One of the cornerstones of a successful, scalable business is recurring revenue.
And yet one of the hardest things to sell people on is a continuity program.
This is the challenge that many entrepreneurs face when they want to set up a recurring revenue model…
But it’s well worth overcoming the challenge (and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it in the next few posts) because there are so many BENEFITS.
When you have a continuity program or a membership site, not only do you have predictable, stable income…
You also have a group of customers who are paying you money to give you feedback on what products to release in the future, which means you are essentially getting paid to do market research.
And the people who are paying you month after month to be a part of your community are going to be your best customers.
This is your core captive audience – the people who will be most receptive to new products and offers…
And who will be your biggest ambassadors when it comes to spreading the word about your business.
I’ve done this myself, growing my Next Level Group Mastermind community from zero to over 2000 members in just under 2 years.
All of the strategies and techniques I’m going to mention here are strategies I’ve actually used to build this community into one of the best paid Mastermind groups online.
So now that you know WHY you should have a continuity program, let’s get into the details on how to create one:
How to Build Momentum
The fastest way to get a membership/continuity program off the ground is to set up a forum (we use XenForo) to host your content.
That’s where your paid membership site lives.
Along with that, you also want to create a Facebook group, and offer that as a free bonus to your customers…
(it’s against Facebook’s TOS to charge for membership in a group)
I’ll add that the small risk you run with Facebook groups is you’re building on someone else’s real estate…
And Facebook can decide to shut down your group at any time (it’s rare, but it can happen)…in which case, you will lose all of your posts.
Despite the minor risks, Facebook is still the fastest and easiest way to get started.
And the reason for that is because you are tapping into habits that your customers already have.
Let’s be honest…who ISN’T checking Facebook multiple times a day?
And when all you’re doing is tapping into existing habits…it makes getting, engaging, and keeping members a lot easier.
The fastest way to catch fish is to put a net into a stream where the fish are already swimming and just lift them out…
Instead of trying to lure them to you.
So, while you want to have a forum to host your content outside of Facebook…
Having an active Facebook group is a great way to build engagement and momentum with your members.
“Founding Members” Launch Strategy
So how do you get the first 100 or 200 members into your new group?
And how do you convince people to sign up for something that doesn’t even exist yet???
Well, I did this successfully with our Next Level Group Mastermind using a “Founding Members” offer.
Here’s how this works:
Step 1: You announce that you’re looking to put together a new group (without actually committing to building it first) and explain what the group will be for as well as what the benefits are to your audience.
Basically, you’re just trying to gauge how much interest there is.
Step 2: Tell them that you’re making a special offer for “Founding Members.”
You explain that as a “Founding Member” they’ll get access to additional benefits and bonuses that no one else will have…
And that they’ll also be grandfathered in to a special low price forever…even when you eventually raise the price of membership.
Step 3: Next comes the call to action: “All you need to do today is raise your hand and say that you might be interested, and put down a two-way refundable deposit of $50.”
The deposit is two-way refundable, meaning if they decide they don’t want to join, or if you decide not to go through with the program, they get their money back.
And depending on the response to this “Founding Members” offer, you can then evaluate if creating this group is worth your time.
Creating the Group and Welcoming New Members
Once you have enough members who have put down a deposit to get started, it’s time to create your group, decide on a name, and set down the ground rules.
Decide on your core values as well as what is and isn’t allowed when members create posts and leave comments, and stick to them.
I’ll be talking more about how to keep members in the group in Part 3 of this series.
One of the first things you should do is welcome new members to the group and ask them to make an introduction.
We do this in NLM and it helps to jumpstart our customer’s experience…making them feel at home (and part of the tribe) right away.
Every week we put up a “Welcome Post” where we tag all the new members who have joined…
And we encourage them to put up an “Introduction Post” telling us a little more about themselves and their business as well as their biggest challenge at the moment…
This gives our team and our community something to comment on and help them with right away.
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to respond to their introductions!
Nothing is worse than putting yourself out there and getting NO response.
Coming Up: Your Next Steps…
Now that you have your group with your Founding Members, and you’ve welcomed them all, you might be thinking…
“How the heck do I keep this thing going?”
“How do I generate enough content to keep everyone happy?”
“How do I avoid getting caught in what I call the “content-creation hamster wheel”?
I cover my top 4 strategies for delivering MASSIVE value without working yourself into the ground in Part 2 of this series.
For now, I’m curious…
- 1) Do you have a paid membership program, or are you looking to start one?
- 2) What’s your #1 tip for someone who’s thinking of starting a group?
- 3) And what’s your #1 takeaway from this post?
Leave a comment below and let me know!