Most life coaches are driven by a genuine desire to help others to move ahead and get results, but a successful coach is able to turn this passion into a profit.

Most life coaches are driven by a genuine desire to help others to move ahead and get results, but a successful coach is able to turn this passion into a profit.

Having provided training to thousands of eager coaches for over 16 years we’ve noticed some distinct differences between the qualities of the good coaches and the highly successful ones.

Having a passion for people is just one of the qualities required to run a successful coaching business, if you really want to make a living as a coach, below are some of the most common habits of highly successful coaches:

1)    Professionally trained
Although you don’t need to be formally trained to call yourself a Life Coach, the most successful understand that in order to be seen as a credible coach, an accredited qualification is a crucial element to their success. Having trained in processes and skills, conducted coaching sessions assessed by master coaches and dedicated hours of time perfecting their techniques they’ve had plenty of time to walk their talk and help their clients to bust through any obstacles and achieve their goals. Not only are they impacting the lives of others with the knowledge and experience gained from their training, they also understand that without a qualification they’d be unable to gain professional insurance or meet the compulsory requirement to have a membership with professional coaching organisations such as the ICF, Association for coaching or the EMCC.

2)    Great listening skills
Successful coaches understand the power of active listening skills and recognise that listening is more important than talking. They listen to their clients’ every word, with full focus to truly hear them and pick up on their clients’ fears, joys, longings and underlying needs. Doing so allows them to ask quality questions which can help a client to quieten their negative chatter and reconnect with their inner voice so their clients can bust through their limitations and unlock their potential.

3)    Position themselves as an expert
Many successful coaches have positioned themselves as an expert in their field. They have found a niche they love and are seen as specialists rather than generalists. This means they have tailored their brand and how they market themselves to their chosen topic area. Defining a niche allows them to understand the needs, frustrations, challenges and obstacles which their desired clients face and how to communicate with them, allowing them to be seen, sought after and successful.

4)    Excellent communication skills
Successful coaches have mastered how they communicate; perfecting how to match, mirror and pace their clients which helps them to easily identify what their clients are motivated by and adapt their skills to those needs, not only does this help to build rapport and trust it also increases their clients’ awareness to see things from new perspectives, consider a variety of ways to move forward and ultimately have a greater understanding of who they are and who they want to be, leaving the client feeling comfortable, relaxed and at ease in their sessions.

5)    Avid learners
Successful coaches have a passion for learning and stay up to date with the latest trends in the industry. Actively developing their professional coaching skills on an on-going basis makes these coaches more marketable as they continue to add new offerings to their products and services. They understand that remaining effective with their strategies and techniques ensure they are consistently adding value to their clients and amplifies their chances of standing out from the crowd.

6)    Market themselves
Successful coaches know the value of the services they offer and invest in marketing themselves effectively. This includes having a professional website, building an email list, developing products, maintaining a social media presence and spending time networking. They aren’t afraid of putting themselves out there and recognise that they need to invest just as much time, effort and capital in learning HOW to set up and grow a business as they did in learning how to become an excellent coach.

7)    They are professional
The most successful coaches keep things professional. This means they show up giving 100% to their clients and keep discussions confidential. They empower their clients to take ownership and responsibility for their actions and don’t provide them with the answers. They are emotionally intelligent and self-aware enough to refrain from projecting their ‘stuff’ onto their clients, passing judgement or criticising them. As well as maintaining certain codes of conduct, they also recognise that not all people that turn to them will need coaching, there may be times when an alternative intervention is more suited to their needs and a good coach is able to quickly recognise this.

Ultimately success will mean different things to different people.  For some success could mean having a part-time coaching business which transforms the lives of a few clients here and there, for others success could mean having a full-time coaching business with a steady stream of clients. Whatever your definition of success, the above are some of the cornerstones that we’ve noticed from some of the most successful coaches that we’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working with.




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