It’s not easy giving “advice” online and no, we are not “required” to do this at all.
I personally would want to have the highest credentials and certifications available to me so that I can intelligently know how to give such advice.
I think in any industry there would be ramifications to giving out advice without proper credentials, however, this is an unregulated industry so I guess you can do whatever you want as long as you bear the burden.
I totally agree with the others. The problem today with the internet is that anyone can go and post or give opinions/advices without having any type of credentials and/or experience. Anyone can say anything to get attention without thinking what that could do to others who don’t have much information about the subject. Also, if you don’t have any credentials and references, I would not take you very seriously. Giving and advise or opinion without being able to back it up or explain it in a way that makes sense, can get you in a lot of trouble (especially legally). There are plenty of “fitness enthusiasts” out there who think they can give advise to others just because they spent hours of working out, watching videos online and reading fitness magazines.
As Karin mentioned, even in this forum there are so many answers that begin with “it depends” and there is a good reason for that. Unless you have enough facts about a client or a case, it’s very difficult to be absolute in your answer. And when someone with not much experience or education is trying to give an advice, you can imagine how skeptical I am.
Hi Cedric. Even though ‘everyone is doing it’ is a reason that others might use when ‘joining the crowd’ I would say that I would use a different saying “if you’re going to do something, do it right.” Get good, competent legal advice before starting this venture – that would be my best advice. It’s little comfort to you if you do something that later makes you libel and you’re sued, to say, “well there are others out there doing this same thing.” Set yourself apart from the others, and give yourself the ability to sleep at night 🙂 by getting the credentials necessary to give competent advice, AND by taking the time and effort to set-up your business in a way that protects you legally, and your potential clients’ health and well-being.
I hope that this helps.