I remember walking into 10th grade biology class. The smell of formaldehyde and frog innards slammed into my nose. I almost gag just thinking about it now.
Right then I realized – Nope! Medical school is not for me. So I ended up being a lawyer (obviously).
But I was completely wrong thinking I’d never have to dissect another thing again. Luckily, as a lawyer and photographer I haven’t had to dissect any previously living beings, however, I do find myself dissecting in a different manner.
As a business owner you find yourself dissecting and analyzing:
- client responses (or lack of)
- advertising sales copy
- client appreciation card messages
In today’s technologically-filled society, the internet is the primary interaction that your potential clients will have with you and your photography business. On top of being in working order, it is important to ensure that your website is legally compliant, as well as successful.
Here is a quick dissection of the anatomy for you to use as a checklist to make sure you’re running your website the legal, and successful, way!
Your Business Names
Your site should have the business name that you are formally registered as, as well as any Doing Business As names available. As you can see by the image above, I have my DBA as the main logo – this is the name my clients know me by. Then in the footer, I have a reference to the Limited Liability Company name that the State sees on all my official documents (often paired with the DBA as well).
This isn’t a legal requirement but does trigger the need for the following elements discussed below AND will help further your marketing reach to clients and potential inquiries.
Terms ( Terms of Service Policy )
The terms should contain sections such as:
- definition of keywords
- definition of phrases
- the user’s rights to the site
- the user’s responsibilities while using the site
- other applicable provisions as required by law
- other applicable provisions as related to account or payment details
Privacy policies are either within the Terms or a separate page of the site that is a statement putting the user of the site on notice to the privacy policies of the site, especially in regard to the use of the user’s personal information.
This policy should disclose:
- the way information is gathered (ex. opt-ins, cookies, etc.)
- uses of information (ex. contact by site to party)
- disclosure of this data (ex. sold or shared with other sites)
- management of this data.
So now head over to your site, take this as a checklist or a dissection tool on your own website.
Don’t think you have time?
Real quick. Check for it.
Having these on your site (even in the footer) help to lend a professional appearance, inspire client confidence in use of your site and business, and help to prevent any future legal implications that may arise from use of your site.