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What Makes a Great Membership?

Could you add a recurring revenue membership to your business? In this episode I’ll share three quick things that would immediately give it a green light.


Big Ideas

Is Having a Membership Right for Your Business? [3:52]

I have been getting peppered with questions because we’re gearing up and delivering our free TRIBE workshop, and so many different types of businesses are contacting me because they want to know whether a membership makes sense for their business. I have worked with tens of thousands of business owners in all kinds of different markets, and I can tell you that virtually every business could, in some capacity, develop some type of a membership to generate recurring revenue. And I believe every single business on this planet should be striving toward creating recurring revenue. Why? Because it creates tremendous stability and instantly eliminates that fight or flight feeling of having to go and find new customers every month. It takes the financial pressure off you.

With that said, here the 3 factors you can use as a guide to determine if a membership business is right for you and the market you serve.

Solve a Problem [5:48]

Number one — can you solve a problem for your market? You’ve heard me talk about this before, you want to become known for solving a specific problem. In this case with a membership site, what would a membership look like that was solving an ongoing problem? For example, with a dog training membership, your dog’s not going to go from being wildly out of control to being the perfect puppy in an instant. Changing that behavior is going to take time, and that creates an ongoing problem. So that would make a great membership that would help somebody train their dog to improve that behavior over time.

Another example is weight loss. You don’t go from being out of weight to being the perfect weight overnight. That’s a problem that is going to be solved over time. Another example is a really bad relationship. Again, you don’t go from a toxic relationship to a beautiful relationship overnight. That’s a problem that is going to be solved over time.

Master a Skill [7:10]

Number two — can you help people master a skill? Think about the art, the photography or the guitar memberships,  or teaching people about business. These are all examples of memberships that are helping people improve a skill. Because again, you don’t go from not knowing how to play the guitar to being the next Eric Clapton overnight. You don’t go from not knowing how to paint to being the next Picasso overnight. Developing those skills and working continuously is a journey. Mastering those skills is the reason why I pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to be part of different memberships and masterminds to continue to enhance and master my skills.

Talk to any real true master, like a karate master. His name’s Ricardo, he’s a world champion, black belt. He’d be the first to tell you that even though he’s won a world championship in karate, he still comes back to practicing the fundamentals of punching and kicking, and repeating that same behavior over and over again to drill deep into his system and really master those fundamental skills. And it’s the same in anything that you’re teaching somebody. We’re never finished mastering a skill. Somebody who’s learned how to play the guitar doesn’t stop practicing, they keep rocking. There’s always going to be that environment where they’re going to be practicing and developing and mastering their skills.

Make Things More Convenient [10:19]

Number three — can you make things more convenient? There are so many different memberships that fall into this category. These would be the lesson plan memberships, like Anna de Giulio or Patty Palmer, who provide teachers lesson plans. This would be like the weekly sermon that Paul Evans provides in his membership for those youth ministers. Or this is where we get our box of organic fruits and vegetables delivered to our door every single week. That’s super convenient for us. This is where people like Anna Rosenbaum who has a project of the month where she sends a box of raw materials and a video where people are working through a new project. In her case, it’s a handmade clip business. These are examples where they’re making things more convenient for people.

Dollar Shave Club made this category of memberships popular a few years ago because they went from a fledgling startup to a company that was sold for more than a billion dollars. And what were they doing? They were selling razors, sending them on a regular basis. So they just made it more convenient, and they had great little ads that would show the inconvenience of doing it the old way of going into the store, and instead being able to get your razors delivered straight to your door.

Memorable Quote

“If you have a business where you can help solve a problem, help people master a skill, or make things more convenient for your audience, that is a green light to begin moving forward.” – Stu McLaren

Tara Walsh
Tasha Cochran
Anna DiGilio
Patty Palmer
Dollar Shave Club

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