Does your coaching business feel like a neverending marathon?
Sure, you’ve been up and running (pun intended) for long enough to make a significant income, but somehow you still haven’t reached your revenue goals.
It can be disheartening to grind and hustle for days, weeks, or even months on end only to wish you could clone yourself to keep things afloat.
The good news is you can make more money as a life coach.
You can do it without burning out or inventing new biotechnology, too.
Today, we’ll talk about four creative ways to expand your business as a life coach, plus three proven tips for marketing those expansions.
First, let’s cover how much you can earn as a life coach so you have a better understanding of where you stand and where you can be.
How much money can you really make as a life coach?
The average income for life coaches ranges widely, with rates landing anywhere between $75 hour to $1,000 an hour. The annual income, naturally, varies even more because of that.
It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to say the life coaching industry is like the wild west.
Not only can you become a life coach without an official certification or license -- posing a challenge for standardizing the industry -- but life coaching businesses also come in a variety of sizes from casual side-hustles to full-time careers.
This is why you see annual salaries quoted as low as $11,000 to a peak of over $320,000.
As you can see, the national average salary in the US for life coaches is $72,996 per year. The majority of wages trend towards the lower end.
That’s not to say it isn’t a profitable career path. In fact, quite the opposite.
The life coaching industry has grown by 2.2% over the past five years, reaching $1 billion in total revenue. Complementing that five-year growth is a 1.8% increase in the number of life-coaching businesses opened.
Some of the top performers in the industry make serious money waves. Tony Robbins, for instance, has a net worth of $500 million.
(Notice his primary source of wealth isn’t coaching sessions -- more on how he achieves that, writing and speaking, later).
On the smaller but no less impressive level, you can earn as much Selena Soo, who launched a coaching business in 2012 that grew to over $300,000 in annual revenue by 2014.
Not bad for two years worth of business growth, right?
The point is this:
Life coach earnings can run the gauntlet from $10,000 to millions annually, and there's no standardization in the industry because of licensure requirements (or rather, the lack thereof).
Regardless, it's clear there's a lot of money to be earned as a life coach -- you just need to leverage the right strategies and business models.
What are the best ways to earn more income as a life coach?
#1. Book speaking gigs to expand your audience
You can book relevant speaking gigs to gain more exposure for your business and get in front of more prospective coaching clients.
There’s no better way to build credibility and trust than to educate your audience, which is precisely what you accomplish in a speaking engagement -- you share your expertise as a coach.
And the more expertise you share, the more likely you are to net customers. One study found that customers overwhelmingly chose businesses that provided educational content over those that did not.
If written educational content influences purchasing power this much, imagine how much your spoken content can influence your audience’s buying behavior.
Celebrity-status life coach, Lucinda Bassett, certainly understands the power of speaking gigs. As you can see here, she offers both her coaching and speaking services prominently on her homepage.
If you’re just starting out, however, you may want to offer to speak for free to build your credibility and experience.
It’s easier than it sounds to do: just search for relevant local venues, events, and conferences. Once you find an event you’d like, make contact with the organizers to offer your expertise for free.
Successful coach and founder of Coach Pony, Christie Mims, used to speak for free and signed on clients who opted for $5,000 coaching packages.
Some of Christie’s tips for leveraging your speaking audience:
- Offer a free coaching session to the audience
- Ask people to sign up for your email list
- Invite people to purchase an introductory coaching session
All three of these methods allow you to grow your list of prospective clients and to nurture them through the buyer’s journey.
In other words, depending on which stage your prospective client is in -- awareness, consideration, or decision -- you can continue to communicate in subsequent emails and conversations that lead up to your offers.
Speaking gigs, even free gigs, are an impactful way to get in front of a large audience and build up your credibility and coaching customer base.
Of course, center stage isn’t the only way to reach an audience.
#2. Build an online community through a membership site
A great way to leverage your time -- so you’re not trading hours for dollars -- is to offer coaching services to multiple clients at once, which you can do by building an online community using a membership site.
Membership sites are an excellent way for you to service your coaching clients as a group.
This is different from selling a group coaching package, where your clients show up for a limited number of coordinated coaching calls.
Membership sites are more streamlined and allow you to service more clients over extended periods (most programs run over a year).
The set up is easier to maintain, too: you simply provide updated valuable content and coaching services regularly in exchange for an ongoing membership fee.
You can get creative with various packages, as well, depending on your members’ needs.
For instance, business and life coach, Aja Edmond, offers her members several programs where they have access to a variety of resources, courses, and coaching.
She charges a $2,999 annual membership fee for her All Access: Design Your Life & Abundant Business Blueprint plan, which includes 10 digital products, an affiliate program, and member coaching session.
Aja’s top-tier membership package makes for a pretty nice revenue stream, right?
It’s not her only stream, either. For clients who don’t want to commit to her comprehensive package, she offers several other programs, such as her Design Your Life series, which ranges from free to $249 per month.
You can do the same by offering a variety of membership packages to your coaching audience depending on their needs and budget.
(Want to build a membership site like Aja? Try out Podia for free and discover everything you can create.)
Another benefit of creating a membership site is you build an online community, which has its own set of advantages:
- 77% of companies believe an online community significantly improves brand exposure, awareness, and credibility.
- 66% of brand communities say online communities are about building relationships and friendships.
Who doesn’t love camaraderie?
The valuable relationships your members build with one another will increase their affinity toward you and your coaching business. What a feel-good win.
OK, so far we’ve shared two tips that grow your business, but they require a significant time investment.
If you’re not yet at a point where you can afford such a time commitment, our next methods allow you to scale your business without the timesink.
#3. Productize your business with ebooks
Digital products are a great way to scale your business and pull in additional revenue. Ebooks, in particular, are an easy entry point into productization for life coaches.
Why? It's simple: Ebooks can be produced with little to no investment, and as a life coach, you already have a ton of experience in solving people's problems through content. When you package your expertise as an ebook, you gain the ability to solve those problems immediately.
Successful life coach, Valorie Burton, demonstrates this well. As soon as you land on her homepage, a pop-up promoting her latest ebook, It’s About Time, shows up front and center.
Visitors who want their problems solved urgently can download the first five chapters of Valorie’s ebook instantly to see its value and relieve any uncertainties before committing to a purchase.
Of course, ebooks aren’t the only format you can use to do this, but they are one of the strongest contenders. Global ebook sales are expected to reach $29 billion next year, a 93% overall growth.
If they’re not your speed, however, there are plenty of other popular digital products to choose from: Check out these other solutions:
- Audio files
- Cheat sheets
This list continues as long as your creativity does.
To help you brainstorm, here are two excellent examples from fellow coaches.
ADHD coach and educator, Ryan McRae, sells The One Page Daily Planner to help his clients avoid chaos and plan the perfect day.
Jacob Morris follows a similar vein with his Personal Values Assessment, a downloadable assessment which helps clients explore their values and design a plan to transform their lives.
As you can see, you have numerous paths as a life coach.
While you’ve got your brainstorming cap on, let’s cover one more proven way to expand your coaching business -- online courses.
#4. Sell info products like an online course
Info products like online courses make a great addition to your coaching business because they’re educational in nature and, like ebooks, are low maintenance. With limitless inventory on hand, they also give you uncapped passive earning potential.
They’re a popular choice for coaches, too. For example, music production coach, Seth Mosley, offers two online courses in addition to his Virtual Coffee Date live coaching sessions.
Beyond their convenience and easy maintenance, why do coaches love online courses? Put plainly, because they’re profitable.
Pretty incredible for a single info product.