Is coaching certification necessary?
Should you go for it?
If yes? Then why? What can be the consequences of not having it?
And if No, then what are the alternatives?
You might have many questions about coaching certification.
There are many pros to earning a coaching certification. At the same time, many in the coaching industry don’t feel that it is extremely important.
In this article, I have tried to cover both perspectives. By the end, I am pretty sure that you would be able to discover your own stand.
So without wasting any time, let’s jump!
Why is coaching certification useful?
Let us first discuss the points that are in favor of coaching certification.
1. Coaching certification adds tools and proven techniques
As a coach, your aim is to guide the client to achieve his/her goals. The journey may involve many processes. Dealing with various clients and situations is seldom challenging. Going through a certification program helps you to prepare to tackle diverse situations. It fills your coaching toolbox with many types of equipment. In this way, you can better empower your clients. This way you can smoothly achieve the CLIENTS’ TRANSFORMATION.
2. Coaching certification builds legitimacy
Do you want to stand out in today’s saturated market?
Coaching certifications can be one of the best ways!
Coaching certifications boost your reputation. It provides you an edge over your competitors. You appear like a true professional. The coaching certification adds a layer of legitimacy.
Today the significance of coaching is being recognized by many top organizations.
Companies are hiring corporate and executive coaches to boost their ROIs. The life coaching industry recently topped with $1 Billion in revenue in the USA.
In the past years, the coaching industry has seen a huge growth in the US market. This also implies that the competition has become more fierce. Clients are more likely to hire coaches who have taken professional training courses. This builds confidence and trust in the coach. This is the reason that if you are a certified coach, there’s a greater probability that you will earn more.
3. You get a lot of support
The journey for earning a coaching certificate itself teaches you great lessons. At the same time, you build a solid network of mentors and peers for yourself. These people can help you when you are facing roadblocks. It is always good to be a part of a like-minded community. At the same time, this opens doors for earning referrals too.
4. Chances of success increases by owning a coaching certification
According to many professional coaches, coaching certification helps you to attract more clients. In this way, there are better chances to achieve success in your coaching business. Such coaches are also less likely to drop out of their professions.
5. Coaching certification lets you possess the image of an IDEAL COACH
The coaching industry lacks proper regulation. This is advantageous on one hand and on the other disadvantageous too.
The advantage is that there are no strict regulations and norms that a coach must follow to become one. At the same time due to lack of proper regulation, there are certain coaches who lure clients and trap them.
Building credibility is not easy. You have to convince your ideal prospects that your coaching services are the best.
How will you do this?
A coaching certification might help you here!
When you choose to take a rigorous coaching program, you appear serious to the clients. Some of the common questions of clients while hiring a coach are:
How many years of experience do you have?
Where did you study?
How long did your training last and what did it include?
How can I trust you with my goals?
I am sure you want to satisfy your prospect and prove that you are that IDEAL COACH whom he/she is searching for. Coaching certification in a way does this for you!
When you have a coaching certification, you have a tool to substantiate what you say. This provides you great confidence and increases the conversion rate.
6. Coaching Certification provides you a stamp
Agree or not but practical skills and knowledge are not ALWAYS prioritized. Your clients are going to pay you real money and they will want the investment to be worthy.
The client may agree to pay a few bucks extra for a certified coach. Indeed there are many uncertified coaches who are good but people seldom know who they are. Thus they consider the certifications as a stamp from a trusted source. An alternative can be- Referrals- but even that demands a great investment of time and money.
7. Surveys tend to be more in favor of coaching certification
According to a survey by the ICF, there were 84% of clients for whom coaching credentials were “important” or “very important”.
This means that there are only some clients who do not care about certification. This number goes up according to the region. 91% of the people of Latin America say that coaching certification is important. This includes other people too along with actual coaching clients. According to SCM’s survey, 82.8% of professional coaches said that certifications would make them feel more competitive. 76% said that they would sign on more paying clients.
The SCM took a survey- Do You Need Coach Certification? This was completed by 2,552 coaches worldwide. Coaches were asked if they would like to intuitively get certifies. This means whether the coaches really want to get certified or they just think that they should do.
75.7% of coaches responded in favor i.e. they want to get certified.
8. Coaching Certification prepares you for the future
Today in most of the places it is not mandatory to be a certified coach. Still, no one knows what the future may be. If coaching certifications become legal tomorrow, your business can be at a risk. Recognized certification from reputed training institutes like ICF or IAC safeguards your future.
9. You will become more knowledgeable
Preparing for oral and written exams and consistent evaluation builds the coaching foundation. The coaching programs are evaluated by top mentors. These people have themselves been very successful in their careers.
Some programs also include mock sessions. This way you expand the horizons of your knowledge. You tend to learn something new with every coaching certification. You become more conscious about your practice. A coaching program prepares you to remain abreast of the recent trends and practices. In this manner, there is a greater probability to get your ideal clients fast.
Why coaching certification might not be that useful?
I hope that now it is clear why do some people favor coaching certifications.
Now, let’s move on to a different perspective.
Some people also say that most of the coaching certifications aren’t worth investing in. They say that investing as much as $1500 on coaching programs may not always be a good deal. But, the same time and money can be utilized in building the coaching business.
There are points that people who are not in the favor of coaching certifications put forward. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Skills and expertise doesn’t come from a piece of paper
Many coaches consider that at the end of the day only skillful coaches dominate. Many successful coaches, for instance, Tonny Robbins, never went for any certified training. Still, they are doing well. Many certified coaches lack proper skills and expertise.
Some coaches consider that there is no correlation between certificates and success.
2. Certification doesn’t always build confidence in practice
Some people think that if they get more education, it will build their confidence. Actually, confidence comes from within. There is a probability that such coaches would live in fear even after getting certified.
Even today many coaches underestimate their worth and charge low. This behaves as a hurdle in their path of success. There are many coaches who are though certified yet struggling.
3. Clients concentrate more on the TRANSFORMATION that coach can bring rather than CERTIFICATES
Many coaches reveal that they were never asked about their certifications. The reason is that the clients are less interested in the coach but more on the results that the coach can bring.
You can easily convince clients with clients’ testimonies. Some people say that rather than investing time and money in coaching schools, coaches should invest that in marketing and sales.
Their marketing strategies should be aimed at convincing the clients. Here are some marketing tips that can help you.
1. Training and certification are different
Certifications for some are just one of the many ways of getting training. Coaching certification is like a one-size-fits-all solution. Most of the entrepreneurs take training according to personalized skills. The same should apply to coaches as well. They must invest in programs or courses that they think will help them in growing. Certifications from reputed organizations may not necessarily be the choice every time.
2. Coaching certification may not help you to build profit
The most important thing while building a coaching business is SELLING. If you want to get clients you must know how to sell your coaching services. Not all the coaching programs teach you that. They may give you methods like networking etc. but building a coaching business is a process.
You learn the majority of your lessons when you are on the ground and practice coaching each day. Some of your strategies may work others may not. This is how you recognize and modify your coaching philosophy. A certificate doesn’t guarantee that you will get your ideal clients fast.
3. Coaching certificates aren’t the only source of credibility
In fact, some suggest that they are the least. Many coaches say that there are other solid sources that lend credibility. These include client testimonies and success stories. The ultimate form of credibility is when you give your clients 100% confidence.
What should I keep in mind if I am planning to go for a coaching certification?
If you think that a coaching certification can help you in your coaching business that’s fair enough.
There are various coaching training programs. You must take care that the coaching program that you choose gives you the most benefits. Unfortunately, not all coaching programs are great. You definitely don’t want to regret at the end of the program, right? It is important to choose the most suitable training program according to your needs.
Below are certain points that you must take care of while choosing a training program.
1. Is the program accredited?
There are three main bodies of coaching that provide coaching credentials. These are ICF, EMCC, and CEE. The training institutes achieve their coaching accreditation and renew them periodically. This ensures that the coaching programs that they offer are aligned with the best practices. Accreditation is like licensing certificates.
Always enroll yourself in a coaching-specific accredited coaching program. The reason is that if the program is not accredited you would not be able to apply for credentials after completion. This is like paying the tuition fees, clearing exams and yet not being able to get a degree.
2. Does the program has credentialed trainers?
Loo for abbreviations like ACC, PCC, MCC, SP, BCC (see the full list here). This reflects their subject matter expertise. Credentialed trainers have the knowledge and experience that you are looking for. They have been in your shoes and thus they can teach you better. Make sure that you ask the trainers about their credentials. You can also verify the same from the websites of ICF, EMCC, and CEE. In general, look for trainers with PCC or MCC coaching credentials.
3. Does the program include mentoring?
One-to-one or group coaching mentoring is required while applying for many coaching credentials. While choosing a training program ask whether mentoring is included or not. If it is, ask whether that would be covered within the quoted price or would it require additional cost. Many programs do not include mentoring at their initial cost. Look for languages like “mentoring included” or “mentoring not included” while looking at the quote prices.
4. Can you easily communicate with the trainer
You should have a point of contact or point of reference. You should be able to communicate frankly with your trainer or one of your trainers during the training program. Though it might not be possible depending on the coaching module yet ask for the same.
Many times it also happens that initially the institutes promise to provide a credentialed coach but on the first day of training an inexperienced coach turns up. Make sure that you clarify all the things properly before paying the fees.
5. Do they sound pushy and overpromising?
Many small coaching institutes look for people who lack proper knowledge. They may try to impress you with those exciting lines to sell their programs. Take care that you do not fall into the trap.
They may boast about the discounted prices and refrain from giving in writing. Be careful. “We can sort it later” is one of the most common lines such training institutes use.
It is better to research a little bit about the program you are interested in before you go. For instance, someone may tell you that they will get your PPC credentials in three months. This isn’t possible as the ICF has its own decided length for the program.
If not coaching certifications, then what are the alternatives?
Though having a coaching certification has become a standard it is yet not a necessity. If you cannot get one due to some reasons there are some alternatives that you should concentrate on. Your ultimate goal is to make your coaching business success. Now it totally rests upon you how do you make that happen.
If you are serious about your coaching business then there are three things that you must concentrate on.
- Get a coach
- Get Clients
- Get Results
Get a coach
Rather than investing in coaching certification programs, you can hire a coach. The benefits of hiring a coach are immense. You get to learn from the experience and expertise of someone that you ought to be like.
Look for a coach who is having a flourishing coaching business. Check whether he/she would fit your needs. Having a mentor can help you in many ways.
- Mentor will teach you techniques that helped him to create a phenomenal business
- You can learn from his/her mistakes.
- The mentor can guide you on where to make the investment and where not to.
- The mentor is always beside you when you face any hurdles.
- You can build your coaching business smoothly and in less time with the proper mentorship.
Coaching and mentoring are two separate things. If you don’t know how do they differ, read this.
The next step should be to get clients. You must put all your efforts, time and energy to get your initial five clients fast.
It is not necessary that you can coach only after the training. You might be giving buddy coaching even now. It’s just that you have not realized it yet.
Read books and blogs. Watch videos of success stories. Read interviews of coaches. This will help you to better understand the coaching path and show you ways to progress.
Don’t hesitate to make mistakes. Mistakes are the best teachers. This is how you will learn and grow.
Remember that you have only one purpose. And that is- SELLING. Learn to build creative marketing strategies. Conduct free coaching sessions, webinars or workshops. Spread the word amongst your family members and friends.
Once you get your initial paid clients, you would keep progressing.
Earning clients does half of the work. The next task is to get results and keep your clients satisfied.
How do you get results?
First of all, you should be aware of the pain points of your target audience. You should know what are their desires and expectations.
The next step should be to build an action plan. Your goal should be to drive your clients to success.
Conducting effective coaching sessions is really important. Your coaching sessions should be tailored to your clients’ needs.
Take regular feedback to check whether your clients are happy. If not then don’t hesitate to tweak your coaching philosophy a bit.
This has always been a debatable topic and would continue. At least till the time more strict regulation starts influencing the coaching industry. I tried to give you a taste of both worlds. I am pretty sure that now you would be in a better position to decide what is best for yourself.
I think that though coaching certifications give you an edge yet you get the real stuff only when you are on the grounds. Even if you are going for a coaching training program you must research well and then choose.
I hope you found the article helpful.
Let me know if have some other suggestions to share by mentioning them in the comment section below.
Don’t hesitate to connect with me in case you have any queries. I am always there beside you!
Keep smiling 🙂