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There are many benefits of creating membership sites. But there’s also a lot of misinformation about them. It’s quite a minefield to manoeuvre.
With all the false hopes and dreams that other gurus and strategists have provided, we feel it’s our duty to set the record straight. After all, we set up membership sites for entrepreneurs just like you every single day. We would rather see you get the return on investment from it based on the truth of what is going to work for you.
Here are 7 of the most common ‘myths’ about creating and running a membership site.
Myth# 1. If you build it, they will come
Merely building your membership site isn’t enough, the work doesn’t end when your membership site is launched – that’s when the real work begins.
First, you need insightful research targeting your ideal client to make sure that your course would work even before you build it. This way, you won’t be wasting time building something only to launch to crickets.
Then you actually have to sell it – yes, that dreaded word many try to avoid: Selling!
Truth be told, building it first is NOT the way to go. Read on to find out what we recommend. We even step you through our framework used by over 6500+ entrepreneurs to accelerate the launch of your membership site.
Myth# 2. Everyone needs to build a membership site
The truth is, it is not for everyone or all types of businesses.
Creating and maintaining a membership site requires time, knowledge and skill. Most business owners aren’t willing to invest the time into it. They are mostly focused on delivering the content.
And don’t forget customer service – that’s a whole other ball game.
Myth# 3. Membership sites are passive income
A membership site can be a great business to run because you can use evergreen content and keep it running month after month.
However, please do not believe that it means you do zero work.
There’s no avoiding it: membership sites are still ‘work’.
Work means selling, maintaining, providing support, creating new content as required to name a few. You have to be realistic about what’s involved.
Myth# 4. You need to have all your content ready
How you create your content will depend on your niche and targeted audience.
The tendency when planning and creating your membership site is to want to create all of the content you’ll be offering to your members in advance.
It’s great to be able to plan. But it’s not about getting it perfect or completing it.
In fact what if after all the hard work of creating the membership site, no one buys?
What a waste, right?
Launching your first membership site can be intimidating. Why not find out for sure whether it’s something people will buy. And I don’t mean just putting out a survey – I mean get them to buy the course before you create it.
Wait. Hear me out.
You’re not selling something you don’t have. I know you – you’re smart, capable and have years upon years of knowledge and career capital. That’s what you’re selling.
We can turn that into a product / program / course / membership site in no time.
I get it – pre-selling when we don’t actually have anything yet can be even more daunting than the thought of launching. What better incentive though to create the membership site when you have 5-6 clients already paid up for it, chomping at the bit for your course?
To help you plan, here’s our simple 5-step process to make sales before creating a shred of content.
It’s also entirely feasible to create your membership site or course from the first run – Provide live content the first time. Record it and upload to the membership site for future participants in the program.
Myth# 5. Go big or go home
While all the razzle dazzle of a big launch is exciting, don’t let that dictate anything but your commitment and effort.
It’s much better to validate what your market needs first – and it may require you to start small – listening to, speaking to and selling to customers 1-on-1 initially.
Selling is the best way to learn what you need to know to sell your membership site.
Focus on this rather than the size of your initial launch.
Do remember that launching anything isn’t going to be perfect the first time round. Businesses are built on consistency of sales – not an initial big bang that cannot be sustained in the long term.
Myth# 6: Focus on generating new leads and customers
Far too often people spend a lot of time worrying about getting people in through the door. That may be appropriate if you’re starting out – so absolutely focus on marketing and sales when starting your membership site – but also keep your eye on the whole customer journey.
If your membership site is subscription-based meaning your customers pay month on month, then it’s probably wise to focus on giving them a stellar experience every single month so that they continue to pay. Think of ways to keep them looking forward to the next module, the next month, e.g. give them a preview of coming attractions; keep them engaging and winning; give them incentives for sticking around.
Even if your membership is a once-off payment for a course or program, wouldn’t you want to ensure that they stay engaged consuming the material?
Focusing on what is going to grow your business is something even more prevalent to membership sites. Selling a product that is all flash and no substance obviously isn’t going to be profitable long term.
Myth# 7. Membership sites are difficult to set up
We’re not going to pretend that setting up your membership site is a walk in the park, but it can be a lot easier than most people think, especially if your requirements are pretty straightforward.
Take for example Perfect Fit’s Online Action Pass – a weekly subscription to their online training portal.
The idea for this site was conceived Tuesday evening before the Covid-19 restrictions were brought in. By Friday we were transferring existing clients over to their new membership site for online training delivered daily. On Sunday it was announced that all gyms and studios were to close. Not a moment too soon.
It’s not difficult.
Frankly, uploading the videos took 10x longer (thanks to Australia’s snail’s pace internet).
One of our pet peeves as technicians building membership sites is to hear that such-and-such is the best membership software or plugin.
Experts, gurus or business strategists seem to be more than happy to spread this advice because it’s working for them or there are referral incentives.
The reality is…
Having a strategy is not the same as actually implementing the strategy.
We’ve used plenty of membership plugins, worked with 3rd party membership sites and each one has its own pros and cons. The important thing is to work out what’s going to work for you and your business.
Here’s a small sample of what we do…
Still looking to get a membership site up and running? If you’re in a bit of a hurry, get a head start with this membership site template. Simply click through and add this to your ClickFunnels account. If you don’t have one you can create a trial account to test out your new membership site completely free for 14 days).
We can even help you customise the site with your branding and content.
However, it’s important you contact us to discuss what you need and to see whether this template is going to work for you. There could be alternatives that may work better for you.