Tag Archives: member

Paid Membership Groups: How to Lock Customers in for Life (Part 3)

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In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series we covered how to START a paid group, and how to plan CONTENT to get it going.

Now I want to cover what may be the most important piece of the puzzle…

How do you continuously deliver value so that people stay in the group month after month, year after year?

The answer comes down to 3 important elements:

  1. 1) Keeping up with the times
  2. 2) Giving people real value
  3. 3) Creating a sense of community

Let’s break these down a bit further…


The times are (constantly) changing.

While it’s important to plan your content calendar in advance, and you can easily touch on the same themes year after year…

You always want to have in mind that the times are changing.

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What was true back in 2015 may not be true in 2016, or may be mostly true…with a few important updates.

You want to position your group as being on the cutting edge of a constantly changing landscape.

As a member of your program, your customers will always be up to date on the newest trends and most relevant, up-to-date information.

And if your members know that, then they have a big reason to stick with you month after month, because they’re constantly getting updated information.


What have you done for me lately?

When someone first joins your group, they’re generally excited about all the content available.

Proving the value of the group isn’t hard in the beginning, but after a few months, they may begin to question why they’re still paying for membership.

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After a while, getting your members to consume content becomes more challenging.

That’s when you run the risk of having someone think to themselves, “Well, I don’t really need that membership right now.”

And boom…they’re gone. Your program has become expendable.

So how do you ensure that doesn’t happen?

By providing not just new content, but providing your members with WINS.

Wins (big or small) are a great way to create positive energy and build loyalty among your customers.

Similar to the idea of  “Micro-Commitments” in the Ask Method, your goal is to deliver small wins to your members to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

How do you create these small wins? By leveraging something called “Micro-Workshops”.

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A Micro-workshop is an event that happens in your group on a very specific, focused topic.

Not just a simple video training or article, a workshop has an interactive element where you ask your members to implement.

You can even turn it into a contest to increase participation.

We do this in NLM with our yearly Black Friday promo contest.

Black Friday Promo

By encouraging members to swipe a specific short email sequence and send out just a few emails…

They’re able to see a quick influx of income as a direct result.

That jolt of cash and/or energy is a great reminder of WHY they became a member in the first place…

And gives them a very good reason to stick around.

If you plan your Micro-workshops strategically, you can have your members excited and anticipating their next win simply by continuing their membership.


The Art of Creating Community

Ironically, as we’ve become a more “connected” society (to our phones, computers, and tablets), we’ve become disconnected in so many other ways.

Everyone is looking for a place they can feel connected to other people…

To feel like they’re a part of something larger and more meaningful.

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And that can happen if you create the right kind of online community.

Being an entrepreneur, especially online, can get pretty lonely.

What our Next Level Group Mastermind does is give people a place to ask questions, get answers, and make valuable connections.

And your membership program should do that for your tribe as well.

Because in most cases people are drawn to your group for the content, but the reason they STAY…is for the community.


So how do you cultivate this kind of community?

Well, it’s a challenge, and there are some nuances to it.

It’s difficult to describe in just ONE short blog post.

In fact, there are some specific things that we do in the Next Level Group Mastermind that have really transformed it into a community…not just another group.

I learned these techniques from someone who is better than anyone else at creating community, Stu McLaren.

He’s the “secret weapon” that helped us take NLM from an idea on the back of a napkin to a multi-million dollar business.

Stu’s been sharing some amazing content recently on how to build these kinds of communities through membership sites.

Check out this video to learn more

 

In this series, I’ve walked you through how to create your own membership site, from the idea and initial launch, to content creation, to keeping people coming back month after month.


Now I’m curious…

I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway, so please leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)

4 Strategies to Delivering Killer Content in Your Paid Membership Group (Part 2)

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In Part 1 of this series we talked about why you should have a membership program, why it makes sense to start it on Facebook, and my step-by-step plan to launch your group.

So you have your group up and running…now what?

Well, the next challenge is keeping it going.

And in order to keep it going, you have to deliver content.


The Content Hamster Wheel

Many people, when they think about starting a membership program, immediately think to themselves…

“Well, if I start this, then I’ll get stuck having to create new content all the time. I don’t really have the time for that.”

And the fear of getting caught on the “Content Hamster Wheel” is what scares people from creating a recurring revenue stream…

Even though it’s one of the smartest things you can do for your business.

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In this post, I’ll give you 4 no-fail strategies for how to deliver value without ripping your hair out…

Or feeling like you’re stuck in a “Facebook group prison” that you’ve created for yourself.  

Here’s how you generate great, actionable, valuable content for your members WITHOUT driving yourself crazy in the process.


4 Killer Content Strategies

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1. Plan in Advance

Plan your content calendar one year in advance, if you can do it.

Knowing exactly what you want to deliver in terms of content is much easier than having to brainstorm every week on what to deliver.

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The more you can plan in advance, the better.

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2. Built-in Re-runs

Be sure you block off time in your calendar for “re-runs”, things that you’ve already created or that already exist…

So that if you are sick, or traveling, or something happens, you can just plug in the re-run content.

We do this in NLM and it has the added advantage of  introducing new members to great previous content and reminding old members of all the great value they have.  

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3. ‘Tis the Season

Another advantage to planning a year in advance is that you don’t have to produce new stuff forever.

Plan a year at a time, knowing that you can recycle the same content every year, depending on the season, with minor updates.

If you do a monthly call, come up with 12 different themes and each year you can “spruce up” the existing content and redeliver it with some new information.

In NLM, every year we share our winning “Black Friday” promotion, which is the same core training but with minor updates.

This strategy allows you to get the maximum leverage out of your existing content.

Black Friday Promo

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4. Cream Rises to the Top

Within your community, there will (hopefully) be plenty of very smart and talented people.

And if you create the right kind of community atmosphere (which we’ll be talking more about in Part 3), then these people will be willing and eager to share their expertise.

You want to cultivate your best members and ask them to contribute.

Give them a platform to display their expertise.

Sourcing content from your members not only means less work for you, but it’s an important part of creating a community.


Now That You Have Content…

In the next post we’ll be shifting gears a bit to talk about how you keep your customers coming back again and again for more.

Because it’s not all about the content–there are 2 other important factors that come into play.

You can check that out in Part 3 of this series.

See you there!

Ryan :-)

My “Secret Weapon” That Helped Me Take the Next Level Group Mastermind from Zero to $2M/Year

If you saw last week’s post on starting a paid membership program, you might be wondering WHERE I learned all of this…

So I’d like to introduce you to my “secret weapon”.

His name is Stu McLaren and he’s a friend of mine.

In fact, he’s been helping me since I started my FIRST recurring revenue business in the Orchid niche.

I recently got together with Stu to talk about WHY you should have a recurring revenue business, and the kind of leverage it gives you in your business.

Check it out:


Stu and I have some great stuff coming up on this topic, so stay tuned for that…

For now, I’d love to hear from you:


What’s your biggest challenge or concern when it comes to adding recurring revenue into your business (or growing your current recurring revenue model)?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)

3 Steps to Launching a Successful Paid Membership Program Using Facebook (Part 1)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?”

And…

“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. 1) Do you have a paid membership program, or are you looking to start one?
  2. 2) What’s your #1 tip for someone who’s thinking of starting a group?
  3. 3) And what’s your #1 takeaway from this post?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)