Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that having multiple revenue streams is critical to your success.
And one main revenue source you MUST consider is recurring revenue.
Continuity programs — subscriptions, memberships, or automatic shipments — allow you to sell once and generate ongoing revenue from the same customers over and over again.
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 give you step-by-step guidance on how to do it) 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.
In the past, I’ve done this myself, growing online communities from zero to over 2000 members in just under 2 years… multiple times.
All of the strategies and techniques I’m going to mention here are strategies I’ve actually used in my own business.
So now that you know WHY you should have a continuity program, let’s get into the three steps for launching one (in Part 2 of this series, we’ll cover how to deliver killer content).
The Three Steps to Launching a Successful Paid Membership Program Using Facebook:
- Build Momentum
- Create Exclusivity
- Welcome New Members
We’ll dive into each of these in detail.
1. Build Momentum
The fastest way to get a membership/continuity program off the ground is to set up a dedicated membership area to host your content.
That’s where your paid membership site lives.
(Note: We have a custom-built site for our paid content delivery in the ASK Method Masterclass. There are many “off-the-shelf” options you can use for course and content delivery, such as Teachable, Kajabi, and Thinkific.)
So where does the Facebook group come in? As a valuable bonus to your customers…
(NOTE: It’s against Facebook’s TOS to charge for membership in a group. You can, however, offer the group as an add-on to another product or service.)
An important point to note is that with Facebook, you’re running a risk by 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 you’re leveraging habits your customers already have.
Let’s be honest…who ISN’T checking Facebook multiple times a day?
In fact, as of June 2017, Facebook registered over 1 billion daily active users. Chances are, your members and customers are some of them!
Facebook has over 1 billion daily active users… including your customers and members!
And when all you’re doing is tapping into existing habits… getting, engaging, and keeping members becomes 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.
And in this case, the fish are all on Facebook.
So, while you want to have a separate site to host your content outside of Facebook…
Having an active Facebook group is a great way to build engagement and momentum with your members.
2. Create Exclusivity
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’ve done this successfully using a “Founding Members” offer that creates exclusivity and excitement… even before you’ve created anything!
Here’s how this works:
Step 1: 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 your audience that you’re making a special offer for “Founding Members.”
Explain that as a “Founding Member,” they’ll get access to additional benefits and bonuses that no one else will have…
And 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.
This allows you to move forward or hit “pause” if there’s not enough interest at this time.
3. Create the Group and Welcome 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 for the Facebook group
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.
Not having ground rules can make your group a free-for-all with lots of self-promotion or off-topic posts. This can potentially lower the overall value of the group, so make sure your rules are clear.
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 the ASK Method Masterclass Facebook group with huge results.
Not only does it help jumpstart our members’ experience…it also makes them feel at home (and part of the tribe) right away.
Getting members engaged as soon as possible is a “must…”
Because the sooner they participate, the more they’ll get from the group…
Which makes it even MORE valuable!
When we welcome a new group of members, we ask everyone to comment and answer specific questions, such as:
- Why they joined
- Their biggest fear
- What they’re most excited about
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.
Okay, let’s recap:
FIRST, build momentum for your membership program.
NEXT, generate interest by creating an “exclusive” offer for fast action-takers.
FINALLY, welcome your new members and get them involved immediately.
So there you have it…
The three steps to launching a paid membership program using Facebook.
Take it step-by-step and you’ll be on your way to recurring revenue by providing valuable content and a great experience for your members.
In Part Two of this series, we’ll talk about 4 Strategies for Delivering Killer Content in Your Paid Membership Group.
For now, I’m curious…
- Do you have a paid membership program, or are you looking to start one?
- What’s your #1 tip for someone who’s thinking of starting a group?
- And what’s your #1 takeaway from this post?
Leave a comment below and let us know!