In this episode of our Mastermind Series, we are discussing the differences between courses and monthly memberships, which one is harder to start with when you are not known yet, which one gives you a better chance to influence your audience in a bigger way and how to find out which one works better for you and your audience.
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3 Big Take Aways
- Transformation & commitment differences in courses vs memberships
- Which one gives you a better chance to influence your audience in a bigger way
- How to find out which one works better for you and your audience
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Melissa: Julia had her hand up here.
Julia: Hi, so I want to kind of turn the table a little bit what Paul said, that if you have a front-end of course, then you form a habit. And I always thought that when you have a membership, then you form a habit too, for people to be with you.
And then six months, a year later, you can have a backend the course. So it's just a different point of view or just so can you elaborate on that?
Paul: Yeah. Think about it and I hate to give this analogy, but it's the best way to explain it is that when you, when you're having a new relationship.
Is it easier to go on a first date or is it easier to go out and say, I want to be in a relationship with you because a first date is a one-time commitment. There's a fair exchange. You know what the expectations are, and you know, if it went well or not, right. And that's kind of like a course, and it's kind of like a one-time deliverable.
Cause that's what we do in the world and understand that we needed blockbuster video to know what the value and the pain points were on getting charged overcharges, stuff like that in order for Netflix to exist. So we need it, we needed something. So we understood what the exchange and the value was back and forth on renting a tape or something back in the day to know that now, yes, if you have a highly indoctrinated group that is willing to come in right out the gate into a membership and they are in a new habit and you do get them.
You just have to keep in mind that if you're doing a monthly membership, the transformation is smaller in smaller incremental. You, you have a lower level of promise in that 30 day cycle than you do in like a course or something.
It's a little bit higher level that has more investment in it because people now show up a little bit more. If you pay $2,000 for a course that is within eight weeks, you're going to really show up. Now, if you pay 30 bucks a month for something, you know, it's like, you're going to show up, but you might not make the call.
You might catch the replay you meant to do that. You meant, they show you, you know? Okay. Maybe, you know, but also understand it's easier. You know, there's a heavy lift, like for us to have something that's a low level, you know, like hands-off membership for this to take somebody from that price point to our higher price.
That's a very, very heavy lift, you know, that, that, there's, there's a big gap between those two points.
so you think when you start out, it's better to have a front end course. Yeah. Well, we just, we just see almost not a hundred percent because nothing's ever a hundred percent, but when you look at the influencers, no matter what they teach and you actually look at what they do, not what they teach, but what they do, you're going to see
it's very, very common that they lead, not everybody, but you're going to see the mass majority lead with a course.
And then you're going to see after they indoctrinated people through the course experience. The next step that they're going to give is a reoccurring membership offer.
Julia: So those are people who are known, but what if you are starting out, like, I I'm, I'm thinking about launching in January and I've been, you know, this is my thing that keeps me up at night, so to speak, is that, should I have a course, or should I have a membership first?
So that's why this question is relevant to me, too.
Paul: Yeah, well, I, I think no matter what, for all of us, you need to know who your market is and what their pain points, because what people want more than a course or a membership. None of us want a course. None of us want a membership. Seriously. None of us want any of that.
We want the transformation. We want the promise. We want the void filled on where our life is right now and what the promises of the product or service on the other end, we don't want six weeks. We don't want to watch hour long videos. We don't want to do all these things technically, we want the transformation.
We want the promise. So, so just keep in mind. It doesn't matter how it is delivered ' cause if I, if I told you, if you bought this thing that I have here, and it gives a guaranteed resolve that you'll make 10 X back, like, no matter what, you just do this thing, then I can sell that for anything. You know, if it's truly, if it's, if it's honest, if it's true, so you could lead with either of them, I'm just going to let you know that if you're not known, we've learned the hard way.
It's harder, at least through our experience to bring people through a membership model initially without them knowing you, because it's asking for a relationship it's asking for a long-term commitment because people don't just see it as the next three days. They see it as like, oh, you want money from me every single month.
And I don't know you that way, like I'm willing to, you know, you know,
Julia: and my concern is like, if you show up once a month or not enough, that they are not going to be engaged in. So maybe the course could be that the engagement you get the engagement.
Paul: And that's the interesting with a course, when you say like it's X amount of weeks, or it's like, there's a scarcity that every day that goes by that it's diminishing the support and the training's diminishing.
So if you don't show, you can't come back 10 weeks later and say, oh, I want to catch up because like the support is gone, you know, you don't have that extra level. So it makes people show up more because you have a finite amount of time and they show up in a bigger way and you get to influence in a bigger way that way as well.
And it looks like Sarah had comments.
Sarah: Hi, I hate to say it, but I'm sort of the other way around. I couldn't sell a course. I re I was really struggling with that and my membership took off and now I'm all about the memberships. And I've tried to offer courses for what people are asking for. They don't take me up on them.
So I've totally ditched the courses for now, and I'm setting up a second membership. But saying that dog training is a lower ticket item. I know that some people do sell at higher cost courses for reactivity and things like that. It wasn't my market. So I think it depends on what your market is.
But also your face when you said about a course and a membership, it lit up more when you talked about the membership and somebody said to me once, if that's what you want to do, and if you were told that both would generate you the same amount of money, go for the one which lights you up because you'll come across better like that.
And I, I get people into my memberships by doing a challenge. I do a five day challenge. So I've built up the relationship through the challenge.
My membership, they only have to pay for a month at a time and that's sort of my guarantee, so they can drop out after a month. So it's not a big commitment, but I deliver and they stay.
So there's lots of ways to the same end. Doesn't that, but I just thought I'd put across, what's worked for me.
Paul: I'm glad you said that because that's why I started by saying this isn't a hundred percent.
Sarah: And I see people doing the other way all the time and what, it just didn't work for me, but I know that it obviously it does for a lot of people.
Paul: Yeah. So what, when I do want to follow up Julie, for, for what Sarah just said, though, is that. She tested it. She went out and she was willing to put herself out there and things didn't go as she planned or thought on the core side. And then she pivoted and she found her her space in what she did. So many of us are looking for everything to be perfect.
The first go out that we judge ourselves in our career and like, where we're going to go. Like, we have to hit a hundred percent of the balls that are thrown at us. And she was willing to put a risk out there and fail, but it also brought her the success because she was willing to go at the bat.
So I would just say, is lead with what you want to do, but use the feedback that your audience naturally gives you and then be okay with pivoting and to assess and look at the feedback and to evolve and grow it and lean into like, you could have it right perfect. Right out the gate. You know, I, I blessed that on everybody, if that can happen. And then the real world, all of us are always doing micro little changes, shifts, tests, things like that. So that's awesome.
Julia: Thank you.
Melissa: You're welcome