You can become a dating coach by learning the different aspects of this profession. Once you learn what skills, credentials and experience you need, you can decide if this is the right career for you.
In an industry where anyone can become a dating coach, you can stand out from the crowd when you have credentials. While you aren't required to have credentials, most clients want some assurance that you know what you're doing. This is especially important if you're just starting your business. If you already have a degree, you can augment it with a few specific programs that offer coaching certification or specialized certifications for dating/relationship coaching.
Some other preferable credentials include:
- A degree in marriage/family therapy, counseling, psychology, or social work.
- Certification in any of these or related fields through various coursework.
- Recommendations and endorsements are very valuable credentials. If you're just starting out, you can get endorsements from instructors, professors, peers, and other professionals in a related field. Once you have a few clients, you can get recommendations and testimonies.
International Coach Federation
You may choose to pursue an accredited coach training program through the International Coach Federation (ICF). The two of the programs offered are 126 or 30 hours of training with observation. For anyone with current ICF credentials or some form of coach training, you can participate in continuing education class in advance coach training.
Hart Coaching Academy
Hart Coaching Academy offers a certification program as a Date Coach. The academy has been featured in Canadian Living, CBC, Reader's Digest, and many other media outlets.
Loveology University (LU) offers three programs in Love Coach and Relationship Coach training programs though online classes. Once approved by the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (now defunct), LU graduates can use their coursework as credits towards a Doctorate Program in Human Sexuality and apply for international accreditation of The American College of Sexologists.
Are You a Natural Coach and Teacher?
A coach is very much a type of teacher. You will need to nudge and challenge your clients to try new things and meet different kinds of people. You need an earnest desire to help others and know how to connect with your clients to teach them ways to expand their dating experiences.
Can You Read and Assess People?
You will need the ability to read people, to tell what motivates them, what they want in a companion, and why they need a coach. For some clients these answers will be obvious and immediately identifiable, but for others, you may need to pry these answers out of them - tactfully.
Your Goals As a Dating Coach
As a dating coach, your goals are simple, you need to find your client a compatible person to date. You are there to ensure they put their best foot forward and guide them as they move from first date to second date and beyond. You are there to ensure they have every opportunity to meet someone
Skillsets You Need to Become a Dating Coach
You need some specific skills in order to be an effective dating coach and successful in your business. Honestly assess which of these skills you have, then set about obtaining the ones you don't have.
There is a subset of skills that support the ability to communicate. These range from listening to reading body language.
It may sound obvious, but not everyone is a good listener. In order to help people, you need to be able to listen to not just what they are saying, but what they aren't saying. For example, a client might tell you that they haven't been able to find anyone to date. That may be true, but it also may mean they have set their dating standards too high and are disqualifying possible dating companions based on prejudices or misinterpretations of potential dates.
Ask Questions for Clarification
You also need to know when to press a client for more information. In the above example. You were told there is no one for your client to date. Statistically, that isn't true. Part of being a good listener is to understand there is more to a story than the glossy surface. Inquire what the client means and delve deeper. This skill will serve your clients since you can get to the root of the issue.
You can tell a lot about a person by their body language. If your client claims there's no one to date, while crossing their arms and legs, you can rest assured this is a blocking and defensive body expression. It's time to ask more questions.
How Do You Express Yourself?
The way you relate to others and how you express yourself is important to your success as a dating coach. While you may need to be stern at times with your clients, you also need to be compassionate and caring. You often need to be diplomatic in your suggestions and responses to guide your clients.
Patience and Understanding
You will quickly discover that working with clients requires patience and understanding. Not everyone has social skills or knows how to communicate effectively with others. Your role is to understand when a client has shortcomings. After all, that is why they have come to you.
Discrete and Trustworthy
You must be capable of be discrete and keep confidences. Your clients will divulge secrets and information about themselves that they would not want anyone else to know. They will open up and be vulnerable, so don't betray their trust by gossiping about them. View everything you discuss with them as highly confidential. If you fail to do this, your business will never take off. Word gets out very quickly, so be highly professionally at all times.
Getting Started As a Dating Coach
Once you've determined you have what it takes to become a dating coach, you need to create a business. Decide on a name for your business, set up your company by getting all the legal documents processed, including required business licenses, federal ID number, etc. Set up your bank account, bookkeeping, and website.
Advertising and Word of Mouth
When you're just starting out, you should seek out free advertising venues. Social media is the best free resource. You only need one client to get you started. You offer your services for free to a friend or acquaintance to get started. Once you have your first satisfied client, you will begin to get referrals. Make sure you take advantage of testimonies on your social media and website.
Coaching and Interacting With Your Clients
How you coach and interact with your clients is important to your success, but more importantly their success. You may need to ease clients into different perspectives, so they see themselves as others do. You don't want to remake a person. Instead, you want to play up their good points.
- You may need to offer fashion advice.
- Good grooming tips may be in order.
- You can roleplay with your clients to impress specific points that might not be obvious to them that need adjusting or changing to make them more likeable and help them relax.
- You most likely will need to help your client grow in directions that aren't comfortable for them, at first.
- You will encourage clients to reach beyond themselves and develop new skills and interests.
Your Role As a Dating Coach
As with any coach, your job is to support, encourage and bring out your clients' best attributes. You need to build them up and give them permission to have fun and be themselves. Once you do all this, your client is ready to go on that first date.