Do you want to bring coaching into your advice practice? If so, you may be wondering where to start. Here are seven key steps to becoming a financial coach.
Step 1 - Decide what type of financial coach you want to be
Not all coaching is the same. Some financial coach training focuses specifically on ‘money coaching’ – which means looking at our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours around money. Other courses teach you ‘coaching skills,’ so you may generally coach a client in their life and financial decisions as you advise them. Others combine these aspects into one coaching course.
Getting clear on where you want your focus to be is therefore an essential first step of your coaching journey. Ask yourself, would I like to help a client deeply explore where their money beliefs came from, and how these might be creating restrictions in their life? Or would I like to develop general coaching skills so I may hold exceptional and supportive client conversations? Would I like to focus on life planning, or would I like to support someone through a particular specific aspect of their financial life? These explorative questions will help guide your research for Step 2.
Step 2 – Choose the right training for you
Research the courses available and find one to meet the focus you identified in Step 1 and that feels a good fit for you. This may be more than one!
I’m a keen learner so I personally took four coaching courses: Wise Monkey Financial Coach Practitioner, Money Coaching Institute Certified Money Coach, a Quiver Management Coaching Skills course and a life coaching course).
I’ve also undertaken training with John Dashfield (The Centred Adviser Programme).
The options for training are expanding all the time, which is great news for meeting the different approaches each of us take with our learning.
I also encourage you to explore your own personal behaviours and attitudes to money and life. Your own growth – including how you feel about yourself – will highly inform your ability to be a great coach.
Step 3 - Practise your coaching skills
Explore. Make mistakes. This is how you learn and grow as a coach. Once you’ve trained, you will need time to bed in your coaching skills and work out how these best serve you and your clients.
But you don’t need to be a perfect coach or indeed have all your life worked out – often we only need to be two steps ahead of the person we are coaching. You’ll also need to decide how to incorporate your coaching into your advice practice, and how to communicate any changes in your approach with existing clients.
Step 4 - Decide on your coaching niche
Niching is a great way of expressing both our expertise and our unique skills.
Having explored and practised in different areas, you may find yourself wishing to settle into helping a particular type of client, or those going through a particular life stage or life transition. I would encourage to look to your own life experience as this may give you clues as to the right niche for you.
Step 5 – Expand your knowledge of the niche
This may mean training outside of the financial services discipline or general research around a topic. I undertook research and training in the grief cycle and life transitions and found these really enhanced my human understanding, which in turn enhanced my client offerings.
You can bring these aspects into your business in whatever way you wish. Bring your own creativity to your practice and don’t be afraid to challenge existing approaches.
Step 6 – Focus on the practical
Set up sustainable working practices, automate as much as you can, and develop well-strategized marketing focused upon your niche. Collaborate with others so you can tap into existing online communities.
Grow your business and enjoy!
Step 7 – Share with others
If you have got to Step 7, now is the time to encourage others in their steps to becoming a financial coach – you can make it easier for them by sharing the journey you took.
And that’s what I’m doing here!