How Much Does It Cost To Be A Life Coach?

As we draw closer to the end of the client acquisition course and start to get ready for the next full Coach the Life Coach course on June 11th, I was reminded of an email exchange I had with a woman just after I started Coach the Life Coach.

I was running a competition for a free place on the course and asked people to email me and tell me why I should give them such a great opportunity.

I had some very cool emails from people who were obviously up for the challenge of being a coach, and a few from people who were never going to make it no matter what.

One guy simply said:

‘Well it’s free so I thought I may as well throw my hat into the ring’

Hardly inspiring, was it?

Becoming a Life Coach Isn’t Free

The email that really made me stop and think was from a woman who ended up by saying this:

‘Tim, if you said the course was $5 I literally couldn’t afford to do it’

In some respects you may think that would be compelling, that if this woman was so broke I could really help her.

But I couldn’t.

The fact that it’s technically possible to bootstrap a Life Coaching practice, is not necessarily a good thing.

The low bar to entry means people sometimes translate that as no bar to entry and they are far from the same thing.

The people who do it and succeed, seriously understand client acquisition.

Without that ability to market yourself like a pro, the odds are you’re going to fail (which is why we teach online marketing!).

And the situation is exacerbated because of so many training companies are telling half-truths and not explaining to people that being a successful coach isn’t easy.

I have no problem being honest with prospective coaches because both myself and Karl only want to work with coaches who are getting into the industry with their eyes open and prepared to work at it.

How Much Does It Cost To Be A Life Coach?

As of now in 2017, I’m going to share with you my average monthly expenditure for A Daring Adventure so you can get an idea of what lies ahead.

There are without doubt short-cuts that you can come up with such as starting a free newsletter account with a company like Mail Chimp.

However, once your list starts to grow they will start charging. But they work on the theory that once your list expands you can afford to pay them anyway.

I use Aweber because even though they are a tad more expensive than the likes of Mail Chimp, they have the best reputation with ISP’s and the highest delivery rate in the industry.

So let’s take a closer look and see how much does it cost to be a Life Coach. And remember none of this takes into consideration our most precious commodity, time:

  • Aweber newsletter – $100
  • Zoom – $15
  • Web hosting (Siteground) – $25
  • Pay Pal Pro – $30
  • Transfer Big Files – $5
  • E-junkie – $5
  • Design and techie help – $250
  • Vonage (worldwide) – $30
  • Cell Phone – $100
  • Internet – $95
  • Amazon S3 (off site data storage) – $5
  • Ongoing training, books etc – $100

You will probably notice two glaring omissions.

Firstly, coach training is not included and there is a good reason for that. I have no idea how much you will spend.

We charge considerably less than $2k and that is about what I spent on my initial training.

However, some training companies will want closer to $10k from you.

Do you get 5 times the value? Well I don’t think so, but then again I may be a tad biased.

Also, practice liability insurance is not on that list.

That’s because I let mine lapse a few years ago without realizing it and only noticed when somebody on the last trial course asked me who I used!

I think insurance is very much a personal call. If you are having people come into your home, then I think it’s sensible to be covered.

On the other hand, if your clients are dotted all over the country and world like mine are, then I’m doubtful of it’s value.

And the reason I’m not sure, is simply because Life Coaching isn’t regulated. Therefore, unless you do something flat out illegal then I think the likelihood of you needing legal counsel are very slim.

The monthly total above comes to $760 per month, or just over 9k per annum (and remember that doesn’t include Coach the Life Coach).

That’s not a lot by most business standards, but when you consider that 90% of Life Coaches earn less than $20k per annum it takes on a much bigger role.

And there are significant costs that I will incur that I haven’t included because they are sporadic.

Only this morning I spent $60 on UpWork having some design work and proofreading done.

And whereas you don’t have to use a professional designer when it comes to your website, I do, and that probably costs me $200 per month if I was to average it out.

I do think a new coach could start up needing about half that per month to begin with, but I’d be hesitant to budget any lower because there are always unexpected expenses and one off costs to take into consideration.

3 Crucial Questions To Ask Yourself

  • How badly do I want it and am I prepared to put in the hard work at the front end?
  • Can I survive a year or two on a very low level of income as I build the business?
  • Can I afford the running costs needed to make sure I look like I’m a professional?

If the answers are, very, yes and yes, then cool, go for it because when you succeed it’s very rewarding and a lot of fun.

Comments

  1. Thanks Tim. I noticed you didn’t include your website cost for hosting and cost to create content, CTA, sales page etc. And the bigger one is TIME effectively invested to do the marketing to grow the business.

    We can literally waste too much time on social media fluff and not see any real benefits. ( guess that’s where your expertise comes in)

    A lack of marketing has been a challenge for me…I felt overwhelmed and as a result under motivated to gain momentum. I’ve since connected wih a marketing strategists who is helping me.
    Thanks

    • Tim Brownson

      I included hosting Diane, but no you’re right I didn’t include my time as it’s almost impossible to calculate. As for specifics like creating sales pages, well that comes under design and techie help.

      A rule of thumb I use is that if something will cost me less than $50 per our to outsource, then I always outsource it. Higher than that it becomes a judgment call.

      With regard to SM. We have stopped teaching the use of SM on CTLC, but instead focus on a strategy. There are so many platforms that trying to master more than a couple or maybe 3, is a fools errand.

  2. Hi Tim

    Thanks for this. I recently resigned from my day job to become a full time coach, so this is a nice confirmation that I did my budgeting right. Luckily I have an IT background, which saves me a lot of money on the website front.

    • Tim Brownson

      That can help without a shadow of a doubt. However, having the technical ability to build a great website is not the same as knowing how to do great design and understanding about conversion and UX.

      If you know those two elements too, then you’re definitely off to the races!

  3. Karen

    Great to see someone tell it as it is! I was very naive when I started. Other costs include membership fees for institutes (maybe not for life coaching but I coach hr so hr and coaching institutes). business cards, flyers, advertising, potentially a coach or specialist to help with branding or finance (areas you’re not so good at). chambers of commerce, networking events, lunches/coffees, parking….etc. some of these sound small but the all add up!

    • Tim Brownson

      Some very good points there Karen, although most relate to offline marketing.

      I don’t do any offline stuff at all. However, that was because I got established before the coaching gold rush exploded. I actually advise new coaches to do a mixture of the two.

  4. Great article, Tim! And I might say, you are a really frugal coach – my expenses are way higher (some of it, needlessly, I might say).

    THE BIGGEST EXPENSE in building your coaching business are Not even the monthly expenses… What many don’t calculate is the hours you put in building your coaching business (and maybe you mentioned it in your article). If you’d only charge $15.00 per hour, and you work 40 hours a week WITHOUT getting clients that week, you just invested $600 worth of your time – $2400 that month investment in your business. Of course, if you ask any coach how much do they value their time, they’ll say $50, $100, $500…. Add those numbers up and calcluate then what’s your start-up investment for your coaching biz…

    Yes, many think that it’s the easiest business to build, as no up-front investment needed. But, yes, think twice! It’s about as costly (for most) as any business out there.

    GREAT Article!

  5. Ray

    Hey there really good information and insights and what it will take to become a life coach. I do have one question. If there is another Life Coaching service “provider” within my area is it worth starting one up knowing that theres is going to be a lot of competition. The Life Coaching business i am referring to is Thrive in Life 360 (https://www.thriveinlife360.com) and the sort of courses and services they provide also seem to be very insightful if you wish to have a look – (https://www.thriveinlife360.com/Courses/Courses.aspx & https://www.thriveinlife360.com/Experts/experts.aspx)

    • Tim Brownson

      I have no idea where you are Ray, so can’t answer that.

      However, I don’t think you should really care. Just do a better job or marketing and coaching of any local competition!