December 4, 2022
Last Updated:
August 1, 2023

How to Become a Certified Online Life Coach

Life coaching is an umbrella term for people who work to transform and improve the lives of their clients. Life coaches empower clients to identify personal strengths and weaknesses and support them in building confidence and core competencies, in both their personal development and professional life. Anyone who needs guidance or direction in their life can receive help from working with a life coach.

As we continue to move parts of our lives into the virtual world, many people are making online appointments for everything from doctor visits to dates. Life coaches can opt to have in-person appointments but may also offer virtual services, whether partially or completely online.

If you enjoy helping others and seeing them reach their full potential and achieve their goals, life coaching might be for you. Life coaches can help clients overcome personal and professional obstacles to help them achieve their goals. Studies have even found that working with a life coach can improve self-esteem. So, what exactly do life coaches do? How do you become one? We've got the inside scoop on how to become an online life coach – from responsibilities to career flexibility and everything in between – so let's break it down: 


Your day-to-day responsibilities as a life coach will at least partially depend on what area you focus your coaching practice on. It may also depend on whether you’re working for yourself or someone else as a consultant or advisor. Your day may include:

  • Meeting with new clients to determine if you are a good fit for their needs
  • Guiding clients to set actionable, goal-based plans
  • Working on social media, a blog, or email marketing to expand your potential client base
  • Checking in with current clients and encouraging them to keep moving forward
  • Keeping on top of “back-end” documents, like taxes, timecards (if you have employees), and office work

Salary and job outlook

Independent coaches are typically self-employed, though it’s becoming more common to see life coaches working with and for large organizations to provide advice and support to employees.

Life coaching is a growing field as more people seek help improving their lives. Since you would be your own boss, you can set your own salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (who include life coaches in the same category as Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors) shows that life coaches earn a median salary of $58,120 per year, with an overall range of $35,620–$97,910. Your salary as a life coach will depend on:

  • The number of clients you have at any given time
  • Overhead costs
  • Whether you work full- or part-time
  • Your geographic location – larger cities usually have a higher cost of living but also higher wages
  • Whether you’re self-employed or you work for a company or corporation
  • Your coaching niche or specialty

6 Steps to Becoming a Life Coach

While it may seem like learning how to become an online life coach requires little more than compassion and the ability to encourage others, it’s much more involved than that! It’s a business, after all, and includes all the decisions and challenges that come with running a business or becoming an entrepreneur.

1. Get inspired.

Look at successful life coaches you know or follow online and note what you find interesting about their work and online presence. How do they interact with their followers? How do they connect with current and potential clients? Be inspired without imitating them—you’ll need to find your own unique voice and way of doing things!

2. Identify your coaching style.

When you become an online life coach, identifying your coaching style will go hand in hand with figuring out what services you’re going to offer. Life coaches work with clients on a wide range of things, from financial coaching, relationship advice, and spiritual guidance to leadership training and general family-life issues. Defining your niche allows you to target exactly who you’re looking to help. Also, using language that accurately explains your services not only allows clients to feel more comfortable in seeking you out but will also ensure you receive clients who are ready and able to work with you. Win-win!

3. Get certified.

After you figure out exactly what kind of life coach you want to be, begin researching educational programs. There are no formal education requirements or certifications needed to become a life coach, but clients may feel more comfortable working with someone who has experience and has received a credible education.

Programs like IIN’s Health Coach Training Program offer structured education on holistic health, wellness, and health coaching topics that aspiring life coaches may find helpful. Look out for programs that include not only coaching but business-building expertise as well—IIN’s Health Coach Training Program is one such program that offers a comprehensive education in improving well-being and creating a fulfilling career helping others.

4. Launch your business.

Starting a new business without a business plan can cost money, lead to mistakes, and affect relationships. Figuring out your business goals, financial objectives, and marketing strategies will keep your brand and business on the path forward. Successful life coaching is an extremely flexible career option ‒ even more so when you choose to coach online. Before launching your online life coaching business, you’ll need to develop a business plan.

When creating your business plan, be sure to factor in the time and money needed to register your business with the proper state and/or federal agencies. Setting up a limited liability company (LLC) separates your business assets from and protects your personal assets, should you ever be involved in a lawsuit.

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5. Grow your reach online.

Social media is an important aspect of growing your business and serves as a wonderful way to connect with other coaches and potential future clients. Even if you don’t have experience running social media accounts professionally, simply posting what inspires you can help inspire others.

In addition to establishing a social media presence, taking advantage of online networking opportunities is crucial when you're first learning how to become an online life coach. When client-based businesses struggle to get clients, it’s often due to a lack of clear communication. Finding your unique niche in wellness, creating an elevator pitch, cultivating a good web presence, and having a little creativity all go a long way while networking.

The most successful life coaches offer introductory workshops; attend virtual networking events; or align their coaching practices with complementary offerings, such as newsletters or blogs. Ensuring that existing clients have the best possible experience is essential – word of mouth is the most effective marketing tool you have!

Online life coaching is especially dependent on your online presence, so make it as professional as possible. In addition to social media, your website should be easy to use and inform potential clients about the services you offer, your expertise, and how they can begin working with you. Setting up a website can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be—freelancers on sites like Fiverr and Upwork can offer relatively inexpensive web-design services.

6. Continue your education.

Life coaches should stay up to date on current trends and data to best help their clients. This can involve continuing your education with specialty courses, taking classes from other coaches, staying informed on psychology research, or keeping up with trends on social media.

Why Become a Life Coach?

For people who are excited about the idea of being their own boss while helping others achieve their goals, learning how to become an online life coach may be a great career choice. Online life coaches are entrepreneurs, with the opportunity to take charge of their own careers and futures and forge personal (and financial) independence. If you’re looking for flexibility in a career that helps others make positive changes, online life coaching might be right for you.

To help others

The main purpose of both life coaches and Health Coaches is to improve their clients' lives! By becoming an online life coach, you can help clients achieve goals, overcome obstacles and make changes or shifts in their lives, from small adjustments to large transformations.

To develop leadership skills

After working out how to become an online life coach, you’ll lead clients through challenging life circumstances by providing a safe space to listen without judgment and offer tangible guidance. Not every successful leader was born with natural leadership abilities. Instead, they had to work to develop the necessary skills.

When you become an online life coach, you may develop leadership abilities you might not have thought possible. And as your clients learn from you, you’ll learn from your clients.

For career flexibility

As a life coach, you aren’t limited to working with clients in person. Online businesses offer flexibility for both clients and coaches. If you’re looking for a more flexible career, working for yourself is one of the most flexible options available; and working online eliminates the overhead costs of a physical workspace.

This isn’t to say that being your own boss is easy ‒ but it does offer more leeway than working for someone else. You can set your own hours and schedule and create a business model in which your business, life coaching, fits your lifestyle!

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking to help people deal holistically with anxiety, gain confidence in their professional lives, or just feel more put together, life coaching may be the right career path for you. And as we move more of our lives online, building an online-only business can help get you started in a career that’s both flexible for you and beneficial for your clients. If you feel you're ready learn more about career-changing coaching courses, we offer some amazing life coaching programs to help you become a certified life coach! 

Author Biography
Katy Weniger
IIN Content Writer

Katy holds a bachelor’s in English with a concentration in creative writing and advertising from Rider University. After jobs in the field of finance, she wanted to transition to an industry that focused on helping others be their best selves, and discovered IIN.

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