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Membership Geeks Podcast with Mike Morrison & Callie Willows Cover
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Membership Geeks Podcast with Mike Morrison & Callie Willows

English, Finance, 1 season, 401 episodes, 14 hours, 29 minutes
About
Join the Membership Geeks - Mike Morrison and Callie Willows - for advice, tips and insight on planning, running and growing a successful membership website plus interviews with existing membership owners and industry experts.
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398 - Staying Sane When Dealing With Customer Service in Your Membership

In this episode, I dive into the essential strategies for maintaining your sanity while managing customer service in a membership business. I explore why customer service can sometimes be a challenge, how to handle difficult members, and the importance of keeping perspective. I'll also share some tips on keeping sight of the positives in your business, even when you're not feeling motivated.In this episode:- How can I handle hostile or difficult customer service inquiries without becoming demoralized?- Is the customer always right, and how should I handle unreasonable demands?- When is it okay to let go of a problematic member rather than trying to appease them?- How can I keep my perspective and mental health in check when dealing with frequent customer service issues?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
7/10/202414 minutes, 5 seconds
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397 - What To Do If You’re Struggling to Get Your Membership Off The Ground

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I discuss actionable strategies to help you get your membership up and running when things aren't going as planned. Whether you’re experiencing low initial sign-ups or struggling to maintain momentum post-launch, I'll share four essential steps to diagnose and overcome these challenges. In this episode:How can you effectively grow and engage your audience to boost membership numbers?What are some strategies to incentivize existing members to help promote your membership?How important is market research and validation in the early stages of developing a membership, and what steps might you have missed?Why and how should you remain open to pivoting your membership's strategy in response to feedback and initial results?
6/26/202413 minutes, 17 seconds
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An Announcement...

In this special episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I share a huge update on what's been happening within the company this year regarding Callie Willows - the co-founder of the business - having to make the decision to step away.Listen in for more on what this means, and for a farewell message to the community from Callie herself.
6/13/20248 minutes, 4 seconds
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396 - Dos and Don'ts of Launching a Membership Website

In this episode of the Membership Geeks podcast, I discuss the dos and don'ts of launching a brand new membership website. Join me as I share practical tips and advice to ensure that your membership launch is successful and sets the stage for long-term growth and engagement.In this episode:- How can I build anticipation for my membership website launch?- What are the key elements of clearly communicating the value of my membership?- Why is testing crucial for a successful membership website launch?- What are the common pitfalls to avoid when launching a membership webThank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
6/12/202411 minutes, 58 seconds
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395 - Catering to Multiple Segments in your Membership

In today's episode of the Membership Geeks podcast, I delve into the topic of tailoring your membership experience to cater to multiple segments within the member base. Join me for insights and strategies on identifying key segments and incorporating them into your content strategy, as well as ways of using new member questionnaires and leveraging tags to tailor member experiences.In this episode:- Why should your membership business cater to different segments within the member base?- What are the three approaches recommended for segmenting your members?- How should segments be incorporated into the content strategy for an online membership?- How can you leverage new member questionnaires and utilize tags to create tailored member experiences?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
5/29/202428 minutes, 44 seconds
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394 - 6 Techniques for Attracting More Committed Members

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I delve into key strategies and techniques for attracting committed members to your membership site. I discuss key challenges, the importance of member commitment, and share six practical techniques for fostering long-term, engaged membership. Join me as we explore how to cultivate a thriving community of dedicated members for your membership site.In this episode:- How can I overcome the challenges of attracting committed members to my membership site?- What are the key reasons for wanting more committed members, and how can I address them?- What specific techniques can I implement to attract and retain committed members to my membership site?- How can content marketing and pre-filtering be used to ensure that potential new members are committed and aligned with the values of the membership business?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
5/15/202434 minutes, 47 seconds
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393 - Setting Realistic Expectations for Membership Growth

In this episode, I discuss the importance of setting realistic expectations when aiming for growth in membership businesses. Learn why ambitious membership owners need to ground big goals in practical reality and logistics, and how to avoid banking on "moonshot" opportunities. I also share valuable insights on the philosophy of marginal gains and the impact of achieving ambitious goals on a business trajectory.In this episode:- How can membership businesses ensure their growth goals are grounded in practical reality and logistics?- What are the potential pitfalls of focusing solely on ambitious, game-changing opportunities for growth?- How does a measured, steady approach to growing memberships contribute to sustained success?- What are the key considerations in setting realistic expectations for growth in online memberships?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
5/1/202437 minutes, 33 seconds
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392 - Should You Stop Cancelled Members From Rejoining Your Membership?

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I discuss whether membership businesses should prevent canceled members from ever rejoining. While not commonplace, it's a practice that does exist! But is it worth considering?I delve into the reasons behind this concept and how it can be detrimental to the growth and success of a membership business.In this episode:- Why would a membership businesses prevent canceled members from rejoining?- What are the main drawbacks of preventing canceled members from rejoining your membership?- How do cancellations fit into the member lifecycle and why do most membership owners view them the wrong way?- What is the importance of member lifetime value and how does it relate to the handling of canceled members?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
4/17/202422 minutes, 10 seconds
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391 - Becoming Less Hands On In Your Membership Business

In this episode, I discuss the challenges faced by membership owners as their business grows and the day-to-day operations become more complex. Join me as I provide practical tips on how to intentionally become less hands-on in a membership business without compromising the quality and value of the member experience.In this episode:- How can membership owners become less hands-on in the day-to-day operations as their business grows?- What are the key steps in growing a reliable team and delegating key tasks to empower the team?- In what ways can processes be streamlined and automated to make operations more efficient?- How can membership owners create self-serve resources for their members to foster a culture of self-sufficiency within the community?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
4/3/202423 minutes, 45 seconds
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390 - Huge Mistakes People Make With the Closed Door Membership Model

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I discuss the common mistakes made with the closed door membership model, and why it may not be the one-size-fits-all solution it's often made out to be.From neglecting existing members to the dangers of overhyping, we explore the potential pitfalls of this fringe membership strategy.In this episode:- Why is focusing solely on launch promotions a mistake when using the closed door membership model?- What are the common mistakes and misconceptions around implementing a closed door membership model?- Key differences between closed-door and open-door membership models, and how might they impact member retention and community energy- What are the drawbacks and dangers of employing scarcity in marketing, especially within a closed door membership model?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
3/20/202441 minutes, 46 seconds
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389 - 5 Ways Membership Owners Can Stay Ahead of the Competition

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I discuss 5 ways membership owners can stay ahead of the competition and keep their membership business at the forefront of their industry. From soliciting member feedback to tapping into the wealth of opportunity in their own community, I explore practical tips to ensure that membership owners remain relevant and responsive to their audience's needs.In this episode:- How can membership owners actively solicit and utilize member feedback to stay ahead of the competition?- What are the benefits of being active in one's own community as a membership owner?- How can membership owners keep their expertise sharp by remaining practitioners in their field?- Why is it important for membership owners to look outside their industry and join other memberships?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
3/6/202426 minutes, 48 seconds
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388 - 4 Essential Last Minute Checks Before Launching Your Membership

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I discuss the 4 essential last-minute checks EVERYONE needs to do before launching a new membership website. These checks are crucial to ensure a smooth and successful launch without any unforeseen hiccups - so skip this episode at your peril!In this episode:- How can you prepare your website host for a membership site launch to handle potential traffic spikes?- Why is it important to inform payment processors in advance of a membership launch, and what should be communicated to them?- What are the crucial steps to ensure the seamless functionality of the purchase process and member access before launching a membership?- Why is it important to consider world events before launching a membership, and how can it impact the success of the launch?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
2/21/202416 minutes, 46 seconds
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387 - Members Don't Have Time to Use Your Membership - What Can You Do?

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I delve into the challenge of member retention in an increasingly busy world. Listen in to learn practical tips for membership business owners to address the common reason for members leaving due to lack of time to utilize their membership effectively. I'm sharing my top strategies to streamline content, enhance member experience, leverage community support, and adapt to member feedback.In this episode:What can membership business owners do when members leave due to lack of time to use the membership?How can membership content be streamlined to cater to busy members?What are the strategies to make your membership easier to consume for members with hectic schedules?How can membership owners harness the power of accountability, community, and member feedback to adapt and improve member experiences?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
2/7/202416 minutes, 14 seconds
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386 - From the Vault: Breaking Down the 6 Different Types of Membership Launch

When people think about launching a membership, they think about the day that they finally open their doors for the very first time and welcome their first crop of new members.It's a big deal!However that grand opening isn't the only opportunity you have to launch...There are different launch types for each stage of your business, depending on how far along you are in the membership site creation process, or what you might need your members to do to help get your product ready for market.Listen in for a full breakdown of the 6 different launch strategies you can use at various stages of your membership journey... Essential Learning Points:Validating your membership idea by running a pilot programThe difference between launch strategy for open memberships vs closed doorHow to generate seed money to help you develop your membership ideaThe best way to reduce the stress of a big launch and ease yourself into the membership modelImportant Links & Mentions:When the closed door membership makes senseJeff Walker's book, LaunchCreating an MVP for your membershipThe lean live launch strategyMembership AcademyThe Membership Guys Facebook GroupKey Quotes:“Your big launch event will usually be a week or two, where you're doing lots of promotional marketing activity to get as many eyeballs as possible on your launch – in the hopes that you'll get that influx of initial members.”  “The beta launch can be extremely useful for helping you to ensure that you are in absolute top shape, or as close as you can get to top shape, before you open the doors to your membership. And, it has the great side effect of also ensuring that you already have people there in your community.”“If you know you need a little bit of a softer entry into the world of running an online membership, then a soft launch can work for you.”
1/24/202433 minutes, 8 seconds
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385 - Make 2024 Your Most Successful Year for your Membership Business

The new year is upon us and for most membership owners this is likely to be a time where you are looking ahead to what you want to achieve with your business this year.And I’m willing to bet good money that growing and improving your membership is one of your aims. Or at least it should be!So with that in mind we're kicking off 2024 by taking a look at the 5 steps that you can take today to plan your year and ensure you achieve your membership goals.Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
1/10/202418 minutes, 28 seconds
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384 - 10 Most Popular Membership Geeks Podcast Episodes of 2022-2023

And just like that, another year is almost over!How was your 2023?After missing last year due to the podcast being on hiatus, we're reviving our festive tradition of wrapping the year up by taking a look back at some of the fantastic episodes of the Membership Geeks Podcast, counting down the top 10 most downloaded episodes of 2022-2023.Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support of the show – here's to even more membership awesomeness in 2024!Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
12/27/202340 minutes, 32 seconds
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383 - 3 Ways to Generate Member Sales from your Email List

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I discuss 3 essential strategies for generating member sales from your email list. I delve into the importance of initial follow-up sequences, ongoing nurture emails, and dedicated promotional campaigns, providing valuable insights on how to effectively leverage your email list for membership sales.Key takeaways:How can initial follow-up sequences be utilized to generate membership sales from an email list?What are the best practices for creating ongoing nurture emails to cultivate relationships and drive member sales?How can dedicated promotional campaigns and evergreen email automations be leveraged to boost membership sales?What resources and tools are available for membership owners to enhance their email marketing and drive sales from their email list?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
12/13/202319 minutes, 12 seconds
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382 - 4 Alternatives to Cancelling that You Should Offer Members

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I discuss alternatives to cancelling a membership that membership owners can offer to their members. I explain the importance of providing options to members who want to cancel and offer suggestions for retaining their membership in a non-intrusive way.In this episode:How can membership owners collect feedback from members who want to cancel their membership?What is the benefit of offering the option to pause a membership instead of cancelling?How can changing the billing frequency be a viable alternative to cancellation?How can offering different membership tiers help retain members who are considering cancelling?Key Quotes & Takeaways:"So if they've already gotten their head, okay, I'm gonna take a bit of a break. I'll probably come back later. Giving them the option to pause is a far better alternative to canceling...""But there's absolutely nothing wrong with making that last effort, that last effort to turn things around. And in fact, doing that shows that you care. You will get people who wanna leave who end up disgruntled at how easy it was to leave. That's kind of the irony of it.""Those little conversations, even though it's taking, you know, 10, 15 minutes out of your day or out of your team's day, that could not only reverse the decision to cancel, but also build up enough goodwill and loyalty from the fact that you're willing to actually have that face time."Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
11/29/202315 minutes, 32 seconds
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381 - Do's and Don'ts of Member Retention

In this episode of Membership Geeks, I discuss the essential do's and don'ts of member retention. I dive into the importance of making retention a priority, taking care of new member onboarding, and collecting feedback from outgoing members. I also highlight the risks of assuming that when someone leaves, they're gone forever and the benefits of having a failed payment process in place.In this episode:Why is it important to make member retention a priority?How can we ensure a solid new member onboarding experience?What are the risks of assuming someone is happy just because they haven't cancelled?How can collecting feedback from outgoing members benefit our membership offering and win back campaigns?Key Quotes & Takeaways:"When you realize that someone leaving isn't the end of their journey, then that nullifies any reasoning you might have for making things difficult for them to leave or punishing them when they do leave.""Failed payments account for a lot of churn. It's called involuntary churn. Someone leaving your membership when they might not have intended to because their credit card payment, their PayPal subscription - however they pay you - for some reason, has failed, and they don't address it in time, and therefore, their subscription ends.""If you make the process of leaving difficult, they're never gonna come back, and they're not gonna speak positively about you to anyone else"Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
11/15/202315 minutes, 3 seconds
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380 - The 3 Pillars of Exponential Membership Growth

In this episode of the Membership Geeks podcast, I dive into the 3 pillars of membership growth. If you have an existing membership and have been struggling with knowing where to focus in order to grow and scale your membership, this episode is for you. I discuss the importance of marketing, member attention, and management, and how to implement strategies and tactics for each pillar.In this episode:How can I attract new members and continuously build my audience?What are the key elements of a solid core sales funnel for my membership?How can I retain members and ensure they stay subscribed for the long term?What are the essential elements of managing and scaling a membership business?Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
11/1/202311 minutes, 59 seconds
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379 - 7 Ways to Generate FOMO for your Membership

In this episode of the Membership Geeks podcast, we explore 7 ways to generate FOMO (fear of missing out) for your membership. FOMO is a powerful tool to attract non-members and create a sense of urgency and excitement about joining. Join host Mike Morrison as he shares strategies to create that FOMO and drive membership growth.In this episode:What is "member first messaging" and how can you use it to your advantage?What role does insider language and identity play in generating FOMO?How can branded merchandise and swag contribute to generating FOMO for your membership?What are the benefits of organizing in-person member meetups and how can they generate FOMO?Key Quotes & Takeaways:"That feeling when someone sees something really cool, really exciting going on that they're not part of, and they get that itch they get that urge, they get that sense that they are missing out.""Make sure you're promoting ahead of time what is happening over the next month. So release a schedule of new content or live calls every single month so that people know what's ahead.""It's always great to be able to meet your members, to actually put these people in a room, see the connections that happen, see the conversations, and it's all like minded people. You've already brought your people together online. If you can replicate that in the real world, even if it's just ten people from your membership having dinner together, it's fantastic, fantastic thing."Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
10/18/202319 minutes, 1 second
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378 - The Impact of A.I. on Your Membership Business

In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I dive into the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications for online membership businesses. Get my analysis of the hype surrounding AI as well as practical insights on how membership site owners can navigate the AI landscape.In this episode:How should membership site owners react to the rise of artificial intelligence?Does AI signify the end of online education or memberships?Should membership site owners prioritize AI or stick to their current business models?How can AI be practically applied in your membership businesses?Key Quotes & Takeaways:"These are just tools, they should be used as such, which is to say they should be used to solve actual problems, not just for the novelty factor.""The rush to capitalize on AI is leading to a lot of pointless and generic content, and the content that's created is actually quite inaccurate a lot of the time and requires a lot of checking and correction."Get more detailed insights about AI for memberships hereThank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
10/4/202322 minutes, 5 seconds
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377 - Using Online Summits to Attract New Members with Krista Miller

Online summits can be a fantastic way to promote and grow your memberships; tapping into the attention and urgency created with 'event marketing' and converting a captive audience into paying subscribers.In this episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I'm joined by Krista Miller from Summit in a Box to share her strategies and top tips for selling your membership via an online summit.In this episode:What is the ideal length and number of sessions and speakers for your online summitThe most effective strategy for generating membership sales on the back of your summitTop tips for reaching out to guest experts to participate as summit speakersHow to ensure you get plenty of people attending your summitFind out more:Get more from Krista at Summit in a BoxThank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
9/20/202347 minutes, 5 seconds
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376 - Celebrating the 8th Anniversary of Membership Academy

Membership Academy just turned 8 years old!Listen in as Callie and I discuss the in's and out's of the past 12 months at Membership Academy and look ahead to what’s in store for the coming months and beyond.In this episode:Dissecting the most significant change we've ever made to Membership AcademyHow we finally solved a problem that's stumped us for almost a decadeThe big new addition to the Academy that had people thinking we're crazyWhy we've started coaching after years of turning down requestsThank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
9/5/20231 hour, 28 minutes, 39 seconds
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375 - Advanced Podcasting Strategies for Memberships with Mark Asquith

It may not surprise you - given where you are - that we're HUGE fans of podcasting as a way to promote and grow a membership business.This podcast has been the cornerstone of our marketing strategy since 2015.But a LOT has changed since then as the podcast industry has experienced multiple boom periods and in more recent years seems to have hit a whole new level.In this episode I'm joined by one of the leading voices in the industry, Mark Asquith from Captivate.fm, o dive into what - if anything - this means for membership owners using podcasting as part of their strategy and how we should be adapting our approach to stay ahead of the curve.In this episode:The most significant ways in which podcasting has changed, and what that means for the "average" podcast hostThe importance of self-editing to stay focused and ensure you're delivering valuable content that helps you stand out in a crowded audio spaceUsing podcasts as a promotional tool for memberships and ways to more closely integrate your membership business with your showHow podcasting can enhance your member experience and open up additional revenue streamsThank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
8/23/202350 minutes, 3 seconds
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374 - Which Tools Do We Use for Membership Academy? (2023 Update)

We regularly get asked for our recommendations on the top tools for membership website owners.The truth is that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” membership site setup that will work for everyone – it all depends on what it is you want to achieve with your membership site, what features and functionality you need it to have, which email and payment software you’re using and a whole bunch of other details that determine which membership tools are the best fit for you.In this episode, we talk about the tools we use for our own membership website – Membership Academy – as well as the reasons why we chose those particular options.In this episode:Which membership plugin and other software we're using to power Membership AcademyWhy you don't need to use the exact same setup that we use (or anyone else is using)Changes we're considering making to our tech stack and frustrations we haveWhat WordPress theme do we use for our websites?
8/9/202328 minutes, 57 seconds
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373 - Revisiting the Fundamentals of Online Memberships

Join me on Episode 373 of the Membership Geeks Podcast as we dive deep into the fundamentals of the online memberships model! Get the scoop on the differences between courses and memberships, pricing models, and how to explain memberships to potential customers. In this episode:How memberships and subscriptions differ and why one does not always have to involve the otherKey differences between online memberships and signature coursesWhat is typically meant by the term "online membership" and which types of business this does NOT apply toKey Quotes & Takeaways:"A subscription is just a payment arrangement, a way to collect the recurring payments needed in most cases for continued access to a membership. The two go hand in hand for the vast majority of online memberships, but they are separate things. You don't need to have one in order to have the other.""The term membership is broad. It is ubiquitous, it can mean all sorts of different things, and it gets used by people for all sorts of different things."Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. We would be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode.
8/2/202313 minutes, 29 seconds
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372 - Why Your Membership Needs a Cart Abandonment Strategy

In this comeback episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, we dive into the importance of having a cart abandonment strategy for your membership business, exploring practical tips and proven strategies to prevent potential customers from leaving the sign-up process.In this episode:Understanding the reasons behind cart abandonment, such as unexpected extra charges and confusing payment termsSimplifying the checkout process and minimizing distractions to encourage sign-upsAddressing technical issues that may lead to abandoned checkoutsClarifying and simplifying pricing to avoid customer confusion and abandonmentSetting up email automation to follow up with customers who abandon their checkout processKey Quotes & Takeaways:"Anyone selling anything online should have a solid cart abandonment strategy. It really is that important.""A study found that a significant number of people who abandoned carts did so because of extra charges they weren't expecting. Extra costs, unclear payment terms, and unexpected taxes can discourage people from joining or making a purchase immediately.""Ensure that you have an email automation that's triggered by an abandoned checkout, which tries to get people back to your site to finish signing up and make sure you're sending out that first follow-up email within an hour of that happening."Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. IWe'd be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in iTunes. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure that you never miss an episode
7/19/202324 minutes, 7 seconds
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Guess Who's Back...

Did you miss me?That's right, your favourite source of membership tips and advice is back in town after a bit of a hiatus, and we've got a whole bunch of fantastic new episodes lined up for you in the coming weeks and months!Time to really level up your online membership...
7/12/20231 minute, 3 seconds
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371 - Celebrating the 7th Anniversary of Membership Academy

Wow… 7 years of Membership Academy!It’s been an exciting year as we began 2022 with a rebrand. Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength as we’ve focused on growing our membership.Listen in as Callie and I discuss the highs and lows of Membership Academy and look ahead to what’s in store for the coming months and beyond.Go behind-the-scenes of our Academy roadmap launch and learn what surprised us the most. Plus, discover the changes we’ve made in order to grow our business.Join the Membership Academy: https://www.membershipacademy.com/For more membership growth tips,subscribe to the Membership Geeks podcast and listen on the go!
9/6/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 54 seconds
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370 - Behind the Membership: ProcessDriven

In this episode going Behind The Membership, ClickUp consultant, Layla Pomper, chats to Callie to discuss how she went from accidentally creating a waitlist of buyers to running a membership with over 600 members.Layla reveals how she made the leap from service-based provider to thriving membership owner…Plus, she also shares how getting into the minds of her active members has been crucial towards her success.Essential Learning Points:The accidental marketing that led to a SURPRISE waitlist of potential buyers.How starting a membership has given people value while solving practical issues around software updates.How Layla made the transition from service provider to full-time membership owner.The ONE thing she’s used to overcome the challenge of supporting her members colleagues.The aspect that’s been one of the hardest things to build due to the nature of her niche.Reasons behind her pricing strategy in correlation to understanding member pain points.How recognizing the main value of the membership has led to worrying less about what free content to provide.The GREAT tip that Layla gives fellow membership owners on not making assumptions about their members. Important Links:  ProcessDriven Layla’s YouTube channelProcessDriven Collective FacebookLayla’s InstagramJoin the Membership Academy: https://www.membershipacademy.com/For more membership growth tips, subscribe to the Membership Geeks podcast, and listen on the go!
8/30/202240 minutes, 52 seconds
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369 - From The Vault: 8 Simple Ways to Add a Personal Touch to your Membership

How can you create a personal touch in your membership when you have hundreds or thousands of members to serve?...The bigger your membership grows, the more difficult it is to create a personal connection with individual members…But, if you want members to stick around in the long-term, and set yourself apart from your competition, forming a deeper relationship with people is essential!In this episode, Mike shares 8 simple ways to add a personal touch to your membership. Discover the one thing you can do to create an instant impact on new members, why short video messages can provide maximum value, and how to provide individual attention in a highly leveraged way. Join the Membership Academy: https://www.membershipacademy.com/For more membership growth tips, subscribe to the Membership Geeks podcast and listen on the go!
8/23/202235 minutes, 12 seconds
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368 - From The Vault: How To Avoid Your Membership Becoming a Burden

Creating a membership is an exhilarating time…The creative juices are flowing…And there’s no better feeling than the buzz of a new member joining…But what happens when that excitement begins to fade?...In this episode, Mike explores 8 effective ways to prevent your membership from becoming a burden. Discover why content doesn’t equal value, the one thing you should do to prevent your membership from taking over your life, and why keeping things simple is important!Join the Membership Academy: https://www.membershipacademy.com/For more membership growth tips, subscribe to the Membership Geeks podcast and listen on the go!
8/16/202233 minutes, 7 seconds
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367 - Behind The Membership: Art Revenue Coaching

In this episode of Behind The Membership, artist, Josie Lewis, chats to Callie to reveal how she attracted over 800 members during her very first launch of the Art Revenue Coaching membership. Josie shares how pivoting her existing audience helped her to double her email list and validate her membership idea…Plus, she discusses the one thing she will do differently when her membership doors reopen. Essential Learning Points:How Josie overcame her fear of creating an online membership.The MAJOR benefit of online memberships that led to her adding this income stream to her business.The TRAP that many business owners fall into when they have an existing audience.The ONE thing that resulted in her DOUBLING her email list.How learning what the audience wants has been pivotal towards her success.What Josie plans to do differently for her next launch.The HUGE membership benefit that she didn’t anticipate.The model she plans on implementing within her membership to aid her members growth.Important Links: The Josie Show (Instagram)Josie Lewis Art (Instagram)Josielewis.comMembership waitlist – josielewisarcJoin the Membership Academy: https://www.membershipacademy.com/For more membership growth tips, subscribe to the Membership Geeks podcast, and listen on the go!
8/9/202246 minutes, 41 seconds
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366 - From The Vault: 7 Ways to Get New Members Once Your Membership Launch is Done

What happens when the buzz of your initial membership launch dies down?In many ways, launching your membership is some of the easiest marketing you’ll ever do!But keeping people interested is a challenge….In this episode, Mike reveals 7 effective ways your membership can continue to make sales after launching.Discover what you can do to create FOMO (the fear of missing out), the one thing that exposes gaps in your marketing strategy, and why you should remarket to ‘almost’ buyers.Join the Membership Academy: https://www.membershipacademy.com/For more membership growth tips, subscribe to the Membership Geeks podcast and listen on the go!
8/2/202222 minutes, 39 seconds
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365 - Top Takeaways from the Online Membership Industry Report 2022

Do you know what the average churn rate is for a typical online membership?How about revenue benchmarks?Average conversion rates?What about the most popular tech solutions? Or the most effective marketing channels?Truth is, there's very little reliable data available about the online membership industry.That's because this market is relatively tiny.It's a niche, of a niche, of a niche.What data we do have tends to come from either the broader subscription industry, or from membership associations.Neither of which reflect the online membership world.A few years ago we made it our on a mission to change that by conducting a survey of thousands of membership owners designed to shine a light on the real data and benchmarks for the online membership industry.And now it's time for an update...We’ve spent the past fews months tapping into our audience of tens of thousands of membership business owners to identify how they’re performing, what challenges they’re facing and which benchmarks and trends are prevalent.And we've compiled those results into the Online Membership Industry Report 2022In today's episode of the Membership Geeks Podcast, I'm sharing some of my top observations, takeaways, trends and other interesting tidbits and insights taken from this year's report.
7/26/202232 minutes, 16 seconds
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364 - How to Create an Extraordinary Member Experience

How do you create the best member experience?That’s a big question to tackle, but we’re taking a swing at it in this episode of The Membership Geeks podcast.You’ll hear why the first four weeks are the most vital in the membership journey as far as setting the tone for the member experience is concerned. There’s also a five-phase approach and a comprehensive list of things to do within and after the first four weeks of a member’s journey.Armed with this information, you’ll get your members settled and engaged right off the bat.  Essential Learning Points:The importance of linking your deliverables to tangible resultsWhy you should draw out a roadmap for your member’s journeyThe bare minimum approach to enriching membership experience vs. the comprehensive approachHow pattern interrupts brighten up the membership experienceImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GeeksMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“Gamification is a big thing that goes a long way to keep your members motivated because while it may seem like such a little thing, everybody likes to be recognized and rewarded for their progress.”“When it comes to providing a great member experience, don't overdo it. This isn't about doing it all because that's just going to overwhelm your members. Instead, pick the elements that will best help your members maximize your membership site to the fullest.”“A good member experience will not only create loyal and engaged members, but it will also turn those members into advocates. And happy members are your absolute best marketing asset."Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.
7/19/202222 minutes, 55 seconds
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363 - Behind The Membership: Creative Crafting Club

Not everyone starts their business planning to launch a membership.This week’s Behind the Membership episode features Christelle Janse Van Rensburg, Co-Founder of the Creative Crafting Club, who talks about her franchise-turned-membership business. Christelle was running a successful arts and crafts club franchise until the pandemic shut everything down. She and her sister searched for a solution and found that a membership was a perfect fit. Since then, their member numbers have exploded, and they’ve seen great success! We wanted to hear how she and her sister pulled it off, what tips she has for others, and why she loves the membership business lifestyle. Essential Learning Points:How the Creative Crafting Club worksWhy the pandemic sparked the idea of starting a membership Why the Creative Crafting Club uses a closed model membershipWhy running challenges has been a key marketing tacticHow Facebook groups keep everyone engaged and supportive of each otherThe biggest challenges Christelle facedWhy Christelle loves the freedom that a membership business bringsImportant Links & Mentions:Creative Crafting ClubMembership GeeksMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“Consistency is the key differentiating factor between success and failure for many people. If you just stick to it, and you hold that longer-term view, then you'll get there.”“Start before you're ready, you're only going to regret the things that you do not do.”“We've got a closed Facebook group, and it works really well for us because our members are already on Facebook. They use it to market their own clubs as well and just because of the visual side of it, it works really well for us.”Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.
7/12/202237 minutes, 38 seconds
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362 - How to Stand Out as the Go-To Expert on your Membership Topic

Finding new ways to get members piling into your membership is a difficult path to navigate.But finding a niche market and establishing yourself as an expert in that field is certainly a way to boost your chances. That way, you can build authority and trust and get members joining in their droves.In this episode of The Membership Geeks podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Callie Willows dive into the steps you can take to establish yourself as an expert on your membership topic. They go on to explain how these pointers could help your membership site flourish more quickly than you think.Essential Learning Points:Why building authority will help your membership service flourishHow to cater to a niche marketHow content creation can help you build your reputationWhy writing a book is not dated – it would still hugely help your reputationImportant Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyMembership GeeksWhy Membership Site Owners Need to Niche Down (And STAY Niched) Succeeding with a small niche with guest Lisa LeanderAchieving success in a small niche with guest Shannon RogersLulu.comKey Quotes:“Building authority as an expert in your topic is a majorly important factor in marketing your membership.”“The truth is anyone can whip up a sales page, say that they're an expert on something without anything to back it up. So you need to be able to provide proof that you're the real deal.”“Niching down, becoming known for something specific is always going to get you further than being a jack of all trades.”Thank You For ListeningWe really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally!Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.
7/5/202220 minutes, 59 seconds
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361 - From The Vault: 5 Biggest Risks Facing Membership Owners Right Now

Running a membership website can be one of the most rewarding experiences...You become recognized as an authority within your niche, build a loyal community, and a successful business in the process... But what people don't tend to talk about are the potential pitfalls that you need to avoid...And there are a few of them!As anyone running an online business - or any business in fact - will tell you...There are risks that will pop up at lots of different stages of your entrepreneurial journey...Knowing what these risks are...And, more importantly how to avoid them, can be really useful.With that in mind, this episode explores five of the biggest risks facing membership owners right now.
6/28/202230 minutes, 39 seconds
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360 - Top Tips for Researching a Membership Plugin or Platform

When you start up a membership site, you naturally want to give your members a perfect experience. Or at least as close to perfect as possible.The key to that is finding the right tools, software, and plugins to help you deliver a fantastic membership experience. But it’s tough to find the right tools and even harder to know whose opinions to trust.In this episode of The Membership Geeks podcast, your hosts, Mike Morrison and Callie Willows share some expert tips on finding the closest thing to ‘the perfect plugin’ and how to find reviews you can trust.Essential Learning Points:Why not all reviews can be trusted (they may be paid affiliates)What works for one membership service may not work for yoursHow people’s past experiences can affect their opinions and suggestions for pluginsWhy great functionality is the most important thing to look forImportant Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyMembership GeeksKey Quotes:“Whatever the best option is, the thing that gets all the five-star reviews, just know that you don't have to go with that just because everyone says it's the best. It might not be the right one for you.”“You need to be aware that you will not find an off-the-shelf membership plugin or software that will 100% satisfy your requirements.”“The only way to find the best solution to your particular problem, if you're asking in a public forum, is to be specific about what features you need and what integrations do you need.”
6/21/202219 minutes, 46 seconds
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359 - Behind The Membership: IT Rockstars

Juggling a 9-5 with a membership in a saturated marketplace sounds pretty impossible, right?But Scott Millar of IT Rockstars has somehow pulled it off and is seeing great growth in his membership. In this episode of The MembershipGeeks, he shares some top tips and insights for others looking to start a membership.He also delves into his membership's unique origin story, as well as how his geographical cap doesn't limit his growth.Essential Learning Points:How Scott found his ‘wow’ factor in a saturated marketWhy there’s a geographical cap on enrolment for IT RockstarsThe ins and outs of juggling a 9-5 with a membership businessIT Rockstar’s unique onboarding processWhy it’s important for your idea to align with what your audience wantsImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GeeksIT RockstarsKey Quotes:“One big tip for anyone starting a membership is to make sure they are tracking how people are joining their membership — and ask the right questions.”“The thing I love about the membership model is the scalability of it. There’s only so far you can go with a 9-5, whereas with a membership site, the possibilities are endless.”“Something I found useful when I first started out was being aware of what I was good at and what I was terrible at. Anything I struggled with, I just outsourced to someone else.”
6/14/202234 minutes, 14 seconds
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358 - Avoid These Terrible Membership Cancellation Policies

Is your cancellation process as effective as it could be?As a membership site, it’s vital to get the balance right! You need to make the decision for your members to leave difficult…not the process.It’s very easy to feel hurt or worried when members depart in their droves but don’t take it personally. Members will end their subscription for so many different reasons… and they may well come back very soon.In this episode of the Membership Geeks podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Callie Willows discuss some of the most common things membership site owners get wrong when faced with customer cancellations.Essential Learning Points:Why you should remember to ‘think like a member’ – how would you want the process to go if you wanted to cancel a membership?Why it’s important to make the decision to cancel difficult – not the processWhy you should avoid turning members who might rejoin awayFinding the right software to make the process seamless Important Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyMembership GeeksKey Quotes:“During the cancellation process, give it a final shot to try and convince them to stick around. But it shouldn't get in the way, it shouldn't be an obstacle.”“If that member experience was 100% positive up to that point, you can ruin it all by having a terrible approach to cancellations.”“If someone has paid for a month, you have to give them that month. If someone's paid for a year, you have to give them that year. This is why we say that you're getting into dodgy legal territory if you don't actually honor that.”
6/7/202242 minutes, 41 seconds
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357 - 6 Ways to Breathe New Life Into Older Membership Content

Does old automatically mean useless or outdated when it comes to membership content?Definitely not. In fact, there are so many things you can do to breathe new life into your archived content. Especially, when the core subject matter is still as relevant as the day it was first posted.This episode of the Membership Geeks podcast is all about six concrete ways you can reuse your old content and drum up some engagement in the process. We’re talking about everything from repurposing content to simply giving it a touch-up. By tuning in, you’ll get six handy tips to refresh and reuse your existing content to maximize its value. Essential Learning Points:Why watch alongs offer a great way to engage with your audienceHow repurposed content helps you meet your audience where they areHow you can grow your audience by giving content away for freeHow to drum up new members through a cohort experienceWhy you should always have something available for your members to tackle nextImportant Links & Mentions:Membership GeeksKey Quotes:“Regardless of when you actually released the content, the first time someone views it, it is new to them.”“Anytime you can give people direction or show them the next step, it's going to massively improve their experience as a member.”“While our instinct is to protect our paid content at all costs, it’s worth noting that repurposing your older content into free content doesn't diminish its value at all.”
5/31/202220 minutes, 46 seconds
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356 - Understanding the Customer Journey with Kenda Macdonald

Can you use science to boost your membership numbers? It’s not magic but getting to grips with the science behind how people make purchase decisions will help you transform your own content. Kenda Macdonald, CEO of Automation Ninjas, international keynote speaker, and author of the best-selling book, Hack the Buyer Brain, joins this episode to talk about the science behind why people choose to sign up (or not) for a membership.  Tune in to hear what behavioral automation is, how the five stages of awareness work, what neuroscience tells us about buying decisions, and much more!Essential Learning Points:What behavioral automation isHow the buyer journey typically worksThe problem with relying on marketing funnelsWhat neuroscience tells us about the buying decisionThe five stages of awareness and how they can help you build better contentThe problem with using scarcity tacticsHow Kenda uses automation for her membership Important Links & Mentions:Automation NinjasHack the Buyer BrainThe Marketing Automation Academy What is Awareness and Why Does it Matter?Kenda’s LinkedInMembership GeeksMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“Understanding the brain and then tracking physical behavior are two parts of what I would say is behavioral marketing automation.”“We need to create something that's more flexible, more personable, and more catered to where someone is in their own personalized customer journey.”“We should be utilizing our content to help people make better choices. That is why people consume such a huge amount of content because they want to learn, they want to make the right choice about something.”
5/24/202253 minutes, 46 seconds
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355 - Top Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2022

Fresh on the back of attending Social Media Marketing World 2022, we're sharing our top takeaways from the event, common themes and trends membership owners should be aware of, and specific tactics to try out in your social media marketing strategy.In this episode:How social media marketing is once again becoming more focused on content creatorsNFT's, Metaverse and Web 3.0 - what does it all mean in terms of marketing your membership?Key changes to how what we post on social media is about to change significantlySpecific tips and tactics for Tik Tok, Instagram and more Related links:Promoting Your Membership using Social Media: A 12 Step PlanUsing Instagram Stories to Promote Your MembershipMembership Academy
5/17/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 11 seconds
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354 - Behind The Membership: Baking For Business

With more businesses migrating online, how do you give yourself an edge?Amanda Schonberg, a chef and marketing enthusiast, shares the answer to that question in this informative episode. She’s not just a skilled baker, she’s also passionate about generating sales and taking her business to new heights. And it looks like she’s cracked the code.In the spirit of community, she’s gone on to teach fellow bakers how to strike that balance between craft and business with her own membership – The Entrepreneur Community.In this episode, we hear about Amanda’s inspiring membership journey —the highs, lows, and everything in between.Essential Learning Points:How Amanda uses 4 Cs to offer value to her membersAmanda’s transition from working a business partnership to sole proprietorshipWhy serving before selling worksHow to use fun to create engagementThe importance of combining creativity with business skillsImportant Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyEntrepreneur CommunityBaking for BusinessKey Quotes:“I always emphasize a community of competition, we reach one by teaching one, so we strive to help each other out.”“Answering questions is one of the biggest things that attracts people because once you help them a little, they want to see what else they can learn.”“I believe that as creatives, we can't run a business successfully if we don't have that business background pushing us.”
5/10/202231 minutes, 25 seconds
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353 - Are These Roadblocks Costing You Membership Sales?

Are you at that point where you’re wondering if the membership model is truly for you?Numbers are dwindling, and all of a sudden, it seems like people aren’t buying what you’re selling. You’ve probably fallen victim to one of the common obstacles we’re looking at on this episode of the Membership Geeks podcast.In this episode, we explore six common roadblocks that get in the way of membership sites and give a few pointers on how to tackle them head-on. With this newfound awareness, you should be able to smash through those barriers and get those membership numbers rising again.Essential Learning Points:Why it’s important to distinguish yourself from the competitionThe disadvantages of providing too many options within your membershipHow pricing can affect your membership offeringWhen it’s OK to charge a joining feeImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GeeksCompeting with Established Memberships in Your MarketKey Quotes:“The more you add different pricing structures into the mix, the more time your prospect will have to spend deciding what works for them, and the less likely you are to get the sale as a result.”“Remember, if your membership is as good as you know it is and is sure to solve your audience’s problems, then you're doing them a disservice by not telling them about it.”“If you're not marketing enough between launches, then your audience isn't going to grow. So when you do open the doors to your membership, you're stuck marketing to the same people from your last launch and the launch before that.”
5/3/202224 minutes, 43 seconds
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352 - How Membership Owners Can Be More Productive with Mike Vardy

Do you ever find feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done in your membership?Or do you feel chained to an endless to-do list that taunts you at the end of the workday?Then this episode of the Membership Geeks is for you. Productivity specialist, Mike Vardy, joins us to discuss the concept of productivity, how it's changed, and the best way to approach it.He also delves into the idea of what productivity is not, while providing lots of actionable takeaways for membership owners.There are plenty of insights to dig into in this episode, so grab that pen and notebook.Essential Learning Points:Why productivity isn’t just about churning out workThe advantage of approaching low-energy tasks firstThe difference between projects and tasksHow to trick your brain into getting things doneWhy it’s better to approach perfection as a journeyImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GeeksThe Starting SixProductivityistKey Quotes:“I don't think it's about getting as much done in as little time as possible, it's about what you intend to do and how you’re going to pay attention to it.”“You need to engineer your approach to productivity in a way that prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to get done. Instead, ask better questions and you’ll get better answers.”“What we want is to strive for excellence, but I like the idea of perfection as a direction because it allows us to leverage our perfectionist tendencies.”
4/26/202257 minutes, 23 seconds
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351 - Using Testimonials to Grow Your Membership

Social proof is an extremely powerful tool in your marketing arsenal and a key component of the Membership Marketing Flywheel.Demonstrating your ability to help others get fantastic results, and having those people advocate for joining your membership, will go much further than any marketing copy you write yourself.And testimonials from happy successful members are amongst the most effective types of social proof there is.In this episode, we share our top tips for collecting member testimonials, and most importantly using them effectively to add a whole new level to marketing your membership.In this episode:What makes for a good quality testimonialBest practices for requesting testimonials from your membersWhich format of testimonial works best?Specific ways to use testimonials in marketing your membershipRelated links:[Course] Attract More Members with the Membership Marketing Flywheel7 Ways to Add Social Proof to Your Membership Sales PageHow to Tap Into Your Existing Members to Create Social ProofMembership Academy
4/19/202223 minutes, 19 seconds
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350 - Behind The Membership: Makers Momentum Club

Running a membership has its perks, but there’s also the turbulent side of things. From transitioning through different iterations of her business to managing a spike of engagement during the pandemic, Nicola Taylor knows how to brave some turbulence.In this episode, she discusses the origins of the Makers Momentum Club and the various challenges she’s faced along the line. Nicola also shares some of her wins and lessons for aspiring membership owners.Essential Learning Points:How members reacted to Nicola’s switch to a membership style businessWhy more engagement can be a bad thingThe interesting effect of the pandemic on the Makers Momentum ClubWhy an action-driven community inspires more winsWhy passion is a major ingredient for starting a membershipImportant Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyMakers Momentum ClubKey Quotes:“The business skills we teach within the membership aren’t specific to makers, they include beginner fundamentals on how to make money from a business, find customers, promote yourself, and the dynamics of being an entrepreneur.”“You can really underestimate the impact a bad business model can have on your growth and your life. You end up constantly fighting against things, and making it more difficult than it needs to be.”“Overwhelm is a big thing for our members because there's a lot of stuff they have to put in place. I don't want the content to become one more overwhelming thing. So finding ways to get them to take action from the content is my goal going forward.”
4/12/202247 minutes, 31 seconds
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349 - Are Facebook Groups a Viable Option for Membership Communities in 2022?

Are Facebook groups still a good option for your membershipcommunity?The answer has become more complicated considering thatFacebook has upped their game over the past few years.But, as it is with most things, with the good comes the bad.On this episode of the Membership Geeks, we’re delving into the age-old debate of Facebook groups vs on-site forums, with a little twist.We explore new and useful features that come with Facebook groups and the downsides of hosting your community on the platform. We also look into a few alternatives to using Facebook or on-site forums for your membership community.Essential Learning Points:Why Facebook’s accessibility is both a pro and conHow Facebook groups can impact your live events  Cool new features Facebook has added in their groupsWhy Facebook groups are more suited for informal interactionsAlternative platforms to host your communityImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GeeksFacebook Announce Paid Group Subscriptions. What Does It Mean For Memberships?Jill Stanton on Using Facebook Groups to Grow Your MembershipShould you use a Forum or Facebook Group for your community?Key Quotes:“The average member experience is going to incorporate some content and some community. So, if you're splitting those up, it just becomes more of a hassle for members.”“The main thing people cite as a reason to have their memberships on Facebook is how easy, accessible, and discoverable it is to have a group on there.”“All the features in the world mean nothing if the group isn’t serving the purpose of enabling your members to connect and talk to each other.”
4/5/202253 minutes, 55 seconds
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348 - How to Build a Membership Website in Under a Day

Trying to build a membership website is a sizable undertaking for anyone...But building one in under a day, that sounds unrealistic, right?After all, you've got to wrestle with technology, create content and focus on building your audience - quite often ahead of your launch - all while generating a buzz to ensure you get that initial influx of members when you open the doors to your membership... There are a lot of plates to spin...Surely it's not possible to do that in under a day?Well, if you're able to bring some of those elements to the table from day one...So if you already have an established audience who are eager to buy from you...Or a wealth of content curated from past projects, maybe via courses you've previously released or workshops you've delivered...Then it’s entirely possible to build a membership website a lot quicker than you may think - in under a day. And in this episode of The Membership Geeks podcast we share how. Essential Learning Points: This approach isn’t right for everyone. You need to make sure your expectations about the end result are realistic.Keep things simple, especially when it comes to technology. Stick to the essentials, avoid the bells and whistles at this stage. Create your content in real-time and utilize live video. Make lots of noise when you launch.Important links and mentions:  6 Ways to Create Interest and Buzz for Your Membership LaunchWhat If I Don’t Want to Use WordPress for My Course or Membership Site?How to Use Live Video to Market Your Membership with Luria PetrucciKajabiPodia SimpleroCircle Key Quotes: “What we’re shooting for here is “good enough”. So you have to accept that it won’t be everything you want it to be initially, however the best memberships are always evolving and are a constant work in progress, so the good news is that you can make improvements as time goes on.”“As long as people can register, pay and log in, and can then access protected content, you have a working membership site.”“Don’t create any content upfront. Instead, create a calendar of upcoming live webinars that will be only available only to paying members.”“Whatever the reason for needing or wanting to build your membership website in just a day, it’s important to recognise that this approach shouldn’t become the norm as your membership grows.”
3/29/202224 minutes, 54 seconds
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347 - How to Identify Your Member Drop-Off Points

What do you fear most as a membership site owner?Let us guess... Cancellations?!We'll let you into a little secret...You're not alone in this.Cancellations are without doubt the big bad boogeyman of the membership world...Even your friendly neighbourhood Membership Geeks face this fear with you!No one likes them...The truth is, cancellations are inevitable.But there are ways to minimize them… Especially if you can predict drop-off points in your memberships ahead of time and take action to fix them.In this episode of the Membership Geeks podcast, we’re going to share with you how to do just that. Essential Learning Points5 key drop off points majority of memberships face. How to make people want to stay after the initial 30 day period. Strategies to put in place to maximize your number of annual renewals.How to identify and prevent seasonal cancellations. Key Quotes: “Sometimes the reasons for cancellation are beyond your control. And often, they're even beyond the control of your members. Life happens!”“Within the first month when someone joins your site you'll see several different stages that can form a common drop-off point - a time when you lose a lot more members than normal - You need to ensure that you have a strong onboarding process in place to minimize the number of drop-offs.”“If somebody joins for 12 months and this period is coming to an end, they have a big decision to make whether or not to renew, as it's a bigger lump sum investment rather than a monthly payment.”“It’s a worthwhile exercise to monitor the performance of your membership site, identify patterns with sign-ups and drop-offs, and average member attendance. But also, to try to monitor, predict and pre-empt seasonal drop-off periods or topic-based drop-off periods according to your audience profile.”
3/22/202217 minutes, 42 seconds
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346 - How Much Time Does it Take to Run a Membership Site?

How much time does it actually take to run a membership site?This is probably one of the most common questions we get asked...And as with many things when it comes to memberships, there isn't a 'one size fits all' answer. Some membership sites can quietly tick away in the background without really needing much attention...Others, however, need you to work on them pretty much daily.How much time you dedicate to running your membership is entirely up to you...It could be half an hour a day, 5 hours a day or 8 hours a day.But how do you decide how much time is needed? In this episode of the Membership Geeks podcast, we explore where you’ll most likely spend the bulk of your time when managing your site, how to decide what tasks to spend your time on and we share some top time-saving tips to help you maximize your input into your site. Essential Learning Points: The benefits and drawbacks on your time spent running live sessions. Content creation is one of the most time consuming elements of running your membership. The difficulties gauging time of handling customer service.Marketing your site - how the closed-door model might not be the time-saving option that it appears to be. Why you should hire a team to save you time managing your membership.The importance of picking the right structure for your membership. How to manage your accessibility to members. Key Quotes: “When it comes to handling customer service it’s very difficult to gauge how much time this is going take you. That's because it's variable. It will depend on how the dynamic of your community forms and it will change over time as your site evolves.”“Not every task for your membership site needs to be done by you”“If you know that you don't have the time to commit to engaging with and growing your community, then it may be better for you to forego it altogether. Having no community is better than having one that's as dead as a dodo.”“You don't have to be totally accessible to your members. There are benefits to actually taking a step back”
3/15/202221 minutes, 42 seconds
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345 - Behind The Membership: Amplified Artists

For performing artists, the global pandemic was a bleak time.With everything shut down, and no hope in sight, Jim Cooney, the founder of Amplified Artists, found a way to turn lemons into lemonade.In this episode, he tells us a bit about Amplified Artists, from how it started to how it’s going now.Jim explains what inspired him to start a business in an industry that was dealt a bad hand and how he’s managed to grow steadily as things have opened up a bit more. You’ll also hear about how he juggles his personal life with the responsibilities of running a membership.Essential Learning Points:What inspired Jim to start Amplified Artists during the pandemicHow Jim engages his members by asking them to create contentJim’s marketing strategy for Amplified Artists The benefits of building your membership around your lifeWhy starting simple is so importantImportant Links & Mentions: Membership Academy Amplified Artists Key Quotes:“I just have to accept that now things have opened up, I'm probably going to lose members during this time, and that’s okay because I'll definitely pick things back up and build them.”“I'm still having to tell myself to keep things simple — your members are ultimately going to guide everything for you.”“Remember to take care of yourself as a person and to be human, because you’re a human first and an artist second.”
3/8/202250 minutes, 25 seconds
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344 - How Running a Membership Can Impact Your Life (Membership Day Special)

Happy #membershipday! Now it’s certainly no secret that we love membership sites. But why do we love them so much? It's all about the 3 F’s:Freedom. Flexibility. Fulfilment.A membership can bring you all these things and more, and today on a special Membership Day episode of the podcast, we’re diving into what the 3Fs mean for you as a membership site owner. And don’t just take our word for it! We’ve got some special guests in this episode too, sharing the impact that having a membership site has had on their own life and business. 
2/28/202246 minutes, 6 seconds
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343 - Email Marketing Strategy for Memberships with Rob & Kennedy

Is email marketing dead?With social media marketing taking center stage, it’s easy to think so. But here’s the thing, email marketing is still one of the most convenient and affordable ways to reach audiences to date. However, it’s a mere tool, so the magic only happens when it’s used right. In this episode, Rob and Kennedy of The Email MarketingHeroes join us to debunk a few myths about email marketing. They kick things off by delving into the state of email marketing today, then share a few tried-and-tested strategies from their personal playbook.Essential Learning Points:Why email marketing isn’t working for most peopleHow to increase the chances of your email getting readThe importance of connecting with your audienceHow often marketers should send emailsRob and Kennedy share ideas for addictive email marketing contentImportant Links & Mentions:The Email Marketing HeroesMembership AcademyMembership GeeksKey Quotes:“We all have to flick a switch in our brains and say instead of building a massive list and sending out random emails, we're going to build a really good list of people who desperately want to hear from us all the time.”“Email subscribers are not Pokemon. You don't have to catch them all — it's about the quality of those people on your list.”“One of the things that's really important to remember is that every human buys for different reasons — some of us buy to gain things, some of us buy when we're about to lose something.”
2/22/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 36 seconds
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342 - 10 Ways to Personalise and Tailor Your Member Experience

In most cases, you might think the words “membership” and “personalized experience” don’t belong in the same sentence.So, you’re probably wondering, “how exactly am I going to offer tailored experiences when I’ve got hundreds or thousands of members?” The good news is that it’s not impossible. In fact, there are so many ways to form that personal connection with your members that will ultimately drive them to fulfill their goals.Essential Learning Points:Why offering a personalized experience is beneficialHow segmentation can make the membership experience better for usersThe many uses of a member surveyHow personal videos and check-ins make your members feel seenWhen to use a private welcome videoHow to correctly segment your communityImportant Links & Mentions:Membership GeeksMembership AcademyUsing Segmentation to Increase Leads and Member SalesKey Quotes:“What everything comes down to when we talk about personalizing and tailoring the member experience is making people think, “Hey if I were to design the perfect membership, just for me, this is actually what it would be like,” and the ability to connect directly to people where they are on their journey.”“99% of people with large customer bases are not doing any of this. People have come to expect automation and an impersonal experience. And so, if you show that you’re a real person, that's going to go a long way.”“If the experience someone has inside your membership is personalized, then that member is more likely to extract the specific things that they're most interested in — essentially, that’s more value.”
2/15/202248 minutes, 2 seconds
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341 - Behind The Membership: The Metalsmith Academy

Imagine launching a membership based on your passion… It’s the dream, right?But what if you’ve built your business delivering classes in-person and are faced with the challenge of finding an online solution that will deliver the same value?And you need to do this in the midst of a global pandemic…That’s exactly what Lucy Walker from The Metalsmith Academy did…And her story is awesome! She’s only a year into her membership and has thousands of members…And while she’s been hugely successful as a membership owner, the past year hasn’t passed by without its challenges… In this episode Lucy joins us to share her journey so far… Listen to hear about:  How the pandemic forced Lucy to put her entire business online and make the transition from offering courses to launching her membership. How The Metalsmith Academy launched with over 3,000 members in total, with 1,300 of them opting for the annual plan. The reasons behind changing her enrollment model from closed to open. How Lucy uses Instagram and YouTube to drive people into her membership funnel.Her approach to fostering a positive community and driving engagement.  Key Quotes:“We try and get people straight into the forums. As soon as they join, the first thing we say on email is ‘Hey, go and say hi in the forums, I’ll be there waiting for you. Come and introduce yourself” “With jewellery, it’s such a practical skill. When we were teaching in-person classes you could just have a vague outline and show people then be there to guide them through their problems. With online classes, the clearer you make them, the less work you have to do in the background, so being online has made me be a lot clearer in my teaching.”“As a team we can often pack up and head off to a tropical island to work and that’s absolutely amazing.” “I wish I’d started building an audience earlier. I wish we’d started concentrating on Instagram when I first started making jewellery, rather than doing it when I started the business because I had to.” 
2/8/202240 minutes, 59 seconds
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340 - Switching From Working with Clients to Running a Membership Full-Time

Are you running your membership on the side while managing an existing client focused or service based business? Maybe you’re a web designer who still builds websites…Or a music teacher dealing with private students… And to put it quite simply, you’re feeling stuck… You want to make the transition from working with clients to running your membership full-time… But you’re not sure how to do it… Or even if it's the time is right to make the switch! We’ve been there… And completely understand that it’s a HUGE decision to make… So we’ve decided to help you out… In this episode we share some tips on how to switch from working with clients to running your membership full-time…Essential Learning Points:Why you should treat your membership as a client. How to decide when to start making the switch to working on your membership full-time.Three different approaches to choose from for making the switch. Our tried and tested process for making the transition as smoothly as possible.  Important Links & Mentions:New Year, New brand: Say Hello to The Membership GeeksHow Much Time Does it Take to Run A Membership Site?7 Things You Need to Validate Before Starting a MembershipHow Much Does it Cost to Start and Run a Membership Website?  Key Quotes:“Far too often when working on our own projects and trying to fit them in around the main activities in your business, those projects slip down the priority list and only get attention when the important stuff is done - so your first step to readying yourself for transitioning from side-gig to full time focus is changing your mindset and habits on this front.”“It’s important to know that this whole process is not going to happen overnight. You’re not going to be servicing clients today and then from tomorrow you’re only working on your membership.”“The timing of making the switch is really going to come down to your attitude towards risk, your confidence, and the particular situation you’re currently in with your business and in life.”
2/1/202226 minutes, 36 seconds
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339 - New Year, New Brand: Say Hello To The Membership Geeks!

After 7 years we have a very sad announcement to make...The Membership Guys are no more.I know, I know... what a devastating way to start the New Year!But the good news is that we've just undergone a little bit of a rebrand and henceforth shall be known as...Membership Geeks!This is a change that is several years in the making, so tune into today's very special episode of the podcast to discover why we've rebranded, what it means going forward, and get the inside track on some of the exciting things we have planned for 2022 and beyond.
1/5/202239 minutes, 26 seconds
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338 - 10 Most Popular Episodes of The Membership Guys Podcast in 2021

Is it me or has 2021 been a bit of a blur?!It's definitely been another strange year as we've all tried to navigate life running a membership in the midst of a global pandemic...But from what we've seen in our membership and Facebook communities, you all seem to be handling it pretty well!So what have we been up to?It's been another busy 12 months for myself, Callie and the TMG team...In 2021, we’ve: Created and launched our EPIC new Roadmap inside Membership Academy.Celebrated the 6th anniversary of our business.Grown our team further with the addition of our awesome Community Manager, Hannah, and... Created another year’s worth of The Membership Guys weekly podcast and season 5 of Callie’s Behind The Membership podcast. And a whole lot more besides!That being said, with only a few days left of 2021, it’s time for our traditional end of year recap show. Listen for our top 10 most popular episodes of The Membership Guys podcasts in 2021. As always, I'd like to thank you so much for your continued support of the show this year - I really appreciate each and every one of you. Here’s to an awesome 2022. Episode Links (not in order - don't want to ruin the suspense!):Musings About Money and Mindset in the Membership WorldAvoid These 6 Common Member Retention MistakesCompeting with Established Memberships in Your MarketSetting Goals for Your Membership Business: A Practical ProcessThe Untold Origin Story of The Membership GuysHow to Encourage Engagement without Nagging Your MembersAre You Leaving Money On The Table in Your Membership BusinessHow We Built Our Audience Before Launching Our MembershipUsing Instagram Stories to Promote Your MembershipWhy People Aren't Joining Your Membership Site
12/28/202139 minutes, 12 seconds
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337 - Things You Quickly Learn in your First Year as a Membership Site Owner

Have you recently launched your membership website? If you have then you’re in the midst of a steep learning curve… One we’ve all been through as membership owners. As we’re approaching the end of the year, now is the perfect time to plan what we want to achieve over the coming months… For more established membership owners the year ahead might be fully mapped out so they know what to expect...But for those new to the membership world, what lies ahead is largely unknown.While we don't have a crystal ball to tell you exactly what's going to happen over the next 12 months...We can try our best to prepare you for some of the things you're likely to discover in your first year of running a membership site…And that’s exactly what we’re doing in this podcast episode. Join us to hear 5 things you quickly learn in your first year as a membership site ownerEssential Learning Points:Good customer service can be the difference between losing a member and leaving someone with a positive impression who is likely to recommend you to others.Implementing a solid onboarding process will make everything easier - for both you and your members. The freedom, the flexibility and the fulfilment that comes from recurring revenue and making money while you sleep can make a huge difference to your life. You can’t please everyoneYou’re probably making a bigger difference than you realizeImportant Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyHow to Handle Customer Service for Your Membership SiteHow to Avoid Overwhelming your MembersWhy you need a kickass member onboarding processHow to Deal With Negative Feedback About Your MembershipKey Quotes:“Nothing ever goes 100% smoothly - that’s just life. The key is how you deal with things when issues do arise.”“When you have a good onboarding process in place, your members are happier, your engagement increases, retention improves and you have far less customer service issues to deal with. That’s pretty much a win for everyone”“If you have 99 happy members who love what you’re doing, but have 1 unhappy member, you need to learn to focus on the 99 – those guys aren’t all wrong!”“Don’t take someone’s silence as a sign that they aren’t getting value from what you’re offering, you're probably making a much bigger difference than you realize.”
12/21/202113 minutes, 37 seconds
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336 - The Perils of Building Your Membership on Rented Land

Is your membership built on rented land? Are you relying on third parties with little control of your own content or community?While there’s something to be said for third parties and all-in-one platforms, you need to be wary. Those platforms could go down, or maybe they could be hacked, and then what?If you can’t access your membership assets, that’s bad news for your business. In this episode, you’ll hear all about the perils of building a membership on rented land. Tune in to hear why control and having alternative options in the bag are so important and what you can do to protect yourself from a Facebook 2021-style outage. Essential Learning Points:What the Facebook outage taught us about the dangers of relying on third partiesWhy control is the most important thing you needWhy you need to protect your business assetsThe pros and cons of building on rented landImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“When we talk about not building on rented land, it's less about the dangers of depending on third parties and more about emphasizing the importance of control.”“The willingness that so many people have to just surrender control of their most valuable business assets to third parties in the name of convenience or simply following the crowd is insane when you think about it.” “Your decision to build on rented land has to be an informed one. You have to know that there's a risk that comes with it, that you're sacrificing something in order to get that convenience.”
12/14/202112 minutes, 36 seconds
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335 - 6 Changes That Will Improve Your Membership's Email Marketing Results

Email marketing is the golden ticket to growing any kind of membership or online business. But a successful email marketing campaign is about so much more than sending out the occasional email to your mailing list.If you really want to step up your email marketing effectiveness, you need to use some tried-and-tested tactics. In this episode, we share six ways to improve your email campaigns.You’ll hear why emailing more often is the right move, how to use narrative and open-loop emails to keep interest and how to use different email marketing features to transform your campaigns. Tune in today to learn more. Essential Learning Points:Why you should get out of your comfort zone with email marketingHow to utilize the P.S. section of your emails to drive salesWhy storytelling is the key to a good emailHow to maintain interest through open-loop emailsWhy you should always try to experiment with email marketing  How to use conditional content Important Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy Key Quotes:“Stories are far easier to infuse your personality into, which of course helps to foster connection which goes a long way, especially with memberships where that connection is so key.”“If you've got a great story to tell and a strong narrative that lends itself to being sent one bit at a time, then using open loops in your emails can be fantastic and engaging.”“Split testing can be invaluable for refining and perfecting your approach to email marketing to best suit your audience's preferences.”
12/7/202120 minutes, 12 seconds
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334 - 4 Things You Can Do Today to Drive Membership Revenue

Want to give your membership a little revenue boost? Who wouldn’t? The chances are, you’re already working on 101 things to grow your membership over time. But what can you do today?In this episode, we cover four super simple ways you can boost your revenue both in the short and long term. These are simple tactics you can get started on today that don’t take too long or cost much. This episode covers how you can use flash sales and discounts to boost sales, why you should pay extra attention to your non-buyers and ex-members, and how you can get members to upgrade. Try these tactics today and integrate them into your long-term strategy to see consistent results for years to come. Tune in to hear how you can get started.Essential Learning Points:How to use a flash sale to boost revenueWhy you shouldn’t ignore your non-buyersThe benefits of getting in touch with ex-membersHow a simple email can prompt members to upgradeImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“You could email anyone who's on your email list, who's been through your main sales sequence, and have not bought yet. You could run a flash sale targeted just at those people to give them an extra push and incentive to join your membership.”“More often than not, people will be open to returning, and indeed, many will come back to your membership within months.”“Cancellation is not condemnation. People don't leave because they hate your membership.”“If you've not reached out to your ex-members in a while, then consider emailing them today or starting a Facebook ads campaign targeted at those people.”
11/30/202117 minutes, 23 seconds
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333 - KPIs Every Membership Owner Should Be Tracking

Every successful membership site owner knows their numbers.If you don’t know how your business is performing in key areas, then you have no basis for growth and making improvements, or any idea of whether or not your membership site is doing well or if it’s in trouble.Worryingly, our Online Membership Industry Report revealed that 14% of membership site owners aren't tracking their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) at all. And an even greater number only track a few key metrics! This is something that needs to change. So if you're currently not tracking metrics on your site or are measuring some, but are not sure if they're the ones you should be focusing on, then this episode of The Membership Guys podcast is for you.Join us as we explore KPIs that every membership website should be tracking. Essential Learning Points:Different metrics to focus on for analyzing website traffic and activity Why you need to have an in-depth understanding of your conversion ratesHow your churn rate impacts member retention and why you should aim for 5% to 10%Why it’s crucial to measure the percentage of trial participants who become paid membersHow to measure the lifetime value of your membersRecommended tools for reporting on member engagementWhy you should track customer acquisition cost Important Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyBiggest Takeaways from the Online Membership Industry ReportThe Most Effective Tools for Reducing Your Membership ChurnWhy Member Lifetime Value is More Important Than Churn RateKey Quotes:“If you don’t know how your business is performing in key areas then you have no basis for growth, for making improvements or knowing whether or not your membership site is doing well or if it’s in trouble”“Member retention is as important, if not more so, than acquiring new members.”“What really matters in business is the overall profit that you're making. As the old saying goes, turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.”“Knowing that lifetime value means that when planning, advertising campaigns or any of the marketing spend, you can more accurately assess your return on investment.” 
11/23/202117 minutes, 19 seconds
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332 - 6 Ways to Create Interest and Buzz for Your Membership Launch

Preparing to launch your membership website? This can be both an exhilarating and terrifying time, with lots of tasks to tick off your checklist and limited time in which to get as many eyeballs as possible on you and your business. So how can you make your membership launch a success?The key is to generate excitement and buzz around your site that will result in your first influx of members and give you some momentum to move forward with. And in this episode of The Membership Guys podcast, we’re sharing with you six tactics to implement to do just that. Essential Learning Points:Why a membership website doesn’t live or die based on launch alone Why you don’t necessarily need a large audience to launch your membership How to connect with your audience and make them feel like they’re involved from the get-goDifferent tactics to implement to get in front of a wider audience to promote your membershipImportant Links & Mentions:Membership AcademyWhy You Need to Take People Behind the Scenes of Your MembershipMust-Listen Podcast Episodes for Launching Your Membership Website How to attract better members that will stick around long-termKey Quotes:“Right from the get-go you’ll need an initial influx of members to get your community up and running, people engaging and consuming content, and giving you feedback that will enable you to make your product even better. This in turn will make it easier for you to attract more members in the future.” “You can still do a lot in terms of your membership launch with a relatively modest audience.”“Live video is a fantastic way of getting your personality across and really connecting with your audience to allow them to feel like they're getting to know you on a deeper level.”“There's no doubt that having a group of people who are committed to spreading the word about your membership in their own audience, especially if their audience is large, can do wonders for your membership launch.”
11/16/202122 minutes, 42 seconds
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331 - Promoting Your Membership Using Social Media: A 12 Step Plan

Do you want to transform your tweeting into real results? Unsure where to start?Social media is a tough nut to crack. You can post consistently and still see no results and no sales. The good news is that you can turn it around with some proper planning and a little help from your analytics. This episode, takes you through a 12-step social media plan to help you tweak and fine-tune your current strategy.Tune in to hear why social media is so important, why you need to audit your channels, learn from your audience, keep an eye on your analytics, and much more. Essential Learning Points: Why social media should be key to your marketing strategy     Why you should audit your channels and your audienceThe importance of knowing your audience well   How to serve and build your audienceHow to offer value consistentlyWhy you need to keep an eye on analyticsImportant Links & Mentions: The Membership Guys Membership Academy Setting Goals for Your Membership Business: A Practical ProcessHow to Start Building an Audience for Your Membership SiteWhy You Need to Take People Behind the Scenes of your MembershipKey Quotes:“Make sure that you engage with your followers. Don't just publish content and leave it. Aim to have two-way conversations. What do your followers need help with? Ask them.”“Take steps to really develop your knowledge and understanding of your audience.”“Once you build momentum, once you've got the basics in place, refine that messaging. Refine the type of posts you're making to make sure you're not too salesy, to make sure you have a variety in how you promote your membership.”
11/9/202130 minutes, 25 seconds
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330 - Tips and Techniques to Encourage Members to Consume Your Content

Are you struggling to get members to consume and complete your content once they’ve signed up?If you want to keep members happy and improve member retention, the work doesn’t end once they hit ‘join.’Members need to constantly feel like they’re getting value, but sometimes they need a prompt to get involved in the content.In this episode, you’ll hear four super simple tactics to improve content consumption and engagement in your content library. We share how rewarding your members can go a long way, how you can get involved, and what you can do to your content to improve its effectiveness. With these tactics, you’ll help to boost your engagement rates across your content library and help members progress towards their goals. Essential Learning Points:Why you should try to boost content consumptionHow rewarding your members can go a long way How to use reminders to prompt your members to consume more contentWhy getting involved in the content yourself boosts engagement The benefits of using multiple content formats Important Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“The ability to have access to you and to have you focused on the same thing that they're focused on can be a huge motivation to get your members to actually take part in a course.”“Reminders and helpful nudges can be a great way of guiding people to content, making sure that they're actually consuming it.”“Make sure that you're providing multiple content formats so that you're catering to a variety of different member needs and learning styles.”
11/2/202121 minutes, 2 seconds
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329 - 5 Ways to Level up Your New Member Experience

First impressions are key, especially in the membership world. A good experience in the early days is absolutely crucial to encouraging engagement, community collaboration, and retention.But a good onboarding experience is just step one. Even if you have all the necessary steps covered, there’s still more you can do to amplify and enhance that experience. In this episode, we cover five simple yet effective ways to level up your new members’ experience, so they’ll want to stick around for years to come. This episode covers why you should try to go above and beyond in the early days, why a personal touch can help you create a great first impression, and how to make your new members feel welcome. Essential Learning Points:Why leveling up your membership experience can boost satisfaction and retentionHow personal videos can go a long wayHow a member questionnaire can help both you and your membersThe importance of using segmentationWhy you should consider throwing a welcome partyHow physical welcome gifts can be a welcome surpriseImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyBonjoro.comKey Quotes:“Any way that you can better tailor things to each particular member's needs will massively level up their experience.”“This sort of stuff is really just about going that little bit further, putting in that little bit of extra effort to make someone's formative days and weeks inside your membership that much more enjoyable, that much more rewarding, and that much more productive.”“That sort of welcome party can be really, really good for getting that buzz, getting that excitement, and helping people make those connections early on, all of which level up your member experience.”
10/26/202114 minutes, 56 seconds
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328 - Should I Include All My Products and Content Inside My Membership?

Do you want to offer a brand-new course or live event…separate from your membership? Is this something you’re allowed to do, or will all hell break loose in your membership?First off, yes, you can do this. But you also need to understand how your members will react. If they’re expecting all new content to come included in what they’re paying for, they could be disappointed. Luckily, there are a few ways around this that we share in this episode.If you want some tips on how to navigate this delicate topic, tune in today. We’ll share the pros and cons of keeping everything in your membership, why you shouldn’t always cave under pressure and ways to keep your members happy.Essential Learning Points:The problem with selling a separate product from your membershipWhy this can upset membersWhy it’s all about setting expectations and your messageHow to avoid doing yourself a disserviceThree simple ways to keep members happy and offer separate products Important Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“The clearer it is, what your membership does, who it's for, and what it consists of […] the less chance there will be of confusion or disappointment.”“You don't want it to seem like your membership is a bait and switch. But at the same time, flipping this around to you as a membership owner, you need to resist the urge to over-deliver.” “Give your members priority preferential treatment and a price discount on anything else you might sell outside of the membership. That then adds to the value of them becoming a member.”
10/19/202116 minutes, 1 second
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327 - How to Choose the Right Topic for Your Membership

If you’re thinking about starting a membership site, the very first decision you need to make is what it’s about.Your choice of topic is fundamental to your success. A good choice is a strong foundation. A poor choice will lead to an uphill battle you really don’t want to tackle.But how do you make the right choice? Tune in to this episode to hear the crucial elements that make a good membership topic idea. We cover why you need some expertise and what to do if you aren’t an expert. We also discuss why you should pick an evergreen topic if you want to be in this for the long haul, and much more!Essential Learning Points:   Why your choice of topic is essential Why you should chasing avoid any fads    The importance of picking a topic you have some expertise inHow to pick a topic that’s evergreenWhy you need to love your topicWhat to do if your membership idea doesn’t tick all the boxesImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“If you make the wrong decision about your membership topic, then that pretty much means that anything else you do is built on a pretty unstable foundation.”“Most online memberships will involve tapping into your knowledge, skills, experience, and expertise to help someone accomplish something to learn something to make progress towards a specific goal result or outcome.”“If you've got a real passion and enthusiasm for your topic, then the idea that you get to eat, sleep and breathe this subject day in day out for years to come will be absolute perfection.”“In an ideal world, your topic should really be something specific, something niche, as opposed to something generic.” 
10/12/202115 minutes, 15 seconds
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326 - 11 Signs That it's Time to Increase the Price of Your Membership

Is it time to finally increase the price of your membership?It’s tricky to answer that because there are loads of different things to consider first. What are your costs? What value do you provide? How are the competition pricing? How can you stay competitive AND maintain a good profit margin?These are some of the many questions we’re answering in this episode. Tune in to hear 11 signs that it’s finally time to give your pricing a bump and why increasing your price won’t make your customers run for the hills. Essential Learning Points:Why it may be time to increase your price for the first timeHow to price based on the value How to maintain a healthy profit marginWhat potential members really think about low-priced memberships How to be competitive without competing on priceImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy Strategies for Increasing Your Membership PricingKey Quotes:“If you have already gone through a price increase before, but it's been a couple of years, then maybe it's time to think about that next increase.”“As your membership and as your business grows, you will see your expenses growing too.”“Competing on price is the worst way to compete. It is a race to the bottom.”
10/5/202119 minutes, 59 seconds
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325 - How to Maintain Harmony inside Your Membership Community

How do you keep the peace in your membership community? As a community leader, it’s your job to make the space your members inhabit welcoming, friendly, and harmonious. But managing a big group of members can be tough. Sometimes people are rude, break the rules, others feel left out, and this leaves people feeling uncomfortable. No one wants to stick around in a toxic community.So, how do you keep the peace and deal with members who break the rules? Having a plan in place will help limit the damage and keep everyone happier. In this episode, I dive into six simple ways to maintain the harmony in your online community. Essential Learning Points:Why you need to keep the peace in your online communityHow to put clear rules in place and enforce themWhy it’s important to lead by exampleWhy you might want to appoint moderatorsThe benefits of encouraging members to use real names and photosWhy you shouldn’t only interact with the cliquesImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyHow to Deal with Problem Members Inside Your CommunityKey Quotes:“There's no point in having guidelines on what is and isn't acceptable if you're not going to enforce them.”“If you can get that accountability and that responsibility in there, then that can play a massive part in giving you a harmonious, positive community dynamic.”“One of the worst things that you can do as a community leader is to get involved in a clique within your community because that is a guaranteed way of excluding the majority of your member base.”
9/28/202120 minutes, 15 seconds
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324 - Should I Charge Monthly or Annually for Membership Site?

Not sure whether to offer monthly or annual billing on your membership? The way members sign up to your membership site can make all the difference in the buying decision.You don’t want to turn people away at the first stage, so picking the right one is crucial. In this episode, we go through all the pros and cons of monthly vs. annual subscriptions. You’ll learn which has the higher profit margin usually, which is the more stable option, and which is best for your members. We also share an alternative way to bill and how you can upsell or down-sell your membership options. Essential Learning Points:Why monthly memberships tend to offer more stabilityHow monthly billing can improve engagement Why annual billing provides a better profit marginThe effect annual billing has on your member baseWhy you don’t have to pick one or the other Important Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“You can, of course, offer both. Unless you have a very compelling reason for going monthly-only or annual-only, then we do typically recommend having both options available.”“One of the main reasons people set up a membership site is for the stability and the predictability that comes from having that sort of recurring revenue over time.That stability goes out of the window to a degree if you're relying solely on annual billing.”“With a higher buy-in, people are a little bit more invested…and they've given a bit more thought to their buying decision. Usually, that all adds up to a slightly higher caliber of members inside your community.”
9/21/202119 minutes, 9 seconds
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323 - How to Inject New Life into a Stale Membership Website

Has the spark died down from your membership? If you’re struggling with getting new members, old members are quitting, or engagement has dwindled, it’s time to reignite that spark.The good news is that there are plenty of things you can try to turn your membership around. In this episode, we’re sharing some of the simple, quick fixes and longer-term strategies you can use to get your membership back on track.Essential Learning Points:The first step in fixing the problem is to understand it Why you should start with the easy fixes firstThe tough questions you need to ask yourselfWhy sometimes the simplest way to identify the problem is to just askHow you can relaunch your membershipWays to grab your members’ attentionImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“If your membership site has slowed down or it’s starting to stagnate, then all is definitely not lost. It is very much possible to inject that bit of new life to reignite re-spark your membership.”“You need to decide honestly whether you're giving enough value to justify people continuing their subscription.”“To reignite the momentum in your membership, you could do a soft relaunch. This might involve doing a whole bunch of podcasts, interviews, guest blogs, maybe doing some event-based marketing.”
9/14/202117 minutes, 31 seconds
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322 - Selling a Membership Alongside An Existing Online Course

Do you have an online course you’re thinking of taking to the next level? Wondering if an online membership would make the perfect pairing?A combination of courses and memberships can work well, but only if you get the strategy right. If you’re considering an online membership alongside your course, this is the episode for you! We cover the benefits of blending the two content models together and all the different ways you can do this effectively. In this episode, you’ll learn about the different considerations you need to make before choosing any particular model, including where on the journey your audience is and what they need from your content. Essential Learning Points:The benefits of combining a membership with an online courseHow to sell your membership as a standalone productThe two main ways to combine your course and membershipHow to decide what strategy to useImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyUsing the ‘Splinter’ Strategy to Sell More MembershipsKey Quotes:“A combination of courses and memberships can work extremely well if you get the strategy right.”“It's all about that bigger picture and figuring out where your course fits in the journey of an average student.”“With this kind of approach of courses and memberships intertwined, you can actually have some of your cake and eat it too. And you can play around with different combinations of enrolment models.”
9/7/202126 minutes, 38 seconds
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321 - Celebrating the 6th Anniversary of Membership Academy

Wow... 6 years of Membership Academy!It's been a crazy year as we adjusted to running a membership during a pandemic and refocused our efforts and attentions on new areas of growth.Listen in as Callie and I recap the highs and lows of the past 12 months of Membership Academy, and look ahead to what's in store in the next year and beyond.
8/31/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 31 seconds
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320 - How Perceived Value Impacts Your Membership Pricing Strategy

How do you choose the perfect price for your membership? What’s the number one thing to think about? The truth is, there are lots of different factors at play. But one thing people overlook is the idea of perceived value.Perceived value is something that isn’t concrete or easy to assess. It’s all about personal opinion, circumstances, the market itself, and everything in between.Tune in to this episode, where we go through all the different elements that make up a good pricing decision for your membership. We cover everything from perceived value to weighing up the practicalities, member affordability, and of course, the competition.Essential Learning Points:How perceived value affects pricingHow to price according to the market Why you should look closely at the competitionPricing based on practical considerationsWhy the customer’s affordability is worth consideringImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy How Much Should I Charge For My Membership Website?Key Quotes:“Membership pricing, or pricing in general, is not logical.”“Optimizing for the absolute perfect price is kind of a fool's errand because so much of it comes down to perception.”“It should be the easiest thing in the world. Just pick a number. But once you dive into it, there's just so much at play.”“Every buying decision is an individual one. Every buying decision is a personal one. What will your membership do for them?”
8/24/202128 minutes, 9 seconds
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319 - Do Membership Sites REALLY Provide Passive Income? (Revisited)

Can a membership business ever really provide passive income?Lots of so-called internet marketing gurus out there will point you in the direction of the membership model and claim it’s the “ultimate way to make passive income.”We’re here to tell you that’s false…sort of. Memberships are not a way to make 100% passive income, but can they make any passive income?In this episode, we discuss what passive income really is, why memberships can never be 100% passive, and why it’s up to you to decide how passive you want your business to be. Essential Learning Points:   Why you should be wary of the term “passive income”Why memberships are never 100% passive     What does passive income really mean?  Ways a membership can be partially passiveImportant Links & Mentions:       The Membership Guys        The Membership AcademyKey Quotes:“An online membership is a business…and every business requires you to work and take it seriously. It's not a gimmick. It's not a cheat. It's not something you do if you're just looking for a quick shortcut to make an easy buck.”“There's an old adage in the internet marketing world, that internet marketers work 18 hours a day, so they can make money in their sleep. Being able to say, ‘I make money in my sleep,’ so many people like to use that as a badge of honor…And of course, you never see the full story.”“We've always railed against the tendency of internet marketers to promote memberships as a path to passive income because in doing so that really does sell the lie, that this is an easy route to untold riches for minimal effort.”
8/17/202124 minutes, 15 seconds
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318 - Hiring Your First Employees for your Membership Business

Are you ready to finally hire your first employee?It’s an exciting yet daunting experience because there’s a lot to cover and plan for. But don’t worry, this episode takes you through all the steps you need to know about. In this episode, we cover the early stages of hiring an employee, how to design a smooth and seamless application and interview stage, why you need to have the finer details worked out before hiring, and how to onboard your new employee.If you’re unsure where to start, this is a great starting point that takes you through the pre-hiring, hiring, and onboarding stages. Essential Learning Points:    Why good timing is so important when hiring your first employeeHow to determine the logistics of hiring  How to design a seamless application and interview process  Why you can’t ignore the boring admin partHow to onboard your new employee without leaving them in the darkImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyBehind the Membership      6 Tasks You Should Outsource To Make Your Membership More ManageableKey Quotes:“I'd much rather you hold off on recruiting someone and bringing someone permanent full-time into your business, until you have more than enough financial means to actually do it.”“Don't just hire someone to perform the task, at its current standard, hire someone to be better than you to level your business up.”“Make sure you're realistic in your expectations and consistent in the type of work that you would expect people in the roles you're hiring for to complete.” 
8/10/202156 minutes, 53 seconds
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317 - Overcoming Perfectionism When Starting a Membership Website

Are you a bit of a perfectionist? A little bit of perfectionism can be a good thing. It can help you strive towards creating the very best content and value for your members.But too much can be a big problem. In fact, perfectionism can kill progress. If perfectionism is holding you back from launching your membership or taking it to the next level, this episode is for you.We’ll be discussing how perfectionism can hold you back, why it’s virtually impossible to achieve in the membership space, and why holding yourself back can rob you of the very things you need to improve – feedback, experience, and data.Essential Learning Points:How perfectionism gets in the way of progressWhy perfectionism is impossible in an ever-changing membershipThe importance of feedback and data in improving your membershipImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“Perfection kills progress.”“Perfection is unattainable because memberships are always evolving. When you build a membership, you're not creating a finished or complete product.”“If you're holding back on launching because you want to get it right, you are preventing access to the very thing that will help you to get it right. And that is experience feedback and data.”
8/3/202114 minutes, 43 seconds
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316 - Why People Aren't Joining Your Membership Site

Is your membership not attracting enough members? Are you wondering where you’re going wrong?In this episode, we cover nine of the most common reasons why people don’t sign up for a membership site. There might be something you haven’t thought of yet, so this episode should give you some food for thought.Tune in to see if you’re guilty of any of these mistakes and find out ways to fix them. Find out whether your membership struggles are down to market need, lack of research, competition or pricing. Essential Learning Points:        The importance of directly asking for the saleWhy you need to ensure your membership is valuable and neededWhy thorough research is the bedrock of any successful membershipNiching down vs. being too broadWhy trust is so important in membershipsImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy      Why Membership Site Owners Need to Niche Down (And STAY Niched)Key Quotes:“People don't join memberships to stand still. They join because they have a result they want to achieve. They have a transformation they want to undergo and a goal they want to hit. So, you need to break it down as clearly as possible, how your membership will help them.”“If you're not established, if you don't have a body of work, some content they can read or listen to, recommendations, or social proof, then your audience might be more hesitant to do business with you.”“Trust is everything in business, especially with a membership site, because they're not just buying one thing from you today. They are entering into an ongoing relationship with you.”
7/27/202134 minutes, 42 seconds
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315 - 5 Essential Emails Every Membership Sales Series Needs

Are you ready to build your email list? Do you already have one but you’re not sure how to get the most value out of it?Whether you’re starting from scratch or are revamping your email series, this episode is for you. We cover five great email types to send your new subscribers to entice them into signing up to your membership site. These are simple yet effective ways to give people a taste of what your membership is like, how it can help them, and the value they could be getting from you. Essential Learning Points:Why creating an email series is so important for new subscribersWhat to include in a welcome email The best ways to create an email sales pitch for new subscribersHow a case study can effectively sell your membershipWhy you should send value-driven emails as well as sales pitchesImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership Guys   Membership AcademyKey Quotes:“Choose a single success story from your member base to write a mini case study around. This should be a story that shows people what's possible by being a member of your site.”“Memberships are pretty abstract products. They're typically made up of many different elements, so it can be challenging to concisely describe them. So being able to show as well as tell can be a real advantage.”“A way to over-deliver is to give them an extra surprise freebie, an eBook, a cheat sheet, a free workshop, something along those lines that they weren't expecting.”
7/20/202121 minutes, 27 seconds
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314 - Why You Need to Take People Behind the Scenes of your Membership

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a membership? Maybe you’ve considered joining one in the past but just have no idea what to expect. Does your audience feel the same way about your membership?Hopefully not, but if you’re looking for a way to bring some transparency, trust, and a behind-the-scenes look into your membership, then this episode is for you.I go into four simple yet effective ways to give your members a sneak peek behind the curtain at what goes on in your membership.The benefits of this marketing tactic are incredible, so tune in today to hear our ideas, how they could help, and how we use them in our own content to promote Membership Academy. Essential Learning Points: Transparency can build trust, so take members behind-the-scenesHow to use screen capture footage as a simple piece of marketing contentHow to use social media Stories to give insights into your day-to-day lifeWhy you should create content that focuses on your journeyWhy you should showcase your members and their successesImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyBehind the Membership podcastKey Quotes:“Not everyoneknows what an online membership is like. If you're in an industry where onlinememberships aren’t particularly prolific, yours might be the very firstmembership that your customers are encountering.”“In the onlineworld, it can be difficult to trust. There are too many cases of people payingfor something that ultimately either just didn't get delivered or was nothinglike what was promised. When you have something like a behind-the-scenes video,you're showing proof that your product exists.”“Transparency canbe very appealing to people. A lot of people these days feel like they needthat connection with the people they choose to do business with. Sotransparency can go such a long way.”
7/13/202126 minutes, 50 seconds
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313 - Musings About Money and Mindset in the Membership World

Are you comfortable talking about money?Many aren’t and avoid the topic altogether. Others are on the opposite end of the spectrum and will flaunt it all day on social media.As money isn’t something that we talk a lot about, either here on The Membership Guys or in real life, this episode is a bit of a different one. In this episode, I explore some financial food for thought about memberships and money in general. I cover things like mental money blocks, the influence of social media, putting money to good use, and scaling your business.This episode’s a bit of a different one than usual, so tune in for a talk on all things money-related. Essential Learning Points:Why our marketing isn’t money focusedThe common money blocks that hold us back Why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to people on social mediaHow the membership model is about slow and steady growthHow to put money to good use in your businessWorking out your effective hourly rateHow scaling your business is all about mindsetImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyThe Untold Origin Story of The Membership Guys (Episode 300 Special)SuperfastbusinessWork Less Make More by James Schramko  Key Quotes:“The money side of memberships is relatively boring. It's not an exciting roller coaster ride. And so, we need to make sure that we don't get complacent and take it for granted.”“When you buy cheap, you end up buying twice. And so, you start to recognize the value of investing money.”“Instead of paying yourself more and taking more per month, pay yourself the same but for doing less work.”“I love memberships because the output is usually substantially more than the input. I can spend an hour creating a piece of content. And that can help hundreds of people who then refer dozens of people, which makes me X amount of extra money for one hour of my time.”
7/6/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 54 seconds
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312 - 5 Toughest Membership Tech Decisions you Need to Make When Starting Out

Are you ready to build your membership website? Before you get started, there are a few key tech decisions you need to make first. These decisions will influence every element of your membership, so you need to choose wisely!How you host your website, build it, choose a domain name, and build a community are just some of the most important but tough decisions to make. In this episode, I cover five tough tech decisions you’ll need to make before you can launch your website. If you’re just getting started and aren’t sure how to get the ball rolling, don’t miss this episode!Essential Learning Points:The differences between self-hosted and using a platform When to hire a developer vs. build a website yourselfWhat to consider when choosing a domain nameHow to choose the best themes and plugins for your siteWhat to consider when building a membership communityImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyShould You Build Your Website Yourself or Hire Help – with Martin & Lyndsay from Jammy Digital Should I Host My Membership on a Separate Domain Name?Why you should add a community to your membership site11 Proven Tactics for Starting a New Membership CommunityKey Quotes:“These are decisions that can have an impact and repercussions on so many different elements of your membership, how you run it, how you grow it, your member experience, and so on.”“WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. And a big part of the reason for that is the fact that there are all sorts of add-ons you can install.”“If you’re cash-rich but time-poor, you're probably going to hire someone. If you're the reverse of that, then the likelihood is you're going to need to build your site yourself.”
6/29/202135 minutes, 57 seconds
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311 - Switching Membership Enrolment Models: Closed to Open

Are you considering a switch from a closed to open-door membership? Maybe you’ve heard about all the benefits of open membership models and want to try it out for yourself.Great! Open memberships can be a fantastic business model. It’s the very same model we use for our own Membership Academy. But don’t just jump headfirst into the switch! If you’re changing to an open membership model, it’s not as easy as changing your mind and keeping the doors open all year. There are lots of things to consider and adjustments to make if you make such a big move. You’ll need to think about all sorts of things like marketing, sales figures, how it will affect the community, and much more!In this episode, I share some things to know about and the best ways to prepare your membership for an enrolment change.Essential Learning Points:Why you need a solid reason for switching membership modelsHow your approach to marketing will need to changeWhy you need to change your sales expectationsThe importance of member onboarding with an open-door membershipHow the membership community will change once you switchImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy5 Reasons Why I Dislike the Closed Door Membership Launch StrategyKey Quotes:“An always open membership relies heavily on evergreen marketing, having that marketing machine that works year-round. And the big piece of that is going to be your core sales funnel.”“Don't start panicking when you have a day where you don't get any sales because it's all about the long term.”“You can't get away with sloppy onboarding as much in an open membership as you can in a closed membership.”
6/22/202126 minutes, 50 seconds
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310 - Switching Membership Enrolment Models: Open to Closed

Are you toying with the idea of switching from an open to a closed-door membership model?Hold on! Before you make the switch, there are some vital things to consider first. In this episode, I’ll take you through the top things to prepare for, decide on, and consider before switching your enrolment model.Switching to a closed-door model isn’t a decision to take lightly. It doesn’t just affect your marketing. It can change the whole member experience as well. This episode covers some ways you can weather the storm and make the switch a smooth transition. Essential Learning Points:Why you need a solid reason for changing your enrolment modelWhat you need to prepare for and communicate to your membersHow a closed-door model can change the member experienceWhat switching to a closed-door model will do for member numbersWhy you still need to market and keep people engaged throughout the yearImportant Links & Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy6 Situations Where The Closed Door Membership Model Makes SenseKey Quotes:“It just stands to reason that, if you have a product, you want to make it available and accessible for people to buy and join when the time is right for them.”“Clear, transparent communication about this change, whether you're going from open to closed or close to open, is key to really nailing this process.”“Whether your doors are open all the time or closed and only open two or three times a year, you still need to market year-round. You still need to show up in between your launches.”
6/15/202137 minutes, 43 seconds
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309 - Behind The Membership: Season 4 Highlights (aka The One where Callie Takes Over)

Good news... it's my birthday!!&nbsp;Bad news... I literally NEVER work on my birthday…It’s one of my rules...And as much as I love The Membership Guys podcast…&nbsp;I can’t break this rule.&nbsp;So I’m taking the day off….And that can mean only one thing...&nbsp;CALLIE IS TAKING OVER!(And I get to eat cake)Join the other (some would say better) half of The Membership Guys for a very special episode, as Callie shares her top takeaways from season 4 of her podcast, Behind the Membership, and reveals the release date for season 5.&nbsp;Listen to hear about:&nbsp;The changes membership owners have made to better serve their audiences during the global pandemic. Caryn Liles explains how Covid 19 resulted in her transitioning her well established brick and mortar dog training business to an online membership model, which is now allowing her to provide more in-depth support than before. Katie Wardrobe talks about how she reduced the price of her membership and offered more free content to help teachers adapt to working online, which has increased the growth of her business.&nbsp;How Carole Copeland Thomas’s membership has become more important than ever due to the growing racial tensions across the U.S.&nbsp;Why a one size fits all approach doesn’t work when it comes to memberships. Pamela Mitchell explains how she created a model to suit her needs and Felicia Lo shares the benefits and challenges of running an online membership alongside a well established international yarn business. Steve Pavlina also talks about how he offers a high ticket annual membership that only launches for five days a year.&nbsp;How season 4 reinforced the message that memberships give owners the freedom and flexibility to live life on their own terms. Whether it’s accommodating health issues like in the case of Marisha Mets, building a location independent business enabling family travel like in the case of Trish Blackwell... Or using your membership to reach big goals and eventually give back to underprivileged communities like John Michaloudis.&nbsp;How running memberships can lead to positive change. Warwick Brown explains how leaving his corporate role and launching his membership has led to a happier, more energized life and Warren Mcpherson shares how he reduced his income streams and took ownership of his time so he can spend more of it with his young family.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Links and Mentions:&nbsp;Behind The Membership podcast&nbsp;Launching Quickly in a Global Crisis with Caryn LilesDouble your member base during a pandemic with Katie Wardrobe&nbsp;Facilitating Change Through Difficult Conversations with Carole Copeland ThomasCreating a High Level Coaching Membership with Coach Pamela MitchellAdding a Membership to a Successful Manufacturing Business with Felicia LoAligning Your Members to Your Vision with Steve Pavlina<a href="https://www.themembershipguys.com/marisha-mets/" rel="noopener noreferrer"...
6/8/202127 minutes, 49 seconds
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308 - 7 Boring But Important Things You Need to Know When Running a Membership

Whether you are new to memberships, thinking about starting one, or have been doing it for years, there are some key things that everyone needs to know. In this episode, I share some of the admittedly boring yet super important things you need to know about running a membership. This episode covers things like insurance, tax, payments, and copyright laws – all that fun stuff!To keep your website and business fully protected, give this episode a listen in case there’s anything you’re currently missing. Essential Learning Points:How to cover the legal aspect of running a membershipWhy it’s important to get a hold over your finances and taxHow to protect your website and content from theft What you need to know about insurance and protecting your businessImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyEssential Guide to GDPR for Membership Site OwnersKeeping Your WordPress Membership Site SecureWhat To Do When Someone Steals Your Membership ContentShould You Allow Competitors to Join Your Membership?How to Deal With Payment Disputes in Your MembershipSuzanne Dibble’s websiteDigital VAT 2015 Facebook groupTermsFeedTermageddonKey Quotes:“It’s better to be safe than sorry, and getting professional indemnity insurance generally will not cost much at all.”“The truth is most security issues for any type of membership, product, or website come from human error. So, you want to make sure that you are clued up.”&nbsp;“It’s certainly advisable to get an accountant on board to help you set your membership up correctly and ensure all your tax and reporting obligations are met.”
6/1/202122 minutes, 19 seconds
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307 - 8 Ways to Reduce Stress When Running a Membership

Is your membership stressing you out?When you first started your journey to being a membership owner, the chances are you didn’t picture sleepless nights and dreading going to work. In fact, you probably imagined finally getting to live the life you always wanted ­– so, where’s it all gone wrong? Owning any business, including a membership, is going to come with stressors. That’s just a fact. But there are several things that could be happening in your membership that are making you unhappy, that you can do something about.In this episode, we talk about the eight most common areas that cause stress for membership owners. We reveal how you can manage these and make running your membership as enjoyable and stress-free as you hoped it would be!Essential Learning Points:How to adjust your expectations for your membershipWhy you should be focusing on the long game How to set manageable deadlinesHow to be realistic with your content strategyWhich tasks you should be outsourcing to free up your timeHow to stay focused on your own progressWhy setting boundaries is essential to managing stressHow context can reframe your anxieties Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy 6 Tasks You Should Outsource To Make Your Membership More ManageableKey Quotes:“With memberships, you get to set the terms. You get to create a business of your own design that fits with your goals for your life.”“You're not creating a finished product, you're starting a journey. You have the freedom and flexibility to adapt and evolve your membership over time.”“Don't try and do everything yourself. You're not a superhero.”
5/25/202138 minutes, 42 seconds
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306 - When is it The Right Time to Start a Membership Site

Are you ready to launch a membership? Are you really ready? If you’ve been toying with the idea of launching a membership for some time, you might be wondering if the timing is right. Many business gurus out there will tell you to jump in and “just start,” but hold on!Memberships are a funny business. Launching your membership is all about timing it right. If you get it wrong, it’s much harder to change your mind or get out of it when you have paying members with high expectations. You need to do the groundwork first. In this episode, we take you through the signs that now is the time to launch your membership. These are signs that your membership will get off to a great start, has a real audience, and won’t fizzle out over time. Essential Learning Points:Why timing is so important when starting a membershipThe downsides of jumping into a membership before you’re readyWhy you need to be clear on what you’re offering and who you’re servingHow much time you need to dedicate at the beginningWhy building your audience before launching a membership is the best moveImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyWhy Membership Site Owners Need to Niche Down (And STAY Niched)Membership ToolkitKey Quotes:“The most successful memberships are the ones that solve a specific problem and serve a specific audience.”“The riches are in the niches when it comes to memberships.”“It's not about having thousands of people on an email list before you can even contemplate starting a membership. It's far more important that your following is relevant than it is huge.”
5/18/202125 minutes, 47 seconds
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My Fight with Depression - Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

In this one-off bonus episode to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, I'm opening up about my history of dealing with clinical depression.To say this is not a typical episode of The Membership Guys Podcast would be an understatement...There's nothing here about memberships, there are no tips, there is no advice. Just my story of mental health challenges which I'm sharing in the hopes of removing the stigma and normalising discussion around topics like depression.If you choose to skip this and stick to the 'membership stuff' then that definitely does not make you a bad person! However if you do listen then I hope sharing this frank, "warts and all" story of my personal fight with depression helps you to either better navigate your own challenges or to support others in your life who are struggling.Please consider supporting others by donating to www.mind.org.uk or alternative mental health charities in your area if you can.
5/11/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 27 seconds
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305 - 12 Universal Truths of Membership Marketing

What’s the secret to marketing your membership? Spoiler: there isn’t just one secret! There are multiple different methods to try, but there are some universal truths to always bear in mind first. In this episode, we share the 12 universal truths to membership marketing. There may not be some hidden secret that will guarantee you success, but these truths apply to all types of membership (and many other businesses as well.)If you’re unsure of what marketing approach to take or whether you need to spend much time marketing at all, don’t miss this episode!Essential Learning Points:The 12 universal truths that apply to all membershipsWhy there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach to marketingWhy building trust should be a key part of your marketingThe importance of marketing and why you can’t overlook itImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyKevin Kelly’s 1,000 True FansBob Berg’s The Go-Giver book Key Quotes:“Think of your membership as a painkiller, not a vitamin. You want it to be a must-have, not a nice-to-have.”“An average product that has great marketing will always beat a great product with average marketing.”“What someone says about you is worth so much more than what you say about yourself.”
5/11/202134 minutes, 23 seconds
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304 - Ignore This Terrible Advice About Your Membership Business

There’s a lot of advice out there about memberships, some of it good, some of it downright awful! If you’re not sure who to listen to or you’re worried you’ve made a mistake about starting a membership, don’t miss this episode. In this episode, we break down the five top pieces of bad (and damaging) advice we’ve seen about running a membership. We take you through competition in the membership world, whether you really need scarcity to sell and if memberships are as dead as people claim. *Spoiler* they’re not!Essential Learning Points:How to recognize bad membership adviceWhy the membership model is NOT dying out Why healthy competition is good The problem with using scarcity to sell Why a closed-door membership does not mean less workImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership Academy1,000 True Fans by Kevin KellyCompeting with Established Memberships in Your MarketAre You Leaving Money On The Table in Your Membership Business?Key Quotes:“It’s fine to leave money on the table if it’s not a table you want to sit at.”“If you’re building your business and basing your strategy on whatever’s in vogue this month, then that’s the wrong approach.”“We shouldn’t be scared off by the existence of competition or worried that a market is too oversaturated. In fact, it’s more of a worry if there’s no competition.”
5/4/202136 minutes, 28 seconds
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We Want Your Feedback! - Bonus Episode

In this special one-off episode, we're asking you guys to help us shape the future direction of The Membership Guys Podcast by having your say on the topics you'd like us to hear more about.To help you do this, we're testing out some incredibly nifty new tech from our podcast hosts Captivate that add interactive surveys to our show - so not only do you help us out, you also get a glimpse at some cool tech stuff too. Win-win!Head over to https://www.themembershipguys.com/podcastsurvey to make your voice heard.
4/29/20215 minutes, 42 seconds
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303 - How We Built Our Audience Before Launching Our Membership

How can you launch a membership without any audience? The simple answer is you don’t have to. You need to put in the work to build that audience first. &nbsp;That’s exactly what we did, and in this episode, we share all the little details that went into building our audience BEFORE we launched the Membership Academy. So, join me on a trip down memory lane. We’re talking about the early days of The Membership Guys and what we did six years ago to get where we are today.We share detailed tips on content marketing, blogging, building your email list, and gaining interest before you even sign up your first member. Essential Learning Points:It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to launch a membershipYou don’t need a huge email list to launch your membershipWhat steps you can take to build interest in your membershipThe importance of a solid launch strategyWhere The Membership Guys are today.Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyMember Machine bookMembership Economy by Robbie Kellman BaxterSuperfast Business Membership ToolkitKey Quotes:“Do what you can with what you have.”“We hated having to turn people away and not being able to give them a suggestion of where to go.”“450 people on an email list…you’re not going to brag to many people about that. It’s still fairly small…but it was big enough.”
4/27/202139 minutes, 42 seconds
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302 - 7 Simple Ways To Increase The Stickiness Of Your Membership By Signposting Future Value

How do you make your membership ‘stickier’? By that, we mean, how do you get members to stick around for your content?The key is to give them something worth sticking around for. You might have great content on the horizon, but do you members know about it? In this podcast episode, I share seven simple ways to let your members know about all the amazing things you have planned for future content. Most of these are simple tweaks you can do today, such as posting on social media or emailing your members. We also share some less commonly known tactics to showcase upcoming valuable content. Essential Learning Points:Why it’s so important to signpost future contentHow to use the ‘Pain of Disconnect’ or FOMO to keep your members interestedWhy an upcoming content list is a simple way to signpost future valueThe types of future content you should promote and howHow to use future content to influence current content.Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyDigital Marketer The Memberoni themeAddEvent7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Membership Site Theme21 Quick Tips for Improving Member RetentionKey Quotes:“Memberships are a value exchange.”“The true value from a membership comes from the things the content enables, the results, the wins, the success stories.”“You’re giving them a glimpse at a possible future that they could have, in terms of outcome, transformation, results, wins, if they actually apply the content that is being released.”
4/20/202129 minutes, 18 seconds
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301 - 6 Things To Do After You’ve Launched Your Membership

What should you do after you launch your membership? Once the launch is all over and done with, what next? Do you just wait for more members to drop by? No, you’ve still got plenty of work to do to grow your membership business. In fact, the easy part is over! &nbsp;In this podcast episode, we share six things you need to do once you launch your membership to keep growing. You’ll want to focus on member retention, follow up with non-buyers, and develop a solid marketing strategy. Listen in to hear my top tactics for making the most of your successful launch, so interest doesn’t just fizzle out. Essential Learning Points:How your membership launch is probably the easiest marketing you’ll ever doWhy the first 30 days of your new membership are the most importantHow to utilize your happy members for future marketingWhy running a membership isn’t just about getting new members, it’s all about what happens after the saleImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyGoogle Analytics&nbsp;Key Quotes:“90% of success is all about what happens on the inside of a membership.” “In the afterglow of your launch, those first 30 days or so, really keep an eye out for any posts, comments, and feedback that you can use from your community…and then turn that into marketing collateral.”“You want those people that were on the fence during your launch and decided against joining to be kicking themselves for not signing up.”
4/13/202121 minutes, 16 seconds
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300 - The Untold Origin Story of The Membership Guys

Every superhero has an origin story…And as we're celebrating a&nbsp;huge&nbsp;milestone of recording 300 episodes of The Membership Guys podcast, Callie and I decided to do something a little bit special and share ours.In this episode we talk about things we’ve never talked about publicly before, giving you an insight into how The Membership Guys came to be and how we got to where we are today.&nbsp;Hopefully some of our story will resonate with you.&nbsp;Enjoy!&nbsp;&nbsp;Episode Summary:The story of how Callie and I metOur business journey, including bad partnerships, 20 hour work days, and of course… membershipsSome personal struggles with depression, burnout and general health that we've never talked about beforePLUS we discuss how Callie has never seen the movie Karate Kid (shock), how in a weird multiverse The Membership Guys may never have come to be and much more!
4/6/20211 hour, 22 minutes, 54 seconds
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299 - What To Do When Your Membership Topic Has a Natural 'End Date'

What if your membership has a natural end date? While no membership will last forever, some hit a natural point where members drop off.&nbsp;This doesn’t necessarily mean the content was bad or you did anything wrong. That’s a whole other story. Sometimes members get everything they need and simply don’t need to remain a member.&nbsp;For example, if you have a membership site for helping people pass a driving test, that has a natural end date. After they pass, they probably won’t need your content anymore.&nbsp;So, what can you do? Do you just accept it, or do you fight to keep these members? In this episode, I discuss some of the tactics you can use to retain members, but also some alternatives and different ways of looking at it. If you’ve been scratching your head trying to come up with a solution, give this episode a listen, and hopefully, it’ll give you some fresh ideas to try out. Essential Learning Points:Why you need to question whether the membership model is right for youHow you can extend the scope of your content to maximize interestWhy retaining members isn’t always the right moveHow a natural end date could actually be a good thingThe most important metric to know in a membership business.Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyWhy Member Lifetime Value is More Important Than Churn RateDespite What You’ve Heard, Average Member Retention is NOT Only 3 Months&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Membership works best when it’s addressing a recurring need.”“One-off needs like “I need to learn this specific process or pass this test” tend to work better as a course where there’s a very clear start and endpoint.”“When it comes down to numbers, everything is about one metric: Customer Lifetime Value.”
3/30/202133 minutes, 11 seconds
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298 - Avoid These 6 Common Member Retention Mistakes

We all want to win over as many new members as possible. But did you know that keeping those members is often more important?Member acquisition is still essential. But unless you’re keeping those members, you’ll find yourself always relying on short-term, one-off members to make ends meet. Making people stick around is often harder than getting them interested in the first place. However, this is exactly what will help you grow your membership business.&nbsp;In this episode, I discuss the six top member retention mistakes I see businesses make. I also talk about why retention is often more important and valuable than member acquisition.&nbsp;Essential Learning Points:Why member retention is so important Why cancellations are not always a bad thing How important feedback is for keeping members The best ways to approach canceling membersImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyIntercomThe Membership Economy book by Robbie Kellman BaxterKey Quotes:“If the only thing standing in the way between someone being a member and someone leaving is that you have hidden the cancelation button, you’ve got bigger problems.”“When you’ve got members on your site engaging and using your membership, getting results, making progress, and forming connections, that is fuel for continued growth in your membership.”“Make the DECISION to cancel difficult, not the process.”
3/23/202137 minutes, 23 seconds
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297 - From The Vault: 4 Simple But Effective Ways to Deliver Massive Value to Your Members

The guiding principle of membership sites is that they are a value exchange. People subscribe to your site and you provide them with enough reasons to keep their subscription going. And so far, you are probably doing a fantastic job at solving their biggest problems and creating amazing content. But why stop there?&nbsp;You can sweeten the deal for your members by amplifying the perceived value your membership site has to offer. In this episode, I review four simple ideas to incorporate more incredible value for your members. And I promise that these won't require more effort and time on your part! Have a listen and, hopefully, you will be inspired to take action on one or all of these strategies.Essential Learning Points:How solving small problems creates big value.Ways to feature your members on your platform.Why your site is the perfect platform for building connections.How to make your members feel like they are flying First Class.Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyzenForoIP.BoardKey Quotes:“You have to give people a reason to stay subscribed. The value you provide comes in the form of creating content and serving your community.”“Quick wins are absolute gold. If you can solve lots of these smaller problems, then the value this will deliver to your members is huge.”“Always make sure that your members are on the top of your list when it comes to preferential treatment.”“Being a connector and filling that role for your members can be of huge value.”
3/16/202121 minutes, 50 seconds
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296 - From The Vault: Should I Host My Membership on a Separate Domain Name?

Choosing where to house your new membership site is a major decision. And you are not alone in feeling confused and uncertain about the options.In this episode of the Membership Guys Podcast, we will provide some clarity around this topic and hopefully, you will get the facts you need to choose what works best for you.In case you were wondering, we are not talking about which web hosting company to use, or whether you should use shared hosting or a dedicated server.We are talking about whether you should:a)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;have your membership site hosted as part of your main website,b)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;have the site live on its own with a separate, dedicated domain, orc)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;have the site live on a subdomain. We will discuss these three options and the pros and cons of each. Essential Learning Points:The three key implications that could impact your decisionWhy a single site is more appealing to the tech-averse folksHow branding can factor into your decisionWhat your long-term plan is for your membership site and why that’s important Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership Mastermind Facebook GroupThe Membership AcademyWooCommerceBuddyPressbbPressKajabiThinkificGoogle AnalyticsKey Quotes:“If you’re going to ask your users to register for a free community on your main site, but then ask them to register on a completely different website to join your membership then this causes a disconnect and is not great from a user experience perspective.”“Having everything under one roof gives you a single point of failure. If something goes wrong with that single website, then everything is offline.”“If you have separate sites for your main and your membership, then the decision making for the membership site is done in isolation. This can greatly uncomplicate things.”
3/9/202131 minutes, 54 seconds
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295 - From The Vault: Tackling the 6 Biggest Challenges Every New Membership Owner Faces

So, you've launched your membership site and are ready to reach those goals and fulfill those dreams you imagined for yourself and for your membership.A word of caution: you may face a few challenges once your site is up and running.&nbsp;We want you to be prepared for the potential issues you may face when you become a new membership site owner. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I go through six of the most common challenges new owners face after a brand-new launch and share my advice on how to deal with them head on. Essential Learning Points:How to keep your start-up costs in check and avoid ‘shiny object syndrome’Tips for mitigating finicky tech issues – whether you’re tech-savvy or notWhat the momentum conundrum is and the 90 / 9 / 1 ruleHow to manage your time better so your membership site doesn't fall off your priority listThe highs and lows post-launch and what to do when your motivation runs dry &nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyThe Membership Mastermind Facebook GroupTackling the 6 Biggest Challenges Every New Membership Owner FacesThe Membership Guys on TwitterKey Quotes:“When it comes to start-up costs, be realistic about what you actually need.”“Be patient, save your money, and wait before you jump into Facebook ads.”“Successful membership owners worry about the members they have far more than the members they don't have.” “There is no one size fits all or silver bullet strategy for bringing in new members.”
3/2/202133 minutes, 43 seconds
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294 - How to Create a Private Podcast for your Members

Did you know that private podcasting could enhance your membership business?By now, most of us are familiar with podcasts. Many of us are avid listeners already. Private podcasting hasn’t quite taken off as much as regular podcasting, mostly because of a lack of systems in place to create them. But, if you could get your private podcast set up the right way, it could be a great way to offer your members exclusive content and extra value. At The Membership Guys, we use Captivate.FM to host our podcast. Captivate is a great podcasting host which offers private podcasting. Using a selection of great automation tools, Captivate has really nailed their private podcasting system. In this episode, I’m joined by Mark Asquith, the CEO and founder of Captivate.FM to discuss how private podcasts work and how they can enhance your membership business. I also reveal some great strategies to help you create a private podcast for your membership. Essential Learning Points:●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;What private podcasting is and why you should consider creating one for your membership site●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;How to use Captivate.FM to create and host your private podcast ●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;How to use private podcasts to enhance the quality of your membership siteImportant Links &amp; Mentions:●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Membership Guys●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Membership Academy●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Captivate.FM●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;6 Ways to Use a Podcast to Promote Your Membership
2/23/202122 minutes, 51 seconds
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293 - Have You Hit The Revenue Ceiling For Your Membership Business?

Did you know that every membership has a revenue ceiling? The revenue ceiling refers to the absolute peak of how much your membership is capable of generating. Knowing what your revenue ceiling is will help motivate you to achieve your full earning potential. And, if you’ve already hit the revenue ceiling for your membership business, you can begin to explore ways to raise the ceiling.If this is the first time you’ve heard anything about a revenue ceiling, you’re not alone. However, it is worth taking the time to consider whether or not you’ve hit the revenue ceiling for your membership business. In this episode, I help you calculate your revenue ceiling and discuss how you can raise the ceiling if you’re not ready to stall just yet.Essential Learning Points:How to calculate your revenue ceilingWhat to do if your monthly revenue is higher than your revenue ceiling calculationWhy hitting your revenue ceiling isn’t a bad thingHow to raise your revenue ceilingImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysThe Membership AcademyThe blog post for this episodeEpisode 292: Are You Leaving Money On The Table in Your Membership Business?Episode 61: How to Add Multiple Revenue Streams to an Existing MembershipKey Quotes:“The reality is every membership and every subscription has a ceiling.”“If you do the math, and the ceiling that you're coming out with is less than where you are right now… most likely, it means that your sales or your churn rates have dropped recently.”
2/16/202124 minutes, 39 seconds
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292 - Are You Leaving Money On The Table in Your Membership Business

If you run a membership site (or any business for that matter), you've probably heard things like, "You're leaving money on the table," from other so-called business professionals.They might encourage you to launch a new product, start hosting events, or doing one-to-one coaching sessions, etc., with the sole purpose of generating more revenue. While this may be true for some people, it doesn’t mean it’s the right move for everyone.In this episode of the podcast, I reflect on why it’s okay to “leave money on the table” if it's not a table you want to be at, how to be more confident in your decisions, and why you need to trust that you know what’s best for your membership site.Essential Learning Points:Why it’s okay to leave money on the table when it’s a table you don’t want to sit atUnderstanding why people like to share “business advice” and why you shouldn’t feel under pressure to listen!The true meaning of success and why you should choose opportunities carefullyImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Episode 61: How to Add Multiple Revenue Streams to an Existing Membership&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Memberships can work very well as part of a larger ecosystem of products and services.”“A lot of entrepreneurs will feel driven by their nature to feel like they have to jump on every possible opportunity available to them. However, that doesn't mean that you have to go in that direction.”“What works for one person isn't always guaranteed to work for someone else. There are no guarantees, no one-size-fits-all business model and no absolutes in this game.”
2/9/202118 minutes, 27 seconds
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291 - How to Encourage Engagement without Nagging Your Members

Are you struggling to encourage disengaged members? Member engagement can be a tricky thing. We want people to consume the content, engage with the community, and really use the membership that they’re paying for, but we don’t want to nag people with constant emails either. Once someone becomes disengaged, it can be difficult to nudge them back into action. In this episode I look at the ways you can maintain a careful balance between encouraging engagement without getting on people’s nerves, from soft unsubscribes to using email tags to using remarketing ads to gently encourage your members back to courses and back into the community.Essential Learning Points:Why it’s important to maintain a balance between nudging and naggingUsing tools in your CRM and messaging apps to create a buffer to reduce the naggingHow to use soft unsubscribes to reduce email overwhelmHow you can mix up the formats you use to send remindersMaking sure you don’t overdo it with your messages and emailsWhy it's important to remember that people engage in different ways Important Links &amp; Mentions:Membership Academy Courses ConvertKitActiveCampaignIntercom DriftThe 90-9-1 Rule of Community EngagementKey Quotes:“If the reason they haven’t logged in is because they have something serious going on or a major change in circumstance, you don’t want to be that annoying person nagging them every week. Giving them the ability to soft unsubscribe from certain types of reminders and emails ensures that you don’t alienate or annoy those members.”“Mix up the format and how you get yourself in front of people to try and reengage them to log in, rejoin the community, or finish that course.”“You need to be smart and think about that bigger picture for the member and don’t overdo it, don’t try to force it and know when to stop. Make sure that you’re not going overboard.”&nbsp;
2/2/202127 minutes
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290 - How to Create an Effective Membership Exit Survey

Do you have an effective membership exit survey in place? It’s a depressing fact that no matter how hard you try, you cannot stop people from leaving your membership site. Cancellations are just par for the course in the membership game. But don’t despair, because there is one tool that can make all the difference and that all membership site owners should have in their arsenal – the exit survey. In this episode, I explain why it is so important to have exit surveys in place, what 3 simple questions will give you the information you need to change that person’s mind as well as creating a last final plea page, and gathering valuable data that could improve your content and marketing strategy in the future.Essential Learning Points:Why exit surveys are so important for your membership siteWhat questions to ask on an exit surveyWhat to do with that information once you have collected itHow to use the survey answers to create conditional messaging and a final plea pageWhy it is so important to keep your exit surveys simpleImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyThe Membership Academy – Enhancing Your Membership Site with Gravity Forms courseKey Quotes:“A membership exit survey is a critical tool in the arsenal of every single membership site owner.”“An exit survey is a great way to look at what changes you can make to improve the retention of the members you still have.”“If you can show people conditional messaging related to the reasons they’re leaving, then that enables you to make a relevant and very specific final plea to that member.”
1/26/202121 minutes, 18 seconds
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289 - Competing with Established Memberships in Your Market

Do you want to launch a membership, or have you launched already and now found that there are big, established competitors in your market?Don’t panic. Your competitors may have a massive library of content, years and years of experience under their belt, or thousands of members, but don’t let that intimidate you. Your size, your uniqueness, and your ability to zig when your competitors zag, gives you an edge – if you know how to take advantage of it.In this episode, I share many tips on how to differentiate yourself from the competitors. From zeroing in on your specialty and niche to emphasizing your personal brand and offering a personalized service, these tips will help you get a share of that membership pie.Essential Learning Points:1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;How understanding ‘why you exist’ can help you differentiate from your competitors2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Why specializing and niching down on your topic and who you serve can help your positioning3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The benefits of focusing on your personal side, embracing your underdog nature, and striving for quality4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Why you should avoid getting wrapped up in competitor numbers and look for opportunities5.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;What to avoid doing when dealing with competitorsImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Bob Burg, “The Go Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea”The Membership AcademyThe Membership Mastermind Facebook GroupThe Membership Guys’ TwitterMike’s InstagramCallie’s InstagramKey Quotes:“If you can offer something that caters to a specific segment of your audience, then you are going to stand out and beat your competition every single time.”“Don’t be intimidated by that established competitor with a library of content. It’s all about what value and what results you can deliver.”“Don’t obsess about the fact your competitor has more members than you or that they have cornered a percentage of the market because, in all honesty, you only need a small percentage of the marketplace to succeed.”&nbsp;
1/19/202141 minutes, 56 seconds
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288 - Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your Membership

Are you finding Instagram a frustrating platform to promote your membership? Instagram is the one social channel where it is hard to add links to promote your content. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. As well as just using it as a content outlet to promote your blog, podcast, or video content, there are multiple ways Stories can be used to promote your membership business. In this episode, we share 7 ways you can make the most out of Instagram Stories. From creating native content to utilising interactive Stories badges. We have lots of suggestions about how you can use Stories to showcase your social side and promote your business at the same time. Essential Learning Points:How to creatively use Instagram Stories to promote your membershipWays to use native content on Stories to engage your membersThe benefits of using Stories to show behind the scenes contentHow you can use Stories to share social proof and brag about yourself The benefits of features like the Stories countdown and question badges to promote your content and engage your audienceImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership Academy The Membership Mastermind Facebook GroupThe Membership Guys’ TwitterMike’s InstagramCallie’s InstagramKey Quotes:“Instagram Stories has a lot of potential. But, you will have to be more creative to take advantage of it.”“You can use Stories to brag about your members and to showcase them. By shining, a spotlight on your member’s successes will show a different dimension to your business.” “Stories are great for getting existing members excited about what’s coming up and building connections, but also for enticing new members.”
1/12/202122 minutes, 14 seconds
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287 - Setting Goals for Your Membership Business: A Practical Process

Did your membership achieve its goals this year? If it did, congratulations! If not, could your approach to goal setting have improved your chances? As the year draws to a close, there's no better time to take stock of how far you've come. Reviewing the last 12 months is a great way to appreciate your achievements and the first steps to planning for your membership's future. Goal setting is a vital part of setting your membership up for success. But it can be challenging knowing what goals to set for your membership and, once you've figured those out, even harder to know the right way to achieve them. In this episode, we're sharing a practical goal-setting process that will help you determine where you want your membership to go and reveal how to get you there.Essential Learning Points:How the CO-STAR process can help you set and achieve goalsPractical goal setting examples and actionable steps Why your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound)The optimum time period for a planning and review cycleImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership Academy The Membership Mastermind Facebook GroupThe Membership Guys’ TwitterMike’s InstagramCallie’s InstagramKey Quotes:“Any time you're setting goals, any time you're planning, you need to take stock. You almost need to audit what's going on right now.”“You need to be able to measure the goals that you're setting in order to determine if you're on track.”“You have to consider your priorities and the relevance of what you're spending your time on, and what you're prioritizing within your plan.”
1/5/202122 minutes, 48 seconds
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286 - Top 10 Most Popular Podcast Episodes of 2020

Just like that, another year is over...And what a year 2020 has been!Rather than dwell on what could only be described as an insane 12 months, let’s end the year on a high and think about what we’ve all achieved.&nbsp;It has certainly been a big year for Callie and I.We’ve:&nbsp;Grown our team with two full-time hires - Kathryn, our Head of Digital Content and Tom, our Graphic Designer.&nbsp;&nbsp;Launched some amazing new features in Membership Academy including our Game Plans and Member Huddles, and…Created another year’s worth of The Membership Guys weekly podcast and season 4 of Callie’s Behind The Membership podcast.&nbsp;It’s been a lot of fun!&nbsp;We hope it’s been a successful and productive year for you and your membership.&nbsp;With only a few days left of 2020, it’s time for our traditional end of year recap show.Listen for our top 10 most popular episodes of The Membership Guys podcasts in 2020.&nbsp;Thank you so much for your continued support of the show this year - I really appreciate each and every one of you.&nbsp;Here’s to an awesome 2021.&nbsp;Episode Links (not in order - don't want to ruin the suspense!):Using Facebook Ads to Promote Your Membership With Gavin Bell8 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Membership Site &nbsp;9 Simple Marketing Tactics That’ll Get You More MembersUsing Pinterest to Market Your Membership With Cara Chace&nbsp;Should You Allow Competitors to Join Your Membership?7 Things to do Before You Publish Your Next Piece of ContentWhy Signal vs Noise Ratio is Key to Membership Community Engagement&nbsp;Should You Build Your Website Yourself or Hire Help - With Martin and Lyndsay from Jammy DigitalCelebrating the 5th Anniversary of Membership Academy&nbsp;How to Use Content Marketing to Sell Your Online MembershipCheck out previous years' countdowns:<a href="https://www.themembershipguys.com/top-podcasts-2019/"...
12/29/202041 minutes, 50 seconds
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285 - Running a Membership over the Holidays – 6 Things You Should Do

How are you planning to run your membership over the festive season?As a membership site owner, you have the freedom to choose how you run your membership all year round. However, the holidays present unique opportunities for producing content, running promotions, and taking the time to sit back and relax.In this episode, I tell you the six things you can start doing now to plan for the holiday season. From what seasonal content to plan, to when to start thinking about next year, these six things will help you figure out how your membership can effectively navigate the festivities.Essential Learning Points:Which content types are perfect for the festive seasonHow to run a seasonal promotionWhy taking a break is essential to your membership’s successHow to prepare your members for your reduced availabilityWhat to reflect on and how it can shape your membership’s futureHow to start planning for the year aheadKey Quotes:“The holidays are a great time to run a promotional campaign, whether it's a discount, whether it's a promotion where you offer some bonuses, some sort of event marketing, like a summit or a challenge.”“Even if you've got to force yourself to take some time off, know that time away is actually an extremely important investment in your business.”“If you haven't hit your goals, or things haven't gone the way you want, that's business. That's life. A lot of the time, these goals are arbitrary, they’re guesses, they’re best estimates. So, don't dwell. Make a deliberate effort to focus on the positives from your year.”
12/22/202027 minutes, 23 seconds
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284 - Branding Essentials for Your Membership Business

How do people view your brand?Businesses don’t achieve brand loyalty because they’ve picked a great color scheme for their website. You earn brand loyalty by aligning and effectively communicating your principles and purpose.You probably already know your membership’s values, vision, and mission, but does your audience? These key elements play a big part in how people view and interpret your brand. Your brand is far more than just your logo.In this episode, I break down what elements make up a brand and how you can use them to set up your brand for success.&nbsp;Essential Learning Points:What a brand actually is (and what it isn’t)Why your brand’s principles are importantHow to position your brand correctlyImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Simon Sinek’s book, Start with WhyMembership Academy CoursesSubscribe to the Membership AcademyThe Membership Mastermind Facebook GroupKey Quotes:&nbsp;“People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”&nbsp;“Imagine your brand as a person and think about what its personality would be like – what it would be like to hang out with them, what it would do, what it would be into, how it would talk, how it would sound.”&nbsp;“Your purpose, your mission, your vision, and your values: getting clear on those will inform everything else you do. This is the heart of what your business and what your brand is all about.”
12/15/202014 minutes, 6 seconds
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283 - Keeping Your WordPress Membership Site Secure

Does your WordPress membership site have sufficient security measures in place?Many membership site owners live in fear of their website being attacked, and for good reason...If someone manages to hack into your Wordpress website, install something nasty or delete or steal your data, it could cripple your membership business.That's why it's so important to be extra vigilant and make sure you take adequate steps to keep your site secure...In this episode, I'm sharing my top tips for keeping your membership site secure and advising which plugins and services you can use to help.Essential Learning Points:Whether or not WordPress is an insecure platform to build your site onWhy it's crucial that your membership site has security measures in placeThe eight top tips to proactively safeguard your membership siteWhat you can do if the worst happens and your site is hackedImportant Links &amp; Mentions:ManageWPSucuriWordfenceWP EngineLiquid WebBackupBuddyWP Fix ItFixRunnerKey Quotes:“The fact that WordPress powers 455 million sites definitely makes it more of a target. The counterbalance to that is that there's also a lot of people involved in keeping it secure and responding extremely quickly to any issues.”“If you need to give admin access temporarily to your web designer, or maybe someone from tech support at your plugin company, make sure you remove their account after they no longer need it. It's not about not trusting those people, it's about there being an additional potential account that someone could get into.”&nbsp;
12/8/202019 minutes, 18 seconds
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282 - Should You Increase the Price Existing Members are Paying?

Are you considering increasing the price your existing members are paying?When you first launched your membership, you might have offered your initial members an amazing deal to entice them to join. However, it’s now a few years later and your membership has evolved. You’ve added lots of new content, your community’s grown, and your membership is much more valuable.You’ve increased the price for new members, and now you’re questioning the fee that your initial members are paying – and thinking about raising the cost of their subscriptions.In this episode, I explain why this is a short-sighted approach and highlight why you shouldn’t increase membership prices for your long-term members.Essential Learning Points:Why you might be considering raising costs for existing membersThree reasons why you shouldn’t put existing member prices upThe one situation where you can increase existing member pricesImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership Guys Facebook GroupMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“People who invest in a tech company when they're still working out of their dad's garage, they deserve the return. They deserve to be in that stronger position, years down the line, than investors who waited until they could back a winning horse.”“Remember just how important those earlier members are to your long-term journey.”“It doesn't matter that your membership has increased in value because you would not be in the position to grow your membership to where it is now if not for those initial members.”
12/1/202018 minutes, 59 seconds
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281 - Celebrating the Milestones of Your Membership Business

Are you celebrating the milestones in your membership business?If not, you should be!Whether it's an anniversary or hitting an important goal, it's worth making an effort to mark those significant achievements.In this episode, I share my top tips for celebrating your membership milestones in style...
11/24/202015 minutes
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280 - Pros and Cons of Pre-selling Your Membership

Turning your membership idea into a reality can take a lot of time and, often, a lot of money.As such you might be trying to find a way to raise funds earlier in the process.Some membership owners do this with a pre-sale.A pre-sale works like this: you have a great idea for a membership, so you test its viability by taking it to your audience to see if they are willing to invest in your concept (even though it doesn't exist yet!).If they are, then you can generate seed money to help finance the development of your membership.However, before pre-selling your membership idea, it's important to know the pros and cons...Essential Learning Points:How a pre-sale works, and how it relates to terms like "seed launch" or "founder launch"What the three main benefits to a promoting a pre-sale areThree big drawbacks to a pre-sale that you need to considerOur preferred alternative launch strategy with better chances of successImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Pros and Cons of Offering Lifetime MembershipsCreating an MVP to Test and Validate Your Membership IdeaThe Lean Live Launch StrategyThe Membership Guys Facebook GroupMembership Academy&nbsp;Key Quotes:“The vast majority of ideas don't go any further than just thoughts in a brain or scribbles on a page. This kind of pre-sell, having money change hands, makes you more committed.”“If you don't get a good response to a seed launch, that doesn't tell you anything. That isn't a sign that your membership is not going to be successful.”
11/17/202027 minutes, 26 seconds
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279 - Customer Service Essentials for Membership Sites

Customer service is at the heart of the member experience.No matter how great your membership site is, you’re going to have members contacting you for additional support at some point.Providing your members with good customer service is an easy way to elevate their experience of your site, and similarly a bad customer service experience will quickly turn their opinion of your membership sour.In this episode, I break down the 4 step approach to master your customer service strategy, as well as specific tactics for streamlining customer service as your membership scales.
11/10/202024 minutes, 19 seconds
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278 - Using Member Roundups to Increase Engagement

As a membership site owner it’s&nbsp;easy to tie yourself in knots trying to come up with&nbsp;the best ways to get your members to engage with your site, your content, and your community.From fancy progress tracking to complex loyalty schemes; laborious member outreach programs through to advanced gamification&nbsp;systems.However it can be easy to forget that often&nbsp;some of the less glamorous&nbsp;methods of engagement are the most effective.So in today's episode I’m going to take a look at one of my favourite tactics&nbsp;for member communication, engagement and retention – the humble “member roundup email”.
11/3/202018 minutes, 32 seconds
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277 - Breaking Down the 6 Different Types of Membership Launch

When people think about launching a membership, they think about the day that they finally open their doors for the very first time and welcome their first crop of new members.It's a big deal!However that grand opening isn't the only opportunity you have to launch...There are different launch types for each stage of your business, depending on how far along you are in the membership site creation process, or what you might need your members to do to help get your product ready for market.Listen in for a full breakdown of the 6 different launch strategies you can use at various stages of your membership journey...&nbsp;Essential Learning Points:Validating your membership idea by running a pilot programThe difference between launch strategy for open memberships vs closed doorHow to generate seed money to help you develop your membership ideaThe best way to reduce the stress of a big launch and ease yourself into the membership modelImportant Links &amp; Mentions:&nbsp;The 6 Different Types of Membership Launch When the closed door membership makes senseJeff Walker's book, LaunchCreating an MVP for your membershipThe lean live launch strategyMembership AcademyThe Membership Guys Facebook Group&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Your big launch event will usually be a week or two, where you're doing lots of promotional marketing activity to get as many eyeballs as possible on your launch – in the hopes that you'll get that influx of initial members.” &nbsp;“The beta launch can be extremely useful for helping you to ensure that you are in absolute top shape, or as close as you can get to top shape, before you open the doors to your membership. And, it has the great side effect of also ensuring that you already have people there in your community.”“If you know you need a little bit of a softer entry into the world of running an online membership, then a soft launch can work for you.”
10/27/202026 minutes, 15 seconds
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276 - How to Change Membership Platform After You’ve Launched

Have you launched your membership and then found yourself regretting your choice of technology that runs your website? Or maybe you haven't yet launched but you live in fear of that turning out to be your reality.“What if I make the wrong choice and then in 6 months’ time I discover I’m stuck with it?”Because of this we see a lot of people have a lot of anxiety about deciding on which platform or plugin is right for them. In this episode I reveal everything you need to know about switching your membership platform.Essential Learning Points:The questions you need to ask yourself before deciding to switch platformsWhy data migration is the most crucial aspect of switchingHow to communicate this big change to your membersWhat you need your members to do, and how to get itThe reality of what switching platforms can cost youImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Guide To Choosing A Membership Plugin&nbsp;Key Quotes:“This isn't something you do on a whim, or because a new tool sounds cool and has got a lot of buzz. This isn’t a small decision...”When communicating, make sure you address the question that's going to be in their minds. “What's in it for me?” Focus your message on how the new system is going to benefit them.“At all times in all memberships there will be a percentage of the member base who are only there because of inertia. The only reason they’re still members is because they keep forgetting to cancel their subscription.”“Don’t start switching over, then run a couple of tests and regret the change you’ve made. Test first and test thoroughly, before you do anything else.”
10/20/202020 minutes, 49 seconds
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275 - Busting the Most Common Membership Marketing Myths

Do you know the difference between good marketing advice and bad marketing advice?The marketing industry is full of information. Some can help you build meaningful customer relationships and effectively generate sales. But some is based on misinformation, pressure tactics, and “shortcuts” that could lead to slower audience growth or even a damaged reputation.I find it so infuriating that people are being pressured and pushed around by membership marketing myths that they believe are the industry standard. In this episode, I get on my soapbox to bust the most common marketing myths and help steer you away from the nonsense.Essential Learning Points:Why pressurizing leads can drive them to buy elsewhereHow to prevent your customers getting buyer’s remorseWhy a good product isn’t enough to generate salesThe number of followers you really needImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Open Every Day by Ross O'Lochlainn1,000 True Fans by Kevin KellyOur free Membership Mastermind Facebook GroupMembership AcademyKey Quotes:“Successful marketing is all about getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time.”“Some people are just not ready to buy when you’re ready to sell. Your business and how you market it is actually more about being there when someone is ready to buy, rather than trying to force the sale too quickly.”“If you’re not able to connect the dots and to compel people to put their hand in their pocket and pay you for the solution to their problem then it doesn’t matter how great your membership is, it doesn’t matter how great your product is. “Build it and they will come” is not a valid strategy.”
10/13/202028 minutes, 8 seconds
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274 - Advanced Membership Pricing Tips & Tactics

How much should you charge for your membership site? And, what should your pricing strategy look like?Well, the answers to both of those questions depend on your membership. However, there are some advanced pricing tactics that successful membership sites use when it comes to determining their prices.As I’m sure you’re aware, getting the price of your membership right is so important. But it’s often more than that, you also need to make sure that you use effective pricing strategies to convince people to join your membership. In this episode, I reveal my top and most advanced tips and tactics to help you with your membership pricing strategy!Essential Learning Points:The differences between B2C and B2B pricingWhy you need to consider the numbers within your priceHow to create compelling discountsThree ways to leverage price anchoring for your membershipImportant Links &amp; Mentions:ResponseSuiteMembership Academy&nbsp;Key Quotes:“The more choices you give, the more you add friction to the buying process, which can lead to decision fatigue.”“With a decoy product, you specifically create an option with the entire purpose of that option being that it makes your main option look better. You actually don't want people to buy this product.”
10/6/202032 minutes, 53 seconds
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273 - 5 Ways to Encourage Discussion in Your Membership Community

Is your membership community a ghost town? Are you constantly banging your head against a wall trying to figure out ways to get your members to actually converse with each other?&nbsp;This guide has got the answers.We’ve said it many times before - people come for the content but they stay for the community. However, getting an active, thriving community inside your membership is easier said than done.It’s not a case of just setting up a Facebook group and assuming that all the conversations will start flowing, and connections will happen automatically. You need to put in the work to drive the discussion and the connections within your community. It can take quite a bit of time to get the discussion flowing, particularly in the early days where this can feel like trying to push a boulder up a hill. But these steps will help get it done.Essential Learning Points:&nbsp;Start The Discussion YourselfEncourage “Low-Hanging Fruit” ConversationsDon’t Rush To Answer Every Questions YourselfTag Other Members In DiscussionInclude Your Community As Part Of New Member OnboardingImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership Academy - https://www.membershipacademy.com/The Membership Guys Facebook Group - https://www.facebook.com/MembershipGuys/groups&nbsp;Key Quotes:“You’re going to have to be the one who drives the conversation. It’s not going to be a case of creating a forum or a Slack channel, giving people the link and seeing the engagements and discussions just happen.”“If you’re getting to every question first and answering straight away, you’re shutting down discussions before they get a chance to start. So, it can be worth strategically stalling.”“Embrace the role of not just the expert who answers questions, but as the community leader. Embrace being the person who creates connections between your members and facilitates the best path of learning.”“The best way to encourage people to be active in your community is to get them in there early and ensure your community is an integral part of the member experience.”
9/29/202026 minutes, 49 seconds
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272 - Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Membership Academy

Wow... 5 years of Membership Academy!And what a rollercoaster ride our fifth year has been.Listen in as Callie and I recap the highs and lows of the past 12 months of Membership Academy, and look ahead to what's in store in the next year and beyond.In this episode, Callie and I discuss:The real impact that running our first conference had on our membership businessHow we navigated personal illness and a global pandemicChanges we've made to our content strategy, and the results we're seeing so farThe big step up we're taking in the coming yearDig further into our journey so far...Inside the launch of the Membership AcademyLooking Back at the First 12 Months of the Membership AcademyInsights &amp; Reflections on Year 2 of the Membership AcademyLooking Back at Year 3 of the Membership AcademyCelebrating the 4th Anniversary of Membership AcademyAs always, we want to thank each and every one of your for your support over the past 5 years - whether you're a podcast listener, Facebook group member, blog reader or one of our highly treasured Academy members (or indeed, all of the above) - we just want to take this opportunity to thank you, sincerely, for being with us on our journey.
9/22/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 16 seconds
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271 - From The Vault: How to Start Building an Audience for Your Membership Site

A membership has many moving parts, lots of technical elements, and will take plenty of hard work to get started.But there is one element of running a membership site that is constant and, if you don’t have it, you won’t keep your membership alive.If you don’t have an audience, you won’t have a membership.So, if you’re just starting out and eager to get your membership going, it’ll pay dividends if you invest in finding and growing your audience now. This classic episode of The Membership Guys will show you how.Essential Learning Points:Why it’s important to build your audience before you release your productWhere the best places are to look for your potential audienceHow finding your audience will also help you fine-tune your membership content and marketing strategyWhere you can go to learn more about establishing and growing your audienceImportant Links &amp; Mentions:How to Generate Email Leads for Your Membership SiteUsing Segmentation to Increase Leads and Member SalesHow To Use Content Marketing To Sell Your Online MembershipMarketing Tactics for Attracting New Members4 Ways to Discover What Your Audience REALLY Want from your Membership&nbsp;Key Quotes:“If you’re building a product, you need to have someone to sell it to!”&nbsp;“Passionate people find each other and they congregate around different places online.”“A lot of your initial audience building efforts are going to center around finding where your particular crowd are and hanging out with them.”“Don’t take it for granted that your existing audience will have an interest in what you’re doing with your membership.”
9/15/202016 minutes, 21 seconds
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270 - From The Vault: How to Set Boundaries with your Members

Setting boundaries is essential if you want your membership to be productive and positive for you – and your members.But how do you do it without cutting people off, coming across as aloof or inaccessible, and how can you ensure your members are having their questions answered whilst still respecting your boundaries.It’s certainly a balancing act, but it’s one you can perfect by putting into practice some of these tips and tricks. We’ve tested and refined these approaches over time with our own Membership Academy and our members have also found these approaches to be beneficial in their memberships too.Tune in to find out how we, and many other membership site owners, set healthy boundaries with our members that benefit everyone.&nbsp;Essential Learning Points:Why opening yourself up to more communication can actually reduce contact overwhelmSome of the best tools and tactics we’ve used to set healthy boundaries within our membershipWhy setting the right boundaries will benefit your members as much as youImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Is Starting a Membership Website the Right Move for You?Recommended Tools &amp; ResourcesHow to Add an Online Forum to your Membership WebsiteLive Membership Q&amp;A with Mike and CallieMembership AcademyKey Quotes:&nbsp;“Your members will contact you and any successful membership site owner will respond when they do reach out. That’s not to say that you can’t set boundaries and that you can’t be the one to set the terms.”&nbsp;“When people know that they don’t have to try hard to reach you, that takes the urgency out of the equation.”&nbsp;“Nobody should be in a position where they send you a message and they have no idea of when to expect a response.”&nbsp;“Setting and managing expectations is good not just for you, but for your members too.”
9/8/202014 minutes, 19 seconds
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269 - From The Vault: How to Win Back Cancelled Members

“Cancellation” is a word that sends a shiver down the spine of any membership site owner, but are membership site owners missing a trick when it comes to how they handle cancelled members?In our own membership, Membership Academy, 25% of members who leave end up rejoining. This is why it’s essential not to burn your bridges – and to put a rock-solid win-back strategy in place.Join us in this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast to learn what a win-back campaign is, how to structure it, and what some of the essential tactics you need to use are.Essential Learning Points:Where many membership site owners are getting it wrong when it comes to cancelled membersHow to create a win-back sequence that gives lapsed members a great reason to come backWhat the three key notes you need to hit are if you want to create a compelling case for re-joining your membershipImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Try These Tactics to Pre-empt and Prevent Member Cancellations4 Essential Email Automations Every Membership Website NeedsFacebook Remarketing Strategies for Membership WebsitesWhat To Do (And What to Avoid) When Someone Cancels Their MembershipMembership AcademyMembership Mastermind from The Membership Guys&nbsp;Key Quotes:“People may leave your membership site for a variety of reasons and many of those reasons will have nothing to do with them being unhappy with your membership.”“You need to give people enough time to realize what they’re missing, to get past the issue that may have caused them to leave in the first place.”&nbsp;“As part of your win-back campaign, you should be asking outright – what would it take for you to return?”&nbsp;“At Membership Academy, we find that about 25% of members who leave come back.”
9/1/202015 minutes, 45 seconds
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268 - How to Drive Traffic from Your Blog to Your Membership

Your blog and your website host all of the content used in your marketing – so how do you join the dots between your blog and your membership?There are plenty of ways membership site owners can do this, but many don’t because they’ve heard bad advice from marketing ‘gurus’ or they’re worried about sounding salesy.The good news is there are direct and indirect ways of linking from your blog to your membership – and all of them are good, easy ideas to implement!So, listen in to this episode to learn why it’s so important to build that path from your blog to your membership and how you can do it – with examples from ourselves and our members at Membership Academy.Essential Learning Points:Why it’s so essential that you use your blog as a promotional channel for your membershipDirect and indirect approaches you can use to drive traffic your membership from your blogWhy you need to discount one particular piece of advice that some internet marketers swear byImportant Links &amp; Mentions:How To Use Content Marketing To Sell Your Online MembershipMembership AcademyHow to Decide Which Content Should Be Free vs PaidHow to Generate Email Leads for Your Membership SiteFacebook Remarketing Strategies for Membership Websites&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Your blog is a primary place to promote your membership.”&nbsp;“Often all someone needs to be ready to buy is awareness that you have a solution to their problem.”“We get so many people clicking through from the CTA on our thank you page and we have so many members inside our community whose sales significantly increased once they added that CTA to their thank you pages as well.”“You need to make sure, if you’re getting people subscribing to your email list, that you have an initial series of emails that sells your membership.”
8/25/202019 minutes, 18 seconds
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267 - 6 Situations Where The Closed Door Membership Model Makes Sense

Despite my protests over the years, I’m ready to admit that there are a few instances where it is a good idea to use a closed door membership model.Some of them are very niche, some of them require a few “ifs” and asterisks, but they are entirely valid and are all better suited to a closed door model.This episode is well worth checking out if you’re just starting out or if you’re trying new things with your membership. It could make a foundational difference to the way you run your membership!Essential Learning Points:What the difference is between closed door and evergreen membership modelsThe six situations that suit a closed door membership model bestThe one universal truth that applies to every membership modelImportant Links &amp; Mentions:5 Reasons Why I Dislike the Closed Door Membership Launch StrategyWhy You Should Run a Beta Test for Your Membership SiteCreating an MVP to Test and Validate Your Membership IdeaLean Live Launch strategyPromoting Your Membership Site with an Affiliate Program&nbsp;Key Quotes:&nbsp;“If your model uses cohorts – a set intake of students and schedule – then the closed door model is essential.”&nbsp;“If you’ve been running your membership for a year or two and you know that there is a clearly-defined off-season period – where demand subsides and sales drop – then you might be better served by taking sales and marketing out of the equation for that period.”“Whether you choose an evergreen model or the closed door approach, keep in mind that you still need to show up for your existing members.”
8/18/202020 minutes, 59 seconds
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266 - Why Signal vs Noise Ratio Is Key to Membership Community Engagement

Community is often the heart of membership sites but working out the best way to introduce it to your membership isn’t as easy it might seem.Often, we see debates around how to host membership communities that end up focusing on quantity of engagement, rather than quality.Quantity isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not always what you’re actually aiming for.If you want to find the signal in the noise and determine the right community model for your membership site, you’re going to need to dig a little deeper into your purpose, your membership structure, and the goals your audience have.This episode of The Membership Guys podcast will help you do that digging!Essential Learning Points:What the Signal vs Noise ratio is in communities and why understanding the differentiation is importantWhy understanding your membership and its purpose is key to deciding the role your community should playWhat we have learned (and are still learning) about our own experiments with forums and Facebook groupsImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Should I use a Forum or Facebook Group for my community?Do You REALLY Need to Add a Community to Your Membership?How to Add an Online Forum to your Membership WebsiteMembership Mastermind from The Membership GuysKey Quotes:“It is crucial to understand that activity and engagement are not the same thing.”“The importance of your signal to noise ratio will depend on how important community is to your membership.”“We’ve clearly defined the role of the forum and the Facebook group, and how the two connect. Because of that, we’re not experiencing any problems.”&nbsp;“The type of role that your community plays is entirely up to you and it’s going to be dependent on what you know will work best for your audience.”
8/11/202012 minutes, 12 seconds
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265 - 21 Quick Tips for Improving Member Retention

Member retention is critical to the long-term success of your membership website.It costs 7-10 times more on average to win a new member than it does to hold on to an existing one; and if you’re losing more members than you bring in then your business won’t last long!In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, we’re giving you 21 quick tips for improvements you can make to your membership strategy in order to improve your member retention.
8/4/202014 minutes, 4 seconds
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264 - 9 Key Terms Every Membership Site Owner Should Know

Every industry, topic and niche has its fair share of jargon.And memberships are no different.There’s already so much to juggle as a membership site owner, so the last thing you want to have to worry about is needing to wrap your head around all of the lingo!So to make it easier for you, we’ve rounded up the 9 key terms and phrases you need to know if you run a membership.
7/28/202012 minutes, 27 seconds
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263 - Facebook Remarketing Strategies for Membership Websites

Facebook remarketing is one of the most exciting developments in online advertising in recent years.&nbsp;Now, instead of being limited to picking demographics and targeting options that we think relate to our target audience; we can actually leverage actual user behaviour to determine which ads they are shown.This enables us to show the right message to the right person at the right time, which dramatically improves the effectiveness of our Facebook ads.When it comes to membership sites, there are 6 key ways in which you can really leverage Facebook remarketing - and I'm sharing them all in this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast
7/21/202013 minutes, 39 seconds
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262 - 4 Things Membership Site Owners Should Be Doing Every Day

Running a membership site is a juggling act. There’s a seemingly never-ending list of things to keep on top of; and with much of the focus revolving around things like producing content and marketing to bring in new members it’s easy to see why some of the basics get missed. However&nbsp;it’s often the relatively minor day to day activities that have the real impact on how successful a membership site is. In this episode I discuss 4 such activities you should make sure you’re doing each and every day in your membership
7/14/20208 minutes, 24 seconds
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261 - 7 Ways to Add Social Proof to Your Membership Sales Page

Social proof is a powerful, persuasive factor when it comes to making buying decisions. If we see others behaving in a particular way, buying a product or, say, joining a membership site; then we're far more inclined to follow suit. More and more, customers are basing their buying decisions on what other people recommend, rather than promotions, discounts and other sales tactics. In this episode, I share 7 ways that you can add social proof to your membership sales page.
7/7/202012 minutes, 22 seconds
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260 - 5 Stages of the Member Lifecycle

Memberships are a marathon, not a sprint. Unlike other products where the sale is the end of the journey, with memberships it’s just the beginning. That “journey” – the&nbsp;Member Lifecycle&nbsp;– typically breaks down into 5 key stages: acquisition, onboarding, engagement, retention and reactivation. In this episode, we’re looking at each of these 5 stages and what they mean for you as a membership website owner.
6/30/20208 minutes, 29 seconds
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259 - 8 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Your Membership Plugin

Choosing the right membership plugin is a task that’s easier said than done. The fact that it can be a bit of a nightmare switching plugins after your membership has opened its doors is something which makes your decision even more important. There is no “one size fits all” best membership plugin for every situation, and so the process of deciding which to go with involves identifying your specific needs and then narrowing down the options; however making the final choice often requires you to dive deeper. To help you be sure you’re making the right choice, here are 8 questions you should ask before you purchase your membership plugin.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
6/23/202019 minutes, 27 seconds
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258 - 4 Essential Email Automations Every Membership Website Needs

Email automation can massively power up the marketing and operation of your membership site; enabling you to trigger various different actions and email sequences according to how your audience and your members behave. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I identify the 4 essential email automations that every membership website should have in place.
6/16/202016 minutes, 56 seconds
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257 - 9 Ways to Increase Attendance for your Live Membership Calls

Live content is a great way of delivering ongoing value to your membership without the level of upfront work and other hassles that typically go into producing courses, tutorials or other types of “pre-made” content. However including this type of content in your membership does add a new wrinkle to worry about – member attendance. If the turnout for your live membership calls is low, this can directly affect the quality of what you’re producing; not to mention being demoralizing to you and possibly even be discouraging for other members who may interpret poor attendance as a sign of a disengaged community. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I share 9 ways that you can increase live call attendance
6/9/202024 minutes, 17 seconds
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256 - Why Every Membership Owner Needs to Focus on Improving their Content

People join your membership because they have a goal they want to achieve; an outcome they want to realise – and it’s your content that’s going to get them there. But with so many plates to spin running a membership website, it’s easy to settle for “good enough” when it comes to creating that content. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I discuss why it’s important to focus on improving your content, and give you some examples and steps to start this process within your own membership.
6/2/202021 minutes, 27 seconds
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6 Areas to Focus on When Scaling Your Membership Business

In the early days of running your membership, you’ll find yourself preoccupied with the day to day, short-term stuff. How many new members did we get this week? Have we had any cancellations? Do I have enough time to get this new piece of content out to members? However once things have settled and stabilised then it’s time to think bigger in terms of how you’re going to scale and grow your membership over the long term. When that time inevitably arrives, there are 6 key areas you’ll need to focus on. Listen to this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast to discover what they are...
5/26/202010 minutes, 48 seconds
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254 - Should I Offer a Trial for My Membership Site?

When it comes to offering trials of your membership site or online product, opinions tend to be divided between those who consider it a smart strategy and those who believe you shouldn’t give anything away, no matter what. We’re big fans of utilising trial periods as part of your pricing strategy; however we recognise that they’re not something which will necessarily be right for everyone. If you’re still on the fence, this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast provides some food for thought to help you determine whether to implement trials into your own strategy.
5/19/202017 minutes, 28 seconds
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253 - 7 Things To Do Before Releasing Your Next Piece Of Membership Content

Most membership sites include some form of premium content locked away behind a paywall.But locking your membership content down is a double-edged sword.You could have the most incredible content in the world, but if the only people who know about it are your paying members then you’re missing on an opportunity to get so much more bang for your buck.So before you hit ‘publish’ on your next piece of membership content, try implementing the 7 tactics from this episode.
5/12/202020 minutes, 33 seconds
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252 - How Often Should You Adjust Your Membership Sales Funnels?

Your sales funnel is a key part of attracting new members to your community; and so it's no surprise that some membership owners&nbsp;have a constant itch to tweak and tinker with every little detail.Knowing when to adjust your sales funnel is an imprecise art, but people often fall foul to making changes too often.In this episode, I discuss how often you should be adjusting your sales funnel, how you can avoid the constant urge to make changes, and why making constant tweaks can actually hurt your business.Essential Learning Points:Why you should adjust your sales funnel once a quarter (at most)Why data, not desire, should lead your decision-making if you do make adjustmentsHow overanalyzing paralyzes the effectiveness of your sales funnelImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Membership AcademyHow to Generate New Ideas for Membership Content Tools for Creating Your Membership Sales FunnelGuide to Choosing a Membership Plugin 5 Things That Have Moved the Needle For Us (And a Few That Didn’t) 4 Must-Have Email Automation Sequences For Your Membership SiteKey Quotes:“You should be stepping away and letting your automations do their thing.”“Unless you’re getting masses of traffic, testing and tweaking the real small stuff is pointless.”“It’s very possible to over-engineer, overthink, and self-sabotage by constantly chasing that mythical perfect sales funnel or constantly messing around with all the pieces of the puzzle.”
5/5/202012 minutes, 57 seconds
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251 - Growing Your Membership with Joint Venture Promotions

One of the strongest ways you can grow your membership at speed is to start a joint venture promotion.First of all, you may be asking what exactly a joint venture promotion is… Put simply, it’s working with someone who has a sizeable audience who you want to speak to in exchange for commission or some other value exchange.Now that we’ve got that cleared up – do you want to know how you can use joint venture promotions to boost your membership sign-up rates?Well, that’ll take a while to write out. Why not listen to this episode to find out instead?Essential Learning Points:The different ways you can grow your membership numbersWhy contributing guest content to partners’ sites is a great starting pointHow to step up your joint venture promotions with affiliate programsWhy the cost of affiliate programs is worth it for the value they provideHow to perfect your joint venture promotion strategy and where to go for more information&nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:Membership AcademyLead Generation Essentials for Membership Site OwnersPromoting Your Membership Site with an Affiliate ProgramHow Much Should I Charge For My Membership Website?Utilizing Guest Experts for your Membership Content&nbsp;Key Quotes:“You have to think about whether you want to offer a one-off commission or commission on the recurring element of the payment. This depends on how much you’re charging and your profit margin.”“You will not be able to reach the number of people a joint venture partner can get you if you instead choose to spend their commission fees on standard marketing.”“Make sure that any leads opting-in to your email list from your co-promotion have a short funnel before they can be turned into sales… Your joint venture partner isn’t going to want to wait 60 or 90 days!”
4/28/202017 minutes, 57 seconds
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250 - How To Use Free Content To Sell Your Online Membership

Content marketing is the most valuable strategy a membership site owner can deploy. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again and again and again!But having a blog or a podcast isn’t enough – not for the most successful membership sites, at least. To really ramp up your content marketing to the top tier, there are certain approaches you might want to consider that will help you create a killer content marketing strategy.In this episode, you can discover six of the ways you can give your content marketing strategy an extra boost and start recruiting more members with the power of free content.Essential Learning Points:Why content marketing is so effective for promoting your membership siteSix genius ways to create a killer content marketing strategyWhere you can go to talk to other membership site owners to perfect your marketing&nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:Creating Compelling Courses with Janelle AllenHow to Tap Into Your Existing Members to Create Social ProofShould Membership Trial Periods be Free or Paid?Membership Mastermind Facebook groupMembership Academy&nbsp;Key Quotes:“If you can prove to people that you can solve their small problems, they’re going to trust you to solve their larger problems.”“Your community is such a powerful aspect of your membership, so why not shine a spotlight on those people?”“Make people aware of the divide between free and paid content and value in the latter.”
4/21/202033 minutes, 17 seconds
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249 - 8 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Membership Website

Whether you’re at the start of your journey to running your own membership website or a seasoned pro, there are some universal truths of this world that we all need reminding of every now and again.The Membership Guys and our podcast exist to make running a membership easier, more accessible, and less stressful. These 8 must-know facts are the cornerstone of running a happy, successful membership.So, wherever you are in your membership site journey, these tips will either be revelatory moments or timely reminders of the core tenets of your chosen path.Essential Learning Points:Why new and established membership site owners alike can benefit from these ideasThe 8 truths of being a membership site owner – from compromise to cancellationsWhere you can go for more help, advice, and guidanceImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Key Things to Consider When Preparing Content for your Membership LaunchHow to Choose a Membership PluginThe Membership AcademyWhere to Find Reliable Tech Support for your Membership SiteWhat Should Be Your Membership Refund Policy?Key Quotes:“If you’re not technically inclined, it’s very much worth investing in somebody to help you with that side.”“You need to be in this for the long-haul.”“When people join your membership, they have some degree of expectation that they’ll get access to you.”
4/14/202026 minutes, 27 seconds
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248 - Overcoming The Fear Of Giving Away Your Expertise For Free

Most memberships are based on the owner’s expertise and knowledge, so why would you start giving it away for free?It may feel counter-intuitive, but content marketing has proven time and time again to be a hugely successful way of growing memberships.The fear of free content is one of the most common topics in The Membership Academy, so I’ve brought together the three reasons why you really don’t need to worry about sharing free content and why, in fact, it is likely to help your membership grow.If you want to face your fears and learn to embrace free content as part of your marketing strategy, this episode will do the job.Essential Learning Points:Where the value of your membership truly liesHow you are always in control of your content and how you share itWhy human nature is going to stop most people from abusing your free content&nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership AcademyPeople Come For Content And Stay For CommunityWhy Your Membership Website NEEDS More Than Just ContentHow to Decide Which Content Should Be Free vs Paid.&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Nobody joins a membership because you have the most stuff. They join memberships because they want solutions to their problems.”“You can control the depth of your free content.”“The best memberships offer so much more than what’s in their content library.”
4/7/202019 minutes, 23 seconds
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247 - 5 Best Sources of Ideas And Inspiration For Your Membership Site

Consistently producing valuable, relevant content for your membership is not easy work. If you’re feeling stuck for inspiration or ideas at the moment, I might be able to help!In this episode, I go through 5 of the best ways you can find ideas and inspiration for your membership site.They’re all different in their ways, but there is an overarching principle to them all – and that’s that we need to listen. Stepping back and taking the time to observe and reflect can really change things for the better.So, take a break now – step back from what you’re doing and reflect on this episode of The Membership Guys podcast. Who knows what ideas you’ll end up with?Essential Learning Points:Why listening is one of the most underrated skills and will reveal a lot to youHow to maximize your email list to generate ideas and right wrongdoingsWhat you can learn from other membership sites to create better content for your ownImportant Links &amp; Mentions: 11 Ways Membership Site Owners Can Leverage Social Media Groups 4 must-have email automation sequences for your membership siteThe Membership AcademyMembership Mastermind from The Membership GuysKey Quotes:“Just listening, observing, and paying attention to the recurring questions and challenges people discuss is worth its weight in gold.”“So often, as business owners, we overcomplicate things. We overstuff things. We keep selling beyond the sell. We try and pack in 5 or 6 objectives into a single email.”“It’s really easy as a membership owner to become detached from the experience of being a member or student.”
3/31/202018 minutes, 7 seconds
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246 - 10 Ways Membership Owners Can Become The "Go To" Person In Your Industry

When people want to learn something or make progress, they look for the experts. As a membership site owner, you want to make sure that means they’re looking for you.In the competitive world of online membership sites, being good isn’t enough – you need to be able to prove it and show up as the expert wherever you can.How do you do that?Well, the very first step is to listen to this episode of The Membership Guys podcast! I go through 10 different ideas you can follow to make your authority as an expert in your field abundantly clear to your prospective members.Essential Learning Points:Why you need to be clear on what you do before it’s clear to anyone else10 ways you can become the go-to person in your industry, including: creating a signature product, leveraging social proof, and deciding the role you playExamples of these ideas in action, to prove how well these ideas work!&nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:Why Membership Site Owners Need to Niche Down (And STAY Niched)Smart Passive IncomeFemale Entrepreneur Association12 Types of Content To Include In Your Membership SiteSocial Media ExaminerOnline Membership Industry ReportThe Membership Guys booksGrant Baldwin on Growing Your Membership with Public Speaking Promoting Your Membership Site with an Affiliate Program&nbsp;Key Quotes:“You need to make sure that you’re taking steps to position yourself as the go-to person in your industry.”“If you’re not clear on what your niche is or what your role is, what your message and mission are, then how are your audience supposed to know that you are the right person to help them?”“The online world affords you so many opportunities to have a voice, a platform, to showcase your expertise.”
3/24/202038 minutes, 4 seconds
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245 - From The Vault: How to Prevent "Hit and Run" Members Abusing Your Membership

Have you ever dealt with a hit and run member? If you’re not sure what one is – lucky you! These are the members who sign up, download everything, and dash back out the door before your beautifully crafted welcome email has settled in their inbox.Hit and run members abuse your trust and are generally bad apples. They’re rightly a concern for membership providers, but what can you do to stop them? And, are they even worth worrying about?In this From the Vault episode, I share some of the best ways you can prevent hit and run members, dive into whether they’re a genuine concern for most membership providers, and why you can’t let your fears take your eyes off the prize.Essential Learning Points:If someone wants to access your content and circumvent your membership badly enough, they will always find a wayWhy putting up a few simple barriers won’t cut itFour ways you can prevent hit and run members, which double up to add value to your genuine membersWhy you shouldn’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch – and why you should spend more time making your membership great, not protectedImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Membership AcademyShould You “Drip Feed” Your Membership Content?Chris Ducker on Running Live Events to Grow Your MembershipHow to Use Live Video to Market Your Membership with Luria Petrucci 5 Ways Membership Site Owners Can Capitalize on Facebook Live7 Types of Members That Every Membership Site Has12 Types of Content To Include In Your Membership SiteKey quotes:“If Hollywood movie studios haven't found a way of stopping people from getting their stuff for free, then what chance do you and I stand?”“If you're just repeating content because you're worried that people can access everything – that, to me, isn't a good enough reason to delay the delivery of value to your members.”“It would be absolutely crazy to prioritize locking people out over providing a positive member experience for the good portion of your membership base.”
3/17/202014 minutes, 47 seconds
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244 - From The Vault: Why Membership Site Owners Need to Niche Down (And STAY Niched)

Having a niche is good. Scratch that. It’s essential. Finding your niche, owning it, and staying there is one of the surest ways you will find success in running your membership.If you want to niche down and dominate your market, there are three ways to do it – we reveal how in this episode of the podcast from our ‘From the Vault’ series!Essential Learning Points:The advantages of being a specialist at something, rather than a generalistThree key areas you must analyze if you want to find your nicheHow a niche can strengthen what you’re selling, not weaken itHow niching down can make running your membership easier for you and more valuable for your members&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Solving a specific problem is essential. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can’t just blend in with the crowd. You need to have a speciality.”“Fandom comes from resonance. But, it’s harder to connect and resonate with your audience when you’re trying to be all things to all people.”Important Links &amp; Mentions:Our Membership Mastermind Facebook groupMembership AcademyBehind the Membership and Member MachineKevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans essay
3/10/202025 minutes, 7 seconds
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243 - From The Vault: 5 Options For Starting a Membership BEFORE You’ve Grown Your Audience

Can you start a membership before you’ve grown your audience? It might sound tricky, but there are some sure-fire ways you can get started. Whether you’re right at the start and haven’t told a single soul about your membership or you’re partway there with a small audience, there are ways you can grow your membership right now and get on the path to having a successful business. Every successful membership has its own unique story of how it got member number one (and all the others after them!). These are five ways you can get to that stage. Essential Learning Points: Validate that your audience exists – you need to have more than just a hunch, find proof that your audience is out there and that they want your solution Build, borrow, or buy an audience – there are three ways to grow your audience from scratch Sell a big-ticket product before your membership – give people a one-off product that requires less commitment but proves your value A soft launch is still a launch – don’t be afraid to start small and quietly Offering your membership for free isn’t a sin – but there are some important caveats to be aware of Key Quotes: “There’s a big difference between having your own audience and having a market. You don’t necessarily have your own portion of the market, but there needs to be a market actually there.” “Having a small intimate coaching program is perfectly suited to having a smaller following and a smaller audience.” Important Links & Mentions: How to Generate Email Leads for Your Membership Site 12 Types of Content To Include In Your Membership Site How to Attract New Members by Running a Free Challenge Promoting Your Membership Site with an Affiliate Program Lead Generation Essentials for Membership Site Owners Creating an MVP to Test and Validate Your Membership Idea How to Use Upsells to Generate More Revenue from Your Membership Site The Membership Academy Facebook Pixel guide Google Ads guide
3/3/202028 minutes, 29 seconds
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242 - Using Pinterest to Market Your Membership with Cara Chace

Pinterest, it’s for wedding planning and redecorating inspiration, right?Or is it a platform with over 300 million users that some businesses are generating 200% ROI from?Clearly, it’s time for a rethink on Pinterest!That’s why I asked Cara Chace to join me on this episode of The Membership Guys podcast. Cara is one of the best in the business of Pinterest marketing – and she runs her own membership, so she’s even more clued up about how we membership site owners can get the most out of this underutilized platform!If you want to know how to start marketing your membership on Pinterest, Cara is the only person you want to hear from. My conversation with Cara on this episode has given me so many ideas and lightbulb moments and I’m already starting to implement them on Pinterest. I’ve no doubt you’ll find it just as useful, so sit back and enjoy… Just remember to take notes!Essential Learning Points:Who Cara is, what she does, and her expertise in PinterestThe basics of PinterestWhat best practice on Pinterest looks likeWhat you want to avoid doing on PinterestHow to advertise on PinterestHow to develop a Pinterest marketing strategy for your membership&nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:Pinterest PowerUpChace DigitalCara’s PinterestCara’s InstagramCara’s FacebookCara’s LinkedIn9 Simple Membership Marketing Tactics That’ll Get You More Members How to Generate Email Leads for Your Membership SiteHow to Decide Which Content Should Be Free vs Paid&nbsp;Key Quotes:“The fundamental thing that you have to understand is that it is not social media. It is a visual search engine. It has much more in common with Google than it does Facebook or Twitter.”“People go to Pinterest to get inspired, to learn, to solve a problem.”“Pinterest boards are so important that Google indexes them!”“It’s not about creating more content, it’s about creating more pins for the content you have.”
2/25/202050 minutes, 21 seconds
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241 - Should You Build Your Website Yourself or Hire Help - with Martin & Lyndsay from Jammy Digital

Some memberships need great video content. Others need a complex email campaign. Some need entirely unique elements.All memberships need a website.So how do you go about it? Do you hire in a professional or do you do it yourself?It’s one of the biggest questions you can ask as you launch your membership, so I got together with two of the finest web designers I know to dive into the best approach for membership owners.Martin and Lyndsay, owners of Jammy Digital and Make Your Mark Online, are web design experts and join me on this episode of The Membership Guys podcast to give some advice you might not be expecting…Essential Learning Points:Why it’s often better to make your own websiteWhen it’s better to hire a professionalHow to hire the right web designerWhat the right web designer looks likeOur own experiences where DIY websites helped our businesses grow and paying a designer would have hampered us&nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:Jammy DigitalMake Your Mark OnlineThe Membership Academy – where you can access our membership site theme, MemberoniWhy Membership Site Owners Need to Niche Down (And STAY Niched)Membership Mastermind from The Membership Guys (Facebook group)&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Unless you’re at a certain point financially and in terms of your understanding of your business, it’s not worth paying a web designer.”“It’s rare that we find a web designer who charges a small amount and can do a good job.”“Some people say they’ve taken 12 or 18 months trying to get their website done and it’s a complete waste of time, because they’ve not been bringing money in.”“You don’t want to be investing cash unnecessarily without making it first.”
2/18/202057 minutes, 13 seconds
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240 - Using Facebook Ads to Promote Your Membership with Gavin Bell

In today’s digital-driven society, it often feels like you can’t go far without bumping into a self-proclaimed social media ‘expert’. So, when you encounter someone who everyone else calls an expert, who speaks with a quiet assuredness and conspicuous lack of arrogance, it’s a refreshing surprise.It’s my absolute pleasure and honor to have Gavin Bell on The Membership Guys podcast. Gavin is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, and one of the UK’s leading Facebook advertising consultants.In this episode, Gavin and I discuss the most effective ways membership providers can use Facebook advertising, how to work out a sensible budget and achieve a healthy ROI, common mistakes and best practice, and so much more.This episode is chock-full of amazing advice for entrepreneurs and membership providers – I can’t think of any other way you could get more valuable information on Facebook ads in this amount of time.Essential Learning Points:The dos and don’ts of running Facebook ads for membershipsCommon mistakes in Facebook ads and best practice to followHow to calculate appropriate ad budgets based on the value of new membersWhy ads are only one part of a much bigger pictureKey Quotes from Gavin:“Good advertising is getting harder, which means we need to work harder and better.”“When it comes to running a proper Facebook ad campaign, as opposed to randomly boosting posts, we want to set it up in a way that is going to hopefully run forever.”“If you have a website with an audience already, the first thing to do would be to create a retargeting ad. If you’re someone without an audience, your first step is to try and build an audience through ads.”Important Links &amp; Mentions:Gavin’s websiteMembership Academy9 Simple Membership Marketing Tactics That’ll Get You More Members Should I offer a trial for my membership site?
2/11/202049 minutes, 38 seconds
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239 - 5 Mix-and-Match Strategies for a Successful Membership Site Launch

Build it and they will come.While that approach may have worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams; it most certainly does not apply to launching a successful membership website.Time and time again we see cases where people are so entrenched in the process of building their membership site that they haven’t even begun to think about how to get it off the ground.In this episode I share 5 launch strategies that are straightforward but effective, and can easily be combined with your existing launch plans to make sure your membership site gets off to a good start.
2/4/202015 minutes, 9 seconds
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238 - Why You Should Run a Beta Test for Your Membership Site

Launching a membership site is an exciting but nerve wracking time.You've probably put your blood, sweat and tears into creating this site, no doubt losing some sleep along the way.But when the time comes to actually open the doors, we can often find ourselves hesitating.What if it all goes wrong?Running a beta test can be a great way of assuaging this fear, as well as ensuring that you launch the best possible version of your membership.In this episode, I share my top tips on running an effective beta test for your membership site.
1/28/202029 minutes, 37 seconds
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237 - Should You Allow Competitors to Join Your Membership?

We can all be overprotective of our content, especially when it comes to being open and allowing our competitors into our safe and secure membership site. I choose to have an open-minded attitude and assume the best in people. There are ways to make it work and even benefit from opening your doors and letting them in, while staying vigilant.Essential Learning Points:Learn what it is that makes you different from your competitorsFind out what to do if there’s a competitor in your communityLearn about the red flags that indicate suspicious behaviourListen to our crazy content theft storyImportant Links &amp; Mentions:&nbsp;Episode 198 = What to do when someone steals your membership content: https://www.themembershipguys.com/membership-content-theft/Key Quotes:“It’s natural to be over-protective, but don’t get paranoid.”&nbsp;&nbsp;“Always see the best in people! Don’t assume that people are joining with negative intentions.”&nbsp;“We know our real competitors won’t steal our content.&nbsp;They don’t need to because they’ve got their own experience, knowledge and expertise to draw on.”“We may be directly competitive, but there’s always a level of respect and professionalism where you would never dream of ripping each other off.”&nbsp;“Ultimately, if you have others in your industry doing good work, and if you can collaborate to do great things, then everyone wins.”
1/21/202032 minutes, 3 seconds
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236 - 4 Ways to Discover What Your Audience REALLY Want from your Membership

Do you know what people in your audience actually want from your membership?When planning your membership site, it’s easy to fall into the trap of building something that we think would be good, rather than something that’s based on research into what your audience really want (and need).In doing so, you risk spending hours creating content and investing in features, only to be left scratching your head when people simply don’t engage in the way you hope they will.Whether it’s your membership offering; your blog, podcast or video channel; or even just the updates you post on social media – discovering what people actually want and need is critical to connecting with your audience and driving them to action.In this episode, I discuss 4 ways to discover what your audience really want.
1/14/202011 minutes, 55 seconds
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235 - 9 Simple Marketing Tactics That'll Get You More Members

Your membership might be the best thing since sliced bread, but if you aren’t marketing it correctly, you aren’t going to be getting the sales you deserve. There are some simple steps you can take to get the most out of marketing, reach more people, and turn those on-the-fencers into fully-fledged members. In this episode, we run through 9 marketing tips that will help you go back to basics - and earn some serious growth in your memberships as a result. Essential Learning Points: You can make small, simple changes at each stage in your funnel that will produce more sales, more consistently If 9 tips sound like too many, take just 2: you need a strategy for cart abandonments and a strategy for thank you pages Show people what you’re selling and keep your email list engaged Go behind the scenes and use your content to give a real insight into your membership Use your content to shout out and speak to your members Use rewards and splinter products to get slow movers further along the funnel
1/7/202022 minutes, 49 seconds
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234 - 10 Most Popular Podcast Episodes of 2019

So, 2019 is done and dusted. Hopefully it was a successful one for you and your membership. It was certainly a big one for us, with more highlights than you can shake a stick at - many of which you've heard us 'document' right here on The Membership Guys Podcast.And I know this is so cliche... but I swear the older I get, the faster each year seems to pass. I can't quite come to terms with the fact that tomorrow it'll be 2020.Instead of freaking out about that, we're wrapping up the year with what has become a bit of a tradition here at The Membership Guys - our end of year recap show where we look back at the top 10 most popular episodes of the podcast throughout the past 12 months.
12/31/201947 minutes, 21 seconds
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233 - 7 Types of Members That Every Membership Site Has

Although every membership site is unique, you’ll usually discover that seven types of members keep showing up in every single one of them. While some of these will mimic your ‘ideal member,’ others will test your patience and frustrate you beyond belief. Whatever the case, you’re sure to recognize some (if not all) of these ‘member profiles’ within your membership site! Listen in to discover the seven types of members you will see in every membership site. Essential Learning Points: The seven member types you’ll find in every membership site Key traits of members who engage and contribute more than others Why some members seem to just disappear from your membership A few unfortunate characteristics of members who are most likely to frustrate you Key Quotes: “The ‘Average Joes’ are the people who make up the majority of your member base. They're awesome. We love them. They are the lifeblood of our membership.” “The Power User are the one percent. These types of members are awesome because they contribute so much inside the community. They instigate discussions, they proactively help other members and they seek out opportunities to be of service in your membership.” Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.
12/24/201919 minutes, 57 seconds
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232 - Should You Charge a Joining Fee for Your Membership?

Are you thinking about charging a joining fee for your membership? A joining fee is an arbitrary fee that new members pay on top of their first monthly payment. If you ask me, I think that joining fees are unnecessary and there’s often no real justification for it. However, there are situations when a joining fee may be necessary. If you’re considering having a joining fee for your membership, make sure you listen to this episode of the podcast or read the blog post, where I dive into the topic of joining fees and explain everything you need to know about them. Essential Learning Points: Why joining fees are usually nothing more than unjustified arbitrary fees The hard truth that if someone is charging joining fees, they may not have their member’s best interests at heart How to control your members access to your back catalog of content Legitimate reasons when a joining fee may be appropriate Key Quotes: “They've realized that no one is staying in the membership for more than two or three months. Instead of addressing the real problem…they just charge a joining fee instead to make more money from you.” “It's very rare that you get an incredible membership that is very ethically run where the content is amazing, the customer service is phenomenal and that also has a joining fee.” Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.
12/17/201915 minutes, 33 seconds
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231 - Tips For Dealing with a Downturn in Your Membership

You know your membership is going through a downturn when you notice a reduction in sales, fewer member signups and a potential slowdown to your overall growth rate.When your membership experiences a downturn, it can be pretty nerve-wrecking as thoughts of its impending doom race through your mind. But, before you jump to conclusions, you need to take some time to analyse the situation and come up with ways to turn things around.In this episode of the podcast, I talk about how you can deal with a downturn in your membership so that it’ll survive for many more years to come.Episode Summary:How to assess the severity of your membership’s downturnWhy it’s so important to have context and account for every possible factor as to why your membership is experiencing a downturnHow changes you made to your membership months ago can impact it todayHow to find the root cause of the current downturn in your membershipKey Quotes:“If you think your membership should be going up by 1000 new people every single month, you're just getting started and you have quite a small audience, those expectations might not be aligned with reality.”“You've got to be more analytical. You've got to back-up your interpretation of performance with some data and with some feedback.”
12/10/201920 minutes, 41 seconds
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230 - The State of the Membership Industry - Retain Live Keynote

Is now a good time to have a membership site?On this special episode of the podcast, you’ll get to listen in to the opening keynote from our very first conference ‘Retain Live 2019.’ It was an incredible event with some phenomenal speakers gracing the stage eager to share their expertise and insights with the audience.The first keynote was delivered by myself (Mike Morrison) and Callie Willows, the other half of The Membership Guys. Our keynote explored the bigger picture of what is going on in the membership industry, what the future of the industry looks like and what people need to do to prepare for the months and years to come.So, if you missed the keynote the first time around, you’re in luck!Episode Summary:Positive and negative implications from the way the membership industry is goingHow to handle the increased competition for your members’ time and attentionHow to make sure your members don’t cut you from their monthly expenses as a result of subscription fatigueWhy regulation is so important in the membership site industryThe death of SEO and how this will impact membershipsHow to build your members trust in you and your membershipKey Quotes:“Memberships, at the core of their essence, are simply value exchanges. You want people to pay you on an ongoing basis, you need to deliver value on an ongoing basis.”“Third Party links to other websites are being squeezed out. Google is no longer somewhere that gives you a recommendation of the best websites to get your answer. It’s now the place that wants to give you the answer themselves.”“Even the smallest personal touch that you can make, makes a big impression…there's lots of different ways you can do this from personal videos to welcome packs to handwritten cards, are all different ways you can add a personal touch to your membership without actually needing to kind of take a lot of extra time or money to do so.”
12/3/201957 minutes, 35 seconds
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229 - How to Fall Back in Love with Your Membership

Have you lost interest in your membership?When you first launched your membership, you were probably bursting with excitement and enthusiasm. But, over time those positive feelings you associated with your membership faded and now you can’t remember why you ever got into this in the first place, am I right?If you have a lack of interest and enthusiasm for your membership site, it’s time to make a change. Your first instinct shouldn’t be to quit. You should want to try and reignite the spark and passion that inspired you to launch your membership in the first place! In this episode, I share some tips to help you fall back in love with your membership.Essential Learning Points:How to know if your membership idea is something you can pursue long-termWhy it’s important to identify the real reason why you’ve lost interest in your membershipThe benefits of trying new things in your membershipWhy you should take a break from your membership when you need toWhat a ‘happy folder’ is and why you need to create oneWhy you should spend more time with your members to help reaffirm your passion for your membership&nbsp;Key Quotes:“Consider looking into ways in which you can do other activities that stoke your interest in the topic that is at the heart of your membership.”“Most people don't start membership sites because they're really enthusiastic about membership sites as a business model. They start because they're really passionate about a topic that they have knowledge, experience and expertise in.”“Getting away from things, taking a break and disconnecting from the responsibilities of running a membership, even just for a few days, could be all it takes to free up your bandwidth, to give you a bit of clarity and give you the rest that you need in order to come back reinvigorated and get over a little bit of a mental slump.”&nbsp;Important Links &amp; Mentions:Episode 76 https://www.themembershipguys.com/time-away/
11/26/201919 minutes, 52 seconds
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228 - How to Keep Your Membership Waitlist Engaged

A waitlist is a dedicated email list that people subscribe to in order to receive updates about a membership that you are going to launch in the future.We are big believers in setting up a waitlist for your membership. But once you have it organized you have to keep everyone engaged until your launch date.In this episode, we share lots of ways you can keep your waitlist interested and engaged with you so that once you launch, they can’t wait to get on board and consume the content you have on offer.Essential Learning Points:Build your knowledge and content base through research and surveysWhy feedback and input from your list will benefit everyoneHow closed-door membership sites can also engage with a waitlist&nbsp;Key Quotes“Setting up a waitlist is the first thing you should do when you are creating your first membership site.”“A substantial amount of your initial subscribers when you open will come from this waitlist.”“By having input, ownership, and influence over the content in your membership site, your waitlist subscribers will be far more likely to want to join.”
11/19/201918 minutes, 16 seconds
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227 - Dealing with Payment Disputes in Your Membership

Payment disputes are a reality of running any business, including membership sites. Luckily, they don’t happen often. But when they do, they take valuable time away from your business and revenue generating activities.&nbsp;Since the beginning of the Membership Guys Academy site, we have had over 6,000 members and only 20 payment disputes.&nbsp;We have learnt a few things about this issue along the way. Have a listen to find out what to do when they happen to you, and ways in which you can minimize the risk of them happening again in the future.Essential Learning Points:The typical payment dispute processThings to consider when a dispute is illegitimateWays to minimize the risk of payment disputes from happeningKey Quotes“Having a refund period that is fair is a good way of reducing the number of disputes that are filed against you.”“Even if you can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that someone is filing a totally spurious payment dispute, a nonsense dispute, and even if the payment provider believes you, they won’t always side with you. ““You won’t be able to escape the possibility of getting rid of a complaint completely, but you can minimize the likelihood of it happening.”
11/12/201924 minutes, 41 seconds
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226 - Biggest Takeaways from the Online Membership Industry Report

In our early days of working with memberships, we stumbled across an article that claimed that the average member only stays subscribed for a mere 3 months. You’ve probably heard this yourself. It’s a claim that’s been repeated and republished so much, that it became readily and widely accepted. But it’s nonsense. There’s not a single shred of data or evidence for that ‘3 month’ claim. No source data, report or study cited, anywhere. The fact that this claim persisted for so long is part of a larger problem. There is no reliable data available about the online membership industry. Truth is, this market is relatively tiny. It’s a niche, of a niche, of a niche. What data we do have comes from either the broader subscription industry, or from membership associations. Neither of which reflect the online membership world. We figured it was time to change that. It’s time for some real data and benchmarks for the online membership industry. So we’ve spent the past 4 months tapping into our audience of tens of thousands of membership business owners to identify how they’re performing, what challenges they’re facing and which benchmarks and trends are prevalent. And we've compiled those results into the very first Online Membership Industry Report In today's episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I talk about some of the biggest takeaways from this report and discuss which membership benchmarks surprised me, the trends to pay attention to and other interesting tidbits and insights taken from the survey results. In this episode... How this report obliterates two of the most common myths in the online membership space The definitive answer to the "Open vs Closed" membership debate What's the most worrying trend amongst membership site owners? Surprising insights around pricing, retention, team size and more...
11/5/201935 minutes, 34 seconds
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225 - Using Offers and Promotions to Attract New Members

It's coming up to that time of year where promotions and discounts abound.Whether it's Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas or New Year, the sales season&nbsp;is definitely upon us.While these kind of sales are traditionally for physical products, there's no doubt that digital products have jumped onto the bandwagon over the last few years, and you'll see more and more discounts being offered.But what about membership sites?&nbsp;Should you capitalize on&nbsp;these busy promotional periods where&nbsp;some kind of special offer is almost expected?And what about the rest of the year?Promotional campaigns&nbsp;can be a bit of a minefield for membership site owners, who need to walk the delicate line between getting new members in the door and keeping existing members happy.In this episode we're going to explore&nbsp;the different&nbsp;types&nbsp;of promotions that you can run for a membership website&nbsp;and the situations where they can be beneficial.
10/29/201926 minutes, 33 seconds
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224 - 7 Principles Shared by Every Successful Membership Website

Despite what the slickest of snake oil salesmen will try to tell you, there is no secret sauce or golden formula for building a successful membership website.The key to the long term success of your membership site lies beyond marketing tactics, sales spiel and fancy production values; and the memberships which do best are those which - at their heart - understand and embrace a core set of fundamental principles.In this episode, I outline 7 essential principles shared by the most successful memberships around.
10/22/201914 minutes, 31 seconds
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223 - 7 Biggest Mistakes that Growing Membership Site Owners Make

The path to membership success is paved with a litany of mistakes.Along the way you’re going to screw up, especially in the early days. It’s all part of the learning curve and it happens to the best of us – yes, even your friendly neighbourhood Membership Guys!However you will come to a point where it feel like you truly have your house in order, you’re now on the right track and those initial stumbles are far behind you.But time and time again we see seasoned membership site owners falling into the same traps as they attempt to manage and grow their business.In this episode, we’ll take a look at some of the most common pitfalls for experienced membership owners and, more importantly, how you can avoid them.
10/15/201922 minutes, 59 seconds
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222 - How Your Service Business Can Move to the Membership Model

There are many reasons people are attracted to the membership model.The most compelling for us is how dramatically different (and better) making recurring income from a membership is compared to servicing clients on a one-on-one basis.This is particularly true if you’re a “one man band”, where you’re solely responsible for the delivery of what you sell, so that might be: Website developersBusiness coachesGraphic designersMarketing consultants Or anyone else who works with clients one on one or even in small groups. Your business is holding you back. In this episode, I’m going to explain why the membership model is far superior to offering one-to-one services, as well as show you how you can start incorporating memberships and subscriptions into your own business.
10/8/201924 minutes
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221 - Retain Live 2019 Debrief with Mike and Callie - Part Two: The Event

Retain Live 2019 was a phenomenal success - especially for our very first live event! However as we discussed during the first part of our "debrief", it was a little rocky in the build up. In this concluding episode, Callie and I talk through the event itself, breaking down everything that happened and how it all came together; sharing some of our biggest lessons and top takeaways for anyone thinking of running a similar event. In this episode... The moment we realised that all of our hard work, and the complete burnout we'd experienced, was totally worth it. A recap of the sessions, speakers and surprises from across the 3 days of the event How we added special touches and memorable moments to make our event truly remarkable Answering that all important question about whether we'll be running another event like this one
10/1/20191 hour, 32 minutes, 34 seconds
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220 - Retain Live 2019 Debrief with Mike and Callie - Part One: The Build Up

Two weeks ago, we kicked off our very first live conference: Retain Live 2019. It's the first time we've run an event of this scale, and to say it was a new, interesting and challenging experience would be a major understatement! While the event itself was a huge success and we've had overwhelmingly positive feedback - getting there certainly wasn't smooth sailing. In the first of our two-part debrief, Callie joins me on the show to discuss the weeks leading up to the event - as the workload (and stress levels) ramp up. In this episode... Why we hated the whole process of selling tickets for our event, and the reason we ended ticket sales early The big discovery we made about ourselves while preparing for the conference and working with our event team Unexpected challenges and frustrating obstacles that led to us hitting breaking point the week before the event Our biggest lessons and top takeaways for anyone thinking of running an event like Retain Live
9/24/20191 hour, 9 minutes, 57 seconds
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From The Vault: Creating an MVP to Test and Validate Your Membership Idea

If you have a great idea for a membership, you need to validate whether or not it’s destined to fail or succeed. Like Rome, the world’s leading membership sites weren’t built in a day. They started as an idea in someone’s mind, which was nurtured, tested and validated until there was undeniable proof the idea was a winning concept. When you’re excited about an idea for a membership, it’s easy to let your bias belief that your idea is gold get in the way of reality. This frame of mind can give you a false sense of security and cause you to invest everything in an idea that will never get off the ground. Before you pursue your membership idea, you need to test and validate it with an MVP. This will help you to discover whether your idea has true potential or not. In this episode, I reveal the importance of using an MVP to test and validate your membership idea and how to create one. Episode Summary: What an MVP is and how it will validate the potential success of your membership idea The characteristics of an effective MVP An insight into the six main types of an MVP as they relate to membership sites How to know what type of MVP will work best for testing your specific membership idea Why you should still use an MVP to test your new membership idea despite already selling products or services successfully Key Quotes: “A good MVP should solve a problem or deliver an outcome that's either the same or similar to that of your membership.”  “An MVP is a minimum viable product, something that you offer to your market that is a relative representation of your membership with just enough features. It’s the bare minimum that you need to be able to put it out there and try and get people to buy or register interest.” Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.  
9/17/201930 minutes, 28 seconds
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From The Vault: How Much Should I Charge For My Membership Website

Deciding how much you should charge for your membership site is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Charge too little and you risk losing out and making no profit. On the other hand, if you charge too much, there’s a chance nobody will be able to afford your membership. So, how much should you charge? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size fits all approach when it comes to pricing your membership. But there are four key areas to look at to help you land on a price that you and your members are happy with. Tune in to hear what they are and discover a few helpful tips when it comes to defining your membership pricing strategy. Episode Summary: Why you need to know your cost of member acquisition How to make sure your membership site is profitable and sustainable How to move the focus away from the price of your membership and towards the value of your site instead Considering your competitors when working out what to charge Why you need to consider the profile and financial situation of your audience A general rule of thumb for B2B and B2C membership prices Mentioned in this episode: Membership Academy Membership Mastermind Facebook Group Key Quotes: “Above all else, your membership site needs to be profitable. If you're not making money, you're not going to last long. And the business that doesn't make money isn't a business. It's a hobby.” “Your members should be getting so much value from your site that they don't ever question whether it's worth paying the $50 a month or whatever you charge. “Do not compete on price. Competing on price very quickly becomes a race to the bottom. No matter how cheap you are, there is always someone who will undercut you. Remember, your membership needs to be profitable, don't price yourself out of business.” Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.
9/10/201917 minutes, 55 seconds
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From The Vault: 4 Key Differences Between B2C and B2B Membership Sites

Have you ever wondered what the main differences are between B2B memberships and B2C memberships? When it comes to membership sites, most of the strategies that we talk about on the podcast and inside the Membership Academy can be applied to pretty much any niche or market. But, there are a few key differences to look out for between a B2B membership and a B2C membership. These differences are important because they can potentially impact how you approach your strategy, marketing, and even your mindset when it comes to your membership site. Dive into this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast to hear what those key differences are and how you can use that knowledge to plan your membership content accordingly. Episode Summary: How vast the range of potential impact your membership can have with a B2C market vs. B2B The importance of assessing where you fit on the scale - between something that’s seen as a hobby and something potentially life-changing How attitudes towards cost and affordability vary between B2B and B2C members Adjusting expectations when it comes to how much time your members can afford to give to your membership site Why you need to consider the level of exposure your market has to advertising, sales and marketing tactics Key Quotes: “The scale of how important your membership is and how much of an impact it can make is usually going to be far broader with a B2C membership.” “While there is no one size fits all approach to pricing and there’s certainly not a set industry average, you'll often find in terms of monthly payments, that a B2C membership will fall somewhere between $15 to maybe $35, or $40. Whereas B2B memberships usually around the $30 to $60 mark.” “It’s down to you to find ways that you can deliver value and deliver results without demanding a lot of your members time, you need to make it convenient for them to use your membership.” Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure that you never miss an episode.
9/3/201918 minutes
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216 - Celebrating the 4th Anniversary of Membership Academy

Holy smokes, has it really been four years already?! It honestly feels like yesterday that we were gearing up to open the doors to the Academy. I'm not sure we fully realised the awesome journey we were about to embark on. Join us as we celebrate the 4th anniversary of Membership Academy by taking a look back at the last 12 months and highlighting the 7 'ups' and 3 'downs' from the past year. In this episode, Callie and I discuss: How the changes we'd introduced a year ago have changed the way the Academy runs in a major way The HUGE milestone we hit, and why we haven't been shouting about it from the rooftops! What effect planning the Retain conference has had on our business (and our lifestyle) Our top priority as we head into year 5...
8/27/20191 hour, 9 minutes, 49 seconds
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What To Do (And What to Avoid) When Someone Cancels Their Membership

Like it or not, membership cancellations are going to happen. Hopefully if you run your site well those cancellations will come at the end of a long tenure, but regardless they will happen. How you deal with these cancellations has numerous implications for the continued success of your membership site or online course; so it’s important to know how to handle them and also what to avoid. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I share my top tips for dealing with member cancellations the right way.
8/20/201919 minutes, 58 seconds
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Pay Attention to These 4 Things When Choosing a Membership Plugin

Having a hard time deciding which membership plugin is for you? Although the main feature of a membership plugin is to give you control of the content in a restricted ‘members-only’ area of your site, there’s a lot more to consider when selecting the right one for your site. So, what should you keep an eye out for when choosing a membership plugin? Tune in to hear four factors that could be huge game changers and make all the difference between making the right choice and making the wrong choice when it comes to your membership plugin.  Episode Summary: Why the customer support options offered by the developers of the plugin are so important What to look out for when looking at the specifics of the license that your plugin comes with and the potential restrictions The problem with having a plugin with encrypted code including customization drawbacks and potential issues with your web host Why you should check when the plugin was last updated Key Quotes: “If you bought a plugin where the only support available is through a forum or a Facebook group where the developer themselves isn't present, you’re relying on other users to support you, and that might not be great if you have an emergency.” “If the developer of your membership plugin hasn't released a new update in several years, and that is a huge, huge red flag. Chances are there's potentially security issues.”   “Make sure that you pay attention and do a little bit of research on the nature of the licence required for your membership plugin. Make sure you know if there’s any restrictions, how many websites you can use our plugin for and make sure you're aware of any recurring costs that you're going to have to keep paying in order to use that plugin.”  Important Links & Mentions: Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure that you never miss an episode.  
8/13/201911 minutes, 17 seconds
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What To Do if Someone Tells You That They Can't Afford Your Membership

Have you ever had somebody tell you that your membership is overpriced? Honestly, it would be a surprise if you haven’t. Discussions like this are usually followed up with a bargaining attempt to reduce the cost of your membership. You might have experienced when a somewhat pushy potential member tries to haggle your price down. Or, they might even ask for a discount or a free trial run that lasts for an entire month. If somebody tells you that they can’t afford your membership fee, it’s important to take it with a pinch of salt. Don’t take what they’re saying to heart because the truth is that not everyone will be able to afford your membership, and that’s okay  Listen in to find out what you should do the next time someone tells you that they can’t afford your membership site. Episode Summary:  Why you shouldn’t read too much into it when someone questions your affordability Whether it’s ever a good business strategy to offer a free trial and if so, when? How to reframe things to ensure people focus on the value of your site, not the cost Ways to make people aware of the various joining options Understanding that not everyone will be able to afford your membership and why it’s unrealistic to expect otherwise  Key Quotes:  “For as many people who think that your membership is too expensive, there'll be just as many or more who think that it's an absolute bargain.”  “Pricing is not based on logic, it's all about value perception. There's no sweet spot, there's no correct price to offer…So, you want to reframe things to ensure that people are focusing on value, not on the cost.”  “Not everyone will be able to afford your membership, it's unrealistic to think that they will. Your membership doesn't have to be accessible to absolutely every person. It's okay if someone's not ready or not able to join right now.” Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure that you never miss an episode.
8/6/201910 minutes, 26 seconds
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5 Things That Have Moved the Needle For Us (And a Few That Didn't)

Our members often ask questions about how we run our membership and how our business has grown over time. The first thing we tell them is that our success didn’t fall out of the heavens and onto our laps. It took a lot of hard work, dedication and strategic thinking to get to where we are today. We’ve intertwined a concoction of approaches and strategies that have helped move our business forward. In this episode, we pull back the curtain and reveal five things that have positively impacted the growing success of our business as well as a few that we thought would work but ultimately turned belly side up. Essential Summary: Why you shouldn’t stray from your niche and risk confusing your audience How segmentation helped us to craft compelling lead magnets and grow our email list The importance of creating a killer opt-in and how to know if yours is good enough to move the needle How our unique Memberoni Theme for WordPress has helped us attract new members What we include in our weekly email blasts to increase open rates and keep members intrigued A few things that we thought would have a great impact on our business but turned out to be a let down Mentioned in this episode: Membership Academy The Membership Plugin Comparison Chart Key Quotes: “When we really started making use of segmentation, our sign-ups literally doubled overnight. Within a space of 24 hours, we were getting more than twice as many email signups just because we've been more deliberate about segmentation.” “By going above and beyond what most people will do when creating their lead magnets and creating something that was truly comprehensive that had a real practical benefit that people just HAD to have, was a massive game changer.” “The more that we speak and the more that we get to know other speakers on the circuit, the more we realise that public speaking is not a big deal in terms of delivering sales and increasing traffic.” Thank You For Listening We really appreciate you choosing to listen to us and for supporting the podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. We would also be eternally grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show on Apple Podcasts iTunes. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and we read each and every one personally! Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure that you never miss an episode
7/30/201933 minutes, 35 seconds
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211- How Membership Owners Can Combat Subscription Fatigue

How do you ensure that your membership doesn’t get the chop when your members decide it’s monthly subscription payment Armageddon? With so many businesses moving into the membership space, consumers are faced with an overwhelming amount of choice. There comes a point when rather than juggling a countless array of subscriptions, your members will do a brutal clear out and scrap anything they consider non-essential. No mercy. So, what can you do to ensure your membership is classed as essential, and doesn’t get tossed on the scrap pile? Tune in to hear my six top tips to dodge the chop when people are battling subscription fatigue.  Episode Summary: Why you should take steps to personalize your member’s experience How to combine subscription products to stack your value proposition The value of creating multiple pricing tiers and how this can help keep members in your ecosystem Why giving members the ability to pause their account can be a better alternative to losing them completely How to remove the subscription element to your membership site and attract more members with flexible fixed-term passes Steps you can take to make your membership essential and indispensable Key Quotes: “Anything which makes their relationship with you and your membership have more of a personal connection will make the decision to end their subscription much harder when they're evaluating their expenses…so take steps to personalize your member experience.”  “The flexibility of offering something like a three-month pass or a one-year pass to your membership could actually attract more members who otherwise might be put off by the idea of a recurring subscription.” “Ensure that your membership is not only delivering great value to members…but also that you're doing a great job of communicating to your members the value they're receiving.”
7/23/201912 minutes, 44 seconds
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Does The Membership Model Have a Future or Is It a Passing Fad?

Memberships have been a hot topic in recent years. Everybody is talking about them, and it seems like everyone and their dog is starting a new membership; but what happens when all of this hype dies down and people move onto the next thing - what will that mean for the future of the membership model? Are memberships just the new shiny fad? And is there any point starting a membership if the bubble is about to burst? I address these questions head on in this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, and dissect whether memberships are a passing fad or whether there's a future for this industry. Episode Summary: Why it feels like everyone is suddenly jumping on the membership bandwagon What is the "recency illusion" and how does this affect the membership market? Signs that the stage is set for significant growth in the membership industry The real danger that the rise of memberships and subscriptions poses to your business
7/16/20198 minutes
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209 - Updating The Membership Guys Brand - Behind The Scenes

It's an exciting time for us here at The Membership Guys as we unveil a fresh new update for our brand, and also announce that Member Site Academy is now Membership Academy! While on the surface it may not seem like a major change, there's a lot more involved than meets the eye... In this episode I give a bit of backstory about why these changes mean so much, and walk you through the process we used to update our brand identity. Episode Summary: Why changing Member Site Academy to Membership Academy is such a big deal for us The $10 secret behind The Membership Guys brand... Why your logo is one of the least important elements of your businesses brand Our top takeaways for anyone going through a brand refresh
7/9/201950 minutes, 54 seconds
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4 Things That Have Made Us More Productive Membership Owners

Membership site owners wear a lot of hats and juggle a lot of tasks on a day to day basis. With so many moving parts, and so many plates to keep spinning, anything that we can do to streamline our workload and become a little more efficient is a big win. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I talk about 4 specific things we do within our business to make us far more productive in running our membership Episode Summary: The one small change to our video creation process that cut production time in half The specific way we involve our team members in our regular live calls that seriously lightens the workload for us How batch creating several months worth of content at one time is far more efficient than doing it on the fly The importance of documenting processes for any task you repeat more than once per month
7/2/201914 minutes, 51 seconds
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Using Segmentation to Increase Leads and Member Sales

Are you trying to be all things to all people with your content? The truth is, the more broad your content is, the less compelling, relevant and effective it's likely to be for the individual reader. By trying to cater to everyone, you end up catering to no-one. This is where segmentation can be a gamechanger. By identifying 3-5 key segments within your audience, and tailoring not only your content but also your lead generation strategy, your sales funnel and your email marketing to those segments; you can move the needle right across all the important KPI's in your business. More traffic, more leads and ultimately more membership sales. Episode Summary: Why trying to help everyone with your content results in you actually helping nobody! The 3 main options for segmenting your audience, and how they apply to memberships How to apply segmentation to not only your membership site, but also your content and sales funnels Examples of how we use segmentation in our own business, and the dramatic results it's had
6/25/201912 minutes, 28 seconds
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6 Simple Ways to Make Your Members Feel Extra Special

Are you delivering an exceptional member experience? Your membership could have the best content in the world, but if your member experience isn't up to scratch then people just aren't going to engage. They're less likely to log in, less likely to consume your content or participate in your community, and ultimately less likely to stick around long term. Much of crafting a remarkable member experience comes down to finding ways of making your members feel extra special, and in this episode I highlight 6 simple ways to do just that. Episode Summary: Don't underestimate the importance of personally welcoming new members to your site How making a deliberate effort to loop other members into conversations can be hugely empowering Why you need to be attentive to your power users and reach out to people who are slipping away How using your platform to showcase members and celebrate their successes is a major win-win
6/18/201916 minutes, 16 seconds
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How to Attract Better Members Who Will Stick Around Long Term

Attracting the right people to your membership is essential for the growth of your business. Not all members are created equal - the best ones will consume your content, positively engage with your community and actually use what they're paying for. These are the members who will stick around for the long term. But how do you tailor your marketing to ensure you're attracting more of the right type of member? Episode Summary: Why trying to get sales at any cost is a dumb mistake we see too many people making The qualities and characteristics of members who are more likely to stay subscribed long term The gulf in difference between a member who is interested in your topic, and one who is committed to it Steps you can take to better identify your ideal members, and adapt your marketing to appeal to those people
6/11/201912 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Tools We're Using For Our Membership - 2019 Edition

We regularly get asked for our recommendations on the top tools for membership website owners. The truth is that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” membership site setup that will work for everyone – it all depends on what it is you want to achieve with your membership site, what features and functionality you need it to have, which email and payment software you’re using and a whole bunch of other details that determine which membership tools are the best fit for you. In this episode, we talk about the tools we use for our own membership website – Member Site Academy – as well as the reasons why we chose those particular options. Episode Summary: Which membership plugin and other software we're using to power Member Site Academy Why you don't need to use the exact same setup that we use (or anyone else is using) Changes we're considering making to our tech stack and frustrations we have What WordPress theme do we use for our websites?
6/4/201919 minutes, 56 seconds
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203 - Behind The Membership: Building a 7 Figure Bass Empire with Scott Devine

This week we're doing something a little different on The Membership Guys Podcast! You may or may not know that we actually have another show called 'Behind The Membership', which is hosted by the one and only Callie Willows Behind The Membership features hype-free, no-fluff, frank conversations with real membership site owners just like you about the highs, lows and day to day realities of running a paid membership business. These are real people, real stories, real memberships. We're gearing up for our THIRD SEASON, which will be kicking off on June 13th; but to whet your appetite we've gone back into the archives from past seasons and picked out one of our favourites to share on The Membership Guys Podcast. This episode features Scott Devine from Scott's Bass Lessons Scott was actually a client of ours for many years, the very last client we stopped working with in fact. And we saw his site go from free YouTube videos and a PayPal donate button to a seven figure membership site in the 5 years that we worked with him. Scott's Bass Lessons has been running for 8 years now and has attracted over 50,000 members in that time. It's also gone from one-man bad to having a full faculty of world class bass educators. So there's a lot to pack into this episode!
5/28/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 18 seconds
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Using the 'Splinter' Strategy to Sell More Memberships

Memberships can be challenging products to sell, as often they're made up of so many different things that it's hard to get specific in your marketing. One way to counteract that is with the "Splinter" strategy. This is where you take one piece of content from your membership and you make it available to buy as a standalone product. But you market it in such a way that makes joining your membership a preferable option to purchasing just that one thing. In this episode I dig deeper into how the "Splinter" strategy works for memberships and talk about how you can start testing it within your own business. Episode Summary: Why one of the best things about memberships also makes them challenging to sell What the 'splinter' strategy is and how it applies to membership websites How 'anchoring' is used to make joining your membership a total no-brainer Simple ways to test and validate whether the splinter strategy will work for you
5/21/201914 minutes, 46 seconds
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7 Things You Need to Validate Before Starting a Membership

It's easy to get carried away in those early days of planning and building a membership site. So many people get overexcited by their idea and a little too swept up in the process that they skip the first few fundamental steps. Most importantly: idea validation and research. And then when they launch their membership and it doesn't quite go to plan, they're left scratching their heads wondering where it all went wrong. In this episode, I highlight the 7 most important things that you need to validate BEFORE moving forward with your membership idea. Episode Summary: The important of solving problems for your members, and how to know which problems people will actually pay for a solution to. Why identifying a gap in the market is over-rated, and doesn't always mean there's an opportunity for you. How having the perfect product and a 'hungry' market is not enough. There's an important third ingredient... Why you need to seriously question your own long term objectives for your membership
5/14/201919 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ask Us Anything: Mike and Callie Answer Your Questions

We're celebrating a huge milestone for The Membership Guys Podcast as we hit our 200th episode! To mark the occasion, we thought we’d do something a little special... So both Callie and I opened the floor up to you, and invited our members and wider audience to ask us absolutely anything you wanted - about anything! We’ve picked the best questions and answered them together in this special 200th episode. Enjoy! Episode Summary: How we handle working together, and our top tips for running a business with your spouse If we could go back in time, what would we do differently with our membership? What were those early days like for us? What challenges did we have? Did we have any doubts or fears? PLUS we discuss everything from community engagement to videogames, movies to content strategy and more!  
5/7/20191 hour, 23 minutes, 22 seconds
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12 Types of Content To Include In Your Membership Site

Membership websites are a value exchange. As long as you keep delivering value to your members - in the form of content, resources and ongoing investment in your product - they'll keep giving value to you in the form of their continued subscription payments. So what content can you actually include in your membership in order to ensure you keep up your side of the bargain?
4/30/201914 minutes, 5 seconds
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What To Do When Someone Steals Your Membership Content

When publishing content online - whether freely or inside a membership - there's always the chance that someone will copy or steal your hard work. In truth the only way to guarantee that this won't happen is to not publish anything online. However this doesn't mean you should just roll over if it happens to you. In this episode I give my top tips for dealing with people stealing and copying your content, with specific examples of the process we use in our own business. Episode Summary: The two main types of content theft that membership owners are susceptible to, and what you can do about them. Why the worst type of theft is the one where the offender likely doesn't realise that they're doing something wrong! What copyright theft actually means, and how to identify and gather evidence on more nuanced cases The process (and exact wording) that we use for approaching people who have ripped off our content
4/23/201934 minutes, 19 seconds
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How to Reduce the Price of Your Membership (Without Alienating Existing Members)

Reducing the price of your membership might sound like the last thing you'd ever want to do. As time goes on and you add more content, the value of your membership increases - so surely you'd be considering putting your prices up, not down? Why would you want to go backwards? However there are some situations where lowering your price might make total sense. Maybe what you're offering has actually changed? Maybe you got your pricing wrong from the start? Maybe you started off very hands-on but now you want to remove yourself from the picture. These are just a few scenarios where a price decrease might be considered. In this episode I discuss the implications of reducing your price and how to navigate the change in a way that doesn't cause problems with your existing members. Episode Summary: Situations where you might need to consider reducing the price of your membership site Why it's more complicated than you might realise to reduce the price of existing subscriptions Our top tips for making pricing changes without losing your existing members An alternative to reducing your membership price that's a win-win for everyone
4/16/201932 minutes, 34 seconds
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Should I Create a Membership Website or an Online Course?

Whether you're teaching a specialist subject, or want to support others who share your interests; it's now easier than ever to reach a global audience and get paid for sharing your time, skills, experience and expertise. Two of the best models for doing so are online courses and paid membership websites. However with those terms often used loosely and interchangeably, it can be tricky figuring out which is best for you. In this episode, we discuss the differences between courses and membership sites, and talk through the key factors to consider when choosing which to create.
4/9/201928 minutes, 12 seconds
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From The Vault: What To Do If Your Membership Launch Fails

We can spend months creating content, writing workbooks, pulling our hair out, and spending a small fortune on promoting a new membership site and then when we finally launch it… nobody joins. We all dread this as membership owners; and when it happens, the panic sets in and we start scrambling to rearrange the website, add testimonials, and change prices. This is all completely irrelevant stuff and won’t turn things around. So what should you do if your new membership fails?
4/2/201922 minutes, 22 seconds
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From The Vault: How to Deal with Problem Members Inside Your Community

One of the best things about running a membership website is that we can market and position it in a way that we attract the sort of members that we most want to work with. However no matter hard you try to get only the “right type” of people in your membership, you will inevitably experience problem members. Sometimes it will be a personality clash, where certain members just rub you up the wrong way; however there will be instances where you need to deal with potentially toxic elements among your member base. So how do you deal with them? I address that question and more on the latest episode of The Membership Guys Podcast. Episode Summary: The questions you need to ask yourself before dealing a ‘problem’ member How to implement a two-tier “strike” based approach to dealing with issues When it’s the right time to kick out difficult members The process and steps to take when removing someone from your membership
3/26/201917 minutes, 27 seconds
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From The Vault: How to Streamline the Production of your Membership Content

Creating membership content can be one of the most time consuming parts of running a paid membership website. If you’re billing people on a recurring basis, you need to deliver value on a recurring basis; and often delivering that value involves some form of content. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I discuss how to approach content strategy for your membership, and the steps to take in order to ensure your production process is streamlined so you’re not constantly grinding to put out new content. Episode Summary: Two key mindset shifts to embrace that will change how you approach your membership content What content you should be creating, and how to deliver more while actually REDUCING your workload The steps you need to take before hiring someone to help you to produce content The one thing that will make a monumental difference to your content production process
3/19/201929 minutes, 41 seconds
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The Worst Membership Experience EVER - with Callie Willows

Less than a month ago, Callie bought a book. Unbeknownst to her, that simple act would be the start of the single worst buyer experience she's ever encountered, as she found herself subscribed to a membership she never signed up for, with no clear way out. In the interests of seeing how far the rabbit hole of terrible business practices went, she decided to see it through... Join us on this rather unusual episode of The Membership Guys Podcast as we take a step by step tour through how NOT to run a membership (or any other business, for that matter!) Episode Summary: Why tricking people into joining your membership is a seriously dumb strategy! (And could land you in serious trouble) Ignoring support emails and deleting comments from your community will hurt your rep and cost you customers Trying to hold members hostage and making it impossible to cancel doesn't work Why seeing people who lack integrity and use bad practices motivate us to be better
3/12/201946 minutes, 9 seconds
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How Big Does My Membership Need to Be In Order to Be Successful?

Many people measure success according to vanity metrics. How many followers you have rather than how much engagement you get; how much your turnover is rather than how much net profit you make; how many members you have rather than their average lifetime spend. But is success as a membership site owner all about how many members you have? Or is it about the money you make? Or the lifestyle your membership affords you? I give my take in this week's episode of The Membership Guys Podcast... Episode Summary: Are your goals ambitious enough? And if they're not, does that make you a bad entrepreneur? Why member numbers are meaningless when it comes to assessing the success of your membership Would you trade in a measure of personal happiness for a measure of increased profit? How small membership sites can actually be more attractive
3/5/201914 minutes, 33 seconds
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Should You Drip-feed Your Membership Content?

If you’ve spent much time looking at online courses or membership sites and their associated plugins and software, then you are probably already familiar with the terms ‘drip feeding’ and ‘content dripping’. Drip feeding is essentially time-releasing your content so that it isn’t all available to someone immediately after they sign up to your site. But unlike simply providing ongoing content (where new content is released into the general membership regularly), your content is released on a set schedule based, usually, on when the member signed up. While this can be a great way to stagger content, prolong subscriptions and avoid 'hit and run' members; there are some downsides to consider. In this episode, I discuss the pros and cons of drip-feeding your membership content.
2/26/201920 minutes, 22 seconds
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How Do I Know That I'm Delivering Enough Value in My Membership?

It can be difficult to judge whether or not you're delivering enough value in your membership for the price you wish to charge. That's mostly because "value" is an abstract concept. There is no scientific formula behind it; it's not something you can accurately measure - it's entirely subjective, based entirely on individual perception. So how do you know if you're getting it right? It is even possible to know?! That's what we're tackling in this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast. Episode Summary: What 'value' truly means in the context of online memberships The most common mistakes people make when pricing their membership and assessing what it's worth Questions you can ask yourself to get a better measure of whether you're delivering enough for what you're charging What do your members care about most, and how does that factor in to their perception of the value your membership offers
2/19/201925 minutes, 21 seconds
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4 Unusual (But Effective) Membership Content Strategies

While the majority of online memberships tend to fall into the same 2 or 3 models in terms of how they deliver their premium content; there is much to be learned from those membership sites that do things a little differently. In this episode I discuss 4 content strategies for memberships that are fairly uncommon but certainly effective, and discuss ways in which you could incorporate aspects of those strategies into your own business. Episode Summary: Why platforms such as Patreon and the creator programs offered by YouTube and Facebook are giving way to a new breed of online membership. How some memberships give away their content for free initially, and then charge money for access to their archive How one of the oldest offline content distribution models could be used for a membership website Giving your members "credits" to allow them to purchases limited quantities of content
2/12/201921 minutes, 30 seconds
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Should Your Membership Offer Multiple Different Levels?

One of the key decisions to be made when planning a membership is whether to offer multiple membership levels or a single 'all access' option. While we always advocate for simplicity, there are definite pros and cons to consider. In this episode I discuss the key things you need to consider when deciding whether to have multiple levels in your membership, and provide my top tips for making this strategy work. And I also share a 'middle ground' for people who prefer to stick with a single level. Episode Summary: Pros and cons of offering multiple different membership levels The benefits of keeping things simple in your membership (especially at the beginning) How "price anchoring" can increase sales, and an alternative way to leverage it Why you shouldn't differentiate your membership levels based on content alone
2/5/201926 minutes, 12 seconds
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6 Tasks You Should Outsource To Make Your Membership More Manageable

Most membership owners - especially those earlier on in their journey - try to do everything themselves Chris Ducker refers to this as "Superhero Syndrome" - where you convince yourself that everything in your business rests on your shoulders; that you’re the only person who can possibly handle it all. But it’s a fallacy. You shouldn’t be trying to do everything yourself because it’s just not sustainable, especially as your membership grows. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I highlight 6 key areas of your membership business that you should look to outsource in order to free you up to focus on the things that only you can do. Episode Summary: Why trying to do everything yourself is actually bad for your membership (and your members!) Outsourcing isn't just about offloading tasks you're no good at or think are 'beneath you' How to change your mindset about paying for specialist help Why you need to be the "rockstar" and not the "roadie"
1/29/201917 minutes, 13 seconds
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Planning a Conference: Behind The Scenes Of Retain 2019

This year we embark on our biggest and most daunting challenge to date - running our very own live conference: Retain 2019 It's something we've wanted to do for years, and we're beyond excited to bring together hundreds of membership site owners from around the world for 2 days of amazing speakers and high-level networking. But the journey has not all been smooth sailing... In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I take you behind the scenes of the story so far, revealing our thought process, strategy and sharing the highs and lows of orchestrating this kind of event. Episode Summary: Why we've waited until now to run our first conference of this scale What happened that almost made us throw in the towel and cancel the entire event The specific steps we took to validate our idea for this event, including our pre-sale strategy Insights into choosing speakers, picking a location, approaching sponsors and more
1/22/201957 minutes, 23 seconds
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Essential Features of a Successful Membership Sales Page

Your membership sales page is perhaps the single most important piece of the puzzle for attracting member signups. Whether it's a cold lead or someone who has been following you for years - it's your sales page that needs to seal the deal and help them to make the final decision to join your membership. So it's crucial that you get it right! In this episode I walk through the key elements that every membership sales page should have in order to maximise new member sales. Episode Summary: Why you need to zero in on the problems and pain points your potential members have, and how to use that info on your sales page The importance of transparency, particularly when it comes to your membership pricing What "risk reversal" is and why it plays such a big part in crafting an effective sales page Pre-empting your customers questions and overcoming objections that might stop them from joining
1/15/201912 minutes, 55 seconds
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Planning Your Content for the next 12 Months with Janet Murray

Most online memberships involve content. A lot of content. Not only are you creating content for your membership, but often you're blogging, podcasting or creating videos as part of your marketing strategy too. It can be a lot to handle! That's why it's crucial to have a solid plan for your content production, so you know well in advance what you need to create in order to schedule accordingly and avoid constantly doing everything at the last minute. In this episode I'm joined by Janet Murray to discuss how to plan an entire year's worth of content, and the tips and tools you need to help you stay on track.
1/8/201951 minutes, 49 seconds
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6 Types of People Who Should Start a Membership Website

Considering starting a membership website in 2019? Perhaps you should be... In this episode I look at 6 types of people who are especially well suited to starting a membership site, and discuss some of the various strategies they could consider.
1/1/201923 minutes, 9 seconds
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10 Most Popular Episodes of The Membership Guys Podcast in 2018

And so another year draws to a close... How was 2018 for you and your membership? Rather than lament the passage of time, once again we're wrapping up the year by taking a look back at the most loved episodes of The Membership Guys Podcast, counting down the top 10 most downloaded episodes of the past 12 months. Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support of the show - here's to even more membership awesomeness in 2019!
12/25/201839 minutes, 5 seconds
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Lead Generation Essentials for Membership Site Owners

Lead generation is a critical part of the sales process for membership owners. For most membership businesses, this means getting people to subscribe to your email marketing list, where you can engage with them further on a more direct basis and guide them towards joining your membership site. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I talk about how to convert website visitors into email leads, and give my top tips for increasing both the quantity and the quality of the leads that you generate.
12/18/201817 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why You Should Keep Things Simple with Your Membership

It's easy to get carried away when creating a membership website. We often turn to other memberships for inspiration, and as a result end up with a wishlist of shiny bells and whistles that we absolutely MUST have for our own website. And the end result of cramming all of those features into your membership is a convoluted frankenstein's monster of a website that's a pain to manage and an even bigger nightmare for members to use. It's not just the tech side of things that people tend to over-complicate; we see the same thing happening with marketing, sales and overall business strategy too. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I warn against adding too much complexity to your membership business and discuss the benefits of embracing simplicity.
12/11/201817 minutes, 35 seconds
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Running a Membership over the Holidays - 6 Things You Should Do

As the year draws to a close and many inside your membership and your wider audience will be in a festive mood, what sort of things should you be doing as a membership owner? Whether you're a Christmas fanatic or a modern day Scrooge - the festive season brings with it a few unique opportunities for your membership business. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I talk about 6 things you should do in your membership over the holiday period. Episode Summary: Creating "year end review" content - what we do at The Membership Guys, and some ideas you can try The importance of taking time away from your membership over the holidays Reviewing your achievements in the past year and setting goals for the next 12 months How the festive season affords you more opportunities for promotional campaigns
12/4/201826 minutes, 14 seconds
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Where to Find Reliable Tech Support for your Membership Site

Membership websites have a whole mess of moving parts - plugins, themes, integrations, payment processors - they all add up to make memberships one of the most complicated types of sites that you can build. And even if you have help getting everything up and running, chances are there'll be numerous times you'll need a bit of tech support in the day to day running of your membership. But finding reliable help with the technical side of building and maintaining a membership can be a crap-shoot. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I run through some of the most viable options for finding tech support that you can rely on for different stages of your membership. Episode Summary: The number one resource for learning how to build your membership site yourself (Spoiler alert: it's Member Site Academy - because of course it is!) How to distinguish between a legit web developer and someone who has just learned how to configure a handful of plugins and themes Why it's not essential that your chosen web developer has specific experience with membership sites Where to get help with ad hoc tech issues and day to day maintenance
11/27/201825 minutes, 47 seconds
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Growing Your Membership by Doing Things That Don’t Scale

The "one to many" aspect of a membership site is what makes it such an attractive business model. The ability to leverage your time, skills, experience and expertise in order to serve hundreds or even thousands, without having to deal with issues of increased expensive, strained resources or limited capacity that can come when trying to grow other types of businesses make memberships one of the most scalable models there is. However sometimes in order to get to the next level, you need to do a few things that don't scale too well... Episode Summary: How to add a personal touch to your membership without spreading yourself too thin Times where offering a "done for you" or "done with you" service may actually benefit your membership as a whole The value of taking your community offline and organising real world meetups The biggest challenge in selling a membership, and the specific tactic that works best for overcoming it
11/20/201837 minutes, 52 seconds
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5 Ideas to Take a Successful Membership to the Next Level

Much of what we discuss here at The Membership Guys revolves around building and growing a successful membership. But once you've reached a point where you can call your membership "successful" - what's next? For many, the continued growth of their membership - increasing member numbers and revenue - is the be all and end all of their ambitions. And that's a perfectly valid goal. But for those who want more, what does that "next level" look like? In this episode, I discuss 5 ideas for how you could take an already successful membership business to even greater heights. Episode Summary: The damaging effects of becoming complacent in your approach to your membership Memberships are an evolution and should change over time, but not ALL change is good... The biggest mis-steps membership owners make when it comes to their community Why you shouldn't blindly follow the advice of experts and "gurus" - and yes, that includes us!
11/13/201830 minutes, 52 seconds
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11 Bad Habits That Could Be Hurting Your Membership

Running a membership requires you to get into the routine of regularly showing up, serving your members by creating valuable content, interacting in your community, answering support queries and so on. These day to day habits are the cornerstone of any successful membership - however when developing those positive habits it's all too easy to also develop bad ones. In this episode, I highlight some of the more common bad habits we see membership owners falling foul of, and give my top tips for breaking them. Episode Summary: The damaging effects of becoming complacent in your approach to your membership Memberships are an evolution and should change over time, but not ALL change is good... The biggest mis-steps membership owners make when it comes to their community Why you shouldn't blindly follow the advice of experts and "gurus" - and yes, that includes us!
11/6/201834 minutes, 31 seconds
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Tactics to Pre-empt and Prevent Member Cancellations

Cancellations are an inevitable part of the member journey. Everyone running a membership deals with them. However that doesn't mean you just have to sit back and let cancellations happen! In this episode I share some simple ways that you can pre-empt cancelling members and reduce the number of people leaving your membership. Episode Summary: Why it's crucial to get feedback from outgoing members in order to help you zero in on problem areas (and easy fixes!) Monitoring member activity and engagement, and taking action to salvage people who might be slipping away "I haven't got time" is a common reason members leave - what does that really mean and how can you tackle it? Dealing with involuntary churn from failed payments - what's the answer?
10/30/201841 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why Member Lifetime Value is More Important Than Churn

Are you worried about the churn rate of your membership?&nbsp;Many membership business owners look at the numbers dropping and panic. They might even believe that the membership business model is flawed, and maybe they should try their luck elsewhere.&nbsp;In this episode, I talk about churn rate and why it shouldn’t be the one thing you think about.&nbsp;This episode instead focuses on THE most important metric – customer lifetime value, and why that should be your focus before you make any decision about the future of your membership.&nbsp;If you’re considering switching from a membership model, listen to this episode first.Essential Learning Points:Why people get worried about churn rateWhy there’s no industry average churn rateHow to look at churn rate with contextWhat lifetime value is and why it’s the most important metricImportant Links &amp; Mentions:The Membership GuysMembership AcademyDespite What You’ve Heard, Average Member Retention is NOT Only 3 Months5 Stages of the Member Life Cycle 21 Quick Tips for Improving Member RetentionThe Most Effective Tools for Reducing Membership ChurnKey Quotes:“The lifetime value for courses max out on day one.”“The idea of lifetime value of your customers maxing out is not exclusive to memberships.”“It's important to realize that whatever model you go with for your business, whatever type of business you run, it all essentially comes down to customer lifetime value.”“Anything you sell has a churn rate. Churn rate is merely a factor in determining the endpoint after which you get no more money from that person.”
10/23/201821 minutes, 52 seconds
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How To Avoid Your Membership Becoming a Burden

Creating a membership is an exciting time. The creative juices are flowing, the sense of accomplishment from building and launching something new can be exhilarating, and there's an undeniable buzz you get with every new member who joins. But what about 6 months down the line? 2 years? 10 years? Is that buzz still there? Does your membership still excite you? Or perhaps it's started to feel like a chore? Maybe things haven't gone as planned. Or maybe you've just become complacent. Whatever the cause, if you're starting to feel weighed down by your membership then this can be the start of a very slippery slope. Check out this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast can find out how to prevent this from happening, and what you can do to turn things around if your membership is starting to feel like a burden. Episode Summary: The vicious cycle that occurs when you start to treat your membership like a chore How solid systems and processes, plus well-controlled boundaries, can make a huge difference in your role as membership owner Why you need to be mindful of the reasons you started a membership in the first place The importance of fighting the instinct to focus on negatives, and staying positive without becoming complacent
10/16/201833 minutes, 33 seconds
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9 Ways To Save Money When Running Your Membership

With so many moving parts involved in building and running a membership site, the costs can quickly add up. And while constantly trying to penny-pinch and always going with the cheap option isn't the best approach, it's also prudent to ensure you're not unnecessarily wasting money. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I share 9 ways to cut your day to day costs when running a membership business. Episode Summary: The simple step to avoiding the temptation to buy lots of tools and software that you'll end up never using! How thinking long term with subscriptions and licenses will save you money The importance of regularly reviewing your expenses and stopping any expenditure that's wasted How developing better processes can have an impact on your bottom line
10/9/201825 minutes, 31 seconds
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From The Vault: Utilizing Guest Experts for your Membership Content

While in a lot of cases people will have joined your membership to get the benefit of your particular expertise; bringing in experts in complimentary topics can add a lot to your offering. Not only does inviting guest contributors increase the value and variety you provide to your members; but it's also a smart strategy for minimizing the workload involved in creating all membership content yourself. In this episode I talk more about ways to make best use of guest contributors for your membership, as well as how to approach experts and get them to agree to be involved. In this episode, I discuss: The benefits of inviting other experts to contribute to your membership How best to approach your guests and convince them to get involved Examples of the types of membership content you might ask a guest to contribute How to make it easier for your potential guest to say "yes!"
10/3/201821 minutes, 29 seconds
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From The Vault: Strategies for Increasing Your Membership Pricing

During the course of running your membership site, there will inevitably come a point where you want to increase your pricing. Maybe your offering has changed, perhaps you're responding to increased demand or maybe you just want to earn a little more for your efforts. Rather than simply raising your prices overnight, check out this latest episode of The Membership Guys Podcast for my tips and strategies to help you to get the best results from increasing your membership pricing... Episode Summary Should you increase the price for existing members or just new ones? How a pending price increase gives you a huge promotional opportunity that can bring in an influx of new signups. Timing your price increase to ensure maximum impact Alternatives to raising your membership pricing that you might want to consider
9/26/201822 minutes, 49 seconds
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From The Vault: How to Decide Which Content Should Be Free vs Paid

Membership websites come in all shapes and sizes; but the type we primarily deal with here on The Membership Guys consist primarily of content and community. Given that content marketing is, without doubt, one of the best ways to promote your membership site; then it can be a real challenge trying to figure out which content should be free - via blogs, podcasts and the like - and which content should comprise your paid membership. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I tackle this subject and look at some of the things to consider when deciding whether your content should be free or paid... Episode Summary The truth behind the notion that membership site owners are selling content (spoiler: that's NOT what you're selling!) Some of the obvious differences between free and paid content 5 questions to ask yourself to help determine whether a piece of content should be free or should be paid Why membership owners often overlook the importance of c________e (listen in to fill the blank!)
9/19/201815 minutes, 17 seconds
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Repurposing Your Membership Content with Amy Woods

The typical membership site owner creates a LOT of content. Not just for their paying members, but as part of their marketing strategy too. It's a lot of work - so anything you can do to increase the impact and the reach of the content you create is a big win. Content repurposing can help you squeeze every drop of value from your courses, tutorials, blogs, videos and podcasts; and in today's episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I'm joined by the queen of content repurposing - Amy Woods from Content10x - to discuss ways that you can repurpose your membership content. Episode Summary: The right way to approach repurposing your content to ensure you stand out, not just making more noise Should you try to "be everywhere" when it comes to content platforms and social media? Specific things you can do to repurpose both your paid membership content as well as your free content The 2-3 steps you can take - starting with your next piece of content - to get to grips with repurposing
9/12/20181 hour, 20 minutes, 37 seconds
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Looking Back at Year 3 of the Member Site Academy

Wow, time flies when you're rocking the membership world! In what has become an annual tradition - we're celebrating the 3rd anniversary of Member Site Academy with a very special episode looking back at the past 12 months of our business. And of course I'm joined once again by the other (and arguably better) half of The Membership Guys, the one and only Callie Willows, to discuss year three of running the Academy. In this episode, Callie and I discuss: Picking up where we left off at the end of our 2nd year and discussing where we went from there. Changes we've made to our strategy and the reasons and circumstances behind those decisions Our highlights from the past 12 months, what's worked, what hasn't and what challenges we've faced A sneak peek at our future plans for the Member Site Academy and the business in general
9/5/20181 hour, 27 minutes, 43 seconds
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How to Deal With Negative Feedback About Your Membership

As your membership grows, so too does the likelihood that you'll encounter negative feedback from your members. You can't please everyone, it's a fools errand to even try. But what do you do if one of your members says something you don't like about your membership? How you react to and process negative feedback can have real implications on the way you run your membership. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I share my advice on handling negativity the right way, and give my tips for turning it around and using this sort of feedback for the betterment of your business. Episode Summary: Why you shouldn't immediately react to negative comments and feedback How to figure out whether it's actual negative feedback or just something you don't want to hear The importance of finding context for the feedback you receive Do you even need to respond if someone says something negative?
8/29/201817 minutes, 27 seconds
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6 Ways to Use a Podcast to Promote Your Membership

Podcasting can be an extremely effective outlet for experts and influencers to expand their reach, grow their audience and demonstrate their credibility. And for membership owners, a podcast can be a great source of new members too. In fact our podcast is perhaps one of the most important pieces of our marketing puzzle, and helps generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in membership sales each and every year. In this week's episode of that very podcast, I share 6 ways that you can use podcasting to promote and grow your membership website. Episode Summary: Why holding out for sponsorships is a dumb move for anyone who runs a membership website How to organically talk about your membership on every single episode without being salesy and annoying your listeners Ways to leverage your existing membership content as part of your podcast Running a promotion just for podcast listeners - and what you need to avoid  
8/22/201830 minutes, 58 seconds
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No, Average Member Retention Is NOT Only 3 Months

"The average length of time someone will stay subscribed to your membership is just 3 months." You’ve heard that before, right? You’ve no doubt seen "experts" throwing this statistic around. Heck, if you dig hard enough I wouldn't be surprised if we've repeated it ourselves once upon a time! Well here’s the truth - that 3 month average subscription length? It’s nonsense. Utter nonsense. In today’s episode I look at where the whole 3 month myth came from and why it’s persisted - but more importantly I talk about what the actual average subscription length for membership sites is. Episode Summary: Where the "3 month average" member retention myth came from, and why it's stuck around so long. Why it's impossible to determine an exact industry average for online memberships. A more accurate ballpark average subscription length, backed up by data. Why it really doesn't matter what the industry average is, and what you should focus on instead.
8/15/201817 minutes, 16 seconds
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What Does Facebook Announcing Paid Group Subscriptions Mean For the Membership Space?

On June 20th, Facebook officially announced that they are trialling the option for Group admins to charge a recurring subscription fee to their members. This is definitely a huge move, and one that capitalises on the fact that there are already many membership owners using Facebook Groups "unofficially" for their paid community. So what does this mean for the membership industry? Should we all pack up our things and move our memberships over to Facebook? If you've been following us for a while, you probably know the answer to that one... In this episode, I dissect this announcement as well as some other recent developments with Facebook groups and revisit the contentious topic of using them for your membership community. Episode Summary: What we know about the Facebook paid group subscriptions so far (and what we can assume) The implications of running your entire membership through the Facebook ecosystem How this and other recent changes have made Facebook a serious player when it comes to choosing a membership platform What Facebook's track record tells us, and why it's best to tread carefully...  
8/8/201814 minutes, 21 seconds
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5 Options For Starting a Membership BEFORE You've Grown Your Audience

We're constantly banging the drum on how important it is to have an established audience BEFORE you build and launch a membership. However for some people the temptation to rush headfirst into their membership is just too strong. Truth is that if you haven't built an audience that you can mobilize and monetize, you're going to find it an uphill struggle trying to get your membership off the ground. But it's not all doom and gloom. In this podcast, I share 5 options you have if you're wanting to build a membership before building your audience. Episode Summary: The importance of validating that there actually IS a market for your idea and that you've done your research Why it's worth delaying your plans to focus on building an audience first (and what we did to prepare for our own membership launch) The 3 different options you have for accelerating your growth Alternative products you could create that would make more sense than a full-blown membership at this stage of your business
8/1/201826 minutes, 52 seconds
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4 Ways You Can Use a Membership to Supplement Your Existing Business

When we talk about membership sites, typically it's in the context of being the main part of the membership owner's business. However that's not the only way to do it. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I dig into 4 of the main ways you could create a membership site that's secondary and supplementary to the real focus of your business. Episode Summary: Why it's okay to not have a membership as the main focal point of your business How a free membership site can work like gangbusters for generating qualified sales leads Ways to use a membership to take your service business to the next level and crush your competitors A simple way to use a membership website in conjunction with selling high-ticket courses and programs.
7/25/201815 minutes, 9 seconds
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How Many People Can I Realistically Expect To Join My Membership?

This is the ultimate “how long is a piece of string” question. There’s no exact science or specific formula that will accurately predict how many people are likely to join your membership. However when setting goals for the launch of a new membership site, or even the growth of an original one, it’s useful to know whether your aspirations are realistic or just pure delusion! In this episode, I attempt to answer this unanswerable question, and give my “rule of thumb” guidance for predicting how many people you can realistically expect to join your membership. Episode Summary: Why it’s impossible to accurately predict how many membership signups you’ll get Identifying your core audience size, and the mistake so many people make with this The two most important factors affecting the percentage of your audience who will join
7/18/201815 minutes, 19 seconds
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Creative Ways to Improve Your Member Experience with Andrew & Pete

In today's online world you're increasingly competing with a lot of noise and distraction when it comes to your members time and attention. How do you stand out? What can you do to deliver a member experience that will make logging into your membership and spending time in your community preferable to watching hilarious cat videos on YouTube or chatting with friends on Facebook? Andrew and Pete are two of the most creative content marketers in the world. And that creativity carries over to their own membership community too. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, we look at what they're doing to craft a truly unique and remarkable member experience, and they share their tips on how you can think outside the lines and start being more creative with your membership. Episode Summary: Why you shouldn't just do what everyone else does, and how to truly stand out from your competition. The special touches Andrew and Pete add to their member experience that has turned their community into superfans What to do if you're convinced your topic is too boring, or you're not sure how to find creative angles in your business Andrew and Pete share some random ideas you can try today to put a little more personality into your marketing and your membership
7/11/20181 hour, 15 minutes, 3 seconds
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How To Level-Up by Creating a Membership Ecosystem

So your membership is ticking along nicely, you're bringing in new members at a steady rate (and they're sticking around too), you've got your systems and processes nailed and everything is running like clockwork. What next? There are a few different paths you can take for growing and scaling your membership business; but in this episode I want to talk about my favourite approach, one that's perfectly suited to the membership model. And that is creating an 'ecosystem' of products and services with your membership smack-bang at the heart of everything. Episode Summary: Why membership owners should break from the traditional "value ladder" strategy for offering additional products and services Your existing member base is the single most qualified segment of your audience for anything else you have to sell Why your first priority should be getting new members rather than trying to sell them other stuff "The money is in the list?" - nope, the money is in the membership, literally!
7/4/201810 minutes, 27 seconds
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Mark Asquith On Changing Your Core Business Model

Making the move from working one on one with clients, to running a "one to many" subscription business like a membership can be a daunting transition. It's one Mark Asquith made several years back, when he called time on his successful digital agency to focus entirely on his SAAS company. And it's a journey we've taken ourselves with The Membership Guys. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, we discuss our respective journeys, and Mark shares an inside look into how he made the transition both from a practical sense as well as a mental one. It's a must-listen episode for anyone looking to make a similar switch in their business. Episode Summary: How many entrepreneurs create a "lifestyle prison" by following the wrong advice The practicalities of transitioning from agency owner to running a subscription business Key mindset changes you need to make in order to successful grow a community Why it's okay to keep things simple with your membership and not constantly chase the "next level"
6/27/20181 hour, 6 minutes, 27 seconds
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Where To Host Videos For Your Membership?

Most memberships in the online space feature some form of video content. But the question of where to host these videos continues to confuse many membership site owners. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I delve into the 6 main options you have for hosting your membership videos and give my definitive recommendation (as well as what the absolute no-no is when it comes to video hosting) Episode Summary: Why it's important to use a purpose-built video host rather than simply using a file hosting company What are the implications of storing video files on your own website host or server? Are those unlisted videos on YouTube really as protected as you thought they were? Our number one video hosting recommendation for membership owners.
6/20/201816 minutes, 1 second
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What Should Be Your Membership's Refund Policy?

Refunds suck. Let's face it - someone asking for their money back is never cause for celebration. But the fact is that while it might hurt your feelings, hurt your wallet or just flat out annoy the hell out of you when people ask for a refund - having a fair refund policy is ultimately a good thing for you and for your membership. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I explore the best ways to deal with refund requests, and provide my top pointers for what you need to include in your membership's refund policy. Episode Summary: Why you should have a fair refund policy, even if you have totally legit reasons to not want to give money back The problems and pitfalls with trying to fight back against refund requests Key conditions to include in your membership's refund policy What to do if someone asks you to refund several months of membership payments
6/13/201822 minutes, 40 seconds
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6 Quick & Easy Membership Sales Tactics To Try Out This Month

Much of the marketing advice you'll come across conditions you seek out a magic bullet that will unlock a tidal wave of leads and sales. The blueprint for the perfect funnel; the foolproof launch strategy; the latest killer Facebook ads hack. It's all nonsense. There is no "easy button" - and the people telling you there is are almost always trying to sell you something (or regurgitating the advice of someone else whose "magic beans" they bought) Truth is that it's extremely rare to find one big thing that will move the needle in your membership. It's about doing a lot of the little things, and doing them well. This week, I'm sharing with you 6 very quick, very simple marketing tactics that you can try out with minimal time or effort. Some of these might sound obvious to you, but so often we see people overlooking the no-brainer stuff because they're searching for that magic bullet. So, forget searching for your 'Golden Goose', listen to the episode and give some of these ideas a try... Episode Summary: The totally obvious marketing tasks that so many membership owners shy away from A simple 5 minute tactic that will start a whole bunch of sales conversations Easy ways to whet people's appetite, show them behind the scenes and create FOMO that will compel them to join Why a lot of marketing advice out there is nonsense - and the surprising source of over 50% of our own sales that goes against what you may have been told.
6/6/201822 minutes, 56 seconds
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The 3 Questions That Will Accelerate Your Membership Growth

A clear understanding of what makes your audience tick is key to ensuring your marketing is on point. So often people forget this. They get swept up in the latest quick fix marketing tricks, Facebook ad hacks and flavour-of-the-month sales funnels that they ignore that the foundation of successful marketing is understanding your audience. Their pains, their problems, their motivations. This stuff isn’t difficult to zero in on. And in this week’s podcast, I discuss the 3 questions every single membership site owner should be asking, and what to do with the answers to improve both your marketing and your retention strategies. Episode Summary: Why you need to understand your members motivations in order to refine your marketing communications The 3 most important segments of your audience that you need to be speaking to Specific examples of how to use member (and non member) feedback in order to change your sales page, email messages and other areas of your marketing strategy The keys to preempting and preventing cancellations, and tempting ex-members to return
5/30/201816 minutes, 55 seconds
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How to Tap Into Your Existing Members to Create Social Proof.

Social proof is a powerful marketing tool. Everyone expects you to talk about how awesome your membership is - that's a given - but when others back you up then it's a whole different ball game. Testimonials, endorsements and success stories go a very long way - and as a membership site owner you have the perfect resource at your disposal to generate this sort of social proof: your existing member base! In this episode, I talk about the most effect ways of tapping into your existing members to help you to create highly persuasive and effective social proof that will help you to skyrocket your marketing.  
5/23/201821 minutes, 4 seconds
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5 Biggest Risks Facing Membership Owners

There's an element of risk involved with every type of business. Particularly online. However when it comes to membership sites there are a few things in particular that you want to pay special attention to. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast - I look at 5 of the biggest risks membership owners need to be aware of and give my top tips for pre-empting and preventing problems. Episode Summary: How some membership owners are building on borrowed land, and what problems this may cause in the long run Tips for keeping your membership secure and minimising the risk of your site being hacked Protecting your intellectual property and your membership content How your particular membership model and strategy could be leaving you wide open
5/16/201829 minutes, 1 second
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8 Simple Ways to Add a Personal Touch to your Membership

The one-to-many aspect of the membership model is one of it's greatest benefits. Being able to serve your audience on a larger scale is what attracts a lot of membership owners to this type of business - however it does come at a cost. The larger your membership grows, the less able you are to create a more personal connection with individual members, and that can be unsatisfying for both them and you. However there are still ways you can add a personal touch to your membership, even with hundreds and thousands of members to serve, and in this episode I talk about 8 of the best ways to do that. Episode Summary: Why even the smallest personal touch can make a massive difference within a one-to-many environment How video can really help you to make a deeper connection with members Tactics for offering personal coaching in a highly leveraged, manageable way that doesn't overburden you How to gain better insights into what your members want and need in order to give tailored attention
5/9/201833 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Potential Downsides of Using Gamification

Gamification is the strategy of using gameplay elements as a means of encouraging engagement with your product, course or membership. Typically with membership sites, this manifests itself as point systems, badges and other rewards for completing content or contributing in your community. While gamification can be a highly effective strategy, it isn’t a “magic button” for creating an engaging member experience, and if implemented poorly can actually have an adverse effect on your membership. In this episode I discuss some of the potential problems with using gamification techniques for memberships.
5/2/201813 minutes, 17 seconds
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3 Ways To Enable Shared Group Access To Your Membership

Are you in an industry where there may be a demand for group access to your membership? Whether it's partners in the same business, employees in a single company, or even just an entrepreneur wanting their assistant, web designer or some other member of their team to access your site - it's not uncommon to receive requests to provide shared access. In this episode I discuss the 3 ways you can facilitate this in your membership site.
4/25/201813 minutes, 27 seconds
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Should You Let Members Cancel Their Subscription Themselves?

Cancellations suck. There's no denying it. Obviously a member ending their subscription is pretty much the worst case scenario. By nature of the business model it's pretty much the last thing we want to happen, right? So why would you make it easier for members to leave by giving them the ability to cancel their membership themselves without you being involved or having a chance to talk them round? In today's episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I dive into the pros and cons of allowing members to cancel their own subscriptions vs implementing a process that requires them to contact you first if they want to leave.
4/18/201815 minutes, 45 seconds
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4 Ways to Improve Your Live Member Calls

Live calls are a great way of delivering value to your members without a lot of the headaches and added effort that goes into creating many other forms of member content. Webinars, live Q&A's, member coaching calls - this sort of content is ideally suited to most types of memberships. In today's podcast episode, I dive deeper into how to get the most out of live member content and give my top tips for raising the bar and improving the quality and impact that it can have. Episode Summary: Why live calls such as webinars and Q&A sessions are a great addition to your membership Recommendations for reducing the tech barriers for members to attend How one change can help you to create a more personal connection Ways to get more people to turn up live to your calls
4/11/201816 minutes, 56 seconds
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Should Membership Trials be Free or Paid?

Offering a trial is a great way of moving people off the fence and encouraging them to give your membership a try. However should that trial be free, or should it involve a nominal charge? In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I cover the pros and cons of each option, and dive deeper into the benefits and considerations of offering a trial for your membership. Episode Summary: How offering a trial on your membership can significantly increase sales Why most people instinctively choose to make their trials free The psychology behind a trial period, and how it differs from free vs paid The only metric that matters when assessing the performance of your trial
4/4/20188 minutes, 36 seconds
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From The Vault: How Much Content Do You Need to Launch Your Membership?

The launch of a new membership site can be a nerve-wracking time, and adding to that anxiety is the question of whether you have enough content to open your doors. Is there a set amount of content that a membership site needs to have before you release it to the public? What content should you be creating and how do you know when to say “when”? In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast I tackle this question, and provide my top tips for approaching content creation as you gear up for launch. As well as looking at the key things to consider when thinking about your membership launch content, I also discuss specific examples from our own membership – the Member Site Academy; and provide insight into our specific approach to content creation as we were preparing to open our doors. It’s easy to get sucked into the trap of grinding out high levels of content just so we can say that we offer the most course, tools, resources or whatever other widgets we have on the market – but as membership site owners, especially ones who are getting ready to launch – this is absolutely the wrong approach and the wrong mindset.
3/28/201819 minutes, 34 seconds
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From The Vault: Can You Launch a Membership Site Without an Audience?

If a membership site launches with no audience to notice, has it truly launched? In this episode we answer the much asked question of whether it's possible - or advisable - to launch a membership site when you do not have an audience. I also discuss why audience building is particularly important for membership website owners, as well as my top tips for how you can get started on building an audience for your membership, fast. Episode Summary Why "build it and they will come" is a terrible business strategy The main benefits of building your audience before building your product Why piggybacking on other people's audience is a limiting approach How to get started on building an audience for your membership
3/21/201819 minutes, 24 seconds
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From The Vault: Avoiding Burnout When Running a Membership Site

It's very easy to fall into bad habits as a membership site owner when it comes to over-working and putting too much pressure on yourself. This often leads to burnout, which in turn adversely affects your membership site. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I give my tips on how you can avoid burning out when running a membership site. Episode Summary Why over-burdening yourself is not only bad for you, but for your members too The importance of context, and understanding where your membership fits in the grand scheme of things How to set and manage member expectations What areas of your business you should develop in order to avoid burning yourself out
3/14/201821 minutes, 43 seconds
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Why Membership Owners Should Attend Conferences

Conference season is upon us! For some that means cramming into a drab hall in a hotel out in the middle of nowhere, listening to long-in-the-tooth experts drone on for hours on end. For others, it's a chance to take time away, fly to somewhere sunny and fill your brain in between running up a huge bar bill on company expenses. Whichever end of the scale you land on; conferences represent plenty of opportunities for anyone running a membership website. Check out the 10 ways that membership owners can really get the most from industry conferences.
3/7/201817 minutes, 29 seconds
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11 Proven Tactics for Starting a New Membership Community

When it comes to membership sites, you’ll often find that people will come for the content, but they’ll stay for the community. An active community is the glue which holds a successful membership together. It’s where your members will form relationships, where they’ll receive and give support, where they’ll build connections and even make friends. It’s things like that which will keep people subscribed to your membership for months and years to come. However starting a community from scratch can be daunting. Which platform should you use? How do you get your members to participate? How do I avoid my community becoming a ghost town? Getting that initial momentum for your community is key to it becoming successful long-term; so here are my top tips for getting started with your membership community.
2/28/201823 minutes, 13 seconds
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How Writing a Book Can Help Your Membership with Chris Ducker

Have you ever thought about writing a book? Perhaps you already have? Being a published author can be a huge feather in the cap for anyone running a membership site - particularly one which is based around a personal brand, where you're the expert or thought leader. Chris Ducker knows just how powerful writing a book can be for membership owners. His first best-selling book Virtual Freedom played a huge part in laying the foundations for what has now become his Youpreneur community. And it's that very community that has since fuelled his brand new book 'Rise Of The Youpreneur.' To celebrate its release, I invited Chris back on the show to discuss how the book factors into the growth of his membership site, and the how being a membership owner has affected the process of writing a book. Episode Summary: How having a membership is beneficial to the process of writing a book. Where your book fits into your membership business. Tapping into your member-base for case studies and testimonials. Which should come first: writing a book, or launching your membership.
2/21/201845 minutes, 48 seconds
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How to Generate New Ideas for Membership Content

Your membership content comprises a large part of the ongoing value your site offers. But how do you keep momentum going once the ideas and inspiration for what content to create start to run dry? In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I discuss a few effective ways to generate a continuous stream of awesome ideas for fresh membership content. Episode Summary: Ways to "crowdsource" content ideas for your membership How to identify and take advantage of knowledge gaps in your industry Methods we use ourselves inside Member Site Academy to solicit content ideas from our members What to do with the ideas that you generate
2/14/20188 minutes, 41 seconds
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Why Membership Owners Need to Niche Down

The most successful memberships are those that cater to a specific niche. Having a niche makes your offering more targeted, which increases the likelihood of someone identifying with the problem your membership solves. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can’t just blend in with the crowd. You need to have a specialty. But how do you figure out your niche? And what happens once you’ve become successful in a specific area? Should you stay put, or expand your reach? I answer all of these questions and more on this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast. Episode Summary: Why being a specialist beats being a “jack of all trades” The biggest mistake people make once they become successful in a niche The 3 different ways to pick a niche and differentiate your offering Why “For X” is the most powerful phrase for positioning your membership
2/7/201822 minutes, 18 seconds
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7 Ways to Make More Money with your Membership

If you're trying to make more money from your membership business there are two ways you can go. One is to try to increase revenue from your existing membership site - and the other is to look at opportunities for offering additional products and services to your customers. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I explore the 7 main options worth exploring - along with the 3 avenues you absolutely should NOT go down... Episode Summary: The no-brainer areas you should focus on first to increase membership revenue How putting your price up can actually attract (and keep) more members What complementary products and services make sense for membership owners The 3 revenue streams you should stay clear of
1/31/201831 minutes, 13 seconds
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4 Simple Ways to Deliver Massive Value to Your Members

Far too often, creating content gets confused with delivering value. Membership owners find themselves on a treadmill of grinding out epic course after epic course because they're convinced it's the only way to keep their members happy and - ultimately - keep them subscribed. It's not as simple as that. Memberships aren't a competition to see who can give members the most "stuff" - it goes deeper than that, and often you can deliver a lot of member value for a relatively small amount of effort. In this episode, I look at 4 no-brainer ways that you could be ramping up the value proposition of your membership. Episode Summary: Why providing value doesn't mean just grinding out epic content How to use your podcast and blog to make your membership more valuable The benefits of giving members priority access and preferential treatment A key part of your role as community leader that's also a major value-add
1/24/201818 minutes, 42 seconds
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Are You Undercharging For Your Membership Site? Probably Not...

Membership pricing is an inexact science. It's natural to wonder whether you've found the sweet spot in terms of what you should be charging your members. However we've seen an increasing amount of people taking completely the wrong approach due to not really being able to wrap their head around the membership model, and as a result making some poor decisions when it comes to setting their membership pricing. In this episode, I help you to figure out whether you're actually undercharging for your membership, or if you're just thinking about it the wrong way. Episode Summary: How to determine whether you're at the lower end of membership pricing Terrible reasons for wanting to dramatically increase your monthly fee The main factors that determine the pricing 'sweet spot' What 3 choices you have if you do want to raise the price of your membership
1/17/201830 minutes, 46 seconds
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You Need To Prioritize These 8 Things in Order to Grow Your Membership

In those early stages of running a membership, your priorities are pretty clear. Most of the time you're mainly going to be focused on getting enough new members to pay the bills, and making sure you're doing enough keep them happy. But what happens once you find yourself on solid footing with the basics? What comes next? Once you're over that initial hump, it's not all plain sailing! Truly scaling your membership comes with it's own set of challenges. In today's episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I highlight the core things you need to be prioritizing in order to grow your membership and take it to the next level. In this episode: The most effective way to improve membership sales and retention Why (and how) to escape the day to day grind and focus on bigger goals "Solid processes are the bedrock of successful membership sites" How you can work with us to plot out your entire years membership strategy
1/10/201830 minutes
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6 Reasons to Start a Membership Website in 2018

Anyone who has followed us for a while will probably know that we tend to put more effort into talking people out of starting a membership than we do to trying to convince people they should start one. Simple reason is that there are countless snake oil salesman out there portraying memberships as something they're not. We try to save people from that. In fact we kicked off last year with a show all about the reasons NOT to start a membership! However, today's episode of The Membership Guys Podcast breaks from our norm as we take a look at some of the most compelling reasons you should consider starting a membership website in 2018. In this episode: Why Mike usually tries to talk people OUT of starting a membership website! The upsides of recurring revenue for both profitability and business stability How working 'one-to-one' limits you in more ways than you realise The importance of being fulfilled as a business owner, and how memberships help
1/3/201818 minutes, 27 seconds
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Most Popular Podcast Episodes of 2017

And just like that, another year is almost over! How was your 2017? In what's becoming a bit of a tradition, I'm wrapping the year up by taking a look back at some of the fantastic episodes of The Membership Guys Podcast, counting down the top 10 most downloaded episodes of 2017. Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support of the show - here's to even more membership awesomeness in 2018! Episode Links (not in order - don't want to ruin the suspense!): Chris Ducker on Running Live Events to Grow Your Membership Insights & Advice from Experienced Membership Owners (Episode 100) Advanced Tips and Tactics for Offering a Membership Trial Grant Baldwin on Growing Your Membership with Public Speaking How to Use Live Video to Market Your Membership with Luria Petrucci Insights & Reflections on Year 2 of the Member Site Academy Jeff Goins on Monetizing your Skills and Creativity Tips and Tricks for Increasing your Membership Sales 5 Reasons Why I Dislike the Closed Door Membership Strategy Carrie Green on Conditioning Yourself for Membership Success
12/27/201741 minutes, 38 seconds
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Implementing a Consistent Strategy for Marketing Your Membership

When it comes to marketing your membership, not everything is about finding that killer sales funnel or running huge promotions. More often than not, membership success comes from maintaining a consistent baseline of day to day activity – it’s about doing the “little and often” things that keep you top of mind for your audience. This episode of The Membership Guys Podcast digs into the strategy we use for keeping up this consistent strategy, and explores the sort of tactics you should be using to market your membership. In this episode: Why is consistency important in your marketing? What is the DWM Method of membership marketing? What marketing tasks should you be completing on a consistent ongoing basis? The 3 key objectives of a solid membership marketing strategy.
12/20/201721 minutes, 7 seconds
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Overcoming 5 Common Objections to Joining Your Membership

Your membership won't be right for everyone, and there are countless random reasons why someone may decide not to join. However in our experience of working with hundreds of memberships, we often see the same 5 objections coming up time after time. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I reveal the 5 most common objections people have to joining memberships - and more importantly what you can do to overcome them. In this episode: How to stop people thinking that your membership is too expensive. Why social proof and risk reversal are crucial components in your membership sales strategy. The most important thing to have on your checkout page. Why convincing people NOT to join your membership is actually a good thing!
12/13/201724 minutes, 35 seconds
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3 Membership Tactics We're Currently Experimenting With

Much of what we do as membership site owners involves experimentation. Regardless of what some people may try to tell you, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy or magic formula for membership success; you have to test and figure out what works for you. We recently pulled back the curtain inside Member Site Academy to share our own experiments and tests with our members as part of the new 'Membership Lab' - and feedback has been incredible. In this episode, I give an overview of 3 of the most recent tactics we've been experimenting with ourselves. In this episode you'll learn: Why we decided to have full transparency by documenting and sharing new tools and tactics we're experimenting with How we're able to provide a personal touch even with a large scale member base Our spin on offering a trial period to entice new sign-ups, and how it's performed so far The methods we're using to keep members updated about new content
11/29/201721 minutes, 3 seconds
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Are You Making These 7 Fatal Membership Mistakes?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret... Everyone - even us - makes mistakes with their membership website. In fact it's often from those mistakes that we learn the most important lessons about what works and what doesn't for our own particular product. Most "membership mistakes" are harmless and go by unnoticed; but there are some whoppers that can do real damage to the potential success of your membership website - so let us save you from the biggest boo-boo's a membership site owner can make.
11/22/201712 minutes, 32 seconds
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The State of Social Media Marketing with Mike Stelzner

Social media marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years. From the rise of live video, to the huge drop-off in organic reach for Facebook pages. New platforms launching and disappearing seemingly overnight. It can be hard for the busy membership owner to keep up. Mike Stelzner is a man with his finger on the pulse of social media marketing. As founder of Social Media Examiner and the man behind the largest conference in the industry - Social Media Marketing World - he's the first port of call for experts and influencers worldwide when it comes to whats working right now in social media. In today's episode of The Membership Guys Podcast - I talk to Mike about the current state of social media marketing, and chat about how he uses social media and content marketing for both his conference and Social Media Examiners own membership website.
11/15/201749 minutes, 18 seconds
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5 Types Of Content That Will Help Build Member Engagement

When charging a monthly payment for access to your membership site, member engagement is key. It’s not enough to have static content that never changes, as once that’s been consumed by your members they’ll have very little reason to stick around. Many membership site owners set out with the intention of continuously adding new courses and premium content to their site; however this typically proves easier said than done, and often the logistics of doing so can be too great an undertaking. Fortunately there are a number of types of content you can produce that will add value to your membership site and give your members something to get their teeth into without requiring a huge amount of effort on your part and on this episode we explore these. 
11/8/201717 minutes, 48 seconds
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Do You REALLY Need to Add a Community to Your Membership?

We often talk about how crucial community is to long term membership success. In many memberships, even though members join for the content it's actually the community that they stick around for. However that's not always the case, and in this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast I dig into ways in which adding a community to your membership may not be all it's cracked up to be. In this episode you'll learn: Why having a community is generally better for engagement and long term member retention. The downsides of having a community that most people usually don't tell you. Specific situations and scenarios where having a community might actually be a BAD thing! Ideas for keeping members engaged if you don't have an online forum or member group.
11/1/201729 minutes, 10 seconds
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5 Things You Need to Know Before Shopping For a WordPress Membership Plugin

Trying to pick the right WordPress membership plugin can be a painstaking process. It's harder still if your expectations and understanding of what a membership plugin will and won't do are unrealistic. Too many people expect their membership plugin to check off every single requirement they have, without understanding that they're simply one piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a membership site. In this episode I go through the 5 things you need to understand before you even start shopping for a membership plugin, in the hopes that it will make the whole process easier and save you some frustration. In this episode you'll learn: Why it's so important to have realistic expectations from your WordPress membership plugin How WordPress plugins work in tandem with themes, and how this affects your membership The challenges of changing your mind on which membership plugin to use What functionality won't typically be included with most membership plugins and what you'll need to do instead.
10/25/201716 minutes, 24 seconds
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How to Attract New Members Without Feeling Like a Sleazy Marketer

Sales and marketing are crucial parts of your role as a membership site owner. Even the best membership website in the world will fade away into obscurity if you’re not doing anything to attract new members. However when selling your membership offering, there are certain tropes and cliches that you want to avoid to ensure you’re not lumped in with the sleazier elements of online businesses. Here are our top tips for attracting new members without feeling like a scumbag…
10/18/201711 minutes, 15 seconds
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Simple Ways to Create Member Content From Things You're Already Doing

Producing membership content can be taxing. Especially if your members expect something fresh on an ongoing basis. And if you’re also creating free content as part of your marketing strategy you can quickly find yourself buried in writing articles and recording videos day in, day out. They key is working smarter with your content strategy. In this podcast, I dive into 9 simple tactics for leveraging the things you’re already doing in your business as a way to more effectively create new content for your members. In this episode you’ll learn: The difference between creating content and delivering value How to add massive value to your members by selling them your other products and services Best ways to leverage your blog, podcast and even live events Why you might already be sitting on a wealth of potential member content
10/11/201728 minutes, 57 seconds
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Bucking the trend: 5 Ways to Break from the Membership Norm

There's a single, absolute truth of memberships, and indeed business in general: there is no 'one size fits all' approach. What works like gangbusters for one membership, can end up completely flopping for another. However it’s hard to deny that there are certain norms when it comes to memberships; conventional wisdom that extols the importance of community, retention being more important than acquisition, memberships being a value exchange and so on. If you've been following us for a while then you’ve heard us bang those drums on numerous occasions. So in this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast I wanted to talk about doing things differently - things that go against the grain, break the norms and in some cases contradict what is typically considered best practice in the membership space. In this episode you'll learn: Why a "one size fits all" approach is a fallacy. Scenarios in which it makes sense to not charge a recurring fee. Whether you actually need an online community, and situations where it could actually be a bad thing. The importance of context when it comes to how you position and run your membership.
10/4/201720 minutes, 52 seconds
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Should I Host My Membership on a Separate Domain Name?

Choosing which domain name to host your membership site on should be a simple decision. But it’s easier said than done – as evidenced by the fact that this question comes up perhaps more than any other in both our free Facebook group and our own paid membership. Essentially it comes down to hosting your members: On your main domain name On a separate website On a subdomain And when you dig into it, it’s understandable why people struggle with this choice – as where your membership lives has greater implications than you might realise. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast – I drill down into the pros and cons of each of these choices and give you all of the info you need to make your decision. In this episode you’ll learn: The main implications of where you choose to house your membership site Pros and cons of hosting on your main domain name vs a separate site vs a subdomain Example situations that will affect your choice of where to host your membership How this applies if using a hosted third-party platform like Thinkific or Kajabi
9/27/201729 minutes, 16 seconds
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4 Ways to Ensure That Your Members Will Stick Around

Keeping your members engaged and happy is key to maximizing your member lifecycle and, as a result, ensuring the long-term success of your membership site. When members aren't engaged, that's when they'll start to question whether it's worth sticking with your site and whether they're getting what they're paying for. Ultimately that path leads to only one place - cancellation. Fortunately there are a variety of things that you can do in order to encourage your members to stick around.  Here we identify 4 key ones.     
9/20/20178 minutes, 51 seconds
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Creating an MVP to Test your Membership Idea

One of the biggest reasons memberships never get off the ground is that the initial idea for the product just wasn’t right. While you can research the market and survey your audience until the cows come home, it’s extremely easy to allow your bias towards what you think is a winning concept to sway your analysis of that research or - even worse - to ignore warning signs that you’re heading down the wrong path. If you want to be successful, you need to truly test and validate that your idea is worth pursuing, and one of the best ways to do this is with an MVP. Join me for the latest episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, where I deep dive into what an MVP is, why they're important and how to go about actually creating one. In this episode you'll learn: What is an MVP and why creating one is the best way to test whether your idea will work Characteristics of an effective MVP specific to membership sites 6 core types of MVP that you can create, with examples and tips for each Why it doesn't matter that you're already selling services and products
9/13/201729 minutes, 27 seconds
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Reflections on Year 2 of Member Site Academy

Just like that, another year is over. As we reach the 2nd anniversary of Member Site Academy, we have some insights and lessons to share from the past 12 months. In what is sure to become a tradition, I’m joined on this very special episode of the podcast by the real brains behind The Membership Guys, the one and only Callie Willows, to discuss year two of running the Academy. In this episode, Callie and I discuss: Picking up where we left off on last year’s episode and looking at where things went from there. Changes we’ve made to our strategy and the reasons and circumstances behind those decisions Our highlights from the past 12 months, what’s worked, what hasn’t and what challenges we’ve faced A sneak peek at our future plans for the Member Site Academy and the business in general
9/6/20171 hour, 21 minutes, 36 seconds
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6 Biggest Challenges Every New Membership Owner Faces

So you've toiled for weeks and months - planning the perfect membership, wrestling with tech to turn those plans into reality; and now that you've finally opened the doors you can take a big sigh of relief that the hard work and headaches are over. Right? Wrong! Once your membership is up and running, that's when the real work begins! And during those initial few months as a new membership owner, you'll have a whole mess of new challenges to deal with. Fortunately, those challenges are pretty common across the board, so we can help you prepare to tackle them. In the latest episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I dive into the 6 most common challenges that every new membership site owner faces; and give you my insight and advice so that you don't have to face them alone. In this episode you'll learn: How to control your start-up costs and avoid paying for stuff you really don't need Solving the "chicken and egg" problem when starting a new community My recommendation to avoiding early tech headaches Why the post-launch "hangover" can drain your motivation (and what to do about it)  
8/30/201727 minutes, 56 seconds
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Should I Charge Monthly or Annually for My Membership Site?

How regularly you charge your members has an effect on generating sales, engagement inside your membership as well as member retention. Not to mention the implications on your business itself in terms of stability, cashflow and more. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I dig deep into the pros and cons of each type of subscription frequency; as well as present some additional and alternative options for membership billing. In this episode you'll learn: Pros and cons of monthly versus annual membership pricing Psychological triggers involved in the decision to join your membership Why offering both pricing options works even better than choosing just one Other options for membership billing
8/23/201718 minutes, 38 seconds
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How Much Should I Charge for My Membership Site?

Deciding on your membership pricing is often easier said than done. You'll always be too expensive for some people, and too cheap for others. And until you launch your membership and actually get people signing up you have no real reliable way of testing which price-point will work best for your audience. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, you'll learn the 4 key areas to factor into deciding what to charge for your membership, as well as my advice for hitting the "sweet spot" with your pricing strategy. In this episode you'll learn: The 4 key factors to consider when setting your membership site pricing Why you should NEVER compete solely on price The "rule of thumb" range for membership pricing and how it differs for B2B and B2C memberships How to find the "sweet spot" for what to charge for your membership
8/16/201716 minutes, 37 seconds
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How to Maintain Harmony Inside your Membership Community

An active online community can play a huge role in getting your members to stick around long term. However even just a small negative element can quickly turn your community into a toxic place that nobody will want to be involved in, unless you keep on top of things and implement steps to ensure a positive environment. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I delve more into managing your community dynamic and how you can ensure your online group or forum is one that members enjoy being part of. In this episode you'll learn: Why the dynamic of your membership community is crucial for member retention The importance of setting and enforcing community guidelines What your role as community leader involves, and how you should set the tone Why it's a good idea to use real names and profile pictures
8/9/201718 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to Inject New Life Into a Stagnant Membership

Momentum plays a huge part in your membership growth. In fact you’ll often find that there’s a snowball effect which kicks in once you achieve a certain level of growth, where everything seems to pick up speed. But what if your membership has slowed down recently and started to stagnate? What can do you to reignite that momentum and get back on track? In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, we look at how to reignite your membership growth and regain momentum. In this episode you'll learn: How to research and identify the core problems that have caused your membership growth to stall Two ways to relaunch your membership, and whether you should close your doors The honest questions you need to ask yourself about whether you're actually delivering value to your members Ways of re-engaging your existing members
8/2/201714 minutes, 45 seconds
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Grant Baldwin on Growing Your Membership with Public Speaking

One of the most effective ways to position yourself as an authority in your industry is through public speaking, and done right it can be a great way to grow your membership business. However for many the idea of standing up and speaking in front of a room full of strangers is the stuff that nightmares are made of! And even if you're comfortable with public speaking, then there's the question of how you actually get booked, how do you make sure your presentation is good and - importantly - how do you make it a worthwhile activity for you and your business. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, we speak to Grant Baldwin from The Speaker Lab about how to get started with public speaking and use it as a platform to grow your business.
7/26/20171 hour, 2 minutes, 40 seconds
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Membership Tech Reality Check

With our community of thousands of membership site owners, we see the same patterns emerging when it comes to wrestling with membership tech. People starting their site build and then 6 months later they're still stuck, spinning their wheels, trying to get everything perfect and making no progress! Often they'll blame this on the technology being too tough, but more often than not it's because of their own unrealistic expectations. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I give a kick up the backside to anyone stuck.
7/19/20178 minutes, 35 seconds
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Jeff Goins on Monetizing your Skills & Creativity

We've all come across the concept of the "starving artist" - the notion that to pursue creativity and artistry is to sacrifice any hope of making money. Jeff Goins is on a mission to dispel this myth. Many successful memberships are built around the skills and passions of their founder; however we've seen time and time again in our community that in more traditionally "creative" industries there can be a little resistance to the idea of monetization - almost as if to do so would be "selling out." In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, Jeff Goins breaks down where this whole idea came from and how you can shake this mindset and effectively monetize your "art." In this episode you'll learn: Where the whole idea of the "starving artist" originated from; and the surprising truth about how wrong it is! How you can shake limiting mindsets around monetizing your creativity How Jeff Goins uses his books to sell digital products The 3 steps anyone can take to start monetizing their skills
7/12/201746 minutes, 40 seconds
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How to Avoid Overwhelming your Members

When you either have a large amount of content inside your membership, or you’re continuously adding new content on a regular basis – there’s a real risk of overwhelming members. And when members are overwhelmed, they're less likely to stick around. This is where having a smart approach to your membership content strategy is crucial. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast; we look at the most common causes of member overwhelm, and the tactics you can employ to avoid it. In this episode you'll learn: Why overwhelm is a dangerous thing for your membership site A breakdown of the main kinds of overwhelm common in memberships and what causes it The "Four S's" you need to focus on in order to reduce overwhelm Managing your own workload so that you don't become overwhelmed too!
7/5/201724 minutes, 43 seconds
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Chris Ducker on Running Live Events to Grow Your Membership

Chris Ducker is the founder of the YouPreneur membership community and the man the man behind popular events such Tropical Think Tank and the upcoming YouPreneur Summit. It's through these live events that Chris has been able to help his community to build connections and develop relationships way beyond what's possible online; and this has been a key factor in the success of his membership. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, Chris shares his insights into the benefits of running live events as a membership site owner; plus his advice on how you can orchestrate your own events. In this episode you'll learn: How Chris Ducker has used live events to grow his membership community The 3 most important things to consider when organising your own live event How to choose speakers for your event and - more importantly - get them to agree Specific ways to make events extra special for your community members (and get more signups from other attendees!)
6/28/201749 minutes, 32 seconds
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Tips and Tricks for Increasing Membership Sales

Looking to increase your membership sales? Who isn't, right?! We often find that rather than huge complex sales strategies and eye-watering ad budgets, it's usually a culmination of minor tactics and little details that end up moving the needle in terms of attracting new members. In this episode of The Membership Guys Podcast, I dish out 5 specific, quick and actionable tips that you can implement right away in order to increase your membership sales. In this episode you'll learn: What tools should you add to your sales page in order to increase conversions? The small tweak you can make to your checkout page that stops you losing sales How to use your membership content to get more qualified leads A simple risk reversal technique to increase membership sales
6/21/201716 minutes, 38 seconds
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Why Membership Owners Should Start a Podcast

Podcasts have made a significant resurgence in recent years, having never quite hit their full potential back when they first became “a thing” in the mid-2000’s. This growing popularity, coupled with it being easier than ever to start your own podcast, makes for a great opportunity for membership site owners to really get ahead by incorporating podcasting into the content marketing strategy. In this episode, I discuss the main reasons you should consider using a podcast to promote your membership site, and the 5 steps you can take to get started.
6/14/201718 minutes, 31 seconds
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Insights & Advice from 16 Experienced Membership Owners

We made it! 100 episodes! To celebrate our centennial, I invited 16 fellow membership site owners to share insights, experience and advice from their journey so far. I asked my guests to answer 3 questions: What's the one piece of advice you'd give anyone starting a new membership? What impact has having a membership site had on your life or your business? What would you do differently if you were starting your own site again from scratch? The answers they shared are packed with golden nuggets for anyone planning or running a membership website. In this episode you'll get insights from: Nathan Chan - Foundr Heather Crabtree - The Savvy Community Scott Devine - Scott's Bass Lessons Chris Ducker - Youpreneur Janneke den Draak - Learn Dragon Online Andrew and Pete - Atomic Colin Gray - The Podcast Host Chris Marr - Content Marketing Academy Marisha McGrorty - SLP Now Janet Murray - Soulful PR Bjork Ostrom - Food Blogger Pro Christina Peters - Food Photography Club Shannon Rogers - Hand Tool School James Schramko - Superfast Business Ben Adam Smith - House Planning Help Avalon Yarnes - Avalon Cake School
6/7/201755 minutes, 13 seconds
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Should You Offer a Money Back Guarantee?

To the uninitiated, money-back guarantees can feel a bit like those scenes in cartoons when someone puts a freshly baked pie on an open windowsill. Someone is bound to come along and grab a slice – it’s just too tempting.But in all our years of running our membership site and helping others run their own, we’ve learned that money-back guarantees are not an easy option for people to exploit. In fact, they can be an essential part of persuading people to join who end up becoming long-term members.In this episode of the podcast, I do a bit of money-back myth-busting and explain the ins and outs of why you should embrace offering a money-back guarantee (with a few caveats…)&nbsp;Essential Learning Points:What money-back guarantees are and why they are actually an important part of your marketingAnswering some of the most frequently asked questions about money-back guaranteesThe fatal flaw in one of the most common objections to money-back guaranteesImportant Links &amp; Mentions:Advanced Tips and Tactics for Offering a Membership TrialKeeping Your WordPress Membership Site SecureHow to Deal With Payment Disputes in Your MembershipWhy You Should Keep Things Simple with Your MembershipKey Quotes:“A money-back guarantee shows confidence in your product. You’re essentially saying: ‘we know that our product is so good that you’re not going to regret buying it, but if you do, we’re confident enough that we’ll give you your money-back.’”“If you find yourself struggling to communicate the terms of your guarantee, then you are probably heading down the wrong path.”“Have as few conditions as possible, have as few hoops, as few ‘gotchas’ within your money-back guarantee.”