When you operate your business online, you often become an expert in that area over time.
Have you ever thought of a way to make that business a stable, more evolved source of recurring revenue?
One way to transform your online business into a huge revenue stream is to create a membership site. A membership site is simply a gated part of an online business with access restricted to subscribers (members) only.
Membership Sites Are Different from Online Courses
Unlike online courses that are merely sets of one-off or static curriculums, membership sites contain content that is constantly fresh and evolving with time.
When you have a membership site, your job does not end with creating the site. Rather, you’ll be continuously updating the site by constantly creating new content and adding to it.
To grow your business by means of a membership site, you’ll need to build the site properly from the get go. Normally, this requires that you have the right content on your site that keeps evolving, and organize that content in a way to serve your members well.
It is also important that you sell your premium content in form of subscriptions to generate revenue that you can plough back into your business to scale it. To be able to sell your paid content, you have to restrict access to that content.
By nature, membership site content is always evolving, so you have to be prepared to manage it on an ongoing basis.
To successfully create a membership site, it helps to start by creating enough awareness around the initiative. The idea is to raise interest in what you are planning to offer so that there is sufficient demand by the time you’re launching.
One way through which you can achieve this awareness and create demand for your upcoming offer is to target your existing audience with a teaser campaign to prepare them for what is coming.
You could explore various advertisement channels such as email campaigns or facebook ads. Facebook ads exposes your offer to a wider and a more targeted audience. You can record live videos or post videos and images of your offer.
Ideas for the Teaser
- Identify podcasts and blogs that are popular with your market and, there, put up information about what exactly your membership site will consist of. This will be a good first step to creating and solidifying awareness about your product.
- Seek interview opportunities and explore guest blogs with teasers that update your audiences on where you are in the process of preparing your site’s content. Knowing that you completed some milestone and how closely you are to launching, your audiences will naturally build anticipation for what you’re about to launch. What did you do today? How will members like it when you finally open in the next couple of weeks or so? That kind of thing should make for a good teaser.
What these approaches do is let you tap into other people’s audiences and promote your membership site to them.
Keeping them up to date with frequent details regarding when the membership site will launch, with occasional rarities such as videos or screenshots of certain parts of the platform will go a long way in solidifying anticipation and prepping leads for your sales funnel.
Launch is the time to offer special bonuses to lure leads into your marketing funnel. At this time, it helps to leverage people’s built-in fear of missing out by making your offer time bound so that these targeted audiences can want to hop in before time runs out.
Be sure to emphasize the specific dates when the offer opens and closes and keep reminding people about it as much as possible.
Whatever your offer or special bonus consists of should be upon you to decide. Though, exclusive trainings or one-to-one sessions with you should be top on the list if you have some exclusive expertise.
Pricing Model: Create Multiple Levels of Subscription to Allow for up Selling
With time, your membership will get more and more people joining. However, it’s prudent to find a way to get the most out of each member; make them spend more money with you to drive more revenue.
With membership sites, the strategy is straightforward: create more than one membership level so that you can always encourage those who have joined to upgrade to a higher level for even greater products and/or services.
How you name each level is the other aspect that is upon you to decide. So is the number of levels you could include in your membership site, even though both should depend on your objectives and the nature of business you run.
You shouldn’t have more than three levels in one membership though – 2 to 3 levels should be sufficient.
The idea is to have a way to upsell your premium content to your existing band of customers. Here, you’ll have to put in some effort building interest in your premium content among your existing subscribers, taking care not to oversell as that might be counterproductive.
Whatever the case, increasing the average spend per member requires an effective upsell strategy informed by:
- Clear knowledge of what to upsell,
- An understanding of your target market, and;
- Knowledge of how and when to upsell.
Once you have decided what your premium content is going to be, you’ve answered the critical question regarding what to upsell. Now it’s time to decide when to sell it and how to bring the members to take the action.
Provide the Right Type of Content Based on Your Customer Mix
The type of content you create for your site can include videos, audios, blog posts, downloadable workbooks and cheat sheets, eBooks, live webinars and more.
One strategy that works best is to let your content vary from time to time, making sure that you measure and evaluate as you go so you are always giving your members only what has value to them.
You’ll also want to consider the customer dynamics; the type of people comprising your membership base, what their pain points are and what they most need in their respective businesses or occupations – then give it to them.
While working on your content type, don’t forget the interactive aspect of your membership site; engaging with members from time to time.
Introducing some element of gamification is a fun and refreshing way to engage with your members in a whole new level. Simple gamification methods such as badges or ranks will motivate your members to complete your content.
So long as you have good content and your site is always updated with something new for the subscribers, the community members will pay you for it on a recurring basis.
Few methods can beat online memberships as a strategy for building an online business. As long as you study how people interact with the content on your site, learn from it and improve as you go – you can be certain that a membership site will deliver the revenue stream that you desire and take your business to another level.