Should you be inviting outside influencers into your membership groups?
The short answer is “Yes” – but only if you do it the right way.
In this episode, we are discussing how you can benefit from influencers and increase the value of your paid membership groups for its members without having competitors take advantage of your audience.
Having been influencers in other groups as well as having tie-ups with outside experts for their own groups, Paul and Melissa have experienced both sides.
Today they are sharing what it takes to build successful relationships with other experts to make your paid memberships more valuable and how becoming an influencer yourself can help you reach new audiences without being intrusive.
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3 Big Take Aways
- How to benefit by inviting influencers to your memberships
- How to avoid that competitors take advantage of your group
- How to reach new audiences by becoming an influencer in other groups yourself
- 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.
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Melissa: So let me hop over to Christian's question:
“I would love your thoughts on whether I should invite prominent influencers into our membership for free in exchange for promotions” That's a good question. Hmm. All right.
Paul: Christian, you wanna come on in and chat about this?
Christian: Yeah, just introduce Myself. Uh, I have a membership for a sports therapy community trying to help them to develop their career and also network with others.
But my full time role is a university lecturer. So I'm trying to see what I could reach out to other university lecturers, who I already know in the industry. Maybe bring them into the membership to then influence people who they then teach and moving forward. So it's kind of a trade off for getting them in for free in order to influence potential future customers.
Melissa: Yeah. Okay. Good. Good. we open up anyone have any thoughts on that? Anyone that does that in their communities right now with influencers and bringing them in and then we can open up ours. I know you always have thoughts. Yes, Belinda.
Belinda: I get guest experts in, as interviews, but I don't apart from sending them a call card. I don't give them access to ongoing, into the membership. I do try and align their interview with something they have going on because that's, that's really the offer you come in and you get to access to my group and you share your experience. But I have interviewed into other groups where I've got access to the membership ongoing,
and I feel a bit weird about that. Like it's very generous and I almost, I don't go in there because I, I don't, I'm not paying for it, but that's just a side thing. but I guess my point is you can still get guest experts in and having access to your community. I think that's a good exchange. You don't necessarily need to give everything away.
Christian: Yeah. And I think one thing that I've recently done to start a podcast, so yeah, I've got, people's almost to tap into their audience by inviting them on as guests. And it's almost like an interview style podcast. And, but it's just whether you invite influencers into the actual membership itself.
Belinda: Absolutely. One thing I also do is I, if I kind of have the “Hey, would you like to come on the podcast?” conversation, cause I have a copywriting podcast and I go: “that was a fantastic interview. I'd love it. If you are you interested in presenting to a smaller group who are in your ideal audience and we could potentially dig a little deeper.”
So you know, what my members do is they might hear the podcast and go: “that was incredible.” And then I'm like, “Oh, they're coming in and we're going to dig deeper into a couple of specific issues.” So I think if you group the invites together, you're more likely to get a double. Yes.
Christian: Great. Thank you.
Paul: We we've seen this on different ends, so I'm going to give you through the years of what we've done in different memberships. So the one thing that we've noticed, the longer that we've been in this space is when you step out of scarcity mode and into abundance mode and open yourself up to expanding your relationships and people that you would even feel are competitors in your space, you'll find a lot of times that you'll grow exponentially.
Now, it's not to say that we can't accidentally tap into somebody that has a hidden agenda and you just gave them a free pass. We have to be hyper aware of that. And I'll explain that in a minute. That a lot of times when, you know, when we've taken even ourselves and our memberships are like,no, no, it's just going to be us. It's just going to be us, nobody else, you know, type thing that, that scarcity, then, then it's like, well, you understand that? Like they don't just listen to your podcasts. They just don't go to your blog. They're not just in your free Facebook group.
Like they're in like that other person's Facebook group too, you know, and how we look at it is when you do invite these people in a lot of times, it's just like what Belinda was sharing as well is we normally make something out of it where we might do a guest interview or something like that, because what we're still trying to position ourselves as we're the expert, and this is the place you want to be because it does have all the resources here.
You don't have to go to 30 places. You can get it all right here, inside of this group, like we were bigger than “just us” type thing.
Now we do, we have had some people that have come in, even, you know, with our invitation and their social cues, they got very excited and they're really anxious. And like, they basically started spamming the group. They didn't know the boundaries, you know?
So you definitely want to make sure that you clarify boundaries and the couple, if then it's not, it doesn't have to be littered with rules or anything like that. We had one person is really weird. We had, one person that we brought in and like she started naming all of her programs, our name, like, it was really weird. It was like single white female. If you to watch that movie, it was just, it was like all sudden, like Melissa comes, you know, she comes out with Insta post and this person comes out with like Insta something else. And then we had this other program and then it's like, it sounded exactly the same.
And then like the copywriting was almost exactly the same while she's talking to our people, you know, while she had access into our spaces and everything. So I think that's more of the rarity than it is the, the law of average type type thing,
Melissa: I think for the most. Sorry, I think for the most part, people like when you give them the opportunity, come into your world, like they're super grateful for it and they're going to give lots of value. Like I know for me, even when I go and speak into other groups, like I give a hundred percent and I always am so appreciative when the leader says, and usually they're the ones who are like, you know, “let me, can we share something about you? Can we do as like give back?”
Because I, I, I don't hold anything back. I give a lot. And then just having that invitation where I can share a freebie with them, they're usually, I haven't had anyone say no to that. Usually most people, usually most people are like, what else can I share of yours? What else can we do?
You know? So, for the most part, I think people have really good intentions. And when you give them that platform and then, like you said, like in exchange for something and like a free something that they've got going on, they're usually super appreciative of that too. Yeah.
Paul: So the only, the only caveat outside of the (inaudible) give is that when you are building a Facebook group, especially on the free side and people do see that as desirable, you're naturally gonna have people that are going to request to come in a group that are influencers as well, and they're going to come in and they're going to be like, wow, this is a really good opportunity here.
And it's that delicate balance of making sure that your voice and your messaging in your purpose, on why you create the group, doesn't get drowned out and that you don't allow a space for other people to come in, become the influencer of your group.
Paul: That's the only balance that you have to be careful of that, you know, for us, Melissa and I are on a lot of these types of calls. We're pretty busy.
So it's like if somebody came in and they had all the time in the world and they were just like giving value in posting and like going in and like pushing the envelope below, but they're still within the roles all sudden they could be leaching and working off of that group so well that everybody thinks it's there, you know, and you know, that they're in the leadership role.
So that's just the, like the little caveat on that. But I definitely think like as long as these people have good boundaries and you have a good conversation with them, I'm here just to show you like the trust level, that people have. and I think it comes back to, you know, some, you know, these people that you're gonna most likely invite in, and you probably know them enough where there's these, you know, uh, where there's a certain level of trust. I dunno if I'd let third parties in that you don't know much about and you know, and that, you know, you're basically giving a free pass into, you know, but I would at least establish rapport.
Cause like, even to this day, like Melissa, we normally, uh, when it's a, we use e-comm live, we have our zoom. And sometimes Melissa is asked to come into a group and to speak in a group. And then what happens is because these accounts are actually a tied to my email address, like instead of us having a second zoom account or that you can live type thing.
So it ends up being my login. So what's interesting. What I found interesting is over the last couple of years, these people still have me as the admin.
Melissa: I'm like, ah…
Paul: it's really weird. I was like, I see who gets requested then these groups. Yeah. But it just shows the level of trust because I do nothing with that.
Right. And it, because they wanted us to go in live. And so we had to get admin access to, to do that, through the apps and stuff. But also what I noticed though, is that, over the last several years, because of that relationship and that rapport, Melissa gets tagged in those groups a lot.
So not only are they in there and it's another influencer, and this is a really interesting thing. And I want you to keep this in mind when you have this level of trust, these groups that I'm talking about, or not even the free groups, these are the inside the membership or inside that these are the buyers groups. So these are people that actually pulled money out of their wallet and paid to be in that influencers group that they trust most.
And I enough knowing that we're not going to spam their group, we're not going to leverage it, that they keep us in the group to participate in, give value into questions. And we get tagged a lot, in those groups now by default, indirectly people find us, but we have those social cues where we don't go in and overstep ourselves.
That's just the relationship that you would have, you know, One-on-one. I'm, I'm hoping that at least has a variety of information, might help you in making those decisions for your group.
Christian: Yeah. Great. Thank you.
Melissa: So welcome. Awesome. Good questions guys.
Paul: Can I add one more thing?
Paul: In the last several years in our pay groups, we have hired are some people that we feel are peers and have a certain level of expertise that can give value into our groups. We've actually, instead of just doing trade offs, it's like, we are very open to say, Hey, like this is something, that we believe it can help our members.
And it's not a topic we talk about all the time. We're willing to compensate four for that. If you can come in for maybe like an hour a month and do a live directly where everybody can ask you questions and everything like that. And we've had really great relationships over the years and undoing those types of relationships where it was almost like an extension inside of our pay programs is more like an extension,
like our team by having that person come in and more formally speak for like an hour or so, or be there for support.
Melissa: Yeah. And the members and the people in the group. They really appreciate that. Yeah. Cool.