We always get told to scale our services. But how much is enough?
Sometimes a small group of high value clients can be more efficient than a big group of basic membership clients.
But since VIP memberships will need more access and take up more of your time, maybe a basic membership with a lot of members is the best fit for you.
In this episode, we are discussing how you can find the right balance to create a membership with the right amount of people, at the right price point that will suit your needs and goals without consuming all your time and energy.
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3 Big Take Aways
- High ticket vs basic memberships – pros & cons
- How much is enough?
- Pricing as Ascension model
- Paul & Melissa’s Inner Circle – The private, practical, and personalized Business Mastermind for online entrepreneurs to help you build, launch, and grow your online courses and memberships.
- Social Prompts (formerly “Instaposts”): Create Engaging Social Media Content…In An Instant! Caption Prompts That Reflect YOUR Business & Brand Delivered Monthly. For Business Owners who are ready to create REAL relationships with their followers on social media through posts with substance.
- Adaptive Ads Course – The best Facebook Ads Course for busy entrepreneurs (just like you!) that transforms strangers into raving clients! A Facebook Ads strategy & marketing plan that tells you step by step what to do so you don’t waste money
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Melissa: So Kierra had asked, can you talk to any memberships that you've seen that aren't Ascension upselling to something else? Like if the membership is the only offer. Good question. Yeah. Yeah. Kierra, did you wanna hop on and explain anything with that?
Kierra: Hi, thanks. I didn't think my question would be for you.Thanks for offering this.
I've changed my business model over the past five years a ton. I was talking about it or at least I was last year about, first it was very hard tickets, so selling five to 15,000 offers. And then last year I stepped into like,just, just feeling burnt out, which was why I gave up the group and all the things of like, okay, how do I work with more people you know, in bigger spaces, but still have impact? Like, that's really, really important to me. and so I, you know, I started out with a $97 a month membership last year.I grew with like maybe 2000 a month. And then I was like, okay, I can sign a $2,000 VIP. This is not working. And I almost was going to close it, but then this year I said, I just went with it.
And I'm what I have done that I'm really excited about in late January,early February was I basically, I had two levels already. I just changed it up a little bit. So now it's like 200 a month, is actually changing it changed last week. it's like 2,500 for like a VIP level.
So that definitely helped having the two different levels where I'm tossing and turning with myself is, can I really have this business model where it's just a membership and I just bring people only to the membership and I don't upsell them into anything. I feel like from January to now, I see it working, but I'm starting to feel this itch of like, I think I need to bring a high ticket, like a five, not even a five,but like a $10,000 offer where, it's a mastermind.
I know that. I think you, you both have, you have like two levels where you have like a high level mastermind. I, had to get Mastermind, and then you have the membership. So I go back and forth, cause I want to overdeliver, I want to impact them.I want to give access. And I'm like, okay, here, you have to charge more for that.
You have to let it be a high ticket mastermind if that's the case. So that I don't have, I maybe only take 80 members or a hundred members right now I have 20, half of the VIP, the 2,500 and then half are the $200 a month.So I'm wanting to get it to like 50, to 100 somewhere in that space. I'm thinking like 80 as a middle ground, but I'm nervous about supporting that many people with the type of impact I want to have.
So I'm like, Oh, I think you have to bring a high ticket in, but I'm like, I don't know if I want that.I think I really just want the memberships. I'm wondering like what memberships you've seen, where it's like, we just had the membership and that's it. I don't know. I don't know why I need that, but
Paul: So I think, we should always begin with the end in mind. So for that membership, like how much do we want to manifest into our home? Because really this should be a means to an Whatever price we end up landing on. Like it does it serve our home? Does it serve our family? Does it serve the lifestyle we want or that money that we want to have saved or, or the impact that we want to make to make in our local community or the world? Like what are those numbers, right?
Because when we even think essentially like we have to have the Ascension model sometimes it's because when you start doing the numbers later,you know, afterthought, you're kind of like, ah, this is not going to make me enough money. Like I want to, I want to do like bigger, a better thing or something different.
Right? And a lot of us, especially coming into the membership model, we are brought into like, everything's about scale, scale,scale, bigger number, bigger number, bigger numbers, right? And of course, if you have 2000 people giving you X amount of dollars, you know, your dollar amount to get your goal could be a lot less than if you're serving 50 people, you know that, and they had the one average pay you more in order for you to hit your goal.You know?
So it's, so I think when we do look Ascension we have to look at it and just say, Hey, like this, you know what makes sense? You know, as far as what's really going to serve me, because even when you go higher ticket, that means you're going to have most likely higher access to you.And with that higher access to you, that normally means it's going to suck your time resource and your energy resource out of you.
So in a way, like for whatever that Ascension is for you to hit that number, is it really better off having 90 members where you think the 80 is the middle ground? Because if you get your 80 people,but then you're doing these private coaching things and they're taking like one on one time from you, even though you're getting more money, would you have been better off serving one to many in a 90 person format versus an 80 person?
You know what I mean? Because you would have expended probably the same amount of time and energy with the 90 people as you would the 80 and hit the same number at the same dollar amount. So I'd say on our end, you know, we, we have a very limited Ascension model, but it's not really, you know, truly an Ascension ourselves.
We, we actually created something. We look at what is your core offer that you really want to bring people into and what Melissa and I've done this past year is purposely created a triangle effect where each side feeds on the other side.So, you know, our, like for instance, our "Inner Circle" it's currently as of this video and it will increase in the future, but it's currently $397 a month.
Okay. So there's no longterm commitment there. But at that investment, like we have approximately 50 members that are in our membership and that allowed us to close our photography business last year.Okay. So we used to not ever, we used to have the real estate company and then we had to reinvent ourselves.
Well, last year we did over 5,000 corporate headshots. It was a very good year. We made just shy of $300,000 in photography. Well, we did very, very well also inside of our online space between "Instaposts" as a subscription service and "Inner Circle" . Then we also introduced the adaptive, our Facebook ads course, we didn't need the photography business anymore.
We got back our time and our energy. Like we could've kept both and doubled more than doubled our income, which is something that we want in our time.
Melissa: Yeah. And then one point when we were doing both, it was, it was a poll.It was a poll between the two and I just like it. And you always ask me the one question and that's just something I think everyone should, should ask themselves.
When you're feeling like that, like trying to build these things, how much is enough really at the end of the day, how much is enough? What is that number?And so if you can get whatever that is and whatever that represents for you, your family, the impact that you want to make, you might not need that high Ascension, you know, you might perfectly just have something really good going there with, with, with what you got and you get, you know, fill those seats and then you'll have that time resource to make impact in other areas to spend time with your family and you know,to do those other things too.
So I always, you, you, you brought that up. That how much is enough question and, and it's, and it's always like, whenever we're like, Oh, should we build this? Should we do? How much is enough? You know? And so it's, it's good to reflect on too. Yeah.
Paul: Creative entrepreneurs are very dangerous.
Melissa: Yes we are.
Paul: We don't know when to stop and we will keep building and keep growing and recreating and we'll burn ourselves out. Do you think like, just within your own model, because I, cause I firmly believe, you know, sometimes when we're in, I call it the bubble when we're in the bubble and we see what everybody else is doing,we then think we have to duplicate and do the things that everyone else is doing.
And what's, what's interesting is like when people come into our world, they're like, you know what? And when they actually said it earlier, she's a Trevor. She was like, I really liked that you made, you made me realize, like I don't have to do it like how everybody else doing. What's interesting is when she was like: "I really like that you made me realize , I don't have to do what everybody else does". It's like a bulb went off.
We break a lot of rules, you know, that, you know, are the recipes that everybody else gets. And I just like looking at it at $97 a month, you know, could that serve? You would, let's say you went to the 50 or the 80 people, but what you're building along the way,and as you improve, it could potentially be one $197?
And maybe you really, instead of 80 people, you really just need like the 50 people. And what's interesting is, you know, as you build it and you grow it and could it itself just by you slowly ascending the price point, that naturally becomes your ascension model, where as people naturally churn out of the membership for many different reasons,this potentially could be a thousand dollars a month membership to you for your members a year from now two years from now.
Like if you're looking not to actually do an Ascension model, but you need your having depression to think, like, how do you make more income with this? And all of you, like, if you're, if you're thinking about this differently,you can just move the decimal point over and just say, you know, like you might start off with a $10 a month membership or a $50 a month membership or whatever it is, does it have to be that number forever?
And then as you grow and you build more of a base in there, you know, I used to own a nightclub years ago and the people that came in before 10 o'clock like we hook people up,we needed a base crowd there. Like we, they didn't pay the cover charge. You know, they got a couple free drinks. We made sure we had a base crowd.
Cause when 11 o'clock hit and people walked in the door, there was nobody in the room, that person that was willing to pay the cover charge. that was willing to pay the money to come.They would look in and see nobody and they will walk out and go somewhere else. So it's like, we always had to have that base crowd.
Right. So it's like, you know, we always have the prime, the engine, you know, in our businesses. And just with all of us with memberships, like it's like, if you're just starting off in the first person buys and we're high,you know, high fiving and like really excited. And what's their experience when they come into the Facebook group and they realize they're the only one that bought buyers would be more sets in like, Oh crap, what did I do?
Nobody else is in here. You know? But how you starting off right now and where your price point is right now,where you adjusted it to doesn't necessarily mean that that's what the price point has to be a year from now or two years from now like that in itself, could you could build in your Ascension model by just raising the rent, law of supply and demand.
Yeah. I don't know if that would work for you.
Kierra: Yeah, that, that helps.I mean, that's what I did from last year. Even taking it from the 97 to the 200, it's been a huge difference. And also one other change I made was I actually made it a three month minimum versus a month to so that I can kind of help control that a little bit.
and I've changed the language of it to call it a 90 day sprint,like a visibility sprint versus saying like, Oh yeah, just come into the visibility circle. Like you could leave every month. Cause we all know visibility takes some time and you know, you need the elements. And so I really loved that. You said my takeaway.
So the pricing becomes my Ascension model like that literally that's what happened. And so that makes sense that that can definitely be it. One thing I know is that I have to pull back that VIP level. I just have to adjust that of what I offer in that so that it is scalable. The other thing that I really love Melissa, didn't even think about this was that you have a non access subscription and then an access subscription, which is the membership.And so for me, I'm like, okay, that's how literally the same things I'm probably given in the membership.
I can just have a non access level of it. There's obviously a different price point, but that definitely could help. The other thing I took away was I wrote that I can make impact in other ways. And so I think that's my biggest thing is that my heart is so there that I just like,Oh, I just, I don't want anybody to feel like a number or like, feel like it's too big and they're not able to talk to me, but it's like, well the membership is one level of impact, but maybe if my heart is not wanting to go, cause I've had a math mastermind, like 2017/2018, little bit of 19. And then I closed it and it's like, Oh, I don't want to do it. But I'm like from a money standpoint, I'm like, you need to. And it's like, well, no, maybe there's not maybe, but VIP days, retreats, workshops, boot camps, like doing those like smaller timeframe spaces.And then literally just let them come into the circle from there.
So let that be my like the acension is like, I don't have to have it open all the time. I can just say here I have five VIP days today, this mom and open them up. So I think those were, and then I love the last one is I love the family of like how much is enough?My fiance says that to me a lot. and then, yeah.
How does this serve my family? And even when I started the question, I was like, I don't even know why I need that. Cause a part of me is like, is it validation? Is it permission? Why do you need to ask someone, Hey,what models have you seen where it's only a membership, but I'm glad that I did ask. Cause you helped me think about some other things, but also just the reminder of like, what do you want for your family?
I don't have kids yet, but we will be starting in the next two years. So it's like, what does that look like for you?And just making sure that that's top of mind. So yeah.
Melissa: I love that.
Kierra: Thank you. I hope that maybe help. I don't want it to give my takeaways in case anyone else.
Melissa: That's fantastic. Thank you. I've got to help you. You're you're building something really awesome. So, I think this is good that you're getting just more clarity on it and you can really serve people in a way that's going to serve you too.So Yeah. All right.
Paul: So you made me think of something different. sorry. I'm always in serving, sometimes the other pieces that might be perceived Ascension, you might actually still want to drive people to your core offer. So as an example, like we do VIP days, it's $10,000 investment. And what that contrast does that then sets the stage.Cause not everybody 99.9% of the people are not ready, willing, and able in that position.
But then what it does, the contrast price point, it brings people in and says, Hey "Inner Circle" sounds pretty good at 397, you know? And so it's like, I can still get access, still have the same conversations over a longer period of time.So even if you don't want to sell as many of them, but you do want to sell into the membership, even at a higher price point just by you repositioning the price points of those.
If you really don't want to sell them specific, like we sell ours, but it's just something like you can purposely put it at a position where it doesn't sell as often.But it then because of the contrast and the positioning, because what you're doing is you're using the price point as a positioning point for them people to then reference off of your other offer.
And because otherwise, if, if you're, if your other higher price points sounds so attractive that nobody takes your core offer and they always take the higher thing, that means you definitely under priced there's other there's other things.Cause people grab up on them really, really quickly. And the, you might be undervaluing yourself in those cases.