many reasons people come to coaching as a profession. Perhaps you’ve experienced coaching yourself and found it transformational, or maybe you’ve overcome a hurdle in your life and you want to help others do the same. Whatever it is that brought you here, we’re thrilled to see you. Here we’ll look at the steps you need to become a coach and what to do once you’re qualified.

Finding your niche

So you know you want to be a coach… but what kind of coach? Having at least a rough idea of which area of coaching you’d like to work in can be helpful to start with. Is there a particular subject you’re really passionate about? Maybe you want to empower clients in their careers or help them live life slower and more creatively?

You can narrow down your niche later in the process, but when you start looking at training, it might help you to know which direction you think you might go in. This can be as broad as ‘life coaching’ or ‘career coaching’ or as niche as ‘grief coach’ or ‘wellness coach’.

When it comes to picking a training course, you may want to start with something broad (like ‘life coaching’) and then do further training in your area of expertise when you’ve really defined who you want to help.

It can also help at this point to think about coaching styles. Some training courses focus on specific approaches such as transformational coaching, or even neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), so having an understanding of these before you dive in can help.

Coaching and NLP training courses and organisations - what to look for

When it comes to choosing a coaching or NLP course, understanding which qualifications are recognised within the UK and the industry standard is a great place to start. There are a lot of coaching and NLP training organisations out there and trying to navigate them can feel a little daunting. Asking the following questions when researching can help:

  • What qualification will I receive after completing the course?
  • Can I practise coaching or NLP with this qualification?
  • Is this qualification recognised in the UK?
  • Does this school offer any further qualifications?
  • Can I get insurance with this qualification?
  • Is the course/organisation accredited by a professional body? (Coaching and NLP courses do not have to be accredited, but it can add credence to the qualification).
  • What size are the classes? What is the learning environment like?
  • What approaches are taught? Is this one that I want to learn?
  • How experienced are the trainers?
  • Does the organisation offer ongoing support?
  • Does the training course or organisation have any testimonials?

Many training organisations will have this information available on their website. If you can’t find this information or are unsure, contact the training organisation to ask for more information.

If you opt to train with one of our affiliate organisations, we strongly recommend that you independently check that their courses/outcomes meet your needs and expectations prior to starting your training, as we cannot be held responsible for any information provided by our affiliates.

Whilst we use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that our policy is adhered to, Life Coach Directory is not intended as a website for verifying the qualifications, abilities, credentials or professionalism of any training organisation listed and is not responsible for any Training Affiliate listed in the directory. Although we see they supply a relevant qualification that we can accept, a listing with us does not mean that Life Coach Directory endorses or accredits that qualification or organisation. Please read our terms and conditions for further information.

After you’ve qualified as a coach

Once you’ve qualified as a coach it’s time to define your services (will you have packages people can buy?), nail down your prices (how much will you charge?), promote your business and start doing the work you love.

Hopefully, the work you’ve done in your training will have helped you reflect on some of these areas. If not, you may find it helpful to work with a coach yourself or to join industry groups on social media to learn more. 

When it comes to promoting your work, reaching out to people in your network is an easy way to get the ball rolling. Send out an email to everyone in your address book, shout about your work on social media and tell friends/family to spread the word.

Having your own website is ideal as it gives you a place to promote yourself and tell potential clients more about you. Having a social media presence can be really helpful too, allowing you to connect more and build up an audience of potential clients. Producing regular content, whether that’s blogs, videos or podcasts, on your area of expertise is also encouraged. This will build trust and authority. 

Joining Life Coach Directory is an additional option you may want to keep in mind. With an established site that ranks highly in search engines, the option to publish articles and events and support from our dedicated membership services team - we help clients find you.

We also provide support with your marketing in general, offering networking opportunities, a sense of community with fellow members and resources in our Marketing Hub. Learn more about joining us and what we have to offer.

Wherever you are on your journey to becoming a coach, we wish you all the best and are with you all the way.