I’ve heard it said that membership sites are the “holy grail” of online business.
Imagine having a product where a bunch of people pay you every month. It’s a beautiful thing – right?
But here’s the thing – they can be challenging to build and maintain.
On one hand, you can end up with an awesome community. One that’s getting so much value from your site that they long to send you money over and over and over.
On the other end, you can end up with a bunch of annoying members. You know – the pain in your you know what where you would rather poke out your eye than continue.
In this post, we will explore how to build a membership site in great detail. I’m going to share what I believe to be the best practices so that if you do decide to go all in, you do it right.
I love membership sites for three simple reasons:
Recurring income. With a membership site, members are paying every month (or whatever time interval you choose). There's security in having a recurring revenue model – your income becomes more predictable.
Sounds great, doesn't it? Well – yes. But it doesn't come without significant challenges.
Building a good membership site isn't easy. In fact, it's FAR FROM easy. Think about it:
But don't worry. I'm not going to leave you there. By the end of this massive post, you will be a membership site NINJA. Yes, I said NINJA.
Before I get into how to make your membership site successful, let's deal with the technology. Here are the tools that I recommend for building your membership site:
GetResponse – This is the email marketing service I use and recommend. It also integrates with Amember. When someone purchases a membership, the system adds them to an email list. You can then use GetResponse for your general communications.
Here are some miscellaneous plugins that I recommend for various purposes:
There are a few important questions you have to ask BEFORE building your membership site:
Nobody (besides your mother) will sign up to pay you every month just to support you. There needs to be a compelling reason.
What pain are you solving? What are the benefits for your potential customers? Being clear on this will help you create the right kind of membership site.
Once you understand the value you will be providing, you need to look at the “how”. How will you be providing that value?
Will it do monthly webinars?
Will you do live coaching calls?
Will you drip feed weekly video lessons?
Will you have a Facebook group?
These details are essential to grapple with before building your membership site.
Some of the details will evolve over time, but it's a good idea to think through as much of it as possible beforehand.
Having the right customers is the difference between loving or hating what you do.
You know the saying – “The customer is always right.” Well, that's wrong – especially if you have the wrong customer.
Having a picture of who your ideal customer is, will help you create the right membership site to target that person.
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. Think through what they are trying to do.
What struggles will they encounter in the process. Doing this will help you in the next step.
Once you understand the struggles, you can then create resources to help them.
One of the best ways to find out the answer to the questions listed above is to ask your potential customers.
When I first launched my Coaching Club, I offered it as a series of webinars that were coming in the future.
It was important for me to start with a core set of resources that were available immediately.
The last thing you want is for someone to sign up for membership and then have nothing to do.
Getting members to take action will play a big part in the success of your membership site. It's important to have resources available immediately.
These resources generally fit in one of two categories:
One of the most important factors that affect member satisfaction is the onboarding process.
This is the orientation that happens immediately after sign up. If your new members are confused, they will be unsatisfied. Unsatisfied members cancel their membership.
This process is critical for member retention. Here's what you need to do:
When it comes to building a successful membership site, communication is important.
It helps you to nurture relationships with your members as well as keeps them informed.
Email is a powerful tool for doing this. Here's what I recommend:
The best membership sites have members who are engaged. The question is – how do you engage your members?
The answer is simple:[bctt tweet=”To engage others, you must be both engaging and engaged”]
Here are some simple tips that can help you do just that:
Conducting surveys is a great way to get feedback from your members. This feedback can help you make the right improvements. I do this at two points:
That's it. I hope that you see the power of membership sites. And I hope that you now have a solid action plan for building your membership site.
But I'm sure there are some tips I've missed.
Have you ever built a membership site? If so, what tips would you add to this list?
If not, is this something you plan on doing in the future?
Let's discuss in the comments below.