The most important part of your membership: getting people to join you and getting it off the ground. Find people that vote with their wallet and then find more people like that. It defines your message, it defines your membership.
This is some of the advice we gave Jill Fox. Jill wants to add to her agency business and work a membership site in. Jill says through her agency, she often gets asked how to market small business, from people that can’t afford a full agency service and need to do it themselves. So, she decided to transition some of her knowledge into a membership site, like ours!
The ‘lowdown’ on Jill Fox:
- Lives in Orange County, CA
- Owner of Fox Social Media
- Working to start membership site based on helping small business owners and solopreneurs learn simple marketing strategies to grow their businesses and increase sales.
What You’ll Learn:
- How to Create Forever Customers (10:50)
- Don’t Hold Yourself Back (13:45)
- Start a Beta Group (18:10)
- Utilize a Launch Strategy (24:50)
- Different Niches Have Different Value Ceilings (26:45)
- The Most Important Part of Your Membership (31:00)
- Don’t Dabble (32:45)
- Members Are Not Going To Pay You Forever (34:45)
- Email Marketing 101 (41:30)
- Get Your Members To Renew (43:30)
How many businesses need social marketing right now? All of them!
There are a couple things about businesses like this when you transition into the membership model. You have to careful with what kind of content you’re including. (Zero in that content in to something that is evergreen). For instance, one problem is the constant changing of the platform you’re using. If facebook changes the way you set up a Facebook page, your content is no longer valid. You have to be very careful how much of that you focus on going forward.
You really want to shift your focus to the tactical stuff, the Q&As, the member calls, those are more real-time and what’s happening now. The membership is not evergreen. The membership is a living, breathing, growing community with a leader. And, that’s you how build a membership site. That’s how you create forever customers. Your content is necessary because that’s what draws them in. It’s nice to say, I’ll help you ____,’ you just have to be mindful of how evergreen your content is. For Jill’s case, she really has to think about this as she continues to build, as she is dealing with social media. Be ready to have a plan in place to update things and be aware of changes.
Don’t hold yourself back! You are more ready than you think. Jill did not feel ready because she didn’t know how to set up a page. The people she knew that had, did not know how to create them completely, or even sometimes just not well. Jill had 18 courses ready to go, but wanted to prepare more before she started her site. Jill was talking to people that want her help, she simply needed to start small and with what she already had! The curse of knowledge in the membership world makes us want to dump everything we’ve ever learned about out field into the memberships, while it’s happening. Your audience does not know your end goal. They don’t know what Jill’s perfect membership looks like. Sometimes, people make the mistake of thinking ‘okay, well I don’t have what in my mind is the perfect model already laid out. Then, people aren’t going to want to join it.’
Start a beta group. Go ahead and reach out to those people who are asking you for your service now, tell them your membership site is ready. You are already the expert, get the beginners in. What you will find is the beginners only need about 10% of what you know for the next 6 months. It is going to take your members about 6 months to a year to catch up to the first step with you. Answer the question for yourself: ‘if all this did for these people was help them _______.’ People will have questions for things you didn’t think of, they will have a need for something you haven’t thought of. You don’t know the exact path that people need to go. If all Jill did for herself was find 20 people to pay $50 per month, she would give herself raise without adding a single person to her agency itself. If she had has 20 people to pay $100 per month, which is a great launch price, she would be making about 30% of what her agency makes.
Utilize a launch strategy. For Jill, we said her’s looks like this:
- Change your branding, get all that set.
- Focus the first month or two on trying to tighten up your message enough for a list. For Jill, the best lead magnet is walking people through how to set up or optimize their business Facebook page. Most people have access to this, most people want to come in at.
- The lead magnet is to a free trial, it is not necessarily to an opt-in. That opt-in would trigger your emails to follow-up.
- Reach out to people organically, reach out to people through YouTube, start building hype for your membership.
- Pick a day and open your site.
- Do a personal reach-out to those beta members. Let them put their money where their mouth is. Discount your launch to that beta group to get a few people in there.
Pricing is a weird thing. Different niches have different value ceilings. For Jill, her people are already business-minded. They understand the value of good information, education, and investing in themselves. In the same breath, these people are beginners and probably don’t have a huge budget. But, you can say ‘hey, this is normally $1K to work with me. But, I’m starting this membership site. And, you get to talk with me twice a month on these Q&As. Normally sitting down with me would be $____. So, this is only $50. You can get in here, learn how to do this. And, you can make it happen.’
Stop thinking about your pricing! You’re not married to it. Just pick one. Look around at the market. See what other people are charging. If people find you, they are probably not going to shop around for your competitors.
Don’t dabble – set big goals. Use what we call Membership Math. Jill wanted to have $100K. However, we talked her into setting her sights on $250K. In Orange County, $100K pays for half her bills. We want her to not only be able to pay for everything with her membership site. We want her to make that full $200K, plus more. Of course, that doesn’t mean we want her to stop there! Membership Math is calculating how many members it will take to afford whatever you want. That’s like for us, if our kids wants $1K paddle boards, we think, ‘oh, hey. That’s 10 members.’ Use your members to buy whatever you want. Jill is still continuing to keep her current business. Her membership site is on top that existing income. Jill only needs 163 members, of all the people on planet earth, to meet her goal.
Members are not going to pay you forever – and that’s okay. Back to where we said Jill only needs 163 people out of all the humans on earth. There is marketing, there is churn. But, that is a very small percentage of people. You will get more members!
Here’s our idea for Jill:
- Start a beta group with 20 people at $50 a month. Learn from them!
- As you’re doing some content marketing on the side of that, you’re building your audience, build that list up again.
- Do another beta round of about 20 people at $50/month.
- Have a goal for the next year to have 163 people at at least $97 per month. That is $250K/year.
Email marketing 101. The first thing you have to do is tell people who you are and what you do. You have to tell them all about you and your background. Indoctrinate them into what you’re doing. The second thing you want to do, at the same time, is deliver what you promised.
In Jill’s case, when her beta members sign up for her trial, they would get 2 emails:
- Telling everyone your story, what you do, why you’re the expert, here’s where they can connect with you.
- The second email gives them delivery on what they asked for. ‘Thanks for signing up for ____, it’s in the community. Click here and log in.’ Then, use what we call ‘wow bonuses.’ Which are unexpected bonuses to really rev people up. This will help to keep them as a member over the next 30 days. Over the next 30 days continue to send them more bonuses, tell them about this training. Or even, reach out to them to ask them more about themselves to get them to reply to you. Give them unexpected bonuses like courses that are not in the community, free 1-on-1 sessions, stuff like that!
The whole goal is to make sure that that bonus turns into an actual consistent paying monthly membership.
Get your members to renew.
The first step is to convince members to try for free. The second step is giving them something to join. Once they join once, then twice and then three times, all of a sudden you become a habit in their life. You become something they look forward to. They will get excited to see a new member call, a new question in the community, a new course, and so on!
Becoming a part of your members’ lives is what keeps them coming back month to month.