7 Tips to Make your Membership Site the Best it Can BeBy
To make your membership site the best consider how you are going to operate it on a day to day basis. Remember how you start is what your membership will expect from you going forward. This is where your experience as a member of other membership sites will come in handy.
What do you like and/or dislike? Make of list of the features and benefits you want your membership site to have and then ask yourself “Can I maintain this for a year?” This is what stopped me for a long time, I just didn’t believe I could keep up with what I wanted to do so it took me years to start. Please don’t follow my example.
The following tips are from my personal experience with my own membership sites and ones where I have just been a member.
Start before you believe you can do it
We all judge ourselves and find ourselves lacking, this is usually what stops us from taking the steps to set up our first membership site. If you have to start simple, you have to start simple there is no shame in that. There are people out there who are just getting started and your “simple” would be a godsend.
Engage with your members
This is so necessary on many levels! When people first join your membership be sure to send them a “Welcome” email. You can also create a welcome video and place it in your membership site. Once they are members you want to be sure you are communicating with them on a regular basis. You can use the tools of your choice;
- Facebook comments
- regular calls or
- to name a few.
When you engage with your members on a consistent basis it makes it much easier to handle expectations.
Make your site easy to navigate
This is one of my pet peeves, I have left more than one membership program where the information was very poorly organized. How you organize will depend on the type of content you deliver. Whether it be audio, video, graphics or text each format presents its own challenges. Be sure to keep your naming conventions consistent, this means your members will know what they are looking for each time. Do your very best to use titles containing keywords you believe your members will search for. If you have a lot of content or are planning to have a lot of content be sure to use categories, this makes any search so much easier!
One little hint, if you provide links to your content be sure to add nonsensical characters somewhere in the URL. This will prevent people from guessing what the URL of your next lesson will be and finding it without paying.
Study the membership sites you belong to
This is where you can really find your likes and dislikes. Spend time looking at everything available, click all the links, open all the documents and you also want to conduct a few searches. Search for something vague and see what happens, do you like it? Take a look at the comments other members are making. Are they asking for more features, if so what features? Are they complaining about something? If so make a note to ensure you don’t make the same mistake. What are they praising or actually using the most? Take a close look at these as you may want to implement the same feature/function. I am sure you are also a member of a few paid Facebook groups that are treated like memberships sites, look at those too. Facebook offers lots of different functions, some of which you will be able to apply to your membership site. Find the features you like and use them to make your membership site the best it can be.
Test out challenges, events and or contests
Every group is a little different, what works very well with one does not necessarily work well with others. I remember the first time I ran a contest with an iPad being the grand prize, I was expecting to get 100’s of new optins and I got 1000’s! However, there were definitely lots of freebie hunters in there. In retrospect, it was not the best idea for my market, at least the way I did it wasn’t, but I did learn lots! I participate in lots of events and many of my subscribers are glad I did because they get exposed to tons of new information and different options of how to get things done. Test out what you believe your ideal client would like and find out.
Gamification can greatly enhance the involvement of your members. From Wikipedia “Gamification is the application of game design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.” “Gamification can also improve an individual’s ability to comprehend digital content and understand a certain area of study”
When you implement gamification you help your members;
- Move through all the steps of your training/membership
- Increase the engagement and hopefully enjoyment for your members
- Provide prizes and rewards as they move through your process
- Motivate members to complete all the steps in your process(s)
All of these factors increase your member retention in fact when it’s fun they keep coming back.
Listen to your members, what are they asking for
All your members, the good the bad and the ugly can contribute and make the membership site an even better place. Members will come up with suggestions and ideas when they know you are open to them, therefore it’s best to take them all under consideration, even the complaints. One of the complaints I received a few years back was about not being able to find what they were looking for. This led me to find better ways to organize the information and make things more obvious from the first moment you join the membership. When you provide your members with what they want rather than what you think they want you will definitely find more engagement and retention.
If you are considering implementing your own membership site I highly recommend the new JVZoo Member platform.