Paid membership sites have become hot Internet properties recently, but most people who start them don't succeed with them. A profitable membership site can add new income streams, reach new markets, and create greater profits in your business.
Building an effective and profitable membership site isn't for every speaker, trainer, consultant or thought leader. It works best if you have:
- an established business delivering value to your clients through your face-to-face programs
- resources that deliver on-going value (such as e-books, audio programs and worksheets) or the time to give members access to you (through webinars, group coaching, short consulting sessions, and so on)
- a network of clients, peers who can deliver value to your members, and a database of potential members
Benefits of a Membership Site
A membership site has a number of potential benefits for you:
- Recurring Income: The most obvious benefit is that you create a new income stream.
- Market Once: You only need to convince people once to sign up, and then charge them every month.
- Vehicle for Value: The membership site is a way for you to deliver, share and archive your resources.
- Build Loyalty: You keep delivering value to your members in all your communication.
- Reward Loyalty: Members get access to things that non-members don't.
- Maintain Relationships: You can offer free membership to selected people, as a way to keep and build relationships.
It also has benefits for your members:
- Manage Cash Flow: They know exactly how much they will spend each month.
- Join a Community: Some people join a membership site primarily so they can be part of a community of like-minded people.
- Make One Decision: They don't have to keep making decisions about whether to buy individual products and services.
- Get Increasing Value: The longer somebody is a member, the more value they get, because the network expands and you keep adding resources. So each month their membership dollar goes further.
- On-Demand Learning: Members can dip into the archive whenever they want, rather than waiting until you deliver what they need.
- Save Money: Finally, of course they save money, because you give them discounts, special prices and members-only offers.
Are You Ready?
Broadly, as an expert, you have four potential types of income:
- Active: You get paid for delivering value to your clients – speaking, coaching, consulting, professional services, etc.
- Bundled: You get paid more for your activity, because you bundle in other products and services.
- Recurring: You get paid over and over again for your activity, because clients buy a subscription.
- Passive: You get paid even without any activity.
Each level of income relies on one thing:
- To generate active income, you need to demonstrate value (otherwise, clients won't pay!)
- To generate bundled income, you need products (physical, electronic or even additional services)
- To generate recurring income, you need a network (potential members, joint venture partners, affiliates and staff)
- To generate passive income, you need marketing skills – especially marketing that stands alone without you being there to sell
The fourth level – passive income – can be achieved by itself, but the other three build on each other. A membership site is an example of recurring income.
The Proven Path
Because a membership site is recurring income, you need value, products and a network. It's difficult to succeed unless you have all three.
This is the most common path to success.
Unfortunately, some eGurus launch into a membership site too soon, and discover that they don't have expertise that members value, they don't have enough products and resources to keep the site going, or they don't have a network to promote, support and buy membership.
The eGurus Community
If you're a member of the eGurus Community, there's a section of the eGurus Vault with resources about how to build a successful membership site. Start with the slide deck on that page, which gives you an overview of the process.
If you're not an eGurus member, find out about membership at www.eGurus.info.
Consulting Service: Build Your Membership Site
The Membership Site Consulting Package is a three-month program to help you design, build and grow a membership site for your business. I'll help you plan your strategy, choose the right software, build the membership site, and launch it.
Webinar Recording: Build Your Membership Site
Membership sites have become hot Internet properties in the last few years, and can be a highly profitable source of recurring income for eGurus, but most people who start them don't succeed with them. By learning the right way to build your membership site, you can add new income streams, reach new markets, and create greater profits in your business.
Webinar Recording: Create a Membership Site Using Ning
Ning is one of the most popular on-line services for creating professional membership sites. In this webinar I take you through the process of creating, managing and administering a Ning-based membership site.
E-Book: Join the Club
Despite membership sites being relatively new, you can already find Internet marketing experts selling their expertise on how to create your own membership site. This information is excellent, but not all of it is relevant for infopreneurs. This program is different. Because I've written it with infopreneurs in mind, you'll find that everything is relevant for you.
Video: Plan Your Membership Site
Many business owners want to build a membership site, but don't realise how to get started. In this webinar, I share the three key parts of a membership site, so you can decide which of them you will offer to your members.
- It's The Community, Stupid!
- Members Stay on Board
- Membership Sites: What's In It for You?
- Why Would Somebody Want to Join Your Membership Site?
- Membership Site or Password-Protected Area?
- Don't Get Obsessed With Web Site Traffic
- Get Ready For Your Membership Site
- What To Put In Your Membership Site
- Membership Has Its Benefits