96. Can I Get Blamed for Clients’ Results?

Can I Get Blamed for Clients’ Results?

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In this week’s episode, you’ll get legal tips all about how to use a disclaimer as a service provider.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • Who needs a disclaimer
  • What a (properly worded) disclaimer can protect you against
  • How to make sure your disclaimer is legally legit

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In this article, you’ll get a summary of who needs a disclaimer, how they can protect you, and what language to use in yours. Be sure to tune into episode 96 for the full discussion!

Who needs a disclaimer?

Everyone who offers services, self-programs, or creates content needs to be aware of disclaimers — not just those in the medical industry. Disclaimers should be included in various places in your business, such as your contracts, website, content, and terms of use. They can even be used at the beginning of webinars or live training. Disclaimers serve different purposes and should be present to ensure that you are not losing sleep over potential legal issues.

How does a disclaimer protect me as a service provider?

One part of the disclaimer language that may interest you is the section in my client contracts and terms of use regarding guarantees and warranties. It’s important to make sure clients understand that you can’t guarantee specific outcomes or results, whether they work with you or take your course or program. 

For example, you can’t guarantee increased website traffic from SEO services if the client doesn’t post on their site or follow your directions. It’s important to be consistent and not make promises or imply guaranteed outcomes across the board — in your marketing, copy, or on social media — to avoid legal issues.

Where can you buy a disclaimer for your online business? (Right here!) 

It’s important to take disclaimers seriously and include them throughout your legal templates. Instead of writing your own, consider using my DIY legal templates with editable files and how-to video walk-throughs. They make it easy to customize and make it your own, taking only 15 minutes or less. You can even receive a credit towards upgrading to my signature program, the Ultimate Bundle™, when you purchase one of my templates included in the program.

You can visit samvanderwielen.com/shop to shop all my legal templates and find the one that works best for you and your business.


Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen: Welcome back to another episode of Sam’s Sidebar, where I tackle your essential legal questions about starting and growing a legally protected online business in ten minutes or less. This week, you’ll get legal tips all about how to use a disclaimer as a service provider.

This week’s question came from our listener, Tish. And Tish asked, “If I’m a web designer/SEO expert and I sell a course, how would I go about the legal disclaimer?” It seems similar to the whole I’m a doctor but not your doctor, but for web SEO design stuff. Is that the right way to go about it? I want to share knowledge, but not be liable if someone doesn’t follow instructions or if it just doesn’t work out for someone’s site for whatever reason. This is such a good question, Tish.

The first thing I love about your question is that you recognize that disclaimers are not just for those in the health and wellness or food industries. Everybody who has a business, who offers services, sells programs, or creates content needs to be “worried” about disclaimers. Worried meaning aware, not losing any sleep.

So, disclaimers are something that we have in many different places in our businesses for different reasons. You should have disclaimer language in your contracts, on your website through a website disclaimer, even maybe in your content on a blog post or something, in your terms of use like the contract that you would use at checkout for online courses and memberships. There are so many different places to use a disclaimer, maybe even in the beginning of a webinar or a live training.

The part of the disclaimer language that you seem to be interested in, though, is the part that I build into all of my client contract templates and my terms of use – the one that you use for courses and memberships – regarding guarantees and warranties. That is just one provision of a disclaimer. It’s really important that your clients, no matter what you do, understand that you’re not guaranteeing a certain outcome or result through working with you, or through taking your course, or buying your program.

So, for Tish, that might mean like not guaranteeing that the client’s website traffic will improve if they use Tish’s SEO services. We can’t control that. What if the client doesn’t ever post on their site? What if they’re a bad writer? Or what if they don’t follow your directions? Or, for you, this might mean you’re not guaranteeing any certain body result, a mindset achievement, a business result, a career outcome.

But as I always say, we have to be consistent across the board. We don’t want to make any of those kinds of promises or representations and then just sneak in a “but I didn’t promise you anything” kind of policy into our contracts. So, we have to be cognizant of not making any of those kinds of statements or implying any sort of guaranteed outcome or result, even in our marketing, in our copy on our websites, and stuff we say on social media, anything like that. It can actually trigger some state’s consumer protection and fraud laws, too, so it’s really, really important that we take that pretty seriously.

So, this element of your disclaimer and the disclaimer paragraphs that I sprinkled throughout your legal templates, like any single contract that you get from me, are just one part of what makes a solid disclaimer. So, instead of trying to write any of these yourself, how about you shop my DIY legal templates, download any of my contracts, or even my mini-disclaimer for your content and fill it out in 15 minutes or less. It’s way easier than writing it yourself.

So, each one of my DIY legal templates comes with an editable file of the template itself and a how-to video walkthrough, where I actually show you exactly how to fill it out so you know how to customize it and make it your own. Plus, if you purchase one of the templates that’s included in my signature program, the Ultimate Bundle, you can receive a credit towards upgrading to the bundle when you’re ready for the entire program. So, you can click the link below down in the show notes to shop all of my DIY legal templates or head to samvanderwielen.com/shop.

Thank you so much for joining me this week on Sam’s Sidebar. Check out the show notes below for blog posts and resources I got for you. Full episodes of On Your Terms air every single Monday. And then, my little Q&A sessions are here every single Thursday. If you have a question that you want me to answer on a future episode, please do me a favor and go ahead and click the link below to submit your legal question for an upcoming episode. I would love to answer it.

Thank you so much for listening. I’ll see you next week.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcast. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwilen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.

Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.




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Resources Discussed in This Episode

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  • Kajabi // use Kajabi to sell your course, program, or even build your entire website. Get a 30-day free trial with my link.
  • SamCart // what I use for my checkout pages and payment processing and LOVE. And no, not because it’s my name.
  • ConvertKit // what I use to build my email list, send emails to my list, and create opt-in forms & pages.

DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

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