What if you could pretty much guarantee clients came back, month after month?
What if you could support people all over the world even if they can’t afford you one on one but still have an impact on their health and life?
Without selling a single thing.
When you have a membership program in place, that’s exactly what happens.
And if you’re a health coach and you’re looking for ways to boost your coaching business get more financial stability to your business and better leverage your time so you can have a bigger impact, I am going to lay out here exactly how you can make it happen for your business.
I am sure you’ve heard that membership sites are one of the best models out there to build recurring revenues and add financial stability to your business while serving your audience on a whole new level.
But most coaches don’t take action, and there are 4 major reasons why.
Before I dive into the steps I want to share this with you because I know it will help.
1) They think they need a big list in order to make money with a membership.
That’s simply not true. You don’t need a big list. You need a following, meaning people that actually interact with you. In this case, size doesn’t matter, it’s the engagement with your list or social media fans that matters.
And if you don’t have a list yet, well, it’s time to roll up your sleeves build one, my friend!
2) They think that free content is available out there
… so why would people pay to have access to this content when the internet is filled with blogs and videos on how to lose weight, get better nutrition, exercise,…?
Have you ever tried to find some info online and spent hours if not days looking for it? Maybe you got distracted by a video on youtube or a blog that led you to a whole different direction?
Maybe what you found was no good and didn’t work for you at all?
That is exactly the reason why there is real value in providing curated information that works and that is all centralized in 1 place.
3) They are afraid of the content production
And I get it. But it’s a false problem.
You don’t need to produce a ton of content to have a successful membership site. In fact, there are membership models where you don’t have to produce any content yourself, and of course, you can always repurpose content you have already created (remember people are ready to be for convenience and easy access to high-quality content). It’s easier than you think to boost your health coaching business!
In most cases, it’s even possible to produce a year worth of content in just a week.
4) They are scared of technology.
(I get it).
But let’s be real: it’s never been so easy to build a membership site!
And I don’t mean you putting on your developer hat to make it happen.
Technology can be scary but it doesn’t have to be. Technology has to become your friend if you want to succeed in the online space. it comes down to choosing the right tools and not think that you can become an overnight developer or designer!
I will just tell you what you probably say to your coaching clients: take your business seriously if you want serious results!
So now that I have addressed these, let’s talk about why people join membership sites in the first place!
The 4 reasons why people join a membership site:
1) They want more access to you (weekly/monthly calls, can ask Qs,..)
This is actually the best way to build a membership: listen to what your one on one clients or audience tell you and build and see if there is a connection with what you really want to do and what your vision for your business.
people do business with people. They want the connection. Especially when it comes to their health, it’s an emotional topic that is hard to deal with alone for most people.
2) They want content that is easy to access (less is more)
People are ready to pay for easy access to high-quality content.
There is so much stuff out there and people waste so much time going through free content that for the most part is of little to no value to them.
3) They want your support and help to find the info they need quickly, they want convenience, speed, centralized curated information
Similar to 2), people want to save time, having all content centralized in 1 place allows them to focus on the right stuff, stay on the step they are in and get results.
4) They want clear directions: your roadmap is golden (more on that later) to keep them focused, motivated and accountable
People crave for clear direction. If you can show them the way, the steps to get there without feeling overwhelmed, they’ll stick with you month after month after month.
Did you know that the #1 reason people leave a membership is content overwhelm?
That might surprise you, but people don’t want more content, they want the right content, easy to access and the support they need to get results.
So what does it take to build a successful membership site to boost your coaching business?
There are essentially 4 steps.
STEP #1: DEFINE YOUR MEMBERSHIP IDEA
You are not selling a membership. You are selling a solution to a problem.
Choose a membership Idea
You need to be able to answer the following questions:
- What problem are you trying to solve for your members?
- Who are you trying to solve it for?
Think: women over 40 who want to lose tummy fat, business owner too busy to cook healthy for her and her family, stay at home mom looking to get kids to each veggies, corporate employees who want is not moving enough and needs to lose weight, pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, men and women who want to gain muscle..
You get the idea: the more targeted you are going to be, the clearer your message and offer will be.
Your membership idea needs to fill 3 criteria:
- Be on a topic you know really well (or are willing to play the curator role for)
- provide solution that people are looking for
- People need to be willing to pay for it
The best way to quickly validate an idea is to ask your audience. The #1 mistake I see people make is to think that they know what their audience wants. But guess what, unless you have actually asked them and got the conversations going, you don’t.
And making that type of assumption is what can kill your membership before it even started.
You can also take a look at this article on how to search and validate a membership site idea.
Define Your Content strategy
This is usually that part that stresses a lot of people because we don’t know what and how much to give.
There is one model that is really popular right that I call the monthly bundle.
In that model, you basically have a “themed” month for example, and every month you deliver a bundle of content.
That bundle can contain anything from video training, audio meditations, pdfs to download, recording of interviews with other experts, a Q&A call.. you are only limited by your imagination!
There are so many different types of membership variations that It would be impossible for me to list them but for most membership models, here is a simple strategy that will work to get clearer on what content you should offer and how often:
- what is the problem you are solving?
- Are there clear steps (1,2,3,..) to get there? If so, then you can start to break down your content based on these steps or stages.
You then drill down for each step into more details.
One example could be:
- Stage 1: Mindset and Goals
- Stage 2: Nutrition
- Stage 3: Exercise
- Stage 4: Losing Weight
- Stage 5: Maintenance
It can be in the form of short mini-courses, articles, videos, audios, or even pdfs. It can be all delivered at once (which can feel overwhelming), or dripped daily, weekly or even based on completion.
That will not only avoid overwhelm but help them keep focused in the step they are in.
You can also improve the member experience with a tool such as searchditto. These types of tools are made to make it easier for your members to quickly find content they are looking for, or to go back to content they have seen already.
It’s also a great way to make your coaching call replays actually seen! (nobody watched replays anymore 🙂 )
Create Your Offer
Once you’re clear about your content strategy it is time to define your offer!
– What do they get (you get to decide how much of YOU they get, it can be nothing, a monthly call, a weekly call, it really depends on what you want to do AND what they want.
Are they getting a community to support each other? (some memberships are purely community-based with no other content).
In any case, make sure that your time is 1-to-many so it is leveraged and scalable
– Your pricing model: $/month, $/year,… I would personally not offer a yearly option at this stage, people have no clear idea of what to expect yet so I would stick with the monthly offer. You can always offer monthly people to upgrade to yearly at a later stage.
Pick 1 or 2 Retention Strategies
If you were to track just 1 metric for your membership that would be your retention rate. It’s the indicator of a healthy membership and what gives you financial stability.
I would pick 1 or 2 retention strategies that you need to apply right away.
Here are some strategies that you could implement that would work for most membership models:
– Progress tracking: it’s great for them but for you as well so that you can see content that is not being consumed, members that are not logging in or making progress so that you can reach out to them and offer assistance
– Weekly roundups: these are weekly emails that are sent out to your members, especially if you have a community aspect (whether this is a facebook group or a forum or other community platform), sending weekly snippets of what happened during the week, celebrating wins that have been shared, is a great way to keep members engaged and connected with your membership.
Here are 3 tools you can use too to keep your members engaged.
– Self-assessments: these are super useful and are great to get your members out of overwhelm.
Providing guidance on what content they should look at based on the problem they have right now is a great way to support them and guide them to the best piece of information inside your member area, without even getting involved.
STEP #2 Define and Plan your beta launch
Define your Goals for your launch
I always recommend launching with a Beta Program to get your first X founding members.
Pick a number that feels good to you. Can be a $/month or a number of members in the next 3 months or from your existing list if you have one.
One this is for sure: if you don’t set a goal, you are very unlikely to achieve it.
it removes the pressure of doing a big launch AND allows you to re-adjust at the end of the beta period and change pricing, access to you, the format of the content, delivery method, for any new members, so you are not chained to the offer you made during the beta.
The Beta has several goals:
- Quickly get your first founding members in so you can get feedback and can tweak the membership as needed, test pricing and format
- your founding members are going to help you make this the best platform for them so listen to what they tell you
- Validate the model and make sure that it fits what you want to do.
Launching a membership site is commitment. Running a membership is very different than running a traditional business. Your job is to:
- Serve your members inside the membership
- Bring in new members through free content and partnerships that you’ll continue to build.
STEP # 3: Launching your Beta Program
If your goal for you Beta is to get your first 100 members (that is what I help my clients do as I feel it’s a good founding members size!), you need to decide how you’re going to get those members:
- Already have an active list: send them an invitation to join your waitlist
- If you have a dormant list: re-activate your list (there are strategies for that) and then invite them to the join the waiting list to be notified when it becomes available
- You don’t have a list but a following on social media: get your fans onto your list with a freebie that is congruent with your membership offer, that will attract the right target and will make it a smooth natural transition to signup for your waiting list
- If you have no list and no following on social media: today is the best time to start building your audience. if you need guidance with that reach out to me and I’ll give you some pointers as this is not the goal of this post.
The goal of the beta program is to attract the low engaging fruits, the fans, existing clients and people that know you and love you already.
it’s an audience that is faster to tap into than cold traffic and you need momentum to encourage people to join before the beta program is full.
Here is a checklist of what you need to prepare for your beta program:
- email sequence invitation
- Opt-in page to sign-up for a waiting list
- pricing structure: if you have a goal to chart $49/month for your membership, your beta program could be set at $29/month for example, this is an extra intensive for people to join.
- Sales page
- Welcome/on-boarding sequence and process (welcome video,..)
Your beta program will be more effective if you have some scarcity in place: # of spots limited, only X days to signup,..
You can even make the beta offer juicier with bonuses that are time sensitive.
For example, you can start with 3 bonuses and 1 bonus goes away every 48h.
I have many more strategies in my arsenal but those work really well 🙂
STEP #4 : Growing Your Membership
When you’re at that stage you’ve done the hardest part!
Growing your membership means looking at the most important metric in your membership: your retention rate.
There is no point in bringing in more leads and members if you’re bleeding members on the other end of the funnel:)
– track and measure your retention rate
– build a strategy to get more members (affiliates, fb ads)
– build free content to attract your audience and funnel them into your sales funnel
Before you start investing in traffic and getting more people, make sure you survey your beta members to find out how they feel about the membership. You need to make sure they are getting what they expect.
Turn On-Off Access to Your Membership
if you’re opting for the open-close feature (which I am not a fan of) but works in some cases, your sales page needs to be turned into a waiting list building machine so that any visitor can sign-up to be notified when the membership opens again.
When your membership is closed your time is spent serving your current members and delivery high-quality free content to attract new leads, turn them into fans that will want to hop on your waiting list.
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