How Much Do Life Coaches Really Make? (Here’s Why Most Coaches Fail)

Can you really make a full-time income as a life coach?

Let me guess: You’re here because you just finished your life coach certification.

Or maybe you are thinking of joining one and taking the first step to being a life coach?

Awesome! And welcome!

And now you’re wondering how much you should be charging.

And even more importantly, you want to know how much money you can expect to make over the next year. What IS a certified life coach salary? 

(Also, you are *probably* avoiding doing the math on how long it’ll take you to pay back that life coach certification, because…. ugh.)

Before we talk about money, first I want to be honest, because starting a life coaching business is hard…

Any of this sound familiar?

“I’m out of money and I have to go back to my day job…”

“I want to do this, but what if I can’t find any paying clients…”

“I sent a ton of emails and got nothing…so I’ve got to put my coaching business on hold for now. I’m exhausted.”

Reading the above statements is kind of like an achy pit in your stomach.

But not the fun “I just got on a roller coaster and I’m having a great day!” kind of way.

More like the “Oh my gosh, I’m in a fetal position on my couch face-first in a depression-related ice-cream-binge” kind of way. 

You have so many awesome dreams and goals around coaching, and you are SO EXCITED. 

BUT…

What if you can’t figure out how to make money as a life coach?

You probably know at least one person who has proclaimed themselves a life coach and then gotten crickets in response.

Coaches quit every single day.

It’s enough to make you think that almost no one can do this full time.

But you’d be wrong. Let’s look at the data! Yay FACTS.

FACT: You CAN make a full-time income as a life coach

Life Coaching is a BILLION dollar industry – just in the United States. Here’s a useful graph, compiled by the helpful people at IBIS world, looking at the state of coaching here in the States. Pun intended! 🙂

life coach industry statisticsNotice something?

It’s trending up.

2.2% annual growth per year, of a billion dollar market? That’s a LOT of dollars. And it’s still growing, and predicted to grow, even if we hit a major recession, or, you know, a pandemic!

Here’s some examples of coaches who started and grew their businesses during COVID times.

That means that there is *still* plenty of room for more coaches.

Coaches like YOU.

But what about my niche? Can you really make enough money to live on as a full-time coach as a life coach or corporate coach? 

Here’s another helpful piece of data about what a life coach salary might be, collected from Payscale.

life coach salary

Okay, $48,501. That’s not bad.

But let’s get even more factual, because FACTS ARE FUN!

I’ve also polled real coaches in different arenas for real income numbers, because I believe in checking my data. I used my community of 10,000 coaches from all over the world, and here’s what I’ve gathered. 

Executive Coach earnings: $12,000 to $25,000 per client.

Life Coach earnings: $100 – $400 per hour, usually translating to $1000 – $4000 per client. 

(When I quit private coaching as a career coach specializing in helping people find their passion, I was making $6500 per private client serving clients in the US, UK, Canada and the EU. I share this as an aside to let you know that I’m trying to be as conservative as possible, because I am a big believer in the #truth :)).

If an executive coach makes between $12,000 and $25,000 a client, then let’s be conservative and say you charge $15,000 per client.

Put in real person words, if you get 8 clients per year, you are making $120,000 as an executive coach. 

That’s less than ONE client per month.

Note: I like to think about things in terms of months because a business is based on recurring revenue – months, quarters, years. To have a real business you need to have a steady revenue that you can predict.

Back to salaries: For life coaches let’s be conservative again, and say that you are making $1500 per private client.

If you get three clients a month, you are making $4500 per month, $54,000 per year, conservatively. That tracks with Payscale, for the most part. Yay data!

The median family income in the US is actually ~$68,000 per year, according to good folks at the US Census Bureau. 

So if you alone are making $54,000 per year, you are doing not too shabby!

And keep in mind, that’s conservative. What if you were getting three, $4,000 clients per month?

Now you are making $144,000 per year.  

How much do life coaches charge

Life coach salary

Given that life coaching is a more streamlined sales process (you don’t have to convince tons of people in HR and contract through a big company), and cheaper for individuals to purchase, it’s sometimes easier to acquire clients.

And we haven’t even gotten to group coaching or DIY online programs, which can have huge revenue potential.

I’ve made hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars from just *one* of my career coaching group programs.

 Here’s a snapshot of some of my sales from just one day: 

life coach earnings

So, take a deep, restorative breath. We know you can make a living doing this (yay!). And we know there is room for YOU as a coach.

But, problem: Do you know how to make money as a coach?

So we come full circle now.

We started with the fact that many coaches fail.

Here’s why: They never learn how to find paying clients and run a coaching business.

They hang out their shingle, announce on social media they are a coach and … crickets.

NOTHING HAPPENS.

Why? Because they never learned how to market and sell coaching! *face palm*

When you set up your coaching business you are also becoming an entrepreneur, which is a HUGE skill set.

So, take a moment and set aside time to learn how to do basic business activities like…how to find paying clients.

(Paying clients would be great, right?)

There are a ton of places you can find this info, but for ease, why not start with our free webinar all about …. how to find paying clients!

It’s concrete, in-depth, free, and based on working with 3000+ clients across different niches so…we’ve learned a thing or two.

You can grab your seat right here, and learn how to get your own paying clients.

CLICK (IT’S FREE!).

Key points to remember as you eat chocolate:

  1. Coaching is still a growing industry – even in hard times
  2. So there is room for new coaches, like yourself (yay! You seem pretty awesome)
  3. And there’s also room to make a pretty reasonable income  by creating a steady steam of clients
  4. But NOT spending time learning how to find clients and make money as a coach (i.e., business skills) is why so many new coaches fail. Don’t let this be you, and for some help right now, come to our free on-demand webinar all about how to market your business and take some notes :). 

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