Legal Advice for Health Coaches by Sam Vander Wielen

Health Coaches & Wellness Entrepreneurs…Is Your Legal Booty Covered?

{Guest post by former Attorney & Health Coach Sam Vander Wielen of Hygge Wellness}

Please remember that this post does not contain legal advice, it simply contains legal information and education meant to empower you to confidently run your business.

Today’s topic is one that I see overlooked by so many of us entrepreneurs.

When I talk with so many of you through the free 20-minute Legal Checkup session that I offer, you ask me: “What do I need to have on my website to protect me & why?”

There are so many reasons (legally speaking) that you want to protect your content, website, and business through having a website disclaimer, terms & conditions, and a privacy policy.

But here’s a big one I want to focus on today…

How to legally cover you & your business’ backend!

Here’s the thing my fellow Entrepreneurs – you have no control over who visits or reads your website, or who engages with and/or implements your content.

So, I wanted to go over why it’s so important – and HOW you can protect yourself & your biz with some basic legal documents to get that booty covered!

Unlike our 1-on-1 client relationships which rely on our client agreement, we don’t make any “official” agreement with our website’s visitors unless we have some basic legal documents in place.

What I’m describing is a basic legal document that would start out by telling your site’s visitor/reader that, by continuing to browse your site or try something they see on it (e.g. a workout, recipe, self-care suggestion), they’re agreeing to the terms of your disclaimerterms & conditions, and/or privacy policy.

Since just about anyone can visit your site without you knowing or controlling what they do with your suggestions, your disclaimer/T&C/privacy policy are your only chance to protect yourself & your biz with visitors. 

Now everything I’ve talked about up to this point focused on you being on defense in your business. I love to chat with my clients about how to use these DIY legal templates on the offense too – should you ever need it!

Here’s a common scenario on your website:

You write amazing blog posts and post gorgeous photos you take and maybe even edit yourself – because you’re a rockstar like that!

Then one day you find out Susie Q re-purposed your recipe or post, used your pictures, and didn’t give you the attribution as you laid out in your terms & conditions – that you were smart to have put in place on your website right from the very beginning 🙂

Since you had those T&C’s in place when Susie Q visited your site & lifted your content, you can kindly email Susie Q, point to the section of your T&C’s which talks about attribution/sharing rules, and ask her to amend the situation.

Here’s another common scenario for those who sell products (physical or digital) on their website:

You sell stuff on your website (including online courses), and you allow people to pay in 3 installment payments spread 30 days apart.

After Month 1, Susie Q’s credit card gets declined but she still has access to your course or download.

No worries! Your terms & conditions layout your payment policy, which specifically spells out what your rules are about installment payments and what to do if a card gets declined. It even allows you to pull their access from a membership site or to a course.

See how this works? Legal protection isn’t just about easing our anxiety and being able to defend ourselves should we ever need to, although, that’s a huge part too!

It’s also about sticking up for ourselves as smart businesswomen, protecting what we’ve worked so hard for, and not letting people take our stuff. Unfortunately, it happens more than you might think. (Ask Krista, she knows all about that!)

The bottom line on legal stuff for your wellness business

You need to protect your website with some basic legal documents because you don’t know who’s visiting it, and what they’re doing with what they read there.

Having those documents in place on your site is really your only chance to have any sort of “agreement” between you & that person.

Now go get covered, girl!

xo ~ Sam

This article was adapted with permission from Sam’s website. Check out my glowing testimonial of Sam’s products!

About Guest Author Sam Vander Wielen

Legal Advice for Health Coaches with Sam Vander WielenAfter I started my own health coaching business: Hygge Wellness, and grew it in such a short period of time, entrepreneurs & coaches reached out to ask for some help.

 

They wanted to know how to start their own health coaching practice and how they could protect themselves. They asked where they could find easy, affordable legal resources like website policies, client contracts, and disclaimers.

 

Every time I worked with a woman to help her start or grow her business, I lit up from the inside out.

 

I realized I had another passion brewing underneath the surface all along: helping others live in line with their purpose & passions so they, too, could help others.

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