Sarah Shade, COO & Co-Owner of The Empire Method.
Sarah is a life-long copywriter and marketer passionate about ethics, business building, customer experiences, and so much more! She’s co-inventor of Empire Websites with her business partner Sam Duncan.
How to Earn Client Trust and Skyrocket Sales
A Guide On How to Create an Irresistible Membership Program!
With more and more people trying to help shift the collective into a new age of consciousness, we’re seeing a massive, undeniable shift in the online space. Open your FB page and you’ll see post after prolific post of people stimulating the path to the changes we all want to see happen in this lifetime, and beyond! It’s a beautiful sight to see so many women stepping into this role, harnessing their talents, and bravely penetrating the wounded society we live in, one life, and one person at a time!
The work you do as a coach, whether a health, mindset, soul, or business coach is important, you’re work is setting new standards and guidelines for healing and expansion of human potential, something our world desperately needs, and how you distribute your work is just as important as the work you do!
Which brings me to why it’s so important for coaches to learn how to create reliable income right away – while 1-on-1 coaching is incredibly rewarding when it happens, there’s no doubt you will run out of energy without having alternative ways to earn steady income. Burnout is real!
With that said, I’d like to dig into how you can create reliable income by doing things a little backwards.
Most online coaches will start their journey with 1-on-1 coaching, which in hindsight might seem like a logical route, it is your profession after all. However, if you’re new/semi-new on the scene and don’t have the social reach or support of industry influencers there’s going to be some very difficult challenges ahead. The first of these challenges is establishing yourself as an expert in your niche.
If you’re a new coach and go full steam ahead thinking people will sign up with you right out the gate, you’re going to be in for some major disappointment. It takes time to earn the trust of your potential clients. LOTS of time! Like imagine how much time it would take and then times that by 100.
Most new, or semi-new coaches don’t know just how difficult it is to earn that trust or how long it takes – but please know, it’s more than you’re prepared for. That’s just the reality we live in and the sooner you really get that, the better! The good news is, there’s a better, faster way to earn trust – and that’s by working backwards.
As I mentioned before, most coaches start with 1-on-1 coaching and expand from there, this is actually a waste of precious time, time you could be using to create content that establishes you as an expert.
Creating a membership program can significantly and very directly increase your status as an influencer and trusted coach to those who actually matter – the client specifically, not some random person commenting on your Facebook post.
A private membership gives you the chance to provide massive value with a reasonable investment from your client, which over a short period of time makes it incredibly easy to move them into more robust programs.
Putting the cart before the horse will make it very hard to move an inch, so if you want to start making money within a reasonable timeframe, consider investing your energy into things that set you up for success, like a membership program! Later on in this article I’ll be showing you some numbers!
How To Create Membership Topics That Are Irresitible!
There are a few very important steps to take before you can make an irresistible membership program, the first and most important is to make sure your membership program ideas deeply resonate with your audience. If you just assume your idea is amazing and skip straight into creating the content for your membership you could end up with a program you can’t sell.
So, before you make any moves, map out and write down your membership ideas, once you have a healthy array of ideas that you could easily provide content around, survey your audience over a 2-week time period. Don’t just ask once, ask multiple times in different ways to gauge your audience, and don’t be afraid to ask them to come up with topics they’d like to learn about.
In fact, that should be a priority since there’s no better way to know what your audience wants then hearing it directly from their lips!
Once you’ve surveyed and narrowed down your topics, be sure you research any competition out there to see what you’re up against. Doing this research is critical because it allows you to set a standard for your own membership, your goal is to exceed the value your competition is offering by either creating more content, offering more bells and whistles, or charging a slightly lower rate.
How to Choose Your Membership Type
The next step is to decide what type of membership program you want to create, this will determine how to structure a membership program, so it works for your specific business. Let’s go over the 2 most common membership types for online coaches.
An Evergreen membership is where you drip content to your members on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This is typically reserved for content that doesn’t require a lot of updating.
For instance, if you have training videos and articles that won’t change much with times this is a perfect way to provide value to a stream of clients without having to constantly update the original content. You will also want to add to it continuously to make an everlasting membership program! This doesn’t mean you need to create a crazy amounts of content in advance, no – simply add as you go! I suggest weekly content so you have plenty of time to create new content without rushing or feeling overwhelmed!
Like the Evergreen membership, the really cool part about a course membership program is you really only need to create the first month of course materials to get started, and then you can easily create the rest as you go. However, unlike the Evergreen membership you’ll want to create a course map with a clear journey for your members.
For instance, maybe you’re a business coach and you want to teach people how to get booked for speaking events. Or perhaps you’re a health/wellness coach trying to help people improve their bodies. Whatever the case, there’s a process to do that, so you’ll want to create a weekly map-out of what you’ll need to teach each week for 6 months to ensure the goal your members expect to reach can be accomplished.
Having this map-out also keeps you focused on what you need to create each month especially if you’re only creating the first month of course materials. Follow your map-out and you’ll do just fine! Of course, if you also have a 1-on-1 coaching program, you’ll want to save the very best of your teachings for your private clients, you’ll need that leverage to move membership clients into your coaching program at the end of the course.
Basically, don’t give the milk away for free. If you’re a true expert in what you do, it should be pretty easy to still create high-value content and reserve your best information for those who later upgrade to your 1-on-1 coaching package.
How to Get People In Your Membership Program & Keep Them
Fast forward a bit, you’ve set up your membership program, you’ve got the first month’s content ready to roll out, but how do you actually get people into your membership program? Good question.
A few creative ideas come to mind. The first would be to run a contest on social media and give away 1 month of membership to a select amount of people. I know, giving away a few spots sounds counter-intuitive, however if your content is valuable you can bet they’ll stick around, you can also count on them signing your praises to their friends and business associates! Word of mouth is gold in this industry so don’t think this tactic is weak, it’s not!
You can also offer a two-week free trail, this is usually the best way to give a little but get a lot of commitment in return! Again, your content should be genuinely helpful so your members remain active! You’ll want to ask each person you bring into your membership paid or not, what they learned from the experience, and ask them to write a review. These reviews should be used as social proof on your membership offer page to show others it’s a valuable program! You can also run paid ads, post in groups, post on your own social accounts, and ask your industry friends to support you with a social mention!
How Much Should You Charge For Your Membership Program?
This is a tough question because it truly depends on what membership type you have and the frequency of your drip. While it might take a bit of work to set up a membership program, the best part about it is, it’s there and ready to be sold forever!
Any work you put in has the very real potential to provide you with sustainable income for as long as you want it to, so when thinking about cost – try not to think about the time it took you to create the content, think about what price your comfortable charging knowing you don’t have to do much now besides turn it on!
Remember, to make consistent and reliable income you’ll want to charge a reasonable fee to ensure you can bring in and keep lots of members! I would say an evergreen membership should run around $30-$60 a month and a course membership $75-$99 a month.
Some coaches like to offer up a VIP upgrade which usually includes a 1 on 1 coaching call each month, in this case you could easily sell a course membership with a VIP upgrade for $200 or more for those who are looking for a little more hand holding! It’s worth offering an upgraded version.
Let’s take a look at the numbers so you can get a better idea!
Let’s say you want to make a $1000 a month. You sell your membership for $79 a month and offer a VIP upgrade for $200.
Mathematically speaking, here’s what you’d need to sell to hit that goal.
- 13 memberships ( 13 x $79 = $1027 )
- OR just 3 memberships and 4 more with VIP upgrade for 7 total members. ( $79 x 3 = $237 )( $200 x 4 = $800 )( $237 + $800 = $1037 )
Doesn’t seem so hard right? Now Imagine a year from now, you have 75 members and 20 VIP upgrades (you’d need to bring in 8 members a month for a year to hit that goal), that would be around $9,900 a month, this is JUST from your memberships – it doesn’t count anyone who’s since joined your coaching program or bought other services from you! Pretty cool right? This is exactly how some coaches earn 5 and 6 figures. It’s not a mystery, it’s intelligent framework and utilizing modern tools to help you do more with less of your personal time! It seems a whole lot easier to ask for a $79 or $200 investment, than asking a client who doesn’t really know you to invest in your $5k coaching program doesn’t it.
When you look at the value of a what a membership program can do for you, you should look at the substantial wealth and minimal upkeep it presents, it’s worth the time to create one!
Realistically, if done right, your membership program will deliver the bulk and you’d only need to work about 15-20 hours a month! Of course, this would just continue to grow, but if you’re really smart, you’ll reserve some of your profits to advertise your membership program, I suggest putting 20% of all profits into a savings account and when you have around $5k, hire an ads expert and run a heavy campaign. Keep reinvesting 20% of your profits and watch your business absolutely skyrocket!
What Membership Platform Is The Best?
In our opinion, Memberpress is the best platform for creating your membership program. In fact, we use the Memberpress Plugin for our training course that’s included when clients purchase one of our all-in-one Empire Websites. We have 3 membership levels and so far we’re loving how easy it is to create such customized memberships!
Here’s quick look to see how we’ve laid out our membership pages below for inspiration:
As you can see, it’s not only highly functional but you can add as many membership types as you want! You can easily manage client subscriptions, grant or prohibit access to digital/video files, categories, communities, tags and feeds! It’s also PCI compliant and accepts major payment methods such as PayPal and Stripe. We also like the idea that you can install it onto your own website, keeping clients on your own platform, it just establishes you as an authority and helps your site stats!
Have you considered creating a membership program? If not, what are the major roadblocks stopping you? Comment below!
As a side note, if you haven’t checked out our Empire Websites yet, we hope you do! Our websites are pre-built and come with MemberPress, sales funnels, an eCommerce store and affiliate tracking, all in one