Who? Are? You?

It’s a tricky question to answer, but when you’re a life coach, every potential client is asking, and the answer you give… matters.

But wait – it gets trickier. Your potential clients don’t find the answer by asking you directly. They infer it from your business name and logo, hear it in your voice, see it in your imagery… and decide whether or not you are the one to help them. That projection of who you are is your brand, like it or not.

Smart life coaches don’t leave their brand to chance. And they don’t leave it at a logo and a slick website design, either.

When you’re a savvy life coach, you consciously and actively project the secret sauce that makes you “YOU!” through every avenue at your disposal.

It’s the look and voice of your website.
It’s the messages and images you post on social media.
It’s your office design, email campaigns, invoices, and swag. And if you’re a one person outfit – as most life coaches are – it’s how you dress, how you walk and how you talk.

We scoured the web and found five life coaches in totally different niches whose branding hits it out of the ballpark.

1. Gretchen Wegner

Audience match:
Clearly for students who are struggling and don’t want to be bored

Logo:
Handwriting – genius! And all the letters are lowercase, positioning Gretchen as non-intimidating and approachable.

Look:
Approachable, down-to-earth. Even the image of Gretchen is accessible – she’s dressed informally and sitting cross-legged. The doodles in her header and on her homepage will make students feel at home (especially the ones who have trouble studying!) and inject a light, humorous feel.

Voice:
Gretchen’s “The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying™” proves that she “gets” her audience – she knows that studying (for them) is boring and ineffective.

Social proof:
Sorry, – this is the only place that she can do a little better; her activities are restricted to her website (no social links).

Branding score:
8/10

2. Jody Michael Associates

Audience match:
Winner – she’s clearly targeting executives and other businesspeople.

Logo:
Right on – she uses straightforward text with a minimalist ornamental image and limited color. It’s corporate and formal, which will resonate with her target audience.

Look:
The site says ”professionalism” and “formality” all over it. The elegant background that combines the motifs of wood grain and spiral shells, the grayscale colors, the serif font for the headers… this is a site for professionals, by professionals. No doodles over here!

When Jody herself appears in images or videos, the impression of professionalism just gets stronger. Everything from her hairstyle to her clothing to her gestures to the office background is refined and dignified.

Voice:
Jody’s tone and manner perfectly match the look of her brand – professional, refined, and confident without being showy.

Social proof: Her Instagram account is filled with tasteful business-related images and quotes – well done!

LinkedIn gives over the same impression:

Branding score:
10/10

3. Man-UP! Life Coaching

Audience match:
The name wasn’t clear enough for ya? This is coaching by a guy, for guys, about dealing with guy problems like a guy.

Logo:
We’ve got a powerful combination of image, wording, and font over here. An upwards pointing arrow is a classic example of a phallic symbol, and it indicates “up”. In this logo, the arrow is used to mean “male” and “up”, and the arrow crosses over a gap, giving the potential client the message that this coach can get you unstuck and help you level up in “guy success”.

Look:
Spot on: the first thing you see when you hit the home page is a motorcycle (how much more macho can you get?)

Dennis himself looks approachable and chill, and the images of the guys he’s helped add to the impression of “this is a site for real guys like you.”

Voice:
Dennis’ bio says it all: “Hi there. I’m Dennis Procopio, Founder of Man-UP! Life Coaching… I want this bio to read like a conversation two guys would have over a beer.”

It does – and so does the rest of the site. The sometimes slangy, occasionally colorful language he uses definitely belongs to the bar, not the boardroom. Dennis comes across as open, straightforward and unquestionably a guy you’d want to hang out with if you were going through a tough time.

Social proof:
Triumphant! The phrase “join the conversation” is used for social media so often that it’s almost a cliche. But when it comes to Man-UP! Life Coaching’s Facebook page, it fits like a (motorcycle) glove. Everything on his page is a true convo between Dennis and his bros, with topics ranging from in-your-face advice to Dennis’ solo motorcycle trips (with pics), and live videos of Dennis’ talks labeled “MEN ONLY 🛑 NOT SAFE FOR WORK.”

Branding score:
10/10

4. Krista St-Germain

Audience match:
She puts it right out there – her definition of her target audience is the only text on the home page. Talk about a specialized target market – well clarified!

Logo:
Appropriate for the topic – it’s just Krista’s name in a plain, simple, black font. This isn’t a topic you want to get cute and creative about.

Look:
She’s got a simple, three-page site, each picturing a different image of herself with complimentary text. Two images are in a more professional dress and one looks more personal; in all of them, Krista appears happy, confident and approachable.

Voice:
No extraneous text. She introduces herself and her story clearly and succinctly, making her instantly relatable to her audience: widowed moms. Krista’s tone is empathetic and understanding of her audience’s pain, but simultaneously confident: confident that her audience can choose and live a fulfilling life on a higher level than they were before, and confident that she can help get them there.

Social proof:
Krista has an active presence on Facebook and Instagram, posting inspiration, sharing her own emotions and encouraging her audience. Her “I get you, I’m here for you, I believe in you” attitude shines through in every post.

Bonus points:
Krista has two different Facebook groups intended to support her audience. The larger group, with 1850 members, is “Mom Goes On.”

The name and the imagery all combine to produce a feeling of looking toward a better tomorrow – exactly the hope that Krista wants to give to her audience.

Branding score:
9/10

5. Vienda Maria

Audience match:
She speaks to women who want to connect to their inner voice, strengths, and creativity through spiritual and holistic methods.

Logo:
With shades of pink and lavender and hearts dotting the “i”s, Vienda’s logo says “feminine” all over it.

Look:
The graphics on the site speak to femininity, creativity and spirituality. The images of Vienda herself project creativity, freedom and connection to herself. She doesn’t just talk the talk; she walks the walk (and takes the photos to prove it).

Voice:
Her site content and blog are full of thoughtful spiritual and holistic terminology with a measure of psychology thrown in: inner wisdom, manifest, intuition, embodied, becoming authentic, showing up for yourself… if you connect, you’ll be in heaven. If not, you’ll be out of there. That’s what we call clear, consistent branding.

Social proof:
Well done! As a journalist described why she chose Vienda Maria as her life coach, “The creative, spacious, and non-stressful life that people like Maria artfully portray on Instagram is something that, if I’m honest, I’d love to have more of myself.” Vienda’s Instagram account has over 10K followers actively viewing, admiring and commenting on her lifestyle photos and her short prose and poetry, all of which reflect Vienda Maria’s spirit.

Branding score:
9/10

6. You!

Yep, you can do it, too. And it doesn’t necessarily take a big budget. Most of the work is done up there in your head (right up your alley as a life coach, right?)

Here’s how to get started:

1. Create Audience Clarity

This is a biggie. While it sounds simple, it’s actually one of the hardest things to do. As a life coach, you want to help everyone you possibly can! The only problem? When you try and be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to no one. Bad for branding – and bad for business.

So pick your niche and define it carefully. Who can you help the most… and with what? “I help people with their fears,” is way too broad. “I help teens who are scared of dogs,” is much more specific. Find your niche audience and speak to them directly.

2. Create “You” Clarity

Why you? What makes you the best coach for this audience? How are you different from all the other coaches that offer help?

If you can’t define your secret sauce, your branding will be blah.

3. Get it Down in Words & Images

You’ve defined it for yourself. Now you’ve got to get it out there in a way your audience will “get it”. This may be something you can do yourself, if you’re a talented writer or graphics person. Or this may be time to splurge on a professional who will hear you out and then produce content that makes you exclaim, “That’s ME! But better than I could have ever said it.”

However you create your branded content, test it on people who fit your target audience (and no, not your best friend, even if she does happen to fit. She’ll love you regardless, so she doesn’t count). Get people who don’t know you that well and will give you an unbiased opinion as to whether your wording and images resonate.

4. Share Yourself

While therapists are deliberate about not sharing their personal lives with clients, successful coaches usually do the exact opposite. Share your back story: what gives you a unique advantage in coaching for your niche and audience? Share your ongoing story: how are you living your truth each and every day? Share through stories; share through photos; the critical thing is that you share honestly and thoughtfully.

5. Go!

Acing your branding is not an overnight job. It takes thought. Planning. Dedication and consistency.

But it’s totally worth it. Because if you do it right, when your ideal client hits your website or your social media accounts, the unspoken question of “Who are you?” will die on their lips.

They’ll know exactly who you are. And they’ll know that they want to work with you.

And don’t worry: if you get stuck along the way, we’re sure there’s a life coach for that.