Ah, the infamous coaching title.
Plenty of coaches have asked me what their coaching title should be.
And my off-the-cuff answer is usually: are you sure you really need one?
But it’s a question that does deserve some exploration.
In this article, you’ll learn why a coaching title might not be in your best interests—at least not as something you lead with. Or then again, it might be great for you.
Buckle up, because these ideas are bound to ruffle some feathers.
A coaching title can be limiting
Probably my biggest issue with coaching titles is how they condense all the wonderful, expansive qualities of a coach’s personality and work into something that feels limited—even generic.
Is there a single word (or two) that can communicate the life-changing benefits, the dimensions of your coaching, and the unique experience that only YOU can create for your clients?
Possibly. But probably not.
Yet most coaches believe they NEED a title—and let’s be honest, it does feel enticing to give yourself one, as it makes your coaching work somehow feel more REAL.
But it also puts you into a kind of box, lumping you in with all the other coaches who use the same title. At best, it just restricts the true magic of your coaching work.
Using myself as an example:
You could say I’m a brand coach. Or an entrepreneurial coach. Or a mindset coach.
But none of these titles, by themselves, encapsulate the full scope of the work that I do with my clients.
They don’t speak to the types of clients I work with (visionary, ambitious coaches).
And even taken together, they don’t evoke the depth of what I help my clients achieve.
My signature framework, the way I show up for my clients, and the magic we make together defies a singular coaching title.
So, I don’t sweat it.
Before you land on the idea of giving yourself a coaching title, just ask yourself:
- Does it feel limiting and restrictive?
- Does it feel generic?
- Does it water down what I actually do?
And if the answer is yes to any of these things, you don’t need one.
A coaching title can be boring
I’m talking about the dime-a-dozen coaching titles that dominate the coaching world:
- Career coach
- Health coach
- Relationship coach
- Success coach
- Transformational coach (I mean… coaching is inherently transformational, soooo…)
And forget about the even loftier coaching titles:
- Happiness coach
- Joy coach
- Empowerment coach
Let’s face it: these titles are boring.
They group coaches into generic boxes that, again, don’t communicate the multi-dimensional depth and value an individual coach brings to the table—and in some cases, they don’t speak to a tangible result at all:
A happiness coach? Who is actually spending good money on hiring a happiness coach?
Now, I have seen coaching titles that stood out and made me think “that’s interesting”, though I can tell you that it wasn’t just the coaching title alone, but the fact that these coaches also had stellar brands and signature offers in which their unique coaching titles made sense.
Some questions to ask yourself when considering a unique coaching title:
- Does it clearly say what I do and what I help with?
- Do I have a well-crafted brand that supports it?
- Do I have a signature offer that this title speaks directly to?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you’re probably on to something.
If you can add “the” in front of your coaching title, that might be even better—if it’s authentic.
But if you find yourself having to think too hard about a unique coaching title that fits, that’s most likely a sign that you don’t need one.
A coaching title might be emphasizing the wrong thing about you
This one is a bit controversial, so hear me out.
See, the power of your work isn’t centered around the fact that you’re a coach.
Your coaching ability is a tool that you use to serve your clients—maybe it’s even your primary tool—but it’s not what makes you amazing, nor is it “the thing” that will get people into you.
The challenging (yet liberating) reframe I encourage coaches to expand into is that it’s not about your coaching—it’s about the life-changing result and experience you deliver for your clients.
Your coaching style and ability plays a role in this, yes.
But so does your presence + being as the extraordinary helper, illuminator, teacher, mentor, and guide that you also are.
So does your story. Your life experiences. Your unique way of seeing your people.
You are a coach. And yet you’re something more than a coach.
Doesn’t it feel kinda badass to just own that and let it reshape your perception of what you’re here to do, and what you have to offer your people… and maybe even how you want to become known?
And even if you’re not quite ready to own it just yet, doesn’t the idea of it feel just the tiniest bit exhilirating?
So, what do you call yourself, then?
Sometimes, a coaching title is just right. This is pretty rare in my experience, though.
I typically encourage introducing yourself saying what you do, rather than using a title to say what you are: “I help [person] [result].”
But if you really want a title—and it’s totally OK if you do—why not create one that better communicates who you are and what you do?
What if you leave the word “coach” out of it altogether, and come up with something totally unexpected, memorable, and undeniably YOU?
Or what if you get really crazy and give yourself not just one, but multiple titles that you use together, like:
Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains.
Game of Thrones, anyone?
OK, maybe not that many titles. But I’ve known coaches who used a combination of 3 super-creative non-coachy titles, or who crafted a whole collection of titles for themselves which they brandished in various combinations, depending on the situation or mood.
Titles they became known for, because they were so creatively, uniquely them.
I think that’s pretty awesome.
The good news is, there are no rules around coaching titles.
But if you do want one, make it a good one—one you can become known for.
Because you’re not just “doing the coaching thing” here.
You’re leaving your mark on the world.
And there’s no one like you.