And The Stressful Rookie Mistakes That You Should Avoid
So you want to launch a membership site… and avoid all those rookie mistakes?
Want some juicy tips based on decades of experience working with thousands and thousands of different membership site owners?
We’ve got 10 tips that are going to help you make a lot MORE progress, launch a MORE successful membership, and generate a heck of a lot MORE revenue in your membership business.
Here we go…
1. Pick something you’re passionate about
Bottom line, people are going to come to your membership for the content, but they stay for the community. This is a truth we live by.
Somebody’s got to be passionate about that content to make the community great. If it’s not you, it’s got to be somebody who is interacting with your people.
John Gallagher started an amazing membership site called HerbMentor over 10 years ago.
He got 5,000+ members and, while it’s not built on his expertise, he still had a passion for it—as were the people teaching and interacting with his community.
Passion matters because if it’s not there, your members will feel it. If you’re not excited about your content your members are going to leave.
2. Validate your idea
One of the things that we recommend for our clients is starting with a simple beta membership and a founding member membership. It’s really simple.
Approach your audience and say, “Here’s the vision for what this could be.” Then invite people to join you as founding members.
When they join, be transparent: “Listen. This project is still in motion, but as founding members, we get to work together at the ground level to create something amazing.”
Every founding member gets a special discount price. And when you do launch to the public, keep founders at their special price.
While rewarding your early adopters, take note of their reaction to the membership as a whole.
There’s no sense in putting a ton of energy into creating something if you don’t know how the market is going to respond. This is your chance to get that golden information.
Validate early and often to make sure you’re on the right track.
Want to learn more about the Founding Member Launch Strategy?
Listen to this episode of the Marketing Your Business podcast with Stu McLaren.
3. Pick a name
It’s hard to create excitement around “I don’t know what to call it yet, but I have this… thing.”
No, give it a name, because then you create the identity.
Even better, create a logo around the name, and excitement—because you definitely want people talking about the name of your membership community.
4. Research your audience
Now you’re not just looking for their problems, you’re also looking for the words and the language they use to describe those problems.
- Where are people getting stuck?
- What are the challenges they’re experiencing?
- What problems are they experiencing?
- Can I identify both external and internal problems?
External problems are things that people would type into Google to seek a solution for, but internal problems are just as important.
What are the conversations that they’re having that are limiting belief?
What are the fears, anxieties that are holding them back?
The more problems you identify, the better your content will be in terms of helping your audience make forward progress.
Pick 5 to 10 problems that your audience is facing right now and then compare them to your current direction. You might be surprised with the results.
5. Establish your authority
When you think “authority” who comes to mind? Politicians? World leaders? Your parents? Other influencers? 🙂
What if we said that YOU are also an authority?
Yes! You have the passion. You’ve been doing the research. And now you can establish that authority with your members by helping them make forward progress and getting results.
The results can be big, little, and everything in between—any positive movement is a win in our book.
By helping people make progress, you create authority, and establish trust. And winning with trust writes a beautiful, powerful story.
BTW – Watch this. 👇
6. Grow your following
This is really where you got to pick a platform on which you can deliver and share your content and help people.
The way you grow your following is to pick one platform and stick to it, especially in the beginning. Don’t try to be on everything.
Pick one, and grow your following by simply solving problems on a regular basis. The magic of research and identifying the problem comes into play once again.
Be active on that platform. Be present. Start giving them ideas. Start giving them strategies. Start giving them examples. Start finding other experts who can chime in—but helping them solve a problem is key to growing a faithful following.
7. Create a Success Path™
This one is a signature element that we sit down and discuss with every single client: establishing and creating a Success Path™.
And it’s something we go deep on in the TRIBE Experience.
People are coming to you because they’re at point A and want to get to point B. How do you get them there successfully? A Success Path™ breaks down those directions, and offers a step-by-step guide to get them there.
You want to include Milestones and Action Items to track progress, and help members assess where they are on the path and what step will be next.
Once you establish a Success Path™, now everyone—members, employees, and you—has a vision for where they’re going and what it takes to get there. Where there could be disorientation and discouragement, you’ll provide clarity, confidence, and inspiration.
8. Map out your content
The way you map out your content is based on… Guess? Your Success Path™! Now that you have a wonderful outline, it’s time to fill it in with valuable and relevant content.
If somebody was in stage one, what are things that you would teach them in order to progress to stage two? (Don’t dump everything on them in stage one. Just get them to get to stage two.)
Similar in stage two, just give the most necessary components to progress to stage three and so forth.
Mapping out your content calendar improves your membership site. How? Because it provides you and your members with organization and clarity. From a marketing perspective, you can get people excited about what’s coming next.
9. Pick your launch date and put it on the calendar
Nothing happens until you launch your membership, but you can’t launch your membership unless you know when you’re going to launch it. So go ahead and pick a date.
Again, you don’t have to get this right. You just have to get it going.
This is a quote from Mike Littman—and it’s absolutely true. If you wait on perfection, you’ll never start—and you’ll never help anyone.
So, when is yours going to be? Two months from now? Five months? A year? It doesn’t matter.
As long as you have a date and put it on the calendar, you can build your plan backwards from that date—but choose one now.
10. Love on your people
Once you have launched your membership, the best thing that you can do next is to love on your people. By that we mean: care for them, help them make progress, and help them get a result.
The big results are awesome, but the little wins count just as much. A win of any size creates momentum. And when people have momentum on their side, it creates more excitement and they’re much more likely to do the things necessary to make even more progress.
So big wins, little wins, they all count.
You need to focus on helping people get a result by loving them, finding out where they’re getting stuck, and supporting them through the process.
Here’s a bonus for you: another amazing thing you can do is to surround yourself with like-minded people who are also in the membership space.
In fact, we started a free Facebook group to do just that. We invite you to come join us!
It’s a free membership group with thousands of people with membership sites in all different markets.
You can share your story, ask questions, compare problems, and receive encouragement from people who’ve been right in your shoes.
With thousands of people in the membership space, you’re bound to get the answers you’re looking for. We look forward to seeing you there!
Ready to jumpstart your BIG membership ideas?
Get started todaywith this step-by-step guide!