February 19, 2021

Thinking of creating a membership or subscription based business?


These types of products are a great way to earn an extra income-revenue and give you more time freedom in the long run, if you do it right 🙂

In this blog, I will explain the thought-process before getting started with your product. Before we dive, in let’s start by exploring the difference between a membership and a subscription.

Membership vs Subscription:
A membership is simply a product or a service to which people pay for on a monthly recurring basis. Unlike a subscription based product, memberships are like a community, where people feel they can belong and receive on-going support from you.

A subscription however, is more like a product you pay for each month but without the concept of a community. Take Disney Plus for example, you pay them £8.99 a month (or whatever it is) to use their platform to watch films. There is no 1:1 relationship and no on-going support involved. These types of features are what you would get in a membership Make sense? You can think of a membership as a subscription with the added benefit of the 1:1 support and the community feel.

Ok, now that you have an understanding of the differences between a membership and subscription, let’s dive into some pre-work questions to get you thinking deeper into your product and the outcome it will offer:

1) Who is your target audience?
The first thing that you will need to know is exactly who your audience is. Knowing who your audience is will make the process so much easier. Start by thinking about what they need, not just now, but on an ongoing basis. Your membership is not a one time product, so you will need to think long term in order to give them what they need.

2) What is your unique selling point?
Let’s talk truth here, there are a lot of membership and subscription businesses out there. If you are going to stand out in the saturated market, you will need to identify your ‘thing’.

So I ask you – what is your unique selling point? What is different about your product? Knowing this from day one will help you to not only market it effectively, but it will also help you with your content delivery.

3) How much time can you commit? A membership needs a lot of love, attention and thought process. It isn’t just a one-time thing that you can expect to run by itself. You need to ensure you show up consistently to build your membership community.

A lot of people like to buy-in to a membership not only for your content, but also for the extra support they get within something like a private Facebook group for example. Working out how much time you can dedicate is also key for your own long-term planning.

4) How Much Is Your Membership Worth?
Start by researching what others within the same market are selling their product at. Also consider how long they have been doing it for and the type of content they deliver.

You’ll also want to weigh up what your content is worth and most important how much your audience will be willing to pay for it on a monthly basis. My advice is to start low before aiming high. For example, my business partner and I offered a founding member fee to start with as it was important for us to grow and shape the membership along with our members.

Founding members are also really great because you can learn a lot from them. You can easily survey them to find out what is working and what isn’t so that you can make necessary changes before opening up to new members. If this is something you would like to do, then it’s important to make this clear to founding members so they know that you’re still in the process of growing and you’ll require feedback every now and then.

Naturally there’ll may be some teething problems along the way, but that’s perfectly OK as this will help you to shape the perfect product.

5) How will you deliver your content?
This is a question I always ask my clients before setting up a membership, as the platform you choose to host your membership on will vary upon your answer.

What I’ve also learnt throughout my own experiences with my membership group is that your decisions will also depend on your audience. For example, some people prefer to work at their own pace at their own flexibility, whilst others may prefer to sit and listen in to regular webinars. You also get some that will rarely look over your online resources because they simply just love being a part of a community, and know you’re there when you need them.

So think about what type of learners your audience members are and adapt your content to meet their needs.

The next most important thing to consider is: what type of resources you will deliver and in what format i.e. regular webinars, video content, PDFs, journals etc…

And how will you host them? YouTube, Vimeo? Zoom?

6) Determining the right platform
This will depend on how user friendly it is for your ideal audience and secondly how you want to host your content. There’s lots of different platforms out there that offer similar but different features, these are as follows:

  1. MemberVault
  2. Kajabi
  3. Podia

These are just a few of my favourites. We host ours on MemberVault which has a lovely community feel to it, plus you get great support from their private Facebook group.

Now you know all the steps that you will need to take to launch your own online membership, I would love to hear what you are thinking and where you are in your own journey.

Leave a comment and let me know..

Need some more help?

Memberships are a lot of work to begin with. If you need some additional help, you have two options:

  1. You can either book a Power50 coaching call with me to help you with the set up and to guide you on the technical side (either a block of 3, 6 or 10). Email me at lisaferris@yourvla.co.uk to enquire
  2. Or you can start with my free eBook that will give you a step by step checklist to help you get moving forward with your membership from the technical aspect but also from a content perspective. This will be available end of February – sign-up here to get notified when it goes live.

See you next month for tips for Instagram (to be released on the 1st of the month).

With love and care,

P.S. Check-out my online marketing pop-up shop here.
what I call the home to all my magical goodness for all things creative marketing!

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