Website Compliance for Coaches: What terms and policies do I need on my coach website? | Jennie Lakenan

Website Compliance for Coaches: What terms and policies do I need on my coach website?

In this post, you’ll learn what compliance measures you need in place for your coach website, how to set those measures up quickly and easily, and all without picking up the phone to call your lawyer.

You might be creating your first website for your coaching business, but you have concerns about making sure you’re covering yourself from a liability perspective. Or, perhaps you’ve had a website for a while, but you aren’t sure if you’ve properly covered your legal bases.

Don’t worry, in this article I’ll be explaining everything you need to understand coach website compliance, without any of the complex legal speak.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice.

What makes a website legally compliant?

Often in the footer of a website, you’ll see links to a Privacy Policy, a Terms of Use, a Disclaimer, or some variation on those phrases. These are the policies we’re often talking about when we say a website is “legally compliant.”

These terms pages (as I call them) give all the legal speak to help cover you from a website liability perspective, as the business owner. In some cases, you’re also legally required to have them in place.

You might also see an “Accept Cookies” pop up appear on websites you visit. That cookie consent also plays a part in keeping a website legally compliant.

The legal requirements for a website depend on where you live. In the United States, for example, the law requires that you have a Privacy Policy if you’re collecting any information (like an email address) from your website visitors. If you’re marketing to folks in the European Union, you need an additional set of compliance measures called GDPR. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

So what terms and policies do I need on my website?

These are the three pieces of liability protection that I most often see on a coach website in the United States:

  1. Privacy Policy — this is a statement that explains how you collect, use, and disclose personally identifiable information, like a name, email, or phone number. If your website has a contact form, an email newsletter sign up form, or collects other visitor information in any way, you legally need a Privacy Policy. Read more about privacy policies here.
  2. Terms of Use (aka. Terms and Conditions) — this is a statement that details the rules of using your website, like spelling out your refund policy or stating that the site contents are your intellectual property. Virtually every site these days ought to have a Terms of Use. Read more about Terms of Use here.
  3. Disclaimer — this is a statement that limits the liability you may be responsible for as a website owner. For example, if a client is somehow injured after following your health or fitness advice, or if you participate in an affiliate program, the affiliate might require you to have a Disclaimer. It’s basically there to protect you in case something goes wrong for a client while using your service. Read more about Disclaimers here.

A Privacy Policy is the only of the above that, as far as I’m aware, you’re legally required to have in the United States for a standard lead capture website. But it’s really just a good idea to have all three.

What about GDPR and does it apply to me?

The European Union has a series of legal requirements called GDPR, which is short for General Data Protection Regulation. This set of laws is a lot more strict and structured than simply having a Privacy Policy that mentions GDPR.

For example, to comply with GDPR, a website will need to have opt-in forms that allow visitors to get whatever the freebie is without signing up for emails. It also means placing a cookie pop up that gets consent before tracking any Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics data from a visitor.

GDPR compliance also means monitoring an email list to comply with data deletion policies and managing data requests if someone asks you to delete their information from your list.

So who does this GDPR compliance apply to?

There’s no short answer. It’s a pretty complex topic. You can read more about GDPR in this awesome article from WP Beginner. It goes way more in-depth than the scope of this post, but the crux of my understanding is that GDPR technically applies to anyone who has website visitors from European Union countries.

That’s most of us, but don’t panic.

You have to keep in mind the spirit of GDPR — which is to keep big businesses like Facebook and Google from capturing peoples’ emails without permission and sending them emails they didn’t ask for.

Any GDPR penalties will always start with a notice, then a warning, and then fines after that if you still haven’t complied with the original notice.

You’ll notice that many, many businesses in the United States haven’t complied with GDPR, and most of my clients don’t, either.

I’m not advising either way, but just throwing out what I’ve seen.

Where can I go to ensure compliance, either with or without GDPR?

The good news is there are a few 3rd party services out there that have teamed up with lawyers to make it really easy for business owners, including coaches, to get compliant coverage on their websites.

Iubenda

Iubenda is one such service. You can use their cookie consent and privacy policy tools to generate an effective and stylish privacy policy. Not only that, but they also keep it updated for you, which is super helpful. It’s a very affordable at around $30 a year, too, which is decent value.

They have a free tier, but the selection of protection clauses is pretty limited and you don’t get access to the cookie pop up solution.

If you’re implementing GDPR on your website, then Iubenda is definitely the way to go. It’s Europe-based and specializes in GDPR compliance.

Click here for 10% off your first year of Iubenda.

(The above is an affiliate link, here’s the non-affiliate link if you prefer.)

Termageddon

Termageddon is actually the compliance service I recommend if you’re in the United States. It’s based in the US, and allows the creation of a disclaimer and terms of use, in addition to the privacy policy and cookie consent solutions that Iubenda offers.

Termageddon also updates all of the policies you have with them without needing to lift a finger.

Their service is just $10 a month, which is more costly than Iubenda but it also offers more consent options. I recommend Termageddon because they have such an excellent reputation in our community for their support and personable service.

Click here to learn more about Termageddon.

(The above is an affiliate link, here’s the non-affiliate link if you prefer.)

Don’t Set it and Forget It

Just like caring for your website, terms and policies aren’t a set it and forget it deal. Laws change, and your policies need to stay updated with them.

That’s why I recently decided to upgrade my site to include Termageddon’s policies — so I can always be sure my compliance is updated according to the latest laws.

What’s Next

Website compliance is just one piece of the digital puzzle. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes creating and maintaining a coach website.

If you’re wondering what other key pages a coach website needs to have in addition to these compliance bits, click below to access the free video training and learn the 5 pages every coach website needs to catch your ideal client’s attention.

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Hi, I’m Jennie.

I build beautiful, highly targeted websites for life coaches so they can get their mind off their website and onto becoming an example of what’s possible.

My clients are coaches with big goals and a ton of resolve to get it done.

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