Myth #1: Membership Sites are ONLY For Selling Recurring Subscriptions
This is my pet peeve about membership sites. Membership sites are multi-dimensional. A recurring membership is just one of the many applications of a membership site.
You don't have to sell a subscription program from your membership site. A membership site will allow you to package, sell and deliver different types of content - downloadable files, wordpress pages, posts, videos, audio files, online courses etc.
You can create a membership site that serves just as a lead magnet. And later on, you can scale it and add paid products to the mix. I've built most of my membership sites this way. Instead of waiting until all of my membership content is ready, I launch it with my free offer. This allows me to start building a targeted list of prospects for my paid products. It allows my members to get familiar with the whole membership site experience.
When your paid products are launch ready, you can add them to your membership site in no time. Of course it all needs to be planned out and it cannot be haphazard. You could use your membership site to sell just one-off products and give your members lifetime or fixed term access to the content. You can also use a recurring model where your members are billed every week, every month or every year based on your settings. You can have the billing stop after a fixed number of payments or have it continue as long as they are a member.
I'll talk about the different membership site models in detail, later on in this course, but the point is, your membership site can be the backbone of your entire business, even if you do not sell recurring products.
If you want to run a profitable membership site, the kind that brings in dependable and consistent revenue month after month, then of course you need to add a recurring component to your membership site (fixed-term or ongoing), but you don't have to wait until you're ready to add a recurring membership component to launch a membership site.
A recurring membership program requires a lot of planning and takes time to build. You need to be able to create and deliver content on an ongoing basis and provide more value than what you charge, otherwise you'll have high churn rate. And even if you don't plan on offering a recurring membership from your membership site, it's totally fine, because remember recurring membership is just one application of a membership site.
Myth #2: A Membership site must have a LOT of content
Just because you have 500 videos in your membership site, it does not mean that your membership site is automatically more valuable than say your competitor's site with just 50 videos.
Thing about this for a second...
Have you ever purchased a course because on the sales page it says they have 100 videos on a topic of your interest? Does that influence your decision to buy?
Or is your purchase decision based on what is actually included in the course - the modules, lessons, topics, what each module or lesson will cover and if it will help you achieve the specific results that you are after ?
Quantity really does not matter. I've seen people spend months on building out their content library because they believe that without a ton of content, they won't be able to convince people to buy their product. And if that's where you're stuck, you've a much bigger problem on your hands because you're focusing on the wrong strategy to sell.
On your sales page, you need to show your target audience exactly what specific problem your product or service will help them solve, the specific result they can achieve by implementing what they learn from your training and how accomplishing those results will benefit them.
People won't signup just because there are hundreds of posts or videos in your membership site. No one buys a membership product thinking, "I hope it has a lot of modules and videos".
People don't buy products. They buy a solution to their problem.
Your target audience is on your sales page looking for a solution to the problem they have and as long as your sales copy offers a solution to that problem, your message will resonate with your audience and there's a high chance that they will buy from you.
If you spend months on just content creation, you'll lose focus, momentum and energy to continue on as there's no user engagement and no matter how much content you create, you'll feel like it's not enough.
It's all about setting clear expectations and actually delivering on the promise that you made on your sales page. If you can deliver a solution to the problems that your audience has, with just 10 videos and 10 articles, then that's all you need. You can always build your content library over time based on audience feedback.
In fact with too much content, you'll overwhelm your students, they'll struggle to keep up with your training and that will eventually result in churn.
Instead of highlighting how much content is available in your membership site, highlight how your content will actually help your members reach their end goal. Focus on the benefits and the outcome, not on the features.
If each component of your membership site moves your members closer to their end goal, they will not hesitate to pay.
Myth #2: A Membership site must have a LOT of content
Basic Membership Site Concepts that you need to understand before starting a Membership Site
- A membership site will allow you to create one or more content packages (often referred to as Product or Membership Level).
- Each content package can have one or more pieces of content.
- You can use a variety of content types (video, audio, pages, posts, downloadable files etc) to deliver your message.
- Same content can belong to multiple packages (for e.g. - free, silver, gold and platinum levels can all have the same baseline content, but the higher level packages can have additional content and benefits).
- Content in each package can only be accessed by members that have access to that package.
- You can make your content packages available for free (lead magnet), or you can set up one or more payment options (one-time, payment plan, fixed-term or ongoing recurring etc) to sell each package.
- If you decide to go with a recurring payment model, you can offer both monthly and annual payment options to your customers and let them pick the one that works best for them. You can give access to ALL of your content - current and upcoming, for an ongoing recurring fee.
- You can set up a content release schedule. You can make all the content available upfront or release it per a set schedule (drip). You can decide the release schedule based on the type of content, amount of time it takes to consume it (complexity level) and your audience preference. It also depends on your niche/industry.
- The delivery method can be different for each package - instant, dripped or self-paced.
Later in this course, I'll take you behind-the-scenes of my membership site and show you how to set up products, membership levels, payment models etc so all these concepts will become even more clear to you.