Memberships have always been a great way to provide customers with an affordable monthly fee for an ongoing service or product. My first membership as a young adult was with BlockBuster and Bally’s Gym. Flash forward to now where subscriptions and memberships are very much a part of our American lifestyle. From food prep, fashion, beauty products, fitness, to entertainment, education, and more!
Have you ever wanted to build a membership model business? Membership businesses are a great way to develop recurring revenue for your creative ingenuity.
What is a Membership Business Model?
It’s pretty simple. A membership model is where the business offers its products and services in exchange for a monthly payment to its members. Here at CEO Chicks, we offer educational content, access to a community, new content on a regular, ongoing basis, and more.
With a membership business, you as the creator can charge a recurring fee for access to exclusive services, original and curated content, and community.
Can You Make Money With a Membership Business? Absolutely! Just keep reading.
If you can think about it, I've probably done it. Tested various platforms to host CEO Chicks content, failed partnerships with influencers to represent my brand, members joining and copying my brand down to the "T "! I have even played the role of bill collector, reaching out to members whose payments failed, it was exhausting.
Oouuuu Chile'! I have learned how to book speakers, host events in various cities and bring the CEO Chick community to life, and I did it all without major sponsorships or financial backing!
I want to share the 10 ways you can build a profitable membership.
1. Define Your Target Audience
These are the people who are looking to solve the problem that you can solve with your membership offer. Before starting The CEO Chick Network I was, unbeknownst to me, building community by simply sharing my entrepreneurial journey online. Before I knew it I was surrounded by entrepreneurs who were looking for community, resources, and more. Ask yourself…
What problem do you solve? How do you solve it?
Who needs your offer?
What will your potential customer need to solve their problem?
What is the life cycle of your solution? Is there a beginning and an end?
Is your solution a digital or physical product?
Want to deep dive into your brand development? Check out this two-part class, How To Develop Your Brand IQ.
2. Validate Your Membership Business Idea
This means finding out whether or not there's demand for what it is you're offering. An easy way to do this is to look at other companies that are offering products similar to yours. Are there any gaps? Do you see a unique opportunity to provide a service or product that already exists?
Prior to making the leap into the membership model, I joined another network. I met with the founder and asked her for more insight based on her experience. She shared with me the ups and downs of a membership community. It was more from a relationship perspective vs a logistical one. Her offers were more wellness driven, while mine was focused on business. I began to search for communities like mine, and found very few, especially for women of color. I knew then I was on to something.
3. Price Your Membership Offering
There are literally countless ways to price a membership business, but most membership businesses use membership tiers where price point determines what members have access to.
When I first started in 2016, we had 2 tiers at @$15 and @$30 a month. Then we encountered women that wanted more 1:1 so we adjusted the prices and our rates to match. As time went on, more membership communities began to form, so as a result we adjusted our offer and finally found a sweet spot for our tribe.
Pricing can be daunting! I recommend our four-part class, How To Charge Top Dollar For Your Products And Services.
4. Choose a Membership Business Platform
After you've set pricing for your membership business, you get to start building your site. And that means choosing the right membership business platform. For our classes we went with Thinkific (click for a free trial). After using various platforms we found that Thinkific served both our needs and the needs of our members.
There are several platforms to choose from to host your membership subscriptions. For example:
5. Design Your Membership Business Site
This is one of my biggest areas of focus. This is the home to your members, this is where you engage with them online, where you provide all of your resources. You want it to be a place where they can move with great ease through your content...