There’s something I would like to speak about, a sort of the elephant in the room within the realms of a membership website.
Is the thought of creating a course or tonnes of resources putting you off starting a membership website?
I get it; being busy with clients and other tasks to keep the business running the thought of creating all this killer content is a bit overwhelming. So you choose not to push forward with what could help you build a community around your expertise and build a reliable income stream, that can survive crises like the coronavirus in the future.
The truth is that membership sites can be launch and be successful without courses and reams of content.
I bet you’re thinking what on earth could you sell that isn’t a course.
Well that’s what I’m here to show you, here are a few examples of our clients that are selling membership to none course-based information.
Online calls in the shape of group training:
Setting a weekly or bi-weekly call is the easiest way to launch your membership site. It doesn’t require mass content creation or spending extra time on building materials.
A lot of membership website owners use Zoom to host and record the call for a small fee (£11.99 PCM)
People want answers and by giving them direct access to you in a one to many format gives members precisely what they need. Plus while you do this, you build up a library of content to add to your site that allows new users to catch up on the knowledge you’ve already put out to your existing members.
Done for your content and materials;
One of our clients simply sells a monthly subscription where the members gets access to social media content, templates and blueprints that they can tweak and redistribute within their channels.
This is a great membership model to have, as you can use content that you’ve used over your years in whatever industry you’re in, take a deep dive into your old emails, documents and social posts, from there check out what you’re able to recycle and build on it.
Industry information is another big hitter;
A member signs up and gains access to information regarding stocks and share prices, giving them the inside knowledge that could potentially save their companies thousands of dollars. Industry Information membership sites are essentially glorified blogs which makes them ridiculously easy to maintain and scalable.
Through this type of membership site the owner could sell things like 1 to 1 coaching and connect other businesses, acting as a middle man (Or any other noun you prefer)
Access to real-life places;
Now this one may seem strange, but hear me out. Gaining access to areas in real life such as Museums, heritage sites and networking events is a great incentive to get people to join your membership website.
English Heritage is a prime example of this, within their membership they show all of the places you can visit, along with maps of each place and historical information. Their call to action joining deals and pricing clarity are also powerful, making sure their potential customers know exactly what they’re going to get when they have joined.
Networking and community:
Networking and community websites are becoming more and more popular, and are easy to create as there are so many membership, forum and social plugins out there.
You can charge a monthly fee for access to private forums, messaging systems or online groups and people only have access for as long as they pay. If you build up, a good community people will stick around for a long time. Giving people a place to network outside of websites such as LinkedIn is a brilliant way to bring in customers and can create an air of exclusivity around a membership site.
Community membership sites do generally work and perform at their best when they’re focused around a specific topic. These can be things such as blogging, film making and charity funding, basically anything you can think of.
Membership websites can feature courses if you’d like them too, that’s fine. Most membership sites have an eclectic mix of things like courses, other content, shops and community forums. There isn’t a ‘right’ way to build a membership website, if you feel like your ideal customer base would like something, then do it!
If you think you’re ready to take the plunge into building a membership site check out our 8 crucial things to look for when hiring someone to build your membership website blog post
There are membership websites out there that don’t feature courses and are still making a killing in recurring revenue.
The beauty of building a membership website is that you can make it into anything you want it to be. You can combine several features as you go to increase the value your members get and add content as you go. The more members you have, the more resources you can put into creating content for them to consume.
Do you think that you may want to pivot on what sort of content or information you give out in the future? Then membership websites are the perfect way to put ever-changing content out into the world that gives you the flexibility to alter what topics your products or services can cover.
It’s important to remember that you’re solving a problem and not creating one. How you deliver that problem-solving solution should work for you and your members, no matter how simple or complicated.