Earning an ICF credential provides you with instant credibility and greater visibility for potential customers. Fundamentally, ICF certification is a good start, but it's not enough to train a competent business advisor. The ICF standards don't prepare a coach to reliably promise the results that organizations want. These results include growth, sustainability, profitability, or impact.
In fact, such promises would be unethical by ICF standards, because the client has to take responsibility to produce results. For more information, see Four Reasons Why Business Advisors Fear Promising Results. ICF certification is not required. Professional coaches seek them out to show that they are part of a brand accreditation body, which builds their brand and provides them with an advantage in the market.
An ICF coach is fantastic for someone trying to clarify their personal life, direction, goals, or relationships. Do coaches need ICF accreditation? It's a question that comes up from time to time in The Fully Booked Coach Facebook group. I think certification is becoming increasingly important as more and more people hang Life Coach neon signs. Yes, the ICF can revoke your membership in the very unlikely event that you are caught crossing the line, but they can't stop you from being a coach.
Therefore, if you want to find more clients in the field of executive and leadership coaching, you should opt for ICF coaching credentials. The path to becoming an ICF-certified coach takes time, but it's worth it if you really want to see yourself as an established coach in the future. So, in two and a half years (when I hope to get certified) I will have to invest more money in mentor coaching, because mentor coaching has to take place over a certain number of months to meet the ICF standards. While some think it may have more credibility, it doesn't necessarily attract more customers, because, as you mentioned, most people don't even know what the ICF means.
Simply put, they prefer professionally trained coaches, however, ICF credentials may not be their primary criteria for pre-selecting a competent life coach. The goal of NLP Coaching Academy is to provide you with the valuable resources, tools, and techniques that will make your ICF certification and accreditation process truly worthwhile. If you're someone who's confident in your networking skills and abilities, and you choose to rely on your skills and network to find coaching clients (especially in the B2C market), then you may not need to become an ICF-certified coach. Training was important to me.
I found that coaching was really different from what I had experienced and honed some of my skills. The bottom line is that as you work to obtain the ICF credential, and even after obtaining it, you must strive to learn coaching skills, develop them, practice more, explore more areas of knowledge and continue to improve so that your clients are happy, and your name is recognized as a person who influences the world of coaching. People analyze your success as a professional coach based on whether or not your clients in the past have achieved the results they wanted. The training will increase your confidence and (assuming it's good training) will ensure that you're a competent coach equipped to help your clients.