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How to find a life coach (that's perfect for you)

man and woman working together on how to find a life coach

Let’s face it: Life can be hard. Really hard.

Fortunately, the expert guidance and support of a qualified life coach can help you navigate challenges and lead a more fulfilling life. 

Here are some life coach statistics that show the importance of this type of service, as well as how it’s rapidly growing in popularity.

  • The self-improvement and personal development industry is worth an estimated $9.9 billion. [1]
  • The coaching segment of the industry has a market value of upwards of $1 billion and is predicted to reach $1.34 billion by the year 2022, a 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022. [1]
  • Life coaching is slightly more popular amongst women, with females accounting for 67% of coach practitioners and 66% of managers who use coaching skills. [2]
  • Almost all coach practitioners (99%) say they’ve received some form of coach-specific training. [2]
  • 89% of coach practitioners say they received training that was accredited or approved by a professional coaching organization. [2]
  • Managers are the most common clients of coaches, with 66% of coaches saying they work with managers. [2]
  • 38% of coach practitioners cite “increased awareness of benefits” as one of the greatest opportunities for coaches over the next 12 months. [2]
  • In terms of obstacles, a large portion of coach practitioners (44%) fear that untrained professionals who call themselves coaches will undermine the profession. [2]

Life coaching leads to a number of benefits for clients, including [3]:

  • Smarter goal-setting (62.4%)
  • More balanced life (60.5%)
  • Lower stress levels (57.1%)
  • More self-confidence (52.4%)
  • Improvement in the quality of life (43.3%)
  • More income (25.7%)

A separate study found even more benefits of life coaching, including [4]:

  • Acquiring a new skill or improving on an existing one (50%)
  • Being able to see other perspectives (47%)
  • Applying clarity to work life (43%)
  • Increasing motivation (43%)
  • Enjoying a better atmosphere (40%)
  • Growing into a new role (40%)
  • Achieving goals (20%)
  • 70% of coaching clients said they believed business coaching was “very valuable.” [3]
  • People place a lot of trust in their coaches, with 50% admitting they confide in their coach as much as their best friend, spouse or therapist. [3]
  • 12% of people say they confide in their coach more than anyone else. [3]
Table of contents
What does a life coach do?
Is there a difference between a life coach and a therapist?
What is it like to work with a life coach?
What are the benefits of having a life coach?
How much does a typical life coach cost?
What should you look for when searching for a life coach?
How to find a life coach (and where to look)
Level up with life coaching

What does a life coach do?

A life coach is a wellness professional who partners with their clients to help them identify and achieve their goals so that they can lead richer, more fulfilling lives. 

Kristie Santana, the Founder of National Coach Academy (NCA), provides an eloquent description of the purpose a life coach serves in this summary

“A life coach is almost like a sculptor who can look at you and see the potential for you to achieve all that you desire. Through specific strategies and skills, the coach helps you define yourself and create the life you envision. Coaches help you focus, provide direction, challenge you, support you, motivate you and celebrate with you. Life coaches help you create a plan, detail action steps and hold you accountable for following through. They use skills that include observing, listening deeply, asking empowering questions, challenging, and motivating.”

There are numerous different types of coaches (business coaches, relationship coaches, health coaches, and more), but a life coach focuses holistically on a client’s entire life—and how all of the different aspects of their life impact one another. 

For those reasons, as The Coaching Institute explains, you might also hear a life coach referred to as a mindset coach, transformational coach, life strategist, empowerment coach, success coach, motivational coach, and more. 

Is there a difference between a life coach and a therapist?

Yes, there’s a difference. One key differentiator comes down to education. A therapist will need a master’s degree (and in many cases, a doctorate). A life coach doesn’t have strict or formal education requirements—in many places, a certification and license isn’t even required. 

Beyond education, their purpose of work is different. Therapists are mental health professionals or psychologists who work with their clients to unpack past experiences, address mental health issues, and facilitate mental and emotional healing.


In contrast, a life coach is far more future-focused and helps their clients set goals and identify actionable ways to achieve them.

What is it like to work with a life coach?

The experience of working with a life coach will differ from coach to coach and client to client. Your relationship should be personalized depending on your unique needs and desired level of support. 

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics outlines a few expectations for the logistics of partnering with a life coach: 

  • Sessions happen once per week, once every two weeks, or even once per month
  • Sessions are generally between 30 and 90 minutes
  • Sessions can happen in-person or via phone or video conference

When you find a life coach (which we’ll talk about in greater detail in a later section), you should collaborate with them closely to iron out an arrangement that works well for both of you. 

What are the benefits of having a life coach?

As many of the statistics we included above highlight, there are a number of advantages related to working with a life coach. Let’s dig into a few of the biggest ones.

1. Get greater clarity and direction

If you’re someone who often becomes overwhelmed with all of the thoughts swimming around in your own brain, a life coach can provide some much-needed clarity.

They’ll partner with you to figure out what you want in life, what you value, and what your unique talents are. They’ll use that information to help you figure out how you can craft a life that supports all of those things. 

2. Set better goals

Related to that, a life coach is also heavily-focused on goal-setting. Once you figure out where you want to go, they’ll help you hash out an action plan for getting there. 

You can work with your life coach to set short or long-term goals, and your coach will also confirm that your objectives are attainable so that you aren’t setting yourself up for disappointment or failure. 

3. Remain accountable

Setting a goal is one thing—but sticking to it is a whole separate battle. You’ll meet with your life coach regularly and they’ll check in on your progress toward your goals. They may even give you homework or action items to take care of during set periods of time.

That gives you a much needed accountability so you can stay the course and continue to pursue your objectives. If you’re falling behind? Your coach can help you course correct and become more efficient and effective too. 

4. Get unbiased feedback and support

Your friends and family members mean well, but it’s hard for them to take a step back and give you completely objective feedback and opinions. 

That’s why a life coach is such a huge benefit. They’re invested in your success, which means they aren’t going to placate you or tell you what you need to hear. They’ll become a great resource for unbiased advice and support. 

5. Navigate specific issues or changes

Maybe you don’t think you need a life coach to be a permanent fixture in your life. No problem—they can step in periodically and help you navigate changes or specific circumstances too.

From sorting through your passions so you can map out a career change or making it through another major life shift, a life coach can also take a more focused approach to help get you through a targeted situation as well. 

6. Develop better self-awareness

Checking in with ourselves is something that can easily slip to the backburner in our daily lives. However, a life coach will ask you pressing questions about your passions, values, and desires. 

To answer them, you’ll need to dig deep and reflect on those important subjects. Not only will you learn a lot about yourself, but you’ll also pick up plenty of strategies and exercises that help you improve your self-reflection moving forward. 

How much does a typical life coach cost?

As you can likely guess, how much you’ll pay for a life coach will depend on a variety of factors, including location, how often you plan to meet, level and type of expertise, and more.

Most coaches charge an hourly rate that falls somewhere in the range of $75 to $200 per hour. Other estimates say you can expect to pay $200 to $1,000 per month for three or four 30 to 60 minute calls each month.

Needless to say, the exact price tag can vary pretty widely. When you find a coach you think you’d like to work with, ask for more details and information about their rates to ensure it fits with your budget. 

What should you look for when searching for a life coach?

You don’t just want to find a life coach—you want to find one who’s the best fit for you. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep your eye out for: 

  • Qualifications: While formal credentials aren’t required to be a life coach, one of the best ways to avoid scams is to look for someone who is certified through the International Coach Federation. It’s also worth considering what expertise and skills they have in the area you’re looking for support in. 
  • Connection: Much like when you look for a therapist or any other service provider, find someone that you mesh well with. You’ll be working closely with this person, so you want to feel a connection and like you’ll be able to forge a positive, solid bond.
  • Specialties: If you’re looking for help in a specific area—whether it’s your career, relationships, health, or something else—keep an eye out for life coaches who specialize in that focus area. You’ll get more targeted, helpful guidance that way. 
  • Style: Ask thoughtful questions to get a grasp on both their coaching and communication style. How does that match up with your expectations? Are you looking for someone who’s direct and honest? Or someone who’s more supportive and takes on a cheerleader role? Think carefully about what you want so you can find a coach who fits that mold. 
  • Cost: Of course, you need to be able to afford whichever coach you choose. So, understand what sort of investment you’re willing to make and then confirm that a coach’s rates fit within your budget.

Keep in mind that it can also be helpful to check out reviews or testimonials on their website or any other review platform. Take those with a grain of salt, though—they don’t always tell the full story.


Any coach should be willing to connect with you for a free consultation so you can get a better sense of how you would work together. Take advantage of that opportunity so you can do thorough homework and identify the best coach for you.

How to find a life coach (and where to look)

You’re sold on the benefits of life coaching, and you want to find a coach that you can work with. How do you find them? Where do you look? Here are a few ideas to start your search.

1. Peruse coach directories

There are plenty of resources online that pull together coaches that are available for hire. Some of the most reliable directories you can start with include:

2. Search LinkedIn and Yelp

Beyond those targeted directories, you can also turn to platforms like LinkedIn and Yelp to find life coaches who are potentially a good match for you.

Use the search function and enter a keyword like “life coach.” You can filter by location (if necessary) and learn more about them by checking out their profiles. 

On Yelp, you can also read reviews to find out about other people’s experiences working with that coach. But remember, people are 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one. So, take those comments with a grain of salt. 

3. Ask your network 

You trust recommendations from your friends and professional acquaintances, right? It’s possible that they’ve worked with a life coach who they thought was professional and qualified, and they might be able to give you their name or contact information.

So, ask your existing network if they’re connected with any life coaches who are taking on new clients. You might be surprised by what you find.

Regardless of how and where you find a life coach, remember the importance of a consultation. This is a big investment, and it’s smart to take your time to find the best match for you and your goals. 

Level up with life coaching

Life can feel like a lot to manage sometimes. And, even if you have a bunch of big goals and ideas swirling around in your brain, actually sticking to them can be challenging (which is likely why 80% of us don’t stick to our New Year’s resolutions). 

A life coach can help you boost your success rate by giving you greater clarity, holding you accountable, and supporting you as you chase down even your most daunting goals.

Use this as your guide to find a life coach, and you’re well on your way to a richer and more rewarding life. 


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