How to Become a Personal Coach and Work From Home


Do you want to help others achieve their goals? Becoming a personal coach might be your ideal work from home calling! Keep reading to find out more.

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 for one occupation. I enjoyed helping people, so I dabbled with the idea of teaching, nursing, and social work … but I 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?

However, after looking deeper into the profession, I learned that not only would I 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 with their professional or personal growth, there is an alternative to counseling, and that’s personal coaching. In fact, with the internet and advances in technology, the landscape of coaching has changed dramatically. No longer are individuals constrained to meeting in person–now individuals can work from home in a wide variety of niches using a platform like Zoom. You can also work in a wide variety of specialties, helping people overcome different types of obstacles and helping them live their best lives.

What is a Personal Coach?

A personal coach is an individual who has been professionally trained or who has first-hand experience and expertise in a certain subject matter that helps others achieve their goals and reach their full potential. 

Personal coaches can work in a wide variety of roles and niches. For example, a career coach may help an individual with tasks such as updating their resume, improving their interviewing skills, exploring new career paths, or helping them with their LinkedIn presence. A life coach may help an individual cultivate new strategies and habits for building self-confidence and self-awareness. 

Personal coaches differ from mental health therapists in that they help individuals achieve their goals. Mental health therapists, on the other hand, tend to deal with emotional and behavioral conditions like depression, anxiety, or trauma, and they usually need an advanced degree and an active medical license. 

What Types of Personal Coaches Are There?

Here are some more popular professional coaching niches that you can choose to work in.

These specialties can be narrowed down even further. For instance, a business coach could specialize in bloggers, direct sales consultants, digital marketing strategies, or increasing sales. A parenting coach could specialize in areas like sleep coaching for babies, a positive mindset for teens, or sports coaching for athletes. A relationship coach might focus on divorce, premarital coaching, or single parenting.

What Training Do You Need?

There are many different ways to start your personal coaching career. 

First, you can complete a training course and get certified in your area of expertise. Many training programs only take a few months to a year to complete, and they can cost as little as $900.00 or more than $10,000.00. If you already have a college degree in nutrition, communications, or business, getting a certification can help you gain the additional skills and guidance that you need to be successful.

Some resources you may want to explore for training and certification include:

  • iPEC Coaching – ICF-accredited coaching program
  • PARWCC – Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches

The second way to become a coach is through experience. 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, people were always 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 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% of business problems rests 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.

Another route you can take to becoming a personal coach 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 Personal Coach Earn?

According to the International Coaching Federation, it’s estimated that personal coaches earn an average annual income of $52,800.

However, depending on how you distribute your services and products, how long you’ve been working, and your experience and training, some coaches can make anywhere from $100–$600 per hour.

Now, don’t get too excited. While personal 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 for a realistic idea of what running a coaching business from home looks like. 

Where Do You Find Coaching Jobs?

While most coaches are self-employed, there are some companies that offer home-based coaching positions if you prefer to work as an employee or independent contractor.

You can also find coaching jobs at hospitals and insurance companies; however, most of these positions require a degree and active license, such as a registered nurse or registered dietician. Another 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

As you can see, there are many different areas of focus you offer as a personal coach. 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 easily. Once you’ve narrowed down the type of personal coaching you’d like to focus on, enrolling in a certification program in your desired area is highly recommended if you don’t have any experience in the field. 

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 and list your services and testimonials, and it makes you look more professional. Don’t worry; setting up a website is easy and affordable, and there are many website options to choose from. 

Before picking one, think about the functionalities you’d like your website to have. If you plan on selling courses or webinars, you’ll want to choose a website that allows e-commerce functions. One good all-in-one platform is Podia. With Podia, you can include your website, blog, email marketing, downloads, coaching, courses, webinars, and more! 

3. Market Your Coaching Business

There are many ways to promote your personal coaching business; the thing you need to remember is consistency is key. Choose a few 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:

  • Advertising
  • Business Cards
  • Blogging or Guest Blogging
  • Email Marketing
  • Email Prospecting
  • Facebook Groups
  • Interviews
  • Networking Events (In-Person and Virtual)
  • Podcasting
  • Positive Testimonials
  • Referrals
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Social Media Marketing: Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube
  • Webinars
  • Word of Mouth

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 and Business

As your cash flow builds, you’ll want to reinvest some of it into professional development and business tools. Luckily, there 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.

Becoming a Personal Coach Wrapup

If you have a desire to help others with goal setting, are a good listener, and are empathetic, becoming a personal coach may be your calling. As you can see, there are many different types of coaching and a wide variety of ways to monetize your area of expertise. Whether you want to work remotely as an employee or start your own coaching business, personal coaching is a rewarding way to work from home.

Ready to start your coaching career? Check out iPEC’s coaching certifications in life, executive, health & wellness, and sports & performance programs.

Originally published in March 2009. Content updated April 2024.


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