The Definitive Guide to Become an Inspirational Coach [2024 Edition]

Why does anyone need an inspirational coach?

Since all coaches inspire their clients to be the best version of themselves, is this not the mandate of every coach?

Is an inspirational coach the same as a motivation coach?

I am sure several of your clients would have asked you the same questions. Interestingly, it is your answer that will determine whether or not you are hired. This is why you need a killer elevator pitch! We will discuss how this will be crucial in your career as an inspirational coach.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about inspirational coaching and how you can get the most out of it.

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What Does An Inspirational Coach Do?

We all know that success means different things for different people, right? But there are some attributes that all successful people share. These may be motivation, goal-setting abilities and perseverance. I am sure there are several others. But let us start with this list.

Without well-defined goals, it is difficult for anyone to achieve long-term success. You may argue that there are several people who credit their success to luck!

I would not argue that. That is why I said that attaining long-term success requires dedication and routine. You have to practice succeeding.

This is where you step in as an inspirational coach to help people with setting this routine.

As an inspirational coach, you will motivate your clients to:

  • Set achievable goals
  • Analyze any hurdles towards achieving these targets
  • Plan and take actionable steps to meet goals
  • Overcome procrastination and mental blocks

What Sets An Inspirational Coach Apart?

Now that you have defined how you help your clients, it is also important to understand how to differentiate yourself from the rest?

There is a great video on YouTube that discusses the leadership theories demonstrated in the movie Coach Carter. Do check it out here. The video juxtaposes the leadership skills demonstrated by the coach for the Richmond football team with summaries. The video also showcases how coaches impact the habits of people and turn them into leaders in every aspect of their lives.

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So how should you differentiate your business in order to be successful and make a name for yourself?

Let us first understand who your target audience is and what they want in order to answer the question I mentioned above.

You should also check out my earlier blog How to Become a Successful Motivation Coach. A lot of people use motivational coach and inspirational coach interchangeably. Hence, there are several aspects of motivation and inspiration that I have covered in that blog.

Inspirational Coach: Impact

What does an inspirational coach do?

Well, a motivational coach is someone who helps one work through problems in life. He/he offers encouragement along the way. That’s not to say that a motivational coach is someone who blindly offers their support 100% of the time. He/she offers objective advice on how to improve one’s situation. This will help a client strike a balance between where she currently is and where she wants to be.

If you were to define an inspirational coach, the same rules would apply. The key for both coaches is to help the client become the best version of self that he/she can be.

Inspirational Coach: Target Audience

Who then should you target as the ideal client? Well, there is no dearth of clients for talented, driven coaches.

Look the following facts as a testimony to the fact that there is an active market for coaches.

This post claims that the life coaching industry has crossed the $1 billion dollar mark.

· Average income for life coaches ranges from $27,100 to $73,100. Specialty coaches can charge more than $100,000 annually.

· In Asia, there were around 3,700 coaches. They contributed $113 million in total annual revenue.

As you have a very specific niche, you can definitely earn a slice of the pie when it comes to finding your target audience. On a related note, you will find out more about niches in my blog The Ultimate Guide To Finding Your Coaching Niche.

As an inspirational coach, you can reach out to both small and medium businesses with a proposal to help their employees find motivation.

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Inspirational Coach: Marketing the Brand

If you are just beginning your career as an inspirational coach, the headline of this section may have thrown you off. What do I mean by marketing “the brand”? After all, you are probably a one-member team at the moment.

Well, the “brand” is you. It does not matter how many team members you are able to employ. It does not even matter in the end how big your office is. You can keep making an impact as an inspirational coach, if you go about it smartly.

What does that mean? Well, I have a simple exercise I want you to do.

Answer the following questions honestly. You may choose to write it down. You will need to revisit the answers that you jot down.

Are you ready? Here goes:

  1. Is marketing going to help you as an inspirational coach?
  2. Will it be wise to direct finances at this stage towards marketing?
  3. Will marketing help to get clients?

Have you noted down your answers?

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Now, I will answer your question.

Yes, marketing will make a huge difference to your business. It will help you get noticed in a crowded market as an inspirational coach.

Your worry about finances is valid. However, even if you cannot dedicate funds at this stage to marketing, I would recommend that you start planning for it. Do check out my blog Is Marketing Crucial to My Coaching Business. I have provided several tips on how you should advertise your services as an inspirational coach. Brush up on your online marketing skills as the current pandemic has moved people indoors.

You may also want to read the following excerpt about what is marketing.

A 2018 article states that two-thirds of adults in the United States (US) say that trust in a brand has a great deal (31%) or a lot (37%) of influence on their decision when making a big purchase, reports Survey Monkey. Adults in the United States are not alone in the importance they place on trust: a majority of respondents in the United Kingdom (57%) and Canada (69%) also say that trust in a brand has a great deal or a lot of impact on their decision-making.

I have written several marketing related blogs. Some are here and here. These will help you understand how you can market your brand and earn enough money to have a comfortable life.

Inspirational Coach: Salary

Can you earn enough to give your family a comfortable lifestyle as an inspirational coach?

Motivational coaches charge between $175 and $250 per hour. This varies depending on their experience, region and coaching style.

According to a survey (in North America), a motivation or inspirational coach can earn up to $50,500 in a year. Your experience, client recommendations and audience profile will have a large role to play in determining the charges.

Should you focus on bigger companies or smaller businesses?

Well, that depends on your needs at the moment.

A larger corporation may pay you a higher salary but will also require more time commitment from your end. On the other hand, a smaller business that is looking to expand may offer other perks that suit your lifestyle at the moment. There is no right or wrong way of practicing a coaching business.

Choose whatever works for you! If you are able to live a happy life and have a fulfilling career, you are already living the dream life that everyone wants.

Inspirational Coach: Secrets for Success

What are the qualities of a good inspirational coach? Can these be generalized?

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No, there cannot be a one size fits all when it comes to any type of coaching. Our personalities are as diverse as the needs of our clients.

However, there is something I have come to realize.

All good coaches, irrespective of their niche, share some common traits. These prepare them to achieve a higher degree of success when it comes to coaching.

Does that mean that others cannot succeed?

Of course they can. These traits are learned and can influence your coaching practice heavily.

So what are the traits that can make you a successful inspirational coach? I have mentioned three of the top traits below.

Live out the dream

What is your biggest dream as an inspirational coach? What is preventing you from living out that dream? You are the best role model for your client. So, if you cannot live your dream life you cannot motivate your client to do the same. Practice before you preach

Empathy goes a long way

As a coach, you will meet various clients with dreams that are different from yours. Some may seem like an impossible vision. Others may be so simple that you will wonder why the client is unable to achieve it. Judgement comes naturally when we process others’ words through our prism. Your first role as an inspirational coach is to get rid of your own prism. This is the client’s journey. You are merely playing a supportive role in that.

Keep in touch

So many coaches I know deliver a great job but fail to get return clients. I place the onus of getting references on the coach. It is your job to seek out references and recommendations. It is your responsibility to take your coaching business to the heights it deserves. For this, you may need to lend support beyond your coaching engagement. Why not do so if it helps your coaching business?

You may have noticed that none of these traits are usually associated only with coaching.

The point behind choosing these traits is to show you how small personality changes can add value to your career as an inspirational coach.

I have written about these in detail in a few other blogs. In my previous blog Top 10 Coaching Skills You Must Have as a Life Coach, I have mentioned several other qualities.

These qualities are common for coaches across all coaching models. You may want to refer to my blog on 21 Coaching Skills Every Successful Coach Needs and Top Qualities Of A Successful Coach.

Do You Need Training as an Inspirational Coach?

I have already talked about generic traits that all good coaches have. I have also mentioned some things that can set you apart.

It is now time to address another important question. Are your clients looking for specific degrees from you as an inspirational coach? No, not really.

But clients will look for relevant experience.

Say, for example, if you are working with companies, they may ask if you have experience relevant dealing with mid or high-level executives.

As I always say, it is always good to invest in yourself before asking others to invest in you.

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Look out for training courses that will give you a head start in your career. You can choose to invest in short-term courses that give you relevant training with your target audience. But apart from that, there is no particular degree that you will be required to demonstrate.

If you are still learning how to become a coach, you can take some training courses to understand the industry better and to make connections.

In many cases, your next client may come through a recommendation or reference. Word of mouth goes a long way when it comes to choosing an inspirational coach. And nothing demonstrates your effectiveness better than a successful coach.

Does Certification Help An Inspirational Coach?

Do you need to be certified to get clients as an inspirational coach?

Well, here is some good news. You do not need certification as a coach in order to be successful! Are you surprised?

Till now, the coaching industry is unregulated. This means anyone can claim to be a coach.

I have written about this in my blog Do you need Coaching Certification in 2021? This news is actually a mixed bag. This news does mean that a new coach does not need to get training to become a coach. However, it also means that there is no benchmark that all coaches follow.

This makes it more difficult for corporate houses to hire new talent.

Hence, companies are inclined to hire coaches that they have worked with before. Else, word of mouth recommendation goes a long way to establish connections.

This is why maintaining good relations with your past clients can be so useful for you.

Your experience as an inspirational coach, marketing skills and good client recommendations will decide how successful your coaching practice can be.

Watch my free webinar, build a strong online presence and let it help you grow your business.

Keep updated about the latest developments in your business and watch your coaching career flourish.

What Motivates An Inspirational Coach?

From time to time, every inspirational coach will need motivation too!

My favourite thing to do is to fall back on some quotable quotes. Hence, look through this piece on and keep your favourite ones earmarked! You never know when these will come in handy.

Some of my favourite ones were:

  • A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness: Elaine MacDonald, Canadian activist.
  • Life begins at the end of your comfort zone: Neale Donald Walsh, Author.
  • Opportunities don’t knock, they whisper. So shut up and listen: Thomas Leonard, founding father of professional life coaching.
  • I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail: Abraham Maslow, psychologist.
  • Habits are like financial capital – forming one today is an investment that will automatically give out returns for years to come: Shawn Anchor, author The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance At Work.
  • If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes: Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-born industrialist, and philanthropist.
  • Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is more often helping them to learn rather than teaching them: John Whitmore, founder of the GROW model of coaching.
  • Even while they teach, men learn: Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher.

The last two particularly resonated with me. Read the whole post for more such quotes! Let me know which one you like best.

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Books for Inspirational Coach

The other way to keep self-motivation at its peak is to constantly keep updated with the latest developments in the coaching sphere.

To that end, here is a list of some books that you must read as an inspirational coach. This list is relevant for everyone. These books are classics in their own right.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
  • Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills (Spiral-bound) by Tony Stoltzfus
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Hardcover) by Charles Duhigg
  • Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and, Life (Paperback) by Laura Whitworth
  • The Gifts of Imperfection (Paperback) by Brené Brown
  • Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training by Patrick Williams
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone’s Life by Michael Neill
  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  • Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives (ebook) by Henry Kimsey-House
  • The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

The whole list is here.

Since all coaches inspire their clients to be the best version of themselves, is this not the mandate of every coach?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an Inspirational Coach?

An inspirational coach is someone who helps one work through problems in life. He/he offers encouragement along the way.

What does an Inspirational Coach Do?

As an inspirational coach, you will motivate your clients to:
1.Set achievable goals
2.Analyze any hurdles towards achieving these targets
3.Plan and take actionable steps to meet goals
4.Overcome procrastination and mental blocks

How do you become an inspirational coach?

Look out for training courses that will give you a head start in your career. You can choose to invest in short-term courses that give you relevant training with your target audience. But apart from that, there is no particular degree that you will be required to demonstrate.


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