Wouldn’t be great if your online course could just itself? While it’s nice to believe that a good course will “just sell itself,” this thought is both unrealistic and potentially discouraging, as it can cause course creators to believe that a lack of sales is a result of a flaw in their product rather than their marketing plan. To be frank, it doesn’t matter how great your course is if you don’t promote it to the right people, at the right time, the right way. Your information could be worth its weight in gold, but if you lack visibility, people aren’t going to know who you are or what you’re selling. If you do succeed in capturing the attention of your target audience, your concern then shifts to how to convert these people into paying customers. They’re on your site now…but then what? You know you need to keep your visitors engaged with valuable content and have them subscribe or buy your products…but how? And this isn’t even the end of it. Overwhelmed? Don’t be. I’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you effectively market and sell your online course to your target audience.
Let’s talk about churn. What’s referred to as “churn” is simply the rate in which you’re losing members over a designated period. To calculate your churn rate for the month, divide how many members you’ve lost within the month by how many members you had at the beginning of the month. If you want to find your yearly churn rate, use the same formula but with how many members you had at the beginning of the year and how many you’ve lost within the year instead. Keep in mind that even best-managed companies experience churn, so don’t be upset if your rate isn’t 0%. However, given that churn means you’re losing subscribers, you’ll want to have the lowest rate possible. Research shows that 53% of all causes of customer churn are due to these three leading causes: Poor Onboarding, Weak Relationship Building, and Poor Customer Service. As a membership site owner, it’s important you do everything you can to stay on top of membership attrition and do your part to minimize it. So, to help you conquer the top reasons why members leave, I’ve laid out 5 steps that you can add to your membership site today. Step #1: Member Onboarding Ever get a rush of adrenaline after making a purchase? Well, so you do your customers! Members are the most connected to your membership site immediately after joining. Seize this opportunity to practice member onboarding, which is the process of integrating your new customers into your site effectively. The sooner members are set up, the sooner they can consume your content.
As you build your membership site, it’s natural to begin thinking of ways to increase your profits and earn more every month. While that’s undoubtedly vital to scaling your business, don’t lose sight of another even more important goal: being able to build sustainable profitable growth. Unfortunately, so many membership site owners lose themselves in big picture plans—failing to organize their growth and blindly piling up expenses. I created a list of Dos and Don’ts to help you maximize your success. Do: Find Your Niche Deciding on the subject of your content is one of the most important decisions you can make. It may sound easy to just pick a subject that’s “hot” and “trendy,” but I promise you–teaching something you’re passionate about will only make your course more valuable. Once you have a subject in mind, take time to research the target market audience. The smaller and more specialized your niche is, the better. Most people don’t realize this, but a niche membership site is a great way to build a following full of loyal customers. A loyal following is a sure way to drive more referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations.
More and more entrepreneurs are turning to membership websites, a business model which provides exclusive content to people who pay a monthly or yearly fee. Some entrepreneurs establish businesses which revolve around this model while others are using it to expand an already existing business. It’s not difficult to see why: early in 2018, Forbes reported that the subscription e-commerce market grew by more than 100 percent each year for the previous five years. Of course, membership sites make money for their owners but that’s not the full story. They generate passive income. Unlike other forms of income generation where you don’t make money unless you’re working, with membership sites, you can create content and then let it earn for you. Think about all the ebooks, online courses, podcasts and webinars that you see being advertised. Beyond the money, the best membership websites allow people or businesses to establish themselves as the experts in their chosen field. It also helps them to increase the buzz surrounding their business. Furthermore, membership websites help businesses to offer more value to their customers and create a loyal customer base.
You are the expert, and now you want to share your knowledge with the world at large. But you are confused. You know you want to create informational products for your audience, but the question that’s bugging you is how to sell your products. Should I create an online course and sell it on my blog? Or should I build a membership site and charge members to access the content I constantly put up there? There is no right or wrong choice here. What is best for you depends on how much money and effort you want to put into your products, how much information you have to share with the world, the size of your audience, and the nature of the subject. But before you plunge into a decision, learn more about online courses and membership sites, especially how they work, so you know what you are getting into. Membership Website In a nutshell, a membership site is like a gated area of your virtual business world that users can access only by paying a fee. Your membership site is not just a platform for you to put up new content; it is also a community where you can interact with your members. The following are the features of a typical membership site:
You’ve made it. Funning your own membership website is a long-held dream coming true. But that’s only the beginning; you need to make sure that you are making profits from your efforts. Running a membership website is more than just creating informational products and hosting them on the site hoping that customers will make a beeline for them. You have the skills and the knowledge to create stellar products, but you need to cater to the business side of things as well. Ensure that you are not making the following four mistakes that can make your online business go bust in no time at all:
It is great that you have chosen to spread your specialized knowledge, unique life story, and profound insights through your membership website. But you have an obligation, both to your subscribers and to yourself. You have to provide VALUE to your subscribers. Remember, they are spending their hard-earned money to read your eBooks, watch your videos, listen to your podcasts, and take your courses. Respect their time and money, because if you don’t, they will leave you for other sites. You also have to ensure that your hard work is setting the cash registers ringing. So here are six pieces of advice to make your membership website wildly successful: 1. Take cues from other websites You don’t have to reinvent the wheel always. An excellent time-saving and fool-proof way to guarantee success is to follow what other successful people (in this case, successful membership websites in your niche) are doing. If you are a member of such a site, review: What’s working for you. Figure out why you continue being a member of that site. Mull over their offerings and think how these have changed your life for the better. What’s not working for you. It is as important to learn from non-examples as it is to emulate examples. So also mull over what did not work for you on that site. Especially consider the courses that you left midway or the eBook that you now regret buying for that princely sum. 2. Review and rethink your prices. Revamp, if necessary Here, the watchword is balance. You should have a pricing strategy that brings you profits without scaring away potential customers. Get into the shoes of your potential and existing members and figure out what appeals to them. For instance, instead of offering all your digital content in a single three-month course, you can break up the information into courses and podcasts, bundle these into multiple small packages, and sell each over the course of six months.