This post by David Risley, is part of ‘VBL Guest Post Season 2′.
Membership sites are pretty popular in the internet business arena these days. Passive income, baby!
But, let’s leave the realm of the obvious and move into something practical. Membership sites have been my focus for some time now. I’ve learned some things in the process. The following tips are some which I will pass on to you in the hope of saving you some time.
Shall we get started?
#1 – Have a front-end offer.
One of the hard truths about membership sites is that they can be hard to sell. It is a larger psychological hurdle to surpass because of the recurring billing. This is one that I’ve run right up against.
The solution is to have some kind of front-end offer. Sell something concrete that they’ll get right away when they enroll. Make it clear that they’ll be enrolled in your membership but that they can cancel any time they want.
#2 – Consider having multiple front-end offers.
When you set up your sales funnel, consider having one core membership site which is recurring. Then, you can have multiple front-end offers out there, targeting various aspects of your niche, all with your membership site being an upsell.
So, you could have, say, 5 different products out there. All of them act as bait in the water. Of course, make each of them extremely valuable for your customer. But, all of them will be lead generators for your membership site in the upsell sequence.
#3 – Have an attractive value proposition.
The days of people signing up for membership sites simply for more content are coming to an end. We are all in information overload. In that situation, people aren’t willing to buy more information – at least in the usual form.
So, you must ask yourself: WHY would people enroll in your membership site? What are you going to do differently in there?
#4 – Think hard about implementing member forums.
The truth is that starting up forums from scratch is incredibly difficult. You really have to build up a momentum before it will work consistently for you. For many, forums become a drag. You have to be in there constantly sparking conversation. Unless you do so, it acts as negative social proof and gives your existing members the sense that they’re alone.
So, don’t have member forums unless you have a plan and know you can get people engaged in there.
#5 – Membership sites don’t have to be recurring.
A membership site makes a great way to distribute products. You can really deliver ANY information product via a membership site. Even an ebook could be downloaded from within a membership site… with some value-added bonuses exclusive to that site.
A membership site can be simple.
#6 – Sometimes lower price makes more money.
The amount of money you make depends on how long members stay enrolled. If you can get them to stick around longer with a lower price, often the math works out so that you’re actually making more money by charging them less.
#7 – Use a drip feed.
You can set up a membership site to work just like an email auto responder. Based on the date your member enrolls, they automatically get content distributed to them on a schedule.
The benefit of this is to make the site more passive for you. Create material once, new members consume it when they’re ready for it. This is much better than they getting everything at once (potentially overwhelming) and also have to constantly create new stuff.
I’ll leave you with this…
Membership sites are an awesome business model. If you have a useful offer for the right market, they’re awesome.
The above tips will hopefully save you some time as you move forward.