As entrepreneurs ourselves, we know first-hand the importance of making online memberships the core part of your business.
We saw this again with member Nikki Rausch. We have known Nikki for years, and love knowing that long gone are her days of trading her time for dollars. She has had success after success since we met her. Not only is she a master in sales, she has created her own online community.
Nikki built her business brick by brick, and this February had her first $60K month. Most of those sales, from her online membership community that she established. After becoming a Flip Your Life member, Nikki learned how to turn her attention into an audience, just like us.
We helped her take her limited ‘1-on-1’ influence, and turn her into business into a never-ending supply, through creating online memberships.
The ‘lowdown’ on Nikki:
- Started her own business, Sales Maven, in 2013
- Sales Coach, Sales Trainer, Podcaster
- Master-Certified in Neuro-Linguistic programming
- Had her first $60K month in February, most of which from online memberships
What You’ll Learn:
- ‘Succes, success, success’ (3:45)
- Vote with your wallet (5:25)
- Identify your ‘super fans’ (12:20)
- People who pay, pay attention – People who invest, invest back (13:40)
- Your influence is limited with VIP and 1-on-1 clients (17:00)
- Memberships is the core of your business (19:00)
- Attention doesn’t make you money (19:45)
- The true magic of the membership motto (21:00)
- Don’t teach everything you know (31:50)
- Hire a shepherd (44:45)
We want every month to be a $60K+ month and it’s totally possible!
Before joining the Flip Your Life community, Nikki’s approach to business, like many, was static. However, just 2 years into the FYL community, her business is thriving!
Following our advice, after investing just $5,000 into her online memberships, she made that money back in just 2 days. Within 4 days, she made that initial investment back 3x over. Just wait, it gets better. Within 7 to 8 days, Nikki made $47,000 through the FYL lifetime membership model!
Here’s how we helped Nikki take her online business to the next level:
Forget the ‘time for dollars’ mindset.
You can have success after success, and still not meet your full potential. Often times in a traditional business model, ‘1-on-1’ or VIP influence, is limiting at best.
Before Nikki joined the FYL community, this was her approach. Was she crushing it? Yes! Could her business grow more? Yes! But, how?
By making online memberships the core of her business and even selling lifetime memberships, she now has a never-ending supply of people relying on her influence. We call these ‘super-fans.’
You do not need 1M followers to do this, Nikki has around 2,800. But, she has now identified a core group of members that love her knowledge enough to create a sustainable online community and income.
Remember: ‘People who pay, pay attention. People who invest, invest back.’
Turn attention into your audience.
Attention doesn’t make you any money. The goal is to turn attention into audience.
People who pay attention to you regularly: follow you on Facebook, subscribe to your YouTube, that is an audience. Your audience is not going to make you a living. BUT, a member is your family. They have given up something of value, (their money), to get what you offer in return. The idea is to make members out of your audience.
The true magic of the membership model is that you still have to turn that member and the group of members around them into a community. This is where your liveable income comes into play.
Once you have a community, you can sell them anything! They trust that you will deliver value back.
Don’t teach everything you know.
Your content is usually what starts most memberships. Your online business is not about the content, don’t give it all away in your curated content blueprint!
Let people ask questions, let other people in your online community them as well. Collaboratively finding ways to figure solutions to your problems, through experiences.
Do not put as much emphasis on your content, as you do yourself and your online membership community.
The biggest mistake is selling online memberships as ‘payment plans’ for courses. As soon as they get what they want, members will be out.
People come for courses, but stay for online community members.
$60K+ months truly can happen overnight.
But, simply continuing on a traditional business model will not get you there.
It takes think from a membership-based core. The only way to stretch your success and allow it to meet your full potential, is to keep membership and community as your ultimate online business goal.
Hey all, on today’s show we celebrate Nikki’s $60,000 month.
Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts Shane and Jocelyn Sams.
We’re a real family that figured out how to make our entire living online. Now, we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? All right. Let’s get started.
What is going on everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. It is great to be back with you. Again today, I am so excited for our guests today. Actually, when I made this Zoom appointment, I actually put her name in it with about 1,000 exclamation points because I get to talk to this person all the time. She’s one of my favorite people in the entire world. We are going to be celebrating an amazing success story today of her making $60,000 in a single month and a lot of that coming from her membership site.
Nikki Rausch, how you doing, friend?
I am doing so good. Thank you. I’m so excited to be here with both of you.
It’s so good to see you. We’re not just Voxing each other. I hear your voice all the time and I get to see you in person.
Yeah. Before we get started, I want to talk a little bit about how we met because the two of us actually met before you were part of our membership. We met I think it was a couple years ago out in California. Nikki, she was the sweetest thing ever. She came up to me and she was like, “I love your show.” I was like, “Okay, thanks.” Give me your take on that.
Okay. My take on it was before I go to a conference, I always make a list. I call it my Strive Five List of who are the people I’m most want to connect with, get to know, or build some type of relationship. When I heard that you were coming to this conference, I was beside myself, first of all. I know that you are being really kind in the way that you explain that I did it because I pretty much fangirled all over you big time. I still tell the story about it today. I tell people all the time, I just waited for my moment to go up and introduce myself to Jocelyn.
Then when we were riding back on the bus, you had an open seat next to you and I almost walked past you because I felt so shy. But I was like, “I’m going to sit next to her just in case I can talk to her some more. For me, it was such a stretch and also because I had been a listener of your podcast. Jocelyn is really candid about the introverted side of her and she doesn’t really like a lot of that attention.
I was trying to hold back, but at the same time, I wanted her to know, you guys have made such an impression on my life. I always tell people, if you ever seen the picture of me meeting Shane Sams, you would think that I was a four-year-old meeting Santa Claus. That is the glee on my face in this picture. It was the perfect captured moment of here is Nikki and her most extreme joy.
I think that now after getting to know us, that we’re pretty just normal individuals.
Nikki (00:03:12): The best people.
Let’s talk about some big success stories because you’ve had success after success after success. I’ve walked this path with you now for what is it been like, I think November of 2018, is that when you …
Nikki (00:03:29): Yes. It’s been awhile.
… something like that, I don’t know. Whenever we started working one-on-one like a Voxer and stuff, it’s been a long time. But I’ve just watched you crush every single task over and over and over again. But you had an incredible success back in February of this year in 2020. I’m going to turn this over to you. Tell everybody a little bit about you, your background and what you do and the books you write and what you actually teach.
I’m a sales coach and trainer and now podcaster. My background is I have 25 years of sales experience. I also am a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which that’s a new term to anybody listening. It’s essentially the study of communication. When I started my business in 2013, it was really from meeting amazing entrepreneurs that I found were really struggling to make money in their business. Oftentimes, it was because they didn’t understand the sales process. I’ve been selling for so long that when you start doing something for so long, it starts to feel second nature.
I realized, actually, through this process that I do have the ability to teach and break things down into structure. Now that’s what I do is I teach entrepreneurs how to walk people through the sales process. I have a five-step approach to it. I call the Selling Staircase, which was my third book that I just launched this last summer. Yeah. That’s what I do, teach sales.
Historically though, you were doing this a lot of one-on-one or in-person training. That’s how your business was before you got into the community, right?
Totally. My business was one-on-one. Then every once in a while I teach a workshop or teach a course that might be a five-week course. But, yeah, the concept of membership, it really never occurred to me until I started listening to your podcast.
Yeah. You were doing a lot of time for dollars type of work?
Nikki (00:05:23): Yeah.
Yeah. I’m trying to think of the best way to do this because your story is … You have so many cool wins.
Let’s talk about February and then we’ll go back in time. Okay.
All right. The only preface you know is Nikki’s got a membership now. We’re going to talk about that later, but she’s got a membership. February, you had a little catalyst. You had an expense. I might have been a part of this. We were having a conversation and take it from there and tell me what happened.
Okay. Because I’ve coached with you on Voxer, you had sent me something on Voxer that completely blew my mind. I was like, “Shane, this is amazing. People will pay you thousands of dollars to learn this. This should be your high-end offer.” You said, “Will you pay me thousands of dollars if I put on-” I was like, “Yes, I will.” I think you’ve even asked me how much would you pay. I was like, “Well, I’ll pay you $5,000 right now.” Then you’re like, “Would you pay me 10?” I was like, “Well, I have to think about 10, but let me know.”
You got to ask, right? But you got to ask.
Right, which I love. I love that about you. I love this ability. I love sales and I love sales conversations. I actually like to be sold to when it’s done in an authentic way about there’s a care and you understand the need and all of that.
Especially, if we’re being sold something that has massive value. It sounds crazy. When we’re having this conversation, one, I hadn’t even thought of this being a product. Two, nothing existed. Three, when you said 5,000, I was like, “Well, maybe it’s worth 10.” Because I was thinking about the ROI, I was like,
“Well, if you do this, It’s going to make you more than five back,” that’s what we were thinking, which is easy say until you part with the money. Then you’re like, “Oh crap.”
Honestly, the end product where we threw in a bunch of bonuses, it ended up being worth a lot more
than that, I think.
Jocelyn (00:07:13): Way more.
Way more. Anyway, long story short, I whip up a sales pay. I literally got off a monster.
One day, maybe one hour.
I just whipped up a little … an order form and I sent it to you. I said, “If you buy this, if you vote with your wallet, I will sell this. I’ll put 15 other business owners in the room. We will meet in Florida and I will teach this whole thing from beginning to end because I just shown you like one-tenth of a hundredth of the product. You know what I’m saying? The thing that blew your mind. What did you do?
I paid it and then I started to panic because I hadn’t budgeted for this business expense. I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” Then I was like, “Shane, I got to figure out how to earn this money back. I got to do something.”
Well, because you have somebody in your business who looks over your shoulder about stuff like that.
My CFO, I didn’t even tell her that I was spending this money. Then I was, “Oh, my gosh. Now I have to go to my CFO,” because usually I just … it’s not like she decides what I spend money on. But we talk about it. She helps me make better strategic decisions, because I like to be sold. I’m an easy sell if it’s something of massive value. But sometimes she goes like, “Slow your roll sister. You don’t need to spend so much money so fast.”
Do you think she would have told you to slow your roll in that conversation if you had told her first?
She might have made me think a little bit more about it. Although I will say, because we talked about my expense of working with you, it’s come up multiple conversations. I tell her, “Look, Shane and I had one conversation this month and this is how much money it made me.” I’m like, “Even if I only talked to Shane once a month, it always pays for itself.” She’s a fan also now because I talked about …
I would have got away with this one, is what you’re saying?
You probably would’ve got away, because it was you.
What a weird, surreal moment too, because … This is hilarious because I’m like, “Would you buy it?” You’re like, “I’d buy it.” “How much would you give me?” “$5,000.” “Prove it. Here’s an order form.” “Here’s $5,000.” “Shane, how do I make $5,000 back?” We could probably go somehow edit all the … I bet I still have the messages. I could go back and look and maybe I can edit them into a bonus opt-in for this podcast of that conversation. But it was crazy. But we did.
I had actually just written the Membership Masters for the month we were talking. I don’t know. Maybe it was January or February, I don’t remember. But I hadn’t published it yet. It hadn’t been sent, whatever I was working on. But I was like, “Hey, I know exactly how you can make this back. I’ve not mailed it out yet. But I’m going to go ahead and tell you what it is.” Tell everybody what we threw together and what happened.
You talked to me, explained to me how I needed to sell some lifetime memberships. That was how I was going to make my money back. You walked me through the process which is exactly what you teach in the Membership Masters. I just remember going to bed that night, laying in bed in the middle of the night trying to figure out like, “Can I turn this off? Can I just do this?” I’ve never offered lifetime membership ever. I just didn’t really … didn’t know what to do. But you just laying it out the way it’s laid out Membership Masters, that was it.
Within two days, I had my offer out. Within the first … Let’s see. The first two days of the offer being out, I made back my 5,000. I was like, “Ooh. Okay. Made back my $5,000.” Then within, I think, four days I had made … I think I had tripled my investment. Ultimately, within about seven or eight days, I had made $47,000.
That is just pretty incredible.
Man, that’s amazing. When you spend five and you make 47 back within a week …
I would say that’s a good return on investment.
That’s a pretty good ROI. You can’t do that in the stock market right now. Tell you that much. You know
what I mean?
Yeah. My CFO loves you. There’s no doubt about, because she was like, “What?” I was like, “This is
Shane. This is Shane.” This is …
It’s what I do. Yeah. The whole month that month, though, counting all your other members and all of
your sales stuff and everything, you made 60 grand or something, didn’t you?
Yeah. It’s actually more than 60 grand. Best month I’ve had in my business. It was incredible. There were
so many things that, yeah, just following that, following the structure that you give.
Yeah. What’s amazing about it, too, I love … Your perspective is so good for everyone. You’re one of the people I always brag on about like, “Man, this is the attitude that every entrepreneur really needs is, one, taking action, but two, perspective about beyond the money.”
You were saying to me the other day, and this is one reason why you don’t offer a lifetime membership all the time. That’s actually not a great thing to do. Maybe once a quarter, you want to have something like a lifetime offer. Because what you really trying to identify are your super fans, you’re really trying to identify the people in your audience. I want to stress too, Nikki doesn’t have some huge audience or huge list. This is a smaller list.
Yeah. I have a pretty small list. My list is, I think, it’s about 2,800.
Yeah. A list of 2,800 and you make 47,000 in a week. I tell people this all the time, you don’t have to
have 100,000 people.
Yeah. They think they have to have a million people on a list.
No. You have to have enough marketing and structure to identify your fans and your super fans. That’s all you have to do. You only need 100 to 200 of those people to make a really good living. But you said something amazing after all these people came in and you’ve been working with them for a couple months. The lifetime members created this core group of people that you know love your stuff inside and out enough to say I’m in it for life. That’s created an amazing culture in your membership community now, too.
Absolutely. I mean, I could not be more thrilled and I feel blessed every day with the culture and what’s going on inside my membership like these. Especially these core lifetime members, they’re engaged, they support each other in addition to being fans and being so gracious with me and wanting to learn from me. But then also they offer their expertise in the group. I mean, the culture inside my membership is I don’t even think I could have dreamed for it to be as good as it is and I’m just so grateful every day for it.
That goes back to that people who pay, pay attention, and people who invest, invest back. It creates this circle of reciprocity. Memberships are amazing. I know I talk about them all the time everywhere that I go. But it’s that community and that leadership and that mix with content that just creates some kind of magic internet potion that everybody wins from, everyone wins. If you’re in the membership, if you lead the membership, if you’re a part of the membership, everybody wins when you build this community around your business.
Let’s back up just a minute. We’ll come back to this in a minute and talk more about it. But let’s back up to before you launched your membership, okay. You had a business. You’re doing sales. You were doing things like that.
A lot of time for dollars.
A lot of time for dollars, things that were happening.
Nikki (00:14:42): For sure. Yeah.
But what made you … besides us talking about it all the time.
Besides Shane telling you, you have to.
You have to start a membership, because that’s the first words out of my mouth. I’m like, “Hi, I’m Shane Sams, would-
You’re going to start a membership when I finish talking to you.
You’re going to start a membership. Yeah, I got a funny story about that. What made you, one, want to start your membership? Two, when was the moment you realized, “Holy cow, this could become the biggest part of my business and actually support everything else that I want to do?”
Okay. When I realized it was originally because of my private VIP clients. That was how this first inkling of it was because two of my VIP clients had sat me down and had a conversation. They’re like, “Look, we want a continuous way to have access to you, Nikki. We can’t just re-up for VIP over and over again. What would that look like?” I will make moves pretty quickly in my business. If clients say, “This is what I want from you.” If I want to do it, if I can do it, usually I’ll figure out a way to make an offer around it.
I first launched it as a group coaching program and then I put this membership component where is this reoccurring? Really again, that was because I was listening to your guys’ podcast. I remember there’s so many times when I’ve been driving in my car, listening to your podcast, talking back to you guys, and then having to pull over and write out a note for something you said. It was all these ideas that I was getting off the podcast that I started thinking like, “Oh, it doesn’t just have to be coaching. Oh, there can be this curated content component. Oh, there can be these training videos. Oh, it can be this and this.”
That went okay for a while. Then it was after I actually went to the first Flipped Lifestyle Live event. 2018 when I started, I guess, just hearing and meeting all these people that we’re doing. I started thinking like, “This actually could become the core of my business. Not that I don’t still like to work with private clients.” But like Jocelyn said, “At some point, you’re just trading time for dollars and it’s hard to really amplify and build to a certain point.”
With you, especially, because you have such a really strong message and you’re dialed in to the niche
and the avatar that you support, your influence is limited with VIP on one-on-one clients.
Yeah. Because I’m working with Women Entrepreneurs, that’s my target market. They are been in business for at least a year. They have some understanding that there is a sales component to building a business. They need some help with that. Yeah. It was really after the first live event that I was like, “I’m going to really commit to this,” and I had hired you. I’d hired you guys for the Voxer. I was like, “Anytime I pay money for something, I’m in. I’m going to commit. I’m going to figure out a way to make my money back.” That’s just my mentality. I will spend money to make money.
Clearly. I spent five grand, 60 grand back.
Yeah. Then I think just trying to figure it out. What was I going to spend my time on? How is I going to attract the members? Really the other thing about the membership is that it’s a low point of entry. It’s a way for me to help the masses learn how to sell better without having … because sometimes people, doesn’t matter how much they want to hire me. They just don’t have the capacity financially to bring me on to do private coaching with them. This is a way for them to get some access, to learn some skills that is going to grow their business to get them to the place that … then if they want to hire me for private coaching, they’re ready.
I think that it also helps you to identify the people who are your super fans. Then you can ask those people, “Okay, well, what else would you like to see from me?” That gives you an opportunity to then sell them higher ticket products and services.
Yeah. There’s this feedback loop that generates. The membership is the … I love the word that you use there, calling it the core part of your business. That doesn’t mean other things aren’t really important. We have coaching. You know what I’m saying? We have the Membership Masters subscription. But there’s other things that we do. We have the live events. That’s a whole part of our business.
But the membership feeds that, this never ending supply of other ideas and opportunities that just don’t exist when you only have an audience. I’ve actually been thinking about this new way to frame this. Ooh, I’m so glad I get to debut this on Nikki’s podcast. Okay. You can build an audience. You can get attention. Let’s go back one step. You can get attention. You can have a meme go viral on your Facebook page. “Oh, wow, 100,000 people shared that. That’s crazy.” Something happened. But that’s just attention. Attention really doesn’t make you any money. You know what I’m saying?
Nikki (00:20:01): Yeah.
Then you can turn attention into audience. This would be more like people who pay attention to you regularly. They listen to your podcast. They follow you on Facebook. They’re on your YouTube channel. That’s an audience. But still, an audience doesn’t make you much money. Maybe you have an ad or something. But the audience isn’t going to make you a living.
But the second that you turn your audience into a member, that audience is there with you. They’re kind of, “What’s happening over there?” But a member is in. A member is in the club. They’ve walked through the gate and they’re a part of the family.
They’ve cared enough to part with something of value to them, which is money, and to get something of value in return.
You’re right there and your member. There’s one step in between, which is a subscriber. That’s someone who has done something that they want more from you, whether it’s the notification bell, they subscribe to your podcast. They join your email list. That’s the in between. But the real goal is to get someone from an audience to a member. But then what happens is something very spectacular. This is the true magic of the membership model.
You still have to turn that member and the group of members around them into a real community. Oh my goodness, when you have a community, you get to make money. You get to make a living, because your community will go anywhere with you. It’s like you call for a family reunion or a cookout, everybody is showing up with a pot of chicken. You know what I mean? It’s happening.
Jocelyn (00:21:37): A pot of chicken.
A pot of chicken. A bucket of chicken, I’m in. I was trying to think of potluck and a bucket of chicken at
the same time. You know what I’m saying? Potluck, bucket of chicken.
You can’t bring a potluck.
When you turn those members into a community, you have … I can right now, during this podcast, I could send an email and say I have free spots open for my one-on-one coaching and I would sell them. I would send that email only to my members. I know for sure that those spots would fill. It’s not because we have customers. It’s because we have a community. That’s what it’s all about. Your first members, you’re building that. It’s unstable. Some people come, some people go, and it grows.
Everybody is trying to figure things out.
Yeah. You’re trying to figure out, is this the place for me? Am I the right leader for these people? But then, all of a sudden, you feel it around 100 members. You feel this community emerging. Once you have that community, you can sell them anything. That’s fine. Because they know you’re going to give maximum value. When I said, “Nikki, give me $5,000,” and I don’t even know … this is going to look like yet. You’re like, “Let’s go,” because you’re a community member.
The only thing I have is a sales page.
Nikki (00:22:45): Give me $5,000.
Because you know I’m going to deliver value back. You trust me to serve the community. That’s what it’s
all about. Is that what you found inside of your membership?
Yes, 100%. Also, I want to share just a little story if I could which is being at Flipped Lifestyle, the live event, this last year in 2018, on stage, Jocelyn challenged me that I wasn’t allowed to leave the event until I hit 100 members. I did. I hit 100 members at your event because she was like, “Nikki Rausch,” she said up on stage and I was like, “Oh, she just called me out.”
Just called me up, baby.
I’m going to do this. What you just said about, once you get to that 100-member mark, you really start to see some magic happen. That’s been my experience. You’ve talked with me about this a lot where it’s not they’re in the membership and they’re done. That’s the foundation. Those are the bricks. You’re laying the bricks and then now you’re going to build all these other things.
This last year, making offers out to my community has … they fill 90% of my spots for just about everything because they’re in. Then they bring in other people. They’re like, “Look, you need to be learning with Nikki, too. Here’s the stuff that she’s done in my business. Come along.” Then people are more likely, I think, to take a chance if they haven’t been exposed to me. I mean, it’s because of my community that my business has really thrived this last year.
That’s amazing. Well, listen. Now let’s go back to February. All right. How did things? We have quite a few people who have became lifetime members over the years for different reasons. We’ve made it a part of offers before. Your lifetime membership in the Flip Your Life Community. We’ve sold it before, at times.
We gave it to our beta group members just because they believed in us from the beginning.
That’s right. Basically when we launched the community, we just told our beta members, “As long as you log in regularly, you will be a member forever.” It’s crazy. Because I remember last year, at Flip Your Life Live in 2019, I looked out and five of the people in that room were literally people who had bought our first course that we pre-sold …
Jocelyn (00:25:13): Six years ago.
… with an online six years ago. That’s what those core members, those lifetime members really mean. How did the culture of your community shift when all those lifetime members come in? You’re about a month in now with all those people, a month or two of all those lifetime people, but I’ve heard you gush about this lately. How did that really cement the community?
It’s almost like it took the pressure off of them. Actually, I even had a conversation with one of the members and she said, “I was feeling guilty because I’ve been so busy building my own business that I haven’t really engaged. When you made this offer to do lifetime membership, it took the pressure off of me to force myself to engage.” Now she just engages, because there’s no more like, “I’m paying money for this. I need to get some value out of it.” But now when she engages, it’s amazing. She has some great insight or she’ll ask a great question. That has been really powerful, too, of have having this core group of people.
Then again, it’s this other piece of, when somebody posts a question in the group now, oftentimes, they’ll say, “This question is for Nikki and everybody else.” They want my feedback and they want other people’s feedback, which again, is just this … it’s a snowball effect of resources that keep coming out of the community. The lifetime members have just been phenomenal.
What’s amazing is that shift in a community, and we see this the longer your community exists, other leaders rise up in your community. We actually did this at Flip Your Life Live last year. We named table leaders, which you helped us. You know what I mean? We named table, because you become this known person. My favorite thing is when I see members tag those members. Jeanette Stein is a longtime member of the Flip Your Life Community. I see people will tag her. You know what I’m saying? That’s epic.
That’s next level when you see leaders emerge organically in your community. Not from a selfish thing. It’s just a pure reciprocity. They love your membership. They love helping the other members because you’ve done so much for them.
I think that some people at the past years’ event because we didn’t have the type of leaders the year before. I think that some people were more excited to see that they were leaders than they were to see us and they loved it.
Listen. The first year, when we walked in to the flip … We have this at our live events. We’ll have these work sessions. Where everybody is in the room and we’re taking massive action on what we learned that day. The first year, me and Jocelyn, we waited a little while and let everybody got settled. We walked in and we got mobbed. It was almost impossible to get to everybody.
The second year at the live event, I walked in, I was in 10 minutes before anybody even noticed. [crosstalk 00:28:02] Everybody’s just hanging out. I’m like, “Hey everybody.” We got like a security guy that comes with us. I was like, “Man, we could leave. You want to go get coffee?” [crosstalk 00:28:14] But the reason was everyone was so engaged with each other and it was people they had talked to virtually, and they were just like, I can’t … they were so excited to sit with their friends. Then every other table had a table leader. You were talking sales and someone else was talking tech and someone else … and we had talked about it on stage a little bit. Everyone was just so engaged in taking massive action that they were just talking to each other.
We even had a VIP dinner, where was like 25 people in a room. It was so funny. Everybody just talk to each other. It was just epic. Everyone just loved being around the community. That’s when I looked over Jocelyn during that dinner. I go, “Look at this.” Everybody was laughing and having a good time and we were up there just sitting at the top. I was like, “They’re all talking to each other.” I was like, “We’ve created a real community here.”
It’s not because we don’t want to talk to our people. We love talking to you guys. But what the cool thing is, is that we have attracted this group of people who all get along together. That’s when the magic really starts happening in your membership community.
That’s a really good point. I like to ask you this too, because when we were formulating the initial idea for the sales, Maven community or whatever. People discount how important fundamentals are. How important was it that we got the avatar completely right at the beginning, you’re a seasoned business owner. You’re one of the best entrepreneurs that I’ve had the privilege to meet in the online space. But even that, when we were talking about the who is this and getting the avatar right, getting the idea, right, differentiating it from the one-on-one and even the group coaching. How important do you think those fundamentals were then to create the community that you truly have emerging now, a year and a half later?
Well, it wouldn’t have happened. That’s the thing. Without the fundamentals, the community would not be where it is today, because I had dipped my toe in the water before I hired you, and before I even joined the Flipped Lifestyle community to have this membership piece just from listening to the podcast. I think I had 17 members. They weren’t very engaged. But that’s because I didn’t really have all of the foundation pieces that I needed.
It wasn’t until I started putting these foundation pieces in place. It didn’t happen overnight, either. It’s not like I went from 17 members to 150 members. There was a process to that and figuring that out. But that was the brilliance of having somebody who helped me figure out my foundation and what I needed to know.
I do remember discussions when we first started talking about this. I remember me and you having a lot
of discussions about content. You know what I’m saying?
Nikki (00:31:16): Yeah.
That’s usually where most membership conversations start. But it’s so funny how they don’t end there. That’s such a small piece of the actual membership model. Because you’ve written book … How many books have you written?
Nikki (00:31:32): Three.
Gee. It amazes me. I couldn’t even write one, Nikki. You’ve got three. I’m so jealous. But you’re a content
creator. You’re a content machine clearly.
Nikki (00:31:43): I love content.
Yeah. So do I. Man, I love making content.
Yeah. We can create content all day long.
All day. But at some point, when we started out, we realized that it wasn’t about the content. Actually, you don’t want to teach everything you know in your curated content blueprint, because you want to open the community to let it breathe a little bit and let them ask questions and let them … even if it’s the same questions over and over.
Sometimes better stuff comes out of that. We could have told you something one way and somebody in the community might say, “You know what, I’ve done it this way and I think that might work better for you.” That’s the cool thing about a community is that we can all collaboratively. That’s a hard word to say. We can all do that and say, “Okay, well, my experience is this. My experience is this. Because of that, I can formulate a new opinion in my head.”
With all that said, that’s where we all start. That’s where we started. But if you could go back in time and tell yourself or you could tell somebody starting out who’s looking at this and like, “Man, a year and a half from now, I would love to have 150 to 200 members. I’d love to be offering lifetime offers to a small list and make $50,000.” What do you think is something you wish you had done at the very beginning that you wish you had it done faster or you wish who had done sooner, besides offering a lifetime offer to your list?
Yeah. I think one of the things was that realization that you just said that it isn’t so much about the content. I think I put too much emphasis on the content upfront. Really, I’m finding more and more what people want is me or they want access to me and then now in the community, too.
Through you and the things that you’ve encouraged me to do of giving my members opportunities to ask me questions and doing it in a live setting. I wasn’t really doing that stuff before because I thought, “Well, that’s premium. You got to pay to do that,” and hen having these opportunities as a group for them to get together and also it helps build community. Sometimes, I think I wouldn’t have invested as much money as I invested building the content that I built. Because like Jocelyn just said, my content continues to evolve, and even the videos and the content that I put in two and a half years ago, it’s still good content. But it’s better today because I can make changes to it.
I think I would have put less emphasis on the content and more around really focused on building that culture and that community and figuring out that core thing. What was the thing that people really wanted from me and giving that and making that the emphasis?
Yeah. See that’s the thing, is selling a … people try to first start a membership the biggest mistake, this is the number one mistake and everybody out there listening if you have a membership you probably agree with this.
You’ve probably done this.
You’ve probably done it. The biggest mistake is trying to say, “I’ve got a course. I’ll put it in the membership and charge monthly.” That’s not a course. No. That’s not a membership guys. That’s a payment plan for a course. As soon as that payment plan runs out, or as soon as they feel they’ve got their course, they’ve watched it, they’re out. That’s not what people stay for. They come for the courses. But they stay for the people. The people they want most and initially is you because that’s your audience that we’ve turned into members. But the people they stay for are the other people in the community. That’s what it’s all about.
Over time, there will be those superstars in the community. That’s the cool thing about it.
Yeah. How many member calls do you have a month?
Well, typically, I have at least one right now. With everything going on, I’m doing one a week.
Okay. Then how long are those member calls, usually?
They’re usually between 45 minutes and an hour and a half. I mean, I love questions. That’s my jam and I
will stay as long as they ask me questions.
Okay. What Nikki means we’re recording this during the quarantine and social distancing efforts during the COVID-19 crisis?
Nikki (00:36:02): Yeah.
Like us, we’ve done the same thing. We’ve went to once a week. We’re usually twice a month. But here’s what’s crazy. Another question people always say is, “It’s so much work to do a membership.” No. Nikki has one call a month, where she shows up for the people that show up and answer questions. I would guess, just like our member calls, we had, I think, 98 showed up on Tuesday. We had about, I think, it was 13 questions. Not everyone is going to ask a question every time. But we set a limit and we answer as many as we can. We just say, “Hey, if we didn’t get your question, go put it in our community, whether that’s a Facebook group or a forum, and we’ll all chime in.” Everybody does that. Everyone’s always happy.
It’s not like you have to sit for an eight hour marathon session, answer every single question. It’s just the leader is showing up. The community is together. They can continue being together virtually in between those member calls. That’s infinitely scalable. If you go to 1,000 members, which you are going to by the way, that’s where we’re going Nikki. I’m just telling you that.
Nikki (00:37:01): I’m ready.
Let’s do it. As we grow, we get to 200, 500, 1,000, whatever it ends up being, the membership scales infinitely, because you’re still going to show up for the same amount of time. You’re still going to answer the same amount of questions. Those people are still going to pose the questions in the community. Everyone feels like they’re getting access to you. If they want more access, you’ve got somewhere for them to go get that. But they still get all their questions answered. That’s what most people want. They just want someone to listen. Find an answer. Feel like they’re a part of a community. If you do those three things, you will have people that pay month after month, year after year or even on a lifetime deal.
Yeah. Where are we going next? Where are we at right now? What is your goal right now? Is there anything that we can help you with? I’m sure I’m going to talk to you tonight on Voxer anyway. But what is the next step do you think for you and your membership, because you really are at that? Man, the roots are coming out into the dirt now. It’s really starting to take off. What do you think happens next?
Well, for me, I want to double my membership. I want to get it to 300 people. The ultimate goal, I think my big, big goal is 2,000. I was going to add on what you had said is two years ago, I was working, I was trading so much time for dollars, that I was really feeling I could never have a business that was half million dollar or a million dollar business because I just couldn’t work that much. It was too much work.
This last year by really transitioning my focus to my membership, it has allowed me so much more freedom in my life and in my business that I have been able to do some things that start my podcast. Two years ago, I had no capacity to start a podcast. None. Now I’m like, “I could record an episode today. I’ve got some time on my schedule. It’s completely changed the way that I work.
This idea where two years ago, if you had said like, “Nikki, let’s get you 300 members in your membership,” I would be like, “No way. I can’t work that hard.” But like what you just said, it’s not about working more. It’s just providing value and letting these people show up and have the people who have the questions, ask it, and provide value and it’s been helpful.
It’s about finding a way to serve at scale. That’s what memberships are. You’re serving at scale. I can serve one person, and I can serve 10 hours a day and serve 10 people, or I can serve 1,000 people in one hour a day. I can do that. We literally can do that. We don’t have a huge, giant team. We got one person that helps us check the forums. Then me and Jocelyn show up for member calls and then the community.
We have a podcast center.
We have a podcast center. It’s not like we have to have this massive team for an infinitely scalable business. What’s amazing is people get massive results and the ripples can … We can throw one stone, hit hundreds of people, and then their ripple fires out from there. The membership model is less energy and it is less work if you build it correctly.
Then when you do get to the point where you start getting more and more members, then you just scale the leadership. If you’re serving X members, and you get two X members, then you bring on another person to serve X members.
Yeah. It’s a community manager and you just teach them your ways, basically.
Yeah. I love the idea of having a community manager. I mean, I don’t feel like I need one now. But I do like the idea. I guess maybe that would be my question is, what would you say is important to foster and/or help develop that community manager?
For us, that’s actually something that we are working on right now.
We’ve had a community manager in the past. Her name is Kat Jarman and she was amazing.
Jocelyn (00:40:56): She started her own.
Yeah. When you hang around me and Jocelyn a while you just start your own business and it grows. She
created her own business and went and ran it. She became a CEO.
She’s still one of my best friends.
Yeah. Then we have one community manager like now who manages the daily comments.
Just make sure everyone gets the response.
Yeah. What are our three goals for the person who is in the forums every day? That’d be probably a good way to frame it.
First of all, I want it to be someone who is familiar with us, someone who knows our values, and really, really prioritizes that when they’re working with our members. I want to make sure that everyone who post gets a reply. It may not be the hundred percent answer to their question. Maybe that person doesn’t know the answer to their question, but they know that it might be contained in module ABC. They point that person to module ABC. They get some answer every day. I don’t want there ever to be a day where there are posts with no reply.
My perfect world is to have someone to check up on their members. For instance, one person might be responsible for, say, 200 members. Their goal that month would be to contact every single one of those members and ask what they need, if there’s anything we can do for them, that type of thing. Instead of being more of a reactive business where people come with customer service problems, it’s more of a proactive approach to business.
I think that in today’s society, most people are going away from that. They want fewer interactions with their customers or more automated interactions. Instead, I want to have more personalized interactions and actually work with people and talk to them.
Were you just teaching him yesterday to do cards or something? What you all were doing yesterday?
Yeah. You just said teaching to …
Y’all teaching over there? Y’all doing?
Nikki (00:42:53): But yes.
I am redneck authentic to the day I die, baby. I don’t care what it is.
We hire our nephew. His name’s Devin. You guys have probably gotten some videos from him. He’s a college student. We’ve been hiring him just on a part-time basis to fill in some of those needs for us while we’re in between full-time people. But one of the things that he’s going to be doing for us is just purchase a big quantity of cards to send to people during this time, just to ask how they’re doing. Tell them we’re thinking about them. The two of us, me and Devin, Devin and myself, we are going to be hand writing those and sending them out to our members.
If you’re one of our members, you may have already gotten it by now depending on when this airs. But we are going to be sending those out to people.
The goal is to get them to reply back, tell us how you are, are you okay?
We just want more human touch and more human interaction.
Yeah. Stuff like that is so easy to do. It’s really easy to hire out in a community manager. We’re hiring. We’re going to call it a director of retention. We just created a new position. What we did was we took our audience management, which is our public facing the audience, the social people. We combine that with customer service in the community manager. We created this director of retention role. The goal was to be super proactive about going out and extending lifetime value and letting people know, we really care and we want to reach out to you. It’s just can you build the capacity? That’s what a community manager or director of retention really can do.
Also, too, don’t think of your community manager as just someone who goes over and takes care of the community so you don’t have to. That’s not what it’s all about. It’s actually hiring a shepherd for the flock. It’s hiring a leader. We actually consider that role internal marketing. You have to keep selling the value of your membership every month. It’s easy to get them in the month. Now we earn their money every month. Considering a marketing role.
Instead of just welcoming someone into your membership and then being like, “Okay, welcome. It’s been great to have you. I hope that you keep paying for a long time and that I never see you.” That’s what we don’t want. What we do want is people to be … We want to communicate with them. We want to let them know, “Hey, did you know that we have course about this? Here’s the link to it right here. The member of the month is this person. We chose this person as the member of the month because of these reasons.”
We want to constantly remind them that, yes, there are people taking action on these items. There are
people who are being successful. And we want you to be successful too.
Yeah. I would love to see over the next couple years, us, grow the community to 10,000 people. The perfect team to me in the long-term vision for that would be community managers for every 500 people. Those are deacons in the church. The pastor can’t take care everybody. He can’t go to every funeral. There’s too many people if your church gets too big, Those are your deacons. Those are our community managers.
Those are people. They’re paid moderators. They’re watching the community. They’re helping people find courses. They’re ushers, almost, in a building. They’re trying to help people go around.
Most importantly, they help people to feel heard. Their voice actually matters.
Yep. Now before them, the first person you should help with is customer service. That’s the first person everybody needs. How do I get logged in? How do I find this?
How do I pay my credit card?
How do I pay my credit card? You got to take care. That’s the lowest level of the retention team. I don’t mean lowest level like that. That’s the frontline.
Jocelyn (00:46:45): That’s the foundation
That’s the foundation is a good customer service. The next level is good community management like that. That’s the person that’s being proactive, taking care of those people. I think that probably somewhere between 300 and 500 depending on the niche is where that first one really needs to come in. I believe it needs to be the leader up to about 200 to 300 people, so you really understand what you want that person to do.
Once you get there, you start getting some community management. You could probably survive. Yeah, community managers are good up to 1,000. They didn’t take that much time to get doing those things.
You just have to fill it out, depending on what you want to do.
Every niche is different. I talked to someone that they have professional niche. It’s in the medical space. She is legit. We’ve got to have a community manager for every 100 people, period, because it’s so technical what they’re talking about, and you can’t get it wrong. That her community managers are actually nurses, it’s professional. But then you need a director of retention who is strategically thinking about marketing to your members every day so that they get enough value out that they believe it’s worthy to pay the next month.
Just reminding them of all the cool stuff that’s inside the community and incentivizing them to continue coming back.
That team would look like … for just a general, same as 2,000 people, which is your goal.
Nikki (00:48:07): Yeah.
But you might have eventually that, one, you’re going to be making bank revenue. That’s amazing if you get it up to that, because that’s a lot of money. You could use 25% of that money to go hire a great team. You would take that and you would say, “Hey, I got a director of retention. I’m working toward maybe four solid part-time community managers under that person.” Those might be 20-hour a week people and they each take care of 500 people. You’ve got it spelled out. That’s more of a linear. That’s an operator level job. They’re doing what you want them to do.
Jocelyn (00:48:38): Basically checklist.
Checklists and stuff. The retention person is working on emailing members, sending out a little folded paper, newsletter to tell them about all the member calls and maybe highlight a course. They’re really working hard in a marketing capacity.
That’s going to be more of a strategic type job.
Yes. Strategic person. Supporting those two levels is the admin support that would be customer service. That would be you’ve got maybe one or two customer service people behind. I think two customer service people is probably enough for 2,000 person membership. They’re just taking care of … They’re helping the retention manager with extra tasks or helping the community manager with customer service stuff, all that that system goes by.
I think for 2,000 people, that would be exactly what your team would look like is probably two customer service, one community manager per 500, that’s 10 to 20 hours part-time, and then you’ve got a director of retention who manages both the community and all those people. Bam, you’ve got it. That would probably for you. What I know about your community, I think you would just kill it. What do you charged per month right now?
I charge $97 a month right now.
But we’re going to raise that eventually.
I know. I was actually right on the verge of having this conversation with you prior to everything shutting down.
Yeah. We decided price increases would be bad right now.
Probably right now is not the best time.
Yeah. But I would like to get it to maybe $197 a month. I mean, there is huge value. I am in there daily. One of the things I do for my group that people pay me hundreds of dollars to do this a month for them privately. But they’ll go in and post like, “Hey, Nikki, here’s this email that I just got. Here’s what I’m thinking about responding to this person from a sales perspective. Can you offer some edits?” I edit. I go in and go, “Let’s change this. Let’s change that.”
That would be your community manager’s job eventually. You would almost hire from your community and get people you trust who you’ve trained yourself and they would do some of that legwork for you so that you can be more of a vision at the top. You know what I’m saying?
Yeah, $197 is where I’d like to get that.
Let’s say we do a couple price increases over the next year to get it to that point and the average member by the time we get to 2,000 was paying $147, because it’s always going to be tiered. You know what I mean? Because you’re letting some people in and some people in. Let’s say 25% of the people come in at the $197, 25% are at $147, 25 are at $90. You know what I mean? There’s going to be a division there. But let’s say the average member pays $147. We’re going to times that by 2,000. Okay. That would be $294,000 a month. That is totally possible. That sounds insane. But like, “Yo, if it’s only 2,000 people out of 4 billion on the internet and everybody sells stuff. I mean, that’s not crazy numbers. That’s 2,000 people paying you $147 a month. Let’s half that. Just so people can wrap their brain around it. Okay.
That would be $147,000 a month. Okay. Let’s say that your director of retention will say that’s a $48,000 a year plus benefits job. Okay. I’m just going to take $5,000 off of that $147 a month. Minus $5,000. That’s your director of retention. That’s $60,000 a year package. That’s a director level job. Now, let’s say that each of your community managers, what would you pay that? I don’t know. Thirty bucks an hour?
Nikki (00:52:07): Sure.
Sure. Okay. Let’s say that you pay …
We’re just making up numbers.
We’re just making up number.
Nikki (00:52:11): I like it. I like it.
it’s part-time, 30 bucks, 20 hours a week, each of the four. Okay. That’s $600 a month.
Jocelyn (00:52:22): $2,400.
Nikki (00:52:24): Thank you.
What’s $2,400 times four? Hold on.
That’s, I can’t do-
Minus $2,400, minus $2,400, minus $2,400, minus $2,400. All right. There you go. There’s all those people that we’ve paid. We got two full-time customer service people probably at this point. Those are probably whatever the package looks like. It might be three grand a month. You know what I’m saying? Minus 6,000 more dollars. Okay. Now that entire retention team would run, we just took out the salaries. With 1,000 people, you’d still be making $126,000 a month. Profit.
Jocelyn (00:53:06): Not too shabby.
Not too shabby. Times …
Jocelyn (00:53:08): That’s the goal.
… 12, that’d be $1.5 million a year for Nikki. Again, it’s only 1,000 people. This is possible. Netflix has 100 million people. You only need 1,000 to do that. You’ve already got 150 of them, or whatever. You know what I’m saying? Pretty epic. Pretty exciting.
It is super exciting. I can’t wait to see what my community looks like when I have this amazing core group of people and then have 1,000 members or 2,000 members to just … and the biggest thing, too, which I think is what you guys do what you do. It’s definitely why I do what I do is that I help people make money. When people make money, they go out and they contribute in their communities and in their families and that makes everybody’s life better. I love the idea of making that big of an impact in the world.
One of the best things you could do … We’ll start wrapping this up here. One of the best things that you can do is in … we’ve found lately is try out what you wish your team and company looked like and what you wish your membership looked like at 1,000 people. It will motivate every minute of every day to make that come to pass. That’s been motivating us so much lately is what do we want this company to look like from a team perspective? Who are the humans that we want around us? What would we pay them? Then how much money would we need to do that? That’s been really taking us to the next level and our efforts and energy.
Okay. I’m going to do that.
Shane (00:54:44): Awesome.
I’m going to do that.
Well, listen, Nikki, I love you. I’m so glad that you came on here. We’re just so proud of you. I am honored to be a part of your journey. It’s awesome. Feels the same way. Thank you for sharing that because I think this is going to really inspire people of what’s possible. I love that it’s brick by brick. I don’t like stories of people who are like, “I did one thing and five minutes later I made all the money.” Okay. Well, do it again. But you’ve been literally laying the bricks and the foundation this for a year and a half now. It’s starting to really explode. These big bold dreams are starting to emerge from what you’ve created. You are truly, for me, one of the most inspirational people inside of our community. We’re thankful that you shared with everybody today.
Thank you for having me. Thank you to both of you for the impact that you’ve made in my life. Really I’m so grateful.
Yes. We are very grateful for you as well. Thank you for being an awesome member and for taking action every day.
Man, that was a great conversation with Nikki. Nikki is an amazing business owner. She started with a very small list. I mean, very small. It’s grown to a couple thousand people. When we started a year and a half ago, it wasn’t anywhere near that size and she has taken action, done the work, and she’s built a membership that has given her more freedom, it’s given her more money than she’s ever made her entire life. What’s funny is she’s just at the beginning of her journey. It’s going to grow to the next level. She’s going to be able to go out build that freedom and keep flipping her life and just make tons of Can’t Miss Moments that she never would have been able to do working 70 hours a week in her old business.
We’re really grateful for all the Can’t Miss Moments in our life, too, Those are moments that we would not maybe be able to experience if we had not started and built our memberships. I think my favorite Can’t Miss Moment from the last week is just being able to stop whenever we want to and help our kids with their homework. We’re all under quarantine still. We’re under lockdowns. Schools are canceled all across the country and all across the world. Our kids, like many kids are at home doing virtual classes or doing online stuff.
We’ve been able to say, “All right. From 1:00 to 3:00, we’re going to do schoolwork,” or when the kids stop and say, “I don’t understand this question.” We’re able to take our headphones off and walk over and help them for a few minutes. I know a lot of people, I’ve got family members right now that are … even though they’re working at home, they’re required to be online from 10:00 to 3:00 and they got to be there and they got to be paying attention and they can’t do anything else.
I see that we have the freedom in our life to not have to do that. I’m really grateful that we built an
online business that gave us that freedom.
Yeah. We’ve been able to do a lot of unusual things that we might not have done before all of this madness started. My little girl, Anna, she likes to tie-dye. We’ve been going out and tie-dyeing in the yard. We’ve done some virtual basketball lessons. We’ve done some virtual gymnastics training.
Literally, we hired Anna Joe’s coach to do virtual. We set up a computer on one end of the gym … the garage and we blow up this gymnastics mat and then we Zoom and then we have another friend who also pays the coach. Anna Joe and her friend get to do gymnastics together virtually at their houses with their coach. Just to even have the resources to be able to hire somebody right now is just a real blessing.
Hey, you listen to Nikki’s success story today and we would love for you to be our next success story and maybe even feature you on the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. All of our guests come directly from success stories that are posted inside of the Flip Your Life Community.
If you would like a free month inside of the Flip Your Life Community, all you have to do is go to flippedlifestyle.com/free and we will give you 30 days inside of the community. Instant access, full membership, you get to come to every member call next month. You get to watch all of our training courses. Of course, you get access to the Flip Your Life Community forums where you can hang out with hundreds of other family-focused entrepreneurs online, building membership sites together. That’s flippedlifestyle.com/free.
We would love to see you inside. We’d love to see you at the next member call. We would love to help you start a membership that could flip your life and change your family’s future.
All right, guys, before we go, we’ve got a Bible verse for you. Jocelyn, I love to close every episode of the Flipped Lifestyle podcast with a verse from the Bible. Today’s Bible verse comes from Proverbs 21:5. The Bible says, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Don’t go trying out there to get rich quick. It ain’t going to work. Anybody tells you it is, it ain’t going to happen.
Be like Nikki. Nikki came into the community. She made a plan. She walked that step by step. She built her membership brick by brick. Now, it is really taking off and becoming wildly profitable for her. You make your plans. You step by step go through that plan. You build your thing brick by brick and it will eventually change your life.
That’s all the time we have for this week. Until next time. Get out there. Take action. Do whatever it takes to flip your life.
Jocelyn (01:00:22): Bye.
My brother said, “Man, everything’s changing. Everybody is going to Zoom. This is what’s our future is going to be like.” I said, “I’ve been doing this, 2012, bro.” You know what I mean?
Jocelyn (01:00:39): This is our present.
Yeah, right. Yeah. Welcome to the future, son.