POV: you have an idea for a digital product or service so you dream up the perfect sales funnel and you start marketing it to the world.
YAY! You’re in business and making money like never before. 🙌🏻💸
That’s awesome and I want that for you, but more than making money online, I want you to KEEP the money that you make online.
In today’s digital world, it’s easier than ever to sell products or services online and seeing others do it might make you eager to do the same.
But before you dive in headfirst, there’s a few critical things you need to do to legally protect your sales funnel so you can keep your profits and have peace of mind that you WON’T be sued.
Because as a business owner, that’s a legitimate nightmare.
Luckily for you, I have the 8 key steps to help you avoid all of that craziness and confidently step into the financial freedom that can come from selling online… WITHOUT risking losing it all.
So, grab your pen and paper – we’re going to law school. 🤓
8 Key Steps to Legally Protecting Your Sales Funnel
- Be Original
If there’s one thing about the online business world, it’s that there are a lot of people who do very similar things.
And that’s totally okay – but you want to make sure that the WAY you do it is original to you.
It can be very easy to be “overly inspired” by someone else’s work and create something similar to them. When you do this, not only do you run the risk of infringing on copyright, but you also decrease your own credibility as a business owner.
If you really want to build a business that generates quality and consistent results AND be seen as trustworthy in the eyes of your audience, be original in all that you do and make sure that your ideas are well… your own.
- Bring the Receipts
Next, you want to make sure that you aren’t over promising in your offer.
When you’re writing your sales page or your sales copy, make sure that you’re not exaggerating what clients can expect.
While it’s tempting to say things like, “make $10k in 10 days” or show other appealing stats to make people buy, you have to be able to back that up.
If you can’t truly promise that EVERYONE who buys the offer can see that result, don’t say it.
Stick to the truth in your messaging to avoid any backlash later. Which leads me to…
- Sell It Like It Is
Make sure it’s 100% clear what your customers are getting when they buy and how they get it.
For example, if you’re selling a course and they receive 6 modules in a self paced portal along with downloadable resources and Slack access for communication with you, make sure that you include all of these things in your sales copy.
Additionally, make sure you tell potential customers HOW they’ll receive access to everything included as well.
This helps you avoid facing customers who thought they were getting one thing and want a refund after they’ve purchased because your offer wasn’t clear.
Avoid that headache by being very straightforward in your messaging and when in doubt always remember: clear > cute.
- Own Your Offer
In addition to being original with your offer creation, you also want to legally OWN it and you can do that through a few different modes.
First, brand your content – not only does this make it easier for your audience to recognize, but it also adds an additional layer of clarity for whose it is.
Next, trademark your name and logo. There are few things worse in business than when you build your business with a certain name and logo just to find out later that the trademark for it is already taken… talk about a real heartbreak. 💔
This happens way more than you might think, which is why I always encourage people to conduct a trademark search BEFORE they ever start marketing with a business name.
When you do this beforehand, you can save yourself so much time, money and sanity!
Lastly, make sure your content is covered by copyright!
If you’re unfamiliar with copyright, put simply, a copyright notice is a statement placed on a piece of work to inform the public that the work is protected by copyright.
It typically includes the copyright symbol (©), the year you first published the piece of work and the year it was last updated, followed by the name of the copyright owner, brand or business.
The main purpose of a copyright notice is to provide notice to others that the work is protected by copyright and to assert the rights of you, the copyright owner.
It’s important to note that the copyright notice doesn’t automatically afford you copyright registration, but including a notice is the FIRST step because it gives people a ❗️WARNING❗️that essentially says, “hey! I’m claiming the rights to this, so if you infringe my stuff, you’re doing it willfully.”
For more on the legalities of copyright, click here!
- Build Trust
Another important key to fully protecting your sales funnel is to verify that your reviews and testimonials are 100% legit!
You never want to make up or falsify any reviews – which includes having friends or family members write reviews for you – because a) they aren’t legit and b) it decreases your credibility.
For your audience to fully trust you, you only want to display testimonials that REAL clients or customers have submitted to you and they’ve given consent to have their words on display.
In addition to falsifying reviews, you also want to make sure you’re never altering testimonials that clients give you. Instead, use their original words and always, always, always make sure you have permission to do so!
- Watch Your Wallet
Remember how I said I’m more concerned with helping you KEEP the money you make? Well, here’s how you do it. 👇🏼
When you’re selling ANYTHING online, always make sure that you enforce your terms and conditions at checkout with active consent from the customer.
If you’re wondering what “active consent” means, it’s simply that little checkbox at checkout that you’ve likely had to check before that says something along the lines of, “I agree to these Terms and Conditions…”
That little checkbox that you might be familiar with is called a “clickwrap” in the legal world and is the exact way that I advise business owners to display their terms.
When you set your terms as a clickwrap (NOT a browsewrap), your agreements are more enforceable if any legal action is ever needed!
Not only does a Terms of Purchase Agreement cover how someone can use the product or service they purchase, but it also should cover policies that are a part of the purchase process, such as refunds, chargebacks or cancellations.
When it comes to implementing Terms of Purchase for your online business, you want to make sure you’re including all of the applicable clauses to fully protect yourself.
Sometimes business owners aren’t sure what to include, so I’ve combined it all for you with THIS template!
- Respect Their Privacy
Most privacy policies are fairly similar and include information such as:
- A detailed list of what personal information is collected
- How that information is collected, used and protected
- What rights the user has to the information they share
If you don’t disclose how you use consumer data like cookies, ad tracking and collecting email addresses, you can subject yourself to some pretty hefty fines – we’re talking up to $7500 per instance! 🤯
- Cover Your Ass(ets)
Lastly, you want to cover your ass(ets) by including a disclaimer and avoid offering any advice that’s outside of your expertise!
By including a disclaimer on your website and in your terms and conditions, you limit your liability for potential harm, damages or adverse consequences that may result from the use of your product or service.
Disclaimers are especially important for those in certain industries, such as law, medical and business coaching where you’re typically advising on very specific topics and your clients expect certain results.
For example, the disclaimer on my website for The Boutique Lawyer very clearly states that any content found on my website is intended for information purposes only and is not legal advice and should not be used as such.
This protects myself and my business in the instance that someone takes my content as advice and experiences legal trouble.
If you want to easily implement a disclaimer for your business, click here to browse the contract shop to find what you need specifically!
How To Sell Without Getting Sued
And there ya have it! 8 simple steps to selling online without getting sued.
When you implement each of these in your business, you can confidently market your offers online and trust that you’ll be able to KEEP the money you make.
If you want more guidance on how to sell without getting sued, grab my guide to access the exact same strategy I use to legally protect mine and my client’s sales funnels!
The best part? This guide breaks down 8 of the biggest legal landmines you could face when selling online, so you know what to look for in your own sales funnels!
Here’s to making more money – and keeping it in your bank account. 👏🏼