We all fall short from time to time. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances get in the way of us reaching our goals. Other times, we have the best intentions, but our motivation fails us.
Staying motivated requires the proper support — but that external support can be challenging to find. Those needing that extra push may turn to an accountability coach for help.
What is an accountability coach? Accountability coaches hold their clients to the action items they must tick off to reach their goals and cheer them on. They work with diverse clients, from people who want to go to the gym more often to company executives hoping to overcome roadblocks to success. What separates accountability coaches from others in the industry is the frequency and intensity with which they meet with clients. Accountability coaches must keep on top of their client’s progress, so they’re maestros when it comes to follow-up.
If you have a firm guiding hand and a knack for holding your ground, accountability coaching might be the next step in your career. It’s rewarding work — you’ll be helping people by giving them the nudge they need to fulfill their dreams. Below, we’ll explain the tasks accountability coaches take on and how you can become one. Let’s dive in.
What does an accountability coach do?
In our work as coaches, there’s a lot of overlap. While there are niches in the industry, at the core of our work, we fill a similar role: guiding clients toward their goals.
Accountability coaches help clients by maintaining close and constant contact to ensure they’re fulfilling short-term action plans on the route to long-term goals. Regular check-ins help clients feel motivated to stay on track and nip challenges in the bud.
When you needed to complete important work, such as a project for school, having a parent or teacher keep an eye on your progress probably helped you meet the deadline — that’s the value of accountability coaching.
If you work as an accountability coach, you can expect to:
- Identify areas for improvement: Accountability coaches help clients identify the problem they want to solve before diving into solutions. In this process, they may also notice potential roadblocks or mistakes hindering progress. Once they know where things are going wrong, they can work with their client to make an improvement plan. If a client wants to exercise more often but has trouble managing their time, a coach might help them improve their organization to make time for the gym.
- Create a strategy: Accountability coaches look at a client’s resources and guide them to make a strategy that includes realistic long- and short-term goals. They consider the person’s skills, strengths, experience, and time before helping them create a game plan they can stick to. A client who wishes to start a small business on the side needs to set realistic goals based on the time and capital they have to invest in the project.
- Set measurable milestones: Accountability coaches help clients set realistic goals and chart practical action items to achieve them. A person has a better chance of succeeding when they have a focused, attainable goal to work toward. It’s essential that there are smaller milestones along the way — these coaches and clients measure progress and maintain motivation. If a client wants to renovate their home, creating short-term goals for each project creates reasons to celebrate successes before they finish the renovations.
- Focus on results: When the going gets rough, accountability coaches remind clients of their goals to keep them invested. It’s natural to feel discouraged when challenges arise, but keeping the end result in mind can spur people to stay on track and put in the work. A client working toward a promotion may become frustrated after months pass, but reminding them of the benefits of advancing their career will encourage them to keep trying.
- Provide a redirect: Many get stuck on the route to their goals because they hit a roadblock, stumble upon a limiting belief, or lose focus. Good accountability coaches know when the initial plan isn’t working and help clients redirect. If a client is working on setting professional boundaries and can’t resist opening emails after the day’s end, a coach may redirect the strategy and encourage them to delete all work-related apps from their devices each night. They can reinstall them in the morning.
Who might hire an accountability coach?
Anyone working toward a challenging goal and struggling to self-motivate might hire an accountability coach. Because of the diversity in clients, the “subject matter” of the work varies significantly. Here are a few types of clients who may seek the services of an accountability coach:
- Business managers looking to increase their sales numbers
- People who want to make a positive lifestyle change through health and fitness
- Entrepreneurs who wish to launch a new business or product
- Athletes training to improve their performance
- Employees or freelancers who want to learn a new skill to take their career to the next level
- Professionals aiming to level up their time management skills and achieve better work-life balance
If you’re interested in accountability coaching, we recommend narrowing the choices down to one or two areas of interest. You don’t want to spread your skills too thin. If you have experience with business management, consider coaching company executives. Likewise, if your background is in health and fitness, you have the experience and empathy to hold those looking to improve their wellness accountable.
Becoming an accountability coach
There’s no one-size-fits-all guide to becoming an accountability coach. You’ll need to create your own accountability coaching program by piecing together the right education, certifications, and experience to help your clients succeed.
Aspiring accountability coaches should:
- Choose a niche: Start helping others pursue their dreams by following your own. Choose a field you’d be excited to work in — it’ll make you that much more passionate about your job. Once you know what specialization you’re interested in, use it to guide your learning and skill development.
- Grow their knowledge: If you plan on helping businesses succeed, you should know what it takes to run a company. The same applies to a coach-to-be who wants to help clients achieve athletic success: They should understand the ins and outs of training for a sport. A college-level degree in your area of interest is the best way to prepare for your clients' challenges and questions.
- Earn credentials: While there’s no specific accountability coach certification, you should earn a certification related to the niche you pick. There are, for example, plenty of health and wellness coaching certification programs that can improve your skillset.
Once you’re confident you’re up to the challenge, it’s time to get to work. Start small, working with one or two clients until you’re ready to build up your practice.
Is accountability coaching profitable?
The profitability of any coaching role depends on a number of factors. Many of us are business owners and set our rates, so how much we earn depends on what we charge. Several things influence these rates, such as local standards for wellness services and the cost of living, as well as the number of clients we manage at once. Certifications, credentials, and experience level all factor in as well — the more qualified and experienced we are, the more clients are willing to pay for our services.
ZipRecruiter estimates that the average accountability coach salary is roughly $45,000 per year in the U.S. This is just one number in a range of potential incomes: Those just starting out may make as little as $20,000 per year while the most successful coaches earn over $100,000.
Don’t go it alone
Coaching is some of the most rewarding work out there, but it takes dedication and focus. And where there’s a tough job to be done, professionals should have a little help.
We formed our company with coaching professionals in mind. At Practice, we know how to best support other coaches, and we built a platform around that knowledge. Our customer relationship management (CRM) system can help you stay on top of your business without burning out.
The CRM allows you to store important documents like client intake forms and coaching proposal templates, communicate directly with clients, and authorize payment — all in one place. Let us help on the administrative backend of your business while you concentrate on holding your clients accountable on the route to their goals. Get started today.