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Creating & Promoting Memberships For Knowledge Commerce: Guide
Membership sites are a good idea for those who already have a solid bank of knowledge content
The idea behind membership sites as a Knowledge Commerce product is this. You may have built up a good library of content. Maybe you have a good number of ebooks, short courses, templates, and worksheets.
Your customers may want all this in pick-and-choose doses. They may like to pay for access to your library through monthly subscriptions.
With membership sites, you can set pricing plans at different levels. You can thus allow graded access to your library of knowledge products. Having lots of members paying you a small fee every month could make your income more reliable.
To learn how to make a success of memberships creation and promotion ... read on.
The positives of membership sites - take a look at the benefits
Membership sites are based on recurring subscription payments from customers. But don’t only think of these as monthly subscriptions. You can also have quarterly, bi-annual or annual subscriptions.
Reliable income helps you with many things in business. You can plan and budget your own growth with some steadiness. You can put away some savings that will see you through tough times. If you have a steady customer base you can even monetize this. You can allow other businesses to advertise on your membership pages.
Membership sites work well when you have a bank of several small products, instead of a few large ones. For you, these are much easier to create. People who become subscribers like to have a “buffet spread”. They like to help themselves to what they need at any particular phase that they or their businesses are in.
Are you not yet sure of being able to run a membership site? One of the best ways to practice for free is to set up a Facebook Group. Members too can join Facebook groups for free. This all-round cost-free exercise will show you what it takes to promote a group. It will also show you what it takes to keep the members of the group loyal to you.
The negatives of membership sites - minus-points can be opportunities too
What if you don’t already have enough content to put on the buffet spread for your members? You’re going to find the creation of content for your membership site hard. One resourceful marketer I know found a way to create an array of quick products. He took inspirations from the contents of six books in his niche from Amazon. He used the ideas in each chapter of each book to produce one knowledge product. His membership site with 50 info products was ready to launch in about 6 weeks.
It’s a given that in any subscription-based model of business, there will be a churn of subscribers. People will stop being members, while new members will join. Your endless marketing job will be this. You have to see that the number of new subscribers will always exceed the numbers that will leave you. Only that spells growth.
Getting new subscribers is not an easy task. Since it takes a lot of effort to get new subscribers, it pays to spend equal, or more, effort in keeping the ones you have. This may mean more emailing shots, more hand-holding or more attention paid to existing subscribers. Whether you are gunning for more subscribers or trying your best to retain the ones you have, it is all hard work. Those who have excelled at running membership sites are those who’ve learned to sustain their marketing efforts without let up.
I am always surprised to see membership sites included among the list of “passive income ideas.” You have to show up every day no matter what. You can't take a holiday unless you take your work with you. When you're not marketing to find new members or keep old ones, you have to be creating new knowledge products for your library.
What members value a lot in membership sites - understand the psychology
Webinars, seminars or mastermind classes are great events that people like to be invited specially for. One attractant is the group atmosphere. Usually, membership sites can feel like places where individual members get what they seek to know. But those times when groups of members get together to share knowledge is when the community bonding develops. Community-kinship is a great loyalty-builder.
If you’re catering to other business owners, here's one of the things they love to get done. Offer to audit their business or website for free, and suggest customized recommendations. Your membership site will feel like a venture that cares for its members’ growth. If you’re not dealing with businesses but individuals, a self-assessment quiz is a great idea.
Everybody likes to be seen in good company. Even more, they like being in company that is greater than their usual circle. A lot of members I once surveyed, on why they joined membership sites, told me they liked being part of environments where the others are successful or known people. That’s probably why many membership sites like to show lots of testimonials from existing members who have some repute.
Another extension of this idea, which some membership sites have, is a bulletin email of new members who have joined. This, no doubt, helps in retaining many members who were planning to leave. As they see the interest of others in joining the site, they tend to reconsider their idea of leaving. Especially if the new joiners are people of some standing, the old members surely won’t leave in a hurry.
Pricing of memberships - there are many models you can follow
The simplest way most people price is to stay in a rough range of $29 to $49 per month. The annual subscription option is usually priced at 10 months’ subscription value. That would be in the $299 to $499 range. But there are two other types of models too.
In the second model, the membership site will quote a one-time payment of, say, $997 for a lifetime of access. A third model also exists, where they may let you pay, say, $49 per month for 6 months - and thereafter you have lifetime access. These types of pricing plans, that take money upfront, know that sooner or later people will leave. So, they try to secure your interest in their membership at least for six months.
Very often you’ll find that membership sites set extremely high prices for their topmost level of membership. The price actually would be prohibitive (even if they seem to offer a lot for it). But do these levels of memberships sell? No, they don’t. And neither does the entrepreneur care. These are "anchor prices".
“Anchor prices” help to signal to customers that even the lower-priced offerings of the site will be of a certain premium level. When you create your anchor offer, you set the expectation of quality in the mind of your customer. But you know that they will only buy your lower-priced membership. This is actually a common marketing tactic. A kitchen gadget maker will first show you his $5000 model, to get you to buy what he then shows you – the $500 model.
To learn even more of this topic, read on ...