In this blog, I’ll share an in-depth guide on creating a wildly successful Membership Site.
If you create a membership site, it simply means that in order to access some specific content, users will have to make recurring payments. The access will be withdrawn if the user ceases to make the payment or cancels the subscription.
Please note that a membership site can contain both free and paid members. It would be depending upon the structure of your membership site.
Many online entrepreneurs, as well as course creators, come up with their membership sites. However, for the majority of creators, it could appear daunting to launch a successful membership site.
I have got your back!
In the past few months, we at Graphy worked with some of the amazing creators who launched their membership sites with us. They have been rocking it already. Ever since we have launched this feature on our platform, the excitement and adoption rate has been wonderful.
How To Create A Successful Membership Site
The goal of this article is to walk you through the importance of having a membership site. Over & above, help you grow and nurture a hyper-engaged community through it.
What is a membership site
A membership site is your branded online platform where the members get exclusive access to the content. These are usually paid with a limited free trial. These contents are exclusive to just the members and not open to the public.
A membership site could include the following content:
- Online Courses
- Coaching Calls
- Doubt Clearing Sessions
- Blogs & Guides
- Listicles & Infographics
- Recorded & Live Videos
- White papers
- Case Studies
- And more!
Here is how a membership site works:
- New users sign up for free or paid.
- They get their own credentials to login.
- They get exclusive access to the content that remains accessible until their membership expires.
Why building a membership site is important
If you are interested in creating a valuable & thriving community around your brand, you should definitely consider creating a membership site. It’s a wonderful way to define your authority & expertise in your niche. Moreover, if people like you and want to learn from you, it could build loyalty among your fans. In the meantime, you can stay connected with the people as well.
If you want to take your online presence to the next level, this is the way to go for you. It allows you to publish things that you wouldn’t have done on a regular blog/site. It also lets you get paid for your efforts. If you are wondering what all a membership site can be used for, here is it:
- Online Course Modules
- E-books & Case Studies
- Recorded Videos
The most imperative thing to consider while launching an online membership site is that it requires a solid commitment. You should be ready to push out valuable content consistently. Over and above, you must be having a proper channel through which your site members could reach you out without hassle.
How building a membership site helps your online education business
Ever since we have launched the online course creation platform Graphy, we have seen a spike in the membership site adoption. It’s because it helps you retain your learners while providing massive value.
As an instance, you can launch your digital products like courses & keep adding new modules periodically.
Let’s understand how membership sites help you in expanding your business:
Increase User Retention
Creating and then nurturing an online connection is hard. Hence, if you have succeeded in creating that connection once, the membership site would help you in nurturing it. It’s like providing a trusted place where your learners can come back time & again. Giving a common platform to all the learners to interact with is the key to long-term relationships. As it’s natural for regular participants to network, form interpersonal relationships & develop an affinity with each other.
They actually become a tribe!
They share common ideas, share their achievements, help each other when stuck, and stay connected for a common purpose.
It is a highly selective social network with a barrier to entry. Only members would be allowed to form a part of the community. In order to form a common floor for everyone, here are a few things you can do:
- Private Facebook Group
- Telegram Group
- Whatsapp Group
- Graphy’s Course Discussion Forum
Just choose the one which works for you & go for it. Encourage your members to spark a conversation and interact with each other. These are invaluable to the growth of the company. If you keep pushing valuable content periodically, your learners would be inclined towards continuing the membership.
Stabilize Your Income
When you are first beginning as an edupreneur, your priority is to just earn any income from your expertise. The beginning is important. However, once you have established some sort of income, you must focus on converting that revenue into a stable income. When you create a successful membership site, your regular membership fees, you can rely upon a stable income. With time, you would be able to determine the churn rate and the regular retaining of learners.
If you have decided to keep membership free, in that case, you have the opportunity to upsell. This pool of qualified candidates could become your coaching clients, service clients, or even go on to buy your premium offerings. A membership site isn’t a passive income-making opportunity. It requires your full-time dedication and value regularly. Otherwise, your members would either demand a refund or just won’t renew on time.
Stand Out From Your Competition
Membership sites are hard work. It also seems daunting for creators to launch it at the initial level of their journey.
With that being said, if you launch one, you automatically stand out. You have access to many more learners. Their email addresses become insanely valuable. You can launch drip email campaigns to your targeted audience & upsell them in the process.
If you keep giving them value, they will come back to pay for what you sell.
Creating a membership site is a message in itself that you are a level ahead of the competition. In terms of delivering value, committing to it for a longer-term & doing the hard work, having a membership site always makes you stand out.
It might sound like just a little part of your marketing strategy. But, it’s not. It can make a huge difference in the way that your brand is perceived in the market.
Think about it once:
There is a limit to the number of blog posts or emails or social media content your learners can consume. In fact, it’s scattered between various platforms. Hence, having a membership site gives them access to all the content under one particular umbrella.
It demonstrates your authority & adds another layer to your credibility.
Read Here: Best Platform to Sell Courses Online
Boost Your Brand & Credibility
It’s no brainer that launching a successful membership site takes time, hard work & strategy. It has the utmost potential to become one of the most valuable assets of your business. It helps you nurture the community you have attracted.
Having a community or having a tribe helps you in gaining social proof. When you have an influx of new learners while retaining the old learners, people tend to take it as something that’s worth giving a try.
If you want to make it even more massive, you need to allow members to go for a trial run. Show them around. Give them partial access for a few days. Give them a taste of what joining would mean. This would make sure that many people who are signing up for free are converting into paying customers.
What does it take to create a successful membership site?
Your membership site must include a wide variety of content so that it aligns with your membership model. A few types of content are as follows:
- Textual content like blogs or white papers
- Online courses
- Live or recorded webinars
- Online discussion forums for the community
- Templates, case studies & other resources.
Let’s take a look into the different membership models that you can use:
A fixed membership period
In this one, the membership lasts after a certain period of time. For instance, you launch a 90-day digital detox masterclass. Here you ask your learners to give their 90 days & pay monthly for 3 months.
This course could keep unfolding weekly or daily.
Once the 3 months or 90 days period is over, you can still offer them something else like community access to keep them invested into your membership site.
A product membership
This is the one where members keep getting new products as long as they keep paying. These products aren’t in continuation with the next one. These are usually the various parts of a bigger topic. You could give them monthly courses or templates etc.
Offering a service as a membership
Imagine being a paid member to someone whom you admire within your field. During this membership, you are allowed to take one live consultancy weekly & everyday reviews.
Similarly, creators launch services as membership so that your clients could keep you partially to help them achieve their goals without hiring you into doing it for them.
A combination of these models
The truth is that most membership sites offer a combination of these models. Members may pay for a few hours of coaching per month but can also be given exclusive products or online courses.
There’s nothing stopping you from delivering your members a variety of options.
Top Tips To Create & Run Membership Site
Combine Free & Paid Membership Levels
No matter how good you are, there would always be a certain segment of your target audience who would want to try it out for free first.
You can do either of the two things or a combination of these two things to get rolling:
- Launch a free membership option for a lifetime with limited access. Run a paid membership upgrade which has a 100% access to the platform.
- Launch a free trial membership with a validity period of say 7 days, 15 days or a month. Once the trial expires, they can either upgrade or their membership ceases.
Provide Consistent Quality Content
This is a no-brainer. We can never stress enough on it. If people have signed up to be on your tribe, you must provide the best thing that they could ever come across.
Load them with content that would help them in achieving their goals. Give them useful resources which are a combination of multimedia, interactive & downloadable content.
Keep the membership interactive & fun
Value shouldn’t be redundant & boring.
If you are adding just the right amount of fun into it, it becomes even 10X more powerful. We are social beings.
You must entertain them with something that totally blows away their mind & are fun as well! Organize meet-ups, both online & offline. Post some memes related to your niche which is related to your audience. Allow people to interact with each other. Keep the community open. Acknowledge when someone from the tribe makes little achievements.
Launch & Marketing of your membership site
Now that you understand the nitty-gritty & importance of launching a membership site, let’s talk about the real part.
Let’s understand how you can create a successful membership site and market it well so that it sells like a wildfire:
Establish Your Online Presence
If you are yet to be present on every major social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter & Pinterest, this is where you begin.
Once your online presence is complete, develop a content strategy & start publishing tons of content.
Launch Your YouTube Videos
Social media is checked. But, there is no point leaving YouTube hanging. It’s huge. YouTube is the worlds’ second largest search engine. You don’t even have to create separate videos for YouTube initially. You can upload the same video on both IGTV & YouTube. Use SEO-optimized titles & descriptions for your videos.
Repurpose Content On Various Platform
Repurposing is actually one of the superb ways to do more in less time. Imagine creating just one content piece & posting it on various channels. It saves your time while still being active on various platforms.
Run Paid Campaigns
Now that you have active social media accounts, you can begin to set aside a budget and start to run online ad campaigns. These ad campaigns help you reach out to a targeted set of audience and showcase the products you are selling.
When you run social media campaigns, some people will always not choose to take action. Retargeting makes sure that you keep going back to these people with something new so that they sign up eventually.
Show Social Proof
Nothing is as valuable as another human being vouching for what you are selling. Your target audience will believe it if they hear someone else appreciate the work you are doing. Make sure that you have it all recorded and documented that you can go back time and again. A good review is a charm of your landing page.
You have your website in place and active social channels growing, wonderful! Next up, you need to keep repeating these steps till eternity. It’s important to stay consistent with your efforts while trying and testing various things.
Using Graphy to launch your membership site in India
In 2020 we launched the membership site feature on our Graphy platform. We ran a beta test for the first month. The result was amazing. We received some initial positive feedback and finally launched it with some refinements.
Upon the launch, 30 of our creators adopted this feature and launched it with a bang!
You absolutely can’t miss to give it a try.
All you need to do is sign up HERE for FREE!
Graphy (formerly Spayee) Review: Let’s hear it from our customers!