A Guide On How To Sell Memberships Online

Creating and selling an online membership can help you to scale the transformative impact that you make in people’s lives, whilst growing a sustainable business. In this blog, we’ll explore how to get your membership set up for success (Part 1), and strategies to market and sell your membership (Part 2).

Part 1: Setting up your membership 

Getting your membership set up in the right way sets the stage for future sales. In this section we will briefly cover the essentials. If you're looking for more detail, check out our blog on how to create a membership.

Understanding online memberships

The essence of a successful online membership lies in its ability to foster a sense of belonging and continuous learning. But how do you harness this power? It starts with understanding the unique value your membership brings.

Whether it's for educational content, fitness coaching, or exclusive access to resources, the goal is to create an environment where each member feels they are part of something transformative. This understanding is key in setting up a membership platform that resonates deeply with your audience.


Strategies for identifying your ideal audience

Identifying your ideal audience is what will set you up for success in selling your membership. You need to understand exactly who you are targeting and the benefits that they will gain by joining your membership. It's about understanding their aspirations, challenges, and what truly drives them.

For coaches looking to sell online memberships, this means delving into the psyche of your potential members. What motivates them? What transformation can you help them achieve in their lives? By aligning your membership with the intrinsic motivations of your audience, you create a compelling proposition that's hard to overlook.

Developing a compelling value proposition

Your value proposition is your membership's heartbeat. It's what sets you apart in a crowded digital space. In creating this, ask yourself: what unique experiences, insights, or opportunities does your membership offer?

For a coach, this could mean providing unparalleled access to personalized coaching sessions, exclusive content, or a supportive community. It's about offering something that cannot be found elsewhere, creating a magnetic pull towards your membership.

Establishing effective onboarding and processes for an exceptional membership experience

Effective onboarding and streamlined processes are essential for a great membership experience, which will ultimately help you sell more memberships. Starting with a personalized welcome and guided platform tours, ensure members feel immediately at home. Try to immediately bring new members into the conversation and help them connect with the rest of your community. Customizing content and learning paths based on preferences keeps engagement high.

Efficient administrative tasks, like automated billing and responsive support, coupled with clear member guidelines, also smooth out the experience. How can you further personalize and streamline these processes to enhance member satisfaction?


Crafting quality content and services that keep your members coming back

Now, let's turn our focus to the heart of your membership: the content and services. What kind of unique and captivating content can you offer that will keep members coming back for more? Think about the content that aligns with your members' interests and needs. Are you planning to provide insightful articles, exclusive videos, interactive courses, or perhaps a mix of these? How will your content or services evolve over time to keep up with the changing interests of your audience?

Remember, the key to a successful membership is not just attracting members, but keeping them engaged and invested in what you have to offer. Are your content and services compelling enough to make your members feel they’re part of something special?

Selecting the best platform to host your membership

The right technology can make or break your online membership. Select a platform that offers more than just functionality. It should enhance the user experience, making every interaction seamless and engaging.

For coaches, this means choosing a platform like Disciple Media, which not only facilitates content delivery but also fosters community engagement and interaction. Disciple enables you to create your own fully branded app, that your members can access on desktop or mobile. Ask yourself: How does the technology I use elevate the overall experience of my members?


With the foundations of a successful membership in place, let’s dive into some strategies to sell your membership. 

Part 2: Selling your membership 

Now, let's get to the juicy bit - how do you sell your membership so that you are bringing in new members and scaling your revenue?

Launch strategies to sell your online membership

Launching an online membership is a pivotal moment that requires a well-planned strategy to maximize impact and attract initial members. Here’s how you can make your launch as effective as possible:

  • Create some buzz before you launch: Start building anticipation well before the launch. Use social media, email lists, and other channels to tease what's coming. Share snippets of content, testimonials from beta users, or behind-the-scenes glimpses to stir curiosity and excitement.

  • Exclusive early access or offers: Provide early access or special offers to your email list or existing customers. This not only rewards loyalty but also creates initial momentum for your membership.

  • Build urgency: Urgency is your best friend when it comes to your launch. You can try creating time-limited discounts, launching around a pivotal date for your ideal member or announcing that you will be closing your previous offering on a specific date to encourage your existing audience to migrate. 

  • Run a free webinar or live event: Let potential members get to know you and experience a taster of the value they will receive inside your membership. This event can help potential members get to know you, understand the value of your membership, have their questions answered, and experience real-time engagement. Make sure to end the event with a strong call-to-action encouraging sign-ups. 

  • Leveraging influencer partnerships: Collaborate with influencers or thought leaders in your niche. Their endorsement can lend credibility and extend your reach to a broader audience. Choose influencers whose followers align with your target audience.

Remember, a successful launch is about more than just attracting members; it’s about setting the tone for what they can expect from your community. It's your first step in building a lasting relationship with your members. 


Marketing your membership to continue attracting new members

Marketing your online membership is an art form that blends strategy, creativity, and a deep understanding of your audience. It’s about crafting a narrative that resonates, engages, and converts. Here's how to approach it:

  • Storytelling as a core strategy: Every membership has a story – a reason why it exists and the unique value it offers. Share this story across all marketing channels. It's not just about what your membership includes; it's about the transformation or journey it offers. Storytelling can emotionally connect potential members to your brand and community.

  • Leveraging multi-channel marketing: Utilize a mix of digital marketing channels – social media, email marketing, content marketing, and SEO. Tailor your approach to each channel while maintaining a cohesive brand narrative. For instance, use social media for community engagement and brand personality, email for personalized communication, and content marketing for SEO and thought leadership.

  • Data-driven personalization: Use data analytics to understand your audience's behavior and preferences. Tailor your marketing messages and campaigns based on this data. Personalization increases relevance and resonance, making your marketing efforts more effective.

  • Engaging video and visual content: In today's digital landscape, visual content, especially video, is king. Create engaging and shareable video content that showcases the benefits of your membership, member testimonials, or sneak peeks into exclusive content.

  • Community-driven marketing: Encourage your existing members to become brand ambassadors. User-generated content, testimonials, and referrals can be powerful tools. Members who share their positive experiences add authenticity and credibility to your marketing efforts.

  • Consistent engagement and nurturing: Marketing doesn’t end at acquisition. Continue to engage with your members through regular updates, newsletters, and exclusive offers. Nurturing these relationships can lead to higher retention and member satisfaction.

  • Agile marketing approach: Be prepared to adapt and evolve your marketing strategies based on feedback and changing market dynamics. An agile approach allows you to stay relevant and responsive to your audience's needs.

In marketing your membership, it’s not just about selling a product; it’s about inviting your audience into a community and a journey of transformation. By employing these strategies, you’re not just reaching out to potential members – you’re resonating with them.


Offer a taster of your membership with a free trial

A free trial is a strategic tool in the world of online memberships. It embodies confidence in your offering and serves as an invitation for prospective members to experience the unique value of your community. Here’s why a free trial can be pivotal:

  • Transparency and trust: Offering a free trial signals transparency and builds trust. It allows potential members to understand and value your offering before committing.

  • Hands-on experience: A trial period lets users explore and engage with your content and community, helping them decide if it aligns with their needs.

  • Valuable feedback: Use the trial period to gather insights and refine your offerings, demonstrating a commitment to member satisfaction and continuous improvement.

  • Fostering community integration: During the trial, integrate users into your community, enhancing their sense of belonging and increasing the likelihood of them joining as paying members.

  • Optimized trial duration: The length of the trial should balance adequate exploration time with a sense of urgency, typically ranging from 7 to 30 days.

  • Seamless transition to paid membership: Ensure the transition from trial to paid membership is clear and straightforward, highlighting the continued benefits of joining.

In essence, a free trial is a testament to the value of your membership and an effective strategy for building long-term relationships with your members.


Harnessing the power of referrals and community engagement

Maximizing the impact of your online membership hinges on the strategic utilization of referrals and active community engagement. Here’s how you can effectively leverage these aspects:

  • Implement a robust referral program: Design a referral program that motivates your current members to share your membership with others. Consider these steps for effectiveness:

    • Clear incentive structures: Offer tangible rewards for both the referrer and the referee, such as discounts on future billing cycles, exclusive content, or even free months of membership.

    • Easy sharing mechanisms: Simplify the referral process with easy-to-use sharing tools embedded within your platform, enabling members to spread the word via social media, email, or personal referral links with minimal effort.

    • Track and celebrate referrals: Use analytics to track the success of your referral program and publicly celebrate milestones or particularly active members to encourage continued participation.

  • Foster a vibrant community culture: Engage members in a way that promotes a sense of belonging and mutual support, thereby enhancing the value of your membership. Strategies include:

    • Regular engagement activities: Organize events such as live Q&A sessions, webinars, or online workshops that bring members together and offer them exclusive access to valuable content or experiences.

    • Interactive forums and discussion boards: Create spaces within your platform for members to interact, share experiences, and support each other. This can include dedicated topic forums, member spotlight features, or scheduled discussion threads.

    • Personalized engagement: Use member data to personalize interactions, such as birthday messages, recognising achievements (e.g. completing a course), or personalized content recommendations.

    • Incentivize engagement and contributions: Reward members for contributing to the community, whether through content creation, helping other members, or participating in community events. Rewards can vary from recognition in community communications to exclusive perks.

  • Highlight success stories and testimonials: Use the power of storytelling by featuring member success stories and testimonials prominently within your community and marketing materials. This not only showcases the value of your membership but also:

    • Builds credibility: Real stories add authenticity and trustworthiness to your brand.

    • Inspires potential members: Seeing the tangible benefits others have achieved can motivate prospective members to join.

  • Utilize community feedback for continuous improvement: Actively seek and incorporate member feedback to refine and enhance the membership experience. This can be done through:

    • Regular surveys and polls: Conduct surveys or polls to gather insights on member satisfaction, content preferences, and suggestions for new features or improvements.

    • Feedback loops: Implement systems for members to easily provide feedback at any point in their journey, ensuring they feel heard and valued. Highlight how this feedback has led to tangible changes or enhancements in your communications.

Implementing these detailed strategies for harnessing the power of referrals and community engagement will not only help you sell more memberships but also create a more dynamic, supportive, and engaging online community. This holistic approach ensures that your membership platform is not just a service but a thriving ecosystem where members feel valued, engaged, and motivated to contribute to the collective success of the community.


Final words

As you embark on this journey of setting up and selling your online membership, remember that you're not just creating a platform; you're leading a community and shaping experiences. The digital world offers limitless possibilities to innovate, connect, and grow. Embrace these opportunities, and let your membership platform be a testament to the power of digital transformation in building communities and delivering value.

FAQs

How often should I update the content in my membership site?

Regular content updates are crucial to keep your membership engaging. The frequency can vary depending on your resources and the nature of your content. For some, weekly updates work well, while others may opt for monthly or bi-monthly updates. The key is consistency and quality.

Can I run a successful membership site as a solo entrepreneur?

Absolutely! Many successful membership sites are run by solo entrepreneurs. It's about efficient time management, choosing the right platform, and possibly outsourcing certain tasks as your membership grows.

How do I determine the right price for my membership?

Pricing should reflect the value you're offering and be attainable for your target audience. Consider your costs, competitor pricing, and member feedback. Starting with a mid-range price point can be a good strategy, with room to adjust based on member response and value additions.

What's the best way to market my membership site?

A multi-channel approach works best. Utilize social media, email marketing, SEO, and content marketing. Engaging your existing audience and leveraging word-of-mouth through members can also be highly effective.

How important is community building in a membership site?

Extremely important. A strong community increases member retention, fosters engagement, and adds significant value to your membership offering. Encourage interactions through forums, live events, and social media groups.