The Internet is full of business owners who are having great success with membership sites and online communities. Entrepreneurs just like you are using this profitable connective marketing model to build a stream of passive income that is second to none. And it’s much easier than you think.
We all can agree there is no denying the popularity of membership sites skyrocketed during the pandemic. After all, online communities were the only way humans could gather together in safety. Not only did business become much more casual, but online connection became more of a preference in our newfound way of living.
During this time, many do’s and don’ts were discovered when launching and successfully running an online membership site; lessen the learning curve with these 8 tips. Tips proven to help ensure your online membership is launched and managed correctly, enthusiastically, and profitably.
- Do: Be crystal clear about what you deliver.
- Don’t: Focus on features rather than benefits.
- Do: Start simple, then add more options as you grow.
- Don’t: Try to offer something for everyone.
- Do: Create a community around your membership with your customers.
- Don’t: Make your customers feel left out of the loop.
- Do: Show your prices upfront and make the payment process as easy as possible.
- Don’t: Make it hard for your members to cancel or reach you.
Do: Be crystal clear about what you deliver.
The most successful membership sites are clear about what they deliver to their members. There is no over-promising and under-delivering. Instead, they focus on providing a service and experience people want and need. It’s essential to clearly articulate this value proposition in your marketing materials, sales copy, and other content used to attract new members. Remember, it’s not about you but your ICA and the problem they want to solve.
Be sure to create a strong value proposition. A strong value proposition is essential for any business and is even more important for membership sites. Your members will only stick around if they get something valuable from your site and content. Clearly highlighting the value the buyer will receive will result in higher conversions and better quality members.
Don’t: Focus on features rather than benefits.
I know. There are many exciting features for memberships, so it’s tempting to focus on the features instead of the benefits. However, it would be best if you focused on the benefits of the site instead. Why? Because people don’t care about features regarding monthly or annual payments; they care about how those features will help them solve a problem or achieve a specific goal.
For example, instead of saying that your membership site provides “exclusive access to our latest training videos,” you could say something like, “Join today and gain instant access to our most current, actionable course modules on XYZ.” Do you see how this phrasing is more specific and benefits-driven? Always solve the problem people are on your site looking to solve.
Do: Start simple, then add more options as you grow.
The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your members with too many options on day one. An orientation week should be the first place all new members begin their journey, and this way, you set them up for a successful jump-off point. Start with a few key benefits, how-to videos, and housekeeping items. If you want to add more perks to the site, do so as you gain more experience and learn what your members want most from their membership.
The biggest mistake I see people make when creating their membership site is trying to cram every possible feature in right away. This approach can cause you to lose focus on the most important things and end up wasting time on features that no one cares about. Drip out the content a week at a time to encourage constant engagement and encourage the members to stay motivated.
Don’t: Try to offer something for everyone.
This is a mistake that many people need to correct when they’re creating their memberships and communities. All too often, people come to me with offers that have something for everyone in them, and unfortunately, what actually happens is this model ends up offering nothing to anyone.
People are drawn to products and services built around a specific niche or group of people that interest them, and they are looking to you as the expert in this area and want to hang out around the “water cooler” with like-minded people. When building your membership, focus on the audience you want to attract first and then see what content you need to create for them to find it valuable enough to continue subscribing.
Do: Create a community around your membership with your customers.
Creating a community around your membership with your customers is one of the best ways to generate leads and sales. When people are part of a group or community, they feel like they belong, which makes them more likely to take action. Create an exclusive Facebook group or forum where members can interact with each other and you and share ideas and feedback on topics in your niche.
Don’t: Make your customers feel left out of the loop.
If your customers feel left out of the loop, they’ll be less likely to stay subscribed. Give them exclusive content that only members can access and that’s not available on your blog or website. This way, they know their membership is worth it. Create a private Slack channel, Facebook group, email segment, and SMS group to ensure your members are continuously updated and have several touchpoints to feel connected.
Do: Show your prices upfront and make the payment process as easy as possible.
By showing your prices upfront, you can reduce the chances of losing potential customers because they feel they need to get value for their money. Offer multiple payment options. While some people may prefer to use a credit card, others may want to pay with PayPal or Apple Pay. By offering multiple payment options, you can increase conversions. Plus, making it easy for people to subscribe will also increase conversions.
Don’t: Make it hard for your members to cancel or reach you.
If a member wants to cancel their membership, they should be able to do so quickly. It’s a good idea to have an email address or text number on your website that people can use in case they have any questions or issues. You should also ensure your cancellation policy is clearly stated and easy for customers to find.
Resource: Pivot Your Business Online in 6 Easy Steps – Working from home for the first time can be a challenge. There are countless potential distractions, from your kids to watching YouTube to the dishes in the sink. Without the right tools and procedures, productivity craters, leaving you feeling lazy and unfocused. But when you set up a smart schedule and structure for your day, you can get back on the productivity train and get more done than ever before!
So What Did We Learn:
- Be crystal clear about what you deliver
- Focus on features rather than benefits
- KISS: Keep it Simple
- Niche in. Don’t offer something for everyone
- Build a community for and with your members
- Keep your members engaged and in the loop
- List your pricing clearly and front and center. No one likes hidden fees
- Don’t make it hard for your members to cancel their subscriptions. But do offer options such as delayed billing or 50% off a month to stay, etc.
Bottom Line: Having a membership site can be really fun and bring in a lot of money if you do it well. When done correctly, online membership sites are lucrative and straightforward. But, as you can see from some of the above examples, there are definitely ways to do them wrong. Schedule a call today to avoid these common mistakes and ensure your site is successful.
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