When it comes to marketing and making money, size does matter. The size of your newsletter list, Facebook Fan list, Twitter follower list and connections on LinkedIn that is.
The Big Question
I am often asked “Sandra I know you are in favour of creating recurring monthly revenue and membership sites. However I have a small list. Should I create a membership site?”
I reply “Yes and no. Yes you should create a membership site but not a membership site that follows the traditional/publisher model.”
You see the traditional/publisher model promises fresh ongoing content on a monthly basis. The client pays for access to the content each month. The problem is the client never knows what they are paying for ahead of time. This “unknown” drives some people mad and they will instantly cancel their membership or never sign up in the first place.
As the owner of the membership site the stress is on you to create new and fresh content each month that your clients would enjoy and get great value out of it. This may not seem like a problem at the beginning but it will become a problem around the six month mark, trust me, I have been through it myself and I see clients and colleagues go through it too. Unfortunately you end up resenting your membership site and your members 🙁
If you have a small list chances are just a few people will sign up for your membership site. So you can imagine your frustration when you spent your valuable time and money to set up a membership site when only a handful of people enroll and less people show up to your live training sessions.
Instead of following the Traditional/Publisher model consider the Micro Continuity Model or the Self-Study/Modular Course Model.
Micro Continuity Model
A micro continuity site is very similar to a traditional membership site, but unlike the traditional membership sites where there is no set “end date,” micro continuity sites have a set “end date.”
It’s up to you how long you want your micro continuity site to be active. If you are offering a six-month training program you may want to offer a membership based site for six months. Members would be able to access training materials, training schedules, homework assignments, appointment booking calendars, bonus materials, and the list goes on and on.
When the program completes you have the option of closing the micro continuity site or leaving it open so that paid clients can continue to access materials.
Self-Study/Modular Course Model
If an ongoing membership site is not your thing, you can also offer self-study programs by using WishList Member’s “sequential upgrade” feature.
Let’s say you have a three-week course. Each week a new lesson will automatically be sent to anyone who has purchased your self-study program. At the end of the three weeks, you have the option of allowing clients to continue to have access to the materials or you can cancel their access.
What I love about setting up a self-study program like this is that you are giving your clients bits of information over a period of time and not overwhelming them with all of the course information at once. I also love that it does not have a scheduled start date. Anyone can buy access to your self-study program at any time or day, so you can promote it all year long.
Each paid client will gain access to Lesson One on the day they register and will receive Lesson Two the following week, and so on. So while some clients are on Lesson Three, others may be on Lesson Two. It’s the perfect passive offering.
A tool to help you build your membership site
Traditional membership sites, micro continuity sites and self-study modular courses are just a few examples of how WishList Member can enhance your offerings and expand how you are using WordPress.
Believe me, I’ve created numerous membership sites with programs that were unintuitive, expensive, energy suckers. For $97 you can grab this WordPress plugin and create your own membership site with any of the above membership models.
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