Should You Add a Membership Site to Your Coaching Business?
If you are completely comfortable as an established, recognized expert in your field, knowing you’ve got something people want and need, you may want to seriously consider adding another layer to your business that will generate extra revenue for you.
As a consultant or coach, the ideal addition to your business is a membership site that compliments your coaching business.
So, what exactly is a membership site?
A membership site is a gated part of your website where only members who subscribe to your service can access the content you’ve placed behind the gates.
A “gate” is simply a barrier you build into your website using a plugin. Once you’ve got that barrier in place, members can log in and access exclusive content, special offers, and even be part of a community of other members. They can also interact directly with you.
Your membership site can be paid or free or a mix of both.
In regards to “content,” we’re specifically referring to eBooks, webinars, online courses, and podcasts, rather than physical goods that require shipping.
Though there are several types of membership sites you can construct for your business, you know you’re the services you offer better than anyone else, so only you can decide which model will best serve your needs and goals.
The following are some ideas you can consider.
Many membership sites available today work well using the “drip” method. These are websites where members pay a monthly fee (think subscription) to access your content.
This works by having your content released to members on a predetermined schedule, where they can access the information immediately, and thereafter new content is made available every thirty days.
Inside Tip: If you post evergreen content (content that is relevant for long periods of time), you will not find yourself having to search for new content or new ideas on a continuous basis.
One thing to keep in mind is that because you’ll have members joining at different times, they’ll be receiving your content in different stages.
One way of managing this is for you to limit your membership registration periods to certain times each month, but you’ll still have groups of members receiving their content in different phases.
The great thing about this is, your members will be coming to your site on a regular basis to access content, giving you more opportunities to offer new products and services, all while increasing your revenue and profitability.
All-In or “Buffet” Membership Sites
Who doesn’t love a good buffet? You pay a set price up front and are given access to the entire menu.
That’s the idea behind the buffet membership site model: it allows your members to access your entire line-up of content as well as all of your products as soon as they join.
You don’t actually have to charge an up-front fee; rather, you can choose to charge monthly, but keep in mind that when members instantly receive access to all you have to offer (as opposed to the drip-schedule sites), you risk them cancelling their membership as soon as they’ve feasted at your buffet and are feeling full.
Inside Tip: If you promise and then deliver new and exclusive content, such as interactive quizzes, checklists, videos, etc., which are only available to members, they’re likely to be hungry for more and keep their membership active!
Online courses and seminars model are a great way to build your business. Even better, when you choose to do this, you can set up your course curriculum as drip-content, where each lesson or module is released on a schedule.
You can also offer your material up-front, buffet-style and let members work at their own pace.
Digital Product Sites
A digital product membership site offers digital products to its members.
For example, digital product sites may also offer technical support, provide informative blogs, and allow access to other products and upgrades on a regular basis to incentivize members to keep their membership active.
You can also offer them monthly, yearly, or lifetime subscriptions, as long as you’re providing new products, enhancements, and awesome support on a consistent basis.
Service Membership Sites
A service membership site offers services such as coaching, training, and support.
Subsequently, the best way to encourage your members to remain active is to provide them with exclusive, additional content such as worksheets, activities, videos, and presentations.
Additional Action Steps
Regardless of the type of membership site you create, it’s important to keep these four things in mind:
- Draw members in by offering free resources and/or trial memberships. Show them what you can provide.
- Create clear policies and procedures for your members, letting them know about membership benefits and expectations, as well as refund and cancellation policies.
- Create communities where your customers and fans (turned members, of course) can gather in a protected forum and discuss your services, provide learning experiences, as well as share tips and success stories.
- Spend time on your site. Let your members know there’s a real person behind the screen. Provide them with a customer service and support email address so they can contact you or your team if they are having issues with the products or sites.
Never lose sight of the fact that successful memberships sites offer something unique, so find your niche and show off the new things you’re bringing to your members.