There are so many positives about starting and growing a membership site. Some of the benefits I have realized are the recurring revenue, the impact you can make and the freedom to go to the park with my daughter in the middle of the afternoon. But, it doesn’t happen overnight and there are some potential downsides of having a membership site too. I would know because I had to shut down my first membership site in 2014 because it didn’t really work!
So before you hit go and create a membership site, let’s talk about whether it is the right move for you:
How To Know If Starting a Membership Site is Right For You
1. You’ve analyzed your interests, strengths, and passions.
To start a membership site, you have to be passionate about a topic. As my membership site mentor, Stu McLaren, says, you also have to be specific about who you serve and what you want to be known for. When I started membership sites on career development and entrepreneurship, I knew I was passionate and interested about the topic. I had written about the topic on my blog for years as well as was excited about learning more about the topic by interviewing experts and reading books.
So, if you have a topic that you are interested in and you want to learn more about, a membership site could be perfect for you. You also need to make sure that you have identified your strengths as well because you can’t start and grow a membership site alone. You have to know what you are good at because you’ll need to be delegating what you are not good at.
2. You are consistent.
One of the ways that Stu says to know if your market is right for a membership site is if you (or someone else) is already publishing consistent content on the topic. For instance, I knew that there are millions of websites already providing career content online so it would be a good fit for a membership site because people are already searching for the information.
But, you might think if there is so much content out there, why would people pay me to subscribe? Here’s why. There’s so much information out there, it’s overwhelming!! Members in Love Your Career Formula, pay to continue their membership because I provide an action plan every week and tell them exactly what they need to do. They don’t have to search a million places to find out what they should do next. They are paying for me to make their life simpler.
Can you consistently help your market make their life easier?
Note: If you aren’t consistent, you may just want to have an accountability partner or hire someone on your team who can help you stay consistent in publishing content.
You absolutely CANNOT stop being consistent after creating a membership site. You have to always be providing information and getting members excited. It doesn’t have to be difficult though. My membership site mentor, Stu McLaren, has a free video series out this week where he shares how to create an entire year’s worth of content… in a single week. Sign-up now before the free videos go away!
3. You are a little tech savvy and can figure stuff out.
Having a membership site requires you to dig in and uncover how to do things. You don’t have to do them all by yourself but you have to put the time in to understand the tech stuff so you can delegate. If you like to delegate everything, you’ll have to be ready for a bigger investment to get your membership site up and running.
I create all my membership sites. I am not a developer and I am not technical at all. But, I watched the training videos and bought the apps and programs that make it easy to do it yourself. For example, my mentor Stu McLaren created a company called Wishlist Member years ago. Wishlist Member is a WordPress plugin that has powered all of my membership sites and my online courses. It made the average person who is not a Developer like me able to build a membership site.
So don’t be scared if you aren’t technical, just be ready to learn. That’s all that you need to do when starting a membership site.
4. You are willing to work for a long time until you hit your member goals and never give up.
Are you ready to work your butt off and learn from the best? Many people think membership sites are hands off and predictable. When you are starting, this is definitely NOT the case at all. You have to put a ton of work in the first year and you’ll be doing a lot of the stuff because you won’t be able to cover all of your expenses to hire and delegate yet.
For example, you might be creating the content, creating your launch calendar and your Facebook ads as well as emailing members with credit card issues. You might be fielding questions in a facebook group one second and the next second talking to your credit card company about why it won’t accept a payment from Barbados.
You also might need to answer that phone call at 2 am in the morning from a member with a payment issue in New Zealand. (Yes, that really happened).
All the hard work is so worth it when you gain the momentum and start hitting your member goals as well as your retention rates improves. But, it won’t happen overnight and you’ve got to be ready to work.
5. You want more freedom and stability.
When you have a membership site, you impact a lot of people at one time. Depending on the type of membership site you want to have, you can design it around your ideal life and vision. For example, because I had two membership sites going, Stu taught me that one of my membership sites was a need-based membership site. Members came because they had a need that I could fill. They didn’t want to be overwhelmed they just had a need for job search advice and motivation on a weekly basis. So I gave it to them. But you might think how is that more freedom and stability when I am providing something on a weekly basis?
Because…..I automated it. I spent one weekend and recorded 52 audios. That is a YEAR’s worth of content that can be dripped out automatically to members now. I don’t have to be spending my time each week creating content. This is what caused overwhelm and stress for me. You want to get ahead of your members and have content created ahead of time for the year. If you can do this, you’ll have WAY more freedom and stability.
6. You like solving problems.
Who doesn’t like to solve people’s problems? I could literally do this all day. If you get annoyed when people ask you questions, membership sites might not be the best business model for you. Go write a book in your cabin alone. Membership sites are for people who love building a community and helping that community solve problems. This is why it’s such a great business model for someone who wants to impact the world and make a difference. YOU CAN impact the world, leave a legacy and get paid for it.
7. You are willing to learn from someone who is the expert at building membership sites.
As the former co-founder of one of the world’s largest membership platforms, WishList Member, Stu literally had the chance to interact with tens of thousands of membership site owners. Plus, he has real-world experience running my own high 6 and 7-figure memberships.
If you want to build a membership site, you’ll have to learn everything he says about building membership sites. Lucky for you, his free inspiring workshop is out this week and you can watch all three of his free videos NOW! Yes, go sign-up and binge watch now.
Are you considering starting a membership site?
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