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Become a coach: The complete guide to becoming a well-paid coach, consultant or service provider

You have made the decision to become a consultant or coach.

But you have a thousand questions buzzing around in your head:

When is the right time to become a business or life coach? Is coaching or consulting right for me? As a coach or consultant, what exactly should I have for an offer? How can I start my own business as a coach or consultant? What price should a coach take for my products or services? How can I win customers for my coaching or consulting business? What do I have to do to increase my profile? How do you become a coach?

Do not worry!

Because these are the instructions that I would have liked to have had 6 years ago when I wanted to become a consultant and coach myself (and was absolutely haphazard.)

In this guide I'll show youStep by stephow to start a coaching business or how to scale your existing business.

(more on this later.)

I'll take you by the hand and answer all the important questions so that you can reach your goal more easily, know what to do and avoid typical beginner mistakes.

(If your questions are not answered in the course of the article, please write me a comment!).

Briefly to me ..

Maybe you feel the same way, you ..

  • want to become a consultant or coach for a specific reason ..
  • dream of making good money with your knowledge or yourself (and making the world a better place)

A great idea.

Meet Gunnar Schuster ..

Online marketing expert who went exactly this way.

..without any prior knowledge.

And only with the desire to become an entrepreneur or to get out of the hamster wheel, he started his own online coaching business on the side.

Now he is helping other people do exactly the same and follow their dreams.

And you can do the same ..

  • Are you ready to be your own boss?
  • Do you long to leave the 9-to-5 job to work full time as a coach or consultant?
  • Are you wondering how you can become a freelancer?

Then you are right here.

Each of these approaches ...

Coaching, consulting or being a freelancer can open the door to more freedom in life.

You can choose how you want to spend your time, where you work and get paid for the things you already love to do.

Sounds good?

Let's go.

Who is this ultimate coaching guide for?

Anyone who wants to start their own business and become self-employed.

Whether you want to become a coach, consultant or freelancer ...

Then you are ABSOLUTELY right here.

Also everyone who wants to use their talents to work with other people in coaching or consulting ...

It is precisely these people who get tried and tested, actionable tips to get started right away.

These instructions are for anyone who ...


Can you create content or complete projects?

Do you have skills that you can market?
... such as graphic design, copywriting, web design etc.

And instead of working 40 hours for someone else.

Why don't you start your own business as a freelancer, use your skills, work with different clients and earn such good money?

Consultant or advisor

Do you have expertise in a specific area or industry?

Do you have special knowledge of what other companies / people need?

What are your unique skills? Acknowledge them and get paid well for your advice.

Identify your customers, find out their problem and give them the perfect solution ...

So that they come back and recommend you to others.


Are you interested in working as a mentor or do you want to support people in their growth?

Maybe it would make sense to work as a business coach or life coach?

Or you have unique skills and can develop an intense connection with people ...

Becoming a coach is helping people reach the next level.

In business or in life and earn money in the process.

And thereby get the freedom so that you can decide for yourself with whom and when you want to work.

Maybe you are wondering now

  • How do you become a coach?
  • Can you learn coaching?

Whether you want to start your own business as an individual or have something bigger in mind ..

Here in the manual you will also learn how to scale your business (hire people, etc.).

By the end of the guide you will know ...

Like you ..

  • can become a well-paid consultant, freelancer or coach.
  • Gaining customers and especially generating your first customer
  • Choosing the right price
  • …and much more

Whether you are a business coach, life coach, consultant, designer, copywriter, social media manager, web developer or freelancer ...

You will find answers here.

It doesn't matter if you ...

  • have not started yet and are self-employed as a part-time job
  • or you already have your own business and want to scale it ...

I am here to help you.

Based on the experience I have gained as a business coach over the years.

1. Is becoming a consultant or coach the right thing for me?

Is coaching or consulting right for me?

Before we get in ...

Let's talk about a few basics

1.1 What is coaching?

In simple terms, coaching is a process that aims to improve your performance.

.. and focus on the “here and now” instead of the past.

And there are countless coaching models and the coach is primarily a moderator who helps you change as you want

He will help you go in the direction you want to go.

Coaching supports a person in every area to become their best self.

Through coaching you become aware of your decisions and that leads to a change.

To do this, take a look at this model of learning:

First of all, you have the unconscious incompetence (red). You don't know that you don't know something.

ToFor example, a child who has no idea that languages ​​other than their own exist.

Then comes the conscious incompetence (yellow). You are aware that you lack a certain skill.

The child now knows that there are other languages ​​of its own and wants to learn them.

Now we are at that conscious competence (green). You now know how to do something or you have learned to do it, but you still have to think about it to do it.

When you speak the language and it's still translating in your head.

Finally comes the unconscious competence (blue). You learned something, you do it, and it has become a habit.

You don't have to think about it any longer, you just do it.

Link: What is coaching - 5 points that everyone should know about coaching

1.2 What is a life coach?

A life coach will help you identify your goals and create an action plan to achieve them.

With a life coach you will get someone at your side who will help you reach your full potential.

And coaching is an absolute component in our society today.

Because many people want to improve and reach the next level in life or business.

Therefore, they decide to work with a coach.

It is even scientifically proventhat Life coaching increases your success by 88%

That is why it is so important to find the right life coach. Who do you want to work with? Who can best help you?

1.3 Who can become a coach?

Coaching is not a flash in the pan. Coaching is a continuously growing industry.

A growth mark. (like you

Of course, many then ask themselves who can become a coach and what is needed for this.

Because they know that professional coaching makes the difference. It creates a positive change in life and society.

1.4 Why do so many people want to be a coach now?

More and more people no longer want to be employed. This was also the result of a study on the subject of becoming a freelancer.

As you can see, the trend is more and more to be your own boss, to earn more time, flexibility and also more money.

This is because the need for coaching is growing enormously. For example, the topic of “personality development” (see graphic) has become more and more important.

People want a change.

And not just in the area of ​​personal development.

Also always in the area of ​​health (personal coach, fitness coach) etc.

As you can see, the need is there.

1.5 Boom in the coaching market

In Germany alone, a turnover of 520 million euros was generated through corporate coaching in 2016 and a growth of 10 percent per jar.

Ultimately, that is a fraction of the total turnover of the entire coaching market.

That the coaching market is booming can also be seen in the number of coaches. In 2016 there were already 57,100 worldwide (2012 47,500).

And what is even more interesting ...

59% of the coaches stated that they had noticed an increase in the number of clients.

That was 2016!

Now is the time to start as a coach.

And EVERYONE can become a coach.

If you are passionate about helping others find their own solutions, overcoming obstacles and achieving their goals, then coaching might be an option for you.

It’s something nice to be self-employed.

And as a consultant, freelancer or coach, you have skills and passion.

You also have more time and control ...
More than if you work for someone else.

Being your own boss is a new level of self-reliance and independence.

And as a consultant, freelancer or coach you have the opportunity to earn more money than normal employees ...

This is exactly the reason why many people go into business for themselves.

Of course there are challenges in starting your own online business.

1.6 Important prerequisite for a coaching business

And the journey to becoming a successful freelancer, consultant or coach (and making a good living from it ..)

This requires dedication, discipline and patience.
... especially patience.

Yes, you can dispose of your time yourself.

But that also means that you need the right time management.

Nobody is looking over your shoulder.

Yes, you can make a lot of money.
But you have to find out how to do it.

Because there is no boss who transfers you a monthly salary.

You have to be aware of that.

A coaching or consulting business is also not for everyone.

Are you ready to take risks and make mistakes?

And it has to be okay for you ...

Overcoming obstacles and developing solutions to problems.

In this process ...

When you find out how to become a coach ...

You'll have ups and downs

But with the right system, strategy and perseverance, there is a way.


Are you ready?

2. Do you want to become a coach? How do you find the right offer?

Regardless of whether you are just starting out or already have an ongoing coaching business ..

There is always the question ...

2.1 Which service should I sell?

The big question if you want to start your own business as a coach, consultant or freelancer is simply ...

What can you do that other people would pay for?

There has to be a workable way to make money.

That means there has to be a demand.

Then you can make a profit.

And that's exactly what we're talking about in this area.

How to find a product or service to sell

2.2 Consultant vs. coach vs. freelancer

2.2.1 Freelancers

As a freelancer, you offer specific, tangible services or products.

Usually on an hourly or project basis.

This could be things like writing, editing, graphic design, web development, marketing etc.

As a freelancer, you often have control over when and how you want to work.

And in the end you deliver a solid result to your customers.

2.2.2 Consultant

A consultant focuses on giving advice to companies or individuals.

Often in the form of workshops, trainings, concrete schedules, business development, business strategy, etc.

A consultant also provides detailed feedback.

Compared to the freelancer, counseling involves showing (or teaching) others what they need to do.

... instead of doing it for you.

Coordination with your customers can be very useful.

2.2.3 Coaching

Coaching is similar to consulting or advice ...

But focuses more on individuals.

And instead of giving feedback or creating analyzes, you help to overcome their problems ...

To motivate them at the same time.

There are many

  • Life coach,
  • Personal coach,
  • Motivational coach,
  • Business coach,
  • Mental Coach,
  • or something like that.

You can find a lot of coaching in the areas of business, fitness and the health industry, for example.

And knowing the difference between the three is important in figuring out what to do

If you don't feel like meeting the person in person, then consulting or coaching may not be the right choice.

But that shouldn't prevent you from becoming a consultant or coach.

There are innumerable introverted coaches and consultants.

2.3 In which area should you become self-employed as a consultant or coach?

2.3.1 Assess your current skills

When choosing your business model, it is important to know what skills you already have.

You don't need to be the best in the world ...

But you should have enough knowledge and practical experience in your field.

Enough to sell your products and services.

Be honest to yourself.

And evaluate what you are good at, maybe also what your passion is ...

To be able to offer that as a service.

2.3.2 An exercise if you have no idea where to start ...

When you find out which skills are a good fit for your freelancing or consulting business ...

Then it makes sense to find an overlap between what you like and where others would pay for money.

Here are a few simple questions you can ask to get some clarity:

2.3.3 What are you looking for on Google?

Search terms and topics can help you go in the right direction ...

Or at least they confirm what you really care about (maybe you already know that).

Use the Google Activity tool.

This is free and shows you your entire search history if you were logged in with a Google account.

2.3.4 Which books do you read?

Think about the books you have read recently.

Or look in your bookshelf.

What books are there?
What do you read regularly?

You can also see in your orders on Amazon what kind of books you have bought.

What do you love best about your job?

If you like your job ...

What exactly?

Even if you don't like your job.
What things do you enjoy?

And if that doesn't lead to the result ...

What would be fulfilling for you if you quit your job and the boss is gone?

2.3.5 What do you do in your free time?

What do you like to do in your free time? It doesn't matter if you get paid for it or not

How do friends and family ask you for help? 3

Make photos? Create websites? Marketing? Relationship tips? Business development? Graphic design?

This can give you an indication of what others would like to pay for.

2.3.6 What do others think?

We are not always good at judging ourselves.

Ask friends or your partner what drives you and what you love to do.

Answers like “going to the cinema” etc. don't help you there.

Rather, focus on things related to work.

  • Are you looking forward to certain projects at work?
  • What do they hear you talking about all the time?
  • When do you seem happy

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to keep doing what you've already done for your boss.

And then you do that for yourself.

Of course you can also do something else ...

Maybe something more in line with your passion.

But initially it can be more difficult to establish yourself in the niche.

It can take longer and it can mean less money to start with.

In the end:

If you help other people solve their problems, you will make money.

2.4 What is your Unique Value Proposition?

After you have found out which products or services you want to offer ...

The next step is to start a consulting or coaching business to find out what the added value is that you are delivering.

  • What difference do you make compared to all the others in your niche?
  • What is the special added value you offer?

Your potential customers will ask:

Why should I work with him?

One exercise that can help is ...

Make a list of unique things to offer a customer.

There is probably more to it than you think.

And when we talk about how you have to be different from others ...

That doesn't mean you

  • you have to be extremely different
  • need more knowledge or expertise than others (although that's good)

You just need something that makes you a little bit unique.

And it will Unique value proposition (RRP).

A good EIA is specific and tangible.

Anyone can write on their website that they finish things on schedule, work a lot, etc.

You have to be more specific.

2.5 What added value do you deliver?

(Your EIA has to communicate this.)

This means:

Be unique and create value.

Being cheap is a unique value proposition (you probably don't want that).
Then tend to offer high-price coaching.

Check out your competition.

What do other consultants, coaches and freelancers offer in your niche?

Find out what they have in common in their service.

This will help you differentiate yourself from them.

What do you specialize in?

As you know, this is part of the RRP.

A freelancer as a web designer who specializes in coaches?

This is more specific and unique in terms of how he reaches potential customers.

Another part of your MSRP is (and this is extremely important) your personality. For this reason alone, you can differentiate yourself from others.

You only exist once.

2.6 What you have to do to be successful as a coach

2.6.1 What is the one thing you can do to be successful?

Don't get too fixated on figuring out how to become a coach or consultant or how to start your own online business.

Just use things like this guide.

And don't let that stop you from doing the most important thing.


To start. Get started now.

Instead of weighing all options and putting decisions off before you.
Find out the bare minimum you need.

Then create it and get started.

Only start with what you need

Instead of planning every single detail of your consulting or coaching business down to the last detail, start with your minimum viable product or minimum viable product (MTP).

And it doesn't matter what you offer.

A minimally viable product is an offer that generates added value for potential customers with minimal effort ...
To win such a customer.

It's like a prototype that you offer to potential customers who will be happy to buy it

And the minimally viable product gives you feedback on your core service ...
Before it is even 100% mature.

The minimally viable offer gives you the opportunity to win customers immediately.

Without constant reconsideration ... (until the idea is perfect).

Do you worry that people will overtake you?
Maybe because you don't do enough advertising and marketing, not enough visibility, etc.?

If you stay in the planning phase all the time, everyone will overtake you.

Because you are only planning ...

And do not act.

Get started and start your blog, your website. Create content, tell people what you do and how they can reach you.

Instead of making everything hypothetical about what your consulting business can look like ...

Start with the minimally sustainable offer.

2.6.2 Do you specialize or rather generalize?

That is a common question from consultants or coaches.

Should you make your offer for a specific area?


Would it be better to present yourself as a generalist?


A generalist could have the potential to attract or address more customers.

If you specialize too quickly, you may not get that much business.

But as a generalist, you cannot ask for such high sums.

And many want to work directly with someone who understands their specific problem.

The more special the work, the more valuable.

This means…

At a certain point you need to specialize (to a certain extent).

Even if that means you specialize in a few different things.

But how do you find the right balance?

One possibility is to sell services in your specialty and ...
To offer services in more general areas where it is easier to find customers.

Over time, with more experience, you can switch more and more to your favorite work as a specialist.

3. What do you need to become a coach or to start a coaching business?

You have decided in which area you want to work as a coach or consultant ..

Congratulations, you've cleared the first hurdle.

Now it's about starting your coaching business.

Get customers.

But how does it work?

Because you want clients.

Think about the minimally sustainable offer.

That's all you need to start a coaching business.

Everything else comes later.

Other things are easier to do when you have a steady stream of customers.

Including feedback from real customers.

3.1 Your business name, your domain

A coaching or consulting business needs a website.

And to create a website you need a domain name.

So the first question is ...

Do you want to use a business name or build a personal brand?

Your own name seems the most obvious, doesn't it?

But if you later want to turn it into an agency….

.. maybe it is better to create a brand then?

Also think about your unique value proposition.

When it's closer to you as a person, create a person brand.

That's probably better then.

Here are a few tips when deciding on a business name.

  • Keep the name short
  • Memorable and unique
  • As simple as possible

The podcast test is a great exercise. If someone heard your business name on a podcast ...

Can you spell it?

Numbers and dashes can be confusing.

Avoid using brand names that are already established. (Keyword: litigation)

Now if you want to find out if a domain is available ...

Go to Godaddy.com and type in the name.

There you can immediately see whether the domain is still available.

If it's free, buy it, and if it's taken, maybe you can buy it.

Remember that you may also want to use the name on social networks (Instagram, Facebook, etc.).

Use the NameCheckr tool for this.

One more thing is important ...

Do not overestimate the naming process.
Do some research, come up with ideas, then choose a name.

Because the main focus should be on winning customers as quickly as possible. (we'll get to that in a moment ..)

3.2 Your website

Many people don't know where to start first.

Basically, it is relatively easy when you are offering services.

All you need is:

  • A website
  • A LinkedIn profile / Xing profile
  • possibly a Facebook page for advertising (more on this later)

Should you have more

It depends on what you offer as a coach for services.

But a website and LinkedIn / Xing are the foundation.

And with that you can achieve a lot.

3.2.1 Create a website

Your coaching website doesn't have to be perfect when you start. Your first goal should be to start with anything at all.

To have any online presence.

And this should answer the critical question:

  • Who are you?
  • What you are doing?
  • How can people work with you?

A really simple website just needs a picture of you. That must be on it.

Because this way your visitors know that you are a real person.

The rest is pretty easy. By need one:

  • Contact page
  • About-me page
  • Page where you explain your service.
  • Testimonials (if you already had customers). This gives you social proof and shows visitors the benefits they have from you.
  • If necessary a logo (but does not have to be).

A logo doesn't make much of a difference.

If you want to create inexpensive logos ...

It is important that you create your website.

And all you need to get customers is a simple website (examples of your work, about-me-page, contact-page)

That’s it.

These tips will help you to quickly start your coaching or consulting business.

But how do you create a coaching website?

The good news is ...

You don't need to be a tech genius.

These four platforms can help you with that.


WordPress is used by an extremely large number of sites on the Internet.

It's easy to use.

But first you need to understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WordPress.com is a platform that hosts your website or blog.

It's easy to set up, but it also has a lot of limitations.

If you really want to start your own business as a coach, then WordPress.org is right for you.

In any case…

If you have enough technical knowledge or someone to help you with it.

Most hosting providers give you the option of installing WordPress with one click.

WordPress is free. But to really make a difference, you probably have to buy a paid theme.


This platform markets itself to creative people.

"So that you can concentrate on what you enjoy." Therefore, it is a good starting point if you plan to become a coach or consultant.

Weebly has a drag-and-drop editor where you can add HTML and CSS code for small changes to your site.

You can also export the page to another hoster (if you want to cancel Weebly).

To get a page ad-free you have to pay 10 € per month (if you pay annually.


Just like with Weebly, you can create simple websites using a modular system. It's a little harder to use than Weebly but not by much. The design is awesome and better than Weebly.

It costs around 15 euros per month.