In this episode, we are discussing how to avoid the most common mistakes when starting your membership and how to create a great experience for your members.
- producing deliverables that people are really looking for
- meeting your audience’s individual expectation
- establishing clear communication
- how to make your content available
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3 Big Take Aways
- What mistakes to avoid when creating your membership
- How to create a fun and engaging environment
- How you can really benefit from a good off-boarding process
- Paul & Melissa’s Inner Circle – The Inner Circle with Paul & Melissa Pruitt 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 Membership – Adaptive Membership 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!
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Melissa: All right. So we're going to move over to Meg.
Meg: My question is, can you give me some more tips on things I can do to make my whole new membership go smoothly? Like what are some of the biggest mistakes you guys have made?
Not that you've ever made a mistake, either one of you, but just like anything that you think is kind of, you know, oh my God, I shouldn't have done that. Or, or, oh my God. I'm so glad we did this. Like just at your top tips.
Melissa: Good question.
Paul: Is this before or after the sale?
Meg: Either way, either way. I'd say after I say after once it, once the train is moving.
Paul: So anybody to share any lessons learned along the way of things? Yeah,
Melissa: go ahead, Patty.
Patty: This is just a simple one, but I've recognized that I have trained my people that I send them lots of emails about every time we're meeting and that I like the way your emails come through on the weekend, on Sunday at the same time.
And you tell them, and it's their responsibility. And so now I'm, I just did that with my founding members. So now I'm backing out and saying, okay, no more of that. they get one email. If they show up that's their responsibility. And if they don't, then they'll have to figure it out.
Paul: So anyone else have any tips?
Melissa: Lessons learned?
Paul: Even if you've experienced it from a member, like something that was a little awkward or maybe something incredible that you experienced as a member that you think is a great system or tool or things that people have done. Oh yeah, yeah, sure.
Sharon: So in my group, I have a section that contains zoom meeting recordings, and I edit all those and I have a RSVP system set up so I can tell who's coming. And so if, if very few people have RSVP to a talk, then I will send them a message saying, Hey, you didn't RSVP because what happens is people forget about RSVP and then they show up.
But I never know if they're going to show up and whether they're going to show up late or anything. So that seems to help. And then if they miss it, they've always got the recording, which is, as we all know, we don't tend to watch previously recorded things because it's when you're live, the time goes fast when you're watching it on a replay it's like drags on forever.
Paul: That's great. Thanks. Thank you, Sharon. And Jackie,
Jackie: I was going to say, good morning. Sorry. I forgot where I was. Yeah. One of the things I really enjoy about a membership I'm in is they recently started like a calendar sync-up and so all lives and classes and things sink straight into my calendar.
So when I go to plan my week, I can see where they are and not miss them, which is handy for different time zones. So I love that as being one of the best things.
Paul: Excellent. Love it. And does anyone else have any input? Oh yeah.
Patti: In my membership they can download audio only so that having to sit and listen to things, especially for my people, they're always moving. They're never sitting. So that's a nice thing. I think, where you can give it to them in multiple different formats.
Paul: I love that it's private podcasts are, I mean, Apple . Just announced that.
And a few other companies that are last couple of years have created private podcast players in order to do private podcasts. So which are more like paid versions of podcasts. So I think that's something we're going to see more and more of like have your free content on the outside. And then there's, there'll be another layer for your paid memberships. I think that'll be great.
And I see Rose , you have your hand up .
Rose: I have a private podcast for both my private . Clients to get everything recorded and delivered in the private podcast, as well as from a membership.
In addition to the videos that I record. I also do reminder, I think you guys do the same. Right? You send out the emails, what was covered and you put those chapters in your email, in the videos. Yeah. Yeah. I do the same thing. So people know what the missed and then they could go back and search for that as well as if I see who opens the email and who doesn't.
So I sent that same followup email for each life session a few days later to everyone who didn't open up the email. So I'll do a quick segment, which I deleted afterwards. And I'll just resend that for people to be reminded what . They missed.
Then I sent one email just before the next session, the day before. Excellent.
And the other thing, I started with no content. So it's all live sessions recorded. But so far I had a concept about once a month an expert, once a month, a Q and a once a month, in my case I do an open mic. We had one open mic because there are songwriters and then masterminds. And so what happened, which is interesting several times in a row, from what I hear that people want it already, like the next session gets created like last week QAA had a question and one member said, well, you're open for suggestion.
And she said, I am really good in goal setting. I could teach you that. And I said, do you want to be our next expert? So today was our expert for goal setting, which was brilliant. So if you are like me starting out with no content, then as such as just listen, very keenly to what they're saying, the questions they are having.
And I ask them a lot, what do you need? And also really take that feedback in terms of what works and what doesn't work. I highly recommend that too, because I had one student who was basically, I apparently cut him off I didn't realize it.
I wanted to contribute, but he felt cut off. And he was already not to, if you want it to renew, because he's low on money right now that he could think he could pull it off. So that created this whole, why would even stay if you cut me off kind of conversation, but I just listened, you know, really listen keenly, what does he need? What does he want? And that was this woman who was like, oh, I can help you with the goal setting. And, you know, he just needed to be heard, I think, and he said, "Now I want to give it another try".
And another member was like, well, I think I can help you with this and that. So it's a little daunting because I have nothing pre recorded. And sometimes I feel like, am I bringing enough value? But what I'm getting is people want to be heard. if you listen and implement, I immediately implemented what the suggested last week we needed to be able to find the attachment.
I can't find the attachment. So now there's a link where at all the attachments, one person didn't find this zoom link, even though it's in every fricking email, I have a link in the hub for the . Zoom immediately, what do I need? And I implement. So as such as that too, because we're learning how to run our membership. Right. And they give us the feedback.
Paul: Yes. Thank you. That was a lot of great points and spin it over to Melissa. Do you have any bumps and bruises?
Melissa: Well, I know Janell Said it here too. She typed it in the chat about a clear and clean, simple onboarding process. So definitely that would be an a and just a theme with everyone that everyone's been talking through.
It's like making sure that people know where things are. I think that's the biggest . Thing and answering those questions before they even ask the question.
So that's the reason why we send out that Sunday email for all of our memberships, where we list out, Hey, here's the calendar of the events here's, what's going on.
We have it posted on a regular basis every day in the Facebook group itself to remind them as well.
When we do replays of calls, we say, Hey, the replay is up. Here's where you could find them.
you're constantly in, throughout your membership, any process that you can do just to make it easier for people to find things, because everyone gets busy or people forget. So rather than wait for them to ask those questions,
be proactive by making it just a really smooth, clear process from a consumer point of view. So I am a member. You guys probably know that I've Peloton.
And one of the things I love about Peloton, and again, just like things is having things that are just fun. Like they're really good with gamification. So I go on there to get all my little badges and things like that.
So anything that you can do in the membership to create a fun environment, whether it's like earning points or badges or contests, do get them to participate in things. And it doesn't even have to be for anything like crazy. It could just be like, just, you know, just fun things to do in the community to get them to engage.
think that's also another really great point to have if you have those throughout your membership as well, just to have some fun with them, it's, all about creating that engagement and in that community with it. So, yeah.
Paul: So I'm gonna add a bunch of points that are going to be completely different. Yeah.
I'm going to pick on Peloton for a second in a different way. So Melissa is all about the gamification. She's about the competitiveness and everything, and they put that in there, but they also have this little section called scenic ride for people like me that don't want to be on the competitive thing and don't want to compete and see that I'm like in the lower third of the leaderboard and getting into my head and everything.
So don't assume that every single member came for the exact same thing. And that's what I want to reinforce. Don't be the teenager that is like, how come you went silent on texts? Where are you at? Are you okay? Are you, are you mad at me? There's something wrong. You haven't replied yet. I see you. Didn't read your T you didn't get back to me yet.
What's going, you know what I mean? Like you don't want to be the anxious teenager trying to date somebody. Right? And I say that jokingly, because some of us are really caught up on seeing our consumption numbers.
And at the same time, planet fitness became a multi-billion dollar company banking on the fact that 99% of their people will not walk back in the gym and use a piece of equipment.
Because if they did nobody would that you would be out the door. Because the average gym has over 8,000 members and they can't even fit 800 people in the gym at one time. Like . They're banking on not all the people using it, you know?
So, what I just want you to keep in mind is that even in our "Inner Circle" which is our highest price point, we have certain members not there specifically to talk to us every single day of the week.
They are moving bigger decisions. And they pop in every couple months, just to ask a very specific question that is important to them and have that access in that moment or that decision.
And sometimes it's just to revalidate something, they already believe that they're going to do. They just trust us. And that opinion, while we have other members that are there, every single call. Right?
So just don't think that every single person is coming in for your entire menu. They might just be coming in for the dessert.
They might just be coming in for the appetizer and that's their user experience and be okay with that. Don't make them feel awkward that you're trying to push them to consume the entire meal when they only came for one piece.
So I just want for all of us, because you have some people on some of your memberships, they're there maybe because to them, you're a celebrity. And it's more of them socializing outside of their household to be able to tap in.
We have certain memberships that, that people don't make the live calls because either they can't or just not for them, but then they consume the replays. So for them, the value is the replay, you know?
So I just, just don't make an assumption because we made the assumption years ago that like we needed everybody, then be indoctrinated on every single step of every single thing that we were offering. We're the membership owners. So we're the one that's living this entire experience. Like it's a hundred percent of our business and life, but the membership end user, this can be less than 1% of their lives.
Like they're participating in the membership just for a moment. It's not the most important thing in their day. They got other things going on in their life but they love it. And they want to be part of it, but it might not necessarily be like a 10 or 20% item in their life. So don't make them feel awkward in that experience.
The other thing is, when you want to change things in your membership, that could impact the deliverables. Definitely always survey your members. We do twice a year, we're coming up on it soon that we'll resurvey in our memberships doesn't necessarily mean you need to take all the suggestions, but when you, when you do, we'll ask for feedback and you'll get varying degrees of feedback that you'll get and take, take that to heart.
Cause there could be things that you didn't realize or that you . Could fix. And it also allows you because you do it independently, privately. It allows you to not have to lean into every comment. And every suggestion, when you go into a Facebook group or into a community and like,
Hey, what do you guys think? You know, then it's a dangerous point because you're allowing them that don't have the risks, don't have the perspective that you're on and your membership that have too much control over your entire thing.
Cause they'll crowdsource all kinds of fun and crazy ideas. That'll spend all your money all your time, all your energy, and will burn you out because it's not their resources, it's yours.
So you just want to be careful. And in years past we did not survey people like in our previous photographer membership. And we did deliverables that we thought like, this is incredible. We're building the most incredible thing ever. And it really was, but it wasn't why people came to us. So we're spending stupid amount of money on resources and all kinds of extra things.
And it, it actually just created more debt in our business. Like we were just giving money away because the people didn't come to us for that.
So just be careful on new deliverables that you do to make sure actually what people want, which I think is very important. So hopefully there's a few things.
Melissa: That was a great question.
Yeah. Lots of good stuff.
Paul: Can I, one more, sorry. Everybody focuses on onboarding experiences, which is very key because that's the first impression that you bring somebody in also be really good at your off-boarding. Cause how many of us go to cancel or leave a membership? And we're treated like trash suddenly.
We have had a lot of people come back into our programs because of how professional, how easy we make it because we don't, we don't treat it emotionally like, oh my goodness, we did, you know, it's a fair trade. And I just want to understand that is that when somebody invests in your membership and they pay for this month and you give value this month, that was a fair, equal trade. That's what the promise was.
So of next month, there's a different decision that's being made. Don't take that as a personal attack. Don't take it as a personal attack and too many small business owners do. And they end up creating a very bad, you know, it's kind of like when you're paying me, you're on my team. And then when you're not, you're the enemy.
It's like, how many of us have been treated that way in situations like, oh my goodness, like I would've came back to you. I was just in a rough spot where I was just like reevaluating for a couple months during the summer. Cause we're going to travel or something, you know, you get treated really bad.
So you should just as much have a really good off-boarding experience because you don't know that person could be one or two things. They can either come back in the future and, or there's still going to be one of the biggest raving fans while you're not a perfect fit right now for where they're at. They could be one of your best referral sources and still sing your praises afterwards.
Melissa: Awesome. All right. Thanks for the question. That was a good one.