I’ll now discuss the next component you need to snap into place to run and manage your membership site, which is your Monthly Calendar. Here we’ll talk about the three things you need to do every month, including:
• Sourcing, which is where you create the content for your membership site.
• Sales, which are the marketing activities you need to complete to get more members.
• Support, which is servicing and satisfying existing customers (which helps with retention and backend sales).
Let’s look at each of these three separately…
Monthly Activity #1: Sourcing
Here you have multiple options for sourcing your content, including:
• Do it yourself.
• Outsource it.
• Use PLR (private label rights) content to create your content.
No matter what option you choose, you need to develop a consistent schedule so that you get your content out every month on time.
TIP: It’s a good idea to have at least one extra month of content on hand at all times, just in case something happens that you can’t deliver the current month. In other words, give yourself a cushion in case you fall ill, your freelancer falls ill, or something similar happens. You want to be able to manage your membership site on your own, if necessary.
For example, if you need to create one new report every month – which you typically deliver at the beginning of the month – then mid-month in the previous month you need to set aside enough time to create the content. (Or to hire a freelancer and check on their progress.)
Here’s the next component that needs to find a place on your monthly calendar…
Monthly Activity #2: Sales
This is where you take consistent steps every day you work to generate new customers.
Here’s my advice: start by picking just ONE advertising method, implement it fully, and be sure you’re getting good results. Once you’re getting good results, then you can add another method.
For example, this month you may set up an affiliate program. In a month or two (once that’s getting consistent results for you), then you can add paid advertising. Once you’re getting good results with paid advertising, then you can add another method, such as guest blogging.
Once you have these various methods set up, then you’ll take additional steps to keep them running and getting results. For example:
• For an affiliate program, your tasks will include recruiting new affiliates and creating fresh marketing materials for your marketing partners.
• For guest blogging, your regular tasks will include finding new blogging opportunities and creating new content for these opportunities.
• For paid advertising, your tasks will include tracking and testing your ad campaigns to improve your conversions and profits.
As always, you don’t need to do this yourself. You can outsource some or even all of your marketing tasks to freelancers.
Monthly Activity #3: Support
For this task, you’ll need to allocate enough time every month (or hire someone) to staff your customer support desk. If you offer any group coaching (either as the main offer or the bonus), then you need to set aside time for that as well.
For example, if you have minimum inquiries, then you might answer customer support questions at two or three set times per day (such as 9:00am, 1:00am and 5:00pm).
If you outsource this task, then you need to set aside time to check if your staff has any questions for you that they’re unable to answer. Initially, you’ll also need to set aside time to train your staff.
Your Turn: Planning Your Monthly Calendar
So, now that you know the three main activities that must appear on your monthly calendar (Sourcing, Sales and Support), it’s time to develop your custom calendar. Here’s a worksheet you can use to plan it…
What content do you need to create each month?
How long is this content (e.g., how many words or pages)?______________
Will you do it yourself or outsource it? ______________________________
How long will it take you to create this content? (Be specific in terms of hours, and give yourself a wide cushion if you’re not absolutely sure how long it will take.)
Which marketing method do you intend to implement first? _____________
List all the steps you need to take to set up this method: _______________
How long will it take to set up? ____________________________________
List all the steps you’ll need to take to maintain or grow this method: _____
Now answer these same questions for your second method, third marketing method and so on. Be sure to list the set-up steps as well as the maintenance steps for each method.
How much time do you need to set aside daily to answer support questions?
What times of the day will you answer these questions? ________________
If you’re not already outsourcing this task, at what point do you plan to begin outsourcing it?
How much time will all these tasks take you? _________________________
Note: if you don’t have enough work time scheduled, then you’ll need to outsource.
Creating Your Calendar to Manage Your Membership Site
Now you need to plan you calendar.
1. Start with your support tasks, since you’ll likely do those at fixed times (such as checking inquiries three times a day as mentioned above).
2. Secondly, plan your content creation early in the day to be sure you meet your deadlines.
3. Third, add in your marketing activities during the second part of your workday.
Let me give you an example of what a typical day might look like. Your day may look quite a bit different depending on what you’ve outsourced and what marketing methods you’re pursuing. This is how I recommend you manage your membership sites…
9:00am: Answer support inquiries
10:00 – Noon: work on content
1:00pm: Answer support inquiries
1:30 – 5:00: Marketing activities
1:30: Guest blogging set up: search out new guest blogging opportunities.
2:00: Send inquiries to these potential opportunities.
2:30-3:30: Create an article for guest blogging purposes.
3:30-5:00: Do ongoing tasks for your other methods, such as monitoring paid campaigns, posting a tip on social media, creating an ad for affiliates, etc.
5:00pm: Answer support inquiries.
(Off for the day.)
Again, that’s just an example. Go ahead and create your own daily and weekly schedules, and then compile them to create your monthly calendar. Note that when you’ve completed your content creation for the month, then your entire day will focus primarily on marketing activities. Knowing how to manage your membership site will make all the difference when it comes to selling new memberships and retaining the members you already have.
I have dozens of membership sites, all powered by Wishlist. I’ve known the founders since they began and give them my highest recommendation.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.