Do I Need a Coaching Certification to Charge for Coaching?
Updated: Feb 18
This is a great question I hear all the time from the wanna be coaches and, of course, had myself, when it was my time to get certified as a coach.
Excitement of joining a 16 billion dollar industry and help people heal and grow drives you to pick the perfect path to starting your coaching business.. and before that study, develop your skills and certify as a coach.
So here. I'll answer your questions in the most straight way possible, no hype, no BS, just as it is.
Warning: only read if you are able to hear the facts.
First thing first: do you need to be certified?
You need to have skills and get clients.
I came to coaching and started my coaching business 7 years ago after doing the healing work, therapy, spiritual teaching, and mentoring for over 20 years.
The difference was, I wanted to start a business and had no idea what I needed to do to get paid as a coach.
Guess what, doing my work now for 32 years never once anybody had asked me about my psychology degree or any coaching certifications I had.
Instead, I had a proven track record of successful clients, great testimonials, case studies and a list of referrals.
In fact, most things I learned in a typical coaching school I had to immediately ditch!
I quickly realized that to actually have clients seek you out and be willing to pay you anything (I now charge over $2,000/hr) wasn't about asking clients to look inside themselves or 'holding a safe space' for them to realize stuff...
It was always about effective transformational work that would ACTUALLY change their life.
If there were no change, just a deep, profound realizations and insights, all of those sessions didn't count.
This is exactly why you see so many struggling coaches desperately looking for clients.
Skill of getting results can not be replaced with marketing tricks or gimmicks.
You have to be good at what you do.
Next question: how do I get coaching clients?
It's likely that if you had never coached anyone before and never experienced a coach yourself, you won't know what the process looks like. Of course!
So I highly recommend to hire yourself a coach and do some transformational work.
Every psychotherapist before they are aloud to practice have to have years of therapy themselves. There are many reasons for that and I think coaching works the same way.
Going through a process will get you to understand how it could work.
Then the next question becomes, how do I know what a good coach is before I hire them?
I personally check out their testimonials, listen to their videos, read their content and make up my own mind. Just like I would with buying any other product or hiring people.
One thing I can tell you: there are coaches and there are coaches!
Yep, all coaches do not come equal.
You may have a pretty mediocre useless experience with one, and completely transform your life with another.
Some of it is on you... and some of it is on your coach.
I know that I started seeing a great progress in my business and life after becoming very choosy about my coaches. I stopped investing in some average programs out there and was determined to work with a great high level coach as close as possible.
Once, early in my business, I hired a celebrity super-star coach just for one hour!!!
Honestly, this is the only session I could afford with her at the time.
And, it was totally worth it!
She broke that hour in 4 X 15 min calls... between the calls, I turned my business around. I hired teams, learned new skills, created a new brand... and most importantly, learned HOW to become a kick-ass coach!
My life and business were never the same!
Long story short, I now charge the same amount as her and my clients say, it's the best money they ever spent!
Next, it's time to advance your own skills, and understand how transformation happen.
Once, you feel you had done enough coaching and healing for yourself, it's time to understand and learn the process to apply it to your clients.
Most coaches out there get stuck with a bunch of coaching tools and modalities they know. But a great coach understand why they work.
For example, a classic NLP tool for setting SMART goals...
Why you knowing the tool in itself won't do any good for your clients getting results?
And why applying that tool in a context can break it or make it for your client's breakthrough?
Example: in my Advanced Coaches and Healers Certification my clients experience and analyze all different methods of coaching and psychotherapy, including energy and spiritual and shamanic healing work.
They understand how to do hypnosis without putting anyone to sleep, because they learn what 'trans' is and how to 'suggest' in the first few seconds of meeting your client.
Or they can help somebody with PTSD by taking on them the 'Shamanic journey meditation' instead of doing 'Talk Therapy' and revisiting the trauma again and again.
It's important my students learn the basics of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, instead of just mimicking a 'nice therapist who is a good listener and is there to hold a space'.
Therapy in most places is free and takes years to work. You are thinking of charging premium for your work.
Coaching is an amazing process to move people from stuck to successful.
It's a skill that can be and must be developed.
Next question: can I just be intuitive in my coaching and healing process?
Sure, you can, if you have, according to the definition of intuition on google, wast knowledge and experience in a subject (coaching and healing).
Here I propose to give up on being this perfect little coach, or some big guru out there at the beginning of your practice.
Just like doing any other job it will take you time and extra effort to become good at what you do.
So, stop looking for perfection, or intuition, and just learn the damn skill! :)
I promise, with every client you'll become better and better.
And here is a secret confession for you... I started leading my first transformational workshops when I was just 17... and for the next 30 or so years I had never stopped learning and investing in developing and advancing my skills!
Am I intuitive in my process? I, sure, am. But do I want to be even better? - 100%.
So now let's talk about getting clients.
If I told you 'just go and do it!' or 'you get ready and they will come', I'll be brutally lying to you!
Most coaches out of coaching schools close down their shop in a first year of starting their business. That is 90% of them according to the latest statistics.
Out of remaining 10% - 67% make less than $30,000 per year!
So much for those billions they tell you in their ads! :)
Listen, this is just fair! Coaching business is just like any other business, takes being smart and good at running it.
Just being good at what you do, even great at what you do, won't guarantee you a financial success.
Many of my clients have MBAs and PhDs. Had earned dozens of certifications under their belt, yet, were unable to make any decent money with coaching before coming to me.
I myself struggled for years, investing great 6-figures into my own skill development and business programs... with no ground-breaking success story to share.
I literally was asking myself, what the fuck is wrong with me, if after all of THAT I am still barely making my ends meet.
My husband had given me an ultimatum, he will leave me and my 5 daughters if I won't stop being a workaholic!
I hustled so much... worked with 100 clients per year and made exactly those 30 grand they are talking about.
I felt ashamed of myself. I thought I am doomed and possessed... WHY couldn't I just make that easy and effortless MONEY with what I am so damn great at!
Well, I had to step up and show my true colors to people!
Yes, I launched my own school.
If you want to know, how I went from a great but financially unsuccessful coach to becoming a leading mentor in transformational healing and founder of my own school, methodology and certification, watch a video here. This is a one proven chance for you to understand what separates wanna-be's from the pros.
On my Advanced Coaches and Healers Certification, one of the first assignments my students have is to become aware of how they succeed and how they fail.
They have to identify their own 4-step process to success in their life in whatever area and their 2-step process to failure.
It helps them see their behavioral patterns. They are distinct, and inevitably lead them to ultimate satisfaction on conscious and unconscious level.
Then I help them translate their process into a powerful transformational program that puts them on the map of being highly effective and therefor highly paid coach.
You can watch testimonials from my students here:
This is just a few tools to understand and overcome your fears.
If you want to learn more how to help yourself and especially your clients with stopping self-sabotage learn more about my programs and courses here:
Author: Lira Kay
Lira Kay is an international bestselling author, founder of School Of Inspired Life, a professional training center for expert coaches and healers to become world-class and in high demand.
Lira started her life coaching business after doing healing, therapy and spiritual work for over 30 years, working with thousands of people around the world.
She successfully led many transformational programs, such as 90 Days to Love, Be Phenomenal: Mindset To Empower, $10K From Monday To Friday and a $100K in 100 Days Challenge, Brand Uplevel Retreat.
Her most popular programs Advanced Coaches and Healers Certification and Founders Lounge help successful coaches and thought leaders launch their own certifications, schools and academies and create a solid foundation for their 7-figure transformational business.
After traveling the world with her husband and their 5 daughters Lira lives and works in Hawaii. You can learn more about Lira’s work at www.schoolofinspiredlife.com