Life Coach » Certification » Should You Pursue a Free Life Coach Certification?

Should You Pursue a Free Life Coach Certification?

If you’re interested in becoming a Life Coach, but you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your training, you may be wondering if you can learn what you need to know to launch a career for free.

Free training programs do exist, but the answer to that question isn’t black and white. While you can launch a career without going through a paid training (and the industry isn’t currently regulated), there are some cons to going the free certification route, which we’ll detail below. We’ll also touch on some affordable certification options.

But first, let’s explore how you can become a Life Coach for free.

How to Become a Certified Life Coach for Free

There are 3 essential steps to you’ll need to take to get trained and set up your Life Coaching business:

  • Select a training program.
  • Launch your business.
  • Spread the Word.

Step 1: Select a Training
To ensure the Life Coach training you select meets your needs, you’ll want to spend some time researching everything you can about the free programs that are out there and getting clear on what each of them covers. We also recommend you spend some time comparing programs and noting pros and cons. Mapping this out in a visual format will help you see the big picture of what each program offers and where any holes are.

It’s important to note that although there are free training programs out there, you may still have to pay a fee for the certification itself. So be sure to read the fine print and understand everything you’re getting in your training before you enroll.

Step 2: Launch Your Business
Once you’ve completed your training, it’s time to get your business up and running. Here are some basics you’ll need to get started:

  • Decide on a niche to specialize in (this will help set you apart from the crowd).
  • Pick a name for your business. You might choose to go with just your name or something that betters describes the type of help you provide.
  • Determine how you’ll work. Will you have a physical office or will you coach virtually?
  • Iron out the details, like what fees you’ll charge, what packages and services you’ll offer, the hours you’re available to meet with clients, and anything else someone might need to know to determine if your services are right for them.
  • Draw up your coaching agreement so clients understand the terms and conditions of your services before you work together.
  • Invest in any necessary equipment and supplies, like business cards, a laptop, a dedicated conference line, a web domain, an email provider, and any other business or marketing tools you’ll need to do your work.

Step 3: Spread the Word
Now that you’re ready to work with clients, it’s time to help them find you! Here are some ideas to help you get the word out:

  • Create an engaging and informative website that details your services, your bio, how you work with clients, what makes you different from other coaches, client success stories, and how to contact you. Bring your website to life with images and short videos so potential clients can connect with you and get a real sense of who you are. Consider starting a blog where you regularly give away free content so clients can get a taste of your knowledge, and add a sign-up form to your site so potential clients can contact you and opt in to receiving information from you.
  • Guest blog on other blogs to increase your visibility and build your authority.
  • Leverage the socialsphere! Create a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest page (or all of the above) to promote your services, connect with prospective clients, and share your content more broadly.
  • Talk it up. Tell your family, friends, and anyone else you can think of about your new career…you never know who could be looking for the kind of help you can offer.
  • List your business in relevant directories.
  • Leave your business card in local coffee shops, libraries, and other public areas.
  • Advertise online. Consider investing in search advertising or running ads on social media to boost your visibility and reach more eyes.

Building a business takes patience, time, and effort, so don’t be dismayed or disheartened if clients aren’t knocking down your door right away. The key is to be consistent with your marketing efforts, network with seasoned coaches to learn what has and hasn’t worked for them, and strive to build time into your schedule for continued education so you’re always growing and up-leveling your business.

Free Life Coach Certification: Pros & Cons

You may be thinking, Great! Sounds like I don’t need to pay for a training to launch a successful Life Coaching business.

Not so fast. Yes, you can absolutely start a business without spending a dime on your training. But know that there are some inherent sacrifices you’ll be making in terms of your education, your learning experience, and your potential career readiness.

While the pros of being able to launch your business faster and not having to invest financially may be extremely appealing, the cons have far-reaching implications. Here are 5 critical elements that are likely to be missing from a free Life Coaching certification:

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: A free training will likely cover the basic tenets of Life Coaching and the critical skills you’ll need (like strong listening and questioning skills), but it’s highly unlikely the training will teach you everything you’ll need to know to help clients get the results they desire. This isn’t something that’s learned over the course of a weekend or a couple of weeks. The art of Life Coaching requires a solid understanding of coaching and habit change and requires consistent practice. Your knowledge and skills foundation must be solidly built upon in order to cement what you’ve learned. Quite simply, a free training will more than likely result in insufficient knowledge and skills to effectively help people transform their lives.
  • Accreditation: We talked about the importance of having your Life Coach certification accredited in another blog post, but to quickly summarize: choosing an accredited certification program is the most surefire way to ensure the training you’re choosing is sound and contains all of the elements needed to set you up for future career success. If a certification program has achieved accreditation, you can feel confident that it has been thoroughly vetted and meets rigorous third-party standards.
  • Support: In a free training, you’ll likely be flying solo in the learning department with no one to ask questions, get clarification from, or practice with. Most paid programs, on the other hand, include some combination of regular office hours with instructors, mentorship, and peer collaboration. Can you learn it all on your own? Absolutely. But your educational experience will be richer and less one-dimensional if you opt for a paid training—not to mention the fact that you’ll have many opportunities to network and mastermind with other people who are in the exact same boat as you before you even launch your business!
  • Hands-On Learning: Another major benefit of enrolling in a paid program is that some offer the opportunity to hone your coaching skills with practice clients. While it’s important to gain “book” knowledge, it’s equally if not more important to practice your skills on real people! Doing so will help build your confidence and also ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running once you launch your business.
  • Business and Marketing Training: A free program may teach you the basics of Life Coaching, but it won’t cover how to actually launch and run a sustainable business or find clients. Though you can of course study up on the internet to teach yourself some basic marketing and business 101, one major benefit of choosing a paid training is that it will likely provide in-depth training on an array of business and marketing best practices specific to the Life Coaching industry. A paid training may also include lifetime access to resources, tools, and templates. In fact, some schools (like ours) even offer their students their own customizable website with enrollment, saving them money and the stress of having to learn how to master website marketing.It’s important to be aware of these cons and to determine how much they matter to you. So give some careful consideration to the type of support you’re looking for in a program and the type of Life Coach you want to become, and then seek out a program that can fully meet your needs.

Affordable Life Coach Certification Options

For all of the reasons we’ve outlined above, we at Health Coach Institute feel strongly that if you’re interested in becoming a Life Coach and making a good living doing it, it’s in your best interest to invest in a credible, comprehensive training. After all, it’s the foundation upon which you will build your future career!

The good news is, you don’t have the break the bank doing it. Many schools offer financing options, making training very affordable (some let you get started for just $50 a week). There are also some creative ways you can fund your education. For instance, you might consider taking out an interest-free credit card and charging your training, then paying it off with the money you start earning once you’re in business. Or you could even reach out to close friends and family to see if they’d be willing to sponsor your education.

The bottom line is this: there’s more than one way to become a Life Coach, but the cheapest Life Coach certification route may not be the best way if you want more than a basic understanding of the craft. If a robust curriculum, ongoing support, business and marketing preparation, and hands-on learning are important to you, you may want to consider investing in a paid training that delivers more.

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