So you’re thinking about adding a membership program to your online business model?
Great! We’ve helped quite a few businesses make this decision both logically and successfully. Creating a membership site can be a really great way to generate revenue, and who doesn’t want that? Membership programs open up channels of communication that are more direct, that can help to grow and reward your most loyal audience, help build engagement, and have TONS of SEO benefits. How do you get started? Don’t worry, we’ve done this before and can help you determine the best way to make this happen.
First, you’ll need to break down your goal with this membership program. What is your goal? Are you selling a physical product or a downloadable file? Looking to increase followers? Want to reward loyal blog followers with more exclusive content? Want to promote a members only workshop? Create some exclusivity within your audience?
Second,we need to determine which membership style is most appropriate for your business. Let’s take a look at the different types and decide on where to start:
- Free – Easy to build a contact list with but subscribers tend to be flighty
- Single payment – Perfect for allowing access to restricted content
- Ongoing payment – Great for engaging content
- Drip format – (free or paid) ex: 4 week course – content offered one week at a time
Third, describe your membership and what benefits your subscribers will receive. This is essentially your sales page. Describe all the benefits and opportunities that would entice someone to not only sign up for your program, but to look forward to every post.
Fourth, create a welcome/thank you page and let your members know what to expect. This is a great place to get them to engage on all outlets (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and ask them to make sure your important updates aren’t going to be filtered by spam. This page also presents an opportunity for new members to recommend your program to friends. An share button that says, “I just joined ____, and am getting started on my ____ right away! Join me!”
Finally, create content and get it ready for your site. File formats can be a variety of types: text, pdfs, videos, & audio files are all great content types, as long as you’re producing quality content. It’s always great to offer a mix of these formats to help keep your audience engaged. Decide if you would like members to have download access (nice for users, but lacks the control to protect your content). If not, you can simply embed the content on your site and offer login access (keeps your content more protected/restricted).
+5 Tips for Getting the Most out of your Membership Program
Maintenance – Plan your content accordingly. Subscribers are already loyal and you’ll want to show them the same dedication. The best membership programs are reliable, offer quality content and incentives, create and promote conversation.
Reliability – Members expect exclusivity and they’ll expect it regularly. Regular updates that are published/promoted on a regular schedule allow your members to anticipate your next contact.
Quality Content – Our article on why blogging is important touches on a lot of the same key reasons why Content is King. Spend time to ensure that the content, products, and services you’re offering are not only presented well, that they are engaging and touch on topics that your readers believe is worth sharing.
Incentives – These can range from discounts on products or other memberships, to private sessions and invites to special events; all offered as a reward for being a member.
Promote Conversation – Your members will have similar interests and will likely have a lot to discuss. Offer a member’s only forum that promotes discussion. A thriving forum can be a gold-mine for content ideas, networking opportunities, building community, and can even be a fantastic source of revenue when mentions of products, services or other memberships are placed well.
If you find you need help coming up with a strategic plan for creating and implementing your membership program, contact Aaron at Sacred Vision Designs via email or live chat. Aaron and his team leaders will work with you to discover and activate your full membership potential. In the meantime, subscribe to our posts at Sacred Vision Designs here – and get notified with more helpful information gets posted!