Have you wondered what it takes to become a financial coach? The requirements for how to become a financial coach are not set in stone. Teachable coaches have diverse backgrounds and experience. If you want to help others find more financial freedom, you may have a career in financial coaching.
According to a recent survey, nearly all Americans (90%) say that they stress over money. Now more than ever, people are eager to find solutions to their financial worries. As a financial coach, you can help people minimize stress, manage their finances, and reach their financial goals.
In this article, we’ll cover how to become a financial coach with expert advice and tools to help you grow your coaching business.
Table of contents
- What is a financial coach?
- What does a financial coach do?
- Should you become a financial coach?
- How much money do financial coaches make?
- How to become a financial coach
- Getting your first coaching client
What is a financial coach?
A financial coach is an expert in money management and personal finance. Financial coaches help people improve their financial literacy by educating them on fundamental financial concepts like saving, budgeting, and debt management. They work with people who want to develop and maintain a healthier relationship with money.
Financial coaches can specialize in a specific area or focus more generally on day-to-day money management. Ultimately, a financial coach provides expert guidance and accountability to help people establish and reach their financial goals.
What does a financial coach do?
Financial coaches offer one-on-one or group coaching services to support people in developing healthier financial habits and behaviors. They take a holistic approach to finances—tackling both the emotional and practical side of financial management.
A fitness coach helps you understand your relationship with exercise and create a personalized plan to achieve your fitness goals. Financial coaches do the same, but with money.
Financial coaches utilize a variety of processes and tools to help people improve their relationship with money. These money management strategies can include things like:
- Setting financial goals
- Building awareness around spending habits
- Creating a budget
- Establishing an emergency fund
- Paying off debts
- Creating a savings plan for retirement
- Providing accountability and motivation
Financial advisor vs. financial coach
Both financial coaches and advisors help people with their personal finances. However, there are important distinctions between their approaches and qualifications.
A financial coach provides a more hands-on approach, helping clients change their behaviors and habits around money.
For example, a financial coach may help someone adjust their spending habits by teaching them how to create a monthly budget. Financial coaches often meet with their clients on a weekly or monthly basis. There are no formal education or certification requirements for how to become a financial coach. Unlike advisors, financial coaches cannot sell any financial products (e.g., investments, mutual funds, etc.)
A financial advisor helps people create personalized financial plans, including investments, tax strategies, and retirement savings. They take a more hands-off approach, typically meeting with clients quarterly or annually. Financial advisors must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell financial products. They must also pass securities exams, such as the Series 7 exam.
Think of a financial coach as someone who helps people change their behaviors. Conversely, an advisor helps people make financial decisions.
Should you become a financial coach?
There is a growing demand for qualified financial coaches. People are looking for experts to help them navigate the economic uncertainties brought on by the pandemic and rising inflation. If you have some financial expertise and are passionate about helping others, it is an excellent time to become a financial coach.
In addition to helping others, there are several benefits to starting a coaching business. Whether you are looking to replace your 9 to 5 job or start a side hustle, a coaching business can increase your overall earning potential. Full-time coaches also have more flexibility and freedom with their schedules. Best of all, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue a purpose-driven career and positively impact people’s lives.
How much money do financial coaches make?
The average salary for a financial coach in the United States is $58,628. Financial coaches typically charge anywhere from $100 – $300/hour.
The exact amount you can earn as a financial coach depends on several factors, including your niche, experience, and pricing structure. Coaches with certifications and more experience are more likely to earn higher wages than a coach just starting their business.
As a financial coach, you can price your services in one of several ways. You may charge by the hour, set a monthly retainer, or price by package or service type. Since financial coaches do not sell any financial products, they don’t typically generate income from commissions or asset management fees.
While pricing structures and salaries may vary, financial coaches have high earning potential.
How to become a financial coach
Although you don’t need specific certifications or credentials to become a financial coach, you can take a few steps to increase your success.
Below you’ll find eight steps to help you become a more credible financial coach and land your first coaching client.
1. Build core financial skills
Financial literacy is the foundation of our relationship with money. It refers to the ability to understand and use various skills to manage financial resources effectively. As a coach, you’ll be responsible for helping people improve their financial literacy.
At a minimum, you’ll need to understand the basic concepts:
- Earning: understanding your gross and net income
- Budgeting: how to create a personal budget to achieve financial goals
- Saving: how to save for retirement, emergencies, big purchases, or paying off debts
- Borrowing: credit cards, loans, and healthy credit scores
- Protecting: insurance strategies and how to protect yourself against fraud
Once you’ve mastered these concepts, you’ll need to be confident in teaching these concepts to others. If you’re unfamiliar with how to teach these concepts, consider one of the certification programs below to improve your coaching skills.
2. Hone your administrative and interpersonal skills
In addition to the core concepts of financial literacy, you’ll need to develop and hone other interpersonal and professional skills like:
Business administration skills – To grow your business, you’ll need basic administrative skills like organization, calendar management, time management, and excellent customer service. You’ll also want to learn how to automate business processes like capturing new leads or scheduling sessions to save time.
Communication – You’ll need to showcase your professional written and verbal communication skills to attract and land new clients. During each coaching session, you’ll also need to listen carefully, ask pointed questions, and communicate your guidance effectively.
Emotional intelligence – Empathy and motivation are vital to any coaching business. These skills build a deeper connection with your clients and demonstrate your commitment to their well-being.
3. Consider financial coaching certifications
There are no licensing or education requirements to become a financial coach. Your financial skills and knowledge are enough. However, experts recommend looking into licensing programs or certifications to expand your knowledge base and increase your marketability to potential clients.
Here are a few examples of certifications available for financial coaches:
- Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC): The Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE) is among the most respected financial counseling and education institutions. The AFC certification is an in-depth, three-month program that covers the core competencies of financial coaching.
- Financial Fitness Coach (FFC): The FFC teaches new and existing coaches how to build on their financial knowledge and better serve their clients. This program includes three hands-on modules and takes approximately six months to complete.
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP): The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standard, awards the (CFP) certificate. It focuses on financial planning and advising. Although not required by law, it can help coaches expand their practice and prepare for securities exams.
4. Define your niche and ideal coaching client
Financial coaching is competitive. Defining your niche can help you stand out and attract the right type of clients.
Start by identifying your ideal coaching client:
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
Dive into specifics like:
- Did they recently graduate from college with student debt?
- Are they newlyweds looking to buy their first home together?
- Have they become business owners recently and want financial guidance?
Reflect on your financial experience and expertise. Then, select an audience in an area where you are both knowledgeable and passionate.
Determine what your audience needs. What financial problems are they facing? What are their pain points, frustrations, and obstacles? Figure out how you can relate to their struggles. Then, outline how your coaching services will help them overcome those obstacles and improve their life.
5. Leverage your experience
As adults, most of us have experience dealing with money. However, your coaching clients will be looking for something more. Your clients want to know that you understand and can relate to their struggles or challenges. Leveraging your experience in certain financial situations will also help you prove your value and credibility.
Your experience is your asset. Ask yourself what:
- Commonalities you have with your target audience
- Financial situations have you encountered
- Behaviors or patterns have you changed
- Obstacles or challenges have you overcome
Use this information to craft your business story. Share specific examples, like how you first learned to follow a budget or how you got out of credit card debt. Explain the circumstances and experiences that drove you to become a financial coach. Tell your audience why this profession matters to you.
Not only will this help you relate and build credibility, but your relevant experiences will make it easier to attract your ideal coaching clients.
6. Create a website
Most people (76%) look for a business online before making a purchase. A well-designed website increases your online presence and boosts credibility. Your website is the place where you can tell your story and showcase your services. It is also how you generate and convert leads into paying clients.
At a minimum, your website should include:
- An introduction to you and your business purpose
- A detailed description of your services
- An enrollment or contact page
To increase traffic, perform keyword research and strategically place keywords throughout your site. Check that your site is easy to navigate on all devices, including mobile. Take time to create and refine your website copy, so it aligns with your target audience and their needs.
7. Choose a coaching platform
There are several different types of coaching platforms out there. Choosing the right coaching platform can significantly impact your day-to-day operations and client experience.
You want to select a coaching platform that allows you to:
- Host and promote your services
- Seamlessly schedule coaching sessions
- Process payments securely
- And easily communicate with your clients
Ideally, your coaching platform should handle most, if not all, of your business technology needs. With Teachable coaching, you’ll find everything you need to start and grow your coaching business.
Teachable’s coaching service was designed specifically for coaches. With it, you can:
- Set up sales pages and intake flow to capture new leads
- Schedule one-on-one or group coaching sessions
- Send emails, documents, and assignments without leaving the platform
- Seamlessly use scheduling and video conferencing tools
- Bundle your coaching services with course offerings
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to build a more streamlined tech stack, our coaching feature has the tools you need. You can create, sell, and manage your coaching services in less time.
8. Highlight your value and expertise
Once you’ve selected your coaching platform, it’s time to tell the world what you have to offer. Use your website, Teachable course homepage, and social media to present your value to potential customers. Help them visualize what it’s like to work with you and how you can help them achieve more financial freedom.
You can highlight your value and expertise by:
- Designing effective landing pages: your landing pages, or sales pages, are often the first interaction a potential client has with your business. Take the time to create well-designed landing pages that tell your story, highlight your value, and drive visitors to take action.
- Creating relevant content: an easy way to share your knowledge and attract potential clients is by sharing relevant, high-quality content on your website and social media pages. Always include a call to action to drive engagement further.
- Showcasing client testimonials on your website: client testimonials are a simple, effective way to showcase your credibility and expertise. Testimonials are proof that you are a reputable source of financial guidance.
How do you land your first coaching client?
One of the most common questions we get from Teachable creators is how to get coaching clients. Luckily, there are several easy, cost-effective ways to launch and sell your services.
- Grow your social media following: use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to interact with your target audience, build awareness about your business, and drive traffic to your site. To grow your following, post consistently with purposeful content.
- Share SEO-optimized blog content: SEO-optimized content increases your visibility in search engines like Google. Write and share high-quality content that contains keywords that align with your coaching niche and target audience needs.
- Create a lead magnet: a lead magnet is a free resource that delivers high-perceived value content to your audience in exchange for their contact information. Use an opt-in to build your email list, nurture new client relationships, and drive sales.
- Send personalized follow-ups: after you’ve engaged with a potential client, send a personalized follow-up email thanking them for their time and recapping what you discussed. You can also include pricing, next steps, or enrollment information.
- Test a few variations of your sales copy: create a few variations of your sales copy and landing page layout to figure out what resonates with your audience and converts best.
- Tap into your existing network: reach out to people you already know. Ask if they would be interested in a free coaching session to help you refine your coaching approach. You can even use your existing network to set up a referral program to reward people who send new clients your way.
- Try guest blogging or guest podcasting: appearing as a guest on someone else’s blog or podcast is a great way to expand your reach and establish yourself as an authority figure in your niche.
Building a successful financial coaching business doesn’t happen overnight, but the tips and strategies in this article can help you get started. Interested in learning how other successful creators share their knowledge with Teachable? Click here to view examples of thriving knowledge businesses like Jillian Johnsrud’s Money Coach School. If you haven’t selected your coaching platform, test Teachable coaching for free today.