Wow! The Super Bowl is this weekend and a month of the New Year has passed already! You were just saying last year, “I plan to get a membership site going next year”. Well, folks, now is the time. Here are a few tips to finally get that membership site up and running.
Tip #1: Pick the Right Niche
It doesn’t matter if your membership site has the best content on the web if no one is willing to pay for it. You don’t have to spend six months researching a niche audience in order to figure this one out. Just look around. Are there other products that are selling well in the niche you plan to build your subscription service on? Typically people who start a hobby, begin to learn a new skill or have a passion, purchase several products, tools or tutorials to help them succeed or get better.
Discover if your niche is broad enough to attract a wide enough audience but narrow enough to compete. For example if you are teaching golfers, “Sports” would be too broad, but “Golfers Over 60” may be too narrow.
Tip #2: Interest Your Existing Audience
If you are just starting out with your online business, creating a membership site is probably a big leap. However, if you already have built an audience through your blog, social media or other digital or physical products, you’ll want to think of a membership site that will interest that audience.
Avoid abandoning your existing audience of golfers to build a membership site for bowlers.
Tip #3: Serve a Recurring Need
You want to build an audience that consistently needs what you have to offer. It’s okay if your product seems pretty basic – so is toilet paper but people still buy it each month. If your audience wants more of what you have to offer, you’ll be successful every time.
Your golfers want to improve every aspect of their game — driving, long irons, short irons, pitching, sand shots, putting, etc. You get the point.
Tip #4: Promise What You Can Deliver
The whole point of starting a micro-continuity site is to charge buyers a small amount each month and give them something valuable in return. But don’t promise more than you can possibly give. For example, maybe you’re a web designer that wants to provide cheap graphics each month to your subscribers. Don’t throw in a free website critique each month for every customer. That’s too much value and can actually have the opposite effect.
Buyers may suspect that you’re compensating for a poor subscription service by adding something so valuable to the mix. Instead, keep it simple and only offer what you can reasonably deliver each month.
It’s also a good idea to create several months’ content ahead of time so you are not scrambling to get something up in the middle of a big project, while your kids are sick or while on vacation.
Tip #5: Use Time Saving Tools
In the beginning, when you have just a few subscribers, it may seem like a good idea to save money and just deliver the content to those few by emailing them. But let’s plan on being successful up front and plan for an automated system to deliver that content. Here are a few tools you’ll want in your toolbox:
- Autoresponder email delivery system like Aweber.
- Amazon S3 account for very inexpensive file storage.
- Membership software for your website like Easy Digital Downloads or Digital Access Pass.
- Payment Gateway like PayPal or a Mijireh account paired with Stripe.
Tip #6: Get a Blueprint to Follow
There is no need to reinvent the wheel! Lots of other people have gone before you and are successfully delivering their content to a passionate audience. So why not just copy what they are doing? The problem with trying to copy someone by observing from the outside is that you don’t have a clue what is going on inside — and that’s the secret sauce.
One of my go-to people in this area is Kelly McCausey. She’s been at this business a very long time and has proven over and over that she knows how to sell and deliver quality micro-continuity products. Her latest product, Image Monthly is 8 months old and she still has a 76% retention rate. Now that’s pretty remarkable!
Several of her subscribers encouraged her to teach the rest of us how she does it and so she did in a training called, “Little Monthly Payments“.
During February 2015, you can get Kelly’s blueprint for starting and running a membership site that brings a steady stream of additional income to your business at a 43% discount. Just use coupon code SAVE30BUCKS when you checkout.