Breaking into the world of life coaching can feel daunting. No matter how committed you are to helping your future clients and how much preparation you have done, life coaching is an industry that offers complex challenges to new coaches.
Aside from getting your business up and running, you have to consider your specific training, skillset, and passions in order to figure out what type of life coaching is the best fit for you. There are many types of life coaches, ranging from the very broad to the very specific, and everywhere in between.
Types of Coaching
“Niching down” is a term often heard in the coaching industry, and it refers to the practice of tailoring your coaching business to target a specific subset of clients. Finding the right niche can help propel your coaching career in the right direction, connect you with the right clients, and lead to an incredible sense of fulfillment.
If you’re not sure where to start, below is a list of 15 different types of coaching to help you narrow down your approach.
1. Financial Coaching
If you have an understanding of personal finances, investing, retirement savings, or other financial matters, financial coaching could be the perfect niche for you. Different from certified financial advisers, financial coaches offer money-related strategies to help their clients succeed in the financial aspects of their lives. If this is your chosen niche, getting certified in personal finance and investing could be a great way to bolster your financial acumen.
Financial coaching offers further subsets, too. You could work with specific communities, such as single mothers or young adults, tailoring your work to the needs of that community. Though it’s not necessary to niche down this far, some coaches prefer to identify a very specific set of prospective clients.
2. Health & Wellness Coaching
With a holistic approach to health and wellness, these life coaches can address fitness goals, help with healthy meal planning, reframe their client’s relationship with food, and more. Health and wellness is a topic that many people struggle with at different points in their lives. Whether clients need help making movement more accessible, learning how to cook nutritious meals, or addressing a specific health issue, health and wellness coaches can pull all the pieces together.
In this space, it’s important to remember that there are challenges that will require a medical professional and thus, it’s a good idea to maintain a medical contact list to refer your clients to if specialized care is needed.
3. Career Coaching
The process of finding a job can be overwhelming, but the process of strategically forming career goals and forging a path to those goals can be even more difficult. Career coaches spend time with their clients to help make their professional dreams a reality.
These coaching sessions can look like researching different graduate programs necessary for a specific career, helping your client set up informational interviews to find out more about a career path, or even editing and refining job application materials.
4. Business Coaching
There’s no manual out there for entrepreneurs and business owners, so becoming a business coach fills a huge gap that exists. Business coaches can guide entrepreneurs through starting a new business, strategically revamping their organization, or even shutting down a business.
Business coaches can also work with large organizations such as corporations or nonprofits. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from the insightful, motivational, and unbiased thought leadership a coach can provide.
5. Leadership Coaching
Leadership coaching can look different for every client. Some clients could be seeking a leadership coach to help them with influence and public speaking. Other coaches could work with younger generations of leaders, helping them to channel their natural talents to make a positive impact on the world around them.
The idea of leadership is nuanced and unique, making this style of coaching very versatile. Working with promising, budding leaders can be just as fulfilling as helping older, stuck-in-their-ways leaders work from a place of compassion instead of discipline.
6. Executive Coaching
This might sound synonymous with leadership coaching, but it’s actually a bit different. Though most executives are leaders, executive coaching is even more focused. A company might hire an executive coach to come train newly-promoted executives on meeting etiquette, help with working with clients from different geographies, or even guidance on how to pitch the company to investors.
Executive coaches have an eye for detail. Knowing when their executive clients need to make longer eye contact, offer a firmer handshake, or change the tone of their voice are all small details that executive coaches are constantly thinking about.
7. Spiritual Coaching
The term “spiritual” is very open-ended. Thus, spiritual coaches can offer vastly different services from one another. Some spiritual coaches might offer general coaching in connecting with one’s inner voice, which is trying to forge a bond between the heart and mind of their clients and help them to lead lives that are harmonious and fulfilling.
Spiritual coaches can also offer specific guidance within one religion or spiritual belief. If a client is trying to connect more to Buddhism, spiritual coaches with expertise in that practice can help their client learn more about it and find ways to incorporate its teachings in their life.
8. Recovery Coaching
Recovery coaching is a very specialized and important field. These coaches can help clients who are recovering from addictions such as alcohol, sex, or even food. However, most recovery coaches only help with one type of recovery due to the nuances that come with recovery.
We’d also recommend looking into additional training and certifications for specific recovery coaching. Clients dealing with recovery are in a very fragile place, and the more the coach understands the client’s specific challenges, the better equipped they will be to aid them in their recovery. In fact, this is why the majority of addiction coaches have first hand experience with addiction in their own lives.
9. Relationship Coaching
According to a Harvard study spanning over 80 years, it was found that relationships, more than any other factor, influence how happy and healthy we will be in old age. Despite its importance (or perhaps because of it), relationships can also pose one of life’s biggest challenges.
Many people in romantic relationships seek relationship coaches to help them navigate challenging times or move to a deeper level of their relationship. And while those in romantic relationships make up the majority of clients for relationship coaches, it can extend beyond that, as well. For example, a step-father looking for ways to connect with the children of his new wife can also seek the services of a relationship coach.
10. Organizational Coaching
Helping large organizations through major transformations, strategic adjustments, or changing team dynamics can be difficult, but that’s where organizational life coaches come in. With the ability to influence groups, work through challenges on a large scale, and see the bigger picture, organizational coaches bring immense value to the organizations they support.
If you often find yourself analyzing how groups work together or believe you’d enjoy finding development opportunities for large organizations, you might be a natural fit for this type of coaching.
11. Sex Coaching
There are many health benefits linked to having a healthy sex life, and sex is an area that impacts single and committed people alike.
Sex can be a taboo subject in everyday conversation, which makes the role of a sex coach all the more important, as it offers a safe, judgement-free space for the client to express their frustrations, goals, fears, insecurities, and areas of improvement. Sex coaches can help remove the stigma surrounding sexual topics, empower their clients, and offer advice on how to lead a fulfilling sexual life.
12. Diversity Coaching
With diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) finally at the forefront of many conversations, diversity coaching is in high demand. Large companies are looking for diversity coaches to help them adopt better DEI practices. Some may even want coaches that can organize and lead large trainings for their employees.
Diversity coaching doesn’t always happen on a large stage. Executive teams and individual professionals may seek out diversity training to help lead their organization in a more equitable fashion.
13. Productivity Coaching
If we could all optimize our lives and be our most productive selves, we would be able to do more with less energy. It sounds like a fantasy, but productivity coaches are known to work magic! By identifying costly time drains and more effectively organizing your daily schedule, coaches that specialize in productivity and efficiency can support their clients on the path to leading more fruitful and fulfilled lives, without sacrificing too much in the process.
14. Team Coaching
Group dynamics are a notoriously difficult subject matter to contend with, but team coaches work diligently to get a grasp on how every person within a team impacts their team members, coaching that team to better complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Teams exist in so many aspects of life: sports teams, professional teams, group projects, and even families are all navigating a “team dynamic” that can be difficult at times. With the help of team coaches, teams are more likely to be able to work in harmony.
15. Mindfulness Coaching
Mindfulness looks different for everyone, but it’s a helpful tool for those who incorporate it into their lives. Even so, mindfulness is usually not something we’re taught as kids; we need to seek it out ourselves in adulthood, learning from those who practice it.
The job of a mindfulness coach is to introduce clients to the art of mindfulness, and teach them how it can lead to a life full of calm, balance, and joy. In today’s frenetic world full of distractions vying for our attention, the role of mindfulness will only continue to grow in popularity.
Your Niche is Your Superpower
When considering all the different types of life coaches that exist, the list is nearly endless. Even the 15 niches above only scratch the surface of what a coach can be. Life coaches share a common goal of wanting to help clients lead their fullest, most authentic lives, but the ways in which they do so are usually found within a niche area. Don’t let picking a niche make you feel boxed in. Instead, allow your niche to become your badge of honor, your “wheelhouse”, and the wisdom you impart on the world.
When choosing between a generalist and a specialist, most clients will choose the latter. “Niching down” is an important step in your coaching journey, and only you know which area calls out to you most.
Ask yourself: “What am I uniquely qualified to coach somebody on?” Clients want to work with coaches who speak from a place of authenticity and first hand experience, so start with your own unique sensibilities and work from there.