303: Ten Closely Guarded Membership Site Insights (Breakthroughs) to 10X Your Online Income

Here's what Lance Tamashiro and I have to say about membership sites:

This is perfect for you if you've been CONFUSED with all the overwhelm/choices when it comes to creating a COMPLETE and PROFITABLE membership site...

Ever heard anyone say: "just use one of these 10 plugins, one of these 10 themes?" And been left more confused when you started? Yeah, me too...

Membership Site Solution

What helps instead: is, first, have a clear plan of action. Use WordPress to host it on YOUR OWN website. We'll give you the theme (design) and plugins to take payments and do everything else.

We include a special tool inside our Membership Cube course that sets it all up in 1-click:
Your theme, plugins, and "framework" for content so you can edit to make it your own...

Worry about the "fancy" stuff later. It's easier to edit crap than air. Don't let yourself get bogged down with unnecessary choices.

Second, keep things simple. Don't get in your own way creating 2 months or 6 months of content out of the gate. What's the point if no one will see it?

Focus on completing that membership site and creating the BARE MINIMUM so that someone could join TODAY. If that means you only have time for a single web page (sales letter) with a one-time payment button for $50, that's something you'll put in place TODAY (a must-have) and improve on a rainy day if and when you feel like it (a nice-to-have).

Create a way for people to buy access first,
because you don't want to wait until the last minute to do that AND you don't know if you'll feel like it later...

Do It Before Your Time Runs Out

Third (and in keeping with having a clear plan and keeping things simple), do it FAST. Chances are you're the most excited about your membership site NOW and, six months from now, if a "membership site" is a burden that you never setup, you'll never finish. Do it NOW while it's still fresh on your mind...

Fourth, only focus on the things that matter (this is called "80/20"). Drip content, how "pretty" your site looks, are NOT things that could double or triple your income, so focus on the low-hanging fruit instead...

Fifth, sell something that solves a real problem, as opposed to what seems "interesting" to you. This alone is HUGE and most of your competition (most) doesn't get this...

  • what if you sold access to a membership site about how to knit your own cable knit sweaters? Is that an actually a DESPERATE problem people are willing to pay money for? (I doubt it)
  • how about a course on how to flip real estate or lose weight (Yes! People are asking for that, looking for that, and buying that, so you just have to add your own unique spin on it)
  • a course about how to get better grades, how to learn to play the tuba, how to save money couponing, how to quit your day job in 9 years... are people really asking for that AND looking to pay money for it?(Probably not)
  • on the other hand... drone racing, dating, weight loss (some very specific solution or method), stock market trading... people want those things

Have a Purpose (Don't Just Run Out the Clock)

What's great about having a real purpose, keeping it simple, doing it fast, focusing on what matters, and solving a problem: you can get to the money FASTER because you're not letting a bunch of things get in your way... you have course-correction. It's good to make mistakes in this case, because every mistake leads to more money...

Listen, I started with info-products and membership sites by teaching something super nerdy... computer programming... and was it a super sexy topic? Heck no, it wasn't...

I quickly realized that my buyers were made of up two groups: other nerdy programmers like me who wanted to pick up some new skills (who refunded often and didn't pay all that much)... and...

Actual business owners who had websites and wanted to use my plug-ins and templates to make more money with their online business. People who wanted some simple instructions on how to write copy for web pages, create podcasts, and so on...

The point is: put some stuff out there, see how people use it and adjust your business based on what those HIGH DOLLAR buyers use, and want. Not just what you "guess" will sell...

Do people care about how many years you've been in business, how many hours you put into creating videos or even how many hours of videos total? Not really... they care about the RESULTS that you will give them.

Technical Challenges Shouldn't Stop You

Six, and getting into technical terms here but not too much, membership sites are just "on" or "off." If someone buys, they have access. If they refund, they don't have access. If they pay you money on a payment plan (which you can add later), they get access. If they cancel that payment plan, it sends a signal to your membership site to cut off access. On or off. Simple.

(Also not getting technical, but membership sites allow you to have "levels" which means you can sell multiple products from just one site.)

Seven, everything is un-doable on the internet, and even moreso with membership sites. I know someone who has been "thinking" about creating a membership site for the last 6 years, and still doesn't have one, and I know the exact reason!

The reason: he thinks "the cost of members downloading content" will cost too much. He hasn't made progress on his membership site in 6 years because a problem that does not currently exist (no content AND no members). Don't become another statistic. Stop thinking about it, because most things that you think are problems, are NOT problems. (Your web host does not charge you when people download or watch content).

Eight, bring your students (buyers) from point A to point B (this is an "online course" that you'll sell for $100-$500 per person).

How much does a book cost? 99 cents on Kindle? How about an audio book? 9 dollars on Audible? What about a uDemy course? 20 bucks? Why?

Because, a regular "book" only contains chapters. Lists. Tips. That's "cheap"...

Instead, figure out where your course will END, and what people will HAVE at the end. Not what they'll learn or know, but what they'll have setup...

Then, break it down into four milestones. Example:

END GOAL: podcast is setup with episodes, traffic, and guests
Module 1: create and publish your first podcast episode
Module 2: add music, graphics, and more content
Module 3: rank your podcast
Module 4: promote your podcast with pre-selling, sponsors, and affiliate products

Each "module" is 60-90 minutes with an assignment (we call it a challenge) to make sure your people don't get overloaded with tips and possibilities. Instead, they take action.

Bonus: by having a membership site that has a clear end-goal (light at the end of the tunnel) -- and not useless monthly tips that last forever --

Nine, and speaking of taking action, DON'T create the content first. Don't launch with all the bellsand whistles like extra bonuses and training calls, software, and coaching.

Save that for the next time you promote your offer. That's a bonus you can add in. And, you can wait until you get some initial customers and ask a few of them (1-on-1 and privately) if XYZ bonus that you were thinking of adding would be welcomed. That way you're giving your best buyers what they want, again, instead of guessing... so...

  1. Have a clear plan of action (so you know when you've arrived at your goal)
  2. Keep it simple
  3. Do it fast
  4. Focus on what matters (don't spend too much time on upsells or video #20 if no one has joined and watched video #1)
  5. Solve a real problem
  6. Membership sites are just "on" or "off" (they're a member in good standing or they aren't)
  7. Everything is un-doable with membership sites (don't stress out about future technical problems that may or may not happen)
  8. Get your buyers from Point A to Point B (milestones)
  9. Don't create the content first -- make the membership site first, including the buy button

And... the BEST thing I can tell you today to get up and running with your membership sites:

Ten, don't start with a "monthly forever" site right out of the gate.

It makes a lot more sense (to me) to create one solution that solves one problem. Charge one single payment. They pay, they get access. If they stop paying, they lose access.

That's the best bang for your buck right now. You can add payment plans, upsells, and monthly stuff later. What's important right now is that you create a membership site tonight, so you can get it in place, get that first paying member, make money --

Finally get rewarded for your online efforts (as opposed to continually starting new projects, not finishing, and not seeing any real results)...

Create a membership site. Keep it simple. Our Membership Cube course will get you to do that:

Join Membership Cube Now to Get Everything You Need for Your Membership Site
(in One Place)

Filed in: Archive 2: 2017Membership SitesPodcast

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