I need your help with an important decision! 

But first, some quick backstory: 


Last August, I had the privilege of welcoming the very first group of students to The TRIBE Course.

The TRIBE Course is where I share all of my knowledge from nearly a decade of helping business owners launch and scale highly profitable membership sites.

It was a very special time for me because, prior to releasing TRIBE, I was only sharing this knowledge through personal coaching and consulting meetups, yet I knew this information had the potential to help a much larger audience.

Once the doors to TRIBE opened, I was touched by the outpouring of engagement from entrepreneurs who were passionate about taking their businesses to the next level.

To my delight, many students saw BIG transformations in their life and business (…that’s the whole point of a course, right!?).

And some of those students were kind enough to submit testimonial videos for a little contest that we’re running.

That’s where you come in. 

The TRIBE Team has narrowed the submissions down to five and now we need help picking the best one.

If you’re so inclined, please take a moment to check out the testimonial videos below and leave a comment on this post letting me know which one you like best.


The Submissions: 

Anna Runyan – “How Stu McLaren’s TRIBE Course Helped Me Create A Business I Love”

 

Levi Kujala – “Don’t Launch Your Membership Without TRIBE by Stu McLaren”

 

Shelli Varela – “Impact, Influence and Abundance – Meet Stu McLaren”

 

Linda Jolliffe – “Why I Said YES to Stu McLaren and TRIBE”

 

Rachel Miller – “Best Course EVER – Review of TRIBE with Stu McLaren”

 

Such kind-hearted messages from amazing entrepreneurs… how can I pick just one!?

Needless to say, I’m mega grateful that TRIBE students would take the time to record these videos, and I’ve got some very special prizes in store for the winners.

So please help me make this difficult decision and comment your favourite video below.

I appreciate your opinion 🙂


*PS. TRIBE enrollment is re-opening soon and I’m hosting a free membership site workshop from April 3-12th leading up to the course. You’re welcome to register if you haven’t already. Reserve your seat here –> http://tribeworkshop.com

 

 

If you’re familiar with me, you know I’m a BIG advocate of the membership/recurring revenue model for businesses.

In fact, I’ve built my career around creating membership sites and helping others do the same.

Why? Because a properly structured membership saves the business owner time and increases their bottom line with stable, recurring revenue.

That being said, a membership site might not be the best fit for everybody.

If you’re curious about using the membership model in your business, there are three questions for you to ask yourself about your market.

These three questions really serve as a great way for you to get an understanding of whether a membership site would be a good fit for your market.

The first question that I want you to ask is, “Is there an ongoing need for the product/service/information my business provides?”

“Is there an ongoing need?”

This is the best kind of membership site you can create – one that satisfies an ongoing need.

For example, my friend Paul Evans has a membership site called TeenLifeMinistries.com and he helps youth ministers with their Sunday service.

What he initially discovered was that youth ministers often don’t have the time to prepare for their Sunday service, so he made it easy for them.

He provides PowerPoints and handouts, everything a youth minister would need to deliver their service. Now, the youth minister has a substantially shorter prep time for their service and they feel less stress as a result.

It’s a great example of a market and a membership. The market has a need and the membership is satisfying that need on an ongoing basis.

The second question that you can ask to determine whether a membership would be right for your market is, “Are people looking to learn or master a subject?”

Are people looking to learn or master a subject? 

One of the mental blocks entrepreneurs face with online learning is how much information is already available for free online.

However, if there’s a lot of free information available, it actually makes for a PERFECT opportunity for a membership site.

As I teach in TRIBE, overwhelm is the #1 factor that discourages people from continuing to learn a subject. This gives you the opportunity to offer a membership that organizes the information to give people a clear and simple direction to learn or master a subject.

The key is to give your audience clear directions on the steps they need to take to get the result they want. Do the thinking for them.

More information isn’t better, but organized information that has a clear direction is.

I call this the “Success Path.”

A good example is the guitar market. A beginner obviously wants to be coached through the basics until they become more skilled.

However, once a player has a high skill level, their learning isn’t over. They will still want to learn different techniques, different styles of playing and so forth.

There’s both an immediate and an ongoing need for people from all corners of the market.

That’s why business/entrepreneurship memberships are popular, because the business landscape is always changing, especially in digital. And entrepreneurs are looking to grow their business so they’re always looking to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.

The third and final question to ask is, “Are people gathering online?”

“Are people gathering online?”

Many membership sites focus on teaching information but there are other memberships that are dedicated purely to bringing people together.

We live in an amazing time. No matter how quirky or obscure your interests are, chances are you can connect with a whole bunch of people around the world who share the same interests.

Before you might have been the only person in your community who had these interests, but now the Internet gives us the opportunity to create and join communities of like-minded people.

Heck, Facebook is community-based membership site and they are the third most visited website in the world!

There are some membership sites that are all about the community. People pay month after month just to be around others like them, have discussions, and engage with one another.

Most often, people join a membership for the information but stay for the community aspect. Once they’ve got active and started networking and engaging with others, they don’t want to leave!

Summary

Is there an ongoing need you can fulfill

Are people looking to learn or master a subject?

Are people in your market gathering online? 

If you answered yes to any one of those questions, there’s a good chance that a membership site could thrive in your market.

That’s not to say it’s going be a perfect fit, but the odds are certainly in your favour and it’s something worth exploring.

If you’re interested in learning more about membership sites, you’re invited to join me for a FREE membership workshop beginning April 3rd, 2017.

You can secure your spot in the free workshop here ==> www.tribeworkshop.com

Additionally, I’ve compiled a PDF that might interest you titled Membership Masters: 10 Proven Strategies for Growing Successful Membership Sites” 

You can download the PDF here ==> stu.clickfunnels.com/membershipmastery

 

It’s International Women’s Day and I couldn’t be more pumped to celebrate the incredible women in my life and around the globe.

Everything I do in my business revolves around creating freedom to spend time with my beautiful wife and daughter (and my lovely son too, of course).

So you could say women are at the centre of my universe!

Today I’d like to celebrate International Women’s Day by sharing some of my favourite advice from 10 inspirational female entrepreneurs who I’ve had the privilege of working with.


Carrie Green

As the founder of Female Entrepreneur Association, Carrie Green is a huge advocate of women’s success in life and business. Carrie supports female entrepreneurs from all around the globe and I’m very proud to know her as a client and friend.

I’d also like to congratulate Carrie on the release of her new book, She Means Business.

Carrie started a successful business while she was in university, however…

I wasn’t remotely passionate about what I was doing. I loved learning all about marketing and building an online business, but I felt really empty inside. I also felt really lonely. I didn’t know any like-minded people. That was when the idea popped into my head to create my own community and get to know other women who were building businesses.”

Did you get that? Carrie was craving a community where she could interact with likeminded people… so she built that community herself!

Needless to say her community was a success. Now Carrie supports female entrepreneurs from all around the world.

Create the community you want to be a part of. 

Carrie’s website: femaleentrepreneurassociation.com


Kris Carr

Kris Carr’s life as she knew it was changed forever when she was diagnosed with a rare, incurable, stage IV cancer. But she didn’t waste any time wallowing.

Instead, Kris embarked on a journey of mental and physical healing and documented every step of the way, a journey that has involved 5 best-selling books and an award-winning film, among other accolades. Heck, Kris has even been featured on Oprah! (how cool is that?)

14 years since her diagnosis, Kris continues to kick butt in her business, lead her wellness revolution (and her die hard fans – me included!), while staying hyper focused on teaching others how they can thrive too.

The other thing I love about this woman is how down to earth and humble she is.  Despite all her success, she’s real (and that’s why we all love her).  After every call or chat I end up giggling like a school girl, laughing hysterically or walking away a little inspired.  She’s definitely one of my favorites.

Kris gives a lot of incredible advice but here’s some that stands out for me:

“Your purpose has nothing to do with what you do. There, I said it. Your purpose is actually quite simple, it’s to awaken. To discover and nurture who you truly are, to know and love yourself at the deepest level and to guide yourself back home when you lose your way. The more you do this, the more aware and present you become, which creates more harmony in your life… Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or your calling and everything to do with how you treat yourself.” 

Love yourself.

Kris’s website: kriscarr.com


Zim Ugochukwu

Few people could be more qualified to run a website that supports travellers than Zim Ugochukwu.

Zim was born in Mankato, Minnesota to two Nigerian immigrants. She’s lived in New Delhi, Greensboro, Bangalore, San Francisco, and Dharamshala, and currently resides in Chicago.

She’s cloned genes as a biologist, run a national anti-tobacco campaign, helped open a Civil Rights Museum, and traveled 90% of Asia.

Now Zim is the CEO of Travel Noire, a digital publishing platform for travellers of colour that supports over 2 million travellers a month. She’s featured as one of Oprah’s Super Soul 100 and is working every day to provide new tools, resources, and experiences for travellers.

One of Zim’s special abilities is truly understanding her audience and how to serve them:

We spent most of our startup life building our audience, understanding their needs, desires, fears, pain points, aspirations & learning about who they want to become. We’ve created customer avatars for each product and gave them names. If you want to be successful at selling anything, you have to prioritize getting to know your customer — intimately.”

That’s SO important. If the number one aim of your business isn’t to know and serve your audience, you don’t have a business, you have a profit scheme.  #Boom.

Know your customer – intimately.

Zim’s websites: zimism.com | travelnoire.com


Melissa Lanz

Melissa Lanz is someone who’s business has actually affected my life personally. You see, my wife and I, we like eating healthy food… cooking, not so much.

That’s why I was ecstatic when I discovered Melissa’s business, The Fresh 20, which delivers weekly meal plans to families that are affordable, healthy, and easy to follow.

Melissa is a grassroots entrepreneur who started as a stay-at-home mom and took her business all the way to the top without any budget for marketing. She’s a perfect example of someone who identified a problem or a need and come up with a simple solution that her customers couldn’t wait to share with family and friends.

Melissa talks about how she marketed her membership business in the early days:

We went to events in the food industry or events in the wellness industry and literally kept telling everybody about what we were doing. Because if you can’t go out and talk about your membership and let the world know what you’re doing and how you’re solving other people’s problems, then you can’t attract your subscribers, right?”

That’s so obvious but you’d be surprised how many people miss this. You have to TALK about what you’re doing! You can’t expect the world to just show up for your business, especially in the beginning.

Go out and talk to your potential customers. 

Melissa’s websites: www.melissalanz.com | www.thefresh20.com


Susan Garrett

Like myself, Susan Garrett designed her business to give her more time with her family.

She was (and still is) one of the world’s top dog agility trainers.  But that used to mean she would spend most of her time travelling the world teaching others how to train their dogs.  That all changed one day when her husband started having heart troubles and Susan realized she didn’t want to spend so much time away from home.

That’s when she transitioned her business to deliver the same trainings online.  Now, she’s built a very successful business providing courses and membership for her audience – all of which has allowed her to serve more dog owners around the world while having a LOT more time at home. With her vast expertise and her community-building skills, Susan’s membership, SusanGarrettDogAgility.com, quickly became a massive hit with her audience.

In fact, Susan initially launched her membership to a very small list of only 1800 people and 1100 signed up right away… that’s a 60% paid conversion rate! That goes to show just how much Susan is loved and respected by her tribe.

Susan’s advice about getting your business off the ground:

That’s what people are afraid of, they want to get things perfect. I just wanted to get something out there. I was going to launch to a small group of people that knew my language so I could just get started.

That’s so important! Whether it’s a membership or any other sort of business, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it perfect right away. Get started and tweak as you go.

Just get started.

Susan’s website: susangarrettdogagility.com


Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo is one of the most vibrant personalities in the online entrepreneurship world, so there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of her.

Marie’s career path brought her to the corporate world where, like most entrepreneurs, she felt like she didn’t fit in. So she decided to give up the 9-5 security to bartend and wait tables while building her own business from the ground up.

A self-proclaimed “Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur,” Marie’s colourful list of accolades include choreographing hip-hop on MTV, being one of the world’s first Nike Elite Dance Athletes, penning an international bestseller, and founding a digital education company named in the Inc. 500. She’s also met with big names including Richard Branson, Oprah, and Tony Robbins.

Marie nurtures a lifelong interest in human potential and helping people succeed. Every day she’s sharing amazing content with her audience to help them reach their full potential.

Marie urges everybody to believe in their own potential and to share that potential with the world:

“I believe you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to thrive in today’s world.

That includes your unique set of gifts, your personality, your sense of humor and most importantly, your heart. I believe that whether you run your own business or not, a creative and entrepreneurial approach is critical to fully blossom in the modern world and to experience the happiness and fulfillment you deserve.”

Amen to that. There is no perfect image of what an entrepreneur should be. You define your business and your life.  I’ve always admired how Marie has done things her way.  You go girl!

A creative and entrepreneurial approach is critical.

Marie’s website: www.marieforleo.com


Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield is one of the world’s elite social media strategists and online business coaches.

(she’s also pretty hilarious if you can get her to open up 😛 )

Amy had what you might consider a “unique” career path. After her first job out of college – doing event marketing for Harley Davidson – Amy travelled the world with Tony Robbins planning marketing campaigns… what a gig!

But the day eventually came when Amy new she had to do something on her own, so she left Tony’s team to start her own agency. Like many consultants, Amy quickly discovered that meeting clients face-to-face is time consuming and limiting. So she decided to offer her expertise to the public instead.

Now she helps entrepreneurs from all over the world grow their businesses with social media marketing.  And she’s damn good at it as well.

She’s been a great friend over the years and it’s been awesome watching her grow her business and blossom as a leader in the online space.

Amy’s advice for those who are thinking of taking the leap into entrepreneurship is something she learned from Tony Robbins:

“Everything I had only dreamed of was suddenly possible. I just had to get there.

Tony himself taught me one of the most important tactics I’ve ever learned: it’s called ‘Burn the Boats.’ When you want to make something big happen, you have to commit—burn the boats and storm the island. Burn any vessel that could take you backwards or make you change your mind.”

To say that entrepreneurship is a commitment would be a huge understatement. Sometimes in life, you just have to go all-in.

Burn the boats.

Amy’s website: www.amyporterfield.com


Patty Palmer

Patty Palmer’s success story is a very special one to me because I’ve had the honor of working closely with Patty through my TRIBE Training (where I share all of my expertise about launching and growing a successful membership site).

Patty was working as an art teacher when she realized that other art teachers had an ongoing need for lesson plans for their students. So she started her blog, Deep Space Sparkle, and eventually grew that to the point where she had a pretty big business selling PDF lesson plans. But… it was hectic and disorganized and something just didn’t feel right.

About a year after quitting her teaching job to work full time on the website, Patty realized that a membership model was the missing piece for her business.  So she took the plunge and reworked Deep Space Sparkle to include a membership component that automatically delivers lesson plans to art teachers.

Her initial launch of her membership was a huge success… she enrolled over 900 members!  And in less than six months she had over 1800 members.  Crazy right?

A big lesson Patty learned from this process is that being transparent with your customers is crucial:

I had all of these customers who were sensing a change in the website. Things were moving around. They’re like, ‘Patty, what’s going on?’ I’m like, ‘Okay. Here’s the deal. I’m switching to a membership model.’ I went through this process with the customers and I realized I need to get them to be the early adopters, because I wanted them to go on this journey with me.”

By simply being honest with her customers and involving them in the evolution of her business, Patty quickly enrolled hundreds of people in her membership site. Rather than feeling alienated by the changes to her site, Patty made her customers feel included and they rewarded her for it.

Involve your customers in your journey. 

Patty’s website: www.deepspacesparkle.com


Victoria Labalme

Victoria Labalme is a world-class communication coach who has helped me tremendously with my own presentation skills.

Victoria graduated Stanford University and went on gain to two decades of professional show business experience. She’s performed one-woman shows across the USA, appeared at Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club, a TV special with Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keital, 27 television commercials (including a Super Bowl spot), a cameo on “Sex & The City” and more.

It’s her unique show business experience that helped Victoria transition to become one of the world’s top communication coaches. She’s helped bestselling authors, elite executive and entrepreneurs, TED speakers, agencies, Hollywood directors… and little old me 🙂

Her unique blend of performance ability and communication strategy helps her craft presentations that are outstanding and memorable, leaving a lasting impression on audiences everywhere.

Recently she gave a talk of her own at TEDx Santa Barbara. You can watch that talk here.

Victoria’s stand-out advice for me:

“The first thing you want to think about is, ‘how can I help?’ and when you do that, it changes everything.

Whenever you’re nervous on camera or on stage or on a phone call or in front of your team, it’s because you’re thinking about yourself. ‘Am I enough? Am I saying ‘um’ too much?’

But the moment you focus on helping, all of the nervousness drops.”

Focus on helping. 

Victoria’s website: www.victorialabalme.com


Amy McLaren

There is no secret that this female entrepreneur has a HUGE place in my heart.

Why?

Because she’s my wife!

Over the years I’ve witnessed her take her love of travel and education and combine them together to form our charity World Teacher Aid. And through that vision, the charity has raised millions of dollars, providing daily education for thousands and thousands of kids… and in the process, transforming communities all across Kenya.

The crazy part is, Amy never really considered herself “entrepreneurial”.

“Initially I just saw a need. There were so many rural communities full of kids who desperately wanted to learn, but they just didn’t have a school nearby. I knew there had to be a way to bring that to them.”

Here’s the takeaway for all of us…

Wherever there is an unmet need, there is an opportunity. As entrepreneurs, we’re just problem solvers.

Now, Amy is about to start another entrepreneurial venture called TravelThreads.com. It’s a clothing line of unique items for women from around the world. Each are connected to a powerful story.

Look for a need. 

Amy’s websites: www.TravelThreads.com/brave | www.WorldTeacherAid.org

 


 

Your turn: Who are the women that inspire you?

 

 

This morning my heart melted after reading an email.

Quick backstory…

A couple years ago, my wife and I adopted a little boy from South Africa. His name is Samkelo (Sam for short). He’s amazing and after two years, we couldn’t imagine life without him.

 

 

Sam joined our family as a one year old. So for the first year of his life, he lived in an orphanage run by two incredible women (Lynne Ellen Pieterse and Sonia Swinton).

Now, just so you know, this is NOT your typical orphanage. Think about the most loving grandmother you’ve ever come across. Now multiply that by two. Now you’d get a sense of what this orphanage is like.

It’s quite possibly the most loving environment that these kids could be in while waiting for their forever homes.

Needless to say, my wife and I are tremendously grateful for the way they cared for our son during the first year of his life. These ladies and this orphanage will always have a BIG place in our hearts.

Ok, so that’s the backstory.

Now, here’s why my heart melted this morning…

This morning I received an email from the orphanage. They need some financial help and they outlined the specifics of what they need help with (which is good).

And because of the backstory  you just read, you can understand why my wife and I want to continue supporting them (which we typically do each year).

But here’s where my heart melted…

From a marketing perspective, I’m the perfect donor. I’m hyper targeted. I LOVE what they’re doing. And, we have the means to give.

For the most part, their email was great. They outlined the situation and gave specifics for where the money would be going.

HOWEVER…

They were missing THE most important piece to any marketing campaign…

THE CALL TO ACTION!

 

 

So I read the email. I’m ready to give.

But there is no link giving me somewhere to go. There aren’t even any instructions telling me what to do.

The final line was “Any assistance with funding would be greatly appreciated and we are happy to share our records with you if you wish to view our finances.”

Wait a minute.

Where do I go?

What should I do?

How much is needed?

I’m willing to bet they would double or triple the amount of donations they receive from this campaign if they just included a call to action.

You’ve got to tell people what to do. Make it SUPER clear in regards to where you want people to go and what you want them to do.

For example, here’s how I would have adjusted that last line:

 

To continue loving and supporting the kids in our care, we’ve set a goal to raise $10,000 in the next month. But to reach that goal, we need your help.

Simply click the button below, enter the amount you’d like to give and your donation will be sent directly to Baby Hope House. And, if at anytime you’d like see our financial records, please email us directly at [email protected]

[Support Baby Hope House Today]

 

(For the record, you can actually click “Support Baby Hope House Today” above to go to the donation page of their website.)

Do you see the difference?

Without telling people specifically what to do, the reader now has to figure it out for themselves.

And when that’s the case, guess what is likely to happen?

Yup, nothing.

Why?

Because in the midst of trying to figure out how to give, people will get distracted. Like right now for example. My kids just woke up. And now they’re asking for breakfast.

This kind of distraction happens ALL THE TIME. And when it does, inevitably, people will forget to come back and donate.

Now please understand, I’m not picking on this lovely orphanage. I’m just trying to show you (and them) how one simple tweak can make a HUGE difference in the results of a campaign.

And I see this mistake being made all the time in non-profit work (like this) and also in for profit business as well.

Sometimes it has to do with fear about directly asking for the sale.

Other times it’s just not knowing what to say.

But when you’re reviewing your own materials, always ask yourself this…

“What specifically do I want people to do next?”

However you answer that question, make that your call to action. And make the next step clear and obvious.

If you do that, you’ll dramatically increase your results.

Now, I’ve got to make a quick reminder note so that I don’t forget to donate after getting these kids something to eat! :p