We are continuing our membership series with our good friend and mentor Stu McLaren.
As you know, Stu is the go-to person to talk about memberships. Today we asked him the question, “How exactly do you have a membership that’s light and easy as well as profitable?”
Now this is a question we get asked a lot. Maybe it’s a question you have right now?
A lot of times when we’re working with people, they worry that a membership is going to weigh them down, it’s going to overload them, they’re going to be stressed out. But that doesn’t have to be the case. You can absolutely have a membership that is light and still profitable.
Stu shares his insight on how to make memberships work for you in a way that makes sense for your business. You’re going to love what he has to say, so go ahead and dive into the interview!
Are you ready to learn how you can make a membership work for you?
Then join Stu’s free workshop at FreeMembershipWorkshop.com starting April 20, 2023
It’s designed to help people think through what a membership might look like for them. No matter your business or membership type, the goal of the workshop is to get you moving down that path as quickly as possible.
This is Stu’s signature, free 3-part LIVE workshop titled “Turn What You Already Know, Love, And Do Into A Profitable Membership Business.” He only does this one time per year so make sure you join today!
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Melissa: We are continuing our membership series with our good friend and mentor Stu McLaren. Now, as you know, Stu is the person to go to, to talk about memberships. He knows his stuff. And today we asked him the question that Paul and I get asked a lot. So a lot of times when we're working with people, they worry that a membership is going to weigh them down.
Overload them, they're going to be stressed out. And we wanted to know from Stu how exactly do you have a membership that's light and easy as well as profitable.
So he shares his insight on how to make memberships work for you in your business. That makes sense for your business. I know you're going to love what he has to say.
So let's go ahead and dive into the interview.
Stu, We love the idea of memberships because of that recurring model of revenue coming in and the impact. But one of the biggest questions that we hear all the time when we're working with people is well, is it is a membership going to tie me down?
Is it going to be stressful? Am I going to be stressed out about it? Because I'm constantly answering questions for my members. So I would love to hear your thoughts on memberships that are highly profitable, but also that are not so heavy.
Stu: Yeah. Well, listen, the answer to that question, Melissa is yes. Memberships will create all kinds of stress and burnout if they are done without a proper strategy.
You know, a lot of times people think like a membership is like, oh, okay, I'll create a membership. And I'll just throw a whole bunch of content behind a paywall and call it a day. No, that's like the worst thing that you can do because not only does it become overwhelming for your people, which is by the way, the number one reason that people cancel from a membership.
But it also becomes overwhelming for you because you feel this like inherent need to produce and produce and produce. And you think like the only way to create value for your members is to create more content. And that is not true, true value in a membership. It doesn't come from the volume of content we provide true value from a membership comes from the progress that we help people experience as a result of what we provide.
So it's not about more content. It's about the transformation. It's about helping them experience that progress.
So a couple of quick things that help in that, you know, when we're thinking about a strategy, it all starts with a success path, and this is something that we teach, but it's about zooming up and just thinking, okay my people are here, they want to get to there. And what does that journey look like?
You know, because somebody doesn't go from not knowing how to paint, to becoming the next Picasso like that. They don't go from a broken relationship to a thriving relationship like that. They don't go from a puppy that's wildly out of control, chewing and peeing everywhere to the perfect puppy like that.
There is a transformation, a journey that happens. And when we can get clear and map that journey out, what that does is that provides our people clarity around the few things that they should be focusing on for their journey. Because when you treat everybody like a one size fits all T-Shirt,
Well, then you're going to get people in the beginning stages who are going to get overwhelmed if you introduce any advanced content, you're going to get advanced people who are going to be like sh I'm way past this. If all you're doing is providing beginner content, but when you give them the clarity of like, here's what you should focus on right now, based on where you are in your journey. Now you are helping people experience all kinds of progress that wouldn't happen before.
Bottom line, this boils down to strategy. And when we think about a content strategy, you know, you can do this in all kinds of different ways. I think of, you know, years ago when I was a business partners with Michael Hyatt and at the time his business model was him traveling around the country delivering keynote presentations. And he was on the road more than a hundred days a year doing this.
So when we came together, he didn't have time to, you know, create a whole bunch of content for a membership. He didn't have time to, you know, be in the community 24 7, so to speak.
So not only that, but he also had a podcast, he was producing once a week and he had a blog that he was writing for five times a week at the time. So he was strapped for time. But with the right content strategy, we would produce more than a year's worth of content over the course of six days. And so the way we would do that is we would do three two-day video shoots and we knew what content we were producing.
And it was back to back to back to back back then we would schedule that content. And we got to the point where we were literally months and many times even years ahead of the "release schedule" because we were batch producing it ahead of time.
Another great example of a really simple style membership is our mutual friend, Dana Abraham.
So she has two memberships. She has one that's a back-end membership. It's a higher price membership. And she wanted to create something that would also be a lower price point, enabling her to serve a much broader audience. And so she created a very simple membership where she is essentially interviewing her best students and really breaking down like what they were specifically doing, in her case it's a parenting membership, to help their particular kids.
And so it's all based on their students' success. Dana herself actually is not involved in the production of the content because the students are submitting the content ahead of time. They have a structure and a format for her team, you know, obviously tweak and modify that content.
But Dana herself is not involved in the production of that whatsoever. And what's amazing is she similarly has content scheduled out for months and months in advance.
In her words, it's the most simple, easiest part of her business because she's not involved in the day-to-day. And yet that membership continues to grow and grow and grow and serve so many people of which, you know, she's been able to develop this relationship with those people in that membership.
And it's led to them joining her course and her backend membership, et cetera, which are all at higher price points. So it's all comes down to strategy and how you structure the content strategy and how you think ahead in terms of what you're providing and how you're helping people inside the membership.
And remember, it's not about the volume of content. It's about the speed of which people are able to implement your content and experience that progress.
Paul: I love that. And what's really interesting is the first step that changed our lives years ago and Dana and the others is once a year, you have a free membership workshop that you do.
And just us speaking right now in this current moment in time, I believe you're opening up registration for people to come in. I was wondering if you could speak into like what an average person would be able to expect from this free training.
Stu: Well, yeah, you're right once a year, we host this free workshop and it all starts on April 21st.
And so no matter when you're watching, listening to this April 21st is coming up, make sure you got marked down on your calendar. But it's a workshop that is designed to help people think through what a membership might look like for them. So if you're hearing this and you're thinking, you know what, like, I love the sounds of the predictability and stability in my business.
I love the sounds of being able to help people at a deeper and deeper level, but I don't know exactly what it might look like. Come join us for the free workshop, because this is exactly what we'll walk you through and you hear stories from people of all kinds of different markets, we have all kinds of different memberships.
And the goal of it is to get you moving down that path as quickly as possible. The goal of it, which by the way, And every year pass we've had people who have actually launched their memberships during the free workshop. So imagine and open yourself up to the possibility of that happening. It can and will happen this year as well, where we walk people through what that membership might look like, how that might be structured, how to even market and grow that membership.
And so. If you're in the beginning stages and it's right now, it's a fuzzy idea. It's something that you've been thinking about, come and join us. If you already have, you know, an audience that you know, would be perfectly suited for a membership, come and join us. And if you already have a membership, here's what I will tell you.
It will become one of the most valuable things for you. I know I've just recently spoke to Marta and she had a membership and it was kind of floundering and she was actually on the cusp of like, you know, giving up on. Well, during the free workshops, she learned about the success path, which we'll share in greater detail.
And it became the backbone of transformation for her in her membership. And because she finally learned how to structure her content. She also learned how to use that success path in improving her messaging on the front end, and it improved her marketing and all of which led to her membership growing, where she experienced her first six figure year this year.
Which was pretty incredible. And so I'm sharing this because at the end of the day, this free workshop is intense. It is all hands-on. We pour a ton of, into it with the goal to help move you through that process of beginning that membership. And we do it one time a year. This is it. Make sure you come and join us.
Melissa: Awesome. We know we're so excited about it. It's always the best training. Thank you so much, Stu, for your time today, we're super excited to dive into the workshop and thanks for answering our question.
Stu: Yeah, well, thanks for having me and thank you for being a great example of what a membership can make possible.
And I just hope that people come join us open themselves up to that possibility because now is an incredible time to be able to continue on building on the momentum of the last few years.
Paul: Excellent. Thank you.
Melissa: If you would like to learn how to make a membership work for your business, go to freemembershipworkshop.com.
Our good friends do McLaren hosts a once a year workshop, where he breaks everything down with memberships and how to make it work for your business. So go to freemembershipworkshop.com and sign up today.