What You Need to Know Before Launching a Membership Site
In June 2018, I first launched Her Way Society, a monthly membership to help women launch their business and make their ultimate leap (aka ditch their 9-5)! People like YOU!
After running it for a year I decided to press pause. If you want to learn more and and hear why I pressed pause, you can tune into this episode here.
Throughout the 12 months of running Her Way Society, I learned a ton about what goes into a membership, how to set it up, email sequence, what to think about when launching one and so much more.
First, what is a membership?
In additional to sharing content, products and services, you can make your information private or “gated” to members only.
Some memberships include additional comments like webinars, private Facebook Groups, Slack channels or offline events.
You can also leverage a free membership to help grow your email list but for this podcast I’ll be diving into paid memberships.
What are the Benefits to Memberships?
It offers up predictable, recurring revenue to business owners
Build a long-term relationships with your audience by publishing content or dripping content more frequently
To the creator and business owner, memberships typically don’e require a long-form content as courses do so there is less of a barrier to get one up and running.
What are the different types of membership models?
Content updates - members pay for access to content that you publish on an ongoing basis - daily, weekly or monthly tips
Content Library - providing access to existing collection of content (like courses)
Group coaching - Instead of doing one-on-ones you can leverage a membership to scale
Path to Result - members join based on the promise of accomplishing an outcome at the end of a pre-determined period.
What to think about when you start one:
Know your #1 goal for your membership
Monthly vs Annual pricing:
Monthly billing offers a lower member commitment and is easier to sell than annual billing, which requires a higher financial commitment (unless you discount steeply).
Annual billing guarantees that you won’t have monthly members leaving each month, while monthly billing gives your members the option to cancel frequently.
Cashflow for monthly - consistently and spread out. Annual, up front injection of cash.
Custom vs pre-determined dashboard (Podia)
content management systems
content projection plugins
web hosting platforms
sales page generators
email management tools
Create and publish membership content
Keep in touch with your members with bulk emails and comments
offer pricing tiers and monthly/annual billing options
connect third-party community tool like a Slake Channel or Facebook groups
Schedule live events like webinars and group coaching sessions.
Your membership checklist:
Really understand what model or type of membership you want to offer and why someone would sign up for it
Consider where the membership model fits into your business
Is it the first thing people would purchase?
Decide your pricing structure - know that you can always move up in pricing easier than to move down in pricing
Create a clear marketing plan - will you have it open at certain times of the year, will it be evergreen. We only opened ours twice since we launched.
Simplify the content updates every month. Instead of doing them live, I would have pre-recorded and batched all of them with experts ahead of time vs live.
Avoid custom dashboard. Before the second time of relaunching, I migrated away from Podia and invested in a custom dashboard. I wish I would never have done that. It was all ego driven from a branding standpoint and thinking that pretty branding would sell the membership. Branding doesn’t sell your product. Selling of the product, sells the program. I also tested out a platform called Muut because some folks didn’t have Facebook in the beginning and I wanted to accommodate them. Challenge Mutt and then Slack, same thing, then Facebook group.
If you want to hear more about why I chose to pause Her Way Society, you can tune into the podcast episode here.