You want to play by the rules and stay within your scope of practice — but you’re super confused about what that even is.
You want a business that allows you to help people, but that also doesn’t get you in any trouble.
And most of all, you want to feel confident helping someone, without worrying you’ll do something that’s outside your scope that will land you in hot water.
The problem is that coaches and consultants are kind of left to their own to figure this whole thing out. And with so much misinformation out there about it, it’s really hard to figure out what’s true for you.
Honestly, it gets so confusing and so scary that you’re not really sure what you’re allowed to do. And that keeps you feeling stuck, sometimes.
And stuck businesses aren’t growing businesses — and we can’t have that, now can we? So let’s learn how to figure out what your scope of practice is so you can practice safely online.
Here are the 6-steps you need to take to get your business’s scope of practice legally legit.
Steps To A Legally Legit Scope Of Practice
1.Scope of Practice Definition
But what IS a scope of practice?
Scope of practice laws are state-specific laws that tell you what you can and can’t do, what services you can offer, and how you can work with clients based on your qualifications. It dictates how you can work with clients, what you can teach them, coach them around, or give advice or information on.
Scope of Practice for Nutrition Coaches
First thing’s first – you have to know your scope to be better prepared to talk about it with clients and know who you can and can’t help. You need to know the scope of practice for your area, as well as whatever is a licensed version of what you do.
For example, if you’re a health coach, you need to know what’s considered health care professionals scope of practice in your state, or a physician’s scope of practice, so you make sure you don’t do that. (You can learn more about health coaches’ scope here!)
2. Design Your Services
Now that you know what your scope is, take a look at your services. Do you offer something that clearly falls outside your scope? How could you change your services to comfortably and confidently fit within your scope?
3. Words = Actions
This is the *most* important tip I have. Your words (copy on your site, contracts, web policies, social media posts, emails, etc.) have to match up to your actions in your content distribution and services.
You can’t say “I’m not a doctor/lawyer/financial advisor/etc.” and then do something that only that type of professional can do.
It is NOT enough to have a disclaimer or simply say “I’m not a [something]” but then act like that something.
All that will matter in the end is that you actually did it. The fact that you said, or had written somewhere, you wouldn’t will actually just make it worse. (<—- that’s just misleading!)
Your words must match up to what you do in practice.
4. Website Policies + Web Copy
Your website copy shouldn’t use words/phrases that go beyond your scope. And your services page should make it clear who you are, what you do, and how you help them.
Many of my clients even find it helpful to include a little blurb about who they don’t help, or what they don’t help with.
For example, I usually say something like, “I’m not for those entrepreneurs looking for legal advice or to hire their own lawyer! I offer DIY legal templates + a course, but I will not ever be YOUR attorney ; )”
Your website disclaimer is the policy that will be most important here — it clearly spells out who you are, what you do, who you help, and what you don’t do in fancy, yet protective, legal language.
And yes, your website disclaimer is SO much more than a “medical disclaimer” – it covers you and your business more broadly than just warning people to check with their doctor.
5. Talk It Out
This is the part most people totally skip over! To me, it’s the one that will have the most impact and help you avoid the most trouble.
When marketing yourself and your business online, make sure you’re only talking about things that are within your scope of practice. Advertise and talk about your services in a way that makes in clear what you do and don’t do. That way, you’ll attract clients who want to work with you on what you can do.
When you connect with potential clients (i.e., a discovery call), work your scope of practice into the conversation.
During the part of the call where you explain what you do, state who you are + what you do clearly and plainly.
If the potential client mentions during her call she’s looking for someone to design specific meal plans for her and to review her blood work and offer supplement recommendations, you should work in your scope of practice when the time comes to share your services.
“It seems that you’re interested in having someone design a specific meal plan for you. I’m a health coach and what I do is help women discover eating in a way that makes them feel good in their bodies. Although I don’t design meal plans for my clients, my clients feel that the results they get from our work together is more sustainable because they learn habits that help them eat in a more mindful way, not just what to eat.”
Remember, this is just an example : )
Now that you’ve had the time to connect with your potential client over the phone, or maybe even by email, your contract should summarize your scope of practice and include a disclaimer for your work together.
That way, you have a signed copy of a written agreement stating the client was told who you are + what you do.
In case we don’t know each other already, I’m Sam : ) I’m an attorney-turned-entrepreneur who helps women grow legally legit businesses through my fill-In-the-blank DIY legal templates and the Ultimate Bundle™ program.
Hundreds of women contacted me last year to ask questions about scope of practice.
And it’s not their fault — the stuff you find online isn’t just confusing, it’s usually wrong!
There’s an entire video training inside my Ultimate Bundle™ that teaches you scope of practice rules. You don’t have to search or worry anymore.
I walk you through how to design your services to play it safe, what you can/can’t say on your website, and how to use contracts and web policies to holistically cover your business.
If you’re ready to get legally legit and learn how to protect and grow your business the right way, watch my free on-demand training ‘5 Steps to Legally Protect & Grow Your Online Business”.
In the 1-hour free training I’ll teach you…
- The mindset shift you have to make when it comes to legally protecting your business (HINT: Fear is blocking your revenue, my dear.)
- How registering your business protects you personally
- What your website needs to be legally protected
- How contracts can totally save your (vegan) bacon
- The #1 way to keep copycats from stealing your content (It’s not what you think!)
…plus, I’ll give you real case studies so you can see how my customers have used my training and support to feel confident and protected in their business.
Oh, and you know what’s really different about this workshop?
You choose the schedule.
You’re only 60 minutes away from the peace of mind that comes with having a legally sound business…
Because this knowledge is WAY too important to just host on a one-time livestream and let you miss out if you’ve got a schedule conflict.
So I’m letting you choose the best time for you to attend.
You can choose a time that works for you to join us right here.
Be sure to check your email after you sign up, because that’s where I’ll send the link to the video workshop.