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What I Learned from Running an Online Membership

business May 29, 2019

Can we chat about membership sites for a hot minute?

They are ALLLL The rave in the online space.

Charge 10 bucks, 30 bucks, or 50 bucks a month to give someone access to a bunch of content that you create, build and distribute somewhere in the online space?

Do the math- if you find 100 people to join your membership site and you charge them 33 bucks a month - that's a passive income stream of $3,000 a month.

Yay Money!

We over here at Badass Business Babe have been running VIP Supported and seeing huge results in our revenue and with our clients who are enrolling in VIP Supported.

While membership sites are super appealing to content creators and educators in the online space, there are a few downfalls, obstacles and things to consider before you create one.

First.....

Things to Identify BEFORE you create a membership site:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • What price do you want to charge?
  • What offers will you give to the customer every single month?

I'll do another post explaining those decisions in more detail and some tips for making the best decisions for your brand, but for now, take some time to consider the options and ideas you have for those three questions. You can also look at our VIP Supported Membership as an effective example of tyles of content you can offer each month to your members.

Once you have a vision for your membership site, there are some things you want to definitely reflect on before you decide to create a membership.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Membership Site: 

1. You will have to create content every single month. Some people hate the idea of needing to create constantly. But for us, VIP Supported is our favorite creative outlet. Personally, creating content and producing information is one of my favorite things to do, so running a membership site was a no brainer for me. I absolutely love the fact that every month I have a beautiful container to channel ideas into impulsively. Before our membership site existed, my team would get so frustrated with me because I was bringing too many ideas to the table too soon and we didn't have enough time to implement them all.

Having a membership portal allows me to run with all of my creative ideas. Inside VIP Supported there are tons of intensive training videos around strategy, like How to Grow Your Email ListHow to grow your Instagram, and how to grow a Facebook group, but there are also deep training videos around inner work, like How to Tap into your Feminine Energy, and Our secret protocol for Manifestation. All of these training videos were created just because I felt a calling to create them! 

If you are the type of person who has a hard time creating content frequently or who likes to be really careful and practices perfectionism when it comes to creating content for your audience, you may run into some struggle producing for your audience regularly. Make sure you do some inner work around that babe! Our program Good Enough, Reprogramming is a great place to learn how to recondition those mindset beliefs.

2. You will have to handle more customer service requests. A lot of coaches in the online space aren't prepared for the amount of work that has to be done around serving the customer in the purchase of their products. As you grow, you will find there is more of a demand for asking basic billing questions. "How do I cancel my plan? How do I change the credit card? Can you take the money out of my account on a different day?" Though we do our best to answer as many questions as possible on our FAQ page, we do have many students reaching out asking things like, "Where do. I find training X," or "What day does that video training get released this month?"

The vision of a membership site is only financially profitable when you have a large group of people enrolled (This is what creates passive revenue.) And the reality of business growth is pretty plain and simple: The more customers you have, the more service you will need to provide. Having 3 clients that charge $1,000 a piece to work with you personally, looks very different than having 100 clients that each pay $30 to work with you.

As you visualize the big picture of your business, hold space for hiring someone to handle your customer service for you. This will free up your energy and keep you off of that emotional rollercoaster that sparks every time a customer isn't happy or wants to cancel their membership. When calculating your financial growth, budget for hiring people to build a business team. Nothing worse than feeling like you have to do it all alone.

3. It will take time to grow a membership site. I see a lot of business women get discouraged when they launch their membership and only a hand full of people enroll. "No one is buying it and it's only 30 bucks," they tell me. Babe, hear me sister: Membership offers are a long game project. They are a marathon, not a sprint. When you are building a membership site, the focus and intention is not an explosion of enrollments overnight. The intention is always on slow and steady growth. Over time, playing a long game can bring you to a beautiful place financially. Breathe and trust the process.

4. You will feel compelled to over deliver, which can cause serious burnout. At the beginning stages of designing our membership site, I was so gung-ho about the vision of providing a million different features. Live coaching calls! Training Videos! Bonus Calls every month! PDF Guides! - With an already packed schedule and little room for any creation in my schedule, I felt the need to over deliver on a small offer. I was setting myself up for failure. It's really important that as the creative visionary YOU feel excited about what you are creating each month. Any feelings of "omg I don't have time" or "this doesn't feel exciting to me it feels daunting" will create a total disconnect in your offer. And when you are not in alignment with your offer, no one buys it.

Today, our VIP Supported monthly membership has the following features:

  • 1 LIVE coaching Call each month
  • 1 Moon Circle Goddess Call each month 
  • 1 Interactive Magazine (that includes tips, strategies, letters and bonus content) 
  • 1 Video Training from Me
  • 1 Video Training from my Team
  • 1 Video Training from a guest expert.

Now you may be thinking, "Wow Lauren, that's a lot for $33 a month, I can't create all of that every single month for my audience."

Here's the truth: You don't have to create all of those things. In those early days when our VIP membership was a baby, I kept things really small. I stuck to one training each month, one live coaching call and that was it. Over time, as our business, budget, and team has grown (along with my personal time freedom) we have been able to pour more into the creative process of the membership.

Stick around for a part two of this series on Membership offers! 

xox

Lauren Eliz Love

 

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