Here’s the truth - coaching is a rapidly growing industry, and despite some recent upheaval around some coaches' questionable marketing tactics, the industry is not going anywhere. And it seems like as more people learn about online coaching, the more coaches pop up!
As a new coach starting out in the online space, it's important to not only think about growing your business but also consider the legal aspects of your business.
Getting your legal ducks in a row from the beginning is so important because legal is the FOUNDATION of your business and you don’t want to build your business on a SHAKY foundation.
Here are some key legal building blocks for new coaches working online:
BUILDING BLOCK #1: CONTRACTS
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I think contracts are the single most important piece of your legal toolbox. Contracts and agreements are a vital component of any coaching business, especially when working with clients online.
Ensure that you have a coaching agreement in place that outlines the terms and conditions of your coaching services, such as your coaching fees, session duration, cancellation policy, and confidentiality. Having a clear and concise agreement helps to protect both you and your clients and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
To learn more about the other contracts and agreements you need to think about as you build your coaching business, check out our free legal checklist below.
BUILDING BLOCK #2: Business Registration
Within the first 6-12 months of your coaching business, it's important to register your business and ensure that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations. I typically recommend starting with an LLC, and you can learn more why HERE. Depending on where you live, there may be specific requirements for online businesses that you need to be aware of.
BUILDING BLOCK #3: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
If you take a look at any 7-figure coach, they have a mountain of IP behind them. As a coach, your intellectual property is your bread and butter. It’s what sets you apart from the crowd and allows you to showcase your expertise.
It's essential to protect your intellectual property, including your coaching programs, branding, and content. Consider registering your trademarks (hi, I can help!) to safeguard your brand! Having strong IP business assets is an important foundation of your business.
BUILDING BLOCK #4: MARKETING COMPLIANCE
Always act in integrity when selling. We all know that coaching is currently an unregulated industry but that doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. Marketing online, through socials and your website, can be a powerful tool to grow your coaching business, but it's essential to ensure that your marketing practices comply with applicable laws.
For example, you need to ensure that your marketing messages are truthful and not misleading, and that you are not making any guarantees. This is why disclaimers are such an important part of your contracts and on the information you are putting out there in blogs or emails. It’s also important to obtain the necessary consents for email marketing.
BUILDING BLOCK #5: MINDSET
Having the right mindset about legal matters is perhaps one of the most important building blocks. Legal is here to PROTECT you. I know you may have preconceived notions that lawyers and contracts are icky (don’t worry, no offense take) but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Contracts exist solely to protect you and legal foundations are what will allow you to grow a strong and sustainable coaching business.
I know that when you are starting out that legal can be intimidating but that is why Destination Legal exists! We are here to help and to make the legal not-so-scary. I want you to join the thousands of business owners that have legally protected their business and now sleep better at night knowing because of it.
I want you to start thinking about how awesome legal is - that is the mindset of a million dollar coach!
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There you have it! As a new coach working online, it's essential to prioritize the legal aspects of your business. By taking the time to understand and implement the foundations above, you can protect your business, build trust with your clients, and set yourself up for long-term success. And we are here to help!~