Leadership Coaching: The Complete Guide

Give yourself a pat on the back, because you have just taken the most significant decision towards starting your leadership coaching business.

Congratulations!! You are on the right path and have taken the best decision of your life. You must be wondering how? Let me tell you, as per the current estimate, about 60% of Fortune 500 CEOs have their own leadership coaches. So, you can expect a huge market for your coaching skills. There will not be a dearth of clients in this field. But to be the next successful leadership coach you have to work hard on your coaching skills and strategies.

The coaching industry has a plethora of opportunities but with that comes a lot of competition. You must have a lot of questions, right?

What skills and strategies should you follow?

How should you market your leadership coaching business?

How can you be different from your competitors?

How much can you earn by being a leadership coach?

Is certification required to be a coach?

The list goes on, but fear not, we will answer all of them, to make your coaching journey smooth and simple.

Let me first start with the basic question:

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What is leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching is a coaching process that helps leaders to achieve the short and long-term goals of an organization.

It is customized and personalized to achieve specific organizational goals. It is conducted one-on-one for a defined period.

You, as a leadership coach, have to create new leaders for organizations, or guide existing leaders to achieve the organization’s goals.

What can you do through leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching plays an active role in building leaders. As a leadership coach, you can guide and motivate leaders to achieve success.

I feel that there are some important activities that you can do through your leadership coaching.

Help people meet the competition through leadership coaching

Leaders and business have to match up with the competitive world. You as a coach can guide them on how to keep up the pace.

Coach the coaches through your leadership coaching programs

You can even guide other coaches. Coaches are also leaders. Leadership coaching helps in achieving their goals.

Solve the problems or challenges of businesses

You can provide immediate solutions to the problems in an efficient way. It would speed up things. Leadership coaching can guide entrepreneurs to solve business challenges.

Provide guidance in the development of leaders

Can you do everything alone? No. The same is the case with the leaders. The leadership coach helps leaders in achieving their professional goals. Many organizations are providing coaches to their leaders. Why? So that they can become great performers.

For example, a successful business owner comes to you. He wants to check whether he is executing proper leadership techniques or not. As a coach, you will try to understand his leadership styles. Next, you will provide tools that he can use to measure his success.

What are you doing here?

You are giving him support, discussing where he is wrong and showing him the success path.

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How leadership coaching is different from business coaching?

Leadership coaching is a subset of business coaching. It includes how to develop the staff and develop teamwork. Leadership coaching focuses on creating impactful communications among leaders and employees.

On the other hand, business coaching explains leadership as one module. They are more focused on business-related coaching.

Many times, people overlap both terms. But there is a difference. It is the approach that you are taking.

The leadership coach works on the personal development of a leader too. They have an indirect approach to reach organizational or business goals.

As a leadership coach, you have to work with leaders and improve their skill sets. This helps them achieve business goals. Hence, this process is more personal in comparison to a business coach.

Top skills required to start your leadership coaching business

In today’s competitive world, many companies have realized the importance of leadership coaching.

As per the Center for Creative Leadership, by Jennifer Martineau, Emily Hoole, and Tracy Patterson 65 percent of companies showed high business results with strong leadership development programs. Whereas 6 percent of companies failed without such a program.

Being a leadership coach is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and skills to make leaders. Let me share a few skills that can help you to be successful in your leadership coaching practice-

Create a strategic vision through your leadership coaching

What vision are you giving to your clients?

Why it is important for you as a coach?

Guide your clients to create a strategic vision as this will help them to grow as leaders.

This skill will help in taking decisions. Your clients will gain commitment and motivation. It is like an outline that can help in achieving future goals.

Take ownership of results

You need to take the responsibility of helping people.

How can you improve upon this skill?

Understand what is expected and commit accordingly.

You are a leadership coach and thus staying firm in your decisions is a must.

Learn to take ownership of outcomes. Empower yourself to meet the challenges. Know how to correct the mistakes.

Learn to recognize strengths

As a leadership coach, you need to recognize the strengths of your clients.

Appreciate the good work of your clients and motivate them to work on their flaws.

This way you can build strong leaders.

Teach your clients to recognize the strengths of their team members and ask them to appreciate it.

Recognition and appreciation will motivate the team to work hard to achieve higher goals.

Keep curiosity alive in your leadership coaching programs

Do you want to know one skill that can lead to success? 

It is curiosity.

It means you are willing to know more. Curiosity brings clarity in life and career.

I often ask questions to my clients. Why do they want my coaching? How do they want to go ahead in their profession as a leader?

This helps me to know the exact requirements and give the best solutions to my clients.

Develop empathy

For a leadership coach, it is one of the essential skills.


You can learn more about clients. What are their requirements?

What challenges they are facing? You can put yourself in their shoes and help them. All this is done without affecting them. You don’t have to get personal and can still help your clients.

This skill helps in connecting more with your clients.

Next time, they will come on their own to share their thoughts.

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Discover how to partner through leadership coaching

To retain clients, the partnership is essential.

You cannot lose the client which can give you long term business. It is about maintaining a relationship. How well you can do that as a leadership coach?

It involves partnership and trust.

There are high chances your client may approach you again in the future. So, the ability to form a strong bonding is what you need to develop.

Remain completely non-judgemental

Keep your judgment behind while dealing with people.

Can you respect the need of the client if you keep on judging them? No.

Hence, to keep the relationship cordial, I have never been judgemental towards my client’s problems. You should also apply the same skill.

Ask questions in your leadership coaching programs

You should develop the skills to ask questions like:

How can you define success?

What is the most challenging task for you?

These are open-ended questions that begin with how what or where.

Here your curiosity skill also comes into the picture.

Why do questions work? This way clients will share with you more about their problems.

Questions give clarity about clients requirements.

Have clarity in communication

Will your strategies give results if they are not communicated well?

To give your client clarity, proper communication skills are required. You can even speak with them in a language they are comfortable with.

Using proper words is an efficient tool for coaching.

It also means you need to take care of your tone.

When you are coaching a group, your pitch should be perfect so, that everyone can understand you.

Hence, when you as a coach communicate well, your clients understand good.

Try to develop the above skills and you will see a significant change in your leadership coaching practice.

Who are your prospective clients for your leadership coaching programs?

Anyone who is handling a group of people can be your prospective client.

To list down few:

Manager- You can guide managers who are managing teams in a company, hotel or anywhere. Everyone managing teams need guidance to improve as a leader.

Supervisor- How best the person can perform the supervisor’s task? How can they improve and achieve the goals of the company? You may find such people who can be your clients too.

Team leaders or NGO heads- They work in a team. But it may happen that at times they may get stuck. It is good to approach such people. To let them know where they can improve.

Corporate leaders- They are loaded with too many responsibilities and therefore they need leadership coach to guide them.

Political leaders- Leadership coaching can also help political leaders. As a coach, you can help them achieve national goals.

Do you need certification to start your leadership coaching business?

Apart from experience what matters the most?

Is your reply leadership coaching certifications?

Not really.

Certification is required only for credibility. It is not mandatory for a coaching business.

You can start the leadership coaching without a certificate. But with a few certificates in your kitty, things will become easy.

What process do you need to follow?

1. You should submit an online application form

There are various online certification programs where you can apply. ACC (Associate certified coach) with ICF is the most recognized one.

2. Next, give the test

After applying you will get the link for giving a test. You need to pass it with a certain percentage which is mostly 75%.

I believe with such programs you get training in various areas like counseling skills and techniques of leadership coaching.

Don’t you think it will make you an exceptional leadership coach?

People will feel you have better teaching ideas.

Apart from that, you can create a benchmark for your leadership coaching business.

You can choose ongoing training. What is this training?

These can help you in becoming an expert leadership coach.

What else can you get from the certification program?

What are the benefits of it?

A comprehensive leadership coaching certification program has benefits like:

It gives you entrepreneurial training.

If you are new in coaching, it can help in starting the business.

Get connected with clients and communicate with them effectively.

You can think about expansion.

Next, you must be thinking what is the fees of such programs?

The fees begin at $279 including material fees.

The enrolment fee is around $500. Total fees you may have to pay is $1500 approximately. It depends upon the university or program which you select.

After completing the program, starting a coaching business becomes easy. You gain confidence and skills. Also, you can share on your website that you are a certified leadership coach. This will lead to more clients.

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How much can you earn through your leadership coaching business?

After getting a certification, you may think what is the earning potential? Right?

There is enormous growth in the coaching sector.

Various executives, professionals, and individuals hire coaches. They want guidance to achieve their goals.

Leadership coaching is in great demand by corporates, professional and different organizations.

In such a scenario, you have a great opportunity to earn a good amount of money.

By the year 2022, leadership coaching will see a growth of more than 6%.

There is a great future for you. But how?

Depending upon the size of your coaching business, you can churn a good amount of revenue. Earnings can be more than $250/hr.

An experienced leadership coach can earn between $400/hr to $2,000/hr.

Are you thinking how can you earn so much?

Firstly, people need expert coaches. You can help them achieve great results. Once they become your regular clients, high earnings will flow.

You can even expand to get more revenue through different coaching packages.

Top marketing strategies to get coaching clients fast for your leadership coaching business

The question I get asked most often is: “How do I earn at the top market rates that your are describing?” Accompanying this question, there is also general disbelief about the earning capacity of coaches.

I, and a lot of my clients easily make 6 figue incomes and more, by following easy methods and doing the work required.

I also get questions like:

What do you need to do to get more clients? How fast can you get them?

What are the concrete strategies which you need to build?

You need to understand that people will approach you once they feel you can make them better.

But how can you get such clients?

You may feel lost when there is no response, but remember, there is nothing to feel disheartened about.

You can become a great leadership coach, you just need to form strategies that can give results.

I will help you to be one.

Here are some ways which you can implement top strategies. Which one will work for you? Well, you have to decide that.

1. Create a brand for your leadership coaching venture

How will your client recognize you?

What is the image of your brand? How can you convey it in the best way?

For example, you want to target high-level executives. For that, you need to make the brand statement focusing on how they can beat the competitive world.

All your marketing material should have a statement. People visiting your website should know how you can help them. Effective words work. You should answer the prospective clients “Why they should hire you as their coach”.

2. Visit places where you can find your potential clients

Hang out at places where you can meet your prospective clients.

Is it a workshop or a seminar?

For example, if you are going to coach executives, you can find them at big conferences.

Talk to them in such places.

You can even give a small presentation to them.

Let them realize how you can bring a change in their lives. Ask their strengths and weakness. What are they planning at the professional front?

You need to get along with people. Leave a lasting impression about you.

They should know what they are missing.

3. Prepare and publish video content

Do you want to engage with your potential clients?

The best you can do is make a video having refreshing content. It need not be fancy but innovative.

The client will get a feel of what you can offer them.

Unique videos with the benefits of a leadership coach are the major ingredients of your video.

Keep it short and simple.

I have made introductory videos. Here people can find out why they should contact me for coaching. Live examples are also used. This is to relate them to my coaching business.

You can post these videos on your website and social media. This will increase the inquires.

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4. Connect to your clients on social media

The social media platform is full of different clients.

Use this tool to leverage as many clients as you can.

Are you thinking what content to put on social media platforms?

Turn your expert knowledge into an educational experience for viewers. Content should be interesting and engaging.

The key is to share relevant content which can attract your prospective clients.

This is another place where you can build your network. Increase the traffic on all social media platforms. If you have a good number of followers, you will gain success in your leadership coaching business.

5. Develop more products and packages for your leadership coaching programs

Have you found any store where only one product is sold?

No, right?

The same applies to the leadership coaching business.

As a leadership coach, you can sell various coaching products and services. This can be a one on one coaching session or an online coaching program. Anything which suits your clients.

If you are flexible enough to meet the client’s needs, you will get more clients.

Create attractive offers so that your clients can’t deny.

6. Build trust with clients at the time of free consultation

Free consultation and promotional offers can attract a lot of clients. Here you have an opportunity to prove your skills.

Put in your efforts to build trust with your prospective clients.

Tell them which program is good for them.

You can give a free consultation and market your products and services.

People should know how they can benefit from your coaching programs.

7. Plan effective marketing strategies

Create a buzz about your leadership coaching business.

Let your clients know how they can connect with you.

Some may find easy to connect through Facebook. Others would like to understand your business through webinars.

Market your work according to what is convenient for clients.

I do a lot of email marketing and blogging. This is to stay in touch with people. These are organic marketing ideas to gain clients.

You need to have a lot of marketing avenues. You never know where you can get clients. So, keep sharing your work on various platforms.


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