Here’s a well-known “secret” for you: More people are turning to a membership site business model every day. The profits are lucrative; the hours are flexible; the impact is huge. Yet what happens if you aren’t sure how to pull of a successful membership site launch?
Ah, never fear. Here’s a look at the top six things you need to do to make sure your membership site launch lures the right people in at the right time in the right ways to ensure a profitable recurring income.
A Membership Site Launch … What’s That?
Now that your online membership program is nearly finished, it’s time to start thinking about how to go about launching it.
In many ways, your membership site launch plan, and how you execute it, is the most critical aspect of creating a successful premium online course or membership site. There’s no doubt that your membership site must have content that delivers real value. Yet if you can’t get your site in front of your target audience, then all your hard work will materialize in little more than frustration.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing so much on building their site and designing their marketing portals that they neglect the importance of building up the business to get it launched successfully. Let’s put an end to that… mmkay?
Establish the Ever-Important Element of Preeminence
One of the takeaways from the professionals who have studied this business model for years is that you need to establish your preeminence. Essentially, this means you try to think like a monopoly so that you create a business environment in which customers come to you because you are so good within your specialized niche.
That might mean segmenting an already existing model of disruption in business. Take the time to develop your attack strategy and to figure out what differentiates you among the competition. Your goal in this process is to work toward eliminating competition because you are the best at what you provide to your members/clients.
You should become the trusted go-to source for your niche. You need to establish your value proposition right away. After you have considered all of this carefully, you can begin crafting a winning strategy for your membership site launch and/or unique membership site business model.
The content will come next, but only after you have realized the context from which to start. If you don’t understand or have not fully defined what your value is to customers, then you won’t be able to proceed with the following elements of a successful membership site launch.
Orchestrate a Buzz Around Your Membership Site and Service
People love narratives. It makes sense. We are born, we live a journey, then at some point the journey ends. Our life cycles influence the psychology of our stories. People want to remain hopeful for the future.
Unfortunately, this is how many entrepreneurs and membership site owners fail to seize on opportunities present in the most basic marketing pitches: Look at what we are building and how it will positively impact you, the consumer.
Instead, companies often struggle to understand the consumer perspective. Consumers look for generosity. Context clues. They remember moments that seem directed at them, personally. They like to feel involved, important and appreciated. They also like value. To build a sufficient buzz, use the following guide for your membership site launch campaigns:
- Offers of free training, advice, tutorials, and webinars
- Incrementally produce teaser content or “Behind the Scenes” material
- Create an awareness campaign using press releases, prearranged/agreed-to interviews, endorsements, affiliate marketing, temporary partnerships, social media/street team guerilla marketing, podcast appearances and YouTube channels that are specifically related to your audience, preferably with many followers
- Mix awareness campaigns with content strategy to create useful “sign up” or “learn more” funnels
- Special limited time only launch offers and discounts to create a sense of urgency and scarcity psychology
- Study others to determine very successful ventures using these types of techniques
Determine What Technology to Use
The software, often called courseware, made for creating a great deal of this content will be important to the overall structure of your business. You are creating powerful content that will monetize after you have done the initial steps of creating a buzz for your launch campaign. Because of this, you need robust tools that can create quality user experiences that actually reach and engage with members so they want more.
Getting this part right requires a very solid, stable and supportive system with all the features needed to take your membership site business to the stages of profitability, growth and sustainability.
One such recommended program is Access Ally. It offers a simple-to- use, yet powerful system that includes a handy WordPress plugin for easy web-based integration. It also includes other integrations, made specifically for selling your quality content subscriptions.
Access Ally handles both a major amount of marketing and learning solutions within the platform, so it is built to implement the strategies discussed in this article. For marketing your membership site launch, it will help you create and manage campaigns, coupons, limited offers, upsells, cross-selling, trial offers, abandoned cart reduction, payment processing, custom forms, integrated affiliate program and more.
For teaching, the platform provides unlimited/dripped courses, licensing features, homework submission, provide feedback, drag and drop certifications for users’ course completions, user progress tracking, video bookmarks, completion tracking, advanced quiz types, gamification, automated follow-up triggers based on action, secure file hosting and a great deal more. Sign up or learn more about Access Ally by following this link.
Delivering Quality Content and Building Upon Your Strategy
No one can deny that you need a brilliant membership site business design that is beautiful and user-friendly, yet also provides an engaging user experience. However, anyone would be amiss to let the content creation go to waste.
Each piece of content within your membership site should do something for, or solve a problem for, your members. You need to figure how you will deliver this content and what content will be delivered. It all comes down to this final process to establish an excellent launch for your site.
The first step of this is to create a plan of action with a content strategy and content plan for your course materials and your marketing. Your course materials need to work in tandem with your marketing efforts to be consistent and “speak” to your audience. This engagement strategy will help you to form the basic model of your membership business. Become a leader and resource in your niche by creating, maintaining and adapting quality content that solves problems. This will help to create a community of advocates and cement your position in your niche.
For many of my clients, forming video and audio content comes easy. It’s the written content that is a struggle.
Partner with a trusted company that specializes in helping companies build or fix their membership based sites to overcome this barrier. Use Membership Fix as a resource to help turn around a stuck business or to help a startup with a successful launch. Membership Fix knows and understands this particular business model well and understands the concepts, core strategies, principles and nuances of membership sites. To learn more about what Membership Fix does, what they offer and how they can help stuck companies get unstuck or help startups launch a successful venture with memberships, follow this link.
How to Compel People to Join
Even the leaders of their industry need to grow, and they do so by maintaining discipline in these principles and concepts. Creating a six or seven-figure membership site from scratch is not easy but the market is ripe right now. Learn how to compel people to join your program and why it matters for them.
When preparing for your membership site launch, focus heavily on empathy and honesty. This is what compels your potential members to join – and to stick around.
Learn what their aspirations and goals are and find a way to meet their needs. Give them a taste of what the future might hold for them if they were to take full advantage of the premium tools and services you are offering. Create a profit or return calculation that makes sense and works. Test it. Make sure your content genuinely does what it advertises and does it well. Finally, make sure that your content does so well, it outperforms others’ content. Create that no-competition space.
Combined, these efforts compel people to join. Generous offers to provide a trial period, combined with marketing techniques that give members just the right amount of engagement, ensures that members stay enrolled.
Following these steps will create the demand needed to fulfill your retention strategy outlined below.
Establish a Retention Strategy
If you aren’t retaining members, you aren’t experiencing the full benefits of being a membership site owner. While I go into much more depth about retention here, I want to touch on one point worth reiterating.
Consumption. One of your key jobs as a membership site owner is to encourage members to consume your content. This will motivate them to move closer to their goals, which in turn means greater retention.
Examples of the most successful membership-based companies rely on delivering substance to their audience. They put themselves into the perspective of the customer. This use of empathy helps in a business owner’s baseline methodology.
If you focus solely on the problem a customer is trying to solve, then you will be rewarded with their attention… that is, if you are showing promise and a strong effort. Empathy needs to be coupled with reality. To turn a business around, you need to be very honest in your analysis. Set high standards for your vision to keep working and to better your company and never let go of this ideology. This will help your business to constantly look forward and adapt to disruption.
Following these principles helps you cement a foothold, but it also helps to create a demand. Once you become that established resource for A, B or C, then advocates will follow. A funnel will need to be maintained as does the quality content and customer experience. Reinforcing and improving upon what you do, as laid out in your core mission, will ensure the health of your membership site business over the long term. Get your free membership site launch planning guide today.