June 15, 2009
Got A Membership Site?
HERE IS WHY YOU NEED ONE!
|Number Of Members||MONTHLY||YEARLY|
|Number Of Members||MONTHLY||YEARLY|
|Number Of Members||MONTHLY||YEARLY|
|Number Of Members||MONTHLY||YEARLY|
Do those numbers do anything for you? They sure do for me! I put them right on top because if I don’t hook you right now, you could be losing thousands of dollars a month if you don’t read this.
I don’t care if you are just starting off in your new business be it online or offline i.e. A Brick and Mortar business, are a non-profit or even a Church. Membership sites can do those numbers and more, and I will show you how and why.
I had started to write a few paragraphs on the subject, but then I began thinking about all of the questions that I have gotten over the years about Membership Sites and decided to try to answer as many of them as I could. The other reason that I am posting this now with typos and all before my editor looks it over rather is so that I do not commit one of the worst 3 mistakes you can make in Membership Sites and specifically in marketing period. Read below to see what I am talking about.
Do you see why I spell Membership $ite with a dollar sign?
But first, a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind.
- Would you like to add a lot of cash to your bottom line in the next 7 to 10 days? Say $250 – $20,000 or more. (I realize a “lot” is relative here)
- Would you like to finally get residual income from your blog posts, products, or even Brick and Mortar customers?
- Can you handle making money while you sleep?
If you answered yes to any of the above then you are in luck. Actually I think luck does happen, but I also think that you are here because you are supposed to be. Because you are searching for a way to make more money for yourself and the kicker is that I am going to show you a way for you to make your customers happier at the same time.
I would hazard to guess that more than likely you do not have a Membership Site as you probably would not be here reading this although, maybe you have one and it is not working as well as you had hoped it would. Regardless if you have one or not, hopefully after reading this you will start putting yours together correctly and I mean as soon as you are done reading this.
Did you know that a Membership Site can add 200% to 300% or more to your bottom line within the next 7 days? With those types of numbers ( I know you may not believe this yet, but those numbers might be conservative and I will show you why in a couple of seconds.) I can’t think of any better way to increase profits and customer satisfaction than having your very own Membership Site. If I can hold your attention for the next 30 seconds take a look at some numbers here that I have put together for you and I bet you will stick around and read the rest of this.
Let us take a look at the WHY, WHAT, HOW, and WHAT IF. (by the way, you should be using this formula in all of your marketing. I will explain why in a later post or if you are a member you will get a full audio explaining this shortly)
Why you need a Membership Site is because you can add money to your bottom for a negligible investment of both time and out of pocket expense, and give your clients more real and perceived value.
Lets say that you only have 687 people on your mailing list although it could be 10 times less or 10 times more.
Lets say you put up a Membership Site and you get 8% of your people to join or around 50 members and you charge $9.98 per month. We will round that up to $10 for easy math. With 50 members paying $10 you just added $500 per month or $6,000 per year to your income.
Here again are some other Membership Numbers to look at as well. No pie in the sky numbers mind you.
21to21.com MEMBERSHIP $ITE NUMBERS
|PER MONTH>||$10||PER MONTH >||$20|
|# OF MEMBERS||# OF MEMBERS|
|PER MONTH>||$30||PER MONTH>||$50|
|# OF MEMBERS||# OF MEMBERS|
Now there are a lot of memberships that charge $99 to as much as $999 per month, with quite a few in the $200 to $400 range.
But the numbers above are within reach of most even modestly successful business that have more than a few hundred clients.
Most Businesses with products or services that have value and integrity no matter what it is, can get their Membership Site up to 500 members at $10 per month and keep it there long-term. And I would venture to say that if you work diligently and avail yourself of some basic marketing techniques, you can get up to 2,000 Members or more.
A Membership Site Can Provide You
With More Money And
A Better Experience For Your Customers
I am going to cover a number of “WHATs” here.
What a Membership Site does for you is raise not only the perceived value to your clients but, but also the real value as well. Not only that, it is great for your business. I honestly don’t know of a better business model for anyone that is trying to break into the Online business or even for those of you that already have an Online business. They can also be used as a springboard for those companies that don’t have an Online presence as well.
There a quite a number of reasons for all of this and I will name name a few that I think are relevant.
1. It allows you to give better quality and focused content. This is because even using just our first example of 50 members at $10 per month, it will give you an incentive to give them your best information if for no other reason than to make sure they stay members. This is especially true if you are just starting out. Because of the income your Membership Site will produce you will be able to spend more time and effort on what is in your membership site.
2. While I give away a ton of my best information, it would be unfair to devalue “the best of the best” information by giving it away for free versus giving it to my paying clients. Also, quite a bit of what I do, I do not want out there for everyone and their mother in-law to see and use as it would hurt my own businesses. Which is where I implement and develop the information and techniques in the first place.
3. It allows you to focus and fine tune content, and it allows you to sell your content over and over again as you get new clients in.
4. It is the easiest way that I know of for someone with knowledge to develop product. It is faster than writing a book, wood book (printed) or even an eBook.
5. The investment can be minimal and range from about $0 to $25,000. Even with the latter number, it is in a drop in the bucket when you think about how much it can cost to start a “Regular” Business. You can get a fully functioning Membership Site Installed for less than $130 and we have them as low as $75.
6. You can start right away even before you have a lot of content. (I explain why in just a bit)
7. It is probably the simplest way for most people to Automate their business and start bringing in residual income.
What a Membership Site is, is simply a way for you to make information private. Privatize documents, audios, videos, forums, or even blog posts private and charge for them.
The how part is both as easy and as hard as you want to make it. A Membership Site can be as easy as you going to your website and setting up a private directory that you password protect. Now you can have one password or spend a minute giving each new member their own password that they have to use to gain access to the information. Most hosting services have how-to instructions for doing this. Cost? ZERO!
For instances you have a Blog, just password protect the directory it is in and presto, you have a membership site.
Then there are other options that range from about $100 to about $25,000+ to get something that is close to Facebook or MySpace in functionality. I will give you three examples of different types of Membership Software and set ups that I use for myself and my clients. Each has pro’s and con’s. Each has different costs and benefits. There is no one size fits all solution for everyone.
There are dozens and dozens of different Programs out there and I think that at one time or another I have tried almost all of them. Most have some real drawbacks that do not become apparent until after you purchase them and try to use them. Getting the wrong one can really bite you hard in wasted time, wasted money, and wasted opportunity. You can spend days, weeks, or ever months tweaking them and still not have them do what you want them to. We are talking potentially hundreds of hours of wasted time that you could be using to create more content or a better product for your clients.
Even the ones that I use all involve tweaking, but we seem to have hit upon three work horses that we have modified a little or a lot that work rather well depending on your situation and your audience.
You can go out there, buy one, try and install one of them and set them up yourself. You can spend days, weeks or months going through the learning curve, or you can hire someone like 21to21.com do all of that for you. You will save yourself the hassles and the headaches, and wasted money both spent and earned.
Warning – There are a ton of dirt cheap Membership Site Programs out there. Some I have have seen for as little as $27. Sounds great, looks good. The problem is that many have big gaping security holes in them that are susceptible to getting hacked big time. Not only can you lose your members and your data, but end up losing your hosting account too if they upload a virus on you server. The reason I know this is because it happened to me. We caught it in about an hour but it was not good. No fun at all. Now this was a couple of years ago and that was when I really started digging into Membership Sites.
After about two dozen plus trials of different software configurations, thousands of dollars, and hundreds and hundreds of hours later I have come up with three really good solutions that will fit pretty much every need possible that I have run into. Descriptions and pricing are at the end of this.
Pricing And Incentive For Your Membership Site
This is the age old question and one that does not have one right answer. You can start low say even $4.95 a month and attract a lot of visitors who will more than likely stay around for a while as long as you have good content or charge $50 per month if it is niche information of high value. You can even charge $200 per month or more if you think you have something that is a real hot commodity, and has a bunch of bells and whistles.
The upside with the lower pricing is that it should be a no brainer sale but there is a perceived value stigma attached. It is cheap so it must not be that good. I have actually have a membership site which was priced at $4.95 per month. When I raised it to $27 per month I got more sales. Same exact info. Just different pricing and a different perceived value. Go figure!
But one of the things that I do like is to have a tiered membership program that allows you to get the best of both worlds. You can have two or more pricing levels of membership. We do this ourselves. We actually have two levels at this time which are $27 and $47 per month, each with a $1 dollar 14 day trial period.
Our members get a huge 50% discount on two of our Membership Installation Services and they get first crack at any of our training modules or products as we have a number of limited space educational products. One level also gets a new eBook as well.
It is up to you how you want to incentivize but you should do it in some way to help get people get over their fear of the unknown. If you have a good program like we do, you know that once they get in they are going to find tons of value for them to stay around for a long time.
With a multi-tiered membership program, you let them decide how committed they want to be. Now if you have more than one level you are going to have to differentiate the content and value. Perhaps you give the information to the higher level first or your throw in bonuses such as Webinars, conference calls, reports, audios, videos, books, consulting etc.
The best thing to do is to try out a couple of price points and see what happens. You can also check out what your competition is doing and tag along. But 9 times our of 10, they won’t have a Membership Site or if they do, it is not run that well.
Last but not least, how much would you pay for your information? Are you a member of any Membership Sites, how much do you get and how much do you fork out for it?
Do Not Make These 3 Deadly Membership Site Mistakes
I have seen this with my own clients and finally learned the hard way about these three mistakes that will mess you up and can cost you thousands of dollars in profits.
The biggest mistake by far is waiting until you get all of your content just right before starting your Membership $ite. After several clients in one quarter did this, I have learned to spot them a mile away. I personally will drop a client like a hot potato that does any one of these three things.
- They fiddle fart around and want to get all of the content perfect, they rewrite it 20 times and it takes days or weeks to get one little piece of content out. If you are an anal retentive perfectionist, this is not going to be a lot of fun for you. And frankly, while I love to do things right, if you want to be a client, expect to pay a lot for this as it will take 3 to 4 times as long to do your site. But if you have the money, then we will be glad to help.
- They don’t have “time” to put content into the site. Both of these will ruin your membership site before it ever gets off the ground.
- They Dork around with the “design” until it is just perfect. In the meantime weeks or months go by and with it lost revenue and opportunities.
I have yet to see any Membership Site that can’t be ready for a Beta run in 7-10 days once you get the software installed. An exception to this would be if you are building a monster site with video, blogs, audio, and self-made profiles (See Backbone #3 below). Those can take about a month to get up. But even then, the foundations are usually ready in only 7 days.
Now this was not always the case and it has taken me a while to figure this out.
But I like to say that even if it is your very first Membership Site, you can start making money from it in 10 days or less in most cases. And often times as soon as 72 hours after the software is installed if you just focus on content and let someone handle getting the software going for you.
$ Anderson’s Instant Content Creation Tip
Now a Tip for drastically speeding up your content creation is to simply record audio and then have it transcribed. This can be in the form of having someone ask you questions or you just talking into a mike with a basic outline of what you are talking about in front of you.
I will put in the word count on this particular post as I have a feeling it will be a rather long one, ( it is about 6,200 words) but if I were to do an audio of this and then have it transcribed over at YakWrite.com, it would cost me around $25 dollars for this. So if you put post 1 piece a week like this you are looking at $100 in expenses.
Lets see here now, if you have 250 members at $20 that is $5,000 divided by lets say even 10 hours of work that is $500 per hour! I challenge you to show me any other “legal” business where anyone, no matter what their education level is, that has some expertise in virtually any field or niche, can make that kind of money with only that amount of time invested.
Set up a deadline that you will have it up by. Be it 3 days if you are really gung ho or better yet, I suggest a 7-10 day schedule. You can do it. This is not government work. Mark it on your calendar “Membership Site Launch.” Now Mark your date and then I want you to add 5 more days and then put, REAL Membership Site Launch Day. If you get it done on the first date, great, but more than likely it will take you a few extra days to get it right.
Now lets not look at pie in the sky numbers. Do you think you could get 250 peoploe in the whole planet to pay you $30 per month for the valuable information that you have to give? I am willing to bet that you do. If you are a Brick and Mortar company I will show you how you can use your walk in customer base to make money from a Membership Site no matter what you are selling.
|# OF MEMBERS|
Now the launch does not have to be any more than sending out an email to your list, putting up a blog post or doing a twitter announcement. Or you can do the whole launch dog and pony show, it is your call. The most important thing is to get it up and let you customers and visitors know it is there.
Now here is the CHECKLIST:
- Figure out what software you are going to use and if you are going to try and pull a Lone Ranger or call in the Cavalry for back up. Unless you have done this before, I seriously vote that you pull in the cavalry, even if you don’t use our great services.
- Layout your content flow. Click Here to see my post on Bubbl. It is a great way to lay things out.
- Create the content. Use my instant content creation trick or even dig up your regular info and integrate it into your Membership Site.
- Launch Your Membership Site and start making money!
It really can be that easy. Plan on spending some time getting it ready. While you really can do it in 10 hours and for only a couple of hundred dollars, most people will end up spending more time than that on it. But regardless, once you get it set up right you are good to go, and then it is a matter of adding content and marketing.
$ Anderson’s Membership $ite Marketing Secret
Probably one of the easiest ways to Market your Membership Site is through your own members. Set up an affiliate program that pays your members anywhere from 20% to 75% of the monthly membership dues when they recruit other members.
Very few Membership Site Programs have this built in. Especially for recurring payments. There is an an affiliate solution for all three of the systems that I use. (one of them is not integrated but still works)
If your members like what you have, they can spread the word like wild fire and grow you Membership Site faster than anything else. Now if your site is crap, this will not work of course. But you won’t have to worry about that because you are going to follow my guidelines for setting it up.
Now even though you are paying part of your proceeds to your members for bringing in other ones, this means that you will also build a bigger base for everything that you are doing.
After all this is said and done and lets say you already have 5,000 people that are following you either on your blog, on twitter, or are actual clients. You start the Membership Site process today and 10 days later you put the word out and you get 500 members to sign up at $30 a month. That could be $15,000 dollars a month in your pocket or $180,000 per year. Or for that matter you only get 100 members and charge them $10, that is still $1,000 per month and $12,000 per year. What will you do with that money?
No matter how large or small your client or readership base is, the most important and easiest thing that you can do to improve your bottom line and put money in your pocket fast, is to have a Membership Site.
When you sign up for our Membership, we offer a 20% commission. We are a bit on the low side because our members stick with us for a long time and because of this, we can put the the extra money back into the information and research. So if someone signs up 5 people, they are in for free. Or if they offer it to their list, then they can make several hundred dollars a month and be doing their clients a favor at the same time.
Now you can offer anywhere from 10% to 90% commissions or somewhere in between. I go over pricing in a new study we are doing. The best answer is to test.
21to21.com Membership Site Options
We have 3 different types of Membership Site Software that we use. Then we have a basic installation and a Full Support installation. All purchases include installation and basic set up.
Types of Membership Site Service
Basic – Pay us a flat fee, then a small monthly maintenance fee to make sure your site is up and running, and to take care of upgrades, etc.
Full Support – We partner with you, set up the site and then do almost all of the heavy lifting and we split revenues with you anywhere from 15% to 50%. With the standard being 20%. This may include assisting with marketing, branding, SEO and more.
With our Full Support setup, if we set up your Membership Site do the maintenance and get everything is running smoothly help you bring in 500 members at $20 per month, you would net about $96,000 a year. And you could conceivably be only spending about 2 hours a day on the site.
This is the one that I prefer for obvious reasons as it involves the potential greatest benefit for both parties in that it allows you to concentrate on turning out content and get your Membership Site done for the lowest cost possible. It also allows us to build and design the best Membership Site possible as we won’t see a profit unless it does work out.
As you can imagine though, I have have become ultra picky about whom I work with on these as this has the most risk for us in case the client flakes out and does not deliver the content as promised. If you do sign up for this one, be prepared to work your tail off and be able to meat deadlines on delivery of the content.
Otherwise, I will not waste my time with you. If you have a decent sized client base, this is by far the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to get set up as you really only pay us only after you are bringing in money. We do require deposit to make sure that you keep your end of the bargain and have monthly payment that gets waived as long as you keep the content delivery on schedule. If you have content, have an audience, and want to put money in your pocket right away, this is the one for you. You can drop thousands of dollars into your Bank Account very, very quickly.
Membership Site Backbones
Silver – This is perhaps the simplest Membership Site Backbone that we use. We use your WordPress blog as a content source and then are able to selectively make portions of the content available only to members. You can have several different membership levels. This usually can be set up in about 72 hours. Training time takes about an hour or two. Click Here for a Demo of what I am talking about. This is OK if you just want to do something quickly and it is probably the easiest to run. If you want something that is quick and dirty and it really can do the trick for a lot of people this will work. Plus, we can upgrade you from #1 to #2 easily if you want to upgrade at any time.
Price for the Basic Silver Membership Site Installation is $199
Price for the Full Support Silver Installation Membership Site is $149 and 20% profit share with a minimum maintenance fee of $29 per month.
Gold Membership Site Installation – Our Gold Membership Site is very sophisticated and probably my favorite overall because it can be set up in a day and has some great benefits. It has a built in and integrated Affiliate function that allows you to get Affiliates to help you sell your Membership and it can drip content out a little at a time so that if someone signs up today and you have other people that signed up two months ago, they won’t all have access to all of the information at once. The person that just signed up will get the content given to them a little at a time. This is the one that I use on this site.
One of the things to remember is that you do not want to overload your Members with information. While a few will like it (these people are referred to as information sorters by the way and make up only about 5% of the population), most will not, will become lost, and will quit being members.
Pay Per Play Option And Service Available On Gold Membership Sites
The Gold Membership Site also has the ability to deliver pay per view content. If you viewed or hear of the Secret a few years back, that was a pay to play video that made tens of millions. If you don’t know what it is, let us say you have an instructional video that shows how to build a better mousetrap in only 30 seconds and you know that it is valuable. Well, we set it up so that people can watch the video say 3 times for $4.95. They hit the button, make a payment and they are taken to the video and can watch it three times and after that, they can’t view it anymore. Now you can charge any price you like for it or just make it available to be viewed by your members. It can be an Audio, Video, or even a Document. Perhaps a better name might be “Pay Per Access”.
Here is a demo of the pay per view it if you want to see it in action. This will cost you $2.00 to see how it works. If you purchase any of our Membership Site services, I will refund you $10 if you watched this demonstration just to make it worth it.
Also you will see when you sign up for this, there is an affiliate link too. Us it and let other folks know about this and you can make $1 every time someone tries it out.
This will give you a feel for what not only the Pay Per Play is like but the Membership site as well. You can also skip down to the bottom of the page and Demo our 21to21.com Membership site and get this included. Your call, I just like to give you options.
Try Out The Pay Per Play Feature For Just $1 Dollar
We also have the Pay Per Play Service available as a stand alone Turn-Key Service at an unbelievable price. If you have a video, audio, slide show or document that you want to charge on a Pay Per View Basis, we will host it, set it up on a pay-per view basis and send you the money from it. There is a $27 refundable set up fee and we also get 20% from each sale. But you do not even have to have a credit card processor set up as we run it through ours and we take the the processing fees out of our share. So if you charge $7 to watch your video, then you would net $5.60 on each viewing. If you get 1,000 viewers, you would make $5,600. Not too bad aye?
You can use this button to sign up for the stand alone service and yes, if you got the demo, you get $10 back.
PURCHASE THE PAY PER PLAY STAND ALONE SERVICE HERE
Gold Basic Membership Site Installation only $379.90. It includes the Pay Per Play Feature. Plan on spending at least 10-15 hours to get proficient at this if you are tech savy and a tad longer if you are not.
Your Own Full Blown Social Networking Site That Rivals, MySpace, Facebook, and Ning
Platinum Membership Site Installation. This is a full-fledged Membership site that rivals and even surpasses what Facebook and MySpace have to offer. It gives each member their own editable profile that allows them to upload videos, audios, have their own blog, forums, real-time audio and video chat, site news and forums, surveys and more. The demo has been our lab for this for about 2 years now and I am just now letting it out of the bottle and it is still a work in progress. I have just been too busy working with clients to put the finishing touches on it and plan on doing so soon, but we will always keep here as our improvement lab so expect good changes on a regular basis but we will keep most of it the same. Click Here to see it and by all means, sign up for it and put your profile up.
You will gain a couple of things by doing setting up a profile there.
One, it will give you a good feel for what this type of Membership Site is all about.
Two, if you load up your contact information and put a link back to your site it will help with your search rankings.
Three, if you take the time to post your blogs to your blog there and basically reproduce it, make sure to put a link back to your site in each post. It will also make it easier for people to find you and help with your search rankings. Not to mention we plan on filling it up with members and you will more than likely get free business from it.
THE BEST FREE SEO TIP OF THE YEAR
Make sure to put a classified Ad for any products that you have for sale on the site too. Now this may sound hard to believe but….. I have had my Ads recently turn up on the first page of Google for some pretty hard-core search terms. That is right, off of a classified ad.
This is a full fledged Social Media Site with lots of potential. Do you have the clients to fill the community like this? If so, you could be making hundreds of thousands of dollars from it.
Contact us for an exact quote on this but prices range from about $2,500 to $25,000.
This blows away what you can do with Ning and other sites like it. You have full control of advertising, and affiliates.
21to21.com Profit Memberships
21to21.com’s Silver Membership – OK and last but not least, if you want to try out our Membership Site here at 21to21.com, here is my special offer for you. Try it out for $1.00 for 14 days and then it is only $27 per month. You can stop at any time and there is no long-term commitment. It also includes the Pay Per Play demo as well. Not only that, you get 50% off of any Full Support Membership Site Installation.
What it will give you is an inside look at how our Membership Sites work and also give you access to the information that I only give our paying members.
21to21.com’s Gold Membership – $1 dollar for 14 days and then only $47 per month. Plus you get an upgrade at www.QuitYourJobOnMonday.com, along with a copy of the New Book, ” Personality Language” by Marilyne Woodsmall and Wyatt Woodsmall. This is a true gem. You can check it out over at www.TheScienceOfidiots.com. Plus a bunch more other goodies including a Profit Conference call and/or a webcast.
$1 dollar 14 day trial of 21to21.com’s Gold Membership
Your Next Step
I hope that you can now see how your very own Membership Site can be one of the quickest way to make a profit available to you. Even if you don’t take us up on one our great offers, then at least get one going on your own. You will be glad you did.
Finally, even though I do not want to throw too much at you, I am putting together everything that I have learned about Membership Sites and more over the past few years and bundling them into a 6 month course that our Gold Full Service Membership Installation that we use here for our own Membership Site, plus marketing techniques, product creation blueprints and a whole lot more. I will post information on it soon.
Our Members will get the first crack at it as there will only be 20-50 slots open the first go around. So if you join above, you will get the announcement first and have first try at the program. And the price? Only $97 per month if you can believe that. Look for more details soon.
No matter what you do, get your Membership Site up ASAP. Because if you don’t, your competition is going to and once people find a home they like, they often stay there for a long, long, time.
If you have a question, just drop us a line via the contact page or give us a call at 307-459-1092 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST Monday through Saturday.