I’m going to start out by walking you through the five essential components of a membership site. Your six figure membership site must have each of these in order to succeed. These components include:
1. Market Criteria
2. Model Choice
3. Metrics Calculation
4. Member Content
5. Monthly Calendar
Let’s take a closer look…
Component #1: Market Criteria
This is where you pick your target market, your topic, your slant (USP) and your brand.
Obviously, this step is KEY. If you choose a small market without any money to spend, you’re going to find it difficult to make money yourself. If you choose a topic that no one is interested in, your site is going to have little to no demand. And if you don’t set yourself apart with a really good unique selling point and brand, then your competitors are going to get paying customers instead of you.
We’ll talk about all of this and more in the next lesson. But for now, let me give you a quick way to gauge interest in a membership site topic…
Create a sales letter for this proposed topic, and then see how many people click your order button. Except when they do click that button, they won’t be taken to a sales page. Instead, they’ll be taken to a lead page that encourages people to sign up to find out when the offer becomes available.
This is a quick and virtually risk-free way to find out if people will buy your offer BEFORE you go and spend a ton of time and/or money creating your site and content!
Another option is to create a month’s worth of membership site content that you sell as a standalone product to test how well the product (the content, format, price point, etc.) converts. Once you have it nailed down, launch a membership site which delivers ongoing content in a similar offer.
I’ll talk more about “market criteria” and its importance in an upcoming post to this blog.
Component #2: Model Choice
Your next decision revolves around what type of membership site to set up. For example, are you going to set up an ongoing membership site? A fixed-term site? A vault-style site? Or something else?
For now, think about your audience, the type of content you want to deliver, and your own lifestyle. This will help you decide the best model for you.
For example, if you like to travel all over the world (especially to remote sites), then an ongoing membership site may not be a good fit for you. That’s because this site has ongoing virtual demands which can be difficult when you’re trying to get a signal during a backcountry expedition! Solution? You might do better with the “set it and forget it” fixed-term model, which is a much more hands-free way to run a profitable site.
Component #3: Metrics Calculation
Making $100,000 with a membership site isn’t a lucky accident. It starts by you figuring out what you’re going to charge per month, and then figuring out how many members you need to get to your target income.
Here’s my recommendation…
Aim for 500 members at $20 per month. I can tell you from my personal experience as an online marketing strategist that this is the sweet spot as you build your six figure membership site.
That’s a reasonable number of customers to acquire, and at $20 per month these customers are expecting quality, but they’re not expecting the sun and the moon. This is a price point where meeting expectations is very doable and shouldn’t overwhelm you with monthly commitments. That means this membership site is great for beginning membership marketers and seasoned entrepreneurs alike!
Component #4: Member Content
Your content is going to be what attracts people to your membership site, and keeps them as active members for the long term. That’s why you need to take great care in planning out your content, and that’s why I’ll cover 12 types of deliverables your customers will love in another post on this site.
Now here’s an important tip…
No matter what sort of content you deliver to your members, you need to give your members a big reason to maintain their membership. To that end, do the following:
Research your market so that you’re delivering content that you’re absolutely certain your audience wants.
Deliver high-quality content that solves pressing problems.
Always deliver the content on time.
Share tips and strategies your audience can’t find anywhere else, or at least present information in a way that is unique to you.
Share your personal experiences and other niche-relevant stories, which personalizes your membership and makes your content more unique.
Component #5: Monthly Calendar
Here’s where a lot of membership site owners fail: they build their site fast with a burst of enthusiasm, and then they just sort of sit back and expect the site to keep growing magically, all on its own.
It doesn’t work that way.
In order to keep growing your site, you need to take consistent steps every day with an eye on growth. This includes:
Creating new content for your members.
Doing the marketing to acquire new members.
Supporting your existing members so they’ll stay members.
Here’s the key: don’t try to grow your site in bursts. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so you’ll get better results working consistently rather than sporadically.
It’s also essential that you learn to focus on what’s important and avoid busywork.
For example, don’t get bogged down for hours commenting on social media while convincing yourself that you’re “growing your business”. Instead, set goals, create to-do lists, and stick to your schedule so that you don’t get sidetracked. You want a “balanced attack” that devotes time and effort to all of the important areas of your membership site business.
Stay tuned for a followup post, where you’ll learn more about creating a calendar with the aim of growing your site.
Your Turn to Get Started with Your Six Figure Membership Site
What you’ve seen so far is an overview of where I am going to take you. Your assignment for this lesson is start thinking about your niche if you haven’t already done so. That’s because it’s a good idea to already know your niche, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running very quickly.
I use Wishlist as my membership platform and plugin on all of my more than 50 membership sites! Take a look and get started right away.
I’m bestselling author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.