Updated: Apr 15
Whether you’ve taken your business online for now or for good, there’s a few things I need you to know.
1 - Your website doesn’t have to be perfect for your business to be successful. Seriously - go read this blog I wrote in May on the topic of what your website really needs. It might surprise you. And if you’re someone who’s let the thought of a website scare you from starting, there’s good news..
2 - There are reputable services that can create you an affordable, customized website that will allow clients to BOOK AND PAY so you can stop with that “Venmo me @______ and leave the class time in the comments” nonsense. Tell Leigh that D sent you; she is a website wizard for fitness professionals.
3 - There are THREE key legal components to you having an online fitness business and website. I’m breaking them down for you below.
4 - There is SO MUCH more to this discussion than one blog can hold. And I know you have tons of questions and need support in creating and launching a website and business. I get it, I’ve been there.
Which is why later this month I’m launching a course that is going to teach you everything you need to know to take your business from a good idea, to online, to making 6-figures. Yup, I said it. Make sure you’re on my email list (subscribe below if you’re not) to get the inside scoop on early sign up bonuses and pricing. Registration opens soon!
But I digress...back to your website and online fitness business. Here’s what I need you to know and have:
ONLINE LIABILITY WAIVER
Why It’s Important: If you’re going to be training anyone (online or in-person), you need to have them sign a Liability Waiver which protects you and your business in the unfortunate event that someone gets hurt.
What Yours Should Say: Just like a normal Liability Waiver, your Online Waiver should briefly describe the activity/exercises, the risks involved, and that the participant assumes the risks. It should also include language holding your business not liable or responsible for injuries. You may want to include a medical release, photo release and intellectual property language, if you intend to share videos, training guides, etc. For Online Waivers, it should explicitly state that clients are training in a virtual, remote, or online environment and that a trainer won’t be physically present. It should place the extra burden of caution onto the client to follow instructions and pals, and to be extra mindful of one’s body.
Where Does It Belong: Every client should sign a Liability Waiver, or alternatively “check the box” that they agree to the terms when creating an account online. The Liability Waiver should be a separate document, regardless if you’re an online trainer or training clients in-person and should NOT be part of the Terms and Conditions or a Client Agreement.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Why It’s Important and What It Should Say: A Terms and Conditions, or TnC, is a legally binding contract that dictates a client’s use of your website, including their own membership profile. It’s important as it sets the rules and guidelines that client’s must agree to and follow in order to use and access your website (or app). It also communicates with your clients the policies and procedures for scheduling, paying, cancelling, auto-debiting payments, terminating their accounts, etc. From a legal standpoint a good TnC also contains a limitation of liability and warranty disclaimer re: the content presented, the accuracy of information presented and its suitability for any purpose. A good TnC sets forth governing law in the event a conflict presents itself.
Where Does It Belong: A TnC should live in the footer of your website. A client’s use of the site is implied consent to the terms. IF you have a member login set-up, it’s best to also have client “agree” to the terms of the TnC when creating their account.
What Yours Should Say: Your PP should clearly state what information you collect from clients, how it is stored, and how you use it. For most small web-based businesses using third-party integrations, you don’t have too much to worry about. The third-party integrations (PayPal, Stripe, MailChimp, Kajabi) have their own Privacy Policies which you can reference with your clients.
Where Does It Belong: A PP should live in the footer of your website. A client’s use of the site is implied consent to the terms.
If you’re reading this blog and finding that your website isn’t quite as set-up or as protected as you’d like it to be, send me an email ASAP and let’s talk and make it right! For all blog readers, I’m going to bundle these three documents for a special reader-only price - because having that sense of security and protection is everything and I want to help you get it.