Taking The Confusions of Building an Online Business
And Making It Simpler

Forget This One Thing, And Your Membership Site Will Fail

We know that recurring income is a great idea. And we know that membership sites are a great way to do it.

But, this leads into the next natural step here: Determining what exactly to do inside your membership site.

After talking with a lot of people via email, via consulting calls, via Academy mastermind calls… I see that membership sites are on people’s minds. But, the “why” for it usually goes something like this…

I want to build a recurring income stream, so I’ll just build a membership site. And I’ll just put some stuff into it. You know, videos and things. And, I’ll charge X per month for it. And….

Whoah whoah whoah, cowboy!

Don’t jump ahead of yourself here. Because, here’s the problem…

You’re concentrating so much on the FORM of the thing – driven just by the fact that you want the money – that you’re forgetting about the real VALUE for your potential member.

In my post about the final valuable product for a business, I talk about identifying the REAL outcome you’re delivering for others. This is the real product.

Your membership site isn’t the product.
That’s just the delivery vehicle. (click to tweet)

So, the question you need to be asking about any membership site you plan to create is…

What value am I going to deliver? And why will my subscriber WANT to continue paying for this, each and every month?

When you don’t have a good answer to this question, what you end up doing is one of the following:

  • Building it and nobody signs up.
  • Building it and then low-balling the price point in an effort to win them over.

And, we don’t want either one of these, do we?

Now, speaking about the value you’re going to deliver…

It needs to go beyond merely information, in most cases. The Internet is getting to a point where people can find information on pretty much anything – for free. So, making the case that they need to pay YOU for it is just getting harder and harder.

One must think deeper. Think beyond the information… to the REAL value.

I submit to you that, in most cases, the value comes in:

  • Providing a simple structure, easy to follow, separate from the noise of the open Internet.
  • Access to solutions and answers, usually in the form of being able to contact you or interact in some way.

We’re not going to get super deep into this today, but the main point right now is this…

NEVER forget the real value proposition of your monthly offer. You need to be providing your members with more value each month than what they’re paying you for.

And, really think about this for YOUR audience and target market. Just because you see marketing folks like me offering “mastermind calls” and things like that doesn’t mean that will communicate in your market. Your market might not even know what a “mastermind” is. They might not know what a webinar is. So, jump into THEIR mindset.

What will deliver value to them? And…

Why will they pay you every month?

Every market is different. For example, over on PCMech.com, we have an audience of computer geeks, mainly. Offering them a membership site with videos in it will mean nothing (there’s Youtube). Offering them “mastermind calls” would mean nothing. My audience on PCMech loves information that will make their lives easier or more convenient using their computer, or ways to make their computer run better and trick it out. So, we kept it simple. We offer a premium newsletter in PDF format where those things are the focus. And we price it accordingly (its pretty cheap because of the nature of that market).

So, what’s it going to be for you?

If you need any help ironing out ideas, feel free to post in the comments below.

Not yet enrolled in the Membership Sites Master Class? Sign up today. Classes begin on September 18th.

 

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Got a Question or Comment?

  1. David,
    First of all, great course so far (and this is after just the first session)
    I want to build a membership site for my tutoring website as a means of providing additional tutorials, video explanations of sample exams, and recordings of my weekly live review sessions.
    That’s what I have so far. I know this content will be valuable because students are asking for it, all that’s left (after learning the technical aspects from your training) is figuring out what else to put inside the membership site, what to call it, and how much to charge :)
    Thanks again for everything you provide both here and inside the academy. I owe a great portion of my current (new) online success to you. Thank you!!

  2. Good point that I see a lot of people NOT heeding.

    While I love the idea of a membership site with recurring income, my latest “membership” site is a pay once kind of thing as a way to deliver tutorial videos. While I will continue to add videos, if I charge a recurring fee I no longer have the ability to NOT add something for a while if I want to take a break.

    So while I have no recurring income, I also have less stress. Of course, less income means more stress, so… :/

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