The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Career Coaching Business

Guest post by Camilla Hallstrom. Want to know how to start a career coaching business from scratch? After all, as a career coach, you can work a much more flexible schedule, while making a bigger impact and more money in your business. And if you’re wondering if YOU can start career coaching, the answer is: Yes, you can. If you already have a successful career or relevant experience, you can start building your business already today. Let’s find out the exact steps you need to take to make it happen!

What Does a Career Coach Do?

You’re probably wondering exactly what a career coach does.
Starting A Career Coaching Business
As a career coach, you can help your clients in several different ways to reach their career goals. For example, you can guide and advise your clients on their career trajectories and help them identify their career goals and the steps they need to take to get there. But can you become a career coach, even without relevant work experience in an HR department or similar and without a coaching certification? You know what? What is required is not so much a certain education or certification, but the results you’ve helped others and yourself get. If you’ve built a successful career, you can help others navigate their careers. And maybe you’ve already helped friends get better-paying job opportunities. At the end of the day, career coaching is all about helping people develop themselves and reach their goals. To become a great career coach, you need to enjoy listening to and supporting your clients. If this sounds like you, great! You’ll make an excellent career coach. And if you’re wondering how much you can earn as a coach, then you’ll be interested to know that most career coaches charge around $100-500/hour. By working with even 5-6 clients a month, you can quickly start earning as much as you’re currently earning in your 9-5. But how do you become a career coach? Good question! Here are the steps you need to take.

Step 1: How to Start Your Career Coaching Business While You’re in a 9-5

If you’re in a day job (or you’re a stay-at-home mom), you might be wondering how you can make it happen for yourself. After all, building a business takes time, and your schedule is packed. I hear you! But there is a way to make it all work. First, schedule all your business-related tasks, however small they are. By scheduling your tasks, you know exactly when and what you should be working on. Not sure when to work on your business? There’s a solution for that, too. Depending on how your work days are structured, you can:
  • Use your lunch breaks.
  • Get up a bit earlier in the morning.
  • Use a couple of hours during weekends.
  • Skip that Netflix or HBO show for a month.
The thing is: You don’t need that much time to work on your business every week. A few hours a week is more than enough. And second, focus on the right things, so those things that will get you results (paying clients!) right now. If you’re wondering what those things are, read on.

Step 2: Find a Profitable Career Coaching Niche

To figure out your career coaching niche, you will need to think about who you want to work with. First, who is your ideal client? As a career coach, you can work with individuals, who hire you to help them achieve their career goals. You can also work with companies. In this case, you’re hired by organizations to help them coach their employees in different ways. Then, think about the exact type of client you want to work with. Is your target audience women, baby boomers, minorities, executives or someone else? Once you’ve found your target audience, think about what type of career coaching you want to do. Do you want to be a career coach who more generally helps clients figure out and achieve career goals? You can also work as a resume writer by helping clients write resumes, or as an executive coach, in which case you often work with executives to help them become better leaders.

Step 3: Determine Your Rates

Once you have a career coaching niche, it’s time to determine how much you’ll charge as a career coach. There are different pricing models you can use. You can set your prices:
  • As an hourly rate. You get paid for every hour you work with your clients.
  • A monthly rate. You charge a retainer rate every month.
  • Per package. You set your price based on a specific package, like a 3-month coaching package.
The best option for you is probably a package rate. Why? Because a package will allow you to set specific goals for your clients and get paid for the value you bring as a career coach. A good starting point is $1,500 for a 3-month career coaching package. By getting 1-2 clients at this price point, you will quickly get the experience you need to raise your rates and attract even more clients.

Step 4: Get Your First Career Coaching Clients

How do you get clients as a career coach? It all comes down to offering the right thing to the right people and showing the value you bring. For example, by first helping someone for free and giving a bit of advice will quickly position you as an expert. Where does your audience hang out? To find your ideal clients, you need to go where they hang out. One such place? Social media. And even better, as a career coach, there’s one social media platform that trumps all others- LinkedIn. One way to kickstart your career coaching business is to let your network know that you’re starting a coaching business. You can end your post by asking people to refer you or book a free 30-minute coaching session with you (to schedule the call, you can use Calendly, an online scheduling tool). After you first post on LinkedIn, continue monitoring relevant discussions to offer advice and continue publishing your own helpful posts so that people notice you. Another way to find clients? Attend relevant events, like career fairs or career-related meetups. For example, Meetup features tons of events. If you want to take it one step further, you can reach out to the event organizer before the meetup to introduce yourself. That way, the organizer can connect you with the right people from the start. You can also use other social media sites, like Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to find clients. Reach out to your network Besides social media and events, start reaching out to people you know. These could be your family, friends, coworkers, or anyone else who might be interested in your services or can refer you.

Ready to Get Started as a Career Coach?

Are you ready to get started building your career coaching business? After all, if you enjoy helping people achieve personal goals, career coaching can give you the opportunity to build a flexible life that lets you work from home (or anywhere else for that matter). And by consistently taking these steps, you will get started faster than you think. The important thing is to get started today. By consistently working on your career coaching business, you will achieve your goal faster than you think. Camilla Hallstrom handles content marketing for Luisa Zhou is a coach and mentor for people looking to start and grow their own coaching practice.
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