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The 10 Steps To Creating A Successful Membership Website

Are Memberships Dead in 2023?

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If you have a membership site or are in the throes of planning one, you can be forgiven for wondering if memberships are going to thrive or nosedive in 2023. There’s been so much coverage of the cost of living crisis we’re all facing, it has every business owner feeling a bit twitchy. 

So let’s take a realistic look at the outlook for membership sites for the year ahead and see what the future holds…

We’ve Seen This Before

Back in early 2020, the world was in disarray thanks to the emergence of a certain virus. As lockdowns brought countries to a stop, global economies waivered. People started spending differently – cautiously – because the future was so uncertain. And do you know what did well in this time? Membership sites. 

They also showed great resilience in the aftermath of the 2009 Great Recession, with associations reporting membership increase of 36% in the following year, with some going up to 50% or more in the years after that.

So, knowing this should give you some reassurance that even if things get rough, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Knowledge Is Currency

Nowadays, things are different. Perhaps, in part, due to the effects of economic turbulence. The values that people hold have shifted; now, community and expertise rank among the most desired attributes. Knowledge means having an edge over competitors, it means having confidence in your capabilities. So if your membership site imparts knowledge, learning or insight, chances are your business will survive a downshift in spending.

A membership that empowers its members, whether that’s in earning capability, health, professional development or something else, offers your members value that will keep your site from being considered unnecessary.

A Growing Market

Memberships, particularly Learning Management Systems (LMS), are booming. It’s predicted that by 2029 the market will grow to $40.95 billion. With figures like those, we can safely assume that the membership model is far from dead – in fact, it’s thriving.

North America and Europe are projected to be the highest source of revenue for the sector, so the odds are looking good if you’re located in either of those places. 

Surviving Stormy Waters

But despite all this, navigating the next 12 – 24 months will be crucial to your business’s survival. There is no escaping the fact that your members will be tightening their belts and cutting ‘unnecessary’ expenses. So what can you do to remain necessary and useful in a financial fiasco?

The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your membership site moving forward, even when others are floundering. You just have to be savvy about attracting new members and retaining old ones. Here are some ideas of what you can do:

1 – Remind Them Why They Need You

When your members are reviewing their subscriptions, you need to be in the safe pile. These are the things that your customer considers important and useful in their lives. The subscriptions that usually make the cut are the things that have a tangible outcome – so you need to include your real-life benefits in your key messaging.

2 – Keep The Community Alive

People who sign up for your membership have something in common, and creating a space where these people can connect is powerful. Not only for them but for you too. This community offers your members something they can’t find anywhere else – a network that understands them, that can empathise and provide a place where they can learn and share.

This community can also help you create content that keeps them engaged. By following conversations, asking for feedback and hosting live sessions, you can hone your offering, so it delivers what your members need the most.

3 – Use Affiliates

Attracting new members is one of the hardest aspects of running a membership site – and attracting new members when people are weary of spending is even harder. And that’s where affiliates can help. 

Imagine you’re after a new vacuum cleaner. You do online research. You read the marketing spiel. But what can carry the most weight is the experience of real people. If you hear from someone you trust that the X vacuum cleaner is the best thing since sliced bread, you’re more likely to consider buying it. And that’s what an affiliate can do for your membership. 

They’re out there, in the real world, talking about the benefits of your membership site in an accessible, non-salesy manner. It adds credibility and trustworthiness to your brand and opens up new audiences in a way that traditional marketing can’t.

Memberships In 2023: Make Yours Prosper

If talk of an economic downturn is scaring the bejesus out of you, then grab a cuppa, notepad and pen and start thinking about how you can show your members just how essential you are. If you answer the pain points of your prospective members and keep your community active, you have a good chance of maintaining your memberships.

It’s worth the effort because, in a time when there’s uncertainty, a membership site gives you stability. Its continuous income stream offers peace of mind, and the time you put into creating content pays dividends, as it generates repetitive income.

Memberships are far from dead, but they do take work to keep them thriving. If you don’t know how you can navigate the coming months, chat to us. We’d be happy to walk you through a demo of what we can do to support you and your membership ideas.

We’re confident that we can help you create a membership site that keeps you flourishing, whatever the economy throws at it…

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10 Steps To Creating A successful Membership Website

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