It might not always feel like it, but humans are social creatures. We love to share ideas and opinions and find out what’s going on in each other’s lives. Community isn’t just something fun for humans, it’s essential for us.
During the pandemic, a lot of people lost their ‘real life’ communities which meant membership communities thrived. People who would have gone to an in-person event had to turn to the digital world, and that’s where the concept of a membership community grew.
Feel like you’ve missed the boat on building a group of like-minded people around your membership? No idea how you’d even begin to make increase your income from this kind of thing? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There’s plenty of room for new communities, especially in the world of membership.
Here’s everything you need to know to create a membership community from your existing business to generate income from existing clients.
Why Make A Membership Product?
Do you love a dependable, recurring and predictable income? Of course you do! What you might not know is that a membership product is one of the best ways to achieve that kind of ideal income stream.
The key to it is reselling to your existing customer base, either through renewing or upgrading their membership. In fact, you’re 60-70% more likely to sell to an existing customer than a cold lead (5-20%), which saves time and resources on marketing.
Add to that the fact that a recurring revenue model means you only need to ‘sell’ once. So how do you re-engage your customers and make all of this happen?
The smartest first step is to ask yourself a few key questions.
What does your ideal, dream client look like?
Knowing exactly who you’re building a community around is crucial, as you need to figure out their interests, their concerns and most importantly their goals.
What are they missing?
Your ideal membership client is looking for something, it’s your job to figure out what that missing factor is. Once they know you can deliver what they need, you’ve got a recurring client!
What are their pains and frustrations?
You should be aiming to provide a community that empathises and works together to solve shared frustration and common problems.
Remember that it doesn’t always have to be obvious – you can make a community out of anything. You could create a membership community of people who want to build pet businesses or you could have a community supporting people who want to learn how to grow veg in their back garden. If there’s a shared interest, there’s a space for your membership.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Building a community around the people who want your membership isn’t always plain sailing, but the simplest way to find out exactly what your community should look like is to ask!
Find e places where your ideal clients already hang out, whether it be on online forums, social platforms or events. Don’t be afraid of asking what you need to know to create a membership that your niche will absolutely love.
Once you have the basics, why not get started with a beta membership, one that tests out your ideas and offers while still being open to improvement. Get feedback from existing clients about what they like best and what they wished you would provide.
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Marketing Is Different
When you’re building a genuine membership community it’s ALL about retention, and that means your marketing will look a bit different.
Instead of constantly searching for new and cold clients, you want to keep the members you’ve already worked hard for. If every member hit the cancel subscription button after their first month with you, you wouldn’t be achieving the renewable income you want.
Keep hold of your current clients firstly by ensuring that you provide unbeatable and valuable content through your membership website.
Secondly, you can hold them accountable too. Make sure they’re using your membership to its full capacity. How you design that is up to you, but it could look like reminders to watch the latest webinars or join in with the community conversation.
Let your clients know that your membership site is an essential, whatever it’s about. When people are going through their finances with a fine-toothed comb, remind them that THIS is NOT the thing they should be cutting back on.
Make Some Complementary Products For Members
The biggest factor that will keep your community growing? Interesting content from you!
This can look different depending on what you offer through your membership website, but you can give your community access to extra products like:
- Physical freebies
Just remember to make them high-value to your clients, so they can’t wait to access the latest thing.
FOMO, the dreaded Fear Of Missing Out, is a powerful drive. You’d be proud to be part of something you believed in, something that helped you and others like you. It’s no different for your members.
Make them so proud to be a part of it that when others on the outside look in, they get that prickle of jealousy! Your existing members will be your greatest cheerleaders.
They’ll become your unofficial brand reps by choice, eager to share what your membership can do for others.
The Secret To A Membership Community?
Making a membership that is based on a community of like-minded people is a great moneymaker. You can achieve predictable and recurring income from your membership website by solving a specific problem for your members, giving them valuable content in a variety of formats, and making sure everyone else wants in!
If you’re thinking of creating a membership community, check out our blog on how to increase member retention and keep your members coming back month after month.