Do I need a privacy policy for my coaching website?

Did you know that you need a privacy policy on your website even if you’re not a “big business”?

Most coaching sites collect personal info and so most coaching sites should have a privacy policy.

Examples of personal information include asking for a name and email on a contact form or using a website analytics tool (like Google Analytics).

There are a number of reasons why you need this policy’s protection and it’s also a great way to show your clients that you can be trusted and handle their personal information with care and confidentiality.

Remember, you will effectively carry out your role as a coach by building a relationship that starts with trust and respect.

But you can’t build a successful client relationship without needing a fair amount of their personal data. Because of sensitive information being sent back and forth between you and your client, this is where a “Privacy Policy” comes in.

It’s possibly the most important legal agreement for your online coaching business!

What is data privacy and why does a life coach need to be concerned?

There’s quite a lot of privacy info that you need to deal with when setting up your coaching business.

Even simple things like when your website asks for a name and email address on a contact form, you are collecting Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and need to not only have a compliant privacy policy, but also need a strategy to keep the policy up to date.

Nowadays an individual’s personal information is highly valuable to any businesses, advertisers and government agencies, and the protection of such information is now considered to be another basic human right.

This is because personal information will often include sensitive details such as:

  • Name and contact details
  • Payment or bank details
  • Computer IP address
  • Racial/ethnic origins
  • Political preferences
  • Sexual orientation
  • Criminal or medical records
  • Locations

As an online coach, you’ll very likely be handling some of this sensitive information regarding your clients. It’s best to know exactly what’s expected for your Privacy Policy to avoid any legal issues that could potentially occur, and follow any of the necessary legislation.

Several privacy laws are now in place to protect the personal information of residents of certain states with fines that can reach $2,500 – $7,500 per website visitor. 

More and more states are proposing their own privacy laws as well.

In the US, there are 23 state privacy bills (and more are expected). Some of these bills would enable citizens to sue businesses for having a contact form without an updated Privacy Policy.

Several of these state bills make note that businesses of any size and any location will have to comply or may face fines or lawsuits, which is why I want you to be aware of what’s going on.

Let’s go back to the main question, why do you need a privacy policy?

  1. Avoid fines and lawsuits
  2. Limit your liability
  3. Display professionalism to your website visitors
  4. Build trust with your clients

So, you’re protecting not only your business, but also your clients.

Benefits of a privacy policy that automatically updates

The privacy policy you create for your site isn’t a one-off document that you upload and never touch again. You have to make sure it stays up-to-date with your data practices and it meets the latest requirements as the law changes.

And since technology moves fast, privacy laws will keep changing to adapt.

In my opinion, an auto updating privacy policy is the most convenient and most suitable for coaches who want a “set it and forget it” solution.

When the privacy laws change it automatically updates the policies!

With this type of policy in place you can rest assured that you stay compliant with the data protection laws, without having to pay attention and update your site.

What can you do to get protected?

Given the large penalties a business can receive for not complying with privacy laws, I want to make sure coaches are aware of what’s going on.

Data privacy certified agency partner badge

I’ve partnered up with a privacy policy generator called Termageddon to help keep you protected.

Termageddon will automatically update your website policies when the laws change (as well as notify you when changes are coming), and they do it at a fraction of the cost of a privacy attorney (just $99 a year).

I even use their policies on my own website: LCSME Privacy Policy

Termageddon was nice enough to give me a coupon code for LCSME customers to save a little extra money (10% off your first-year payment).

They also offered to personally guide you through the setup process to ensure you’re protected!

Just contact me to get the coupon code and I’ll connect you with a privacy expert if you want the guided setup.

(Feel free to get in touch even if you’re not a LCSME customer; all life coaches should have this.)

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