A lot of people try to perfect their offers and overanalyze everything before they put their memberships out into the world.
But the most important step is to just take action and get out of your comfort zone.
Not like a mile out of your comfort zone. It’s just a couple of inches that can make all the difference to start creating a membership that will truly change lives.
In this episode, we are talking with Thembi Bheka about how her membership created a huge impact, why you should aim higher with your goals, and how to avoid overwhelm and scale your membership faster.
Thembi Bheka is the founder of Virtual Staff on Demand, an organization that trains African women from abusive backgrounds to work as virtual assistants. She is on a mission to empower 1 million women by 2025.
Thembi has inspired others to delegate effectively and work on their zone of genius* on several platforms that include Inbound, Jeff Walker’s LaunchCon, Tribe Live by Stu McLaren, Smart Passive Income, and Podfest Expo to name a few.
When Thembi isn’t busy helping entrepreneurs scale with no overwhelm, she enjoys spending time with her two children and traveling on road trips. Thembi lives between beautiful Kelowna, Canada, and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
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3 Big Take Aways
- How to avoid getting stuck by doing it all on your own
- Why you should not race to the bottom when it comes to your membership fees
- Why you should stop analyzing and perfecting your offer and just get your membership started
- Virtual Staff On Demand by Thembi Bheka – Avoid overwhelm and Instantly get all the funnel tech, integrations and fixes out of the way so you can only work on what you love and scale your business faster. African women helping online entrepreneurs succeed.
- Make It a Membership– a program showing you exactly what you need to do in order to turn your offer or your idea into a successful membership
- Adaptive Inner Circle – The Adaptive Inner Circle is an epic 12-month experience for online business owners, coaches, course creators, and membership site owners who aspire to create financial freedom and a lifestyle they want for themselves and their family and also create a positive impact in their community and the world.
- Adaptive Marketing Program– The Adaptive Marketing Program is an exclusive opportunity for online business owners, coaches, course creators, and membership site owners to play bigger and bolder in their business and explode their bank account with more clients!
For a list of our resources & recommendations visit: InternetMarketingBiz.com/links/
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Melissa: Welcome to our special membership series, where we interview online entrepreneurs about marketing and selling their memberships. Today, we're interviewing Thembi Bheka. Thembi has an amazing membership where she's makes a huge impact. She actually trains African women that are going through abusive relationships on how to become virtual.
And this is what she has for her membership. She makes a huge impact with her clients, as well as the women that are employed as the virtual assistants. Now, in this interview, Thembi speaks a little bit about her journey, how she stumbled upon this membership. She's making a huge impact in her communities.
And also too, she shares a little bit about her own journey and the importance of finding mentors and people that have helped her along the way. We're super excited to share this interview. You're going to love her energy. Let's go ahead and dive in.
Paul: Thembi me. I just want to thank you again for being on this podcast.
That's the show, you know, what is really exciting and you don't even know about it. I think the first time that Melissa and I were exposed to you, I think we were sitting at the, in the audience years ago at tribe live. And I think Stu McLaren introduced you up on stage. And I have to say Melissa and I's jaw dropped.
When we heard your story and your background and what you've been through. So this is like a full circle moment. You didn't even know that. I didn't even tell you that before.
Thembi: No, that's interesting. Cause I thought we met through a mastermind.
Paul: No, and I, well, well, yes, we did meet through the mastermind itself, but so we were, we were the anonymous person in the crowd and you are shining and glowing up on stage and talking about your journey.
And it's something that, you know, a lot of buzz these days is people talk about having courses and memberships and they always come back to purpose and to why, and everybody always rattles off, you know, like, oh, I want to make an impact. And seriously, we were all struck at the time. Cause we were like legit.
There's somebody that is truly making an impact. And I have to say like behind the scenes, the one word that resonated with me, anything that was talking about on stage, you're like, oh yeah, you're from the U S that's privileged. You just don't understand. You don't understand how privileged you are. You don't know, just stay on how easy you have it.
You know, and years later that still sticks with me to this day. So thank you for being on the show.
Thembi: And thank you for having me. I'm so excited and what a full circle moment. I'm really excited to be on this podcast.
Paul: Yeah. So if we, we are jamming all about memberships and you have a very unique and different type of membership, that is not something that you typically would think of.
And I was wondering if you could just maybe take a moment or two and just describe like what you do and who you help. Cause I think it's going to blow people's mind on what's possible with the membership.
Thembi: Absolutely. Yeah. And so when I started, I have to say before I even talk about what I do when I started this membership, it feels like it was accident.
Cause I didn't even think of it as a membership. I thought of it as just a service. And then after, you know, obviously talking to Stu and kind of just learning more. Hold on a second. I have a membership and nobody else has a membership like mine. It's unique. It's so different. But what I do I basically right now I'm in Zimbabwe, even though I live in Canada, I train African women to be virtual assistants or digital assistants, if you prefer.
And I train them to be virtual assistants and we connect them with jobs. So when we connect with jobs and get our clients, our clients come on a retainer program. So it's not like. You just come and get a VA hourly hours is monthly. So it's a monthly retainer package. And basically you can upgrade to an annual package or a monthly package.
So that's really our membership.
What do they get from that? They get the VA services. They get monthly coaching call with me and really that's it.
Paul: Well, so, so if you think about it, like a lot of people in the information marketing space, it's like, I'm the expert I'm going to train I'm going to teach I'm gonna coach, you know, teach my skill set, but you're actually like, you're, you're teaching your team.
Like you're, you're going around the world and, and you're empowering women to create these new skillsets that then also give them opportunity. To be able to serve, not just in their local area, but like globally. Can you speak a little bit of like the services that, that you guys provide?
Thembi: Yeah. So I train, you know, it's interesting Paul, because obviously we don't, we're not experts in everything, even if you're a course creator or you have a membership site, you don't know everything.
So when I started, really, my goal was just to teach them how to do funnels. But you attract people as you grow, you start attracting these aspects, this geniuses who actually start teaching you what to do. So our services involve really, it's mainly the funnel tech, like if somebody is launching, but now we have video editing.
We have podcast editing. We have social media management. So those are the, really the big things, but we started as a funnel tech company, we're going to just do funnels and create, we create membership sites for people now. So it's really expanded to that. And I can't say I know how to do these things, but because we just started attracting people are so eager to learn and be self-taught it just spread like that.
Melissa: I love that. Let me, what I would love to do is give you have such a successful business model here. Take us back to when you first, cause you said it was kind of accidental that you didn't realize that you had a membership. It was just a service. Take us back to when you first launched. And what was that like?
How did you just, how did this all begin and what was that initial launch? Like when you put this out into the world?
Thembi: Yeah, that's a good question, Melissa. It feels like forever, but it's only two and a half years ago, I think, or three years ago. So when I launched at first, it was just me sharing on stages as Paul said , since you guys have seen me on stages, I just started sharing what I was doing.
I had just trained this woman. I'm like, I don't know what to do. Like I just, I didn't even plan to have this type of service. My goal was, I'm just going to train these women. They're going to go find jobs on Upwork and that's it. My job is done. And what happened is after training, most of the women we train are from abusive relationships.
So after we trained these women, we started realizing that they had really self esteem challenges. Some of them, they didn't have the confidence to go out there and apply for a job. So what would happen is they you'll train them and say, Hey, go to Upwork, go to Fiverr, just go get a job. Three months later, nobody has a job.
It's like, what's going on? It's like, I can't find a job. So I was like, okay. And then I remember I was speaking at some event in one of the, it was Jeff woke up Julissa just as a way to, and just start an agency. I was like, I don't want to start an agency. I don't know what an agency is. I don't need the work.
And really eventually I realized that if I'm going to fulfill my purpose and empower as many women as I can, I do need to start this agency. So I started it. And at first it was per hour, which was charging per hour hourly. And I realized that, and we know this over and over again, if you're in the membership, well, that recurring revenue is the way to go.
So when you charge the hour, somebody is just going to come for 10 hours and get those 10 hours and go. So you don't even know if you can make paycheck at the end of the month. So I was like, I need something stable where I know I have how many clients, 10 clients a month and it's going. So it started very slow.
Most people started hourly and we converted into them the monthly membership. And there's no commitment to us, but because. We have nailed our systems. We actually, 60% of our clients do anual. So actually it's more than that. Now it used to be 60%, but I think we just increased the numbers. So it's really, most of them do annual, so it's not like it's monthly anymore, but we basically started doing that and we started a 297 a month when we started.
Cause we're still trying to figure out and we kept going up and up and now the minimum is like 497 and you pay for a month and you get unlimited services. So it's not like you pay for a month. And if we do a funnel for you that's it. So, if you want to create a membership site and we able to do it within a month, and if you want to do like a funnel tech and launch, you able to do everything is covered.
So that's really kind of, that was the journey, but I wouldn't say it was an easy journey because obviously working with people, working with a big team, you kind of had to figure it out, but it really started with just me training these women. And I want to allude to, because Paul said something about purpose here.
And I think a lot of us, when we're studying, we're trying to really nail it in. Like I'm going to launch a project. That's going to connect me to my pebbles and I'm going to live happily ever after. And it actually rarely ever happens like that. For me, it was, as I say, it was just, I thought my purpose was to just train this woman to be a virtual assistance.
And live happily ever after, but it didn't happen that way. I ended up getting into the agency and now I'm actually enjoying it. And it's a business, as you say, that's growing and I'm happy and I'm impacting more lives that way.
Paul: It's amazing. I call it, like you said, like you, you didn't have it all figured out, you know, and there's so many people that don't launch for them go out an idea because they want perfection.
They want everything to be perfect initially. And you just did the stuff that was in front of you, which was empower these women, which is part of your initial mission. And then that creates these new opportunities. And for somebody like Jeff to lean in and say, Hey, you realize what you just did. You could, your next step is this .
And here you are fast forwarding. And what I really love about it cause a lot of people, you know, when they, when they even lean into the idea of a membership, it's like they race to the bottom on price. They're just like, oh, let me create a solution. That's $10 a month because my people won't buy anything more than that.
Okay. You just looked at the market, you realize there was a bigger solution, like a bigger problem that needed to be solved. That was not a $10 a month problem. And you came out the gate like day one at a higher level. And then even since then, what's really amazing is not only did you raise your prices, but the people you're attracting, they're just not paying monthly.
They're just like, Hey, here's for the entire year. Like that's the type of investment that they're making in their business.
Thembi: Yeah, that's the other thing I think a lot of us, the mistake we make is we try to budget for our clients and for budget for our customers. And you don't, you don't know how, how much is in somebody's pocket or somebody's wallet.
And when I started at 2 97, as I said, I kind of was attracting the 2 97 kind of people and not offers to that. But what happens is people who pay less a lot of
work. And the moment we raised our prices to like 4 97, which is the minimum, we have a 1200 plan as well, but the 4 97 plan, everybody the people we are attracting are amazing. Like these are people who I can go for coffee with and not try to run away. You know, you, you want your clients to be that type of person who I can have a talk with and I don't have to hide under the table, but yeah.
But I think sometimes when we're stuck with $10, The type of people, and there's nothing wrong with $10, but usually I don't sign up for anything for $10 because I feel like there's not enough value there. That's one thing. And this is just an example, but usually also think of when you're pricing your prices low what effects is that to your audience?
What are you telling your audience are? You're telling them that you're not giving them enough value. Oh, are you telling them that you're just one of those cheap stakes, not offense. I'm direct. IPaul did warn you. You I'm African. We say it as is. So
Paul: we love that. We love that.
Melissa: I would love to also hear it coming back to the impact.
Because you know, the women that you're working with, can you share some of the impact, maybe some stories of some of the women that you know, are part of the program and how their lives have changed? Because I think that's important for us. Again, coming back to that purpose again, I love to hear, you know, how this has changed their lives too.
Thembi: Yeah, it's amazing. It's actually one of my favorite things to do and to share most of those women, as I said, come from abusive relationships and some of them are either in abusive relationships or they have already come out of abusive relationships. And when I say relationships is not just husband and wife, it could be in the family.
It could be, it could be anything really which is happening around you. One of the women, I will give you an example. We used to, when we first started the com let's when we first started one of the office employees she used to wear sunglasses to work and I used to wonder I'm like, why do you like wearing sunglasses?
She's like, oh, I love sunglasses. I love sunglasses. Because we realize that we can't just teach them skills. We also drill off emotional training. We have people come to us and talk about self-esteem about fighting abuse about self-actualization things like that.
One time we had a class on abuse, like on, on, on your rights as a woman, in a relationship.
And after that class for the first time this lady takes out her sunglasses and she has bruises everywhere and I'm like, what is going on? She's like, well. My husband literally hits me on a daily basis. And so it's really hard, like I'm in a difficult situation. So this job is, has been so positive for me because I'm saving money so that I can move out.
And it wasn't even a month later, this girl had moved out. She had her own place. She was able to take her son and her life was so much changed. Because of this job. And I cannot imagine like what would have happened to her and really Melissa, the reason why I started this is because I had seen an article when I had traveled to Zimbabwe where a girl had committed suicide because she was tired of trading her body just to make money.
And I was like, I'm going to change that. I'm going to change that. And so when you start hearing, seeing those situations, like in real life, you're like, oh my goodness, It's just amazing. The impact that happens when you empower one woman. And we actually did a survey in the company to see how many people they take care of.
The average takes care of 4 people in their family. One salary takes care of four people in the family. Like that means siblings, brothers, whatever it is, four people so
Paul: It's a it's what's really interesting is a lot of times when we focus on impact, we're thinking about the thing we sell on and how that information product is impacting our customers and our clients.
But really you have like a dual, you know, band of impact where it's helping internally. Those women that you empower. And I believe I, if I recall correctly, I believe you have a mission of like by 20 25 to impact over a million women in the world. If I recall correctly.
Thembi: Yes, exactly. That's my goal to employ 1 million women by 2025.
And I believe there is no limits. Like there's no sky. And I think as we put our dreams out there with us, for your membership site or whatever, it is, just put whatever you want to do. And the universe just coincides with you because if I say 10,000, I believe I've already reached that number. But. You need to just put it up there and just keep aiming at it.
When I put 2025, 1 million at that time, I was like, who am I? I'm crazy. How am I going to get with people? But I look at it now. I'm like, oh my goodness, this is happening. This is possible. This is going to happen.
Paul: Yeah. And as entrepreneurs, we are the crazy ones. So we're the ones that defy what, you know, common standards are.
So if we were, if we were to rewind back and look at, you know, your, your beginning self, that you were this accidental entrepreneur, and you are going to come into this opportunity that you created, and we were to take the knowledge and the expertise and the wisdom that you have now, and you were able to go back to that previous self of yours, even though it was only two and a half years ago, which is so amazing to think about that, that this is all in this short period of time, but is there, is there anything that you would tell yourself like that first step on this journey? Is there any wisdom that you've gained that you would go back and tell yourself?
Thembi: Yeah. I wish, you know, I have to say my background is in, I wasn't entrepreneurial for maybe 15 years before this, like the businesses that, but my background was in real estate and I struggled trying to come out of real estate. I'm in real estate is great, but there's not much empowerment you do with real estate.
And I started. I just kept analyzing and analyzing and analyzing and just like you analyze like real estate deals, like I was just in the analytical mode. And if there's anything I can tell anybody right now is stop analyzing and just do it.
Paul: It's a, it's interesting. I have a real estate background as well.
I don't know if you remember or not, but it's just something that I used to. I had over 200 agents in my, in my company, but that was always a constant churn of people because people thought it was going to be easy and they would come in and they, they would act like they were getting paid by the hour.
And. You know, screw over a boss because they would just sit there and do nothing. And it is those, as you said, like it's those that just take action that just get out of their comfort zone just a little bit, like all the rewards for all of us it's not like a mile out of our comfort zone. It's just a couple inches.
Thembi: Exactly. Exactly. Just, just, just take action. And really those are the things I would have taken action earlier and just stopped analyzing. I probably would have got an a mentor. That's one of the things which I wish I had done earlier on in life, like hire a mentor, who is in this industry where I want to scale and just keep going.
Paul: Yeah, I think, I think all of us, if we look at a coach or a mentor or somebody that we can emulate, you know, they've already walked that walk. And instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and figure out everything on our own and trial error that somebody has already figured that's already went through that.
So I think that's excellent.
Thembi: Yeah. Yeah. I want to add on to that actually. I don't know if I'm allowed to say three, you said one, but the other one is older hired Ellie. That's. That is a big one. I spent so much time trying to build my website. I seriously lost a lot of time trying to build my website.
Paul: I shouldn't have done that though,
Melissa: is that, isn't it amazing that we try to do it all? And it's really like if we were to hire and delegate that out, we get so much more done.
Paul: And I, and I think that's pretty common. It's, that's, it's that old school, sweat equity, you know, it's like, we want to do it ourselves, prove that we can do it and we're better.
And I had to say is like anything that I personally built in my life, I wish I could have gone back, like I wouldn't build my own house cause I don't have the skill set. I don't know the knowledge. I didn't know how to cut. I can't even cut a piece of wood. Right. Like it's always off, you know, and it's like, and we get into this online space and we're like, oh, you know, and like you said, like with the tech, with like your team, we coach a lot of people.
They have no progress for six, they get the coaching and the ideas, but then they've been stuck because they're inside of some software and they only know how to get the logo from the left side of the screen, to the right side of the screen. And that's what they're stuck on for the last six months. And they just closed down because of it.
Yeah. So higher earlier, I think that, that, that's, that's a key and we do that in our real life. You know, like if you don't know how to fix your breaks, you're going to go hire a professional to fix your brakes. And if your heaters broke and you all know how to do it, you're going to go hire somebody to fix.
You're gonna make the investment.
Melissa: I would love to know this is a fun question that we'd like to ask, because again, it's about marketing and getting your message out there. So again, if you were starting over again, and if you only had $500 to market yourself, how would you use that money to get your message out?
Thembi: Without hiring the mental, however you want to use it. I have $500. I, you know what, I'll find a place to build a landing page, something so that I can start collecting emails. Maybe even go to a $29 a month program where. Yeah, build a landing page and start collecting emails and aggressively markets by contacting people. Even one-on-one connecting people and giving them my free gifts, my free PDF, which is free.
You can do a PDF thing for free and to do that and market them. And if I have more people going to that and maybe just post it and look a bit like a with Facebook ads, just in a little bit with Facebook ads or even $500, not a lot, but you can do Facebook ads and get a few more eyes onto your, onto your page.
And then just have one-on-one calls with this people and try to enroll. One-on-one call.
Melissa: We love one-on-one calls. We love that personal contact. That's one of the best ways to connect with people. Absolutely.
Paul: So tell me, we are so honored that we had you on the show today. We also just wanted to give everybody that potentially might be watching or listening and opportunity to be able to connect with you.
Is there any connection points or anything that you might have for
Thembi: Thank you. I have a free training actually on how to delegate effectively and how to work professionally with a virtual assistant. And they can go tovirtualstaffondemand.com/freetraining, virtualstaffondemand.com/freetraining.
You can get that and you'll get my free training.
Melissa: So we'll make sure we include that in the show notes
Thembi: the training comes with the loads of gifts. So make sure you sign up to get the gifts.
Melissa: love that this has been amazing. Thembi, thank you so much for, for joining us today and just your journey and what you've been doing in your membership and the impact they're making.
It's so inspiring. We're definitely going to be staying in touch and watching your journey as it just continues as you, as you make that impact. So thank you so much for joining and sharing your story with us.
Thembi: And thank you so much for having me, Melissa and Paul. I mean, you two are amazing too. I mean, you make me sound like this hero yet.
You are the heroes and I, I think I've, I've, I've, I've learnt a lot from you and it's just amazing to be on your podcast. Thank you so much for having me.
Paul: It's been an honor. Thank you.