Step 3 (pt. 15): Creating Products: Membership Sites
Avish: Fred, let’s now talk about something we have touched on before when we were talking about videos, and that is this idea of creating membership sites as one of the products in your funnel.
Fred: Yeah. And a membership site really isn’t too complicated if you’d just understand the concept of — on your website, you’re going to have material that you can make available for people in various forms. You can make PDF documents, Word documents, mp3 and CD audio documents, and video, whether they be streaming or downloadable. And all of these different modalities of learning that you create content from or with can be used to, you know. You can put them all behind a locked door, as I liked to call it. They call it in the industry a paywall. Which basically says, all of these content that you put together or some of it, whatever you choose too, you can lock it behind a specific door on a specific page. So for very little money you can get, you know, membership site, put software plug-ins for WordPress. That would allow you to take your wordpress site and to have individual pages protected in such a way that people would have to enter their name and their password, in order to get through that door. Usually, they have to pay to get that user name and password to get through the door so that they can access this very, very specific content which again can be in a variety of forms. That’s what the basic concept behind the membership site is.
Avish: Okay. And so when should a person consider putting up a membership site?
Fred: Well, I’ve seen a lot of people actually put up membership sites right from the get go with their products. Because rather than having to have people go to Web Marketing Magic and download the product, they actually set it up so that their product is sitting on a web page somewhere on their site. And it makes it so that you don’t have any hassle in terms of having to worry about Web Marketing Magic ‘cause the system send people an email, and do the confirmation and everything else. So there is a way that people, you know, anybody can use a membership starting almost from day one when they create products to be able to. And by the way you can set up a membership site in which people, all they have to give you is their name and their email address and they can access it for free and that might be the payment which is to give us your name and email address. So you set this up when you have content that you want to protect and make it so that people have to buy it or do something to get there. It’s sitting on a given page, maybe audio, video or text — a variety of those different kinds of digital media. And you put it up there often times to get people to go to a site to be able to consume your material, you do it in that manner. So your question was when do you start this? It really does depend. You might start it right off the bat or you may start it after you have developed a whole bunch of content. Now, Bill O’Hanlin and I are just about to put out a membership site which is all about psychologists being able to download audio programs, sort of a thirty minute, you know, audio program that does a lot of stuff that they can’t be doing for themselves cause their time is limited. So, again membership sites takes various different forms and in terms of when you can use them. You can use them almost immediately and you can also use them later on.
Avish: Well you know one fear I guess I’ve had with doing a membership site that others may have as well is — if you have membership site that people have been checking back into regularly, you have to then create a whole lot of content for it don’t you? Like you have to regularly put your content onto your membership site?
Fred: Well it depends exactly what kind of a membership site you have. But in general membership sites, sort of rely on the idea, that people are going to keep coming back in order to get new material. So the answer would be yes. The question now then becomes how often or how extensively do you have to post new material. And I think that will depend. Let’s say for example, one of the best examples that I can think off, is somebody who’s giving you stock advice for trading on Wall Street, right? And naturally that advice is going to change dramatically, probably from day-to-day. So, if I had a membership site having to do with, you know, with Wall Street and investing, I’d probably wanna make sure and update my materials on even a daily basis. To make sure that my membership site was valuable to people who come to the site all the time. ‘Cause without that, you’re really, and this is the tough thing with membership sites, in general, membership sites is a form of what we call continuity program which is where people pay for something month after month after month. It is difficult to get people to stay invested in a program that you create, unless that content is constantly changing and they feel like they’re getting something new for their money. Now, you know again the best example of a membership site that I can think of that does this really well is lynda.com, L-Y-N-D-A.com, which is training on various kinds of software. That’s an example they can take a look at. And they can take a look at, by the time that people are listening to this, they can look at therapyaudiodigest.com, therapyaudiodigest.com. And there’s also something I have put together, it is a link to something called coolsubtool.com, cool C-O-O-L, sub S-U-B, and tool T-O-O-L, dot com. And that is a, subscription site. It’s sort of a membership site for membership sites and a little bit redundant but very helpful.
Fred: People should check that out.