As an OBM, I work with a lot of business owners who offer memberships—a subscription-based product that allows you to charge your customers a monthly or annual fee in exchange for coaching, valuable content, a course, or a community.
This business model is for you if your goal is to bring in some steady cash flow from month to month, build long-term relationships with customers, and create an effective lead generation platform that is far superior to the traditional email list.
In other words, if you want to scale and go wide in serving your audience then you need a membership.
If you’re thinking about offering memberships, or if you feel your existing membership system is struggling, then it’s a great time to revisit the different options.
There are four main types of memberships to choose from and it’s important to go with the one that will deliver content in the way that is best for your members and what you’re teaching.
Ready? Let’s go!
The Weekly Content Membership
A weekly content membership is one of the most common models out there and is set up around delivering a new piece of easy-to-digest content each week.
“Easy to digest” being the operative phrase here. Don’t overwhelm people with too much content at once!
Examples of this model include weekly video lessons, daily, weekly or monthly tips, behind-the-scenes updates on what you’re working on, or your commentary on content that your members will find interesting and valuable.
This model is the quickest to set up, plan, and work ahead on. It’s also a great way to move your customers from novices to experts, one step at a time. However, it is imperative that you are constantly creating valuable new content or your clients will unsubscribe and fast.
The Coaching Membership
This option is great for businesses who deliver their services best through a coaching model, hence the name. Think Zoom calls with hot-seat coaching, weekly FB Lives with members, one-on-one meetings, etc.
This model can be much less content heavy because you’re delivering a bulk of the value through individual or group coaching sessions. It isn’t ALL about the coaching, though. You have to sprinkle some supporting content in there as well.
For example, reinforce your teachings through weekly emails or podcasts, courses, or a community (more on that next).
Coaching memberships are fairly easy to implement, but they can also be a pain in the ass because it’s very business-owner centered. If you’re out sick and don’t have assistant coaches, your call has to be canceled or rescheduled. No bueno.
So, if your goal is a quasi-passive income stream, this is definitely not it.
The Community Membership
A community membership model tends to be the cheapest—not just to run, but also in what you charge—because you’re basically giving people access to a private forum where they can connect with you and others who have a shared experience or pain point.
You can offer other low-time investment perks like a standing coupon for any product you put out, first access to programs or content, or monthly challenges to keep engagement up.
If you foster a strong community, it can become a really great evergreen product that will require less and less interaction from you over time because you’ll eventually have people at all stages of learning in your group ready to jump in and answer questions for the newbies! Win!
The Course Membership
The course membership is a little controversial because some people say it’s not really a membership. Technically, it’s just a really long course that people are paying for monthly.
These tend to be a year or more because rather than giving access to everything all at once, like a traditional membership, the content is dripped out and members have access on a schedule.
This model pairs really well with the community membership, and it’s fairly common to offer a community for the customers who purchase a course. With this combined model, you’re benefitting from two revenue streams and your customers are offered tons of new value by connecting with and learning from others who are in similar situations and who took the same course.
PLUS they can pay a reduced fee to remain in the community after you stop delivering new content.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a membership model. Time investment, cost, content creation, how your members like to learn, etc.
But when you boil it down, it’s super important to go with the one that combines how you like to teach with the clearest way to present the material so that your members can not just learn but also enjoy learning!
Members that enjoy consuming your content (even when what they’re learning or being asked to do is hard) are members who rave about you to all of their friends, who shout you out in other communities on social media, and who stay for a long time.
And those are the kinds of members you want to hold onto and never let go. (Just not like…physically…because that would be weird.)
If you’re not sure whether your current membership model is working for you and your clients and want some support, book a free 30 minute biz audit to see if my team can help you!