How To Start a Membership Program In Order to Serve Your Market
Here are a few examples of membership programs:
- Carolan’s Monthly Membership program – http://carolandeacon.com/easegracecircle/
- Zen Habits Membership program – http://zenhabits.net/membership-signup/
- Laura Roeder’s Membership program – http://video.lkrsocialmedia.com/social-media-marketing-course
- Group Health and Wellness program – http://www.awakenedwellness.com/online-group-health-coaching
I’ve discovered the biggest questions people have about how to start a membership program are:
- What do I include in it?
- How do I deliver it:
- What do I charge?
While there are no cookie cutter answers for this, I’ll give you some strategies and tips based on my experience with membership programs.
First of all, you can make them as complicated or as simple as you want to. In my 10 years of running an online business, I’ve found that most people complicate things and then fail at the execution; so, let’s keep things simple.
Here are some items you can include in your membership program:
- Written articles or special reports on topics related to your niche’;
- Audio recordings;
- Live Calls;
- Allow Access to all of your Information Products in one place;
- A forum such as a private Facebook group for members only (free to set up!);
- Private Coaching;
- Group Coaching;
- MP3 downloads of music, etc.;
The possibilities are endless! Work with what you have and see what type of package you can come up with.
Although I no longer have this program or website, years ago I created a membership program that was $17 per month (and I offered a 20% discount if they paid for the entire year upfront) for Wellness Practitioners. What they received for their $17 a month was actually a free table at various health and wellness expos that we set up at churches in the area. So we didn’t even have a product or service, just the ability for the members to participate in these health expos without additional fees. I had 20 members sign up pretty quickly when we started out! We also gave them a free listing on the website.
How do I deliver it?
It really depends on what you are giving them from the list above, but here are some options:
- If you have a WordPress website, you can simply set up a password protected page and deliver the content to the members via this page. I’ve used this method before for other programs I have and it worked great. The only drawback is if you don’t want them to see all the content at once. This is a free way to get started quickly. *To learn how to set up a WordPress website for FREE, click here.
- Paid software like Wishlist; although I’ve used Wishlist before, my Virtual Assistant set it up for me, so I can’t say how easy or difficult it is to set up. But I do know if you have a wordpress website, there is a plugin for Wishlist.
- You can also deliver content via Aweber by sending links to the content and then simply uploading the content to your website;
- I use Audio Acrobat to record audio and video and it’s a great program that will allow you to create fast content for your membership program! I use it in my business.
How much should I charge?
I would say it depends what you charge based on what you offer. 3 of the examples I gave above are all under $30; one is priced at $100/month. Obviously, the lower the price point, the less people have to think about it. I think the following price points are good when starting out: $9.97; $17; $27.
Once you set up your content, decide how you are going to deliver it, and choose your price point, you can start signing up members. The best way to get new members of course is through emailing your own list and promoting it via social media (free and paid).
When you learn how to start a membership program, you’ve now learned how to create steady, consistent cash flow! It’s a great online business model and one that you should consider for your business.
In my 6-week online course, “How to Make Your First $1000 Online” we review the different online business models such as starting a membership program.